NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 4, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 4, 2019

Game recaps, injury updates, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: New York Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba collected three points (a goal and two assists) against his former team as the Rangers downed the Winnipeg Jets 6-4. Teammate Mika Zibanejad had a four-point performance for the Rangers.  Nikolaj Ehlers had three assists and Blake Wheeler potted two goals for the Jets.

New York Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba enjoyed a three-point performance against his former club in a 6-4 victory over the Winnipeg Jets (Photo via NHL Images).

The Tampa Bay Lightning spoiled the Florida Panthers debut of goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky and coach Joel Quenneville with a 5-2 victory. The Bolts tallied three unanswered third-period goals. Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov – the reigning league scoring leader and MVP – tallied a goal and an assist.

Mikko Rantanen and Joonas Donskoi scored twice as the Colorado Avalanche beat the Calgary Flames 5-3. Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan had two points each for the Flames. Earlier in the day, the Flames announced general manager Brad Treliving signed a contract extension.

The Nashville Predators netted four unanswered third-period goals to defeat the Minnesota Wild 5-2. Matt Duchene collected three assists in his Predators debut while teammates Ryan Ellis and Filip Forsberg each had two points.

A 28-save performance by Tuukka Rask carried the Boston Bruins to a 2-1 win over the Dallas Stars. Brett Ritchie and Danton Heinen scored for the Bruins. Boston center David Krejci missed the game due to a lower-body injury. Stars forwards Blake Comeau and Jason Dickinson and defenseman Roman Polak left the game with various injuries. Comeau (lower body) is expected to be sidelined for weeks and Dickinson (upper body) for a week. Polak was stretchered from the game and a further update on his condition is expected today.

Connor Sheary scored twice against his former club to lead the Buffalo Sabres to a 3-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. It was the Sabres’ first regulation win against the Penguins in over six years.

Dougie Hamilton’s shootout goal gave the Carolina Hurricanes a 4-3 victory over the Montreal Canadiens. Earlier in the day, the Canadiens placed defenseman Gustav Olofsson on waivers.

John Gibson kicked out 28 shots as the Anaheim Ducks edged the Arizona Coyotes 2-1. Winger Phil Kessel had an assist in his Coyotes’ debut.


EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers defenseman Adam Larsson suffered a broken bone in his foot or ankle during the club’s season-opener against Vancouver on Wednesday. He’s been placed on long-term injury reserve. The club called up Evan Bouchard from their AHL affiliate in Bakersfield.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Larsson’s absence creates a big hole in the Oilers’ defense corps. However, it also provides an opportunity for young Bouchard to prove himself at the NHL level.

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: Golden Knights defenseman Nate Schmidt is listed as week-to-week with a lower-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Schmidt suffered the injury following a knee-on-knee collision with San Jose Sharks captain Logan Couture on Wednesday.

DETROIT FREE PRESS: Good news for the Red Wings as first-line center Dylan Larkin expects to be good to go for his club’s season-opener on Saturday against Nashville. Larkin was shaken up earlier in the week when he crashed into the boards during practice.

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson missed his club’s season-opener on Wednesday as his wife was giving birth to a daughter.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Karlssons lost a child to miscarriage last year. My congratulations on the birth of their healthy baby girl.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 15, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 15, 2019

The NHL buyout period begins today, Islanders re-sign Jordan Eberle, a list of Bruins injuries and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

The NHL buyout period begins today and runs to 5 PM ET on June 30. 

NEW YORK POST: The New York Islanders re-signed right wing Jordan Eberle to a five-year, $27.5-million contract extension. Eberle, 29, was slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. 

The New York Islanders re-signed winger Jordan Eberle (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Eberle took a cut in pay from his expiring six-year, $36-million deal to stay with the Islanders. This was a surprise most observers didn’t expect him to be re-signed. At the very least, he was considered a lower priority than captain Anders Lee and Vezina Trophy finalist Robin Lehner.

Eberle may have accepted a pay cut but that contract term seems too long. It’ll be a worthwhile signing If he performs over the next five years at the same level he did down the stretch and in the postseason. Otherwise, it could become a salary-cap headache in the coming years. 

Newsday’s Mark Herrman believes Eberle’s decision to stay was “a sign of faith in general manager Lou Lamoriello, coach Barry Trotz and the future at Belmont Park.”  The winger and his family enjoy living and playing on Long Island. The future construction of a new arena at Belmont Park provides stability for the Islanders. That could become a factor in the Isles’ efforts to retain and attract quality talent. 

NHL.COM: A lengthy list of Boston Bruins players were nursing injuries during the Stanley Cup Final. Captain Zdeno Chara’s jaw was fractured in several places requiring plates, screws, and wires to repair. He’s looking at five-to-six weeks of recovery.

