NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 29, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 29, 2020

Results from the first exhibition games of return-to-play, an update on David Pastrnak, the Ducks re-sign Sonny Milano, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Connor McDavid scored twice to lead the Edmonton Oilers over the Calgary Flames 4-1 as exhibition games began yesterday leading up to the upcoming playoff tournament beginning Aug. 1. Elias Lindholm netted the sole goal for the Flames, who outshot the Oilers 37-30.

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid scored twice in a 4-1 win over the Calgary Flames in exhibition play yesterday (NHL Images).

Scott Laughton scored in overtime as the Philadelphia Flyers edged the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2. Penguins captain Sidney Crosby played over 19 minutes and said he had no issues after missing five of six practices last week to an undisclosed ailment.

The Toronto Maple Leafs tallied two shorthanded goals to double up the Montreal Canadiens 4-2. Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly scored and set up two others while Alexander Kerfoot potted two goals. The Canadiens went zero-for-six on the power play.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The overall play in those three games wasn’t bad. Granted, these were exhibition games following a nearly five-month layoff for the teams involved, lacking the intensity and crisp play one expects to see when the tournament begins on Aug.1. The players were still working out the kinks.

Nevertheless, the quality of play was better than I expected. Not great, but not horrible. The games also felt a little weird with piped-in noise and no fans, but I didn’t find it detracted from the on-ice action. I’ll get used to this as Phase 4 (hopefully) rolls on.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Bruins winger David Pastrnak took responsibility for his actions that resulted in missing almost all of the Phase 3 training camp with his teammates. He confirmed returning to quarantine after skating with some amateur players at a rink north of Boston at the start of Phase 3. He traveled with the Bruins to Toronto for Phase 4 and has resumed practicing with his teammates.

THE PROVINCE: Canucks winger Micheal Ferland continues to impress his teammates with his play in practice. Ferland was questionable to participate in the playoff tournament after missing most of this season dealing with head-trauma symptoms. He’s expected to be in the lineup for today’s exhibition game against the Winnipeg Jets.

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks yesterday re-signed Sonny Milano to a two-year, $3.4 million contract. The 24-year-old winger was acquired from the Columbus Blue Jackets at the February trade deadline, collecting five points in nine games with the Ducks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As per Cap Friendly, Milano’s annual average value ($1.7 million) leaves the Ducks with over $77.3 million invested in 17 players for 2020-21.


NHL Trade Deadline Tracker – February 24, 2020

NHL Trade Deadline Tracker – February 24, 2020

The NHL Trade Deadline is 3 pm ET today. This listing will be updated regularly throughout the day until all trade activity is complete.

Anaheim Ducks trade defenseman Korbinian Holzer to the Nashville Predators for defenseman Matt Irwin. 

Washington Capitals trade defenseman Christian Djoos to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for Daniel Sprong. 

Montreal Canadiens trade Nick Cousins to the Vegas Golden Knights. Details to follow…

Calgary Flames trade Brandon Davidson to the San Jose Sharks for future considerations

New Jersey Devils trade goaltender Louis Domingue to the Vancouver Canucks in exhange for goalie Zane McIntyre

Tampa Bay Lightning acquire Barclay Goodrow from the San Jose Sharks for a first-round pick.

New York Rangers traded defenseman Brady Skjei to the Carolina Hurricanes for the Hurricanes’ first-round pick in 2020. 

Columbus Blue Jackets acquire Devin Shore from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for Sonny Milano

Vegas Golden Knights acquired goaltender Robin Lehner from the Chicago Blackhawks for Malcolm Subban, Slava Demin and a 2nd round pick. 

New Jersey Devils trade defenseman Sami Vatanen to the Carolina Hurricanes for winger Janne Kuokkanen and a second-round pick. 

Buffalo Sabres trade Conor Sheary and Evan Rodrigues to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Dominik Kahun. 

Calgary Flames acquire defenseman Erik Gustafsson from the Chicago Blackhawks for a third-round pick

Los Angeles Kings ship defenseman Derek Forbort to the Calgary Flames for a fourth-round pick. 

Edmonton Oilers trade a fifth-round pick in 2021 to the Ottawa Senators for Tyler Ennis.

Edmonton Oilers acquired Andreas Athanasiou and Ryan Kuffner from the Detroit Red Wings for Sam Gagner, a second-round pick in 2020 and a second-rounder in 2021. 

Boston Bruins trade Danton Heinen to the Anaheim Ducks for Nick Ritchie.

Buffalo Sabres acquire winger Wayne Simmonds from the New Jersey Devils for a conditional fifth-rounder in 2021. 

Philadelphia Flyers acquire center Derek Grant from the Anaheim Ducks for minor-league center Kyle Crisuolo and a fourth-round pick in 2020. 

