NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 11, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 11, 2022

Jack Eichel tallies a hat trick in his second return to Buffalo, Charlie McAvoy rejoins the Bruins, the Blues and Blue Jackets end their losing skids, P.K. Subban steps behind the microphone, and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Jack Eichel tallied a hat trick in his second return to Buffalo as the Vegas Golden Knights beat the Sabres 7-4. Eichel and teammate Chandler Stephenson finished with four points each as the Golden Knights (13-2-0) extended their winning streak to nine games. Tage Thompson scored twice for the Sabres, who dropped to 7-7-0.

Vegas Golden Knights center Jack Eichel (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fully healthy and settled in with the Golden Knights, Eichel is tearing it up offensively this season with 19 points in 15 games. He’s only been scoreless in three games thus far and is playing a big role in the Golden Knights’ red-hot start to this season.

Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy tallied what proved to be the game-winner in a 3-1 victory over the Calgary Flames (5-6-0). McAvoy was making his season debut after recovering from off-season shoulder surgery. David Pastrnak had a goal and an assist while Linus Ullmark made 31 saves as the Bruins improved their record to 12-2-0.

The St. Louis Blues snapped their eight-game losing skid by dropping the San Jose Sharks 5-3 on third-period goals by Calle Rosen and Noel Acciari. Robert Thomas and Pavel Buchnevich each collected two assists for the Blues (4-8-0). Timo Meier, Tomas Hertl and Logan Couture scored for the 3-9-3 Sharks.

Speaking of ending losing streaks, the Columbus Blue Jackets ended a five-game winless skid with a 5-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. Johnny Gaudreau led the way with a goal and two assists and Boone Jenner scored twice for the 4-9-0 Blue Jackets. The Flyers (7-4-2) got goals from defensemen Tony DeAngelo and Ivan Provorov.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski left the game in the first period with an upper-body injury. No word yet as to how long he’ll be out of the lineup.

An overtime goal by Nico Hischier lifted the New Jersey Devils over the Ottawa Senators 4-3. The red-hot Devils (11-3-0) have won eight straight while the slumping Senators (4-8-1) have dropped seven straight. Devils goaltender Vitek Vanecek left the game in the third period with an undisclosed injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Devils already have two goalies sidelined in Mackenzie Blackwood and Jonathan Bernier. Losing Vanecek could threaten to derail what’s been an impressive start for this club. Meanwhile, the Senators lost goalie Magnus Hellberg yesterday as he was reclaimed off waivers by the Seattle Kraken, who had signed him this summer.

The Carolina Hurricanes got a hat trick from Andrei Svechnikov to thump the Edmonton Oilers 7-2 and boost their record to 9-4-1. Jack Campbell gave up all seven goals as the Oilers fell to 8-7-0.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers invested $25 million over five years last summer in Campbell in the hope he would bolster their goaltending. He’s won six of 10 stars but has been wildly inconsistent. That’s leading to calls for the Oilers to give more starts to backup Stuart Skinner, who has better stats in his five outings this season.

A six-goal third period powered the New York Rangers to an 8-2 drubbing of the Detroit Red Wings. Rangers defenseman Adam Fox finished the night with a goal and three assists as his club improved its record to 7-5-3. Ville Husso gave up all eight goals for the 7-4-3 Red Wings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This wasn’t all on Husso. The Wings flat-out collapsed in that period, with four of the Rangers’ goals coming in a 2:57 span.

The Colorado Avalanche tallied four second-period goals as they defeated the Nashville Predators 5-3. Mikko Rantanen and Logan O’Connor led the way with two goals apiece while Alexandar Georgiev made 32 saves for the 7-4-1 Avalanche. The Predators, meanwhile, fell to 5-8-1.

An overtime goal by Kevin Fiala gave the Los Angeles Kings a 2-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks (5-5-3). Jonathan Quick kicked out 31 shots for the Kings (9-6-3) while Petr Mrazek stopped 33 shots in his first game since being sidelined on Oct. 21.

The Arizona Coyotes got a 24-save shutout from Karel Vejmelka to blank the New York Islanders 2-0. Travis Boyd and Jack McBain were the goal scorers in the third period as the Coyotes improve to 6-6-1 while the Islanders are 9-6-0. Cal Clutterbuck returned to the Isles lineup after missing a game with an injury but Casey Cizikas left this contest with an upper-body injury.

