NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 19, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 19, 2017

Will the recent increase in the salary cap be enough for the Washington Capitals to re-sign T.J. Oshie?

Salary cap for 2017-18 set, plus updates on T.J. Oshie, Petr Mrazek, Valeri Nichushkin & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

TSN: The NHL salary cap for 2017-18 is set at $75 million, a slight increase over this season’s cap ceiling of $73 million. The cap minimum will be $55.4 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s going to hurt clubs with limited cap space, such as the Chicago Blackhawks, Columbus Blue Jackets and New York Islanders. Expect those clubs to shed salary via trades. They could also free up some cap space if they lose a salaried player via the upcoming expansion draft.

Teams carrying over $50 million in cap payroll with several notable players to re-sign (Washington Capitals, Tampa Bay Lightning, Minnesota Wild) could also find it difficult to re-sign that talent. 

CSN MID-ATLANTIC:  J.J. Regan wonders if the cap increase will be sufficient for the Washington Capitals to re-sign right wing T.J. Oshie, who’s eligible for unrestricted free agency on July 1. 

MLIVE.COM: Performance and attitude were the factors behind the Detroit Red Wings’ surprising decision to leave goaltender Petr Mrazec exposed in the upcoming expansion draft. If unclaimed, the Wings could attempt to move him via trade. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: At the very least, this move is a shot across Mrazec’s bow by Wings management. They’re clearly unhappy with his inconsistent play and cocky manner. 

NBC SPORTS: Amid speculation winger Valeri Nichushkin could return to the Dallas Stars, the club included him on its list of protected players in the upcoming expansion draft. Nichushkin spent last season in the KHL. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s believed Nichushkin didn’t like playing for former Stars head coach Lindy Ruff, who’s since been replaced by Ken Hitchcock. If he does return, however, it’ll be interesting to see how well he and Hitchcock get along. 

CSNPHILLY.COM: The Philadelphia Flyers and pending UFA forward Jordan Weal aren’t far off in contract talks. They’ve agreed on term but still have to hammer out the annual salary. Weal’s agent said he’d like to better gauge his client’s value by testing the free-agent market but Weal’s preference is re-signing with the Flyers. 

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Contract extension talks have begun between the Blue Jackets and head coach John Tortorella, who has a year remaining on his current contract. Tortorella is a finalist for the Jack Adams Award as NHL coach of the year. 

TVA SPORTS: The Arizona Coyotes’ financial situation is so precarious they’ll have to take on another ghost contract (like they did last summer with Pavel Datsyuk) to reach next season’s salary cap minimum. Dealing away the bulk of goaltender Mike Smith’s contract on Saturday to the Calgary Flames “for nothing in return” doesn’t help. “They’re broke. It’s ridiculous,” a source told TVA Sports on Saturday on condition of anonymity. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 3, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 3, 2017

The Nashville Predators need Pekka Rinne to return to form in Game 3 of the 2017 Stanley Cup Final.

Latest Stanley Cup Final news, Ducks extend Carlyle’s contract and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

THE TENNESSEAN: Entering Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final, the Nashville Predators need goaltender Pekka Rinne to regain his previously stellar form to avoid a 3-0 deficit in the series.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins center Nick Bonino (lower-body injury) remains questionable for Game 3 tonight. 

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks extended the contract of head coach Randy Carlyle to 2018-19, with an option to 2019-20. Assistant coaches Trent Yawney and Rich Preston, goalie coach Sudarshan Maharaj and director of player development Todd Marchant will also return next season. 

STLTODAY.COM: The St. Louis Blues hired former defenseman Barret Jackman as their new development coach. 

NHL.COM: There’s a 50-50 chance winger Valeri Nichushkin returns to the Dallas Stars next season. He has a year remaining on his KHL contract. 

THE DENVER POST: Jim Montgomery has withdrawn from consideration for the Florida Panthers’ head coach position and is returning as coach of the University of Denver hockey team. 

NEWSDAY: Barclays Center has no plans to make any significant design changes to retain the New York Islanders for the long term. 


