NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 25, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 25, 2019

Sergei Bobrovsky explains why he left the Blue Jackets, the latest contract signings, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

TSN: cited Florida Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky telling Russia’s Sport 24 why he left the Columbus Blue Jackets via free agency after seven seasons. He cited discord between himself and the club that started following their first-round elimination in the 2018 playoffs and continued throughout last season.

Florida Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky explained why he left the Columbus Blue Jackets after seven seasons (Photo via NHL Images).

Bobrovsky said there was more to it than just the tensions within the club, adding he felt he needed a change of scenery. Despite the club’s constant efforts to re-sign the goalie, he said there was “no chance” he’d sign an extension with them.

“I was suspended by the team, there were some conflicts in the team, a lot of meetings and some of them just because of me,” he said, adding that he didn’t feel comfortable. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bobrovsky merely confirmed the discord that was rumored throughout last season. Those conflicts he alluded to were highlighted by his one-game suspension by the team for not returning to the bench after being pulled from a mid-season contest. 

CALGARY SUN: The Flames avoided arbitration with Sam Bennett, re-signing the 23-year-old forward to a two-year contract worth $2.25-million annually. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s a cost-effective deal for the Flames, who need all the cap space they can get with Matthew Tkachuk, David Rittich, and Andrew Mangiapane to re-sign. Cap Friendly indicates they have over $7.4 million in cap room and it’ll take more than that to sign Tkachuk. A salary-dumping trade before the start of the season seems likely, especially after Rittich gets his new contract. His arbitration hearing is slated for July 29. 

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs announced seven contract signings yesterday. None of them involved Mitch Marner. The players brought in were forwards Pontus Aberg, Kenny Agostino, Tyler Gaudet, Kalle Kossila, Nick Shore and Garrett Wilson, and defenceman Kevin Gravel.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some of these signings, such as Agostino, Shore and Wilson, were previously reported. The Leafs now sit above the $81.5 million cap by over $2.1 million. Most of those players, perhaps all of them, will likely spend this season in the minors. 

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: Capitals defenseman Christian Djoos received a one-year, $1.25-million contract via arbitration. The Capitals accepted the arbiter’s decision. 

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Over the weekend, Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford married his long-time girlfriend Kristy Muscolino.

THE TENNESSEAN: Predators captain Roman Josi also got married last weekend, tying the knot with model Ellie Ottaway.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My congratulations to the happy couples. 

STLTODAY.COM: The Blues hired former Boston Bruins forward Marc Savard as an assistant coach. His responsibilities will be the club’s special teams, especially the power play. 

THE AHL.COM: Former NHL winger Matt Moulson signed a one-year contract with the Hershey Bears. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 8, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 8, 2018

An update on Tyler Seguin’s contract negotiations, latest PTOs and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill said the club is making progress in contract-extension talks with center Tyler Seguin. “We are deep in discussions. It’s moving in the right direction,” Nill said. “We’ll go from there.” Nill repeated his wish to get Seguin under contract before the start of the season next month.

Contract talks between the Dallas Stars and center Tyler Seguin have heated up. (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Seguin is due to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. The status of his contract talks with the Stars has garnered considerable interest in recent weeks. Speculation suggests he could get a long-term deal worth $10.5 million annually with the Stars or over $11 million per season on the open market. 

NJ.COM: Free-agent forward Drew Stafford will return to the New Jersey Devils training camp on a professional tryout offer. 

TSN: It “sounds like” the New York Islanders will bring back defenseman Dennis Seidenberg on a PTO. 

CBS SPORTS: Former Chicago Blackhawks blueliner Viktor Svedberg received a PTO from the Calgary Flames.

THE BUFFALO NEWS’ Mike Harrington reports Buffalo Sabres winter Matt Moulson won’t be at the club’s training camp next week. He’ll remain loaned out to the Ontario Reign, the AHL affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings. 

KING 5: Construction of a new arena in Seattle won’t be approved until the NHL awards the city a franchise. 


Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – June 10, 2018

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – June 10, 2018

Contract buyout candidates plus updates on Milan Lucic, Ilya Kovalchuk and Ian Cole in your Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.

Could Dallas Stars center Jason Spezza become a buyout candidate? (Photo via NHL Images)


SPORTSNET: Rory Boylen recently listed Ottawa Senators winger Marian Gaborik, Philadelphia Flyers forward Jori Lehtera, Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Scott Darling, Dallas Stars center Jason Spezza, Minnesota Wild winger Tyler Ennis, San Jose Sharks defenseman Paul Martin, Calgary Flames right wing Troy Brouwer, and Columbus Blue Jackets center Brandon Dubinsky as this year’s top-eight buyout candidates.