HEADLINES

ESPN.COM: Former NHL defenseman P.K. Subban is joining the network as an in-studio analyst on a three-year contract. Subban contributed to the network’s coverage of the 2022 Stanley Cup playoffs. He recently retired after 13 NHL seasons.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m not surprised to see Subban move on to television work. He’s a natural in front of the camera and could bring some personality to ESPN’s hockey coverage.

The New Jersey Devils named Hall-of-Famer Martin Brodeur as their new executive vice president of hockey operations. His duties will include personnel decisions, player recruitment, scouting and overseeing the club’s goalie development department. He’s worked in their front office in business development since 2018. Brodeur spent all but one of his 22 NHL seasons with the Devils, backstopping them to three Stanley Cups.

DAILY FACEOFF: Vancouver Canucks winger Tanner Pearson will be sidelined for four-to-six weeks following successful hand surgery.

CBS SPORTS: The Seattle Kraken placed defenseman Jamie Oleksiak (lower body) on injured reserve.

TSN: Veteran forward Alex Galchenyuk has signed a one-year AHL contract with the Colorado Eagles. They are the minor-league affiliate of the Avalanche.

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Tempe City Council yesterday voted unanimously to schedule and prepare a public vote on May 16, 2023, regarding a proposed arena and entertainment complex.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 22, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 22, 2021

The Kraken unveil their roster, the Bruins close to re-signing Taylor Hall, the Oilers reportedly ink Mike Smith, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Seattle Kraken finally have a full roster as they made their 30-player selections in their expansion draft yesterday. Mark Giordano, Jordan Eberle and Yanni Gourde were among the notable players chosen by the Kraken.

The Seattle Kraken officially announced their roster on July 21. (NHL.com).

Gourde will have to wait for a little way to make his debut with the Kraken after undergoing shoulder surgery this week. His recovery period is estimated to be four months.

Adam Larsson, Chris Driedger and Jamie Oleksiak were considered draft selections from the Edmonton Oilers, Florida Panthers and Dallas Stars respectively after signing new contracts with the Kraken. The trio was slated to become unrestricted free agents on July 28 but the Kraken had a three-day window to exclusively negotiate with free agents exposed in the draft.

Larsson signed a four-year, $16 million contract. Driedger’s new deal is for three years and is worth an annual average value of $3.5 million while Oleksiak’s is for five years with a $4.6 million AAV.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The unofficial Kraken roster I posted yesterday based on media links throughout the day turned out to be the official list. You can read my take on the expansion draft on Bleacher Report.

The Kraken’s home opener is slated for Oct. 23 against the Vancouver Canucks. The NHL’s full 2021-22 schedule will be released on Thursday.

No side deals emerged during the draft despite weeks of hype. General manager Ron Francis was asked if he has any trades in hand that could be unveiled when the expansion draft roster freeze is lifted at 1 pm ET today. “Probably a lot less than you guys think there might be,” he said.

In other news…

TSN: The Boston Bruins are reportedly closing in on a new deal for left wing Taylor Hall. Darren Dreger expects it’ll be a four-year contract worth close to $24 million in total.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Not a surprise. Most of the speculation about Hall’s negotiations with the Bruins suggested a three-to-four year contract worth around $6 million annually.

SPORTSNET: Mike Smith is reportedly returning to the Edmonton Oilers. The 39-year-old goaltender is expected to ink a two-year deal worth around $2 million annually.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Not a bad cap hit but it’s still a bit of a gamble to invest more than one year into a goalie who turns 40 in March. It remains to be seen who will share the netminding duties with Smith. The Oilers are reportedly shopping Mikko Koskinen. He has a year left on his deal worth $4.5 million but they can’t find any takers. There are no immediate plans to buy him out.

Speaking of the Oilers, they’ve engaged in preliminary contract talks with Tyson Barrie after losing defenseman Adam Larsson to the Kraken in the expansion draft.

THE BUFFALO NEWS: The Sabres have started contract discussions with Rasmus Dahlin. The 21-year-old defenseman is a restricted free agent after coming off his three-year entry-level contract.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens hired Trevor Letowski as an assistant coach. He spent the past 10 years coaching in the Ontario Hockey League, the last three as head coach of the Windsor Spitfires.










