NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 24, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 24, 2020

Seattle’s expansion franchise chooses Kraken as its team name, a look at what life will be like inside the host cities for the playoff tournament, and updates on Jonathan Toews, Sidney Crosby, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

THE SEATTLE TIMES: Seattle’s NHL expansion franchise yesterday announced its team name will be “Kraken”. The club also unveiled its logo, a stylized S to reflect the mythical monster squid, as well as their home and away jerseys.

Seattle Kraken home jersey (NHL.com).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m not a fan of the Kraken name, and I’m not just talking about the rum (I’m a scotch man, but I digress). I felt they should’ve picked one that better reflected the Seattle/Pacific Northwest area rather than a creature from Scandinavian lore. It’s already ensured their fans will be nicknamed “Krakheads” and their arena “The Krakhouse.”

Nevertheless, I think they did very well with the jersey rollout. The logo is well done, I like the color scheme, and the anchor on each shoulder incorporating Seattle’s Space Needle is a nice touch. That jersey could become a popular NHL merchandise item.


NHL.COM: The league yesterday released details of what life will be like for the teams in the two host cities under Phase 4 of the return-to-play plan. That included videos of accommodation and amenities within each of the Secure Zones in Edmonton and Toronto, special theme nights for selected games, and in-game sounds and supplemented crowd noise for televised games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There will be plenty of facilities and recreational activities available for everyone involved in the tournament. Those will be crucial for morale as they adjust to life under a quarantine bubble. 


CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews rejoined his teammates yesterday after missing practice on Tuesday. He also denied a report by Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman claiming he voted against the return-to-play plan and CBA extension.

“I don’t know where he got that from,” said Toews. He added, “I voted yes. If anything, I kind of wanted the guys in our room to educate themselves on what was going on to the best of their ability and ultimately make their own decision.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to hear Friedman’s response. He’s among the NHL media’s well-connected pundits. In his recent 31 Thoughts podcast, he said he’d heard from several people claiming Toews had voted against the plan.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby didn’t participate in yesterday’s scrimmage but skated on his own yesterday. He hasn’t participated in practice since leaving the ice on Saturday. While league protocols prevent the Penguins from revealing details, a source explained Crosby’s absence was a precautionary measure as he deals with a minor ailment. 

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Dougie Hamilton has been listed as unfit to play after missing practice yesterday. Hamilton had recovered from a broken leg suffered last January but left the ice on Wednesday in some discomfort. Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said he hoped this wasn’t a long-term issue.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hamilton was mentioned as a possible Norris Trophy finalist before his injury. While the Hurricanes adjusted to playing without him, they’re a much better team with the puck-moving blueliner in the lineup. It would be a blow to their Stanley Cup hopes if he’s sidelined for another indefinite period. 

THE DENVER POST: Cale Makar could be close to returning to practice. The Colorado Avalanche defenseman hasn’t skated with his teammates since Saturday but took part yesterday in individual on-ice drills. Meanwhile, Avs captain Nathan MacKinnon skipped scrimmage yesterday. No explanation was given for his absence.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Carter Hart didn’t participate in the Philadelphia Flyers’ final training camp scrimmage yesterday. The young goaltender was absent from practice since Sunday but did take part in some individual on-ice training. As per league protocols, no explanation was given for his absence.

THE ATHLETIC: Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba missed yesterday’s scrimmage for undisclosed reasons. Coach Dean Evason has no expectations where Dumba will participate in today’s practice.

THE SCORE: Columbus Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella isn’t pleased with the effort of two or three of his key players during Phase 3 training camp. He didn’t mention names, but he did stop practice yesterday to yell at his players after 30 seconds of the opening drill.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tortorella’s probably not the only coach involved in the playoff tournament to have a concern about the performance of some players in training camp following a long layoff. They just don’t express it as openly as the Blue Jackets’ colorful bench boss.

MONTREAL GAZETTE/WINNIPEG SUN: Canadiens defenseman Xavier Ouellet and Jets blueliner Anthony Bitetto revealed they had tested positive for COVID-19. Both have since recovered and rejoined their teammates.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 28, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 28, 2019

The Bruins draw first blood in Game 1 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final. A recap and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: The Boston Bruins overcame a 2-0 deficit to double up the St. Louis Blues 4-2 in Game 1 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final. Sean Kuraly scored the game-winner and collected an assist. Brayden Schenn and Vladimir Tarasenko scored for the Blues. Game 2 goes Wednesday night in Boston.

Boston Bruins defenseman Torey Krug’s big hit on St. Louis Blues forward Robert Thomas excited the crowd in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final (Photo via NHL Images).

Bruins defenseman Torey Krug ignited his teammates with a big hit on Blues forward Robert Thomas in the third period. Boston captain Zdeno Chara left the game late in the third period after getting cut on the left forearm from blocking a shot. Chara received stitches but insists he’ll be ready for Game 2.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A lengthy layoff between series affected the Bruins’ play in the first period. But after the Blues went up 2-0, they regained their game legs and dominated the rest of the contest.  

