NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 15, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 15, 2021

The Jets down the Leafs in their final regular-season game, Conference championship trophies won’t be awarded this season, plus the latest on Alex Ovechkin, Ondrej Kase and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Winnipeg Jets ended their regular season on a high note by doubling up the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-2. Kyle Connor scored twice to finish the season with a team-leading 26 goals. The Leafs’ Auston Matthews was held pointless, finishing the season with a league-leading 41 goals.

Winnipeg Jets winger Kyle Connor (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Both clubs will have several days off before they begin their respective first-round series. The Jets face off against the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday while the Leafs meet the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday.

ESPN.COM: Greg Wyshynski reports the NHL won’t be handing out the Prince of Wales Trophy or the Clarence S. Campbell Bowl to the conference champions this season. The Prince of Wales Trophy is usually awarded to the Eastern Conference champion while the Campbell Bowl is awarded to the Western Conference champion.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The bright side is we won’t have to listen to any of the superstitious nonsense over whether the winning teams will touch those respective trophies. Because, of course, everyone knows touching those awards could determine the outcome of the Stanley Cup Final (end sarcasm mode).

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: The lack of a new contract for Alex Ovechkin isn’t bothering Capitals owner Ted Leonsis. He said he and Ovechkin are focused on the upcoming playoffs.

Alex knows that if he plays five more years, 10 more years, whatever it is, we’ve got his back,” Leonsis said, adding the team’s commitment to his captain is to continue to have great teams. “We’ll spend to the cap, we’ll try to win championships. And that’s what he’s focused on because that’ll be his legacy.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ovechkin is completing a 13-year, $124 million contract. He and Leonsis agreed at the start of this season to put aside contract discussions until after the playoffs are over. Based on Leonsis’ comments, it sounds like Ovechkin won’t be going anywhere.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Bruins winger Ondrej Kase won’t be playing in Game 1 of his club’s opening-round series against the Washington Capitals tonight. Kase suffered an upper-body injury unrelated to the suspected concussion that sidelined him for all but three games this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Whatever the issue, it sounds like Kase could miss more than just Game 1.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Penguins backup goaltender Casey DeSmith left Friday’s practice early to receive medical treatment after making a routine save. It’s suspected to be a lower-body injury. The Penguins open their first-round series against the New York Islanders on Sunday.

TSN: Minnesota Wild forward Ryan Hartman was fined $5,000.00 for a dangerous trip on St. Louis Blues forward Sammy Blais on Thursday.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators signed defenseman Artem Zub to a two-year, $5 million contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Zub, 25, joined the Senators as a free agent from the KHL and played well in his first NHL season. He finished with 14 points in 47 games and a plus-minus of plus-4 while logging over 18 minutes of ice time per game.

SPORTSNET: Speaking of the Senators, team owner Eugene Melnyk declined to comment about lawsuits filed against five defendants by his traveling companions related to his Caribbean vacation last Christmas.

THE SCORE: cites a report by The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun indicating Alain Vigneault will return as head coach of the Philadelphia Flyers next season.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Speaking of returning coaches, Stars general manager Jim Nill confirmed Rick Bowness will be back behind the bench with his club next season. Nill also said forward Roope Hintz will undergo surgery next week in New York to repair a groin injury.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 22, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 22, 2017

Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid was the big winner at the 2017 NHL Awards.

The winners at the NHL Awards and the inaugural roster of the Vegas Golden Knights in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid won the Hart Trophy and the Ted Lindsay Award in last night’s NHL Awards in Las Vegas. McDavid was also named to the First All-Star Team. The Oilers captain also won the Art Ross Trophy as this season’s leading scorer.

Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron won his fourth Selke Trophy as the top defensive forward, tying Hall of Famer Bob Gainey as the only players to win it four times. 

San Jose Sharks defenseman Brent Burns took home the Norris Trophy as the league’s top defenseman, beating out Ottawa Senators captain Erik Karlsson. 

Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky won the Vezina Trophy as the top goalie for the second time in his career. His head coach John Tortorella won his second Jack Adams award as coach of the year. 

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews took home the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year.  Calgary Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau won the Lady Byng trophy as the most gentlemanly player and Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson won the Masterton Trophy for perseverance after taking time off during this season to be with his wife Nicholle, who was battling cancer. Nashville Predators general manager David Poile is this season’s GM of the Year. 

During the Awards show, the league honored former NHL player Bryan Bickell, whose career was cut short by multiple sclerosis. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The only surprise for me was Burns winning the Norris. Not that he doesn’t deserve it but I expected Karlsson would take home the award. I know some folks were upset with Tortorella winning the Adams over Toronto’s Mike Babcock and Edmonton’s Todd McLellan but Torts’ Blue Jackets finished the season with more points than the Leafs and Oilers. 

Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, winger James Neal and defenseman Marc Methot are among the notable players making up the Vegas Golden Knights inaugural roster. Here’s a look at the complete list (via TSN)

Forwards

Teemu Pulkkinen (Coyotes)
William Carrier (Sabres)
Cody Eakin (Stars)
Tomas Nosek (Red Wings)
Jonathan Marchessault (Panthers)
Reilly Smith (Panthers)
Connor Brickley (Hurricanes)
Chris Thorburn (Jets)
Pierre-Edouard Bellemare (Flyers)
Nikita Gusev (Lightning)
James Neal (Predators)
Mikhail Grabovski (Islanders)
Brendan Leipsic (Maple Leafs)
David Perron (Blues)
Oscar Lindberg (Rangers)
Erik Haula (Wild)
Alex Tuch (Wild)
William Karlsson (Blue Jackets)
David Clarkson (Blue Jackets)

Defencemen

Luca Sbisa (Canucks)
Jon Merrill (Devils)
Brayden McNabb (Kings)
Jason Garrison (Lightning)
Deryk Engelland (Flames)
Jake Bischoff (Islanders)
Colin Miller (Bruins)
Marc Methot (Senators)
David Schlemko (Sharks)
Griffin Reinhart (Oilers)
Alexei Emelin (Canadiens)
Clayton Stoner (Ducks)
Shea Theodore (Ducks)
Trevor van Riemsdyk (Blackhawks)
Nate Schmidt (Capitals)

Goaltenders

Calvin Pickard (Avalanche)
Jean-Francois Berube (Islanders)
Marc-Andre Fleury (Penguins)

The Golden Knights also stocked up on draft picks in trades made with several NHL clubs, including two first-round selections in the upcoming 2017 NHL draft. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some of the players selected by Vegas could end up flipped to other teams in the upcoming days. I’ll have more on that in my Rumors section later this morning.

Whatever the Golden Knights roster eventually looks like, it certainly won’t be a playoff contender next season. However, management is loading up with draft picks and prospects to stock up their youth pipeline. They also picked up several promising players in Theodore, Schmidt, Pickard, Tuch, Karlsson, Haula and Miller who could form this club’s long-term nucleus.