NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 2, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 2, 2020

The standoff continues between the league and the players as speculation persists over what the 2020-21 season will look like. Details and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

TSN: Darren Dreger reports of speculation of the NHL owners canceling season if they decide they can’t go in 2020-21. The NHLPA could challenge that move in federal court as an illegal lockout but Dreger said force majeure (unforeseeable circumstances preventing the fulfillment of a contract; in this case, the collective bargaining agreement) would be applied by the owners because of the pandemic. He also said the league believes the spirit of the existing agreement provides them with cancellation protection. The owners also wouldn’t have to pay the players. However, Dreger points out neither side wants to cancel the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Player agent Allan Walsh took to Twitter yesterday disputing the force majeure idea. He claims if the owners cancel the season because the players won’t give another $300 million in concessions that it would be considered a lockout, “which is expressly prohibited by CBA article 7.1 (b).” In Walsh’s opinion, that would leave the owners at risk of facing billions of dollars in potential damages if the PA took them to court.

Walsh accused the league of soft-pedaling force majeure to the media. Maybe the owners are trying to frighten the players into making more concessions. Perhaps it’s being done to lay the groundwork against any potential media/fan backlash over a potential cancellation.

With reports claiming the NHL and the PA remain determined to stage a season, this could be just posturing by the league. We’ll find out for sure in a couple of months. There might not be a season at all if there’s no puck drop by mid-February.

Pierre LeBrun reports the PA has stuck to its guns that it hasn’t agreed to anything beyond the terms of the memorandum of understanding and the CBA extension. That could change but for now, they believe the league should stick to the terms of the agreement.

LeBrun adds the PA’s return-to-play committee has held regular conference calls but there’s some frustration on their part over a perceived lack of urgency on the league’s part.

Frank Seravalli reports the preference for both sides is opening the season in all 31 NHL arenas for revenue purposes as well as allowing players to spend more time with their families. The league recognizes it will have to be flexible with the schedule and locations because of the rising COVID-19 cases throughout North America, which could result in potential neutral-site games. Hybrid bubbles are also a backup option but not a preferred one.

LeBrun said the temporary realignment of divisions, including a Canadian division, remains locked in. However, a firm decision hasn’t been reached yet over what the three American divisions would look like.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think most of those issues will be quickly sorted out once the standoff between the NHL and NHLPA over the league’s request for increased escrow and salary deferral rates is resolved. The framework for those decisions appears to already be in place.

FOX SPORTS’ Andy Strickland reports some NHL players are delaying returns to their respective NHL cities. He believes we’re destined for a 48-game schedule hopefully beginning in late January or early February.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s pretty much the consensus among NHL pundits and most fans.

DETROIT FREE PRESS: The Red Wings loaned minor-league goaltender Calvin Pickard to the Vienna Capitals in Austria. He’s the 10th player the Wings have loaned overseas and could be a sign the league’s proposed Jan. 1 start date is increasingly unlikely.

SPORTSNET: The Edmonton Oilers have 20 players loaned to European clubs, including Jesse Puljujarvi and Tyler Benson.

TSN: The ECHL’s Orlando Solar Bears announced they’ve agreed to terms with free-agent goaltender Garret Sparks for the remainder of the 2020-21 season. Sparks spent parts of three seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Vegas Golden Knights.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It wasn’t that long ago Sparks was considered the logical backup to Leafs starter Frederik Andersen.

Calgary Flames assistant general manager Chris Snow is in good spirits following surgery on Monday to insert a feeding tube into his stomach. Snow was diagnosed with ALS in June 2019 but continues in his role with the Flames.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Snow in his battle against that terrible disease.

NBC SPORTS: The Dallas Stars revealed their all-white Reverse Retro uniforms over the weekend.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Great camouflage tactic by the Stars.










NHL Rumor Mill – July 1, 2019

NHL Rumor Mill – July 1, 2019

The NHL free-agent market opens today at 12:01 pm ET. Check out the latest on Artemi Panarin, Sergei Bobrovsky, Tyler Myers and more in today’s rumor mill. 

