NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 10, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 10, 2021

Game recaps, the latest on Zach Werenski, Bobby Ryan and William Nylander, the Avalanche reacquire Patrik Nemeth, the Leafs deal for Riley Nash, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin tallied career goal 727 in a 4-3 win over the Buffalo Sabres. Capitals defenseman Justin Schultz had a goal and two assists. Ovechkin is four goals shy of Hall of Famer Marcel Dionne for fifth on the NHL’s all-time goals list. The Capitals are tied with the New York Islanders with 56 points but hold first place in the MassMutual East Division on the basis of regulation wins (21).

The Islanders, meanwhile, dropped a 4-1 decision to the New York Rangers. Alexandar Georgiev made 31 saves for the win in his first start in 11 games while teammate Adam Fox’s point streak ended at 12 games. Blueshirts winger Artemi Panarin collected two assists.

PIttsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby (NHL Images).

Sidney Crosby scored and added two helpers to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins over the New Jersey Devils 6-4. Pittsburgh winger Bryan Rust scored two goals and chipped in an assist while Devils winger Miles Wood tallied twice. The Penguins have won seven of their last nine contests and sit two points behind the second-place Islanders.

Colorado Avalanche goaltender Jonas Johansson made 28 saves for his first career NHL shutout in a 2-0 blanking of the Anaheim Ducks. Valeri Nichushkin and Mikko Rantanen were the goal scorers as Colorado won their sixth game in their last seven outings. They canceled their practice earlier in the day after Bo Byram was placed on the NHL COVID-19 protocol list. The Avs sit atop the Honda West Division with 58 points.

A four-goal first period powered the Vegas Golden Knights to a 7-4 victory over the Arizona Coyotes. Reilly Smith scored two goals for the Golden Knights, who remain four points back of the Avalanche in second place. Phil Kessel collected three assists for Arizona and took over sole possession of fifth place on the NHL’s Ironman list by skating in his 885th consecutive game. The Coyotes are in fourth place with 43 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kessel is quite durable for someone who is sometimes mocked because his physical appearance isn’t that of a prototypical NHL player. As the old saying goes, don’t judge a book by its cover.

St. Louis Blues center Ryan O’Reilly tallied a hat trick in a 9-1 thumping of the Minnesota Wild. Jaden Schwartz scored twice while Justin Faulk and Sammy Blais each had a goal and two assists. The Blues moved within one point of the Coyotes while the Wild remain in third place with 50 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blues made winger Mike Hoffman a healthy scratch for the second straight game. He’s among the top names being bandied about the NHL rumor mill and could be on the move before Monday’s trade deadline.

Brent Burns collected three assists and Martin Jones made 32 saves as the San Jose Sharks downed the Los Angeles Kings 5-2. The surging Sharks sit three back of the Coyotes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The race for that final playoff berth in the West is getting interesting. The Coyotes are trying to hang on, the Blues are battling to overcome a recent season-threatening losing skid while the Sharks are trying to keep their postseason hopes alive.


THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski will undergo season-ending sports hernia surgery next week.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A difficult season for the Blue Jackets just got a lot worse with their best puck-moving defenseman on the shelf. This could be the last nail in the coffin for their playoff hopes.

THE DETROIT NEWS: Red Wings forward Bobby Ryan appears to be done for the season after suffering an upper-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ryan was expected to draw some interest in the trade market leading up to Monday’s deadline. Nagging injuries have plagued the 34-year-old winger throughout this season.

ESPN: The Nashville Predators placed winger Filip Forsberg on injured reserve and announced winger Eeli Tolvanen (lower body) and defenseman Dante Fabbro (upper body) are week-to-week. Right wing Mathieu Olivier will be sidelined for four-to-six weeks with a lower-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Predators surged into playoff contention in recent weeks in the Discover Central Division. This latest rash of injuries could threaten their efforts to clinch a postseason berth.

TSN: Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning said many of his 21 players who tested positive for COVID-19 are feeling better. He expects his club will be able to complete its 56-game schedule, adding none of his players want to opt-out of the remainder of the season. Benning anticipates most of his players will be back on the ice once the team receives clearance to reopen its practice facility.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens prospect Cole Caufield is the 2021 winner of the Hobey Baker Award as the top player in US college hockey.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Caufield celebrated by scoring two goals in his pro debut as the Laval Rocket downed the Toronto Marlies 5-3 in AHL action on Friday.

