NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 16, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 16, 2020

The Calder Trophy and Adams Award finalists revealed, plus the latest on David Pastrnak, Shea Weber, Patrik Laine, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: Vancouver Canucks defenseman Quinn Hughes, Chicago Blackhawks winger Dominik Kubalik and Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar are the finalists for the 2019-20 Calder Memorial Trophy honoring this season’s rookie-of-the-year.

Vancouver Canucks defenseman Quinn Hughes (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kubalik was a pleasant surprise for the Blackhawks this season, become the leading goal-scorer (30) among this season’s rookie class, but he will be overshadowed by Hughes and Makar. During the first half of this season, Makar seemed a lock for the Calder, but Hughes steadily came on throughout the season. The Canucks blueliner leads this season’s rookies in assists (45), points (53), and power-play points (25) while sitting second in ice time, averaging 21:53 per game.

Boston Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy, Columbus Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella, and Philadelphia Flyers coach Alain Vigneault are this season’s finalists for the Jack Adams Award honoring the league’s top head coach.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cassidy’s Bruins were the NHL’s top team during the regular season. Tortorella’s efforts helped his injury-ravaged Blue Jackets remain a playoff contender. Vigneault guided the Flyers to their first best performance (second in the Metropolitan Division) since 2010-11. Tortorella is a two-time winner (2003-04, 2016-17) of the Adams Award while Vigneault took home the award in 2006-07.


THE SCORE: Winnipeg Jets winger Patrik Laine admits he’s not quite up to speed following his lengthy layoff. “Still kind of far away,” he told reporters yesterday. “It’s kind of hard to see myself playing playoff hockey in two weeks.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Laine won’t be the only NHL player trying to shake off the rust and return to game shape following a four-month layoff. He said he’s trying to make the most of it and hopes to be game-ready when the puck drops.

TRIBLIVE.COM: There are mixed reports regarding Matt Murray’s performance in the opening three days of Pittsburgh Penguins’ training camp. Mark Madden cites sources claiming  Tristan Jarry is outplaying Murray, but Seth Rorabaugh (who’s covering the Penguins’ training camp) said he’d seen no difference in play between the two. Rorabaugh observed Murray is more often between the pipes when facing some of the Penguins’ top players.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Murray’s restricted free agent status at season’s end ensures he’ll be closely watched in practice and the upcoming playoff tournament. He’s been the subject of frequent trade speculation this season. His performance will determine his future with the Penguins.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Bruins winger David Pastrnak joined his teammates for his first practice since completing his mandatory quarantine period after returning from the Czech Republic.

CBS SPORTS: Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury is expected to make his training camp debut before the weekend. He’s been sidelined with an undisclosed issue.

Montreal Canadiens defenseman Shea Weber returned to full practice Wednesday. He’d spent Tuesday doing drills on his own.  

CANES COUNTRY: Sami Vatanen is healthy and looking forward to making an impact with the Carolina Hurricanes in the upcoming playoff tournament. The Hurricanes acquired the 29-year-old defenseman near the trade deadline, but an injury prevented him from suiting up with his new team.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With Dougie Hamilton recovered from a broken leg, he and Vatanen will provide a much-needed boost to the Hurricanes’ defense corps, especially if Brett Pesce (shoulder surgery) remains unable to participate.

NBC SPORTS: The pause in the schedule proved to be a silver lining for a banged-up Columbus Blue Jackets lineup, allowing sidelined players such as Seth Jones, Oliver Bjorkstrand, and Cam Atkinson an opportunity to recover.

CALGARY SUN: Flames bench boss Geoff Ward denies he’s split up some of his roster over fitness-related issues. Johnny Gaudreau’s removal from the Flames’ top line raised eyebrows this week.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The league’s clampdown on the players’ medical status only stokes speculation over the motivation behind such moves.

SPORTSNET: The Toronto Maple Leafs were told to stop using on-ice officials during their practices following complaints from rival clubs.


NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: The Blackhawks officially signed defenseman Ian Mitchell to a three-year, entry-level contract beginning next season. He would’ve had the first year of his ELC burned off if he’d joined his teammates for Phase 3 training camp.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Former Carolina Hurricanes TV announcer John Forslund will be freelancing for NBC Sports during the upcoming playoff tournament. His status with the Hurricanes remains uncertain since his contract expired last month.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 18, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 18, 2018

Coyotes owner looking to sell a portion of the franchise, an update on Tom Wilson plus the latest contract signings and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

FORBES.COM: Mike Ozanian reports multiple sources claim Arizona Coyotes owner Andrew Barroway is looking to sell 49 percent of the franchise for an estimated $500 million. That figure includes “working capital to cover current losses as well as capital calls (money investors put into the team in subsequent years to cover operating losses).” Ozanian cites one source suggested the deal was “being presented would give the new investor a path towards control, if not immediate control” of the money-losing franchise.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In Forbes’ annual evaluation of NHL franchises, the Coyotes were estimated to be worth $300 million last year. Ozanian said we should be skeptical if this deal is announced as $500 million as that’s not “a true sale price in the sense of an enterprise value.”