Latest on the Stars and Red Wings – September 21, 2016

Latest on the Stars and Red Wings – September 21, 2016

The Dallas Stars might get trade offers for KHL-bound winger Valeri Nichushkin.

The Dallas Stars might get trade offers for KHL-bound winger Valeri Nichushkin.

 Could the Dallas Stars shop Valeri Nichushkin? Could the Detroit Red Wings trade Petr Mrazek rather than Jimmy Howard? The answers in today’s NHL rumor mill. 

TSN 1040 (via TODAY’S SLAPSHOT): Weighing in on Dallas Stars winger Valeri Nichushkin’s signing with KHL team CSKA Moscow, Darren Dreger said he believes Stars GM Jim Nill will get trade calls for the young Russian. “Maybe if this prolongs beyond a year or two, he seriously considers trading his rights. But it sounds like this kid is committed to going back and playing in the KHL.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: For now, it appears Nill is fine with Nichushkin going to the KHL. At this point, I doubt he’ll shop the young winger’s rights. I wouldn’t dismiss the possibility over the next two years, but Nill can afford to be patient here. 

MLIVE.COM: Commenting on the low trade value of Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard, one of Ansar Khan’s readers recently asked if the Wings might consider trading Petr Mrazek instead of Howard to land a skilled defenseman. While Khan acknowledges Mrazek as the centerpiece of a deal would fetch the Wings a decent return, he doesn’t believe they’ll go that route. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Khan points out, Mrazek is eight years younger than Howard and still has plenty of upside. Trading him would leave the Wings with a fading asset in Howard. The Wings will consider moving other assets before moving Mrazek to bring in a skilled puck-moving defenseman. 

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 21, 2016

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 21, 2016

Matt Duchene scores one of his two goals against Team USA in Canada's 4-2 victory at the World Cup of Hockey.

Matt Duchene scores one of his two goals against Team USA in Canada’s 4-2 victory at the World Cup of Hockey.

 World Cup of Hockey scores, plus latest contract signings & more in this morning’s NHL headlines.

NHL.COM: Matt Duchene scored twice and Carey Price made 33 saves as Team Canada downed Team USA 4-2. The victory ensure Canada advances to the tournament semifinal. The Americans have one game left in the preliminary round but will not advance to the semifinal. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Team Canada got some lucky bounces in this game. The Americans, however, were unable to cash in on theirs. The second-guessing over Team USA management’s player and coaching selection had already started prior to this game. Excuses are being made that the American squad would’ve been better if youngsters such as Auston Matthews, Johnny Gaudreau and Jack Eichel weren’t playing for Team North America. Perhaps, but American management did themselves no favors by leaving skilled players such as Bobby Ryan, Justin Faulk and Kevin Shattenkirk off the roster. Phil Kessel was also passed over, though a wrist injury would’ve prevented him from playing in the tournament. I think it comes down to depth in skilled talent.. Quite frankly, the Canadians had more of it than the Americans. 

Henrik Lundqvist made 36 saves to backstop Team Sweden to a 2-0 victory over Team Finland. Anton Stralman and Loui Eriksson scored for the Swedes, who will advance to the tournament semifinal. Finland could be eliminated from the tournament depending upon the outcome of tonight’s game between Sweden and Team North America. 

MIAMI HERALD:  Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad will miss the start of the club’s training camp due to a minro concussion suffered in the World Cup of Hockey tournament. Ekblad has left Team North America and is returning to the Panthers for evaluation by their team doctors. 

TSN: Dallas Stars winger Valeri Nichushkin has signed a two-year contract with KHL team CSKA Moscow, while the New York Islanders re-signed winger Ryan Strome to a two-year, $5 million contract. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There was talk Nichushkin was unhappy playing under Stars coach Lindy Ruff, who said the young winger was given plenty of chances but other younger players out-performed him last season. The Stars still hold Nichushkin’s NHL rights if he decides to return once his KHL contract has expired.

