NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 12, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 12, 2020

Steven Stamkos to miss training camp, Mike Green and Karl Alzner opt-out of return-to-play plan, more tidbits from the new CBA extension, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Diana C. Nearhos reports Lightning captain Steven Stamkos suffered a leg injury during recent voluntary workouts and won’t be a full participant when the clubs begin training camp on Monday. General manager Julien BriseBois said Stamkos is expected to be ready when the Bolts begin round-robin play on August 3 in Toronto.

Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos (Photo via NHL Images).

​SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stamkos’ recent injury history will be a concern for the Lightning during the playoff tournament. Nearhos points out he suffered three previous injuries (including two confirmed lower-body) this season.

TSN: Citing family health reasons, Edmonton Oilers defenseman Mike Green has decided to opt-out of the return-to-play tournament.

SPORTSNET’s Chris Johnston reports Montreal Canadiens defenseman Karl Alzner is also opting out. 

NBC SPORTS BOSTON:  The Bruins’ Steven Kampfer is also opting out over family health reasons..

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Calgary Flames blueliner Travis Hamonic, Dallas Stars rearguard Roman Polak, and Vancouver Canucks winger Sven Baertschi are also giving it a pass. Players wishing to opt-out without penalty for whatever reason have until 5 pm ET on Monday to so do in writing to the NHLPA and NHL Central Registry.

SPORTSNET: Minnesota Wild defenseman Greg Pateryn is sidelined indefinitely with an upper-body injury.

THE SCORE: Teams participating in the return-to-play plan aren’t permitted to disclose information regarding player injuries or illness. The NHL cites the unique circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. They and the NHLPA are doing so out of respect for an individual player’s right to medical privacy.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That decision will generate plenty of unwanted speculation over a player’s health when he mysteriously goes missing from a game or two or an entire series or the entire tournament, especially if it’s a superstar like Edmonton’s Connor McDavid or Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby. I wouldn’t be surprised if this becomes something that carries over beyond this season.

LAS VEGAS SUN: Jesse Granger reports NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said Las Vegas was excluded as a host city for the return-to-play tournament because of rising COVID-19 cases in Nevada.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Daly confirmed what many of us already suspected.

TSN: Mark Masters reports the Toronto Maple Leafs and Edmonton Oilers canceled video conferences scheduled for today to discuss their selection as NHL host cities. The postponement was because the league still has some final details to work out with the Canadian government.

PUCKPEDIA: There’s a special arbitration wrinkle for this off-season only. Within four days of a team walking away from an arbitration award, the team and the player can agree to a contract equal to the offer the team presented at the arbitration hearing. This might give the player an opportunity to rethink things if the arbiter’s award was higher than what the team can afford.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Brad Alberts is the new CEO and president of the Dallas Stars. Former CEO Jim Lites becomes the club’s chairman.

SPORTSNET: The Minnesota Wild hired Judd Brackett as their new director of amateur scouting. Brackett previously held a similar role with the Vancouver Canucks from 2015 until this year, helping them select Elias Petterssen, Brock Boeser, and Quinn Hughes.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 13, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 13, 2020

The Devils fire GM Ray Shero, Jonathan Huberdeau become the highest-scoring Panther in franchise history, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The New Jersey Devils 3-1 upset of the Tampa Bay Lightning was overshadowed by their firing of general manager Ray Shero an hour before game time. Assistant GM Tom Fitzgerald takes over on an interim basis while Martin Brodeur moved to a role in hockey operations. The Devils’ victory brought the Lightning’s 10-game win streak to an end. The Devils also recalled goaltender Cory Schneider. Winger Kyle Palmieri missed the game with a lower-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Shero’s firing caught many observers off-guard. Ownership didn’t cite any specific reason, other than the club’s poor record this season. With the club poised to miss the playoffs for the fourth time in five years under Shero, they felt it was time for a change in the front office.

Shero made several positive moves during his tenure with the Devils, including the acquisitions of Taylor Hall and Kyle Palmieri and taking Nico Hischier with the first-overall pick in the 2017 Draft. However, his inability to suitably address his club’s defensive and goaltending issues hampered their development and led to his downfall. I’ll have more on the Devils in the Rumors section.