NHL Rumor Mill – June 14, 2021

NHL Rumor Mill – June 14, 2021

Could the Avalanche let Gabriel Landeskog walk via free agency? Could they shop Samuel Girard? Check out the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill.

LATEST AVALANCHE SPECULATION

THE DENVER POST: Mike Chambers, Mark Kiszla and Ryan O’Halloron discussed possible offseason moves for the Colorado Avalanche following their second-round elimination by the Vegas Golden Knights.

Could the Colorado Avalanche part ways with Gabriel Landeskog? (NHL Images)

They mused over Gabriel Landeskog’s future with the club following his disappointing performance against the Golden Knights. Chambers speculates the Avs could offer their captain a “take it or leave it” offer of $5 million annually and not at his preferred term. O’Halloran believes a “bad team with salary-cap space” like the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks seeking a “heart-and-guts leader like Landeskog” will give him an offer he can’t or won’t refuse.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic faces some difficult decisions this summer. Cap Friendly indicates he has $61.7 million invested in 18 players with Landeskog, goaltender Philipp Grubauer and winger Brandon Saad as unrestricted free agents and defenseman Cale Makar a restricted free agent.

The Avs will get some additional cap space when they lose a player to the Seattle Kraken in the expansion draft but it will still be expensive to re-sign those four. They can’t afford to lose Grubauer to free agency and Makar will get a hefty raise as a Norris Trophy finalist.

How much Landeskog wants will determine if he still has a future in Colorado. Chambers’ pitch of $5 million annually would probably ensure his departure.

Samuel Girard also had a difficult series against the Golden Knights. The 23-year-old defenseman is earning $5 million annually through 2025-26. Kiszla suggests Sakic check Girard’s value in the trade market, pointing out they have enough blue-line “wizardry” with Makar. O’Halloran thinks Sakic will listen to offers as the Avs need cap flexibility for Makar’s new contract. If they keep Girard, O’Halloran believes they need to add a defenseman like Jamie Oleksiak to give him the space he needs to use his puck-moving skills.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Moving Girard to free up some cap space makes sense, but it could also deplete their defense corps if they lose an unprotected defenseman (like perhaps Ryan Graves) in the expansion draft. If they trade Girard they could promote from within or perhaps look for an affordable physical defender.

If Sakic decides to make a blockbuster move, Chambers believes he should target a third-line power forward similar to Vegas’ Alex Tuch and “a big, heavy defenseman”. Kiszla proposed offering Girard to the Columbus Blue Jackets for Seth Jones, though he admitted the Jackets could be hesitant to do that deal. O’Halloran proposed pursuing Buffalo’s Jack Eichel but also suggested more realistic options like Montreal’s Phillip Danault or Toronto’s Nick Foligno.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sakic has shown in the past his willingness to make big moves. We can’t discount he’ll make a big deal or two this summer to address his club’s needs.

Trading for Jones seemed like a bad idea given the Avs’ blueline depth. But if they lose Graves and decide to trade Girard, perhaps pursuing the Jacket defenseman wouldn’t be such a bad idea. Sakic could consider signing Danault or Foligno via free agency but he could seek better options in the trade market.










NHL Rumor Mill – April 30, 2021

NHL Rumor Mill – April 30, 2021

Another look at how this summer expansion draft could affect several teams in the NHL rumor mill.

SPORTSNET: Rory Boylen recently looked at several teams that could be faced with a tough loss or an interesting decision to make in this summer’s expansion draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun and Ryan S. Clark previously did a feature examining six clubs that could make side deals with the Seattle Kraken to protect key players. Boylen is examining nine teams.

The Colorado Avalanche needs Erik Johnson to waive his no-movement clause. If he does, they’ll have to decide if they’ll protect eight skaters or seven forwards and three defensemen. Under the former, they could lose a forward like Andre Burakovsky, Joonas Donskoi, Tyson Jost or Valeri Nichushkin. Under the latter, Ryan Graves could be left unprotected. If Johnson doesn’t waive his clause, they’ll have to go the eight skaters option, leaving the Seattle Kraken the choice of Graves or one of those forwards.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Athletic’s Ryan S.Clark reported Johnson is expected to waive his NMC. The Kraken will likely pass on him given his age (33), injury history and his $6 million annual average value through 2022-23. He also reported the Avs are willing to trade one of their forwards for something decent in return and are open to discussing their needs with the Kraken

