NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 21, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 21, 2018

2018 award winners, all-star and all-rookie teams revealed, Darryl Sutter retires from coaching and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: New Jersey Devils left wing Taylor Hall won the Hart Trophy as MVP at the 2018 NHL Awards held in Las Vegas. Other award winners include:

New Jersey Devils left wing Taylor Hall won the 2018 Hart Trophy as MVP (Photo via NHL Images)

Ted Lindsay Award: Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers

Norris Trophy: Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning

King Clancy Trophy: Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin, Vancouver Canucks

Calder Trophy: Mathew Barzal, New York Islanders

Lady Byng Trophy: William Karlsson, Vegas Golden Knights

Masterton Award: Brian Boyle, New Jersey Devils

Selke Trophy: Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles Kings

Jack Adams Award: Gerard Gallant, Vegas Golden Knights

Messier Leadership Award: Deryk Engelland, Vegas Golden Knights

Vezina Trophy: Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators

General Manager of the Year: George McPhee, Vegas Golden Knights

Willie O’Ree Community Hero Award: Darcy Haugan, Humboldt Broncos coach

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My congratulations to all the winners. You can see my selections here. No real surprises. I predicted Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon for the Hart but Hall is certainly a worthy choice. 

Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid, Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov, New Jersey Devils left wing Taylor Hall, Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty, Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman and Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne were named to the 2017-18 First All-Star Team.

Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon, Winnipeg Jets right wing Blake Wheeler, Philadelphia Flyers left wing Claude Giroux, Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones, Nashville Predators defenseman P.K. Subban and Winnipeg Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck were names to the Second All-Star Team.

New York Islanders forward Mathew Barzal, Vancouver Canucks forward Brock Boeser, Arizona Coyotes forward Clayton Keller, Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy, New Jersey Devils defenseman Will Butcher and Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros were named to the NHL 2017-18 All-Rookie Team.

The NHL also honored the Humboldt Broncos and Marjory Stoneman Douglas hockey teams.

The league also revealed its 2018-19 schedule will open on October 3. 2018. The complete schedule will be released later today.

The salary cap for 2018-19 is expected to be between $79.5 million to $80 million. The exact number is expected to be revealed later today or Friday pending a final agreement with the NHL Players Association. The cap ceiling for this season was $75 million. 

SPORTSNET: Darryl Sutter announced he’s retiring as an NHL coach. Sutter, who began his NHL career as a player (eight seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks), spent 21 seasons as either an assistant or head coach with the Blackhawks, San Jose Sharks, Calgary Flames and Los Angeles Kings. He achieved his greatest success with the Kings, coaching them to Stanley Cup championships in 2012 and 2014. 

THE ATHLETIC: It’s believed former Washington Capitals head coach Barry Trotz met with New York Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello on Monday. No confirmation was given by Lamoriello or Trotz, who’s been rumored as a leading candidate to take over the vacant coaching position with the Isles. 

THE TENNESSEAN: Nashville Predators forward Auston Watson was arrested on Saturday and charged with domestic assault. 

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs yesterday re-signed defenseman Connor Carrick to a one-year, $1.3-million contract and goaltender Calvin Pickard to a one-year, $800K deal. 

 











Latest Canucks and Stars Speculation – April 7, 2018

Latest Canucks and Stars Speculation – April 7, 2018

Another look at possible offseason moves by the Vancouver Canucks and Dallas Stars in your NHL rumor mill.

The Vancouver Canucks could be interested in Toronto Maple Leafs center Tyler Bozak if he’s available via free agency. (Photo via NHL Images)

SHOULD THE CANUCKS PURSUE BOZAK?