NBC SPORTS: Adam Gretz lists Brouwer, PIttsburgh Penguins defenseman Matt Hunwick and Buffalo Sabres left wing Matt Moulson as “costly, but might be worth it” buyout candidates. He feels Lehtera and Ennis are definitely worth buying out but suggests Spezza might be worth retaining for the final year of his contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The contract buyout period runs from June 15-30. Check out Cap Friendly for their buyout calculator.

Players with one year remaining on their contracts, such as Spezza, Lehtera, Ennis and Martin, are more likely to be bought out than those with two or more years remaining on their deals. For example, The Athletic’s Kevin Kurz reports being told there’s a “strong possibility” the Sharks buy out Martin later this month. 

Even then, that’s not a certainty. In April, Flyers general manager Ron Hextall said he doesn’t plan to buy out Lehtera though he doesn’t rule out changing his mind.  Boylen also reminds us players must be medically cleared before being eligible for buyouts. If Gaborik hasn’t fully recovered from recent back surgery, he’ll be ineligible for a buyout this month. 

I don’t expect the Hurricanes will buy out Darling this summer, as they’re likely to give him another shot at proving himself as a reliable starting goaltender. Dubinsky battled with injuries and personal issues this season, but given the Blue Jackets’ depth issues at center, I believe he’ll return with them in 2018-19. If the Penguins need more cap room to bring in depth elsewhere in the lineup, I can see them buying out the final two years of Hunwick’s contract. 


EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples is “somewhat optimistic” another NHL team will want to trade for Edmonton Oilers left wing Milan Lucic and his $6-million annual average value through 2022-23. Despite the troubling decline in Lucic’s offensive stats last season, Staples suggests we shouldn’t underestimate how some NHL GMs value size, toughness and past reputation. Lucic also has a full no-movement clause but there’s a belief he could be open to being dealt.

Staples colleague Jim Matheson believes there isn’t a rush on the Oilers part to move Lucic. “The only conceivable way the Oilers could trade Lucic today would be to take on somebody’s onerous long-term contract back, and maybe toss in a draft pick or prospect to sweeten the pot,” said Matheson, who feels there’s no real upside to trading him. He noted the Montreal Canadiens and Vancouver Canucks tried hard to sign Lucic in 2016 and wondered if they might still be interested in him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Anything’s possible, of course, but I share Matheson’s doubts about the Oilers finding a trade partner to take on those remaining five years of Lucic’s contract. There was some speculation of a Lucic for Andrew Shaw swap with Montreal, but I think the Oilers would have to absorb part of Lucic’s cap hit to make it palatable for the Canadiens. Even then, the remaining years of his contract could be a deal breaker.


THE ATHLETIC: Aaron Portzline recently reported Columbus Blue Jackets pending UFA defenseman Ian Cole is open to re-signing if he gets “the right offer” from the Jackets. Cole was acquired in February from the Pittsburgh Penguins in a three-way deal involving the Ottawa Senators and is completing a three-year deal worth an annual average value of $2.1 million. “He quickly became a stalwart for the Blue Jackets, joining David Savard on the No. 2 pair and the top penalty-kill unit,” writes Porzline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates the Blue Jackets have over $61.6 million invested in 19 players. Boone Jenner, Oliver Bjorkstrand and Ryan Murray are their restricted free agents and will all seek raises this summer. The Jackets aren’t expected to re-sign Jack Johnson and Thomas Vanek but could bring back Cole and Mark Letestu if their salary demands are realistic. They must also keep sufficient long-term cap space open for Artemi Panarin, Zach Werenski and Sergei Bobrovsky, who will become free agents next summer. 



NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 22, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 22, 2018

Capitals force Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Final, Islanders to hire Lou Lamoriello, Wild name Paul Fenton as their new GM, and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: There will be a seventh and deciding game in the 2018 Eastern Conference Final. Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby made 24 saves in Game 6 to carry his club to a 3-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning. T.J. Oshie scored twice, Nicklas Backstrom had two assists and Devante Smith-Pelly scored a goal, had five hits and two blocked shots. 

Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby’s 24-save shutout performance carried his club to a 3-0 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 6 of the 2018 Eastern Conference Final (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: After dropping three straight games and facing elimination, the Capitals regained their mojo with a combination of a renewed emphasis on physical play, shutting down the Lightning’s lethal power play and getting contributions from their secondary scorers. The stage is set for Game 7 on Wednesday (8 pm ET) in Tampa Bay, with the winner advancing to face the Vegas Golden Knights in the Stanley Cup Final. 

Speaking of the Stanley Cup Final, it will begin on Monday, May 28. If the Lightning win the Eastern Conference Final, the series opens in Tampa Bay. If the Capitals win, it’ll start in Las Vegas. All start times will be 8 pm ET.