The New Jersey Devils fired general manager Ray Shero (Photo via NHL.com).

Florida Panthers winger Jonathan Huberdeau became the highest-scoring player in franchise history in an 8-4 thumping of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Huberdeau scored and collected an assist for his 420th point, surpassing Olli Jokinen as their all-time points leader. Mike Hoffman scored twice while Aleksander Barkov and Vincent Trocheck each had a goal and two assists. Mitch Marner scored twice for the Leafs.

Earlier in the day, the Panthers called up goaltender Sam Montembeault as starter Sergei Bobrovsky was sidelined with an upper-body injury suffered during Saturday’s practice. Leafs forward Andreas Johnsson returned to the lineup after missing 15 games with a leg injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With 61 points, Huberdeau is enjoying a career season thus far. The 26-year-old left winger is among the league’s top-10 scorers and on pace for a career-high 110 points.

Vancouver Canucks captain Bo Horvat scored twice to lead his club to a 4-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild. J.T. Miller picked up two assists for the Canucks, who moved into third place (54 points) in the Pacific Division. Wild defenseman Greg Patertyn made his season debut after missing 44 games to core muscle surgery.

Teddy Blueger’s shootout goal gave the Pittsburgh Penguins a 4-3 win over the Arizona Coyotes. Evgeni Malkin collected two assists for the Penguins (61 points), who move within four points of the Washington Capitals for first place in the Metropolitan Division. Niklas Hjalmarsson returned to the Coyotes lineup after missing 43 games with a lower-body injury.

Jusse Saros had a 28-save shutout and Kyle Turris scored the only goal as the Nashville Predators blanked the Winnipeg Jets 1-0. Predators captain Roman Josi’s points streak ended at 12 games. Jets defenseman Tucker Poolman left the game in the first period with an injured right leg.

The Buffalo Sabres rolled to a 5-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings, Evan Rodrigues tallied twice while teammate Jack Eichel picked up an assist to stretch his points streak to seven games. The Wings played without goaltender Jonathan Bernier, who’s dealing with a lower-body injury.

IN OTHER NEWS…

SPORTSNET: Edmonton Oilers winger Zack Kassian will have a hearing today with the NHL’s department of player safety regarding his altercation with Calgary Flames winger Matthew Tkachuk on Saturday. Kassian took offense to two hits from Tkachuk, punching the Flames winger and throwing him twice to the ice.

TSN: New York Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba was fined $5,000.00 for slashing St. Louis Blues defenseman Vince Dunn on Saturday.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars defenseman Stephen Johns played his first game in 22 months with their AHL affiliate Texas Stars. Johns had been sidelined by post-concussion headaches.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 2, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 2, 2019

Evander Kane suspended plus updates on Sidney Crosby, Dylan Larkin, David Krejci, and more in your season-opening NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane received a three-game suspension for shoving an on-ice official during a preseason game against the Vegas Golden Knights. 

San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane receives a three-game suspension (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kane’s fortunate he didn’t receive more than that. His suspension had some Sharks fans wondering if it might open the door for a return by Patrick Marleau but that’s not going to happen

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby rejoined his teammates in practice yesterday for the first time since suffering an undisclosed injury over the weekend. Meanwhile, the club is expected to put sidelined winger Bryan Rust (upper body) on long-term injury reserve to start the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Placing Rust and defenseman Zach Trotman on LTIR, along with yesterday’s demotions of goaltender Casey DeSmith and defenseman John Marino, ensures the Penguins will be cap compliant to open the season. 

THE DETROIT NEWS: Red Wings center Dylan Larkin left practice yesterday following a collision. The club will learn more about his status later today. 

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Bruins center David Krejci (lower-body) remains uncertain for the club’s season-opener on Thursday against Dallas. Meanwhile, contract extension talks have begun between Bruins management and defenseman Torey Krug. 

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets center Bryan Little (concussion) is sidelined indefinitely while blueliner Nathan Beaulieu (upper body) will miss at least four weeks. The Jets also lost goaltender Eric Comrie via waivers to the Arizona Coyotes and claimed Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Carl Dahlstrom off waivers. 