THE ATHLETIC: JD Burke cited a recent report by News 1130’s Rick Dhaliwal claiming the Vancouver Canucks could have interest in Toronto Maple Leafs center Tyler Bozak if he becomes available as an unrestricted free agent this summer. He feels the Canucks should be wary of signing the 32-year-old Leaf, pointing out he’s at the stage in his career where decline is inevitable. If they do pursue Bozak, Burke feels a one-year deal worth around $3 million would be better than a more expensive three- or four-year contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Agreed. With the Sedins announcing their retirement, the Canucks will have over $20 million to invest in bringing in one or two veteran players to act as mentors for their promising youngsters and take some pressure off them. However, they must avoid repeating the mistake they made two years ago with Loui Eriksson, who’s signed through 2021-22 with a $6-million annual salary-cap hit. A one- or two-year deal worth between $3-$4 million annually for someone such as Bozak would be more reasonable. 

 

LATEST STARS SPECULATION

DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Given the injury history of Stars starting goaltender Ben Bishop, Mike Heika believes general manager Jim Nill will have an important decision to make regarding the backup position. One option could be re-signing Kari Lehtonen, but he struggled in his recent starts. Nill could also look to one of his goaltending prospects or perhaps via free agency for someone such as Toronto’s Calvin Pickard or Winnipeg’s Michael Hutchinson.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: After falling out of playoff contention this season, some changes are likely in store for the Stars this summer. One of them could be bolstering their goaltending depth. I wouldn’t be surprised if Nill pursues someone like PIckard or Hutchinson. 

THE ATHLETIC: In a recent mailbag segment, Sean Shapiro addressed some questions from Stars fans regarding possible offseason moves. He’s not a fan of pursuing former NHL winger Ilya Kovalchuk, who turns 35 next week and hasn’t played more than 60 games in a season since splitting 2012-13 between the NHL and KHL. Shapiro also said he’d be shocked if winger Val Nichushkin, who’s spent the past two seasons in the KHL, isn’t skating with the Stars next season.

Asked about the possibility of the Stars perhaps landing Montreal Canadiens forward Alex Galchenyuk, Shapiro acknowledged the recent trade history between the two clubs and didn’t rule it out. He also “wouldn’t be opposed to packaging younger bottom-six players to get a legitimate top-six scoring option. I’m a big proponent of giving younger players an opportunity, but I’m also a realist and believe the Stars need to do something to bolster the offense with a bona fide option.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I agree with Shapiro’s take on Kovalchuk. They’re better off looking at younger, perhaps more affordable depth options. Bringing back Nichushkin could help provided his game has matured over the last two years.

The Canadiens’ biggest needs are a top-line center and perhaps another top-four defenseman, which probably doesn’t make Dallas a destination for Galchenyuk. Perhaps Nill can package a couple of promising younger players in hopes of enticing a club in need of shedding salary into parting with a top-six winger. 

 











NHL Rumor Mill – December 5, 2017

NHL Rumor Mill – December 5, 2017

Latest goaltending rumors for the Oilers, Sabres and Sharks plus updates on the Senators and Wild in your NHL rumor mill.

GOALIE OPTIONS FOR THE OILERS.

TSN: With Edmonton Oilers starting goaltender Cam Talbot sidelined by injury and backup Laurent Broissoit struggling, Frank Seravalli reports Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli is working the phones in search of a netminder. He lists Buffalo’s Chad Johnson, Winnipeg’s Michael Hutchinson, Philadelphia’s Michal Neuvirth, Toronto’s Calvin Pickard and Detroit’s Petr Mrazek as potential trade targets.

Seravalli notes salary-cap space isn’t an issue this season for the Oilers, whose draft picks could be of interest for clubs seeking to stock up on assets. However, they are one man shy of the 50-player limit, “likely necessitating a body-in, body-out trade.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Seravalli’s colleague Darren Dreger yesterday reported the Oilers and Pittsburgh Penguins are among the clubs inquiring into the availability of Johnson and Sabres starter Robin Lehner. While Johnson’s struggled this season, he has decent career numbers (2.52 goals-against average, .913 save percentage) as a backup. If he’s available, the asking price could be a draft pick, perhaps a fourth-round selection. I don’t see the Sabres trading Lehner.

I agree with Seravalli that the Jets likely won’t part with Hutchinson while Steve Mason remains sidelined with a concussion. Neuvirth may be streaky but I don’t see the Flyers moving him right now. I expect they’ll keep their current tandem of Neuvirth and Brian Elliott intact as they attempt to snap out of their recent losing funk. 

