NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 26, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 26, 2020

An eye injury ends Johnny Boychuk’s playing career, the Lightning re-sign Mikhail Sergachev, the latest return-to-play news and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NEW YORK POST: A gruesome eye injury suffered during the 2019-20 season has prematurely ended the playing career of Johnny Boychuk. The 36-year-old New York Islanders defenseman suffered poor peripheral vision and optic nerve damage from two separate incidents that would make it unsafe to continue his 13-year career.

New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk (NHL Images).

The Islanders, however, have not announced Boychuk as retired, meaning he’ll likely go on long-term injury reserve. That will allow the Isles to exceed their accruable cap space limit by the $6 million annual average value on his contract, which expires at the end of 2021-22.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Boychuk in his future endeavors. He collected 206 points in 725 games with the Colorado Avalanche, Boston Bruins and the Islanders, winning the Stanley Cup with the Bruins in 2011.

According to Cap Friendly, the Isles have just $3.9 million in salary-cap space. Placing Boychuk on LTIR will free up sufficient space to sign restricted free agent center Mathew Barzal.

For those of you wondering why Boychuk hasn’t retired outright, it would mean forfeiting the remaining salary on his contract.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: The Lightning yesterday re-signed Mikhail Sergachev to a three-year contract worth an annual average value of $4.8 million. The 22-year-old defenseman was a restricted free agent coming off his entry-level contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sergachev has rapidly blossomed into one of the Lightning’s top defensemen whose best seasons are still ahead of him. He’ll become a restricted free agent with arbitration rights at the end of it.

The deal is also structured to pay him more in the final season when league revenue is expected to improve. Cap Friendly indicates he’ll get $2.4 million in actual salary this season, $4.8 million in 2021-22 and $7.2 million in 2022-23. It’ll cost the Lightning big bucks to qualify his rights and re-sign him at the end of this deal.

Sergachev’s new contract also pushes the Lightning above the $81.5 million salary cap by $1.9 million. They must also sign center Anthony Cirelli and blueliner Erik Cernak. I’ll have more about their possible moves to become cap compliant in today’s Rumor Mill.

TSN’s Pierre LeBrun tweeted NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman haven’t spoken since last Thursday. He believes that speaks to how the players feel about the league’s requests for increases to the salary deferral/escrow rates. LeBrun thinks there’s still time to salvage this but next week could be crucial.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: LeBrun could be referring to starting the season by the proposed date of Jan. 1. I think the time’s run out for that. However, there’s an ongoing belief among the punditry that the two sides will work something out to start up the season by late January or early February.

THE SCORE: Team Canada is halting its World Junior selection camp and entering a 14-day quarantine period after two players tested positive for COVID-19. Workouts and meetings will be conducted via video call while scrimmages for the weekend are canceled. The 2021 World Junior Championship is slated to begin on Christmas Day in a bubble environment in Edmonton similar to that used by the NHL for the 2020 playoffs.

SPORTSNET: A memorial fund for the late Joey Moss raised nearly $1 million through a 50/50 raffle. Moss, the long-time dressing room attendant for the Edmonton Oilers and the CFL’s Edmonton Eskimos, passed away in October at age 57.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 27, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 27, 2020

In today’s NHL morning coffee headlines: The Senators avoid arbitration with Chris Tierney, the latest on the Penguins and Coyotes, and long-time Edmonton sports icon Joey Moss passes away.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators avoided salary arbitration with Chris Tierney as the two sides agreed to a two-year contract worth an annual average value of $3.5 million. The 26-year-old center’s arbitration hearing was slated for Nov. 8.

Ottawa Senators center Chris Tierney (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Another affordable move by the Senators to keep a key veteran in the folk. Acquired from the San Jose Sharks in the Erik Karlsson trade in 2018, Tierney’s become an invaluable two-way center for the Sens, netting 37 points in 71 games last season.

TRIBLIVE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins fired assistant general manager Jason Karmanos yesterday. No reason was given for the move. He’d been in the position since 2014, hired a week after Jim Rutherford was named general manager. Karmanos also served as GM of the Penguins’ AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

The Penguins also announced Trevor Daley was hired as a hockey operations advisor. Daley, 37, has retired as an NHL defenseman after 16 seasons spent with the Penguins, Dallas Stars, Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings. He won two Stanley Cups with the Pens in 2016 and 2017, finishing his career with 89 goals and 309 points in 1,058 games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Daley in his future endeavors.

