NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 30, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 30, 2021

Game recaps, three stars of the week, the latest on the Canadiens’ search for a new GM and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Calgary Flames downed the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 on a shootout goal by Mikael Backlund. Jacob Markstrom made 21 saves as the Flames have won six of their last eight games. Penguins winger Jake Guentzel scored to extend his points streak to 10 games.

Arizona Coyotes goaltender Karel Vejmelka kicked out 46 shots for his first career shutout to blank the Winnipeg Jets 1-0. Antoine Roussel scored the only goal as the Coyotes handed the Jets their sixth loss in their last seven contests.

Conor Garland’s second-period goal proved the game-winner as the Vancouver Canucks snapped a four-game losing skid by nipping the Montreal Canadiens 2-1. Elias Pettersson also scored for the Canucks. Canadiens goalie Jake Allen made 40 saves in a losing cause.

The Seattle Kraken picked up their fourth win in their last five games by thumping the Buffalo Sabres 7-4. Jared McCann and Mason Appleton each scored twice for the Kraken while Jeff Skinner also tallied two goals for the Sabres.

HEADLINES

TSN/MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens president, CEO and co-owner Geoff Molson held a press conference yesterday to talk about his front office shakeup that saw general manager Marc Bergevin and head scout Trevor Timmins relieved of their duties.

Montreal Canadiens president, CEO and co-owner Geoff Molson (NHL.com).

Molson confirmed former New York Rangers GM Jeff Gorton signed a long-term contract to become the club’s executive vice president of hockey operations. He said Gorton will work in tandem with Bergevin’s eventual replacement. The duo will also handle all decisions regarding the coaching staff.

I strongly believe that this organization needs a fresh start,” said Molson, who said he waited until Bergevin had recovered from a recent bout of COVID-19 to replace him. He added Bergevin understood Molson’s reasons behind the decision.

Molson also explained why the Canadiens want a bilingual general manager and head coach because they’re located in a province and society that mostly speaks French. He pointed out the importance of respecting the two languages and communicating to their fans in their market.

The Canadiens co-owner also said the final hockey decisions will be made by the new general manager but indicated Gorton will help guide the new GM as they grow accustomed to the role. He didn’t rule out the possibility of a rebuild if that’s what Gorton and the new GM believe will be best.

Molson also revealed NHL commissioner Gary Bettman was one of the people who recommended hiring Gorton. He said he has “a great relationship” with Bettman so he spoke with the commissioner before hiring the former Blueshirts GM. Molson indicated Bettman knew Gorton because he worked for the NHL and also had experience in the New York market.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s safe to say that Gorton will still hold considerable influence over management decisions. The question is finding someone who can work well in tandem with their new executive VP of hockey ops. Whoever gets that role will need assurances that they won’t become Gorton’s “yes man”.

Sportsnet’s Eric Engels reports former NHL forward Daniel Briere is very high up on the list of potential candidates. He runs the day-to-day operations of the ECHL’s Maine Mariners. TVA Sports reports former NHL defenseman Philippe Boucher expressed interest in the job. He’s the general manager of the QMJHL’s Drummondville Voltigeurs.

Former Canadiens star Vincent Damphousse was mentioned by some pundits as a potential candidate. However, he told RDS it’s not something he wants to do for a living.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin, Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry and Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Nov. 28, 2021.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Bruins winger Brad Marchand received a three-game suspension by the NHL department of player safety for slew-footing Vancouver Canucks defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson on Sunday.

TSN: San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane cleared waivers yesterday and is expected to be assigned to the AHL’s San Jose Barracudas.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No surprise there given Kane’s well-documented off-ice issues and his hefty $7 million annual average value. However, there are reports the Sharks are attempting to trade him. I’ll have more in today’s Rumor Roundup.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Carolina Hurricanes defensemen Brett Pesce and Tony DeAngelo joined fellow blueliner Ethan Bear on the COVID protocol list.

THE ATHLETIC’s Jesse Granger reports Vegas Golden Knights center William Karlsson is now in COVID protocol.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: Avalanche defenseman Ryan Murray is sidelined indefinitely with a lower-body injury.

CBS SPORTS: St. Louis Blues winger David Perron remains day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild will retire Mikko Koivu’s No. 9 jersey on March 13 at the Xcel Energy Center. He will be the first player in franchise history to have his number retired. Koivu spent 15 seasons with the Wild, scoring 205 goals and 504 assists for 709 points and was their first permanent captain. He played briefly last season for the Columbus Blue Jackets before retiring.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 14, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 14, 2020

The Lightning are within a game of advancing to the Stanley Cup Final. Details and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Tampa Bay Lightning moved within a game of reaching the Stanley Cup Final with a 4-1 victory over the New York Islanders in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final. The Bolts quickly erased a 1-0 Isles lead in the second period on goals by Blake Coleman and Ondrej Palat 12 seconds apart. Brayden Point and Patrick Maroon expanded the lead in the third period.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Those two quick goals changed the course of the game, leaving the Islanders stunned and trying to play catch-up. Point’s goals early in the third sealed the deal. Tampa Bay’s top line of Point, Palat and Nikita Kucherov were involved in two of their club’s four goals.

The Lightning also benefited from Point and Alex Killorn returning to the lineup. Point missed Game 3 with an undisclosed injury while Killorn served a one-game suspension. The Bolts can wrap things up with a win in Game 5 on Tuesday.

