NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 9, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 9, 2018

Latest on Marc-Andre Fleury, David Perron, Valeri Nichushkin and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

LAS VEGAS SUN: Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury said he’d like to finish his career with the Vegas Golden Knights. Fleury, 33, is a year away from unrestricted free agent status.

Marc-Andre Fleury hopes to finish his career with the Vegas Golden Knights (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fleury quickly became the face of the Golden Knights this season. They can re-sign him as early as July 1, one year from his eligibility for UFA status. His current annual cap hit is $5.75 million.  They could opt to re-up him this summer or wait and see how he performs next season before offering up another contract.  


SPECTOR’S NOTE: Perron led the Golden Knights in assists this season and was among their leading scorers. He was hampered by injury and illness through the playoffs, so it’ll be interesting to see what effect his postseason performance has upon his contract negotiations. 

TSN: A report out of Russia claims the Dallas Stars have agreed to a two-year contract with Valeri Nichushkin, who spent the past two seasons playing in the KHL.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: For several weeks there’s been anticipation of Nichushkin returning to the Stars, who own his NHL rights. So far, however, there’s no official word yet from the Stars or the Nichushkin camp confirming this deal. 

LA KINGS INSIDER: The Los Angeles Kings announced assistant coach Pierre Turgeon won’t be returning next season. Turgeon has stepped down for family reasons. 

TORONTO STAR:  The Maple Leafs have traded the rights to prospect forward Nolan Vesey to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for a seventh-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft. The Oilers immediately signed Vesey to a two-year contract. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Vesey is the younger brother of New York Rangers forward Jimmy Vesey. 

KUKLA’S KORNER: Here’s the upcoming key dates in the NHL’s offseason calendar:


20th 2018 NHL Awards presented by Hulu (Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nev.)

22-23rd 2018 NHL Draft (American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas)


1st Free agency begins (12 p.m. ET)

5th Deadline for player-elected salary arbitration notification (5 p.m. ET)

6th Deadline for club-elected salary arbitration notification (5 p.m. ET

20 – Aug. 4th Salary arbitration hearings held


6th Deadline for salary arbitration decisions to be rendered


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 2, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 2, 2018

Updates on Evgeny Kuznetsov, Shea Theodore, Rasmus Dahlin and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov joined his teammates in practice on Friday, just two days after suffering an upper-body injury (left wrist, arm) during Game 2 of the 2018 Stanley Cup Final. Kuznetsov’s participation in Game 3 tonight in Washington (8 pm ET) remains uncertain as he’s a game-day decision. 

Shea Theodore has become an offensive catalyst for the Vegas Golden Knights (Photo via NHL Images)

  LAS VEGAS REVIEW JOURNAL: Golden Knights defenseman Shea Theodore’s growing confidence has him thriving as one of his club’s offensive catalyst during the 2018 NHL playoffs. 

SPORTSNET: Top prospect Rasmus Dahlin drew a big crowd at the 2018 NHL Draft combine in Buffalo this week. It’s expected the Buffalo Sabres, who hold the first-overall selection in the upcoming draft, will select the 18-year-old Swedish defenseman. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sportsnet has the complete list of 104 players who took part in this year’s combine. 

NHL.COM: Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill expects winger Valeri Nichushkin to return with his club next season. Nichushkin, whose NHL rights are owned by the Stars, spent the past two seasons playing in Russia. 

TSN: Ottawa Senators assistant GM Randy Lee “is accused of inappropriately touching and making lewd comments toward a hotel shuttle driver while in Buffalo for the NHL’s scouting combine.”


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 25, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 25, 2018

Sharks re-sign Evander Kane, Avalanche re-up Gabriel Bourque plus updates on Valeri Nichushkin, Samuel Morin and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: The San Jose Sharks yesterday officially announced the re-signing of left wing Evander Kane to a seven-year contract extension. Cap Friendly indicates the annual average value is $7 million. Kane also has a modified no-trade clause in which he submits a list of three preferred trade destinations. 

The San Jose Sharks announced the re-signing of left wing Evander Kane (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some might question the Sharks paying a winger with only one 30-goal season on his resume so much for so long, especially someone with a lengthy injury history carrying some off-ice baggage with his last two teams. However, he’s reached the 20-goal mark four times and exceeded 40 points five times, plays an energetic, physical game, performed very well during his brief time with the Sharks and seems to have put his previous troubles behind him.

After years of playing for non-contenders, Kane seems very happy playing for a perennial playoff club in San Jose. If that results in several productive seasons, this deal could prove worthwhile for the Sharks. 

DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche re-signed forward Gabriel Bourque to a one-year contract. As per Cap Friendly, it’s a one-way deal worth $950K.

COURIER POST: Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Samuel Morin will undergo surgery to repair a torn ACL in his right knee. He’s expected to be sidelined until February. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Morin is also a restricted free agent completing his entry-level contract. It’s expected he’ll be re-signed to a short-term contract. 

