NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 25, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 25, 2019

Hurricanes upset the Capitals to advance to the second round, the full second-round schedule released, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: There will be a new Stanley Cup champion this season as the Carolina Hurricanes edged the Washington Capitals 4-3 in double overtime to win Game 7 and advance to the second round of the playoffs. Brock McGinn scored the winning goal as the Hurricanes overcame 2-0 and 3-1 deficits to force overtime. Justin Williams picked up his NHL record 15th career Game 7 point by assisting on McGinn’s goal. The Hurricanes will face the New York Islanders with Game 1 of that series starting tomorrow night at Barclays Center in New York.

Brock McGinn scored in double overtime as the Carolina Hurricanes edged the Washington Capitals 4-3 in Game 7 of their opening-round series (Photo via NHL.com).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The spring of upsets continues in this year’s postseason, with all four division leaders eliminated from the opening round for the first time in NHL history. This was the first series victory for the Hurricanes in 10 years. Their remarkable run this season reignited their once-dormant fan base.

It was a tough loss for the Capitals, who’d hoped to stage a second straight championship run. Not to detract from the Hurricanes’ impressive never-say-die attitude and solid work ethic in this series, but the Capitals were also their own worst enemies. Having two two-goal leads slip through their fingers and failing to generate a shot on goal during a rare overtime powerplay in this game will haunt them throughout the offseason. 

The league released the full second-round schedule. It kicks off tonight with the Boston Bruins hosting the Columbus Blue Jackets in Game 1 of their series while the Dallas Stars travel to St. Louis to face the Blues.

Calgary Flames defenseman Mark Giordano, Nashville Predators winger Wayne Simmonds, and Hurricanes winger Justin Williams are this year’s finalists for the Messier NHL Leadership Award.



DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars defenseman Jamie Oleksiak (lower-body injury) is ruled out for Game 1 of Dallas’ series against the St. Louis Blues.

VANCOUVER SUN: The Canucks re-signed goaltender Thatcher Demko to a two-year, $2.1-million contract. 

WGR 550: The Buffalo Sabres and Ottawa Senators have sought permission from the Pittsburgh Penguins to speak with assistant coach Jacques Martin. 

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: The Blackhawks have parted ways with assistant coach Don Granato. 

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 29, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 29, 2019

Game recaps, an update on Tuukka Rask, Stars reacquire Oleksiak from Penguins, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: The Philadelphia Flyers extended their win streak to a season-high fourth game by defeating the Winnipeg Jets 3-1. Rookie goaltender Carter Hart made 31 saves while teammate Travis Konecny scored one goal and assisted on another. Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere was a late scratch with a lower-body injury and will miss tonight’s game against the New York Rangers. 

New Jersey Devils center Travis Zajac had a four-point performance in a 6-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins (Photo via NHL Images)

New Jersey Devils center Travis Zajac had a four-point game (one goal, three assists) to lead his club to a 6-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins, handing the latter their fourth loss in their last five games. Devils goaltender Keith Kinkaid kicked out 37 shots for the win. 

Speaking of the Penguins, they traded defenseman Jamie Oleksiak to the Dallas Stars yesterday in exchange for a fourth-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft. It was the same pick the Penguins sent the Stars in Dec. 2017 to acquire Oleksiak. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This move was made by the Penguins in part to free up salary-cap space to perhaps pursue a second-line left wing or a third-line center before the Feb. 25 trade deadline. It also frees up space on the blueline for Justin Schultz’s eventual return. Schultz suffered a broken leg earlier this season and is listed as week-to-week.

Oleksiak will replace Marc Methot on the Stars’ blueline. Methot underwent season-ending knee surgery on Jan. 15. His tenure with the Stars is likely over as he’s an unrestricted free agent this summer. Oleksiak is signed through 2020-21 with an affordable annual salary-cap hit of $2.137 million. 

Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, San Jose Sharks captain Joe Pavelski, and Minnesota Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Jan. 27.

BOSTON HERALD: The Bruins placed goaltender Tuukka Rask (concussion) on injured reserve, though they haven’t ruled out his return to the lineup for Thursday game against Philadelphia. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE:  Former Canadiens center Tomas Plekanec is suing to recover a $200,000 loan to finance a romantic comedy starring his wife and featuring their two children. 

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 21, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 21, 2018

Game recaps, Coyotes ownership change “imminent”, and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price made 36 saves to pick up his 300th career NHL victory by defeating the Arizona Coyotes 2-1. Price is the 35th goalie in NHL history to reach 300 wins and only the second Canadiens netminder to reach that milestone. Paul Byron scored the winning goal in the third period.

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price picked up his 300th career victory in a 2-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes (Photo via NHL Images).

Speaking of the Coyotes, a report out of Phoenix cites sources claiming a change in ownership “is pending and imminent”. Current owner Andrew Barroway has been exploring potential ownership partners. There’s been speculation he could sell part or all of his shares to one or more possible owners.  

Vegas Golden Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury picked up his 424th career win as his club doubled up the New York Islanders 4-2. Fleury moved into sole possession of ninth place on the NHL’s all-time wins list. Teammate Nate Schmidt had a goal and two assists.