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs acquired center Riley Nash from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for a conditional seventh-round pick in 2022.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nash is sidelined for four-to-six weeks with a sprained knee. However, Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas can place him and his $2.75 million cap hit on long-term injury reserve, giving them the flexibility to perhaps make another move before Monday’s trade deadline. A clever move by Dubas, who’s done this sort of thing in the past to provide himself some much-needed cap relief. Nash will also join the Leafs for the playoffs.

TORONTO STAR: Speaking of the Leafs, winger William Nylander will be sidelined for a week on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list after coming in contact with someone who tested positive for the coronavirus.

THE DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche reacquired defenseman Patrik Nemeth from the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for a 2022 fourth-round pick. Nemeth spent two seasons with the Avalanche (2017 to 2019). The Wings are also retaining half of his $3 million salary-cap hit.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avalanche also have $5.4 million in cap wiggle room with Erik Johnson and Pavel Francouz on LTIR. GM Joe Sakic might not be done dealing as concern remains over the Avs’ goaltending depth.

NJ.COM: The New Jersey Devils placed winger Nikita Gusev on unconditional waivers for the purpose of terminating his contract. He’ll become an unrestricted free agent if he clears at noon ET today.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gusev had a promising NHL debut with 44 points in 66 games last season but struggled under head coach Lindy Ruff this season and has just five points in 20 games. The 27-year-old winger might regain his scoring touch with another club.

WGR 550: The Buffalo Sabres claimed forward Drake Caggiula off waivers from the Arizona Coyotes.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 7, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 7, 2021

Patrice Bergeron reaches a career milestone, Artemi Panarin has a four-point performance, Carey Price sidelined, an update on Henrik Lundqvist, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: Patrice Bergeron tallied a hat trick and reached his 900th career NHL point leading the Boston Bruins over the Philadelphia Flyers 4-2. Brad Marchand had a goal and three assists. Boston defenseman Charlie McAvoy missed the game with an upper-body injury. With 46 points, the Bruins hold fourth place in the MassMutual East Divison, sitting four points behind the third-place Pittsburgh Penguins. The Flyers (41 points) slip to sixth place.

Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron (NHL Images).

The New York Islanders edged the Washington Capitals 1-0. Semyon Varlamov had a 29-save shutout while Brock Nelson scored the only goal and Josh Bailey collected his 500th career NHL point. Washington goalie Vitek Vanecek kicked out 38 shots. The Islanders moved into a tie with the Capitals (54 points) but the latter holds first place in the East Division on the basis of regulation plus overtime wins.

Artemi Panarin had a goal and three assists as the New York Rangers romped to an 8-4 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Pittsburgh defenseman John Marino left the game in the third period with an undisclosed injury. The loss leaves the Penguins in third place in the East while the Rangers move into fifth place with 41 points.

The Carolina Hurricanes got two goals from captain Jordan Staal to down the Florida Panthers 5-2, snapping the latter’s six-game winning streak. Carolina center Sebastian Aho collected three assists while Florida captain Aleksander Barkov tallied both of his club’s goals. The Hurricanes moved into second place in the Discover Central Division with 55 points, one point back of the first-place Panthers.

A 36-save performance by Joonas Korpisalo carried the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 4-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Max Domi and Jack Roslovic each had a goal and an assist for the Blue Jackets (38 points), putting them five points behind the fourth-place Nashville Predators in the Central. The Lightning, meanwhile, slipped to third place with 54 points. They’ve won just two of their last seven contests.

Speaking of the Predators, shootout goals by Ryan Johansen and Roman Josi gave them a 3-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings. Nashville holds fourth place with 43 points in the Central.

The Chicago Blackhawks remain two points behind the Predators after doubling up the Dallas Stars 4-2. Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat each had a goal and an assist and Kirby Dach tallied his first of the season since returning from a broken wrist on March 27.

A 34-save performance by John Gibson gave the Anaheim Ducks a 5-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks. The Sharks remain in sixth place in the Honda West Division with 38 points, five behind the fourth-place Arizona Coyotes.

The Buffalo Sabres beat the New Jersey Devils 5-3. Rasmus Dahlin and Casey Mittelstadt each had a goal and an assist for the Sabres, who’ve won three of their last four following their 18-game winless skid.


TSN: Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price is listed as day-to-day after suffering a lower-body injury during Monday’s 3-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers. The club called up goalie Cayden Primeau from the AHL’s Laval Rocket.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Price will remain in Montreal receiving treatment as the club travels to Toronto to face the Maple Leafs tonight.

