NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 5, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 5, 2022

Recaps of Tuesday’s preseason games, reaction to Mathew Barzal’s contract extension with the Islanders, Sidney Crosby relieved over the Penguins retaining Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

PRESEASON RECAPS

NHL.COM: Goaltender Adin Hill made 50 saves to backstop the Vegas Golden Knights to a 4-3 win over the Arizona Coyotes. Hill made 26 saves in the second period.

Anaheim Ducks forward Derek Grant scored and collected three assists to lead his club past the Los Angeles Kings 5-4.

The Ottawa Senators held off the Montreal Canadiens 5-4. Claude Giroux and Alex DeBrincat each had a goal and an assist. Nick Suzuki collected two assists for the Canadiens.

St. Louis Blues winger Pavel Buchnevich had a goal and an assist as his club doubled up the Minnesota Wild 4-2.

Buffalo Sabres center Tage Thompson had a “Gordie Howe hat trick” (goal, assist, fight) to down the Carolina Hurricanes 4-2. Hurricanes defenseman Dylan Coghlan left the game with a lower-body injury.

An overtime goal by Noah Dobson lifted the New York Islanders to a 4-3 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. Josh Bailey had a goal and two assists for the Isles.

New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal (NHL Images).

The San Jose Sharks defeated Eisbaren Berlin 3-1 in the NHL Global Series Challenge in Berlin.

HEADLINES

NYI HOCKEY NOW: The New York Islanders signed Mathew Barzal on Tuesday to an eight-year, $73.2 million contract extension. Cap Friendly indicates the 25-year-old center’s new deal begins in 2023-24 and carries an average annual value of $9.15 million. It also comes with a 22-team no-trade list beginning in 2024-25.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is a significant raise for Barzal, who is in the final season of a three-year deal with an AAV of $7 million. It ensures he’ll spend his playing prime with the Islanders.

Barzal was thrilled to be staying with the Islanders. “I love it here. I genuinely do,” he said, praising management, his teammates, the club’s new arena and the city as well. “There’s really no other place I’d rather be,” said Barzal.

His new contract raised concern over the effect it’ll have on the Islanders’ salary-cap payroll. Some observers feel they overpaid for his services.

The Islanders will feel the pinch in 2023-24. The salary cap is only rising by $1 million to $83.5 million and they already have $73.4 million invested in 17 players. However, the cap is projected to rise to $87.5 million in 2024-25 and $92 million by 2025-26. The Isles currently have $54.1 invested in 11 players for ’24-’25 and $36.6 million committed to seven players for ’25-’26. Barzal’s contract still takes a big chunk out of their cap payroll but it should be easier to carry it if the cap reaches or exceeds those forecasted levels.

Barzal’s new contract will also have an effect on comparable players such as Detroit Red Wings center Dylan Larkin. He’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer and carries a $6.1 million annual cap hit on his current deal.

ESPN.COM: Sidney Crosby is relieved the Pittsburgh Penguins re-signed long-time teammates and core players Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang during the summer. The Penguins captain admitted he was concerned one or both would test the free-agent market.

STLTODAY.COM: Blues defenseman Scott Perunovich will undergo shoulder surgery and is expected to be sidelined for six months.

THE PROVINCE: The Vancouver Canucks released defenseman Danny DeKeyser from his professional tryout offer and placed goaltender Collin Delia on waivers.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: A strong training camp earned Canadiens prospect Owen Beck a three-year entry-level contract. The 18-year-old center was selected in the second round of the 2022 NHL Draft. He’s expected to be returned to his OHL team for this season.

TORONTO SUN: Long-time Boston Bruins scout Bob Tindall passed away in Toronto at age 86. Glen Murray, Don Sweeney, Andrew Raycroft and Kevyn Adams were among those he scouted who would be drafted by the Bruins.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Tindall’s family, friends and the Bruins organization.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 10, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 10, 2022

The Oilers’ Connor McDavid and the Canucks’ J.T. Miller lead their respective teams to victory in Wednesday’s action, former Sabres captain Jack Eichel prepare for his first game in Buffalo, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Connor McDavid’s overtime goal lifted the Edmonton Oilers over the Washington Capitals 4-3. McDavid finished with two points to lead the league with 81 points, two up on teammate Leon Draisaitl. Washington center Nicklas Backstrom also had a goal and an assist to become the second player in franchise history to reach 1,000 career points. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin was held scoreless and remains tied with Jaromir Jagr for third on the all-time goals list with 766.

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s the sixth consecutive season McDavid has scored 30 goals and 80 points. The win puts the Oilers (66 points) one behind the Dallas Stars for the final Western Conference wild-card spot. With 72 points, the Capitals hold the final wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference, sitting one back of the Boston Bruins.