Sportsnet’s John Shannon believes Pickard could be the best bet, but he could cost the Oilers a third- or fourth-round pick. He could certainly be a tempting choice but the Leafs won’t be in any hurry to move him. I doubt Chiarelli has interest in Mrazek, who’s struggling this season and won’t bring much improvement between the pipes for Edmonton.

Perhaps Chiarelli should get in touch with San Jose Sharks GM Doug Wilson. In a recent mailbag segment, The Athletic’s Kevin Kurz was asked if the Sharks could trade backup Aaron Dell at the trade deadline rather than risk losing him to free agency this summer. Kurz believes it’s a little early to predict what moves the Sharks could make at the deadline but said he’d include Dell among the assets that could be moved if the Sharks look to upgrade their forward depth. 

MORE MOVES COMING FOR THE STRUGGLING SENATORS?

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch suggests we shouldn’t be surprised if Senators GM Pierre Dorion decides to make a roster move via call-ups or a trade. With the Sens struggling and five points out of a playoff berth, Garrioch said there’s a belief Dorion is getting calls from rival GMs.

He speculate the Senators could look at improving their defense, which has been horrific at times. Garrioch thinks teams could be calling about blueliner Cody Ceci, who’s been a lightning rod for criticism this season. However, he’s still well regarded around the league. However, “the Senators have never been willing to trade him in the past and the last thing Dorion wants to do is make a change for change sake.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dorion’s already made what’s likely to be his big trade for this season by acquiring Matt Duchene from Colorado and shipping center Kyle Turris to Nashville in a three-team deal last month. If he makes a move before the Dec. 19 holiday trade freeze it’ll likely be a depth move where he gives up a draft pick. He could also keep a close eye on the waiver wire. 

 

 











NHL Rumor Mill – October 7, 2017

NHL Rumor Mill – October 7, 2017

Latest on Kyle Turris, Andreas Athanasiou and Calvin Pickard in your NHL rumor mill. 

OTTAWA SUN: Don Brennan wonders if the recent rumor of an impasse in contract talks between Kyle Turris and the Ottawa Senators is the work of a rival general manager trying to rock the Senators’ boat.

On Thursday night, TSN’s Darren Dreger reported Turris seeks a seven- or eight-year contract but the Sens are reluctant to hand out such a lengthy deal. Dreger suggested the deadlock could result in Turris getting traded.

Brennan doesn’t see either side benefiting from revealing that information. Despite Turris’ UFA status next July, he doubts the Sens would try to move him when they’re hoping for a return trip to the playoffs. While Brennan admits a trade is possible he said it’s not what he’s hearing.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Oh, the intrigue! Regardless of who fed the contract stalemate story to Dreger, I don’t see the Senators trading him if they’re jockeying for a playoff berth before the Feb. 26 trade deadline. Unless they get a sweetheart offer from a rival club, they certainly won’t move him now.

Of course, the fact Senators GM Pierre Dorion was reportedly very interested in Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene could give rise to speculation of a Turris-for-Duchene swap. While anything’s possible, that goes against months of conjecture claiming Avs GM Joe Sakic wants a package of good young talent in return. The 28-year-old Turris is nearly two years older than Duchene. Even if Sakic was interested he’d want assurances Turris will re-sign before pulling the trigger on a trade. 

THE DETROIT NEWS: Gregg Krupa reports Detroit Red Wings winger Andreas Athanasiou is heading to Switzerland for some skating and to assess his options, including seeing if there’s a market for his services in Europe. Athanasiou is the only unsigned player among this year’s crop of NHL restricted free agents. 

MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan reports the Wings had offered Athanasiou a two-year deal worth $1.9 million annually and a one-year deal worth $1.25 million. The 23-year-old, however, seeks $2.5 million per season. He also had an offer from KHL club AK Bars Kazan but a source said it was withdrawn because Athanasiou was asking for too much. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I just don’t understand what Athanasiou hopes to accomplish here. He’s a promising player but is really in no position to made demands for more money. In fact, he’s now losing money.The Wings made two fair offers. If unsigned by Dec. 1 he’ll be ineligible to play in the NHL for the remainder of the season. 