NBC SPORTS: Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov issued a statement denying he used illegal drugs after video emerged showing him sitting next to a table with lines of an identified powder. The video was shot in Las Vegas last June after the Capitals won the Stanley Cup. The video doesn’t show Kuznetsov snorting or ingesting the powder. The Capitals and the league are investigating. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kuznetsov said he was in an unfamiliar room with some friends, grew uncomfortable and quickly left. We must reserve judgment until the league and the Capitals have completed their investigations. 

SPORTSNET: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said changes will be coming to video review during meetings of the competition committee and general managers next month. Those changes could be implemented for next season following a series of controversial calls in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Bettman admitted being upset over an uncalled hand pass leading to an overtime goal by the San Jose Sharks during the 2019 Western Conference Final. He also dismissed the idea of doing away with video replays, adding the league wants to find ways to improve the process.

Deputy commissioner Bill Daly said collective-bargaining discussions with the NHL Players Association are ongoing and expected to continue throughout the offseason. Both sides hope to hammer out an agreement and avoid another work stoppage. Both sides can opt out of the current agreement in September. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Video replay can and should be improved. Don Cherry suggests providing on-ice officials with earpieces to off-ice officials monitoring the game in the arena to quickly address questionable calls.

It’s a good sign the league and the PA are continuing discussions. Hopefully, the two sides can reach an agreement come September. If one or the other does so, the current agreement will terminate on Sept. 15, 2020. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens re-signed restricted free-agent defenseman Xavier Ouellet to a one-year, two-way contract. 

TRIBLIVE.COM: New research indicates Pittsburgh could be the birthplace of professional hockey.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stick tap to reader “Chrisms” for the link. 

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 9, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 9, 2018

Game recaps, Ducks re-sign GM Murray, and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COMTampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos had a four-point game (including two goals) to lead his club to a 7-1 drubbing of the Colorado Avalanche. Lightning winger Ondrej Palat also scored twice. Colorado goalie Semyon Varlamov was pulled after giving up five goals on 23 shots.

Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos had a four-point performance in a 7-1 victory over the Colorado Avalanche (Photo via NHL Images).

Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, Elias Lindholm and rookie Oliver Kylington each collected two points in the Calgary Flames 5-2 victory over the Nashville Predators. With the win, the red-hot Flames (8-1-1 in their last 10) sit atop the Western Conference with 40 points. 

The Philadelphia Flyers overcame a 2-0 deficit to defeat the Buffalo Sabres 6-2, handing the latter their fifth straight loss. Flyers captain Claude Giroux had a goal and three assists. Jack Eichel scored both Sabres goals.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sabres seemed to stop playing after the first period. They certainly left goaltender Linus Ullmark to pretty much fend for himself. 

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin scored his league-leading 22nd goal to extend his points streak to 11 games as his club blanked the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-0. Capitals netminder Braden Holtby turned aside 28 shots for the shutout. 

Goalie Craig Anderson kicked out 35 shots and Ryan Dzingel scored in overtime as the Ottawa Senators nipped the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1. Earlier in the day, the Senators announced center Matt Duchene will be sidelined for weeks by a groin injury and winger Bobby Ryan (concussion) is out indefinitely. The Penguins skated without winger Patric Hornqvist, who’s day-to-day with an upper-body injury unrelated to his recent concussion.

The Boston Bruins ended a three-game losing skid with a 6-3 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Brad Marchand and Torey Krug each had three-point performances for the Bruins. Leafs forward Zach Hyman knocked Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy from the game with a late high hit, though he returned to the bench late in the third period.

The New York Islanders rallied from a 2-0 deficit to edge the Detroit Red Wings 3-2. Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall temporarily knocked Islanders captain Anders Lee from the game with a hard, questionable hit.

The New York Rangers blew a two-goal lead but downed the Florida Panthers 5-4 on a shootout goal by Kevin Hayes, snapping a three-game losing streak. Jonathan Huberdeau had a three-point outing for the Panthers. 

Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick made 29 saves in a 5-1 victory over the Vega Golden Knights. Nikita Scherbak, claimed off waivers by the Kings earlier in the week, scored his first goal of the season.

Rookie Lukas Radil’s first NHL goal turned into the game-winner as the San Jose Sharks downed the Arizona Coyotes 5-3. 

LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS: The Anaheim Ducks signed general manager Bob Murray to a two-year contract extension. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: So much for any whispers that Murray might be replaced if the Ducks fail to reach the playoffs this season. He’s their longest-serving general manager, currently in his 11th year. During his tenure, they’ve reached the playoffs in all but two seasons.

Despite a plethora of injuries and a lack of scoring punch, the Ducks overcame a poor start to move into third place in the Pacific Division. Murray has attempted to address the offense by claiming Pontus Aberg off waivers and trading for Daniel Sprong. 

NHL.COM: Montreal Canadiens defenseman Xavier Ouellet cleared waivers and was sent to their AHL affiliate in Laval. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 8, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 8, 2018

Game recaps, Mark Giordano suspended, William Nylander and Kasperi Kapanen involved in a car accident. Details and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Connor McDavid scored a goal and added three assists and Leon Draisaitl scored twice as the Edmonton Oilers crushed the Minnesota Wild 7-2. Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk was pulled in the first period after giving up three goals on six shots.

