The Toronto Maple Leafs have acquired forwards Nick Foligno from the Columbus Blue Jackets and Stefan Noesen from the San Jose Sharks.
The Blue Jackets receive the Leafs’ first-round pick in 2021 and a fourth-round pick in 2022. The Sharks, meanwhile, receive the Leafs’ 2021 fourth-round pick.
The Jackets also retain 50 percent of Foligno’s $5.5 million cap hit ($2.25 million). The Sharks retain half, meaning the Leafs are only charged $1.375 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Another skillful bit of salary-cap management by Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas. A well-respected and versatile forward, Foligno’s two-way skills and work ethic should make him a solid addition to the Leafs. Noesen will join the Leafs’ taxi squad or be sent to their farm team. The Jackets now have three first-round picks in this year’s draft having also acquired the Tampa Bay Lightning’s yesterday in the David Savard trade.
The Montreal Canadiens acquired defenseman Jon Merrill from the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for a fifth-round pick in 2021 and minor-leaguer Hayden Verbeek.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin delves into his deep bag of 2021 draft picks to add a veteran depth left-side defenseman in Merrill. The 29-year-old blueliner can play left or right-side defense and has some shutdown skills. He’ll likely feel the third defense pairing role.
Washington Capitals trade defenseman Jonas Siegenthaler to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for a conditional third-round pick in 2021.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A salary dump by the Capitals, freeing up $800K in cap space. Siegenthaler is a restricted free agent this summer with arbitration rights.
Game recaps, injury updates, waiver news, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: St. Louis Blues goalie Jake Allen turned aside 35 shots backstopping his club to a 2-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers. Brayden Schenn and Mackenzie MacEachern tallied for the Blues, who’ve won eight of the last 11 contests. Oilers netminder Mikko Koskinen made 42 stops as his teammates went 0-for-4 on the power play.
Jake Allen made 35 saves as the St. Louis Blues held off the Edmonton Oilers 2-1 (Photo via NHL Images).
The New Jersey Devils picked up their first win since trading Taylor Hall on Monday, downing the Anaheim Ducks 3-1. Nico Hischier, Kyle Palmieri, and Sami Vatanen were the goal scorers. The Ducks were playing without forwards Troy Terry and Derek Grant. Terry is out 10 weeks with a broken leg while Grant is sidelined four-to-six weeks with a sprained AC joint.
Colorado Avalanche goaltender Pavel Francouz made 31 saves in a 4-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. Mikko Rantanen, Gabriel Landeskog, and Ian Cole each collected two points. The Avs have won nine of their last 11 games. Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith returned to the lineup following a nine-game absence with a sprained groin while Brent Seabrook was a healthy scratch.
THE NHL HOLIDAY ROSTER FREEZE PERIOD BEGINS AT MIDNIGHT ON DEC. 19 AND RUNS THROUGH DEC. 27.
THE SCORE: In his first press conference since being traded to Arizona, Taylor Hall said he was excited to join the ascendant Coyotes. “That’s one of the great things about what’s going on here is that there seems to be a buzz building,” he said. Hall assisted on the game-winning goal in his first game with the club on Tuesday.
TWINCITIES.COM: After a month-long absence, Minnesota Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk could return to action tonight against the Arizona Coyotes. He’s been on a leave of absence tending to his ailing wife.
WINNIPEG SUN: Jets center Mathieu Perreault is out indefinitely with a concussion while forward Andrew Copp is week-to-week with an upper-body injury.
THE DETROIT NEWS: With Jimmy Howard set to return from injury, the Red Wings placed goaltender Eric Comrie on waivers.
TRIBLIVE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins placed forward Stefan Noesen on waivers.
CALGARY SUN: Flames assistant general manager Chris Snow has been diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The 38-year-old father of two is enrolled in a clinical trial to treat the disease.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s hoping the treatment works for Snow. Best of luck to him in this fight against this deadly disease.
The Flames placed winger Austin Czarnik on waivers.
TORONTO SUN: Former NHL forward George Ferguson passed away Sunday at age 67. He spent 12 seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Minnesota North Stars, tallying 160 goals and 298 points in 797 career games, including four straight 20-plus goal seasons with the Penguins.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Ferguson’s family, friends, former teammates, and associates.