The status of sidelined defenseman Oscar Klefbom and how general manager Ken Holland handles pending unrestricted free agents like Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Adam Larsson and Tyson Barrie could affect the Edmonton Oilers’ plans. If Klefbom is healthy and Larsson or Barrie is re-signed before the draft, the Oilers could lose a defenseman like Ethan Bear. Caleb Jones could be protected only if the UFA blueliners aren’t re-signed and Klefbom is exposed.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Klefbom’s status remains uncertain. Holland could wait until after the expansion draft to re-sign Larsson and/or Barrie. That depends, of course, on whether the Kraken have interest in either blueliner during their exclusive free-agent interview window from July 18-21.

Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba (NHL Images)

Five members of the Minnesota Wild (Zach Parise, Mats Zuccarello, Jared Spurgeon, Ryan Suter and Jonas Brodin) have no-movement clauses. If none of them waive their clauses, the Wild could be forced to make a side deal with the Kraken or risk losing defenseman Matt Dumba if they protect just three defensemen or risk losing a forward by protecting eight skaters. If they’re faced with leaving Dumba unprotected they could attempt to trade him before the protected lists are due.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Clark reported Wild management could have discussions with those five players about waiving their NMCs. Having Parise, Suter and Zuccarello waive would be the best scenario. They’re aging players carrying hefty salary-cap hits for at least three more seasons who likely won’t be enticing to the Kraken.

If Dumba becomes the odd man out, I expect they’ll try to trade him rather than lose him for nothing in the expansion draft. Boylen also suggested they could make a side deal with the Kraken by sending them a player to ensure they take someone other than Dumba in the draft.

The Kraken could make a push for Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Dougie Hamilton if he’s left unsigned and unprotected. If he’s re-signed, he’ll have to be protected and that would leave blueliner Jake Bean available. The Kraken could also have a shot at goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic if pending UFA Petr Mrazek is re-signed before the draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: LeBrun speculated the Hurricanes could hold off on signing Hamilton in order to protect Bean, leaving Brady Skjei exposed. They could do the same with Mrazek to protect Nedeljkovic. There’s a chance Hamilton or Mrazek could sign with the Kraken but their priority could be staying in Carolina.

St. Louis Blues defenseman Vince Dunn could be left exposed if they protect Torey Krug, Colton Parayko and Justin Faulk. If they go the eight-skaters route, they risk losing a forward like Jaden Schwartz, David Perron or Robert Thomas. Dunn was a fixture in the rumor mill this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dunn could be traded to another club or the Blues could try to work out a side deal sending the Kraken another player to ensure Dunn isn’t selected in the expansion draft.

The Nashville Predators are expected to protect eight skaters to ensure defensemen Roman Josi, Ryan Ellis, Mattias Ekholm and Dante Fabbro aren’t available. Forwards Luke Kunin or Mikael Granlund (if signed before the draft) could be protected. Boylen wonders if Ryan Johansen and Matt Duchene could be exposed, though the Kraken probably won’t take one of those high-priced forwards without a sufficient sweetener.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll take quite an offer to convince Kraken GM Ron Francis to take on Johansen or Duchene. Both are underachieving forwards carrying $8 million cap hits for several more years.

Travis Dermott is expected to be the odd man out for the Toronto Maple Leafs. However, contract negotiations with pending UFA winger Zach Hyman could affect which players they end up protecting. If Hyman is re-signed, they’ll have to protect seven forwards, leaving an extra defenseman exposed.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Under that scenario they’ll protect Morgan Rielly, Jake Muzzin and T.J. Brodie, leaving Justin Holl exposed. They could take the chance on Hyman re-signing after the expansion draft to protect four blueliners and leave Dermott exposed. If they sign Hyman, they could try to work out a deal with the Kraken to ensure Holl isn’t taken.

Boylen expects Calgary Flames winger Milan Lucic will waive his no-movement clause to allow the club to protect a younger forward like Dillon Dube or Glenn Gawdin. He also wondered if the Kraken would take defenseman Mark Giordano if left exposed. The 38-year-old Flames captain has a year remaining on his contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Boylen observed that big changes could be coming to the Flames roster following this season. Those, however, could occur following the expansion draft. As for Giordano, the Kraken could prefer players who fit into their long-term plans.