As for Strome’s new deal with the Islanders, $2.5 million per season is pretty much the standard raise for a player of his caliber coming off an entry-level contract. Had Strome’s play not declined sharply last season (28 points) after a 50-point rookie campaign, he probably would’ve received a more lucrative deal. 

TRIBLIVE.COM:  Phil Kessel (wrist surgery) and Trevor Daley (ankle) both expect to be ready for the Pittsburgh Penguins season opener next month. 

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Winger Artemi Panarin is in contract extension talks with the Chicago Blackhawks. Panarin won the Calder Memorial Trophy as last season’s NHL rookie of the year and is entering the second year of his two-year entry-level contract. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If he exceeds 70 points again this season, he could earn an expensive long-term extension. However, that could mean the Blackhawks will be forced to shed salary to create cap space to re-sign him. 

ESPN.COM:  Buffalo Sabres winger Evander Kane is filing a counterclaim against a woman who filed a civil suit against him earlier this year claiming he attacked her in his hotel room last December. Kane calls her allegations a sham. 

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks have invited forwards David Booth and Sean Bergenheim and goalie Yann Danis to training camp on a tryout basis. 

EDMONTON SUN:  The Oilers have added defenseman Eric Gryba to their training camp for a tryout. 

THE DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche signed forward Jiri Tlusty to a professional tryout offer. 

BOSTON HERALD:  The Boston Bruins give forward Peter Mueller a tryout offer. 

SPORTNET:  NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said future Olympic participation by the league will be up to the team owners. A decision is expected in the near future. 

OTTAWA SUN:  Former Senators star turned team executive Daniel Alfredsson has become a Canadian citizen. 

THE MERCURY NEWS: The San Jose Sharks released their training camp roster and schedule. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 20, 2016

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 20, 2016

Team Europe's Leon Draisaitl scores in overtime against Team Czech Republic in World Cup of Hockey preliminary action.

Team Europe’s Leon Draisaitl scores in overtime against Team Czech Republic in World Cup of Hockey preliminary action.

 World Cup of Hockey scores and updates, latest on Valeri Nichushkin & more in your NHL morning headlines. 

NHL.COM:  Leon Draitsaitl’s overtime breakaway goal lifted Team Europe to a 3-2 victory over Team Czech Republic in World Cup of Hockey preliminary round play. Mats Zuccarello assisted on Draisaitl’s goal and also tallied earlier in the third period.

 The European squad is now 2-0 in Group A, putting pressure on Team USA to defeat Team Canada tonight or fail to reach the semifinal. The Czechs picked up a point but need help if they’re to advance in the tournament. 

Team Russia got four second period goals from Vladislav Namestnikov, Nikita Kucherov, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Vladimir Tarasenko and held on for a 4-3 victory over Team North America. Auston Matthews, Morgan Rielly and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored for Team North America, but goalie Matt Murray was driven from the net in the second period. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Team Europe has proven thus far to be the surprise club of the World Cup, as this largely veteran-laden squad made up of players from eight countries wasn’t expected to have much chance against younger, deeper clubs in this tournament. As for the North Americans, defensive breakdowns against the Russians proved costly. Their inexperience was evident in this game.

SUN-SENTINEL.COM:  Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad suffered a mild concussion playing for Team North America against Finland in the World Cup of Hockey. He was sidelined for the North Americans game against the Russians.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ekblad’s absence was also a contributing factor in the North Americans loss to the Russians. 

DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars restricted free agent winger Valeri Nichushkin is reportedly on the verge of signing a two-year contract with CSKA Moscow of the KHL. A report out of Russia claiming Nichushkin didn’t like playing for Stars coach Lindy Ruff was denied by Dallas GM Jim Nill. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sounds like this move could also be a pressure tactic by the Nichushkin camp to pressure Nill into making the winger a better offer. Given Nichushkin’s struggles and the fact he’s coming off an entry-level contract, it’s doubtful the Stars will give in to such pressure. If Nichushkin bolts, Nill’s addition of veteran winger Jiri Hudler this summer will take on more importance in the upcoming season. 