Stars of the week, more stories of abusive behavior by former coaches, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: A five-goal first period powered the Buffalo Sabres to a 7-1 romp over the New Jersey Devils. Jack Eichel and Johan Larsson each had three points while Conor Sheary scored two goals. The Devils have dropped five of their last seven games.
Vegas Golden Knights winger Alex Tuch tallied two first-period goals as his club downed the New York Rangers 4-1. Malcolm Subban made 29 saves for the win. Following the game, the Golden Knights announced they’d sent a fifth-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft to the Washington Capitals for forward Chandler Stephenson.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The cap-strapped Capitals had to free up some salary to make room for sidelined winger Carl Hagelin’s imminent return. Stephenson should provide a bit of a boost to the Golden Knight’s penalty kill.
The New York Islanders beat the Detroit Red Wings 4-1, leaving the latter winless in their last 10 contests. Jordan Eberle tallied twice for the Islanders.
St. Louis Blues goaltender Jake Allen turned in a 38-save performance to blank the Chicago Blackhawks 4-0. The Blues are unbeaten (8-0-2) in their last ten games. Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane’s 15-game points streak has come to an end.
Derek Grant scored two goals and Ryan Miller made 34 saves (15 in the final period) as the Anaheim Ducks doubled up the Los Angeles Kings 4-2.
Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon leads the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Dec. 1 (Photo via NHL Images).
Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon, Calgary Flames goaltender David Rittich, and San Jose Sharks netminder Martin Jones are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Dec. 1.
SPORTSNET: Hall of Famer Chris Chelios revealed former NHL coach Mike Babcock was ” a tough guy to play for” if you were a veteran player. He said Babcock told him his role during his sixth season with the Wings was to “babysit” blueliner Brett Lebda. He claims Babcock told him, ‘If you don’t like it, you can go see Kenny Holland — I’m sure he’ll trade you.”
Chelios also said Babcock attempted to scratch him from the 2009 Winter Classic. He claims the coach was disrespectful toward Mike Modano, making Modano a healthy scratch late in the 2010-11 season, thus preventing him from playing his 1,500th career game.
THE DETROIT NEWS: Chelios also said Babcock “verbally assaulted” Red Wings forward Johan Franzen during Game 5 of the 2012 playoffs against the Nashville Predators, causing the latter to have a nervous breakdown. Franzen confirmed the encounter, saying “I get shivers when I think about it. … It was coarse, nasty and shocking. But that was just one out of a hundred things he did. The tip of the iceberg.” He went on to call Babcock a “terrible person” and “a bully who was always attacking people.”
DETROIT FREE PRESS: Chelios claimed the players informed Red Wings GM Ken Holland of the incident and he came into the room, make a speech and defended Babcock. Holland, who’s now the GM of the Edmonton Oilers, said no player came forward to complain about Babcock’s behavior. Holland said he’s spoken to Chelios about the incident and the blueliner admitted it didn’t take place following the Nashville game. He said he was in the room when Holland told the players to come and see him if they had a problem with Babcock.
“The situation Chelios described had nothing to do with Franzen,” Holland said. “They were separate situations. That happened after a game in San Jose when someone had said something on a telecast about there being unrest in the locker room. I told players they could come to me if they had anything to say. No one did.”
THE SCORE: The Chicago Blackhawks announced they will be conducting a thorough review of assistant coach Marc Crawford after former NHL player Sean Avery claimed Crawford kicked him during a game while both were with the Los Angeles Kings.
Former NHLer Daniel Carcillo posted a transcript of former Vancouver Canucks defenseman Brent Sopel talking about Crawford’s troubling behavior during a Spittin Chiclets podcast last year. Sopel claimed Crawford kicked and choked him and attacked players personally.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Babcock’s firing opened the floodgates of stories from former players of his abusive behavior and those of Crawford and now-former Calgary Flames bench boss Bill Peters. I don’t think we’ve heard the last of these tales.
CBS SPORTS: Colorado Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson is listed as week-to-week with a lower-body injury. Colin Wilson (lower body) will undergo surgery and is expected to be out long term.
SPORTSNET: The Vancouver Canucks have granted goaltender Jacob Markstrom a leave of absence to attend his father’s memorial service.
OTTAWA SUN: Senators defenseman Mark Borowiecki foiled a robbery attempt in Vancouver. He clotheslined a thief off his bicycle, wrestled him to the ground, and retrieved the backpack the man had stolen from a car.