I’m doubtful Barroway will get $500 million for 49 percent of a franchise that’s been bleeding money for years. Then again, the Coyotes have proven to have more lives than a cat. Maybe he can find a new co-owner who can one day become majority owner. 

Contract negotiations are ongoing between the Washington Capitals and free-agent winger Tom Wilson (Photo via NHL Images)

  THE WASHINGTON POST: Contract negotiations between the Capitals and restricted free agent winger Tom Wilson are ongoing but his agent claims they’re not close yet to a deal. Wilson passed on salary arbitration so it’s unclear how long talks could drag on.

The Capitals have roughly $8.2 million in cap space. Some have estimated Wilson’s new deal could come in between $3.5 – $4.5 million per season.

SPORTSNET: The New York Rangers avoided salary arbitration with winger Jimmy Vesey as he agreed to a two-year contract. The Rangers also hired David Oliver and Greg Brown as assistant coaches.

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  As per Cap Friendly, Vesey’s deal is worth $4.55 million with an annual salary-cap hit of $2.275 million. 

NEWSDAY: The New York Islanders and defenseman Ryan Pulock have agreed to a two-year contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly reports the new deal is worth $4 million, with an annual average value of $2 million. 

NORTHJERSEY.COM: The New Jersey Devils re-signed forward Blake Coleman to a three-year contract worth an annual average value of $1.8 million and forward Stefan Noesen to a one-year, $1.725-million deal.

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: The Vegas Golden Knights and Tomas Nosek avoided arbitration as he agreed to a one-year, $963K contract.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: The Carolina Hurricanes have hired Dean Chynoweth as an assistant coach.

TVA SPORTS: After a decade in the NHL, free-agent forward Torrey Mitchell is joining Lausanne of the Swiss National League A.



NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 24, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 24, 2017

Latest on Connor McDavid and Nino Niederreiter, Canadiens & Kings make a trade, waiver updates & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

TSN: Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid reportedly lost between 5-10 lbs battling the flu over the last two weeks. While he didn’t miss a game and still tallied nine points in five games during that stretch, the illness did affect his play. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: At one point McDavid drew some criticism for his less than stellar performance during that stretch. Sometimes a player can be guilty of not performing up to his full potential, but usually a bad stretch of play is the result of trying to soldier through injury or illness. Sounds like the flu knocked the stuffing out of the Oilers captain. And yes, that was a post-Thanksgiving pun. You’re welcome. 

TWINCITIES.COM: Despite a slow start to this season that included missing six games with an ankle injury, Minnesota Wild winger Nino Niederreiter is now on pace to reach 30 goals for the first time in his career. He’s been on a roll of late, with goals in five straight games and a point in each of his last seven contests. 

TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs center Nazem Kadri is remorseful over accidentally striking a penalty-box official in the face with his stick during the Leafs loss on Wednesday to the Florida Panthers. Kadri was venting his frustration over taking a bad penalty when the incident occurred. He said he apologized to the official and intends to reach out to him again. 

TAMPA BAY TIMES: A healthy Ryan Callahan is among the reasons behind the Lightning’s dominating start to this season. The two-way winger is finally healthy after missing most of last season to a hip injury. 

AZCENTRAL.COM: Arizona Coyotes goaltender Antti Raanta will miss at least the next two games after being sidelined with a suspected head injury. He’s currently listed as day-to-day. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is the second time this season Raanta’s been sidelined, having missed nine games in October with a lower-body injury. His latest comes as the Coyotes were showing some improvement, coming off a three-game win streak. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens traded forward Torrey Mitchell to the Los Angeles Kings for a conditional fifth-round pick in 2018. If the Kings reach the playoffs, it becomes a fourth-round pick. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some Habs fans wonder if this move heralds the start of a rebuilding effort by the struggling club. It seems to be simply a case of moving out a little-used veteran to make room for a younger player. 

SPORTSNET: The Calgary Flames placed backup goaltender Eddie Lack on waivers yesterday. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lack hasn’t been the same ever since the Vancouver Canucks traded him in June 2015 to the Carolina Hurricanes. At the time, Vancouver GM Jim Benning caught some flak for that move from Canucks fans. Looks like he made the right move after all. 