UPDATE ON PANARIN

NEW YORK POST: Brett Cyrgalis believes Artemi Panarin is believed to be deciding between the Rangers, Islanders and Florida Panthers. It’s expected he’ll receive a seven-year deal north of $11 million annually. If the Isles fail to land Panarin, they could fall back on bringing back captain Anders Lee. The Isles could also be in need of a goaltender if they fail to land Sergei Bobrovsky as contract talks with Robin Lehner stalled. 

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman cites The Athletic’s Aaron Portzline reports the Columbus Blue Jackets made a monstrous, last-minute pitch to Panarin. The offer was said to be eight years at between $96 – $100 million. Friedman is skeptical, however, that Panarin will accept it, knowing that money was there from the Jackets all along. 

Artemi Panarin poised to receive a lucrative long-term contract today. (Photo via NHL Images)

Friedman also cited Colorado Hockey Now’s Adrian Dater saying the Colorado Avalanche pitched a six-year, $70-million offer to Panarin. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The only reason Panarin might consider staying with the Jackets is they’re the only club that could offer him an eight-year deal. He apparently had until midnight ET to agree to it. Otherwise, they can only offer seven years if the agreement came today. We’ll find out soon enough what his decision was.

OTHER SIGNINGS LEAKED

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Follow this link to check out last night’s list of notable leaked contract signings. 

FOX SPORTS MIDWEST’s Andy Strickland expects the Florida Panthers will sign Sergei Bobrovsky to a seven-year deal worth “around $10 million” annually. 

TSN’s Frank Seravalli reports the Vancouver Canucks and defenseman Tyler Myers are closing in on a six-year, $30-million contract. Sportsnet’s Rick Dhaliwal expects the Canucks will also sign blueliner Jordie Benn and another defenseman today. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s an annual average value of $6 million for Myers, well below the rumored range of $7-$8 million per season. 

WHAT NEXT FOR THE CANADIENS

After trading away Andrew Shaw and Nicolas Deslauriers yesterday, the Montreal Canadiens now have over $13 million in salary-cap space. Elliotte Friedman speculates on possible targets for the Habs. He believes they’re in on Anders Lee, and noted they also had interest in Wayne Simmonds and Jake Gardiner. He also wondered if they had an interest in Nashville Predators center Kyle Turris. It’s believed they’ll sign Keith Kinkaid as a backup for Carey Price.

Friedman also wondered if they’ll go the offer sheet route. He pointed out player agent Gerry Johansson, who represents Brendan Gallagher and Carey Price, also represents Carolina’s Sebastian Aho. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Habs fans won’t mind if they sign Lee. They probably won’t be upset if they ink Gardiner. Given Simmonds injury history, that might not go down so well. If they offer-sheet Aho, the Hurricanes will match it. 

LATEST ON THE PENGUINS AND BLACKHAWKS

TRIBLIVE.COM: Jonathan Bombulie reports the Pittsburgh Penguins could dip a toe into the UFA pool. “By the time they re-sign restricted free agents Marcus Pettersson, Zach Aston-Reese and Teddy Blueger, they probably will have a little more than $2 million to work with.” That could leave them pursuing more affordable options like Valtteri Filppula or Pierre-Edouard Bellemare. If they pursue someone like Micheal Ferland or Patrick Maroon, they’ll have to shed salary. 

THE ATHLETIC: Scott Powers reports the Chicago Blackhawks now have about $5-$6 million of salary-cap space after reacquiring Andrew Shaw yesterday. They could also consider a cost-effective depth move like signing Ryan Carpenter or Pierre-Edouard Bellemare.

UPDATES ON MAROON AND MRAZEK

THE ATHLETIC: Jeremy Rutherford cites a source claiming winger Patrick Maroon is unlikely to return with the St. Louis Blues. He took a hometown discount last season and could make more on multiple years on the open market. 

NEWS OBSERVER.COM: Despite the Carolina Hurricanes acquiring James Reimer yesterday, Chip Alexander reports they’re still trying to sign Petr Mrazek. 

 

 

 

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 30, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 30, 2018

Game recaps, injury and waiver updates, and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Buffalo Sabres 10-game winning streak came to an end last night as they fell 5-4 to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Steven Stamkos scored the tying goal and Cedric Paquette netted the winner in the third period. Sam Reinhart scored twice for the Sabres.

