NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 10, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 10, 2021

David Backes to retire with the Blues, the Blackhawks to honor Patrick Kane and three others later this season, the Rangers intend to name a captain this season, and much more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

STLTODAY.COM: David Backes yesterday signed a one-day contract with the St. Louis Blues to officially retire as a member of the team. The 37-year-old forward spent the first 10 of his 15 NHL seasons with the Blues (2006-07 to 2015-16), five of those as team captain. He spent his final five seasons with the Boston Bruins and Anaheim Ducks, playing his final NHL game on May 5.

David Backes during his tenure as St. Louis Blues captain (NHL.com).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Backes and his family in his future endeavors.

Backes’ best seasons were with the Blues, exceeding 50 points five times. He was a key player in the club’s emergence from several seasons of rebuilding into a perennial playoff contender.

In his prime, Backes garnered a well-earned reputation as a versatile, physical two-way forward. Age and injuries hampered his performance during his final seasons. He finishes with 248 goals and 561 points in 965 career NHL regular-season games, as well as 39 points in 82 career playoff contests. 

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: The Blackhawks announced they’ll honor Patrick Kane’s 1,000th career NHL game during a pregame ceremony on Oct. 21. Kane achieved that milestone last season without fans in the building. The club also intends to honored retired Blackhawks Andrew Shaw, Brent Seabrook and Niklas Hjalmarsson.

NEW YORK POST: Rangers general manager Chris Drury indicated his preference to name a team captain for the upcoming season. That role has been vacant since former captain Ryan McDonagh was traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2017-18.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Larry Brooks listed veteran defenseman Jacob Trouba and 2021 Norris Trophy winner Adam Fox as potential candidates.

TSN: Historian and journalist Stan Fischler, former Philadelphia Flyers player, coach and executive Paul Holmgren, and former NHL player turned color commentator Peter McNab are this year’s inductees into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame. They’ll join the class of 2020 in an induction ceremony in December.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to Fischler, Holmgren and McNab for this well-deserved honor for their contributions to hockey in the United States.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning captain Steven Stamkos bought a new home on Davis Island for $8.35 million. He sold his previous home in that area for $16 million.

THE SCORE: Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas said his club’s players and staff will be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to start this season.

OTTAWA SUN: Speaking of the Leafs, they and the Ottawa Senators continue to await word from the province of Ontario regarding a possible easing of restrictions on the number of fans allowed into their respective arenas to start this season.

NHL.COM: The Dallas Stars named former NHL goaltender Al Montoya as their new director of community outreach.

HITMENHOCKEY.COM: The Calgary Hitmen named former Calgary Flames center Matt Stajan as an assistant coach.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 29, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 29, 2018

Latest on Mitch Marner’s contract situation, Brian Dumoulin and David Schlemko injured, Al Montoya on waivers, and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

THE SCORE: Darren Ferris, the agent for Mitch Marner, said Friday he’s had some productive discussions regarding a contract extension with the Toronto Maple Leafs. However, if an agreement isn’t reached by the start of the season, they’ll renew talks next summer. Marner is in the final season of his entry-level contract. 

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mitch Marner willing to wait until next summer to talk contract. (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Perhaps the Leafs are waiting to see how much it costs to get restricted free agent William Nylander under contract before sending proposals to Marner and Auston Matthews, who’s also in the final year of his ELC. 

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Penguins defenseman Brian Dumoulin suffered an upper-body injury during Friday’s preseason game against the New Jersey Devils. Head coach Mike Sullivan hopes to have more information on Dumoulin’s status later today. 

EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers placed goaltender Al Montoya on waivers yesterday for the purpose of assigning him to their AHL affiliate in Bakersfield.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers are opting to go with inexperienced Mikko Koskinen as Cam Talbot’s backup. While Koskinen’s preseason numbers (10 goals on 69 shots, .885 save percentage) haven’t been good, he has a no-movement clause preventing his demotion. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Bad news for oft-sidelined Canadiens defenseman David Schlemko, as he’ll miss about six weeks because of an injured knee. 

NJ.COM: The New Jersey Devils claimed forward Jean-Sebastien Dea off waivers from the Pittsburgh Penguins. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 5, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 5, 2018

San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton lost a piece of his beard in a fight with Toronto’s Nazem Kadri (Photo via NHL Images).

Game recaps, Canadiens trade Al Montoya plus the latest on Joe Thornton, Frederik Andersen and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: The Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the San Jose Sharks 3-2 on a shootout goal by Tyler Bozak, marking their first home-ice win over the Sharks since 2002. San Jose center Joe Thornton lost a piece of his illustrious beard in a scrap with Toronto’s Nazem Kadri early in the first period.

Earlier in the day, the league fined Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen $2,000.00 for diving during Toronto’s 6-3 loss on Dec. 31 to the Vegas Golden Knights. 

Ivan Provorov scored twice and set up another as the Philadelphia Flyers held on for a 6-4 win over the New York Islanders, extending the Isles losing skid to four games.