THE ATHLETIC: “Valeri Nichushkin’s agent is confident a deal will soon be done to bring the Russian winger back to the NHL this coming season.” Nichushkin, 23, spent the past two seasons with CSKA Moscow after failing to reach agreement on a new contract with the Stars in 2016. The club still holds his NHL rights. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Stars have a new head coach in Jim Montgomery, a former college hockey bench boss used to working with young players. He could help bring out the best in Nichushkin, who struggled during his first three seasons with the Stars under former head coach Lindy Ruff. 

TSN: The Edmonton Oilers have reportedly “hired former Calgary Flames head coach Glen Gulutzan and Anaheim Ducks assistant coach Trent Yawney as assistant coaches.”

MLIVE.COM: Little Caesars Arena, home of the Detroit Red Wings, was recognized as the Sports Facility of the Year at the 2018 Sports Business Awards in New York City. 


Latest Canucks and Stars Speculation – April 7, 2018

Latest Canucks and Stars Speculation – April 7, 2018

Another look at possible offseason moves by the Vancouver Canucks and Dallas Stars in your NHL rumor mill.

The Vancouver Canucks could be interested in Toronto Maple Leafs center Tyler Bozak if he’s available via free agency. (Photo via NHL Images)


THE ATHLETIC: JD Burke cited a recent report by News 1130’s Rick Dhaliwal claiming the Vancouver Canucks could have interest in Toronto Maple Leafs center Tyler Bozak if he becomes available as an unrestricted free agent this summer. He feels the Canucks should be wary of signing the 32-year-old Leaf, pointing out he’s at the stage in his career where decline is inevitable. If they do pursue Bozak, Burke feels a one-year deal worth around $3 million would be better than a more expensive three- or four-year contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Agreed. With the Sedins announcing their retirement, the Canucks will have over $20 million to invest in bringing in one or two veteran players to act as mentors for their promising youngsters and take some pressure off them. However, they must avoid repeating the mistake they made two years ago with Loui Eriksson, who’s signed through 2021-22 with a $6-million annual salary-cap hit. A one- or two-year deal worth between $3-$4 million annually for someone such as Bozak would be more reasonable. 



DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Given the injury history of Stars starting goaltender Ben Bishop, Mike Heika believes general manager Jim Nill will have an important decision to make regarding the backup position. One option could be re-signing Kari Lehtonen, but he struggled in his recent starts. Nill could also look to one of his goaltending prospects or perhaps via free agency for someone such as Toronto’s Calvin Pickard or Winnipeg’s Michael Hutchinson.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: After falling out of playoff contention this season, some changes are likely in store for the Stars this summer. One of them could be bolstering their goaltending depth. I wouldn’t be surprised if Nill pursues someone like PIckard or Hutchinson. 

THE ATHLETIC: In a recent mailbag segment, Sean Shapiro addressed some questions from Stars fans regarding possible offseason moves. He’s not a fan of pursuing former NHL winger Ilya Kovalchuk, who turns 35 next week and hasn’t played more than 60 games in a season since splitting 2012-13 between the NHL and KHL. Shapiro also said he’d be shocked if winger Val Nichushkin, who’s spent the past two seasons in the KHL, isn’t skating with the Stars next season.

Asked about the possibility of the Stars perhaps landing Montreal Canadiens forward Alex Galchenyuk, Shapiro acknowledged the recent trade history between the two clubs and didn’t rule it out. He also “wouldn’t be opposed to packaging younger bottom-six players to get a legitimate top-six scoring option. I’m a big proponent of giving younger players an opportunity, but I’m also a realist and believe the Stars need to do something to bolster the offense with a bona fide option.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I agree with Shapiro’s take on Kovalchuk. They’re better off looking at younger, perhaps more affordable depth options. Bringing back Nichushkin could help provided his game has matured over the last two years.

The Canadiens’ biggest needs are a top-line center and perhaps another top-four defenseman, which probably doesn’t make Dallas a destination for Galchenyuk. Perhaps Nill can package a couple of promising younger players in hopes of enticing a club in need of shedding salary into parting with a top-six winger. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 24, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 24, 2018

Game recaps plus updates on Brad Marchand, Joe Thornton, Cory Schneider and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Boston Bruins extended their points streak to 17 games with a 3-2 win over the New Jersey Devils. Bruins winger Brad Marchand could face supplemental discipline as the league is reviewing his hit to the head of Devils forward Marcus Johansson. Meanwhile. Devils starting goalie Cory Schneider left the game after two periods with a lower-body injury. A further update on Schneider could be made later today.

Jonathan Drouin had a three-point performance to lead the Montreal Canadiens to a 4-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche (Photo via NHL Images).

The Colorado Avalanche’s 10-game points streak came to an end as they feel 4-2 to the Montreal Canadiens. Jonathan Drouin got the better of his friend and former Halifax Mooseheads linemate Nathan MacKinnon by tallying a goal and two assists for the Canadiens.