STARTRIBUNE.COM: Minnesota Wild defenseman Greg Pateryn (sports hernia surgery) will be sidelined up to six weeks. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens demoted forward Ryan Poehling to their AHL affiliate in Laval. A concussion limited him to just two preseason games. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s only a matter of time until Poehling is back with the Canadiens. He’s a promising young forward with a potentially bright future in Montreal. 

NHL.COM: The New York Rangers agreed to a one-year, two-way contract with forward Micheal Haley. 

WGR 550: Buffalo Sabres assistant coach Don Granato is on a leave of absence after being hospitalized with severe pneumonia. He’s expected to make a full recovery.

SPORTSNET: After 13 seasons with ten NHL clubs, forward Lee Stempniak has announced his retirement. In 911 career games, Stempniak tallied 203 goals and 266 points in 469 games. His best season was his sophomore campaign in 2006-07, tallying 27 goals and 52 points with the St. Louis Blues. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Stempniak and his family in their future endeavors. 










Notable NHL Free-Agent Signings – July 1, 2018

Notable NHL Free-Agent Signings – July 1, 2018

The NHL free-agent market opens today at noon ET. Here’s a list of today’s notable signings, which will be updated throughout the day. 

Toronto Maple Leafs signed center John Tavares to a seven-year, $77-million contract

Toronto Maple Leafs sign John Tavares to a seven-year contract (Photo via NHL Images)

Philadelphia Flyers reportedly signed left wing James van Riemsdyk to a five-year, $35-million contract. 

Tampa Bay Lightning re-signed defenseman Ryan McDonagh to a seven-year contract extension worth $6.75 million per season.

Arizona Coyotes officially announced the signing of defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson to an eight-year contract extension worth $8.25 million AAV. They also re-signed defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson to a two-year contract extension worth $5 million AAV, and signed free-agent winger Michael Grabner to a three-year deal worth $3.35 million per season. 

Vegas Golden Knights will sign center Paul Stastny to a three-year contract. The annual average value is $6.5 million. They’ve also signed defenseman Nick Holden to a two-year deal worth $2.2 million annually. 

Pittsburgh Penguins will reportedly sign defenseman Jack Johnson to a five-year, $16.25-million contract. They’ve also signed Matt Cullen to a one-year, $650K contract

St. Louis Blues expected to sign winger David Perron to a four-year deal worth $4 million per season. The Blues have also signed center Tyler Bozak to a three-year contract with an AAV of $5 million and goaltender Chad Johnson to a one-year, $1.75-million deal. 

Colorado Avalanche reportedly close to signing defenseman Ian Cole to a three-year contact worth an annual cap hit of $4.25 million.

Chicago Blackhawks sign goaltender Cam Ward to a one-year, $3-million contract with a full no-movement clause. They’ve also signed winger Chris Kunitz to a one-year, $1-million contract and defenseman Brandon Manning to a two-year deal. 

Boston Bruins expected to sign goaltender Jaroslav Halak to a two-year contract worth $2.75 million annually. They also signed winger Joakim Nordstrom to a two-year, $2 million deal and defenseman John Moore to a five-year contract worth an AAV of $2.75 million.

Columbus Blue Jackets sign center Riley Nash to a three-year contract worth $2.75-million per season. 

Buffalo Sabres will reportedly sign goaltender Carter Hutton to a three-year, $8.25-million contract.

New York Islanders have an agreement in place to bring back defenseman Thomas Hickey on a four-year deal worth an AAV of $2.5 million. They also signed forward Leo Komarov to a four-year, $12-million contract.

Detroit Red Wings expected to sign goaltender Jonathan Bernier to a three-year deal worth around $3 million annually and forward Thomas Vanek to a one-year, $3-million contract. 

Edmonton Oilers will sign forward Kyle Brodziak to a two-year deal with an AAV of around $1 million and forward Tobias Rieder to a one-year, $2-million contract.  

Dallas Stars expected to sign forward Blake Comeau to a three-year deal worth $2.4 million per season. They’ve also re-signed winger Valeri Nichushkin to a two-year deal worth $2.95-million annually. Roman Polak is reportedly heading to the Stars on a one-year contract worth $1.3 million.