TSN: The Montreal Canadiens placed goaltender Keith Kinkaid on waivers and recalled goalie Cayden Primeau and forward Matthew Peca. They also announced defenseman Victor Mete will be sidelined for two weeks with an injured ankle.
The Penguins have agreed to terms with forward Stefan Noesen on a one-year contract.
The two-way deal runs through the end of this season and has a value of $700,000 at the NHL level.
Niklas Kronwall retires, Coyotes officially introduce Phil Kessel, the latest NHL CBA speculation, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
THE DETROIT NEWS: After 15 NHL seasons, all of them with the Red Wings, defenseman Niklas Kronwall announced his retirement yesterday. He’ll stay with the team as a special advisor to general manager Steve Yzerman, who praised Kronwall as one of the best two-way blueliners of his era.
Detroit Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall retired after 15 NHL seasons (Photo via NHL Images).
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kronwall joined the Wings during their years as a league powerhouse, helping them reach two Stanley Cup Finals and winning the Cup in 2008. Known for his physical style of play, any player on the receiving end of his big hits were said to be “Kronwalled.” Yzerman already prepared for the possibility of Kronwall’s retirement, signing Patrik Nemeth this summer.
ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes yesterday formally introduced winger Phil Kessel to the Arizona media. Acquired earlier this summer in a trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Kessel hopes to improve the Coyotes and grow their fan base.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Ken Campbell believes escrow is the key to securing an extension to the current NHL collective bargaining agreement. It could be attained if the league figures out a way to reduce escrow payments by the players by four-to-six percent.
One way would be freezing or limiting the rise of the salary cap. If revenue keeps rising (especially under a new U.S. TV deal and player tracking technology that would increase revenue from legalized gambling), that would reduce the escrow claw-backs from players’ salaries.
Campbell points out that would mean less spendable money in the system. It would affect players seeking new contracts and lead to more contract buyouts, cost-cutting trades, and demotions to the minors.
Campbell also cites a league source claiming the NHLPA’s five-percent escalator could be abolished. “And now it’s a matter of needing your revenues to grow at a greater rate than the growth in the upper limit. So you either freeze the upper limit, which would bring a more dramatic reduction in escrow, or you fix the upper limit for a number of years.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see how the league and the PA address the escrow issue. The PA executive and other players will be meeting today in Chicago to review their current negotiations with the league and plan their next move. They have until Sept. 15 to exercise their early opt-out clause. However, there’s speculation that date could be extended up to Jan. 1 to allow more time to work out a three-year CBA extension to 2024-25.
YARDBARKER: The Los Angeles Kings are reportedly making progress with restricted free agent center Adrian Kempe. It’s expected he’ll sign a short-term bridge deal.
CBS SPORTS: Winger Stefan Noesen signed a professional tryout agreement with the Dallas Stars. Meanwhile, former 2013 first-round pick Kerby Rychel signed a one-year contract with KHL club Neftekhimik.
FOXSPORTS OHIO: Former Columbus Blue Jacket Jean-Luc Grand-Pierre has joined the club’s broadcast team as an in-studio analyst.
THE SCORE: Barrie Colts head coach and Hockey Hall-of-Famer Dale Hawerchuk is stepping aside for health reasons.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The club didn’t reveal any further details regarding Hawerchuk’s condition. Here’s hoping he gets well soon.
TSN: Rick Olcyzk joined the NHL’s Seattle expansion franchise. A former Toronto Maple Leafs scout, he also spent four seasons with the Carolina Hurricanes as an assistant general manager alongside Seattle GM Ron Francis.
While focus is on @NHLPA and Sept. 15, a reminder NHL officials’ contract expired Aug. 31. Negotiations are continuing, however, and officials, who go to training camp Saturday, are optimistic they’ll have a new deal before the season starts.
Several stars could reach notable milestones this season, Justin Williams takes a break, an update on Cam Talbot, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin and Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby are among several NHL stars chasing notable milestones this season. With 658 career goals, Ovechkin could reach 700 by season’s end. Crosby, meanwhile, is 89 points shy of 1,300.
Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin is in range of reaching 700 career goals this season (Photo via NHL Images).
Others chasing statistical milestones include Joe Thornton (1,500 points), Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara (1,500 games played), and New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (450 victories).