Frank Seravalli reported Washington Capitals goalie Henrik Lundqvist remains intent on resuming his playing career as he recovers from open-heart surgery earlier this year. He’s continuing to skate as he awaits word from his doctors later this week. The Capitals aren’t ruling out Lundqvist returning to play later this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Capitals have come up in recent media chatter suggesting they could pursue an experience rental goaltender before the April 12 trade deadline. That conjecture will cease immediately if Lundqvist gets the green light to return to action this season.

SPORTSNET: Jake Virtanen was the latest member of the Vancouver Canucks added to the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list. Eighteen Canucks players are now on the list.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Virtanen is among several Canucks still popping up in recent trade chatter for some bizarre reason. Who the hell is gonna pursue a trade-deadline deal with Vancouver now?

CBS SPORTS: Columbus Blue Jackets forward Riley Nash will be sidelined for four-to-six weeks with a sprained knee.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nash had popped up in trade talks before his injury. He’s an unrestricted free agent this summer and may have played his final game with the Jackets.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators re-assigned former goaltender coach Pierre Groulx to a scouting and development while Zac Bierk takes over the Sens goalie coach.

Rick Nash Trade Tree Continues to Sprout Roots for Rangers

Rick Nash Trade Tree Continues to Sprout Roots for Rangers


NHL Rumor Mill – August 31, 2019

NHL Rumor Mill – August 31, 2019

Should the Leafs part ways with Mitch Marner? Could the Blues shop Brayden Schenn? Should the Flames ship Michael Frolik to Columbus for Riley Nash? Check out the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill.


TORONTO STAR: With the Maple Leafs facing the possibility of a protracted contract standoff with Mitch Marner, Damien Cox suggests it might be best to trade the 22-year-old winger. While acknowledging that’s “a crappy scenario,” Cox feels this might be the way to go if they hope to win the Stanley Cup rather than having Marner sit out part or all of the season.

Should the Toronto Maple Leafs consider trading Mitch Marner? (Photo via NHL Images).

If a rival club is willing to give up “two quality players under the age of 27 that have two or more years left on their contracts”, Cox feels the Leafs should look hard at that deal. One of those players must be “a defenceman capable of playing in Toronto’s top four and the other a forward capable of scoring 30 goals.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cox isn’t saying the Leafs are exploring a Marner trade. He’s merely suggesting they consider it if they can’t get the winger under contract before this season opens. Based on several comments on this site, some Leafs followers share that view.

If, and that’s a big if right now, another club pitched that offer Cox suggested, the Leafs could seriously consider it. The problem is there aren’t many teams with the cap space to pay Marner’s hefty salary asking price, believed to be around $11 million per season.

Yes, that club could free up sufficient cap space for Marner by trading two assets to the Leafs. Few general managers, however, will part with the type of package proposed by Cox at this point in the offseason.

Yes, a Marner trade is possible, but I won’t hold my breath waiting for it.


STLTODAY.COM: In a recent mailbag segment, Jeff Gordon was asked if St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong will trade forward Brayden Schenn or let him walk via free agency. Gordon doesn’t believe Schenn hits the trade block this season.

While re-signing Schenn could prove expensive if he has another 70-point campaign, he’s a valuable member of their roster. Gordon thinks Armstrong will let this season play out and assess things before the free-agent market opens next summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As per Cap Friendly, Schenn has an annual average value of $5.125 million on his current contract. Another 70-point season could push him toward $7 million annually.

With captain Alex Pietrangelo also due for a big raise next summer, Armstrong might not be willing to go that high for Schenn. If the Blues are out of playoff contention as the Feb. 24 trade deadline approaches, perhaps he’ll consider shopping Schenn at that point.


SPECTOR’S NOTE: So what say you, Flames and Blue Jackets fans? Yay or nay? Let us know in the comments section below!

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 14, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 14, 2019

The latest on the Stanley Cup champion Blues plus updates on Connor McDavid, Marc-Andre Fleury, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: The St. Louis Blues will hold their Stanley Cup parade and celebration on Saturday, June 15. “The parade will start at noon CT at 18th and Market Street and will end at Broadway and Market Street. A rally will follow at the Gateway Arch.” The Blues won the Cup by defeating the Boston Bruins 4-1 in Game 7 of the Final on Wednesday. 

SPORTSNET: Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington can expect to see more money on his next contract. “He’s going to earn a big pay raise this summer and we’re looking forward to paying him,” said Blues general manager Doug Armstrong. Binnington is slated to become a restricted free agent on July 1. 