Vancouver Canucks are expected to sign center Jay Beagle to a four-year contract worth $3 million annually and forward Antoine Roussel to a four-year deal worth $3.25 million per season. 

Calgary Flames expected to sign center Derek Ryan to a three-year deal worth an AAV of $3.125 million and center Austin Czarnik to a two-year deal worth $1.25-million annually. 

Carolina Hurricanes sign goaltender Petr Mrazek to a one-year deal worth $1.5 million. 

Montreal Canadiens are expected to announced the signing of center Tomas Plekanec to a one-year deal worth a base salary of $2.25 million plus bonuses. 

Minnesota Wild will reportedly sign defenseman Greg Pateryn to a three-year contract and signed goaltender Andrew Hammond. 

 











NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 1, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 1, 2018

Sharks re-sign Logan Couture, James van Riemsdyk heading to Philadelphia, Mike Green returns with the Red Wings. Details and more on the early news of the NHL’s opening day of free agency in your morning coffee headlines.

**Follow this link to check out the listing of today’s notables UFA signings**

NBC SPORTS: Reports indicated the San Jose Sharks and center Logan Couture have finalized an eight-year, $64-million contract extension that he’ll officially sign today. The annual average value is $8 million.

Logan Couture and the San Jose Sharks have reportedly agreed to an eight-year contract extension (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Couture has a year remaining on his current contract worth an AAV of $6 million. It’s a big pay bump for Couture,  who’s exceeded 50 points in six of of his 10 NHL seasons. He’s among the Sharks core players but will also be 30-year-old when this new contract kicks in. That cap hit could become troublesome over the final four years of his deal as his performance begins to decline. 

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: James van Riemsdyk is reportedly returning to the Philadelphia Flyers, as sources claim he’s signed a five-year, $35-million contract. The annual salary-cap hit is $7 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: van Riemsdyk began his NHL career with the Flyers, playing three seasons with them before being deal to the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2012 for Luke Schenn. Cap Friendly indicates the Flyers have over $57 million invested in 17 players, so adding JvR pushes their cap payroll to over $64 million.

The Flyers still have plenty of room for other additions, but one wonders if this move suggests Wayne Simmonds, who has a year left on his contract and is recovering from offseason surgery, might get dealt this summer. The Flyers can afford to re-sign Simmonds but his name has surfaced in trade rumors in recent weeks. 

THE DETROIT NEWS: Defenseman Mike Green is expected to forego unrestricted free agency and sign a two-year, $10.75-million ($5.375 million AAV) with the Red Wings. The Wings are also reportedly signing former Colorado Avalanche goaltender Jonathan Bernier to a three-year deal worth $3 million annually.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Green is accepting slightly less money than his previous annual cap hit ($6 million) to stay in Detroit. He was considered the best defenseman potentially available via free agency after John Carlson re-signed with the Washington Capitals last week. The depth in quality UFA defenseman has significantly thinned with Carlson and Green off the market. 

TSN: Darren Dreger reports the Vegas Golden Knights have re-signed winger Ryan Reaves to a two-year deal worth $2.775 million annually.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Holy overpayment, Batman! That’s a big raise for a fourth-line grit player. Reaves definitely capitalized on his solid playoff performance this spring but it remains to be seen if he can maintain that form. At least it’s a short-term deal and the Golden Knights have the cap space to afford this. 

The Montreal Canadiens yesterday placed goaltender Steve Mason on unconditional waivers for the purpose of a contract buyout. They acquired Mason from the Winnipeg Jets in a deal that also brought them forward Joel Armia and two draft picks.

TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild placed forward Tyler Ennis on unconditional waivers for buyout purposes.

DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Dallas Stars reportedly have an agreement with former Boston Bruins goaltender Anton Khudobin on a two-year deal. Meanwhile, former Stars forward Antoine Roussel is reportedly close to a four-year deal with the Vancouver Canucks worth just over $3 million annually while the Minnesota Wild are expected to sign former Stars defenseman Greg Pateryn.

NJ.COM: The New Jersey Devils re-signed goaltender Eddie Lack to a one-year, $650K contract.