Vancouver Canucks center J.T. Miller extended his points streak to 10 games with a goal and three assists in a 5-3 victory over the Montreal Canadiens. Elias Pettersson and Bo Horvat each had a goal and an assist for the Canucks (64 points), who sit two points behind the Oilers. Canadiens forwards Artturi Lehkonen and Rem Pitlick each netted three points.

HEADLINES

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Vegas Golden Knights center Jack Eichel claims he feels “no bitterness” against the Buffalo Sabres as he prepares to face his former club in Buffalo for the first time since being traded to Vegas last November. Eichel claimed he had a “phenomenal time” in Buffalo, adding the team and the city treated him and his family well.

It’s a slightly different tone from the one Eichel had in an interview filmed with ESPN a week ago in which he said he felt the Sabres were toying with him when they didn’t trade him last summer and stripped him of the captaincy in a phone call. However, he had already made his trade request and the club was trying to arrange a deal. He also wasn’t healthy enough to attend training camp due to his neck injury.

Pressed on those points, Eichel replied that he may have disagreed with some points over the way the situation was handled. He also said he felt a lot of pride in being the team captain and was unhappy over having the captaincy taken from him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Eichel and the Golden Knights face off tonight against the Sabres with the latter planning a video tribute to him at some point during the game.

CALGARY HOCKEY NOW: Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau is reportedly ok after being shaken up by a hit from Capitals winger Tom Wilson during Tuesday’s game between the two clubs.

THE ATHLETIC: Los Angeles Kings forwards Viktor Arvidsson and Brendan Lemieux and defenseman Mikey Anderson are all listed as week-to-week. Arvidsson and Lemieux are sidelined by lower-body injuries while Anderson has an upper-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Losing Arvidsson is a significant blow as he’s second among Kings scorers this season with 18 goals and 38 points in 50 games. His absence could send management into the trade market for help.

STLTODAY.COM: Blues defenseman Scott Perunovich has been sidelined for eight weeks by wrist surgery.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blues were reportedly in the market for a defenseman before Perunovich went down. This news will only stoke that speculation.

TSN: The Winnipeg Jets placed defenseman Nathan Beaulieu (lower body) on injury reserve and recalled blueliner Ville Heinola.

The Toronto Maple Leafs signed forward Kyle Clifford to a two-year contract extension worth $762,500 per season. They also inked defenseman Carl Dahlstrom to a one-year, two-way deal.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: The Blackhawks have brought back Norm Maciver as associate general manager. He’d previously been in the organization in various roles between 2006 and 2021 before departing to become director of player personnel for the Seattle Kraken.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Hall-of-Famers Guy Lafleur, Lanny McDonald and Kim St-Pierre have been named to the Order of Hockey in Canada.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to Lafleur, McDonald and St-Pierre for this well-deserved honor.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 9, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 9, 2022

Sidney Crosby tallies his 499th career goal, Brad Marchand could face another suspension, Tuukka Rask’s comeback could be over, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Sidney Crosby tallied his 499th career NHL goal and Danton Heinen scored twice as the Pittsburgh Penguins overcame a 2-0 deficit to double up the Boston Bruins 4-2. Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry made 43 saves for the win but was also on the receiving end of a punch and a stick to the head from Bruins winger Brad Marchand late in the game. Marchand received a match penalty and could face supplemental discipline for attempting to injure Jarry. David Pastrnak scored both Bruins goals.

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby (NHL Images).

The Penguins are tied with the New York Rangers with 64 points but the latter holds second place in the Metropolitan Division with 30 wins while the Pens have 28. With 54 points, the Bruins remain four points behind the Washington Capitals, who hold the first wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins also lost captain Patrice Bergeron in the third period when he fell awkwardly into the boards following a collision with Crosby. He was assisted off and the Penguins captain received a minor penalty for roughing though the contact was minor and didn’t appear intentional on Crosby’s part. **CORRECTION: Crosby received the roughing penalty a minute later for a different incident.**

Speaking of the Capitals, they suffered their fourth loss in their last six games by falling 5-4 to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Boone Jenner snapped a 4-4 tie late in the third period while teammate Patrik Laine scored twice and collected an assist. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin picked up an assist after emerging from COVID protocol yesterday.

Alex Pietrangelo scored to collect his 500th career NHL point while Laurent Brossoit kicked out 28 shots as the Vegas Golden Knights blanked the Edmonton Oilers 4-0. William Karlsson and Reilly Smith each had a goal and an assist. Oilers goalie Mike Smith made 24 saves in his first start since Jan. 5. The Golden Knights sit on top of the Pacific Division with 59 points while the Oilers (49 points) remain three points behind the Calgary Flames for the final Western Conference wild-card spot.