The Islanders announced forwards Casey Cizikas and Tom Kuhnhackl are sidelined for the remainder of the Stanley Cup playoffs and have left the quarantine bubble in Edmonton.

Calgary Flames captain Mark Giordano is this year’s winner of the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award.

The Dallas Stars could be without centers Radek Faksa and Roope Hintz for Game 5 of the Western Conference Final. Faksa remains unfit to play while Hintz’s status will be updated today.

Meanwhile, Vegas Golden Knights coach Peter DeBoer declined to provide updates on forwards Mark Stone and Tomas Nosek. Stone appeared to injure a foot when he blocked a shot during Game 4 but returned to action. Nosek was unfit to play in Game 4 after being injured in the previous game.

THE SCORE: Montreal Canadiens owner Geoff Molson helped rescue the pilot of an amphibious plane that crashed on Lake Massawippi in Quebec on Saturday. He helped the pilot out of the water into his boat before taking him to paramedics on the scene.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 9, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 9, 2017

Washington Capitals forward Andre Burakovsky scores one of his two goals against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 6 of their second-round series.

Capitals force Game 7 against Penguins plus updates on John Tavares, Vladimir Tarasenko & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM:  Andre Burakovsky scored twice and Nicklas Backstrom tallied a goal and an assist as the Washington Capitals defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-2 in Game 6 of their second-round series. The seventh and deciding game will be played on Wednesday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Capitals dominated the Penguins in this game, breaking up Pittsburgh’s passing game and frustrating their best players. Some believe there’s been a momentum shift since Game 5 of this series, but I believe that shift occurred following captain Sidney Crosby’s concussion in Game 3. While the Penguins won Game 4 in Crosby’s absence, they were outplayed in that game and owed their victory to the goaltending of Marc-Andre Fleury. Crosby’s return in Game 5 hasn’t helped. Indeed, he hasn’t looked the same since his injury. His teammates look like they’ve lost the energy they had earlier in this series.

Penguins captain Sidney Crosby collected an assist for his 97th career NHL playoff point, surpassing Mario Lemieux as the club’s all-time playoff points leader. However, that was overshadowed by the loss and a scary incident in which Crosby crashed headfirst into the end boards during the first period. Crosby would continue playing but he and Penguins coach Mike Sullivan offered up conflicting replies post-game regarding concussion evaluation. Crosby said he was evaluated following the first period but Sullivan said he wasn’t. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s surprising the NHL’s concussion spotters didn’t ask to take a look at Crosby following that incident. The conflicting comments by the Penguins captain and Sullivan could raise more questions over how the club and the league evaluates their players for possible concussion symptoms. 

The Penguins also played without defenseman Trevor Daley, who missed Game 6 with a lower-body injury and is listed as day-to-day.

 EDMONTON SUN/ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Oilers fourth-liner and first-unit power-play shooter Mark Letestu has more points than superstar teammate Connor McDavid, sitting seventh among all scorers in this postseason. Meanwhile, Ducks forwards Patrick Eaves and Logan Shaw remain questionable for Game 7 tomorrow. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s largely due to Ducks center Ryan Kesler’s close checking of McDavid, but the Ducks seem to have no answer for Letestu, who’s really stepped up his game in his series. 

OTTAWA SUN/NEW YORK POST:  Long-time Senators enforcer Chris Neil hopes he’ll see some playing time in Game 6 of his club’s series tonight against the New York Rangers. Neil played just over two minutes in Game 5, but his presence provided a boost to his teammates. However, Rangers coach Alain Vigneault doubts Neil will have much impact if he plays in Game 6. 

NEWSDAY: New York Islanders captain John Tavares underwent surgery last month on his right hand but is expected to be ready for training camp in September. It’s also believed the Islanders are likely to offer Tavares, who’s eligible next July for unrestricted free agency, an eight-year contract extension worth $10 million annually. Meanwhile, sources claim Barclays Center has taken the preliminary step toward a potential opt-out of its 25-year lease with the Islanders. 

STLTODAY.COM: The coach of Russia’s national hockey team said St. Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko won’t be joining his club at the World Championships because he’s due to undergo surgery. However, there’s no confirmation about this from Tarasenko or Blues management. 

TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs forward Frederik Gauthier underwent surgery for a lower-body injury and is expected to be sidelined for six months. 

COURIER POST’S Dave Isaac reports the Philadelphia Flyers there is interest in bringing back Dean Lombardi, the former general manager of the Los Angeles Kings. No word what his role could be. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Flyers GM Ron Hextall worked with Lombardi as assistant GM with the Kings. I imagine Hextall wants to bring Lombardi in as his right-hand man. 

TSN: If the NHL Players Association opts out of the current CBA in 2019 and there isn’t a new CBA in place by 2020, there won’t be a World Cup of Hockey that fall. 

TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reports the Vegas Golden Knights will be able to sign an unprotected restricted free agent as though they’re their own player. No offer sheet required and no compensation for the team. 

BSN DENVER:  The Colorado Avalanche has parted ways with team doctor Andrew Parker and their medical staff. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Former Canadiens owner and president John David Molson passed away at age 88. He was president of the club from 1964 to 1972, during which the Habs won five Stanley Cups. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to the Canadiens organization and the Molson family.