Winnipeg Jets winger Patrik Laine is the fourth-youngest player in NHL history to reach 100 career goals. (Photo via NHL Images)

Patrik Laine scored his 100th career goal to become the fourth-youngest player in NHL history to reach that milestone as the Winnipeg Jets edged the Chicago Blackhawks 6-5. Laine scored twice (his 20th and 21st of the season) while teammate Nikolaj Ehlers tallied a hat trick.  The Jets skated without defenseman Dustin Byfuglien, who suffered a concussion during Tuesday’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Ryan Donato scored the only goal in a shootout to give the Boston Bruins a 2-1 win over the New York Islanders. During a pre-game ceremony, the Bruins honored Rick Middleton by raising his No. 16 to the rafters. Meanwhile, Bruins president Cam Neely suggested it was “unlikely” the club would extend a similar honor to former goaltender Tim Thomas, citing his limited tenure with the Bruins, who haven’t retired the numbers of any of their former goaltenders.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Thomas is a two-time winner of the Vezina Trophy and won the Conn Smythe Trophy for backstopping the Bruins to the 2011 Stanley Cup. Gerry Cheevers helped the Bruins win two Stanley Cups. Frankie “Mr. Zero” Brimsek won the Calder Trophy, two Vezina Trophies, was twice named to the First All-Star Team, and won two Stanley Cups. It’s ridiculous that the Bruins haven’t honored them.

The Edmonton Oilers spoiled the return of Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick with a 3-2 victory. Defenseman Oscar Klefbom potted the game-winner late in the third period. Quick had been sidelined since Oct. 23 by knee surgery.

Arizona Coyotes netminder Adin Hill made 29 saves to pick up his first NHL shutout in a 3-0 victory over the Nashville Predators. Recently acquired center Nick Schmaltz tallied his first goal as a Coyote. Earlier in the day, the Coyotes claimed goalie Calvin Pickard off waivers from the Philadelphia Flyers.

Max Pacioretty scored twice and William Karlsson netted the winning goal as the Vegas Golden Knights defeated the Vancouver Canucks 4-3 to pick up their fifth straight win. Canucks defenseman Alex Edler was knocked from the game in the third period after being hit from behind by Golden Knights forward Ryan Reaves.

Ottawa Senators goaltender Craig Anderson turned in a 27-save shutout to blank to New York Rangers 3-0. The Rangers were skating without Vladislav Namestnikov, who remains in concussion protocol since Monday’s game against the Senators.

Second-period goals from Cam Atkinson, Riley Nash, and Artemi Panarin gave the Columbus Blue Jackets a 4-2 win over the Minnesota Wild.

NEWSOBSERVER.COM: The Carolina Hurricanes placed goaltender Scott Darling on waivers yesterday and placed defenseman Haydn Fleury on injured reserve.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Acquired and signed last year to a four-year contract, Darling’s been a bust as the Hurricanes’ starting goaltender. He’s been outplayed this season by Curtis McElhinney and Petr Mrazek. If he clears waivers he’s expected to be sent to their AHL affiliate in Charlotte. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens have demoted defenseman Victor Mete to their AHL affiliate in Laval. 

NJ.COM:  The Devils placed rookie forward Joe Anderson (broken ankle, week-to-week) on injured reserve. 

STLTODAY.COM: The St. Louis Blues placed forward Nikita Soshnikov on waivers. 

TRIBLIVE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins reclaimed Jean-Sebastien Dea off waivers from the New Jersey Devils and sent him to their AHL affiliate. 

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 29, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 29, 2018

Game recaps, injury and waiver updates, and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Auston Matthews made a big splash in his return to the Toronto Maple Leafs lineup with two goals and an assist in a 5-3 win over the San Jose Sharks. It was Matthew’s first game since suffering a shoulder injury on Oct. 27. John Tavares also scored twice for the Leafs.

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews scored twice in a 5-3 victory over the San Jose Sharks. (Photo via NHL Images)

Sidney Crosby’s natural hat trick couldn’t prevent the Pittsburgh Penguins from dropping a 6-3 decision to the Colorado Avalanche. Nathan MacKinnon scored a goal and collected three assists for the Avalanche.

The Detroit Red Wings blew a 3-0 lead but Tyler Bertuzzi’s third-period goal allowed them to squeak past the St. Louis Blues 4-3. Bertuzzi had two goals on the night, as did Blues winger David Perron.