The Winnipeg Jets got a 28-save shutout from Connor Hellebuyck in a 2-0 victory over the Minnesota Wild. Mark Scheifele and Nate Schmidt were the goalscorers as the Jets (49 points) sit seven points behind the Flames. The Wild remain in third place in the Central Division with 59 points. Wild forward Marcus Foligno received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for kneeing Jets forward Andrew Copp in the head during their third-period scrap.

Vancouver Canucks defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson had three assists and winger Conor Garland scored against their former club in a 5-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes. With 48 points, the Canucks are four back of the Flames.

Ottawa Senators winger Brady Tkachuk scored two goals as his club held on to down the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3. The Hurricanes were down 4-0 but made it interesting with three goals in the third period. Anton Forsberg stopped 42 shots as the Senators have gone 5-2-2 in their last nine contests. The Hurricanes sit in first place in the Metropolitan Division with 65 points.

The New Jersey Devils snapped a seven-game losing skid by humiliating the lowly Montreal Canadiens 7-1. Michael McLeod scored twice for the Devils.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some pundits are wondering how many more embarrassing lopsided losses the Canadiens front office is willing to endure before they start making changes. Apparently, they’re willing to endure many more over the remainder of this season.

Trades seem unlikely at the moment because they probably prefer waiting until the March 21 deadline when they hope the value of their trade candidates is at their highest. A coaching change would have a more immediate effect but they committed to head coach Dominique Ducharme for the rest of the season and seem reluctant to change their minds.

The Canadiens have been walloped by injuries and illnesses to key players throughout the season. Ducharme hasn’t been placed in the best position as a coach to deal with these unique situations he’s faced since becoming their head coach. Nevertheless, they’re now mired in a toxic atmosphere. Many veterans appear to have tuned out Ducharme knowing he’s a goner at season’s end while their younger players are growing discouraged with the constant losing. That’s not going to help improve the club’s culture going forward.

Bottom line is the Canadiens are a laughingstock and an easy two points for most clubs, including those fading in the playoff race like the Devils. That’s not going to change over the remainder of this season. It might help improve the Canadiens’ chances of winning the draft lottery, but it’s not a healthy mood for a franchise facing what could be years of rebuilding.

HEADLINES

THE ATHLETIC: Sources tell Fluto Shinzawa that the Boston Bruins don’t expect Tuukka Rask to continue his comeback. He felt discomfort in his surgically repaired hip following his last game on Jan. 24 and has been on injured reserve. He could finalize his retirement in the next several days.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Rask is calling it a career he’ll be retiring as one of the top goaltenders in Bruins history. He backstopped them to two Stanley Cup Finals (2013 and 2019), won the Vezina in 2014 and was a finalist in 2020, and is their franchise leader in games-played for goalies with 564 and win with 308.

CBS SPORTS: Anaheim Ducks defenseman Josh Manson (finger) was placed on injured reserve yesterday.

TSN: The Tampa Bay Lightning signed forward Patrick Maroon to a two-year contract extension worth an annual average value of $1 million.

The St. Louis Blues signed defenseman Robert Bortuzzo to a two-year, $1.9 million contract extension.

THE PROVINCE: Vancouver Canucks defenseman Tucker Poolman remains sidelined with headaches and migraines and continues to meet with doctors.

CBS SPORTS: Blues defenseman Scott Perunovich was placed on IR with an upper-body injury.

TSN: The Seattle Kraken claimed forward Austin Czarnik off waivers from the New York Islanders.

ESPN.COM: The Anaheim Ducks named Hall-of-Famer and former captain Scott Niedermayer as a special advisor to their hockey operations department.

NHL.COM: The Philadelphia Flyers yesterday named Daniel Briere as special assistant to general manager Chuck Fletcher.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 12, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 12, 2021

Recaps of Thursday’s action, the league introduces enhanced COVID-19 protocols, two more Flyers are added to the protocol list and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Evgeni Malkin’s game-tying goal late in the third period set the stage for Sidney Crosby’s shootout winner as the Pittsburgh Penguins edged the New York Islanders 4-3. Penguins Bryan Rust had a goal and an assist while teammate Zach Aston-Reese scored in his first game since returning from offseason shoulder surgery.

The Florida Panthers picked up a 5-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning to snap the latter’s six-game winning streak. Alex Wennberg and Aaron Ekblad each tallied a goal and an assist for the Panthers, who were playing without winger Anthony Duclair as he was added to the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list. The Lightning played without captain Steven Stamkos, who’s day-to-day with a lower-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Panthers have 18 points (8-1-2) and sit one point behind the Lightning in the Central Division.

Columbus Blue Jackets center Jack Roslovic (NHL Images).