THE ATHLETIC: Arthur Staple reports former Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Lou Lamoriello is expected to take over the New York Islanders’ hockey operations within the next several days. Sources also confirmed Lamoriello met with Islanders captain (and pending free agent) John Tavares last week, “clearly in anticipation of assuming control of the Islanders.” No word on what this means for Isles general manager Garth Snow.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: While Lamoriello is still under contract with the Leafs, this move obviously has their blessing. He could take over as president of hockey operations but the anticipation is he’ll also take over Snow’s position.

As Staple pointed out, the fact Lamoriello also reportedly met with Tavares indicates the Islanders owners are intent on retaining their captain, who could depart this summer via unrestricted free agency. I’ll have more on Lamoriello joining the Islanders later this morning in the Rumors section. 

TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild yesterday announced former Nashville Predators assistant general manager is taking over as their new GM. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I like this move by the Wild. Fenton’s been a prized target for clubs seeking new management for several years. He played a key role in the Predators rise in recent years to a legitimate Stanley Cup contender. 

THE ATHLETIC: Speaking of the Wild, forward Charlie Coyle recently underwent surgery on both wrists to repair tendon damage to both wrists that had troubled him since January. He’s expected to make a full recovery in time for training camp in September. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Those injuries account in part for the decline in Coyle’s production this season and his inability to score in this year’s playoffs. 

LAS VEGAS REVIEW JOURNAL: Golden Knights merchandise is now the top seller for all US-based NHL franchises. 

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Sabres forward Matt Moulson is the latest NHL player putting his house on the market, seeking $1.1 million for his Amherst, NY home.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I doubt this means Moulson is going to be traded. He spent last season with the AHL’s Ontario Reign in California and is likely to finish the final season of his contract there. 

STLTODAY.COM: The St. Louis Blues’ arena has been renamed Enterprise Center. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 6, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 6, 2017

Game recaps, Rangers top latest franchise value rankings, updates on Matt Moulson, T.J. Oshie & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Brayden Schenn tallied his third career hat trick as the St. Louis Blues held on for a 4-3 victory over the Montreal Canadiens, ending their three-game losing skid and snapping the Habs’ five-game winning streak. Defenseman Shea Weber scored twice for the Canadiens.

After suffering a humiliating 10-1 loss to Montreal in their previous game, the Detroit Red Wings recovered to end a seven-game losing skid with a 5-1 win over the high-flying Winnipeg Jets. Wings forward Gustav Nyquist led the way with two goals and an assist while goalie Jimmy Howard made 25 saves for the win.

Marian Gaborik scored twice, including his 400th career NHL goal, as the Los Angeles Kings defeated the Minnesota Wild 5-2. Kings’ captain Anze Kopitar collected his 500th career assist as he finished the night with a goal and two assists.

Yanni Gourde potted two goals in 1:34 late in the second period to propel the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 6-2 win over the New York Islanders. Nikita Kucherov and Chris Kunitz also collected two points for the Lightning. Isles rookie center Mathew Barzal also netted two points.

Jusse Saros kicked out 43 shots while Kyle Turris and Calle Jarnkrok each had a goal and an assist to give the Nashville Predators a 5-2 victory over the Dallas Stars. Dallas defenseman Jamie Oleksiak also had a goal and an assist.

Filling in for an ill Henrik Lundqvist, Ondrej Pavelec made 41 saves as the New York Rangers edged the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3, snapping the Pens’ four-game winning streak. Rangers forward Mats Zuccarello and Penguins winger Patric Hornqvist each had a goal and an assist.

Corey Schneider made 41 saves as the New Jersey Devils dropped the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-1. Devils forwards Taylor Hall, Nico Hischier, Jesper Bratt and Stefan Noesen each collected two points.

Jacob Markstrom made 30 saves to collect his first NHL shutout as the Vancouver Canucks blanked the Carolina Hurricanes 3-0. Canucks blueliner Derrick Pouliot tallied a goal and assisted on two others.

Erik Haula scored the game-tying goal and Alex Tuch netted the game winner in a shootout as the Vegas Golden Knights rallied to down the Anaheim Ducks 4-3. Haula finished the game with three points.

Third period goals by Evander Kane and Jack Eichel lifted the Buffalo Sabres to a 4-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche to end their four-game losing streak. Robin Lehner made 35 saves for the Sabres. Earlier in the day, the Sabres loaned winger Matt Moulson to the AHL’s Ontario Reign.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: The New York Rangers top Forbes Magazine’s annual NHL franchise valuation ranking. The Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens and Chicago Blackhawks are each estimated to be worth over $1 billion.

