NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 23, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 23, 2018

Capitals and Lightning prepare for Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final, Sharks and Evander Kane reportedly close to a long-term contract, and much more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

WASHINGTON POST: Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin considers tonight’s Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning as “the biggest game in our life”. In 10 previous Game 7 scenarios during the Ovechkin era, the Capitals won just three of them.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: As the Lightning approach Game 7, they hope to rediscover the strong opening-period form of Game 5, where they scored twice and outshot the Capitals 13-4. “First period of Game 5, bottle that up and do it three times. We should be okay,” said head coach Jon Cooper.

Winger Evander Kane is close to signing a seven-year contract extension with the San Jose Sharks (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s been a terrific series between these two clubs. With a trip to the Stanley Cup Final on the line, Game 7 could be the best of this series. 

NBC SPORTS: Various reports indicate the San Jose Sharks and pending free-agent winger Evander Kane are close to agreement on a seven-year contract worth $49 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: While this deal reportedly isn’t finalized yet, it appears close to being completed. It’ll be a significant pay raise for the 26-year-old Kane, who’s completing a six-year, $31.5-million contract (stick tap to Cap Friendly). This deal would also ensure the draft pick the Sabres received in return will become a first-round selection.

Though Kane was plagued by personal issues in the past, he appears to have put that behind him. He meshed well with the Sharks following his trade from the Buffalo Sabres in late-February. Kane has four 20-goal seasons under his belt and his aggressive physical style made him a good fit in San Jose over the remainder of this season. 

Kane’s reported cap hit would push the Sharks’ cap payroll for next season to over $67 million. That could have an effect upon other possible re-signings, such as veteran center Joe Thornton, as well as any intention they have of being active in this summer’s unrestricted free-agent market. 

NEWSDAY: The New York Islanders formally introduced Lou Lamoriello as their president of hockey operations. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No word from Lamoriello as to what’s in store for general manager Garth Snow or head coach Doug Weight. He also gave no indication as to his roster plans. Given he’s always been reticent, that shouldn’t come as a surprise. Islanders captain (and pending free agent) John Tavares is reportedly pleased by Lamoriello’s hiring. Whether the move convinces him to re-sign with the Isles remains to be seen. 

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs and assistant general manager Mark Hunter have mutually agreed to part ways. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens re-signed backup goaltender Antti Niemi to a one-year, $950K contract. 

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Anaheim Ducks goaltender Ryan Miller underwent surgery last Friday to remove a bone fragment from his left wrist. Recovery time is expected to be six weeks. 

LAS VEGAS REVIEW JOURNAL: Tickets for the first Stanley Cup Final game in Las Vegas are reportedly selling for as much as $10 grand on Stubhub. The average sales price on the site is over $1,100.00.


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 24, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 24, 2018

Game recaps, draft lottery odds to improve and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Winnipeg Jets reached 100 points for the first time by edging the Anaheim Ducks 3-2. Kyle Connor tallied the winner in overtime while Mark Scheifele collected three points. The Ducks (89 points) picked up a point to sit one ahead of the Colorado Avalanche for the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference. 

New Jersey Devils winger Taylor Hall reached a single-season milestone with a 4-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins (Photo via NHL Images).

New Jersey Devils winger Taylor Hall scored in overtime to give his club a 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. That goal also gave Hall a career-high 81 points. Penguins captain Sidney Crosby had a goal and an assist. With the win, the Devils (84 points) opened a three-point hold on the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth.

The Boston Bruins scored three unanswered third-period goals as they overcame a 2-0 deficit to defeat the Dallas Stars 3-2. Brad Marchand led the way with a goal and two assists. The loss dropped the Stars four points behind the Colorado Avalanche (88 points) for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Stars are in a death spiral. A month ago, they sat fifth overall in the Western Conference (35 wins and 74 points in 62 games) and a playoff berth seem assured. Since then, they won just three of their last 11 games. 