A four-goal third period rallied the Columbus Blue Jackets from a 4-2 deficit to nip the Chicago Blackhawks 6-5, ending the latter’s three-game win streak. Cam Atkinson scored and collected three assists while Jack Roslovic tallied twice. Blackhawks forwards Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat each had a goal and two assists. The Blackhawks played without Andrew Shaw as he suffered another concussion during Tuesday’s game against the Dallas Stars. They also learned defenseman Connor Murphy will miss 10-14 days with an injured right hip.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Shaw has a history of head injuries. It may be time for him to consider retirement rather than risk further serious injury by continuing his playing career. Roslovic, meanwhile, has four goals and nine points in eight games since being acquired from the Winnipeg Jets and now centers the Jackets’ top line.

The Nashville Predators ended a three-game losing skid by clipping the Detroit Red Wings 3-2. Dante Fabbro netted the game-winner in the final minute of the third period. Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm missed the game with an undisclosed injury and was placed on injured reserve.

Connor Hellebuyck made 41 saves backstopping the Winnipeg Jets over the Ottawa Senators 5-1, handing the latter their fourth straight defeat. The Senators also lost goalie Matt Murray as he left the game after two periods following a collision with teammate Nikita Zaitsev. More information about his condition could be released later today.

Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mike Smith made 38 saves for his 40th career shutout to blank the slumping Montreal Canadiens 3-0. Jujhar Khaira, Darnell Nurse and Tyson Barrie were the goal scorers. The start time for the game was pushed back an hour after Oilers winger Jesse Puljujarvi was held out of the game-day skate and placed on the COVID-19 protocol list. The game was allowed to proceed following rapid testing of his teammates.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens have returned to earth after their red-hot start. They’ve dropped three of their last four games and managed just six goals during that period. Opponents have neutralized the Habs’ offense by clogging the neutral zone and outworking them in their own zone. In recent years the Canadiens have started strong only to suffer setbacks during the second quarter of the schedule that leaves them struggling over the remainder of the season. Time will tell if the latest slump is a minor speed bump or the harbinger of yet another collapse.

The Carolina Hurricanes dumped the Dallas Stars 5-3 to hand the latter their four straight loss. Nino Niederreiter broke a 3-3 tie with a breakaway goal early in the third period. Jordan Staal and Sebastian Aho each had a goal and an assist for the Hurricanes. Stars defenseman Andrej Sekera returned to the lineup after spending a week on the COVID-19 protocol list while goalie Anton Khudobin played his first game after being scratched from Sunday’s game for missing Saturday’s practice.

Jacob Markstrom made 33 saves to give the Calgary Flames a 3-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks. Markstrom and teammates Chris Tanev and Josh Leivo were playing their first game in Vancouver since the former Canucks signed with the Flames last fall. Sean Monahan and Mark Giordano each collected two points for the Flames while the spiraling Canucks suffered their sixth straight defeat.

The Los Angeles Kings picked up their first win in six games by thumping the San Jose Sharks 6-2. Drew Doughty collected three assists for the Kings while Tomas Hertl scored both goals for the Sharks. Earlier in the day, the Sharks announced goaltender Devan Dubnyk was listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sharks coach Bob Boughner called out goalie Martin Jones following this game, saying his performance was “not up to our standard.” Jones (5-3-0) has been erratic, playing well in his victories and getting pulled early in each of his defeats this season.

Anaheim Ducks goaltender John Gibson made 21 saves to shut out the Vegas Golden Knights 1-0. Max Comtois tallied the lone goal as Vegas goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (27 saves) suffered his first loss of the season. The Golden Knights played without netminder Robin Lehner, who’s listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

HEADLINES

SPORTSNET: The NHL is adding game-day rapid testing for players, team personnel and on-ice officials as part of its expanded safety protocols in hope of stemming potential COVID-19 outbreaks.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: The number of Flyers on the COVID-19 protocol list rose to five as Jakub Voracek and Morgan Frost were added on Thursday. The club’s next scheduled game is Feb. 18, after which they’re slated to travel to Nevada to face the Boston Bruins in an outdoor game at Lake Tahoe.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The NHL could be forced to find a replacement for the Flyers in that game or postpone that contest and shift it to an indoor venue at a later date.

TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild are cleared to resume team activities today though 12 players remain on the protocol list. They are scheduled to return to action against the Kings on Tuesday.

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes fired assistant general manager Steve Sullivan, adding they would not be seeking a replacement for him. Sullivan was interim GM after John Chayka left his role with the club last summer.

CBS SPORTS: A lower-body injury will sideline Boston Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk against the New York Rangers tonight.

STLTODAY.COM: Blues defenseman Scott Perunovich will undergo season-ending shoulder surgery today.

NHL.COM: Willie O’Ree’s number retirement ceremony has been rescheduled to Jan. 18, 2022, to allow for in-person attendance. A trailblazer for players of color, O’Ree was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame as a builder in 2018. He’ll become the 12th player in Bruins history to have his number retired.