NEWSDAY:  While New York Islanders RFA winger Ryan Strome has until September 22 to re-sign or face missing the upcoming season, he’s confident he’ll be under contract and attending training camp. The Isles have a policy of cutting off all negotiations with their RFAs if unsigned when training camp opens.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s been an effective tactic by the Isles, as it sets a hard deadline for their RFAs to re-sign and avoids negotiations dragging on through training camp. 

TWINCITIES.COM:  The Minnesota Wild invited unrestricted free agent Tomas Fleischmann to training camp on a tryout basis.

THE PROVINCE:  The Vancouver Canucks signed UFA forward Jack Skille to a professional tryout offer.

 NBC SPORTS:  The logo for the 2017 NHL All-Star Game has been unveiled. 

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL:  The Las Vegas NHL expansion club reached it’s season-ticket cap of 16,000. 


NHL Rumor Mill – September 15, 2016

NHL Rumor Mill – September 15, 2016

What will the Pittsburgh Penguins do about their goaltending this season?

What will the Pittsburgh Penguins do about their goaltending this season?

 Latest on the Penguins goalie situation plus an updated status of currently unsigned restricted free agent stars in your NHL rumor mill.

TSN 690 (VIA TODAY’S SLAPSHOT): Bob McKenzie was questioned Wednesday about how the goaltending situation between veteran Marc-Andre Fleury and young Matt Murray plays out in the coming season. Citing Fleury’s no-movement clause and Murray’s rise to prominence as a No. 1 goalie, McKenzie believes the Penguins want a little more time for things to shake out.

Depending upon how things go over the course of the season with injuries and overall team performance, one of them could be moved before the trade deadline. While the Penguins at some point could approach Fleury about waiving his movement clause and going to a team where he’ll be the starter, McKenzie doubts that’ll happen before the start of this season. He believes it could take a couple of months, perhaps even up to the trade deadline for this to sort itself out. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As McKenzie points out, the Penguins also like the insurance of having two capable starters. However, if Murray continues playing well and sees the bulk of the starts this season, I think it’s only a matter of time until Fleury gets dealt. If not at the trade deadline, he could be traded before the expansion draft in June.

Teams can only protect one goalie, and players with no-movement clauses must be protected unless they agree to waive their clause. Fleury can list 18 teams he’ll accept being dealt to, which gives the Penguins some flexibility with his trade status. If they do decide to move him, they’ll obviously try to move him where he’ll want to go. 

SPORTSNET: Luke Fox provided an updated status listing of 10 key unsigned restricted free agents. 

Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman remains hopeful of re-signing winger Nikita Kucherov before the start of the season. The Calgary Flames and winger Johnny Gaudreau are reportedly $1.5 million apart in contract talks. The Gaudreau camp seeks up to $8 million per season.

The Winnipeg Jets and defenseman Jacob Trouba’s camp are keeping mum on the status of their contract talks, while negotiations between the Buffalo Sabres and blueliner Rasmus Ristolainen have reportedly ground to a halt.

Nothing new on contract talks between the Anaheim Ducks and d-man Hampus Lindholm, while illness has knocked forward Rickard Rakell out of the World Cup of Hockey. 

Washington Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov sounded uncertain about the possibility of being re-signed before the start of the season. Dallas Stars RFA winger Valeri Nichushkin was reportedly in talks with his former KHL club Traktor Chelyabinsk, but Moscow Dynamo owns his KHL rights and set too steep a price for Chelyabinsk to buy back his rights. 

The Arizona Coyotes continue playing hardball with forward Tobias Rieder. The New York Islanders have a rule that players who aren’t signed by the start of training camp will sit out the season. That could affect RFA forward Ryan Strome. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Not really much new here, other than Nichushkin’s talks with his old KHL team and the reminder of the Isles rule about unsigned RFAs at the start of training camp. Otherwise, still a lot of staredowns going on. In most cases, the late start of training camps and the participation of some players in the World Cup of Hockey are likely why these negotiations are dragging on. Most of the World Cup participants (Kucherov, Gaudreau, Ristolainen, Lindholm, Orlov, Trouba) probably won’t be re-signed until after that tournament is over.