NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 10, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 10, 2020

Lightning edge Islanders to take 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference Final, Bruce Cassidy wins the Jack Adams Award, GM of the Year finalists announced, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Nikita Kucherov scored with 8.8 seconds remaining in regulation as the Tampa Bay Lightning edged the New York Islanders 2-1 in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Final. The Lightning holds a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. Islanders winger Matt Martin opened the scoring in the first period but Victor Hedman tied it before the period was over.

This was a close-checking, physical contest. Lightning winger Alex Killorn was ejected early in the first period for boarding Isles center Brock Nelson, who left the game under concussion protocol but returned to action. Martin and Luke Schenn received fighting majors early in the second period. Martin and Pat Maroon received roughing minors later in the period.

It was a costly victory for the Lightning as first-line center Brayden Point left the game in the second period with an apparent lower-body injury. Head coach Jon Cooper said an update on Point’s condition could be revealed on Thursday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was a heartbreaking loss for the Islanders. They rebounded well from their 8-2 blowout loss in Game 1 and did a good job for the most part shutting down the Lightning’s offense until Kucherov struck in the dying seconds. They outshot the Bolts 13-4 in the first period and 28-21 overall.

However, the Isles couldn’t get more than one puck past Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy and failed to capitalize on four power-play opportunities. They now find themselves in a deep hole against a very talented club approaching Game 3 on Friday night.

Bruce Cassidy of the Boston Bruins is the 2020 winner of the Jack Adams Award as NHL coach of the year. He guided the Bruins to this season’s best record as they were the only club to reach 100 points, winning the Presidents’ Trophy for their efforts.

Julien BriseBois of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Lou Lamoriello of the New York Islanders, and Jim Nill of the Dallas Stars are this year’s finalists for the Jim Gregory General Manager of the Year Award.

TSN: NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said the league is still targeting an 82-games schedule for 2020-21. However, he admitted the projected start date of Dec. 1 appears less likely. They’re also hoping to have fans in the stands when they reopen but can’t guarantee that’ll be the case. Daly also doesn’t think it would be a problem if the league staged games next summer, pointing to how well ice conditions held up in the bubble cities of Edmonton and Toronto.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Barring a miracle, next season won’t open on Dec.1. Or Jan. 1. And I have my doubts it’ll start on Feb. 1. My guess is we’ll see a shortened schedule between 50-60 games starting in mid-February at the earliest, with the playoffs running into late-July.

THE SCORE: NBC hockey analyst Pierre McGuire is no longer in the running for the Arizona Coyotes’ vacant general manager position.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Several folks on Twitter yesterday observed McGuire almost always seems to be in the running for a GM job and always seems to be the first one eliminated from the competition.

Meanwhile, Arizona Coyotes Insider Craig Morgan reports former Coyotes captain Shane Doan isn’t under consideration for the job. He cites several sources suggesting the club believes Doan, who works for the NHL, had a hand in the sanctions the league handed the Coyotes for violating fitness testing rules for draft-eligible players. However, there’s no indication Doan was involved in the league’s decision.

THE ATHLETIC: Dan Hinote is expected to join the Nashville Predators as an assistant coach.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 17, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 17, 2019

Bruins sweep the Hurricanes to advance to the 2019 Stanley Cup Final. Check out the recap plus the latest notable news in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: For the third time in nine years, the Boston Bruins are going to the Stanley Cup Final. Tuukka Rask turned in a 24-save shutout and Patrice Bergeron scored twice as the Bruins blanked the Carolina Hurricanes 4-0 in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final. The Bruins took the series in four straight games. The Bruins played without captain Zdeno Chara (undisclosed injury), but he’s expected to be ready for the Final. 

The Boston Bruins are the 2019 Eastern Conference Champions (Photo via NHL.com)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins were just too powerful for the upstart Hurricanes in this series. They outscored the Canes 17-5 and were lethal on the power play, going seven for 15 with the man advantage. They also killed all but one of 14 penalties against them. Their best players all stepped up, especially Rask. At this point, he’s my Conn Smythe Trophy candidate.

Despite the disappointing performance in the Conference Final, this was a successful season for the Hurricanes. They reached the playoffs for the first time in a decade, upset the defending Cup champion Washington Capitals, and swept the New York Islanders to reach the Conference Final. They’ve got some promising youngsters in guys like Sebastian Aho and Andrei Svechnikov. They must build upon their achievements this season. 

Boston’s Don Sweeney, Carolina’s Don Waddell, and St. Louis’ Doug Armstrong are the 2019 finalists for NHL General Manager of the Year.

SPORTSDAY: The Dallas Stars re-signed defenseman Esa Lindell to a six-year contract worth an annual average value of $5.8 million. He “set career highs in goals (11), assists (21), points (32) and ice time (24:20 per game) this season. He averaged a team-high 3:14 per game on the penalty kill and was second leaguewide in total time short-handed”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates the 25-year-old Lindell will also get a full no-movement clause in the final four years of the deal. He was slated to become a restricted free agent.

Lindell blossomed into a top-pairing all-around blueliner with the Stars. If he maintains this season’s level of performance over the term of his new contract, his annual cap hit will be considered a bargain. 

STLTODAY.COM: Blues defenseman Vince Dunn’s status for Game 4 of the Western Conference Final is uncertain. He left Game 3 after taking a puck to the face, suffering damage to his teeth. It’s also possible he suffered a broken jaw and/or a concussion. He’s currently listed as day-to-day. 

WGR 550: Buffalo Sabres defenseman Brandon Montour suffered a sprained MCL playing for Canada at the 2019 World Championships. His recovery time is six weeks. 

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers executive Craig MacTavish is heading to the KHL to coach Lokomotiv Yaroslavl.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This decision could be tied to the Oilers recent hiring of Ken Holland as the Oilers new GM. MacTavish spent the past two seasons in charge of the Oilers AHL affiliate in Bakersfield. 

TSN: Jim Schoenfeld has resigned as vice president and assistant general manager of the New York Rangers.

THE TENNESSEAN: The Nashville Predators inked a 30-year lease extension with Bridgestone Arena. 

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Manchester Monarchs, the Kings ECHL affiliate, is folding. They’ve been associated with the Kings since 2001.