After backstopping the St. Louis Blues to the Stanley Cup, goalie Jordan Binnington could receive a big pay raise. (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A career minor leaguer until called up at midseason, Binnington’s performance helped the Blues rise from the bottom of the standings to Stanley Cup champions. He’s got arbitration rights and is a finalist for the Calder Memorial Trophy as rookie of the year. Those factors will affect his contract negotiations.

NBC SPORTS: Game 7 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final was the most-watched NHL game on record since 1994. Over 8.9 million viewers watched the Blues defeat the Bruins. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s the most-watched NHL game on record in the United States. In Canada, it’s a different story. With all Canadian teams eliminated after the opening round and the Toronto Raptors on an NBA championship run, the ratings for the Stanley Cup playoffs were down this year.

THE SCORE: Edmonton Oilers GM Ken Holland said he expects team captain Connor McDavid to be ready for training camp in September. McDavid continues to rehab from a knee injury suffered during the Oilers’ final game of the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: McDavid was spotted limping at a recent charity event, generating concern over the status of his recovery. The injury didn’t require surgery and isn’t expected to affect his off-season training.

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: Vegas Golden Knight goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury sold his Las Vegas home for $2.3 million. Records indicate the buyer is a strip club owner.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some might seize on this sale to raise concern over Fleury’s future with the Golden Knights. However, he’s about to begin a new three-year deal. As the Golden Knights’ starting goalie and franchise player, he’s not going anywhere. 

TSN: Former NHL player Rick Nash was named a special assistant to Columbus Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen. Nash announced his retirement as a player in January. 

NBC SPORTS: Hall-of-Famer Eric Lindros hopes a new campaign in Ontario will help amateur athletes, parents and coaches better identify the signs and symptoms of a concussion.  Lindros’ career was cut short by repeated concussions. 

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 14, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 14, 2019

Game recaps and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Sebastian Aho’s hat trick powered the Carolina Hurricanes to a 6-3 victory over the Nashville Predators. The Hurricanes have won seven of their last 10 and sit four points out of an Eastern Conference wild-card berth. Filip Forsberg scored twice for the Predators. 

Anaheim Ducks general manager Bob Murray doesn’t plan to make a coaching change (Photo via NHL.com)

The Anaheim Ducks dropped their 11th straight game as they were edged by the Winnipeg Jets 4-3 on an overtime goal by Bryan Little. Following the game, Ducks general manager Bob Murray issued a statement saying he has no plans “at this time” to replace beleaguered head coach Randy Carlyle. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Murray doesn’t intend to make a coaching change he’ll have to consider shaking up his roster to get his club back on track. Despite their lengthy losing skid, the Ducks sit just outside of a wild-card spot in the Western Conference

Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky returned to action and made 22 saves in a 7-5 win over the New York Rangers, who’ve dropped six of their last season games. Nick Foligno scored twice while Artemi Panarin, Cam Atkinson, and Ryan Murray each had two points for the Jackets. Mats Zuccarello tallied two goals for the Rangers, who were criticized for their poor performance by head coach David Quinn. The Jackets were playing without center Brandon Dubinsky (hamstring) and winger Markus Hannikainen (elbow), who could be on injured reserve longer than anticipated

Before the game, former Blue Jacket and Ranger Rick Nash was honored by the Jackets and made the ceremonial puck drop with his family. Nash recently announced his retirement for health reasons after 15 NHL seasons.

Loui Erikson had a three-point performance and Jacob Markstrom turned aside 23 shots as the Vancouver Canucks defeated the Florida Panthers 5-1. The Canucks are tied with the Minnesota Wild and Anaheim Ducks (47 points) but sit just outside of the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference. 

A three-goal outburst in the opening five minutes of the first period powered the New York Islanders to a 5-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Cal Clutterbuck, Matt Martin, and Casey Cizikas each had two points and Thomas Greiss kicked out 38 shots. Earlier in the day, the NHL Department of Player Safety fined Lightning defenseman Mikhail Sergachev over $2,400.00 for cross-checking Buffalo Sabres forward Johan Larsson. 

Calgary Flames captain Mark Giordano commemorated his 800th career NHL contest with two goals and an assist in a 7-1 drubbing over the Arizona Coyotes. Matthew Tkachuk also scored twice for the Flames.  

NBC SPORTS: Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby avoided serious injury after being struck in his left eye by a stick during Saturday’s loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Holtby said he suffered a scratch to the eye but took part in practice Sunday and expects to be fully recovered within 24 hours. The Capitals have no plans to call up a goalie. 

TSN: The Toronto Maple Leafs re-signed winger Trevor Moore to a two-year, $1.575-million contract extension.