Auston Matthews and Morgan Reilly each collected four points as the Toronto Maple Leafs crushed the Florida Panthers 6-1. Matthews had two goals and two assists while Reilly had four assists. Teammates John Tavares scored twice and Mitch Marner had three points.

Winnipeg Jets winger Nikolaj Ehlers tallied a hat trick and teammate Connor Hellebuyck made 41 saves in a 5-3 win over the San Jose Sharks, ending the latter’s five-game win streak. Jets captain Blake Wheeler collected three assists.

Tampa Bay Lightning forward J.T. Miller tallied the game-winning goal in the seventh round of a shootout to give his club a 5-4 win over the Calgary Flames, extending their points streak to 11 games. Flames forwards Johnny Gaudreau and Sam Bennett each had a goal and an assist.

Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak had a hand in all his club’s goals in a 3-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks. Pastrnak had a goal and two assists while Torey Krug had a goal and an assist.

Philadelphia Flyers rookie goaltender Carter Hart picked up his second win in as many games as his teammates killed off six penalties, including two five-on-three situations, to edge the Nashville Predators 2-1.

Bryan Rust scored twice and Casey DeSmith made 40 saves as the Pittsburgh Penguins tamed the Minnesota Wild 2-1. The Penguins played without defenseman Jamie Oleksiak, who suffered a concussion during his fight with Washington Capitals winger Tom Wilson on Wednesday.

The Detroit Red Wings snapped a four-game losing skid with a 4-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. Wings goaltender Jonathan Bernier kicked out 38 shots while Niklas Kronwall had a goal and an assist. Earlier in the day, the Hurricanes activated center Jordan Staal (concussion) off injured reserve. 

Cam Atkinson’s second-period penalty shot goal proved the game-winner as the Columbus Blue Jackets held on for a 2-1 win over the New Jersey Devils. It was Atkinson’s 20th goal of the year.

Chicago Blackhawks forwards Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat each had three-point performances to lead their club to a 5-2 victory over the Dallas Stars. The Blackhawks have won consecutive games for the first time since late-October.

Jacob Markstrom made 29 saves while Bo Horvat and Jake Virtanen each had a goal and an assist to give the Vancouver Canucks a 5-1 win over the St. Louis Blues.

THE BUFFALO NEWS: After the Sabres terminated the contract of Patrik Berglund, Swedish club Vasteras IK expressed interest in a reunion with him. Berglund played three seasons with them from 2005 to 2008 and also skated with them during the 2012 lockout. 

DENVER POST: Colorado Avalanche defenseman Nikita Zadorov will miss the next two games with a lower-body injury. 

OTTAWA SUN: Former Senators executive Randy Lee pleaded guilty yesterday in Buffalo to harassing a 19-year-old male hotel shuttle driver.


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 19, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 19, 2018

Latest on Alex Ovechkin, Erik Gudbranson, Jamie Oleksiak, Kris Versteeg and more in your NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin and wife Nastya welcomed their first child – a boy – into the world yesterday. The child was named Sergei in honor of Ovechkin’s late brother.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin is the father of a baby boy. (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to the Ovechkins on the birth of their son. 

SPORTSNET’s Rick Dhaliwal recently reported Vancouver Canucks defenseman Erik Gudbranson suffered no setback in his recovery from the shoulder surgery he underwent in March. He expects to be ready for the start of the season.

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Penguins defenseman Jamie Oleksiak recently spent four days in Ecuador helping to build homes as part of a charitable mission through ME to WE.

THE ATHLETIC: The Montreal Canadiens’ recent past and future came together on Friday as former Habs captain Saku Koivu and Jasperi Kotkaniemi (the third overall pick in the 2018 NHL Draft) met in Finland. They were taking part in an all-star game involving the greatest Finnish players past and present. Kotkaniemi hopes to emulate Koivu, who gave the youngster advice about what to expect playing and living in Montreal.

SPORT-EXPRESS’ Igor Eronko recently reported former NHL forward Kris Versteeg is expected to sign a contract with Avangard of the KHL.

NEWSDAY: New York Islanders general manager remains upbeat over the possibility his club’s new arena at Belmont Park could be completed earlier than expected. Construction is expected to being next spring. 

WINNIPEG SUN: Former Toronto Maple Leafs enforcer Kurt Walker passed away Friday night following a brief illness. He was 64. Walker played for three seasons with the Leafs from 1975-76 to 1977-78. He spent the past decade helping players in need through his website “Dignity After Hockey.” 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Walker’s family, friends and former teammates. In January 2016, I did a profile of Walker and his organization’s efforts to assist former NHL players who’d fallen on hard time. Follow this link to check it out. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 13, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 13, 2018

Blackhawks ship Marian Hossa’s contract to the Coyotes in a multi-player deal, Jets re-sign Connor Hellebuyck, this summer’s salary-arbitration schedule and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

ARIZONA SPORTS:  The Arizona Coyotes yesterday acquired the contract of right wing Marian Hossa from the Chicago Blackhawks. They also received center Vinnie Hinostroza, defenseman Jordan Oesterle and a 2019 third-round pick from the Blackhawks in exchange for  center Marcus Kruger, Mackenzie Entwistle (Arizona’s 69th overall pick in the 2018 NHL Draft), prospects Jordan Maletta and Andrew Campbell, and a 2019 fifth-round pick to Chicago.