William Karlsson scored twice as the Vegas Golden Knights downed the Columbus Blue Jackets 6-3. The Golden Knights are one victory away from tying the Anaheim Ducks and Florida Panthers for most wins (33) by a team in its inaugural season.

Travis Konecny tallied his second overtime goal in as many games to give the Philadelphia Flyers a 3-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. It’s the Flyers eighth win in their last nine games. The win vaults the Flyers into a tie with the New Jersey Devils for third place in the Metropolitan Division.

The Dallas Stars extended their points streak to five games by thumping the Florida Panthers 6-1. Alexander Radulov scored twice, including his 20th goal of the season. Stars captain Jamie Benn also picked up his 20th goal. Panthers goaltender James Reimer left the game early in the first period with an undisclosed injury. A further update on his condition is expected today.

Bryan Little scored in overtime as the Winnipeg Jets beat the San Jose Sharks 5-4. It was a costly loss for the Sharks, as center Joe Thornton left the game with an apparent injury to his right knee. He had surgery on his left knee last summer. Sharks winger Tomas Hertl was also ejected from the game for boarding Jets defenseman Dmitry Kulikov.

John Gibson kicked out 41 shots and Ryan Getzlaf collected three points to lead the Anaheim Ducks to a 6-3 win over the New York Rangers. Rick Nash tallied twice for the Rangers.

Jack Eichel had a four-point game (one goal, three assists), Ryan O’Reilly scored twice and Robin Lehner turned in a 33-save shutout performance to lead the Buffalo Sabres to a 5-0 beatdown of the Edmonton Oilers. Earlier in the day, the Sabres placed defenseman Nathan Beaulieu (upper body) on injured reserve.

The Los Angeles Kings suffering their seventh loss in eight games falling 6-2 to the Vancouver Canucks. Brock Boeser and Loui Eriksson each scored twice for the Canucks.

Jean-Sebastien Dea’s first NHL goal was a game winner as the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 3-1. Penguins captain Sidney Crosby picked up his 1,079th career point, tying Jaromir Jagr for second place among the club’s all-time points leaders. Earlier in the day, the Hurricanes activated defenseman Brett Pesce from injured reserve.

Yanni Gourde’s overtime goal lifted the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 4-3 win over the Nashville Predators. Lightning winger Chris Kunitz had a three-point performance. In a surprising move, Bolts rookie defenseman Mikhail Sergachev was a healthy scratch.

Carter Hutton made 25 saves as the St. Louis Blues shut out the Ottawa Senators 3-0.

EDMONTON JOURNAL:  Toronto Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock, former Edmonton Oilers winger Ryan Smyth and two-time Olympic champion Danielle Goyette were named Order of Canada in Hockey honourees.

NEWSDAY: Sources say the New York Islanders are closing in on a deal that will see them play some of their games at Nassau Coliseum in the years leading up to the opening of their new arena in Belmont Park.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The New York Post’s Larry Brooks lists the logistical headaches for the Isles players and staff shuttling between the Coliseum and Barclays Center. 

TSN: Former Dallas Stars winger Valeri Nichushkin is among the Russian athletes barred from participating in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

SPORTING NEWS: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has met with Seattle mayor Jenny Durkan as the city moves toward landing an expansion franchise.



NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 16, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 16, 2017

Former NHL star Jeremy Roenick believes Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux must put more focus on his game.

Latest on Claude Giroux, Valeri Nichushkin and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

CSNPHILLY.COM: NBC Sports hockey analyst and former NHL star Jeremy Roenick believes the reason Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux “doesn’t get success” is because ” he lets everything get into his mind and he looks for other things to blame it on.”

Roenick expressed admiration for Giroux’s skills and his high level of play, but feels the Flyers captain “must get back into the inside of the game, start attacking the game and not worrying about what the media or the fans are saying about Claude Giroux, period.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: To be fair, Giroux was hampered by injury last season. In recent years, he hasn’t had a strong supporting cast, as the goaltending and defense was suspect. Still, I think Roenick’s critique has some validity. Bear in mind Roenick wasn’t dumping on Giroux or making him the scapegoat for the Flyers’ woes last season. He’s hoping the 30-year-old center enjoys a bounce-back performance in 2017-18. 

NBC SPORTS: Speaking of the Flyers, they re-signed goaltender Anthony Stolarz to a one-year, two-way contract. 

DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Winger Valeri Nichushkin will play in Russia this season but hopes to return to the Dallas Stars in 2018-19. The 22-year-old signed a two-year contract with the KHL’s CSKA Moscow in 2016. 

NORTHJERSEY.COM: The New Jersey Devils signed center Nico Hischier, the first-overall selection in the 2017 NHL Draft, to a three-year entry-level contract. 

LAS VEGAS REVIEW JOURNAL: The Vegas Golden Knights signed left wing Brendan Leipsic and defenseman Griffin Reinhart to two-year deals.