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Blackhawks winger John Hayden was fined over $2,400.00 for his second highsticking penalty in three games. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 24, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 24, 2017

Game recaps, stars of the week, waiver updates & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Frederik Andersen made 36 saves, Mitch Marner collected two assists and Patrick Marleau scored the game winner as the Toronto Maple Leafs hung on for a 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings, handing the latter their first regulation loss. 

Martin Jones stopped 33 shots and Logan Couture had a goal and an assists to give the San Jose Sharks a 4-1 victory over the struggling New York Rangers. 

Tampa Bay Lightning forwards Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov are the top two NHL stars for the week ending Oct. 22. San Jose’s Logan Couture was the third start. 

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Kings defenseman Drew Doughty said he’s not concerned about his contract status. He acknowledged his off-season interview suggesting he might not re-sign with the Kings if they’re not contenders raised eyebrows but insists he wants to stay in Los Angeles. Doughty become eligible in July 2019 for unrestricted free agency. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Kings continue playing as well over the next two years as well as they haveover the last two weeks, that should provide sufficient motivation for Doughty to re-sign. Dollars, rather than the club’s performance, is likely to be a  sticking point in Doughty’s eventual contract negotiations. The Kings already have over $56 million invested in 12 players for 2019-20 and it could cost around $10 million per season to re-sign him. 

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Anaheim Ducks winger Patrick Eaves has been diagnosed with what is suspected to be Guillain–Barré syndrome, “a neurological disorder where the immune system attacks the peripheral nervous system.” He’s been released from ICU, is resting in stable condition and expected to make a full recovery. There’s no timetable for his return. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s hoping Eaves makes a swift recovery and returns to action soon.

THE ATHLETIC: Minnesota Wild left wing Zach Parise is expected to undergo back surgery today to repair a herniated disk and could be sidelined for up to two months. He’s been plagued by the condition since the 2015-16 season. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is another hit to the Wild’s injury-depleted forward lines. Charlie Coyle and Nino Niederreiter are also on injured reserve while Mikael Granlund is listed as day-to-day. 

NBC SPORTS: The Calgary Flames placed Jaromir Jagr on IR with a lower-body injury. However, he’s expected to return to action for Sunday’s game against Washington. 

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets center Lukas Sedlak is expected to miss up to six weeks with an ankle injury. 

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: Capitals forward Andre Burakovsky could miss some time with an upper-body injury. 

TRIBLIVE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins placed goaltender Antti Niemi on waivers and center Carter Rowney (hand injury) on IR.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Brought in as a backup goalie this season, Niemi gave up 16 goals in three starts.  He’s expected to clear waivers and be demoted  as Casey DeSmith has been called up from their AHL affiliate. 

SPORTSNET: The Toronto Maple Leafs placed forward Eric Fehr on waivers. 

Former NHL center John Mitchell signed with the DEL’s Nurnberg Ice Tigers. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 5, 2016

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 5, 2016

The Columbus Blue Jackets celebrated one of their 10 goals against the Montreal Canadiens on Friday night.

The Columbus Blue Jackets celebrated one of their 10 goals against the Montreal Canadiens on Friday night.

Game recaps, no 2017 NHL game on Parliament Hill and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Cam Atkinson, Nick Foligno, Scott Hartnell and Josh Anderson all scored twice as the Columbus Blue Jackets humiliated the Montreal Canadiens 10-0, handing the Habs their first regulation loss of the season. Canadiens backup goalie Al Montoya was in goal for the entire game. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was an embarrassing loss for the Canadiens. The only person to feel sorry for is Montoya, who was left hung out to dry by his coach and his teammates. They should be ashamed of themselves. You can also bet Carey Price wouldn’t have been left in that situation.  

Rickard Rakell scored twice to help the Anaheim Ducks thump the Arizona Coyotes 5-1. 

Brandon Tanev scored the first two goals of his NHL career as the Winnipeg Jets rallied to down the Detroit Red Wings 5-3. 

PHILLY.COM: Defenseman Michael Del Zotto will return to the Philadelphia Flyers lineup after missing the opening three weeks of this season to injury. 

THE DENVER POST:  The Colorado Avalanche placed center John Mitchell. 

NBC SPORTS: Free-agent forward Sean Bergenheim is returning to Europe, signing with Sweden’s Frolunda HC. 

OTTAWA SUN: The Canadian government rejected the idea of staging an outdoor game on Parliament Hill in 2017, citing “the need for uninterrupted operations of parliamentary business, public access and security.”