Patrik Berglund scored twice as the St. Louis Blues downed the Vancouver Canucks 4-1. The Blues (87 points) are now one point behind the Avs for the final playoff berth in the West. It was a costly win, however, as defenseman Carl Gunnarsson suffered a season-ending ACL tear in his left knee.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Over two weeks ago, the Blues were mired in a slump and in danger of falling completely out of the playoff chase. They’ve since rallied by winning four straight and seven of their last 10 games. 

Antti Niemi made 35 saves to pick up his first shutout of the season as the Montreal Canadiens blanked the Buffalo Sabres 3-0.

CALGARY SUN: The Flames are shutting down first-line center Sean Monahan due to hip and wrist injuries that will require surgery.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: And with that news, the Flames’ fading playoff hopes were dealt a death blow. 

THE SCORE: The NHLPA has approved the NHL’s recommendations to change the odds for the draft lottery. As per Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, ” 18.5 per cent chance for 31st, 13.5 for 30th, 11.5 for 29th — down to 1 per cent for 17th.”

SUN-SENTINEL.COM: Former Florida Panthers owner H. Wayne Huizenga died Thursday at the age of 80 following a lengthy battle with cancer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Huizenga’s family and friends. 

OTTAWA SUN/SPORTSNET: Senators general manager Pierre Dorion told the club’s season-ticket holders he will attempt to re-sign superstar and team captain Erik Karlsson this summer. Karlsson will become eligible in July 2019 for unrestricted free agent status. Meanwhile, embattled team owner Eugene Melnyk will hold two town hall meetings “in the coming weeks as the club attempts to quell public criticism in the midst of a disappointing season.”



NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 15, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 15, 2017

Game recaps, analysis of the Kings trading Cammalleri to Oilers, injury updates and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Connor McDavid and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins each scored twice as the Edmonton Oilers thumped the Vegas Golden Knights 8-2.

Henrik Sedin had a goal and an assist as the Vancouver Canucks overcame a 2-0 deficit to nip the Los Angeles Kings 3-2.

Earlier in the day, the Kings traded winger Mike Cammalleri to the Edmonton Oilers for forward Jussi Jokinen.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cammalleri was losing ice time with the Kings as younger forwards such as Alex Iafallo and Adrian Kempe took on more prominent roles on their scoring lines. The Oilers need scoring depth at right wing and that’s where he’ll likely be slotted.  Jokinen, meanwhile, struggled with the Oilers and didn’t have the confidence of head coach Todd McLellan. The Kings hope he’ll provide experienced depth to their checking lines. 

Zach Werenski’s overtime goal gave the Columbus Blue Jackets a 2-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens. Earlier in the day, sidelined Canadiens goaltender Carey Price assured the media his current lower-body injury isn’t related to the season-ending one he suffered in 2015-16, insisting it remains a minor issue. He’s been sidelined nearly two weeks. The Habs also claimed goaltender Antti Niemi off waivers from the Florida Panthers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given Niemi’s poor performance this season, this move provoked criticism by Habs followers on Twitter. However, GM Marc Bergervin justified the decision, citing Price’s injury and uncertainty over how long backup Al Montoya might be sidelined by a concussion.

Call-up Charlie Lindgren’s playing well but Bergervin wanted a little more experienced behind him. Niemi played under Habs goalie coach Stephane Waite when both were with the Chicago Blackhawks, so perhaps Waite can help Niemi overcome his current difficulties in goal. 

Connor Hellebuyck made 33 saves while Adam Lowry scored and set up another to give the Winnipeg Jets a 4-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes, who set a league record by become the first team not to record a regulation win in its first 20 games of the season. Prior to the game, the Jets inducted former star Dale Hawerchuk into their Hall of Fame.

Earlier in the day, the Coyotes traded goaltender Louis Domingue to the Tampa Bay Lightning for goalie Michael Leighton and winger Tye McGinn.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The writing was on the wall for Domingue with the Coyotes when he struggled filling in for sidelined starter Antti Raanta, forcing the Coyotes to acquire Scott Wedgewood from the New Jersey Devils. He’ll become the Lightning’s third-string goalie. 