Earlier in the day, the Islanders signed depth defenseman Scott Mayfield to a five-year, $7.25-million contract extension. The annual average value is $1.45 million. 

The Carolina Hurricanes blanked the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-0. Cam Ward turned in a 21-save shutout while Sebastian Aho extended his points streak to six games by tallying two goals. With the win, the Hurricanes vaulted ahead of the New York Islanders into the final wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference. 

Carey Price made 44 saves, including a spectacular stop in overtime, while teammate Max Pacioretty snapped a 13-game goalless drought as the Montreal Canadiens edged the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1. Paul Byron scored the only goal in the shootout frame. With the win, the Habs ended a five-game losing skid. 

The Canadiens also traded goaltender Al Montoya to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for a fourth-round selection in the 2018 NHL Draft. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers lack of an experienced veteran backup became painfully obvious when Talbot was sidelined for several games earlier this season. Montoya recently returned from a concussion injury and should fit the bill for Edmonton. He’s also signed through 2018-19 at an affordable annual salary-cap hit of 1.062 million. 

The Vegas Golden Knights eight-game winning streak ended with a 2-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues. Paul Stastny’s third-period goal held up as the winner, handing the Knights their first regulation defeat since Dec. 10. The Golden Knights also activated forward William Carrier from injured reserve for this contest. 

Minnesota Wild winger Nino Niederreiter netted a hat trick in his first game since returning from an ankle injury as his club thumped the Buffalo Sabres 6-2. Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen received a game misconduct for interference when he rocked Wild center Mikko Koivu with a big hit.

Ben Bishop made 39 saves while Alexander Radulov had a goal and two helpers as the Dallas Stars downed the New Jersey Devils 4-3. The Stars were bolstered by the return of center Martin Hanzal and defenseman Marc Methot from injuries. 

Jonathan Bernier made 34 saves, including 16 in the third period, as the Colorado Avalanche blanked the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-0. Teammate Mikko Rantenen scored a goal and collected an assist. 

A four-goal second period carried the Calgary Flames to a 4-3 win over the Los Angeles Kings. Flames forwards Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan and Micheal Ferland each collected two points. 

Cam Talbot made 33 saves and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins netted the game winner in a shootout as the Edmonton Oilers ended a four-game losing streak by edging the Anaheim Ducks 2-1. 

Nick Cousins third-period goal set the stage for Christian Fischer’s overtime winner as the Arizona Coyotes nipped the Nashville Predators 3-2. Earlier in the day, the Coyotes claimed forward Freddie Hamilton off waivers from the Calgary Flames.

NBC SPORTS: A “bomb cyclone” forces the postponement of last night’s games between the Florida Panthers and Boston Bruins.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: “Bomb cyclone” is also known by the less sexy word, “snowstorm.” 

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Good news for the Jets blueline as defenseman Toby Enstrom could return to action by this Sunday’s game against the San Jose Sharks. Enstrom’s been sidelined since Nov. 18 with a lower-body injury. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 12, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 12, 2017

Game recaps plus updates on Marian Gaborik, Travis Zajac, future Olympic participation & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Rick Nash scored twice to give the New York Rangers their sixth straight victory by doubling up the Edmonton Oilers 4-2. Rangers forward Jimmy Vesey wound up with his two front teeth knocked out and driven into his lower lip after being struck in the mouth by the skate of Oilers forward Zach Kassian.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: After struggling through most of October, to the point where head coach Alain Vigneault was reportedly in danger of losing his job, the Rangers have climbed from the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings into a wild-card berth

Mike Hoffman scored twice as the Ottawa Senators edged the Colorado Avalanche 4-3 to sweep their two-game 2017 SAP NHL Global series. The Sens were playing without forward Zack Smith, who suffered a fractured thumb in the first game of the series and will be sidelined for three weeks. 

Kyle Turris scored and set up another while Kevin Fiala and Filip Forsberg scored in a shootout as the Nashville Predators edged the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-4. Phil Kessel also had a goal and an assist for the Penguins. 

Jason Zucker scored his sixth goal in three games and Devan Dubnyk made 32 saves as the Minnesota Wild blanked the Philadelphia Flyers 1-0. 

Brandon Saad’s overtime goal completed a three-goal rally by the Chicago Blackhawks in their 4-3 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes. Alex DeBrincat scored twice for the Hawks. Brock McGinn tallied twice for the Hurricanes. 

Anders Lee scored and set up another as the New York Islanders tallied three first-period goals on route to beating the St. Louis Blues 5-2. 

Aaron Dell turned in a 41-save shutout performance while Logan Couture and Chris Tierney each scored twice to lead the San Jose Sharks to a 5-0 blanking of the Vancouver Canucks. Sharks forward Timo Meier could face supplemental discipline for butt-ending Canucks blueliner Michael Del Zotto in the face. Meier received a five-minute major and a game misconduct. 

