NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 3, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 3, 2021

The league introduces new COVID-19 protocols for the coming season, the Coyotes submit a bid to build a new arena & the Flyers inking Joel Farabee to a long-term deal headline several of Thursday’s contract signings. Details & more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reported last night the NHL and NHL Players Association finalized COVID-19 protocols for the coming 2021-22 season. Topping the list is a mechanism allowing teams to suspend unvaccinated players unable to participate in club activities, including when a player cannot travel due to local/state/provincial/federal regulations “upon return.” The player will forfeit the equivalent of one day’s pay for each day they’re unable to participate.

Exceptions include medical reasons, religious beliefs or quarantine due to being a high-risk close contact. If a full vaccinated player is confirmed with a positive test his condition will be treated as a hockey-related injury. Unvaccinated players will also face strict rules limiting social contact while on the road.

Players wishing to opt-out of this season can do so by Oct. 1. Their teams will have 30 days to determine if their contract will be rolled over to next season or this season removed from their agreement. They won’t be allowed to play in another league or the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is a brief version of Friedman’s report. I recommend following the link for the full story. Needless to say, these rules will be used to strongly encourage unvaccinated players to get their necessary COVID shots if they want to play in the NHL this season. Recent reports indicate 85 percent of NHL players are vaccinated. In other COVID-19 news…

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Bruins defenseman Connor Clifton confirmed on social media he contracted the coronavirus while on his honeymoon. It’s unknown if he was vaccinated at the time. If this had happened a month from now when the new protocols are in place he likely would’ve been suspended.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Blackhawks fans will require proof of vaccination to attend games this season at the United Center.

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: The Vegas Golden Knights announced their fans won’t need to provide proof of vaccination to attend games at T-Mobile Arena this season. They intend to maintain compliance with state and local health regulations, as well as those of the NHL and the CDC.

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes submitted a bid to build a new arena in Tempe, located in metropolitan Phoenix. The city indicated the evaluation process would take months before there will be a vote to approve or reject the project.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Coyotes could still be seeking a temporary home if the city of Glendale maintains its decision to end its lease agreement with the club by the end of this season. If the Tempa arena deal is approved, it could take another two or three years before the building is ready for use.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: The Flyers signed Joel Farabee to a six-year, $30 million contract extension. The 21-year-old winger lead the club with 20 goals last season and finished with 38 points in 55 games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Farabee’s new annual average value is $5 million. That’s a significant raise over the $925K of his current deal, which expires at the end of this season. It’s also a big vote of confidence in the young winger, who managed eight goals and 21 points during his NHL debut in 2019-20. It could prove worthwhile if he builds on the promise of his sophomore campaign.

WGR 550: The Buffalo Sabres inked defenseman Henri Jokiharju and forward Casey Mittelstadt to three-year, $7.5 million contracts. Each will earn an annual cap hit of $2.5 million.

THE DETROIT NEWS: The Red Wings signed former Anaheim Ducks forward Carter Rowney to a one-year contract.

TRIBLIVE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins signed goaltender Louis Domingue to a one-year, two-way contract.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: The Carolina Hurricanes hired former defenseman Tim Gleason as an assistant coach.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Ontario Hockey League (OHL) suspended Canadiens prospect Logan Mailloux indefinitely after he secretly photographed an 18-year-old woman engaged in a sexual act with him while playing in Sweden last year and shared the photo and her identity with his SK Lejon teammates. Swedish police charged him with defamation and offensive photography and fined him $1, 650 USD.

Mailloux will have an opportunity to apply for reinstatement on Jan. 1, 2022.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 15, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 15, 2021

NHLPA strongly encourages players to get vaccinated, Jack Roslovic out to prove he can be a top-six center, the latest contract signings and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

THE ATHLETIC: NHL players are being strongly encouraged by the NHL Players Association to get vaccinated for COVID-19, warning about the potential loss of pay if they don’t.

Unvaccinated players who contract the coronavirus during this season or cannot play due to local health regulations face hefty fines and could have their pay withheld by their teams. It’s also unlikely they’ll receive an exemption to travel to Canada for games.

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said over 85 percent of players are vaccinated. The league isn’t expected to mandate its players to receive the vaccine but will instead abide by government and public health guidelines. Daly indicated discussions with the PA over health protocols are ongoing.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The league and the PA want to prevent a repeat of last season when COVID outbreaks among several clubs. Those incidents resulted in rescheduling games as teams that were sidelined ended up playing through more compressed timetables once they were medically cleared to return to action.