Nick Ritchie tallied the game-tying and game-winning goals as the Anaheim Ducks edged the Florida Panthers 3-2.

Tyler Seguin’s overtime goal gave the Dallas Stars a 4-3 victory over the Calgary Flames.

BOSTON HERALD: Bruins defenseman Kevan Miller will miss the next five weeks due to a larynx injury. Meanwhile, winger Jake DeBrusk returned to practice yesterday, showing no ill-effects from taking a shot to the head on Monday. The Bruins will also honor former winger Rick Middleton tonight by raising his No. 16 to the rafters in a pre-game ceremony. 

CBS SPORTS: Vancouver Canucks defenseman Erik Gudbranson is listed as day-to-day with a neck injury. 

NORTHJERSEY.COM: The New Jersey Devils placed Jean-Sebastien Dea on waivers on Wednesday.

SPORTSNET: The front-office purge continues for the Philadelphia Flyers as Chris Pryor and Gord Murphy were fired yesterday. They also placed goaltender Calvin Pickard on waivers. Former Minnesota Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher is reportedly the front-runner for the vacant Flyers GM role. 

TSN.CA: Ottawa Senators chief operating officer Nicolas Ruszkowski disputed Ottawa mayor Jim Watson’s claim the club wants the city to pay for a new downtown arena, calling the mayor’s remarks “disappointing and inaccurate.”

WINNIPEG SUN: A recent five-goal performance by Jets winger Patrik Laine earned a Winnipeg pastor over $1 million in Safeway Sobeys $1,000,000 Score & Win. 

 










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 Rumor Mill – August 21, 2018

NHL Rumor Mill – August 21, 2018

Latest on the Rangers and Maple Leafs in your NHL rumor mill.

COULD THE RANGERS BE BUSY IN THE TRADE MARKET THIS SEASON?

NBC SPORTS: Adam Gretz speculates the New York Rangers could once again be active in the trade market. Citing their ongoing rebuild and the possibility they could miss the playoffs again, he feels it’s possible the major roster shakeup will continue this season. He suggests winger Mats Zuccarello, center Kevin Hayes and forwards Ryan Spooner and Vladislav Namestnikov could be players worth watching this season.

Could the New York Rangers shop Mats Zuccarello this season? (Photo via NHL Images)

Zuccarello and Hayes are slated to become unrestricted free agents next July. Spooner and Namestnikov are both under two-year deals each worth $4 million annually.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: After Hayes and the Rangers agreed to a one-year contract this summer, his departure by next July seems a certainty. GM Jeff Gorton appears reluctant to make a long-term investment in Hayes.

Zuccarello turns 31 next month and while he’s averaged 49-or-more points in each of the last five seasons he probably doesn’t have a lengthy future with the Rangers. Both could be useful trade chips for the Blueshirts before the trade deadline.

Spooner and Namestnikov may be considered stopgap players but strong performances on their part could make them worth retaining. 

HOW WILL THE LEAFS ADDRESS THEIR DEFENSE?

THE ATHLETIC: James Mirtle believes the Toronto Maple Leafs may have kicked tires on possible trade or free-agent options to improve their defense. However, he feels they may well end up sticking with what they currently have, including perhaps promoting from their AHL farm club. Given their weakness at right defense, however, Mirtle doesn’t rule out the possibility of Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas swinging a deal before the February trade deadline to address this issue.

Mirtle also reported goaltender Calvin Pickard could be the starter for the Leafs’ AHL farm team this season. However, he is being offered around the league by the Leafs. Pickard played for the Toronto Marlies during their 2018 Calder Cup championship run.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The defense options are slim in the free-agent market while the asking price for a top-four right-side defenseman is likely one of the Leafs’ promising young forwards. Given their scoring punch and the wealth of youthful talent on the roster, Dubas can afford to be patient here. He’ll assess his blueline through training camp, preseason and perhaps during the season.

If there’s no notable improvement on right D, Dubas will have to address it by the deadline. They simply cannot go into the playoffs with a blueline corps playing like they did a year ago and expect a lengthy playoff run.

As for Pickard, I can see teams in need of goaltending depth keeping an eye on him. Wouldn’t surprise me if he’s dealt before the start of the regular season.