The Dallas Stars could go the eight-skater option to protect four defensemen if Jamie Oleksiak is re-signed. That could leave a forward such as Radek Faksa, Denis Gurianov or Joe Pavelski exposed. Boylen feels it could be easier for the Stars if Oleksiak isn’t protected or a side deal is worked out.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wait until after the draft to re-sign Oleksiak and take the chance that the Kraken will pass on him or else talk trade to ensure he’s not taken in the draft if they opt to protect seven forwards and three blueliners.










NHL Trade Deadline: Top 5 Central Division Trade Candidates

NHL Trade Deadline: Top 5 Central Division Trade Candidates

 










NHL Rumor Mill – April 10, 2021

NHL Rumor Mill – April 10, 2021

Could the Blues pursue Taylor Hall and trade Mike Hoffman? Could the Kings shop Alex Iafallo? Are teams calling about the Bruins’ Jake DeBrusk? Get the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill.

UPDATES ON HALL, HOFFMAN AND IAFALLO

TSN: Frank Seravalli wonders if St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong might be a buyer and a seller leading up to Monday’s trade deadline. Armstrong has a history of trading pending unrestricted free agents with his club on the playoff bubble.

Could the St. Louis Blues trade Mike Hoffman to make room for Buffalo’s Taylor Hall? (NHL Images)

Winger Mike Hoffman sits at No. 3 on the trade-bait list. Armstrong has also spoken to teams about center Tyler Bozak. There’s no indication if winger Jaden Schwartz is available.

The Blues are also believed among the teams with an interest in Buffalo Sabres winger Taylor Hall. Swapping out Hoffman for Hall might work if the Sabres retain half of Hall’s $8 million salary-cap hit.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Armstrong could be reluctant to part with Schwartz as he could still help the Blues clinch a playoff berth. As for Hall, Florida Hockey Now’s George Richards believes the Panthers could also be interested in the Sabres winger.

With over $16 million in trade deadline cap space, the Panthers are in a better position than the Blues to acquire Hall. He has a no-movement clause but might be more receptive about joining one of the top clubs in the league in the Panthers (yes, you read that right, check the standings) or a struggling one like the Blues (again, check the standings).

Speaking of Hoffman, Richards shot down the notion of a possible return to Florida. He also wouldn’t be surprised if Panthers GM Bill Zito pursues a defenseman like David Savard of the Columbus Blue Jackets, who remains atop Seravalli’s trade-bait list.

Los Angeles Kings forward Alex Iafallo moved to No. 5 on the list. Seravalli reports Kings GM Rob Blake has taken calls about the pending UFA though the two sides continue to discuss a contract extension.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blake’s ensuring he’s got some trade options in case an agreement on a new contract with Iafallo isn’t reached by Monday. As Seravalli said, this could go either way.

TEAMS CALLING ABOUT DEBRUSK

THE ATHLETIC: listed Boston Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk at No. 21 on the final update to their NHL Trade Deadline Big Board. Teams continue to call the Bruins to find out what it might take to acquire the 24-year-old winger. What makes him intriguing is his playoff production.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Everything I’ve read and heard in the Boston media suggests the Bruins are fearful of trading DeBrusk and watching him blossom as a scorer elsewhere. I don’t dismiss the notion of a DeBrusk trade but the Bruins would probably prefer a young winger of equal or greater value and potential in return.

LATEST ON THE OILERS

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson reports Oilers GM Ken Holland doesn’t intend to part with first-round picks for rental players. He didn’t rule out making that move if it was for a player with term remaining on his contract. Matheson believes that could also cost a top-prospect, which would probably be a non-starter. Given the Oilers limited salary-cap space, Holland would have to have a trade partner willing to absorb 50 percent of an acquired player’s salary.

OTHER NOTABLE UPDATES TO TSN’S TRADE-BAIT LIST

With their playoff math looking hazy, the Dallas Stars are starting to get calls about some of their pending UFAs. Big-bodied defenseman Jamie Oleksiak is drawing the most interest, moving up to No. 9 on the trade-bait list.

Seravalli also removed Tanner Pearson from the board following the winger signing a three-year contract extension this week with the Vancouver Canucks. Injuries to Detroit Red Wings forward Bobby Ryan and Anaheim Ducks winger Rickard Rakell takes both players off the list.