Brad Marchand played through groin, abdominal and wrist injuries. Patrice Bergeron played through a groin injury. David Pastrnak took a blow to his surgically repaired thumb.

Noel Acciari suffered a fractured sternum in the second round. Defenseman John Moore played 10 games despite fracturing his humerus on March 25. Blueliner Kevan Miller suffered a twice-fractured kneecap. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I remain amazed over how professional hockey players continue playing despite serious injuries that would sideline athletes in other sports. 

TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reports the Washington Capitals are still trying to re-sign pending UFA winger Carl Hagelin. 

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes re-signed defenseman Ilya Lyubushkin to a one-year contract. Cap Friendly indicates it’s a two-way contract worth $925K at the NHL level. 

SPORTSNET: The Tampa Bay Lightning re-signed blueline Cameron Gaunce to a one-year, two-way deal worth $700K 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens re-signed defenseman Gustav Olofsson to a one-year, two-way contract. 

LE JOURNAL DE MONTREAL: Former Canadiens rearguard Michael Bournival announced his retirement after suffering multiple concussions during his playing career. “I’d rather stop there before it’s too late,” he said in an interview with TVA Nouvelles. 

NEW YORK POST: The Rangers have hired recently-retired winger Tanner Glass to work in their player personnel department. He spent this season playing in France and announced his retirement as an active player earlier this week.

WGR 550: The Buffalo Sabres announced they’ve hired Mike Bales as their new goaltending coach and Don Granato as an assistant coach. Steve Smith will remain as an assistant but Davis Payne, Chris Hajt and Tom Ward were let go. 

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 30, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 30, 2018

Game recaps, stars of the week, plus updates on Auston Matthews, Kris Letang, Torey Krug, Cory Schneider and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Sean Monahan and Elias Lindholm scored 55 seconds apart in the third period as the Calgary Flames defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-1. It was the Leafs’ first game this season without Auston Matthews, who is sidelined for four weeks with an injured left shoulder.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Time for John Tavares to show everyone why the Leafs invested $77 million in acquiring his services. One also wonders how much Matthews absence might affect the Leafs contract impasse with William Nylander. 

A two-goal performance by rookie Elias Pettersson powered the Vancouver Canucks to a 5-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild. (Photo via NHL Images)

Vancouver Canucks rookie Elias Petterson scored twice and goaltender Jacob Markstrom made 37 saves in a 5-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild, snapping the latter’s six-game winning streak. However, it was a costly win for the injury-ravaged Canucks as forward Brandon Sutter suffered a separated shoulder and could be sidelined four-to-six weeks. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was Petterson’s second game following a concussion that sidelined him for two weeks. Looks like he’s not suffering any lingering after-effects. 

Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby, Winnipeg Jets center Mark Scheifele, and Colorado Avalanche winger Mikko Rantanen are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Oct. 28, 2018.

The NHL announced a multi-year deal with MGM Resorts as the league’s first official sports-betting partnership.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The NHL couldn’t avoid the lure of sports-betting dollars forever. Color me unsurprised that they paired up with MGM. As per the league’s press release, “MGM is a part-owner of T-Mobile Arena, home of the Vegas Golden Knights. In addition, MGM Grand in Las Vegas was the host venue for the 2015 NHL Awards.”

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Penguins defenseman Kris Letang could miss tonight’s game against the New York Islanders with a nagging lower-body injury.

BOSTON HERALD: Bruins defenseman Torey Krug (ankle injury) could make his season debut tonight against the Carolina Hurricanes.

NJ.COM: The New Jersey Devils activated goaltender Cory Schneider (hip) off injured reserve. He spent three games last week in the AHL on a conditioning stint. He’s not expected to start in tonight’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

OTTAWA SUN: Senators defenseman Mark Borowiecki received a three-game suspension by the NHL department of player safety for charging Vegas Golden Knights forward Cody Eakin.

CBS SPORTS: Senators forward Zack Smith underwent surgery Monday to repair facial injuries. No word as to how long he’ll be sidelined.

THE DETROIT NEWS: The Red Wings have decided not to return forward Michael Rasmussen to his junior team, meaning he’s officially in the first year of his three-year entry-level contract. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens will retain center Jesperi Kotkaniemi rather than return him to his Finnish club. Like Rasmussen, this move will burn off the first year of Kotkaniemi’s entry-level deal. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: We shouldn’t be surprised. Both youngsters have played well enough to earn full-time roster spots with their respective NHL clubs. 

Speaking of the Canadiens, minor-league defenseman Gustav Olofsson underwent shoulder surgery and will be sidelined for six months. 