Devan Dubnyk picked up his third straight shutout and also collected an assist as the Minnesota Wild blanked the Philadelphia Flyers 3-0.

Sidney Crosby snapped an 11-game goalless skid and Conor Sheary scored twice, including the winner in overtime, as the Pittsburgh Penguins edged the Buffalo Sabres 5-4. Sam Reinhart had a three-point performance for the Sabres.

Kevin Fiala and Mattias Ekholm each had a goal and an assist to give the Nashville Predators a 6-3 win over the Washington Capitals. T.J. Oshie potted two goals for the Capitals. The loss spoiled the return of Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen, who missed 13 games with a left hand injury.  Earlier in the day, the Predators learned winger Scott Hartnell and defenseman Yannick Weber will be sidelined several weeks with lower-body injuries.

Aleksander Barkov and Vincent Trocheck’s shootout goals gave the Florida Panthers a 4-3 victory over the Dallas Stars. Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo made 40 saves and Jonathan Huberdeau scored twice for the Panthers. Jamie Benn tallied twice for the Stars.

NJ.COM: New Jersey Devils defenseman Mirco Mueller fractured his left clavicle during Sunday’s game against Chicago and will be sidelined indefinitely.

MLIVE.COM: Detroit Red Wings forward Martin Frk could be sidelined for a week with a groin injury. 

TSN: Ottawa Senators general manager Pierre Dorion doesn’t expect winger Clarke MacArthur to play this season. MacArthur failed his team medical upon reporting to training camp in September and has since moved with his family to Florida. He’s been hampered by concussions in recent years.

SPORTSNET: The Toronto Maple Leafs called up forward Nikita Soshnikov and demoted forward Frederik Gauthier.


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 14, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 14, 2017

Game recaps, Hockey Hall of Fame inductions, injury updates & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Teuvo Teravainen tallied his first career NHL hat trick and Jordan Staal collected four assists to lead the Carolina Hurricanes to a 5-1 victory over the Dallas Stars. Sebastian Aho scored his first goal of the season and added two assists.

Mark Jankowski scored twice and set up another as the Calgary Flames beat the St. Louis Blues 7-4. It was a costly win for the Flames, as starting goaltender Mike Smith left the game in the first period with an undisclosed injury. More details could be revealed today.

Former players Teemu Selanne, Paul Kariya, Dave Andreychuk, Mark Recchi and Danielle Goyette, former Canadian college coach Clare Drake and Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs were officially inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Retired sportswriter Cam Cole received the Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award.

THE TENNESSEAN: Having signed an eight-year, $64-million contract last summer, Nashville Predators center Ryan Johansen is struggling to score this season. To date, he has only eight assists.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Perhaps Johansen still feels the lingering effects from the left-leg injury that knocked him out of last spring’s playoffs. I expect he’ll soon regain his offensive form. 

NEWSDAY: New York Islanders forward Nikolay Kulemin underwent possible season-ending shoulder surgery on Monday. He’s expected to be sidelined for six months.

BOSTON HERALD: Sidelined Bruins Brad Marchand and Anders Bjork won’t be joining their club on their West Coast road trip.

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: Vegas Golden Knight defenseman Luca Sbisa (lower-body injury) will miss his club’s next two games.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators activated winger Bobby Ryan and defenseman Mark Borowiecki from injured reserve.

MLIVE.COM: Detroit Red Wings forward Justin Abdelkader (fractured cheekbone) will return to the lineup on Wednesday wearing a “football helmet-style facemask”.

ESPN.COM: In a press conference yesterday, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman field questions about Olympic participation, the World Cup of Hockey, expansion and a potential work stoppage when the current collective bargaining agreement expires.