NEWSOBSERVER.COM: Justin Williams isn’t retiring but announced yesterday he’s “stepping away” from the NHL. “Because of my current indecision, and without the type of mental and physical commitment that I’m accustomed to having, I’ve decided to step away from the game,” he announced in a statement yesterday.
Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell also released a statement thanking Williams for his honesty and respecting his decision.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Williams may be taking a break but there’s a feeling he could return at some point this season. He’ll have until the Feb. 24 trade deadline to do so. I’ll have more on this in the Rumors section.
THE ATHLETIC: Calgary Flames goaltender Cam Talbot returned to his roots in Caledonia, Ontario this summer in hopes of getting his career back on track. He spent six weeks at the Grainger Training Centre with his long-time goalie coach, Pat Di Pronio.
Lance Bouma has signed a PTO with the L.A Kings, spent last year in the Swiss League.
Plano native and UFA Stefan Noesen skating today with Stars players at informal skate. He’s wearing Stars gear and had No. 81 on helmet. There aren’t any other non-Stars at skate. Could mean something, could just be borrowing gear while looking for next opportunity. We’ll see.
Game recaps, Eric Staal reaches a milestone, Predators re-sign Pekka Rinne, and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Pekka Rinne made 26 saves and Roman Josi scored the only goal as the Nashville Predators blanked the Boston Bruins 1-0. Bruins winger Brad Marchand received a 10-minute misconduct for unsportsmanlike conduct after mocking Colton Sissons embellishment of a high stick.
Nashville Predators re-sign goaltender Pekka Rinne to a two-year contract extension. (Photo via NHL Images)
Earlier in the day, the Predators re-signed Rinne to a two-year, $10-million contract extension. He was slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As per Cap Friendly, the 36-year-old Rinne also has a modified no-trade clause and a no-movement clause, the latter preventing the Predators from demoting him to the minors. He’s taking a reduced annual average value (his current one is $7 million per season) to stay in Nashville but the 2018 Vezina Trophy winner obviously preferred taking a pay cut to stay with the Cup-contending Predators over gambling in next summer’s UFA market.
Jason Pominville and Jeff Skinner each scored twice and Jack Eichel collected three assists as the Buffalo Sabres romped to a 9-2 beatdown of the Ottawa Senators. Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin left the game after blocking a shot with his foot but is expected to suit up for today’s game against the New York Rangers.
Andrei Vasilevskiy made 34 saves for his seventh straight win and Steven Stamkos scored twice to give the Tampa Bay Lightning a 4-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens. The Habs were playing without forward Paul Byron, who’s sidelined for at least the next three games with a lower-body injury.
Kyle Brodziak scored twice as the Edmonton Oilers hung on for a 4-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings.
Thanks to Thomas Greiss’ 35-save shutout performance, the New York Islanders blanked the New Jersey Devils 3-0 to pick up their fifth straight win. Earlier in the day, the Devils placed forward Stefan Noesen on injured reserve.
Frederik Andersen kicked out 31 shots and Morgan Rielly tallied two goals as the Toronto Maple Leafs shut out the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-0.
Jason Dickinson’s overtime goal lifted the Dallas Stars to a 4-3 victory over the Washington Capitals. The Stars were skating without Alexander Radulov, who returned to Dallas for ongoing medical treatment and will miss the remaining three games of their road trip.
Eric Staal scored his 400th career NHL goal and Nick Seeler collected three points in the Minnesota Wild’s 5-1 win over the St. Louis Blues.
Marc-Andre Fleury picked up his 50th career shutout as the Vegas Golden Knights beat the Carolina Hurricanes 3-0.
Sean Monahan’s two goals helped the Calgary Flames pick up their fourth straight win by downing the Chicago Blackhawks 5-3. Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith was ejected early in the first period after receiving a game misconduct for boarding.
Shorthanded goals by Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown carried the Los Angeles Kings to a 4-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The San Jose Sharks edged the Philadelphia Flyers 4-3 thanks to two goals by Timo Meier, with the second coming in overtime. Flyers goaltender Michal Neuvirth missed the morning practice and returned to Philadelphia to be evaluated by team doctors.
TSN: Winnipeg Jets forward Brendan Lemieux faces a hearing from the NHL’s department of player safety for a high hit on Florida Panthers forward Vincent Trocheck during Friday’s NHL Global Series in Helsinki.