AZCENTRAL.COM: The Arizona Coyotes are facing criticism for selecting Mitchell Miller in this year’s draft after it was revealed the defenseman admitted to repeatedly bullying, hitting and racially taunting an African-American classmate with developmental disabilities four years ago. The club and GM Bill Armstrong responded with statements pointing out Miller sent a letter to all 31 NHL teams acknowledging his behavior and expressing remorse, but the mother of the victim said he has never personally apologized. Armstrong had not officially taken over as GM when Miller was selected.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: While the Coyotes are under fire for their selection, The Hockey News’ Ken Campbell points out there were many others in the hockey world willing to have Miller on their team despite his checkered past. Campbell raises legitimate questions over Miller’s character, if he’s truly remorseful for his actions, and if he’s deserving of a chance to play in the NHL.

SPORTSNET: Speaking of the Coyotes, they’re reportedly in discussions with Shane Doan regarding the possible return of their former captain to the organization.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Joey Moss, the long-time dressing-room attendant for the Oilers and the CFL’s Edmonton Eskimos, passed away at 57 after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s disease and recent hip surgery. Moss, who had Down syndrome, was hired by the Oilers in 1984 and the Eskimos in 1986 on the recommendation of Wayne Gretzky. He quickly endeared himself with both clubs, becoming a popular, well-recognized part of the Edmonton community. In 2015, he was inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Moss was an inspiration as well as a beloved icon of the Oilers and Eskimos. My condolences to his family, friends and the Oilers’ and Eskimos’ organizations.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 20, 2016



NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 20, 2016

Winnipeg Jets rookie Patrik Laine (29) celebrates his overtime goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Winnipeg Jets rookie Patrik Laine (29) celebrates his overtime goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Game recaps plus updates on Jonathan Quick, Mike Smith & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Winnipeg Jets rookie Patrik Laine scored twice in the third period and netted the winner in overtime to give his club a 5-4 come-from-behind victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs, who at one point led the Jets 4-0.  Nazem Kadri scored twice and William Nylander had a goal and an assists for the Leafs, while their rookie star Auston Matthews collected an assist. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  That was an impressive performance by Laine, who is considered a future star for the Jets. The media is already playing up a so-called rivalry between Matthews, the first-overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, and Laine, the second-overall selection, trying to make it this generation’s “Crosby-Ovechkin”. However, it’s far too early to start making that comparison. 

Goaltender Jimmy Howard made 32 saves to backstop the Detroit Red Wings to a 2-1 win over the New York Rangers, who dominated the play through the first 40 minutes. Thomas Vanek and Drew Miller scored as the Wings overcame a 1-0 deficit. Mika Zibanejad tallied the Rangers’ only goal. 

LOS ANGELES TIMES:  Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick underwent a non-surgical procedure to strength a groin tendon and could be sidelined for up to three months. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That leaves the Kings goaltending duties to backup Jeff Zatkoff and call-up Peter Budaj. Could be worth keeping an eye on their performances. If they struggle, Kings management could be forced into the trade market for help.

ARIZONA SPORTS: Coyotes goalie Mike Smith is listed as day-to-day with an injured left leg. 

TRIBLIVE.COM:  Kris Letang (upper-body injury) and Conor Sheary (facial injury) are listed as day-to-day, but aren’t expected to be sidelined for long.

STLTODAY.COM: The St. Louis Blues placed center Jori Lehtera (upper-body injury) on injured reserve. The earliest he could return is Oct. 25 against the Calgary Flames.

PHILLY.COM: Philadelphia Flyers winger Michael Raffl (upper-body injury) is out for 10-14 days. 

NEWSDAY:  The New York Islanders called up defenseman Ryan Pulock on an emergency basis. 

TORONTO STAR: The Maple Leafs and defenseman Jared Cowen are awaiting an arbiter’s decision on the club’s attempt to buy out the remainder of his contract. Cowen claims he was still suffering the effects of injury when the Leafs tried to buy him out in June. Under the CBA, players still hampered by injuries suffered from game action during the season cannot be bought out.

USA TODAY: Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby’s Tragically Hip-themed mask raised $27K, which will be donated to lead singer Gord Downie’s charities. Downie suffers from inoperable brain cancer.

TODAY’S SLAPSHOT: NHL veteran forward Dave Moss yesterday announced his retirement. He spent nine seasons with the Calgary Flames and Arizona Coyotes, netting 178 points in 501 career NHL games.