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid had a four-point performance in a 7-2 win over the Minnesota Wild (Photo via NHL Images)

Jake Allen had a 26-save shutout and Colton Parayko scored the game’s only goal to give the St. Louis Blues a 1-0 victory over the Winnipeg Jets, snapping the latter’s five-game winning streak.

The Dallas Stars picked up their fourth straight win by edging the San Jose Sharks 3-2. Stars goaltender Ben Bishop kicked out 41 shots.

Carolina Hurricanes rookie Clark Bishop scored his first NHL goal and collected his first NHL assist in a 4-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks.

CALGARY SUN: The NHL department of player safety suspended Flames captain Mark Giordano two games for kneeing Wild forward Mikko Koivu and Flames forward Ryan Lomberg was assessed an extra game on top of his one-game suspension for initiating a fight with Wild defenseman Matt Dumba. 

TORONTO STAR: Maple Leafs forwards William Nylander and Kasperi Kapanen are unhurt after being involved in a minor car accident on Friday near the club’s practice facility. 

ARIZONA SPORTS: Coyotes goaltender Antti Raanta (lower body) was place on injured reserve and is listed as week-to-week. 

WGR 550: Buffalo Sabres goaltender Carter Hutton (upper body) is listed as day-to-day. Also, Jake McCabe and Casey Nelson out on a week-to-week basis with upper-body injuries, while Marco Scandella and Matt Hunwick are both day-to-day with upper-body injuries.

TSN: “Photos signed by Vegas Golden Knights forward Ryan Reaves as he looked down at Washington Capitals winger Tom Wilson who remained on the ice after a blindside hit delivered by Reaves on Tuesday night have been “destroyed,” according to the team and Reaves.”

SPORTSNET: The Montreal Canadiens placed defenseman Xavier Ouellet on waivers. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 25, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 25, 2018

Capitals re-sign Carlson, Senators re-sign Wideman, a couple of minor trades and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NBC WASHINGTON: The Capitals yesterday re-signed defenseman John Carlson to an eight-year deal reportedly worth an annual average value of $8 million. 

The Washington Capitals re-signed defenseman John Carlson to an eight-year contract (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No surprise here. The Capitals couldn’t afford to lose their best defenseman, Their trade of blueliner Brooks Orpik and his $5.5-million cap hit to Colorado on Friday was done specifically to clear sufficient salary-cap space for Carlson’s new contract. The deal is comparable to the reported eight-year, $8.25-million AAV deal agreed upon between the Arizona Coyotes and Oliver Ekman-Larsson.

Carlson would’ve been the best defenseman in this summer’s unrestricted free agent market and would’ve attracted lucrative offers. The extra year from the Capitals and the opportunity to stay with the Stanley Cup champions were obviously attractive options for him.

With Carlson signed, Cap Friendly indicates the Capitals have over $66.2 million invested in 16 players. leaving around $13 million to re-sign free agents such as Michal Kempny, Tom Wilson, Devante Smith-Pelly and Jay Beagle. 

TSN: The Ottawa Senators re-signed defenseman Chris Wideman to a one-year, $1-million contract. 

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: The Chicago Blackhawks have acquired forward Michael Chaput from the Canucks for forward Tanner Kero.

STLTODAY.COM: The St. Louis Blues re-signed forward Nikita Soshnikov to a one-year, one-way contract worth $800k.

THE DETROIT NEWS: The Red Wings placed defenseman Xavier Ouellet on unconditional waivers for the purpose of buying out the final year ($1.3-million AAV) of his contract.

MLIVE.COM: The Wings also traded defenseman Robbie Russo to the Arizona Coyotes for a conditional seventh-round pick in 2019. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 4, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 4, 2017

Washington Capitals sign winger Devante Smith-Pelly to a one-year deal.

Collection of recent signings and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

Alexander Radulov inking a five-year contract with the Dallas Stars dominated yesterday’s free-agent signings. Here’s a look at several others. 

Two former New Jersey Devils landed with new teams yesterday. WGR 550 reports the Buffalo Sabres signed center Jacob Josefson to a one-year contract ($700K). CSN MIDATLANTIC reports the Washington Capitals signed winger Devante Smith-Pelly to a one-year, two-way contract worth $650K at the NHL level. 

MLIVE.COM: The Detroit Red Wings re-signed defenseman Xavier Ouellet to a two-year deal worth $1.25 million per season. 

TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild re-sign defenseman Mike Reilly to a two-year, $1.45 million contract. 

NBC SPORTS: The Tampa Bay Lightning re-signed blueliner Slater Koekkoek to a one-year, $800K deal. 

PUCK DADDY Greg Wyshynski reports Washington Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan had no plans to buy out Brooks Orpik’s contract. 

CSN BAY AREA: The San Jose Sharks hired Rob Zettler as an assistant coach. 

TSN: Former Colorado Avalanche center Mikhail Grigorenko has reportedly signed a three-year contract with KHL club CSKA Moscow.