Bettman notes the IOC president said if the NHL doesn’t participate in the Pyeonchang Games, they cannot go to Beijing. The league would like to stage a World Cup of Hockey every four years.

Bettman isn’t ruling out further expansion “under the right circumstances” but said they’re not considering any potential candidates. “I don’t like work stoppages, but you do what you’ve got to do,” he said.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Looks like we can forget about seeing the NHL participate in the Beijing Olympics in 2022. So get used to more World Cup of Hockey tournaments. Expansion is coming to take the league to 32 teams. It’s just a question of where and when. My guess is Seattle in five years time if they ever get their arena issue sorted out.

As for Bettman’s comment that he doesn’t like work stoppages, all three on his watch occurred because he and the owners locked out the players as a hardball tactic to bring the NHLPA to heel. It failed in 1995, succeeded in 2005 and resulted in a draw in 2013. The biggest losers, of course, were the fans, who had to endure three pissing contests that did nothing to improve labor relations between the two sides. 

ARIZONA SPORTS: AltaCorp Capital Inc. founder and CEO George Gosbee, who was instrumental in efforts to keep the Coyotes in Arizona back in 2013, passed away at age 48.



NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 25, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 25, 2017

Game recaps plus injury and waiver updates in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM : Shea Weber scored twice, Alex Galcheyuk, Brendan Gallagher and Max Pacioretty ended their goalless droughts and Carey Price made 26 saves as the Montreal Canadiens snapped a seven-game losing skid with a 5-1 victory over the Florida Panthers. Earlier in the day, the Panthers claimed goaltender Antti Niemi off waivers from the Pittsburgh Penguins. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: For the first time this season, all the Canadiens top players were at their best at the same time. The Habs looked a little shaky in the first period and fell behind 1-0 early in the second but three goals late in the second period (two on the power play) shifted momentum in their favor. As for the Panthers claiming Niemi, that move suggests starting goalie Roberto Luongo could be sidelined longer than expected. 

In his first-ever NHL star, goaltender Oscar Dansk made 29 saves as the Vegas Golden Knights doubled up the Chicago Blackhawks 4-2. Tomas Nosek had a goal and an assist for the Knights, who’ve won seven of their first eight games. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Golden Knights fairy-tale start continues. No one expected them to play this well. This was their second straight win against one of the top teams in the Western Conference, having defeated the St. Louis Blues in their previous game. 

John Tavares tallied a hat trick to lead the New York Islanders to a 5-3 victory over the Arizona Coyotes, leaving the latter winless through their first nine games of this season. Coyotes rookie Clayton Keller collected two assists.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Keller’s performance is among the few bright spots for the floundering Coyotes thus far this season. He leads all NHL rookies in goals (six) and points (10). 

Steven Stamkos had two assists and Nikita Kucherov scored a goal to lead the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 5-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. Both players now have 10-game point streaks. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s only early in the season but the Lightning are serving notice they’re back as serious Stanley Cup contenders. 

Phil Kessel scored in overtime and Matt Murray made 29 saves as the Pittsburgh Penguins nipped the Edmonton Oilers 2-1. Connor McDavid scored for the Oilers. Penguins defenseman Justin Schultz left the game in the first period with a concussion. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If not for Murray’s heroics, this game never would’ve reached overtime and the Penguins wouldn’t have won. He made several big saves in this one. The Oilers didn’t help themselves, missing some opportunities to score with an open net. 

Ryan Getzlaf netted a goal and an assist in his return from injury as the Anaheim Ducks downed the Philadelphia Flyers 6-2. Flyers rookie Nolan Patrick, the second-overall selection in the 2017 NHL Draft, left the game with a possible concussion

Matthew Tkachuk scored in regulation and netted the winner in a shootout as the Calgary Flames rallied to defeat the Nashville Predators 3-2. Dougie Hamilton had two assists for the Flames. 

Matt Nieto’s first career NHL hat trick carried the Colorado Avalanche to a 5-3 victory over the Dallas Stars.