Most players probably won’t need much encouragement to avoid face that again. The possible withholding of salary (which the teams are allowed to do) could provide sufficient enticement for the stragglers to get vaccinated.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Jack Roslovic is out to prove himself as a top-six center with the Blues Jackets. While his offensive ability was solid last season, his defense and faceoff skills needed work. Roslovic is hopeful his work ethic, new assistant coach Paul Vincent (who worked with him during their tenures with the AHL’s Manitoba Moose) and new head coach Brad Larsen’s system will help him improve.

THE PROVINCE: The Canucks avoided arbitration with Jason Dickinson, signing him to a three-year deal worth an annual average value of $2.65 million. The 26-year-old forward was acquired last month from the Dallas Stars.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates the Canucks have over $10.6 million in cap space with Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes to re-sign. It’s speculated it could cost between $12 million and $14 million to sign those two. The Canucks could get $3.35 million in cap relief if Micheal Ferland (post-concussion symptoms) is placed on long-term injury reserve.

TSN: The New York Islanders signed Aatu Raty to a three-year, entry-level contract. The 18-year-old forward was the second-round pick (52nd overall ) by the Isles.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Raty was projected to be a first-round selection but his struggles last season sent his value tumbling. Some observers feel he could be the steal of this year’s draft. His performance in a recent summer tournament suggests he’s playing like he’s got something to prove.

WXYZ.COM: The Detroit Red Wings signed goaltender Sebastian Cossa to an entry-level contract. He was the 15th overall pick in this year’s draft.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning anthem singer Sonya Bryson-Kirksey has been released from hospital following a nearly month-long battle with COVID-19 that at one point landed her in intensive care.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Bryson-Kirksey in her ongoing recovery.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 18, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 18, 2021

The Lightning regains the lead in their semifinal series with the Islanders, Rod Brind’Amour wins the Jack Adams Award and re-signs with the Hurricanes, the GM of the Year finalists are revealed, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Brayden Point’s goal late in the second period held up as the winner as the Tampa Bay Lightning nipped the New York Islanders 2-1 to take a two games to one lead in their semifinal series. Point has a six-game point streak and leads all postseason scorers with 11 goals. Yanni Gourde opened the scoring in the first for the Lightning and Cal Clutterbuck tied it in the second. Game 4 is Saturday evening on Long Island.

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Brayden Point (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Lightning caught a break when Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech received a questionable penalty for interfering with Nikita Kucherov. While they killed that off, the Bolts scored four seconds after Pelech left the box.

Despite that call, the Islanders had plenty of time to even the score but couldn’t generate sufficient offense against the Lightning’s close checking. The Bolts beat the Isles at their own game last night.

Carolina Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour is this year’s winner of the Jack Adams Award. He also signed a three-year contract extension after guiding the Hurricanes to their first division title since 2005-06.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The contract negotiations dragged on for weeks but this had an air of inevitability about it. The delay was due to final details being hashed out for new contracts for Brind’Amour’s coaching staff.

Marc Bergevin of the Montreal Canadiens, Lou Lamoriello of the New York Islanders, and Bill Zito of the Florida Panthers are this year’s finalists for the Jim Gregory General Manager of the Year Award. The award is voted on by the league’s general managers and a panel of NHL executives and media following the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

NHLPA: Toronto’s Auston Matthews was named the NHL’s best goal-scorer, Tampa Bay’s Victor Hedman named the best defenseman and his teammate Andrei Vasilevskiy the best goalie in the 2020-21 NHLPA player poll.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Of particular note in this poll was over 68 percent of the players don’t want to see the regional division format carried forward from this season. Over 66 percent, however, would like to see the series-style schedule continue.

We already knew the league will return to its traditional conference and divisional format next season. It’ll be interesting to see if the players’ view on the series-style format carries any weight next season’s schedule is drawn up.

Colorado Avalanche center Carl Soderberg is returning home, signing a two-year contract with the Malmo RedHawks of the Swedish Hockey League. He began his playing career with the RedHawks before embarking on a nine-year NHL career with the Boston Bruins, Colorado Avalanche, Chicago Blackhawks and Arizona Coyotes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This likely spells the end of the 35-year-old Soderberg’s NHL career. He had 110 goals and 297 points in 597 games.

TSN: Rick Westhead reports Chicago Blackhawks senior management allegedly refused to report allegations of sexual assault of two players by a former video coach to the local police during the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A superb piece of investigative journalism by Westhead. A lawsuit filed by one of the two players against the Blackhawks is ongoing. A club spokesman declined to comment because this is an active litigation matter.

TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild signed a new affiliate deal with the ECHL’s Iowa Heartlanders.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 23, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 23, 2021

The Avalanche clinch a playoff berth, a big night for Jakub Vrana, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Colorado Avalanche are the second team to secure a playoff spot by doubling up the St. Louis Blue 4-2. Andre Burakovsky scored twice and Nathan MacKinnon collected three assists for the Avalanche, who were playing their first game since their schedule was postponed by a COVID-19 outbreak last week. They sit two points behind the first-place Vegas Golden Knights in the Honda West Division. Jaden Schwartz scored both goals for the Blues (44 points), who remain one point behind the fourth-place Arizona Coyotes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jared Bednar surpassed Bob Hartley as the Avalanche’s longest-tenured head coach with his 360th game. He’s now in his fifth season in that role and has done a magnificent job coaching this former bottom-feeding club into a Stanley Cup contender.

Two shorthanded goals by Sebastian Aho carried the Carolina Hurricanes to a 4-2 win over the Florida Panthers. Carolina’s Martin Necas picked up three assists while Florida captain Aleksander Barkov scored twice. The Hurricanes sit in first place in the Discover Central Division with 67 points, two up on the second-place Panthers. They also played without defenseman Brady Skjei as he remains sidelined indefinitely by a concussion.

The Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-1 to sit one point back of the Panthers. Blake Coleman scored twice and Ondrej Palat netted the game-winner.

Detroit Red Wings forward Jakub Vrana (NHL Images).

Detroit Red Wings forward Jakub Vrana scored four goals to lead his club over the Dallas Stars 7-3. Thomas Greiss made 43 saves for the win. The Stars (50 points) remain two points behind the fourth-place Nashville Predators in the Central. The Wings played without captain Dylan Larkin (upper-body injury) and announced Tyler Bertuzzi is done for the season with an upper-body injury.

Auston Matthews tallied his 34th goal of the season as the Toronto Maple Leafs downed the Winnipeg Jets 5-3. Mitch Marner scored twice and Nick Foligno collected an assist in his debut with the Leafs. Mark Scheifele had two points for the Jets, who lost center Adam Lowry following a headshot from Leafs winger Alex Galchenyuk. The Leafs played without defenseman Zach Bogosian, who’s sidelined for more than a week with an undisclosed injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With 63 points, the Leafs now hold a six-point lead over the Jets for first place in the Scotia North Division.

Shootout goals by Nicklas Backstrom and Evgeny Kuznetsov gave the Washington Capitals a 1-0 victory over the New York Islanders. Ilya Samsonov made 26 saves for his second shutout of the season. The Capitals (64 points) hold a one-point lead over the Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins for the top spot in the MassMutual East Division.

Speaking of the Penguins, Sidney Crosby, Bryan Rust, Kasperi Kapanen and Teddy Blueger each had a goal and an assist in a 5-1 win over the New Jersey Devils, Kapanen returned to action after missing 13 games with a lower-body injury. The Penguins hold second place over the Islanders with 30 wins.

The Boston Bruins picked up their sixth straight win by beating the Buffalo Sabres 5-1. David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand each had a goal and an assist and Jeremy Swayman kicked out 29 shots. The Bruins sit in fourth place in the East Division with 60 points, three behind the Islanders and eight up on the New York Rangers.

Two power-play goals by James van Riemsdyk powered the Philadelphia Flyers to a 3-2 victory over the Rangers. Brian Elliott made 33 saves for the Flyers (49 points), who sit three points back of the fifth-place Rangers in the East Division.

Matt Murray had a 31-save shutout as the Ottawa Senators blanked the Vancouver Canucks 3-0. Drake Batherson had a goal and an assist as the Senators have won four of their last five games.

IN OTHER NEWS…

SPORTSNET: Arizona Coyotes winger Conor Garland is listed as week-to-week with a lower-body injury.

STAR-TRIBUNE.COM: The Minnesota Wild re-signed forward Ryan Hartman to a three-year, $5.1 million contract extension. The annual average value is $1.7 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hartman accepted a slight pay cut from his currently $1.9 million AAV for the security of an extra year. Cap Friendly indicates the signing leaves the Wild with $59.6 million invested in 13 players for 2021-22.

TSN: Only four players were on the NHL’s COVID-19 list yesterday. Three of them were the Avalanche’s Joonas Donskoi, Philipp Grubauer and Mikko Rantanen. The fourth was the Devils’ P.K. Subban.

Frank Seravalli reports the NHL and NHLPA have given the International Olympic Committee until the end of May for a financial commitment for the 2022 Winter Olympics because they need to set their schedule for next season.

THE SEATTLE TIMES: The Seattle Kraken are being sued by Seattle’s Kraken Lounge for $3.5 million. The lawsuit alleges the risk of irreparable harm to their brand name due to the team’s name choice and plans to open the Kraken Bar & Grill at their planned training facility.










Ongoing Flat Salary Cap Bad News for NHL Free Agents

Ongoing Flat Salary Cap Bad News for NHL Free Agents

 










NHLPA Must Do More To Protect Players

NHLPA Must Do More To Protect Players