Toronto Maple Leafs trade goaltender Michael Hutchinson to the Colorado Avalanche for defenseman Calle Rosen.

Pittsburgh Penguins acquire Patrick Marleau from the San Jose Sharks for a conditional third-round pick in 2020. The pick becomes a second-rounder if the Penguins win the Stanley Cup. 

Montreal Canadiens trade center Nate Thompson to the Philadelphia Flyers for a fifth-round pick in 2021. 

Florida Panthers trade center Vincent Trocheck to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for forwards Erik Haula, Lucas Wallmark and prospects Chase Priskie and Eetu Luostarinen.

New York Islanders acquire center Jean-Gabriel Pageau to the New York Islanders for a first-round pick (lottery protected) in 2020, a  second-rounder in 2020, and a third in 2022. There are conditions attached to all picks. The Islanders re-sign him to a six-year contract extension.

Ottawa Senators trade Vladislav Namestnikov to the Colorado Avalanche for a fourth-round pick in the 2021 NHL draft. 

Detroit Red Wings trade defenseman Mike Green to the Edmonton Oilers for sidelined forward Kyle Brodziak and a conditional draft pick.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 22, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 22, 2020

Florida Panthers coach Joel Quenneville returns to Chicago, Artemi Panarin to miss the upcoming NHL All-Star Game, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Florida Panthers coach Joel Quenneville made a triumphant return to Chicago as his club edged the Blackhawks 4-3. Quenneville, who coached the Hawks from 2008-09 to 2018-19, was honored by the club during the game. The Panthers’ victory was powered by Frank Vatrano’s hat trick, giving them six straight wins. Before the game, the Blackhawks honored Patrick Kane for reaching 1,000 career points. Earlier in the day, eyebrows were raised when Blackhawks’ stars Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith had a physical altercation during practice. Toews downplayed the incident as “just some friendly wrestling.”

Florida Panthers coach Joel Quenneville picked up a win in his return to Chicago (Photo via NHL.com)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Panthers (61 points) maintain their hold on third place in the Atlantic Division, while the Blackhawks (54 points) remain three points out of a wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

Justin Williams scored two goals to lead the Carolina Hurricanes to a 4-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets. Teuvo Teravainen collected three points while Andrei Svechnikov had two assists. The slumping Jets have dropped three in a row.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Williams doesn’t look rusty after taking over half the season off. His return seems to have provided an extra spark for the Hurricanes. The Jets, meanwhile, are three points out of a Western Conference wild-card spot.

The New York Islanders doubled up the New York Rangers 4-2. Thomas Greiss made 40 saves and Josh Bailey had a goal and two assists. Isles center Mathew Barzal was benched during the third period by coach Barry Trotz for not playing within the team framework. Rangers all-star winger Artemi Panarin missed this game with an upper-body injury. He’ll be replaced at the upcoming 2020 NHL All-Star game by teammate Chris Kreider.

Third-period goals by Jake DeBrusk and David Krejci lifted the Boston Bruins to a 3-2 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights.

Brian Elliott had a 19-save shutout as the Philadelphia Flyers blanked the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-0. The Flyers have won four of their last five contests.

SUN-SENTINEL: The 2021 NHL All-Star Game will reportedly be hosted by the Florida Panthers.

DETROIT FREE PRESS: Red Wings forward Anthony Mantha could miss the remainder of the season with an injured rib cage and shoulder. His last game was Dec. 21 against Toronto.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With 24 points in 29 games, Mantha was on his way to eclipsing last season’s 25-goal, 48-point performance in 67 games. His absence is among the reasons behind the Wings’ struggles this season.

CBS SPORTS: Nashville Predators forward Colton Sissons was assigned to their AHL affiliate in Milwaukee on a conditioning stint.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Brandon Manning received a five-game suspension by the AHL for uttering a racial slur during a recent game.


NHL Rumor Mill – September 27, 2019

NHL Rumor Mill – September 27, 2019

The latest on Jonathan Drouin and Jack Johnson plus some Blue Jackets speculation in today’s NHL rumor mill.


MONTREAL GAZETTE: Stu Cowan reports Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin dismissed recent media speculation suggesting winger Jonathan Drouin could become a trade candidate. “I don’t know where they come from,” said Bergevin. “Most of those reports are from somebody in his basement in Toronto. So I don’t pay attention to them, to be honest with you.”

Trade speculation is starting to swirl around Montreal Canadiens winger Jonathan Drouin (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The speculation originated from Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman and Eric Engels, who must have very expensive basement apartments in Toronto. 