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: Capitals winger T.J. Oshie is listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury and unlikely to suit up tonight against the Chicago Blackhawks.

THE MERCURY NEWS: San Jose Sharks defenseman Brenden Dillon received a one-game suspension for slashing Washington’s Madison Bowey.

TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs center Tyler Bozak hopes to return to the lineup tonight against the Calgary Flames. He’s been sidelined several days with food poisoning.

NBC SPORTS: On a non-NHL note, Russia’s ban from the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics could disrupt the rosters of the Men’s Hockey tournament if the KHL retaliates to the ban by refusing to allow its players to participate in the Games. Earlier this year, the NHL announced it would not take part in the 2018 Olympics.



NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 5, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 5, 2017

Game recaps, stars of the week plus updates on Alex Ovechkin, Roberto Luongo and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Alex Ovechkin tallied his league-leading 20th goal of the season as the Washington Capitals defeated the San Jose Sharks 4-1. He became just the 11th player in NHL history to tally 20-plus goals in his first 13 seasons. It was also Ovechkin’s 578th career goal, taking over sole possession of 20th overall on the league’s all-time goal-scoring list. However, it was a costly win for the Capitals, as winger T.J. Oshie left the game in the second period following a hit to the head by Sharks center Joe Thornton. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Oshie is expected to be reevaluated today. No word if Thornton will receive supplemental discipline. 

Mathew Barzal scored the only goal in a shootout to give the New York Islanders a 5-4 victory over the Florida Panthers, who also lost goaltender Roberto Luongo to an apparent right-leg injury in the second period. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Luongo suffered the injury making what seemed a routine right-pad save. He had to be helped off the ice and it’s feared he could be sidelined for a lengthy period. 

The Philadelphia Flyers snapped their 10-game losing streak with a 5-2 win over the Calgary Flames. Flyers goalie Brian Elliott made 43 saves against his former club and Scott Laughton scored two goals. Flames defenseman Travis Hamonic was ejected from the game for an illegal hit to the head of Flyers forward Dale Weise.

Earlier in the day, Flyers general manager Ron Hextall maintained his embattled head coach Dave Hakstol would remain in his job for the rest of the season and beyond. “Dave Hakstol is our coach and he will remain our coach. Period,” Hextall said, forcefully. “I’ve said it over and over, and I’m not going to say it again.”

Craig Smith netted two goals and set up another while Pekka Rinne made 37 saves to give the Nashville Predators a 5-3 win over the Boston Bruins. The Preds were playing without center Ryan Johansen, who’s listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury. 

Winnipeg Jets winger Blake Wheeler, Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price and Nashville Predators forward Kevin Fiala are the NHL stars for the week ending Dec. 3, 2017.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby is on a roll of late. Since snapping an 11-game goalless drought against Buffalo on Nov. 14, he’s been the league’s leading scorer over the last nine games with seven goals and nine assists. He’s also netted at least a goal and an assist in each of his last five games, marking the first time in his career he’s had a streak like that, and the first Penguin since Jaromir Jagr in 1999 to accomplish that feat. 

THE BUFFALO NEWS: The Sabres were busy yesterday. They acquired forward Scott Wilson from the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for a fifth-round pick in the 2019 draft and placed veteran winger Matt Moulson on waivers for the purpose of sending him to the minors. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the Sabres floundering at the bottom of the standings, GM Jason Botterill has seen enough. Consider these moves the first of what could be an ongoing roster shakeup that could continue up to the Feb. 26 trade deadline and into the offseason. Wilson, who played for the Pittsburgh Penguins when Botterill was their assistant GM, will be a depth addition to the Sabres roster.

Moulson, a former 30-goal scorer, was a frequent healthy scratch who was held pointless in 14 games this season. He has a year remaining on his contract with an annual salary-cap hit of $5 million. It’s unlikely he’ll be claimed by noon ET today by another club. If he’s demoted as expected the Sabres will get less than $1 million in salary cap relief. 

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes signed Charlottetown Islanders defenseman Pierre-Olivier Joseph to a three-year entry-level contract. Joseph was their first-round pick (23rd overall) in the 2017 NHL Draft. 

THE SEATTLE TIMES: The Seattle City Council voted 7-1 to approve “a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the city and the Los Angeles-based Oak View Group (OVG)” for a $600 million renovation of KeyArena that could attract NHL and NBA franchises to that city. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Athletic’s Katie Strang reports there’s nothing imminent regarding any NHL plans to bring a franchise to Seattle and the league made no promises to the city to do so. However, the vote is considered a significant first step toward Seattle perhaps landing an expansion team. The league board of governors are meeting later this week in Florida. While expansion isn’t on the agenda, Strang said it would be shocking if the subject wasn’t discussed.