THE TENNESSEAN: Nashville Predators prospect Eeli Tolvanen said he probably won’t use the option in his contract to return to the KHL this season. It appears he prefers staying with the Predators’ AHL affiliate in Milwaukee. “Probably not going to do it,” Tolvanen told the Tennessean via phone on Monday morning. “So much closer to Nashville here.”


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 4, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 4, 2018

Opening-night recaps, Capitals’ Tom Wilson gets a 20-game suspension, Jack Eichel named Sabres captain and much more in your NHL morning coffee headlines

NHL.COM: Evgeny Kuznetsov scored twice, Nicklas Backstrom collected three assists while Alex Ovechkin, T.J. Oshie and John Carlson each had a goal and an assist as the Washington Capitals celebrated their Stanley Cup banner-raising by crushing the Boston Bruins 7-0.

Evgeny Kuznetsov scored twice as the Washington Capitals blanked the Boston Bruins 7-0 in their season opener. (Photo via NHL Images)

 Bruins winger Brad Marchand took exception to Capitals forward Lars Eller chirping the Boston bench after scoring the Capitals seventh goal, jumping Eller several minutes later. Marchand earned “a two-minute minor for instigating, five minutes for fighting and a 10-minute misconduct, while Eller got five for fighting”.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Marchand’s frustration was likely a reaction to his club’s poor performance. They were never in this game as the Capitals dominated from start to finish. 

The Capitals opened the season without winger Tom Wilson, who received a 20-game suspension for his hit to the head of St. Louis Blues forward Oskar Sundqvist during a recent preseason contest. It’s expected Wilson will appeal the punishment through the NHL Players Association.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No one should be surprised by the severity of Wilson’s suspension. He’s a repeat offender, receiving three previous suspensions since September 2017 for questionable hits. Even if his appeal is successful, I expect he’ll be sitting for at least 10 games. 

Auston Matthews scored twice, including the winner in overtime, as the Toronto Maple Leafs edged the Montreal Canadiens 3-2. John Tavares also got his first goal as a Leaf. Earlier in the day, the Canadiens shipped prospect forward Will Bitten to the Minnesota Wild for defenseman Gustav Olofsson. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: What was surprising was how competitive the underdog Canadiens were in this contest, out-playing and out-shooting the Leafs. If they keep playing like that throughout the season, the Canadiens will exceed expectations. As for the Olofsson trade, some Habs fans wondered why their club didn’t claim him off waivers. By swinging this trade after he cleared waivers, they can send him directly to the minors. 

Erik Karlsson’s debut with the San Jose Sharks was one to forget as he and his teammates dropped a 5-2 decision to the Anaheim Ducks. Karlsson was held off the scoresheet and had a plus-minus of minus-2. Jakob Silfverberg collected three assists for the Ducks.

Rookie forward Elias Pettersson scored his first NHL goal and set up another to lead the Vancouver Canucks to a 5-2 victory over the Calgary Flames. Earlier in the day, the Flames named Matthew Tkachuk and Mikael Backlund as their alternate captains.

The Edmonton Oilers edged Kolner Haie 4-3 in overtime during exhibition play in Cologne, Germany. Oilers forward and German native Leon Draisaitl received a warm welcome from the local fans.

THE BUFFALO NEWS: The Sabres yesterday named 21-year-old center Jack Eichel as their new captain. He becomes the 19th captain in franchise history.

THE DENVER POST: It appears the Colorado Avalanche will place contract talks with winger Mikko Rantanen on hold until the end of this season. Rantanen is in the final season of his entry-level contract and will be in line for a big raise “if he matches or exceeds his 29-goal, 84-point season of 2017-18.”

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes named Derek Stepan and Niklas Hjalmarsson as alternate captains. 

CBS SPORTS: St. Louis Blues defenseman Carl Gunnarsson (hip injury) will be sidelined until November. 

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Carolina Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon said his club is making progress in bringing an outdoor game to Carter-Finley Stadium. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 3, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 3, 2018

The 2018-19 NHL regular season opens tonight. Check out the latest contract signings, waiver news and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Washington Capitals will raise their 2018 Stanley Cup banner before their season-opener against the Boston Bruins as the curtain rises tonight on the NHL’s 2018-19 regular season.

TSN.CA: The city of Seattle is one vote away from getting an NHL expansion franchise after the league’s executive committee unanimously recommended to proceed with the city’s bid. It will be put toward a full Board of Governors vote on Dec. 3.

San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton’s lengthy beard is history (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The BoG vote is merely a formality. For all intent and purpose, Seattle will become the NHL’s 32nd franchise. 