Friedman suggested Drouin’s status could be worth watching after he played just over 11 minutes of playing time during a preseason game earlier this week. Engels, meanwhile, reported an Eastern Conference executive told him Drouin’s name was “out there”.

NBC SPORTS: James O’Brien feels Drouin’s underwhelming performance and $5.5 million annual average value through 2022-23 hurts his trade value. If teams believe the Canadiens are desperate to move him, that’ll make it difficult to get a quality return. O’Brien wonders if it would make sense to swap Drouin for an equally polarizing player, like Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bergevin always plays his cards close to the vest. If he’s listening to offers he won’t broadcast it. If he’s quietly shopping Drouin and somebody blabbed he could shut down trade talks for a while.

I think Bergevin will be patient with Drouin and see how things unfold this season. If there’s no improvement in the winger’s performance, the Habs GM could take serious steps to move him.


PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Matt Vensel pointed out defenseman Jack Johnson was a healthy scratch from the Penguins’ lineup during Wednesday’s preseason game against Detroit. He speculates there’s a legitimate chance the 32-year-old blueliner could be in the press box when the Penguins open the season on Oct. 3.

Johnson’s performance has declined in recent years. Vensel reminded us the blueliner was part of a failed attempt this spring to ship Phil Kessel to the Minnesota Wild. Kessel was subsequently shipped to the Arizona Coyotes.

THE ATHLETIC: Rob Rossi also wondered what Johnson’s absence from the Penguins lineup on Wednesday meant for his immediate future. The Penguins must become salary-cap compliant before the season opens. Rossi suggests trading Johnson, even if it means picking up part of his $3.25-million salary-cap hit, would make GM Jim Rutherford’s job much easier. However,  multiple sources claim there isn’t anything going on involving Johnson.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s not much of a market for a fading veteran defenseman signed through 2022-23. If Rutherford hopes to trade Johnson he could be forced to absorb a healthy chunk of his cap hit and perhaps add a draft pick or prospect. Even then, that might not be enough. 


THE ATHLETIC: Aaron Portzline speculates Blues Jackets winger Sonny Milano could be playing for another NHL team within a week. If they attempt to demote him it’s unlikely he’ll clear waivers. Milano’s decision making and play without the puck have affected his efforts to secure a roster spot with the Jackets. He now seems in a battle for one of the final fourth-line positions.

Portzline and Alison Lukan consider defenseman Ryan Murray as the best trade candidate if the Jackets need to acquire a forward. Lukan also included blueliners David Savard and Markus Nutivaara as possible trade options.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: One wonders if Milano’s off-ice legal issues could affect his trade value. He has a hearing on Oct. 16 on an assault charge related to a July incident in New York.

NHL Rumor Mill – September 23, 2019

NHL Rumor Mill – September 23, 2019

Rumors persist linking the Sabres’ Rasmus Ristolainen to the Jets, plus updates on Sonny Milano and Matt Benning in today’s NHL rumor mill.


THE BUFFALO NEWS: Mike Harrington reports a recent hand injury to Brandon Montour could ensure Rasmus Ristolainen starts this season with the Sabres. Nevertheless, the 25-year-old defenseman remains a fixture in NHL trade rumors. 

Trade speculation continues to swirl about Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen (Photo via NHL Images).

Harrington notes there’s no shortage of intrigue with the Winnipeg Jets after Dustin Byfuglien was suspended for not reporting to training camp. If Byfuglien retires, it’ll free up $7.6 million in salary-cap space for the Jets. However, they want him back and will quickly rescind the suspension if he returns for this season.

Byfuglien’s situation raises concerns over a Jets defense corps already depleted by trading Jacob Trouba to the New York Rangers and the departure of Tyler Myers via free agency. “And while many observers quickly connect the Jets to the Sabres because Winnipeg pro scouting director Peter Ratchuk is a former St. Francis student often in the press box at Sabres games, the Jets have a complicated cap situation,” said Harrington. He points out the Jets still have to re-sign wingers Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Throughout the summer there was speculation suggesting the Sabres should ship Ristolainen to the Jets for winger Nikolaj Ehlers. However, he’s a left-winger and it’s believed the Sabres prefer a right-winger.

As long as Montour’s on the shelf I doubt Ristolainen’s going anywhere. It’ll be interesting to see how things play out once Montour’s back in the lineup and if the Jets pursue him in the trade market. The Anaheim Ducks reportedly inquired about Ristolainen after the Justin Faulk deal with Carolina fell through.


THE ATHLETIC: Aaron Portzline reports things could be coming to a head for winger Sonny Milano with the Columbus Blue Jackets. The former first-round pick (16th overall in the 2014 NHL Draft) has been passed by Alexandre Texier and Emil Bemstrom on the Jackets’ depth chart. They would prefer trading Milano rather than place him on waivers but the market for the 23-year-old winger is cold.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Milano’s recent off-ice escapades also hasn’t helped his trade value. He recently pleaded not guilty to an assault charge in connection to a dispute over a bar tab in Manhattan in July.