Adrian Kempe scored the game-tying goal and the winner in a shootout as the Los Angeles Kings edged the Ottawa Senators 3-2. Earlier in the day, the Kings placed Jeff Carter (leg injury) on injured reserve

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The 21-year-old Kempe’s off to a terrific start for the Kings. With five goals and seven points in nine games, he’s already exceeded the two goals and six points he netted in 25 games last season. 

Robin Lehner turned in a 32-save shutout performance and Benoit Pouliot scored the only goal to give the Buffalo Sabres a 1-0 victory over the Detroit Red Wings, handing the latter their fifth straight defeat. 

Anders Nilson kicked out 29 shots as the Vancouver Canucks blanked the injury-ravaged Minnesota Wild 1-0. Jake Virtanen potted the game’s only goal. Earlier in the day, the Canucks announced defenseman Troy Stecher will be sidelined four-to-six weeks with a knee injury. 

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: Capitals winger Andre Burakovsky will be out six-to-eight weeks following surgery to repair his fractured left thumb. 

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: The Rangers placed forward Adam Cracknell on waivers and recalled Cristoval “Boo” Nieves. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 24, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 24, 2017

Game recaps, stars of the week, waiver updates & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Frederik Andersen made 36 saves, Mitch Marner collected two assists and Patrick Marleau scored the game winner as the Toronto Maple Leafs hung on for a 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings, handing the latter their first regulation loss. 

Martin Jones stopped 33 shots and Logan Couture had a goal and an assists to give the San Jose Sharks a 4-1 victory over the struggling New York Rangers. 

Tampa Bay Lightning forwards Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov are the top two NHL stars for the week ending Oct. 22. San Jose’s Logan Couture was the third start. 

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Kings defenseman Drew Doughty said he’s not concerned about his contract status. He acknowledged his off-season interview suggesting he might not re-sign with the Kings if they’re not contenders raised eyebrows but insists he wants to stay in Los Angeles. Doughty become eligible in July 2019 for unrestricted free agency. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Kings continue playing as well over the next two years as well as they haveover the last two weeks, that should provide sufficient motivation for Doughty to re-sign. Dollars, rather than the club’s performance, is likely to be a  sticking point in Doughty’s eventual contract negotiations. The Kings already have over $56 million invested in 12 players for 2019-20 and it could cost around $10 million per season to re-sign him. 

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Anaheim Ducks winger Patrick Eaves has been diagnosed with what is suspected to be Guillain–Barré syndrome, “a neurological disorder where the immune system attacks the peripheral nervous system.” He’s been released from ICU, is resting in stable condition and expected to make a full recovery. There’s no timetable for his return. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s hoping Eaves makes a swift recovery and returns to action soon.

THE ATHLETIC: Minnesota Wild left wing Zach Parise is expected to undergo back surgery today to repair a herniated disk and could be sidelined for up to two months. He’s been plagued by the condition since the 2015-16 season. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is another hit to the Wild’s injury-depleted forward lines. Charlie Coyle and Nino Niederreiter are also on injured reserve while Mikael Granlund is listed as day-to-day. 

NBC SPORTS: The Calgary Flames placed Jaromir Jagr on IR with a lower-body injury. However, he’s expected to return to action for Sunday’s game against Washington. 

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets center Lukas Sedlak is expected to miss up to six weeks with an ankle injury. 

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: Capitals forward Andre Burakovsky could miss some time with an upper-body injury. 

TRIBLIVE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins placed goaltender Antti Niemi on waivers and center Carter Rowney (hand injury) on IR.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Brought in as a backup goalie this season, Niemi gave up 16 goals in three starts.  He’s expected to clear waivers and be demoted  as Casey DeSmith has been called up from their AHL affiliate. 

SPORTSNET: The Toronto Maple Leafs placed forward Eric Fehr on waivers. 

Former NHL center John Mitchell signed with the DEL’s Nurnberg Ice Tigers.