If the issue is he’s unhappy playing for Wings coach Jeff Blashill,, this is the wrong way to go about addressing it. This standoff also gives him a reputation for being difficult in contract talks, which could also hurt his trade value. 

SPORTSNET: Chris Johnston believes the Toronto Maple Leafs’ acquisition on Friday of goaltender Calvin Pickard from the Vegas Golden Knights hints at more moves to come for the club. The Leafs sent Pickard to their AHL affiliate but Johnston doubts he’ll be in the minors for long, suggesting he might supplant Curtis McElhinney as Toronto’s backup goalie.

 











NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 7, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 7, 2017

In today’s NHL morning coffee headlines, recaps of Friday’s game and the Leafs and Golden Knights swing a trade. 

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL:  Two third-period goals by James Neal powered the Vegas Golden Knights to their first-ever franchise victory as they downed the Dallas Stars 2-1. 

NBC SPORTS: Artemi Panarin collected three assists to help the Columbus Blue Jackets blank the New York Islanders 5-0. Panarin set a franchise record by becoming the first player to get three points in his first game with the Jackets. 

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Brayden Point scored a goal and added two assists as the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Florida Panthers 5-3. 

TORONTO SUN: The Toronto Maple Leafs traded minor-league forward Tobias Lindberg and a sixth-round pick in 2018 to the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for goaltender Calvin Pickard. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pickard was sent to the AHL’s Toronto Marlies but he might not be in the minors for long. I’ll have more later this morning in my Rumors section.

CAPITALS TODAY: Washington Capitals forward Nathan Walker will become the first Australian to play in the NHL when the Capitals face off tonight against the Montreal Canadiens. 

 











Latest Senators & Golden Knights Rumors – October 6, 2017

Latest Senators & Golden Knights Rumors – October 6, 2017

Speculation over Kyle Turris’ future with the Ottawa Senators and the Vegas Golden Knights could soon get busy in the trade market.

TSN: Darren Dreger believes contract discussions between the Ottawa Senators and center Kyle Turris could be headed to a trade by the Feb. 26 trade deadline. Turris, 28, is eligible for unrestricted free agency next July. Dreger said there’s been “a fair bit of dialogue” between Senators management and Turris’ agent stretching back to early summer.

Turris seeks a seven- or eight-year deal but Dreger said the Sens “so far” aren’t willing to do that. He also notes the Senators simply cannot allow such an important player to simply walk away as a free agent. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Turris is completing a five-year contract worth an annual average salary of $3.5 million. He’s become a reliable 50-point center for the Senators.

Term, not dollars, appears to be the issue here.  If Turris cannot be re-signed the Senators will have to find a suitable replacement and that won’t be easy.

It’s still early days and it’s possible the two sides could work something out before the trade deadline. Perhaps the Sens might offer to pay him a little more in actual salary up front to accept, say, a four- or five-year deal. 

TSN: The Vegas Golden Knights are expected to be busy in the trade market before their inaugural game on Friday night. Bob McKenzie recently reported the Knights are expected to retain defensemen Deryk Engelland, Jason Garrison, Luca Sbisa, Shea Theodore, Nate Schmidt and Colin Miller. That could leave Brad Hunt, Griffin Reinhart and Jon Merrill as trade candidates.  

McKenzie also speculated the Golden Knights could shop a goaltender. On Thursday, they placed Calvin Pickard on waivers. He’s become the odd man out after the Knights claimed Malcolm Subban off waivers from the Boston Bruins earlier this week. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pickard hitting the waiver wire and being mentioned as a trade candidate caught a lot of NHL observers by surprise. He showed some promise with the Colorado Avalanche and was outstanding for Team Canada at this year’s World Championships. However, Pickard struggled last season with the Avs and didn’t have a good preseason with the Knights. If Pickard goes unclaimed today, he could still end up being moved via trade in the next day or two.