THE ATHLETIC: Allan Mitchell suggests Edmonton Oilers defenseman Matt Benning could become a trade candidate as general manager Ken Holland tinkers with the roster. The Oilers have too many qualified defensemen based on preseason performance, which could prompt Holland to shop one of them.

Benning carries an affordable $1.9-million cap hit and is a restricted free agent next summer. If Holland is confident with his current blueline corps, Mitchell suggests perhaps Benning could be used to bring in a third-line center.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 5, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 5, 2019

An update on NHL CBA talks, the latest on Connor McDavid, the Kings re-sign Adrian Kempe, the latest PTOs, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

TSN: NHL Player Association executive director Donald Fehr said the players haven’t decided if they’ll exercise their early opt-out of the collective bargaining agreement by the Sept. 15 deadline. The PA executive board and other players met in Chicago yesterday for an update on current negotiations with the NHL. No decisions were reached regarding the CBA. Talks with the league continue on Friday.

Fehr said discussions remain pleasant and cordial. “It doesn’t mean there haven’t been disagreements and significant disagreements, but it’s so far at least free from rancor,” he said. “That’s a big improvement.” The PA and the league haven’t discussed a possible extension of the Sept. 15 deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fehr’s statement was essentially status quo. He’s not going to tip the PA’s hand while negotiations with the league are ongoing but also won’t say anything that could put those talks in jeopardy.

Escrow payments likely remain among the “significant disagreements” Fehr was alluding to. Indeed, it’s the biggest, perhaps the only, impediment toward a new agreement or an extension of the current one.

As for extending the PA’s opt-out deadline, TSN’s Pierre LeBrun believes that won’t fly with the league as both sides would have to agree. If so, Sept. 15 remains the next significant milestone.

No certainly Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid will be ready for the start of the season (Photo via NHL Images).

 THE SCORE: Player agent Jeff Jackson can’t say if client Connor McDavid will be fully recovered from a knee injury by the start of the Edmonton Oilers’ season on Oct. 2. The Oilers captain suffered the injury during the final game of the 2018-19 season. Jackson said McDavid hasn’t had any setbacks and is working toward getting ready for the start of training camp next week.

WINNIPEG SUN:Josh Morrissey confirmed contract-extension talks have begun with the Jets. The defenseman is slated to become a restricted free agent next summer. “I’d love to get something done. I’d love to play here throughout my career,” he said.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: After the recent departure of Jacob Trouba, Morrissey’s remarks will be music to the ears of Jets fans. 

LOS ANGELES TIMES: The Kings re-signed center Adrian Kempe to a three-year contract with an annual average value of $2 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No surprise Kempe got a bridge deal. After a promising 37-point rookie campaign in 2017-18, Kempe managed just 28 points last season. Cap Friendly indicates the Kings now have over $74.7 million invested in 23 players for 2019-20.

VANCOUVER SUN: The Canucks inked restricted free agent winger Nikolay Goldobin to a one-year, $900K contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is probably Goldobin’s last chance to prove himself as a reliable NHL regular with the Canucks. Another inconsistent effort could turn him into a waiver or trade candidate.

TSN: The Calgary Flames signed forwards Devante Smith-Pelly, Tobias Rieder, Zac Rinaldo, and Alexandre Grenier to professional tryout offers. Meanwhile, the Florida Panthers have brought back forward Troy Brouwer on a PTO.

STAR-TRIBUNE.COM: Winger Drew Stafford will attend Minnesota Wild training camp on a professional tryout offer.

COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets forward Sonny Milano and Colorado Avalanche forward A.J. Greer pleaded not guilty in a Manhattan court to an assault charge stemming from an incident in New York on July 7. Both will be permitted to skip their next court date next month because of their respective travel schedules.

THE SCORE: NBC Sports has removed Pierre McGuire from its No. 1 broadcast team, relegating him to the second game of their doubleheaders. McGuire will be replaced by Brian Boucher.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: McGuire has attracted criticism for his coverage in recent years. The Score observed he was “essentially forced to apologize for a series of awkward on-air exchanges with fellow analyst Kendall Coyne Schofield in January.”

THE HOCKEY NEWS: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and former NHLers Tim Thomas and Brian Gionta are among this year’s inductees into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The taciturn Thomas was part of the conference call with reporters following the announcement, marking his first public statement since his retirement in 2014. He alluded to a “state of nervousness” since his retirement, adding he doesn’t like traveling and prefers to keep his personal life to himself.