 

 











Latest on the Blue Jackets, Blues & Stars – September 29, 2017

Latest on the Blue Jackets, Blues & Stars – September 29, 2017

Does Josh Anderson want out of Columbus?

Conflicting reports about Josh Anderson seeking a trade, the Blues are linked to Jaromir Jagr and the Stars could make a move to clear up their logjam on defense. Details in your NHL rumor mill.

 SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman yesterday reported Columbus Blue Jackets forward Josh Anderson requested a trade. General manager Jarmo Kekalainen claimed the request “was news to me,” adding the club isn’t looking to trade Anderson.

Friedman said the idea of a sign-and-trade scenario was broached. Appearing on Toronto’s Sportsnet 590, he said the report of the request didn’t come directly from the Anderson camp, but it was something he’d heard when working on the story. Anderson’s agent told Friedman he wasn’t going to talk about it.

Anderson is a restricted free agent coming off an entry-level contract. Friedman cites a report in The Athletic claiming the two sides appear to be only $150K per season apart on a three-year deal but the two sides are standing firm on principle. He also notes the Blue Jackets worked to protect Anderson from June’s expansion draft and it’s thought they’ve rejected requests from the Colorado Avalanche to include the winger in a trade package for center Matt Duchene.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Adam Jardy also reports Kekalainen denied Friedman’s report of a trade request, adding the Jackets are hopeful Anderson will be signed soon and continue playing in the NHL. The winger’s agent, Darren Ferris, declined to comment on speculation or the state of contract talks, other than to say talks are ongoing and he hoped for a resolution soon.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Anderson posted a respectable 17 goals and 29 points as a rookie in 2016-17. He’s a big, physical forward with a decent scoring touch. The Blue Jackets obviously believe he has a promising future and prefer to keep him in the fold. However, the longer this contract stalemate drags on, the more Anderson’s name will pop up in the trade rumor mill. Because he’s coming off an entry-level deal, he has limited leverage. If he’s not under contract by December, he becomes ineligible to play in the NHL for the remainder of the season. Perhaps the Jackets will listen to trade offers if the standoff drags on through October. 

ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH: Jim Thomas reports Blues GM Doug Armstrong isn’t ruling out bringing in outside help to replace forward Robby Fabbri, who’s out for the upcoming season with a knee injury. However, it’s likely he’ll look to within his organization to address the issue. Armstrong admitted his staff are discussing options outside the team, including unrestricted free agent Jaromir Jagr. However, there are few decent choices available via free agency. There are also salary-cap complications if they go the trade route.

NBC SPORTS: Jame’s O’Brien cites TSN’s Rick Dhaliwal reporting the Blues could bring back forward Scottie Upshall, who’s currently with the Vancouver Canucks on a professional tryout offer. Canucks GM Jim Benning, however, said his club hasn’t heard anything yet about Upshall returning to St. Louis.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blues currently have around $2.2 million in salary-cap space. If necessary, they can place Fabbri on long-term injury reserve, but they’ll only get $894K in salary-cap relief. Bringing back Upshall would be cheaper than signing Jagr.

DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Mike Heika recently examined the options facing Stars GM Jim Nill to address his crowded blueline. The club currently carries nine defensemen. He could send Julius Honka, who’s exempt from waivers, to the minors. He could demote Greg Pateryn, who’ll likely clear waivers. Heika said Nill hasn’t traded Jamie Oleksiak or Patrik Nemeth yet because he still values their potential.

Heika subsequently reports Stars coach Ken Hitchcock has determined who his top-six blueliners will be to open the season, though he declined to reveal who they are. Heika speculates they could be Esa Lindell, John Klingberg, Marc Methot, Jamie Oleksiak, Dan Hamhuis and Stephen Johns, as they were Hitchcock’s defense pairings during a recent preseason game. He suggests Honka could be demoted and either Nemeth or Pateryn could be traded or placed on waivers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: General managers looking to pry a blueliner from the defense-heavy Vegas Golden Knights could also contact the Stars. I think there will be interest in Honka but I doubt that Nill wants to part with him. Nemeth could also attract interest in the trade market. Pateryn could get plucked off the waiver wire.