Curtis McElhinney made 38 saves while Mitch Marner and James van Riemsdyk each scored a goal and an assist to give the Toronto Maple Leafs a 4-1 victory over the Boston Bruins.

Jack Johnson’s goal in the ninth round of a shootout gave the Columbus Blue Jackets a 2-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings, snapping their four-game losing skid. The Wings were playing without forward Justin Abdelkader, who suffered a fractured cheekbone in a fight with Troy Brouwer during Thursday’s game against the Calgary Flames.

Cory Schneider made 32 saves as the New Jersey Devils ended a four-game losing streak with  a 2-1 win over the Florida Panthers. The Devils also learned center Travis Zajac, who underwent offseason surgery to repair a torn pectoral muscle, could return to action as early as next week. 

Mark Scheifele and Patrik Laine each netted a goal and an assist to give the Winnipeg Jets a 4-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes. 

Max Pacioretty’s overtime goal lifted the Montreal Canadiens to a 2-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres, giving the Habs their fourth win in five games. Earlier in the day, the Canadiens learned backup goalie Al Montoya is sidelined indefinitely with a concussion.

Winger Marian Gaborik has resumed skating with his Los Angeles Kings teammates for the first time in six weeks. He’s still recovering from offseason surgery on his left knee. 

SB NATION: cites an interview given by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman with SVT Sport in Sweden saying he isn’t ruling out sending players to future Olympic Games, but he finds it ““hard to envision a scenario where it makes sense.” While there’s speculation the NHL could take part in the 2022 Beijing Olympics to grow the league’s brand in China, Bettman hints future Olympic participation could be limited to those staged in North America. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s some speculation Olympic participation could become an issue in the next round of collective bargaining between the league and NHL Players Association. However, I don’t see that being a significant sticking point in future negotiations. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 24, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 24, 2017

New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad is among several players slated for salary arbitration this week.

Salary arbitration update plus latest on Kris Letang, Carey Price & Jimmy Howard in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: This week’s list of salary arbitration hearings include Pittsburgh’s Brian Dumoulin and Nashville’s Austin Watson (July 24), the New York Rangers’ Mika Zibanejad (July 25), Boston’s Ryan Spooner (July 26) and Buffalo’s Robin Lehner (July 27).

SPORTSNET’s Elliotte Friedman reports Zibanejad seeks a one-year, $5.35 million contract, while the Rangers are offer a one-year, $4.1 million deal. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: So far, every player but one (Detroit’s Tomas Tatar) who filed for arbitration re-signed with their respective clubs before their scheduled hearings. Tatar and the Wings reached an agreement on a settlement following his hearing.

TSN: Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang yesterday visited children at Montreal’s Ste-Justine hospital with the Stanley Cup. 

NBC SPORTS: The Montreal Canadiens could give backup goaltender Al Montoya more starts to avoid burning out starter Carey Price. 

The Detroit Red Wings hope to give Jimmy Howard 50-55 starts this coming season. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A year ago, Howard’s time with the Wings seemed numbered as the Wings planned to transition toward Petr Mrazek as their starter. Howard, however, played very well before being sidelined by injury last season while Mrazek struggled in the stater’s job. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 3, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 3, 2017

St. Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko celebrates one of his two goals against the Chicago Blackhawks at the 2017 Winter Classic.

Blues win 2017 Winter Classic, three stars of the week & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.com: Two third-period goals by Vladimir Tarasenko carried the St. Louis Blues to a 4-1 victory in the 2017 Winter Classic before over 46,000 fans at St. Louis’ Busch Stadium. Alexander Steen also tallied a goal and an assist for the Blues. 

Corey Schneider turned in a 22-save shutout performance backstopping the New Jersey Devils to a 3-0 win over the Boston Bruins. Taylor Hall scored one goal and set up another for the Devils. 

Sven Baertschi scored twice (including the game winner) and goaltender Ryan Miller got his 350th career victory as the Vancouver Canucks edged the hapless Colorado Avalanche 3-2. The Avs have only one win in their last 10 games. 

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews, New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider and Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending January 1, 2017. 

TSN: The Montreal Canadiens re-signed backup goaltender Al Montoya to a two-year, $2.125 million contract extension. 

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Arizona Coyotes claimed forward Alexander Burmistrov off waivers from the Winnipeg Jets. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  A former first-round pick of the Jets, Burmistrov’s struggled through five NHL seasons. Perhaps a change of scenery will help him reach his potential. Otherwise, this season could be his last in the NHL. He’s a restricted free agent in July. 

NORTHJERSEY.COM:  The New Jersey Devils  claimed forward Reid Boucher off waivers from the Nashville Predators. 

THE BUFFALO NEWS:  Sabres center Johan Larsson’s season is over after undergoing surgery to repair a dislocated wrist and elbow.

THE MERCURY NEWS:  The San Jose Sharks recalled defenseman Mirco Mueller.