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton had his lengthy beard shaved off by teammate Brent Burns during a season-opening party. Thornton had been growing the beard since 2015-16. 

THE SCORE: Detroit Red Wings defenseman Mike Green could be sidelined at least a month as he continues to recover from a liver virus.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Anaheim Ducks forward Ondrej Kase is out indefinitely due to a concussion suffered during a preseason game last Saturday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Another blow for the injury-ravaged Ducks. Kase joins Corey Perry (knee surgery) and Ryan Kesler (offseason hip surgery) among their regulars currently on injured reserve. 

LAS VEGAS SUN: The Golden Knights placed winger Alex Tuch (ankle) on injured reserve. He’s not expected to be sidelined for long.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens forward Jacob de la Rose suffered a cardiac incident during a recent preseason game and hasn’t been cleared by team doctors to travel with the club to Toronto for tonight’s game against the Leafs. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Coach Claude Julien said the move was a precautionary one as de la Rose’s condition isn’t considered to be serious. 

SPORTSDAY: Dallas Stars defenseman Stephen Johns is coping with post-concussion symptoms. 

EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers yesterday signed defenseman Jason Garrison and forward Alex Chiasson to one-year contracts.

SPECTOR’S NOTE:Cap Friendly indicates both players are each worth $650K.

SPORTSNET: The Toronto Maple Leafs lost two goaltenders via waivers yesterday. The Philadelphia Flyers claimed Calvin Pickard while the Carolina Hurricanes picked up Curtis McElhinney.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Both clubs have goalies currently on the sidelines. The Flyers have Michal Neuvirth (undisclosed) and Alex Lyon (lower body) are on injured reserve while Hurricanes starter Scott Darling is out two weeks with a lower-body injury. 

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: Anticipating a lengthy suspension for right wing Tom Wilson, the Capitals claimed forward Dmitrij Jaskin off waivers from the St. Louis Blues.

THE PROVINCE:  The Vancouver Canucks have loaned forward Sam Gagner to the AHL’s Toronto Marlies. The move was made to put Gagner closer to his family. The Canucks retain the right to recall him at any time.

COURIER-POST: The Flyers placed Dale Weise and Taylor Leier on waivers.

STARTRIBUNE.COM: The Minnesota Wild put defenseman Gustav Olofsson on waivers.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON’s Joe Haggerty reports the Bruins will keep forward Lee Stempniak on tryout basis for the time being. He’ll continue practicing with the club as he hopes a roster spot will open up for him soon.


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 20, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 20, 2018

Sabres re-sign Sam Reinhart, Max Domi to face disciplinary hearing, plus updates on Derick Brassard, Connor Murphy and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

THE BUFFALO NEWS: The Sabres yesterday re-signed forward Sam Reinhart to a two-year, $7.3-million contract. The annual average value is $3.65 million.

The Buffalo Sabres re-signed forward Sam Reinhart to a two-year contract. (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Like the Winnipeg Jets re-signing Josh Morrissey and the Edmonton Oilers re-upping Darnell Nurse, Reinhart’s new contract is a reasonable short-term option for a player coming off an entry-level deal who has yet to reach his full potential.

In three NHL seasons, Reinhart’s averaged around 23 goals and 45 points but tends to be a streaky scorer. If he can improve on those numbers over the course of his new contract he’ll be in line for a more lucrative deal down the road. 

SPORTSNET: Montreal Canadiens center Max Domi faces a hearing today with the NHL’s department of player safety for sucker-punching Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad during the Panthers’ 5-2 preseason win over the Habs last night. Domi received a match penalty. Ekblad left the game with a bloody nose and passed the mandatory concussion protocol.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Not the best debut with the Canadiens for Domi, who was acquired in June in exchange for Alex Galchenyuk from the Arizona Coyotes. In March 2016, Domi received a one-game suspension for instigating a fight with then-Anaheim Ducks forward Ryan Garbutt. He could be facing another, possibly longer suspension for the Ekblad incident.

NBC CHICAGO: Blackhawks defenseman Connor Murphy could miss eight-to-twelve weeks with a back injury. 

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins center Derick Brassard hit the ice in training camp yesterday for the first time since being sidelined by a lung infection. 

STARTRIBUNE.COM: A shoulder injury could sidelined Minnesota Wild defenseman Gustav Olofsson for two weeks. 

CBS SPORTS: Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Travis Dermott (shoulder) is listed as day-to-day. 

TSN: Bob McKenzie reports blueliner Jake Dotchin showed up last week for Tampa Bay Lightning training camp over 30 pounds overweight, with around 25 percent body fat. The Lightning terminated his contract citing a “material breach” after he cleared unconditional waivers over the weekend. The NHL Players Association is appealing the decision.