Chicago Blackhawks ship Marian Hossa’s contract to Arizona Coyotes in a multi-player trade (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Once again, the Coyotes use their cap space to take on another team’s bad contract while also picking up some young assets in the deal. Hossa is as good as retired due to a skin condition. While his cap hit is $5.275-million per season through 2020-21, his actual salary is $1 million annually over the remainder of the deal. The Coyotes intend to place him on LTIR, meaning insurance will pick up $800K of his actual salary.

While the Blackhawks are getting back some assets in this deal, it remains a salary dump on their part. Cap Friendly indicates this move gives them $9.3 million in projected salary-cap space for 2018-19, providing room to perhaps make other moves in the coming weeks. I’ll have more on that later this morning in today’s Rumors section.

WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets yesterday avoided salary arbitration with goaltender Connor Hellebuyck by re-signing him to a six-year, $37-million contract. The annual average value is over $6.16 million, making the 25-year-old the sixth-highest paid goaltender in the league.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hellebucyk had a breakout performance last season. He was a finalist for the Vezina Trophy, carrying the Jets to the Western Conference Final for the first time in franchise history. It’ll be money well spent by the Jets if he maintains or exceeds his 2017-18 effort over the course of his new contract.

NHLPA.COM: The 2018 NHL salary-arbitration schedule was released yesterday. Among the notables are Winnipeg’s Jacob Trouba (July 20), Minnesota’s Matt Dumba (July 23) and Jason Zucker (July 28), Anaheim’s Brandon Montour (July 24), Ottawa’s Mark Stone (Aug. 3) and Vegas’ William Karlsson (Aug. 4). 

TRIBLIVE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins avoided salary arbitration with defenseman Jamie Oleksiak as he inked a three-year deal worth just over $2.137 million per season. 

EDMONTON SUN: Given the Oilers’ limited cap space ($4.98 million), defenseman Darnell Nurse could get a two-year bridge deal. 

NEW YORK POST: The Rangers signed forward Cody McLeod to a one-year, $750K contract. 

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: The Carolina Hurricanes signed forward Lucas Wallmark to a two-year, two-way contract. 

WGR 550: The Buffalo Sabres signed forward Sean Malone to a one-year, two-way deal. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens have invited former NHL defenseman Simon Despres to training camp on a professional tryout basis. He spent 193 games with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Anaheim Ducks. Despres spent last season in the Kontinental Hockey League with Bratislava Slovan.


Latest on the Sharks and Penguins – December 19, 2017

Latest on the Sharks and Penguins – December 19, 2017

With the holiday trade freeze beginning at midnight tonight, here’s a look at the latest speculation on the Sharks and Penguins in your NHL rumor mill.


NBC SPORTS BAY AREA:  Marcus White recently examined potential options for the San Jose Sharks to replace leading scorer Logan Couture (concussion) if he’s sidelined for a lengthy period. One of them is trading for a center, though White considers this the least likely move because of the potentially expensive asking prices. He also suggests trading for a winger, allowing them to move Tomas Hertl to center. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I agree with White that a trade seems unlikely. He feels the most likely option is giving second-year center Danny O’Regan more playing time. I expect general manager Doug Wilson will remain patient and hope Couture can soon return to action. If he’s out longer than expected and the Sharks start sliding down the standings in his absence, Wilson could be prompted to go shopping early in the New Year.  


PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Jason Mackey wonders if changes could be coming for the Pittsburgh Penguins. They’ve dropped five of their last seven games, including a 4-2 loss last night to the Colorado Avalanche. He suggests it could prompt the roster shakeup GM Jim Rutherford alluded to last week before the club embarked on its recent road trip. Their offense has sputtered of late, with just 10 goals in those five losses. Mackey suggests they could make a trade or call up promising forward Daniel Sprong. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Pens have been lacking a skilled two-way third-line center since Nick Bonino departed for Nashville via free agency last summer. Late last month it was reported defenseman Ian Cole was being shopped, with the Vegas Golden Knights, Toronto Maple Leafs and Colorado Avalanche thought to be interested. However, a deal involving Cole has yet to materialize. Rutherford could swing a trade before the holiday trade freeze goes into effect at midnight but I expect he’ll instead call up Sprong.


Rutherford was busy in the hours leading up to the holiday freeze. As per NBC Sports, he acquired defenseman Jamie Oleksiak from the Dallas Stars in exchange for a conditional fourth-round pick in 2019. He also acquired goaltender Michael Leighton and a fourth-round pick in 2019 from the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for forward Josh Archibald, minor-league goalie Sean McGuire and a 2019 sixth-round selection. 

The move gives the Penguins a little more depth in goal and on the blueline. However, it still doesn’t address their most pressing need: a skilled two-way third-line center. For that, Rutherford might have to wait until sometime in the New Year for find a suitable option.