NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 18, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 18, 2022

The Bruins are the first team to reach 50 points this season, Alex Pietrangelo returns for the Golden Knights, the once red-hot Devils suffer their fifth straight loss, and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: The Boston Bruins are the first team to reach 50 points this season as they doubled up the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-2, extending their home points streak to 18 games. David Pastrnak tallied his 20th goal of the season while Jeremy Swayman made 31 saves and narrowly missed scoring an empty-net goal. The Bruins (24-4-2) hold a five-point lead over the Vegas Golden Knights for first place in the overall standings. Patrik Laine had a goal and an assist for the 10-18-2 Blue Jackets.

Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak (NHL Images).

Speaking of the Golden Knights (22-10-1), they suffered their fifth straight home loss by dropping a 5-2 decision to the New York Islanders. Semyon Varlamov made 35 saves for the win despite leaving late in the third period with an undisclosed injury. Zach Parise and Brock Nelson each had a goal and an assist as the Islanders improved to 18-13-1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Golden Knights defenseman Alex Pietrangelo returned to the lineup for the first time since taking a leave of absence for personal reasons on Nov. 27. He explained that his four-year-old daughter took ill over the American Thanksgiving weekend resulting in a lesion on her brain that required hospitalization. Her condition has since improved and she is expected to make a full recovery.

In other Golden Knights news, Paul Cotter missed this game and is listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury. Vegas sits first overall in the Western Conference with 45 points. Meanwhile, the Islanders played without Cal Clutterbuck and Kyle Palmieri, who are day-to-day with upper-body injuries.

The Florida Panthers dropped the New Jersey Devils 4-2, handing the latter their fifth straight loss. Sam Reinhart scored twice and Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 30 shots as the Panthers improved to 15-13-4. John Marino and Erik Haula replied for the 21-8-2 Devils, who sit second overall in the Eastern Conference with 44 points and a game in hand over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a costly win for the Panthers as captain Aleksander Barkov left the game late in the first period with a possible knee injury.

Washington Capitals defenseman Erik Gustafsson tallied his first career hat trick to lead his club to a 5-2 win over the Maple Leafs. Sonny Milano collected three assists and Charlie Lindgren made 34 saves as the Capitals move to 16-13-4 on the season. Auston Matthews had a goal and an assist for the Leafs (19-7-6).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Capitals winger T.J. Oshie left this game with an upper-body injury. The Caps were already shorthanded entering this contest with Nic Dowd (lower body) and Hunter Shepard (upper body) on the sidelines.

An overtime goal by Martin Necas lifted the Carolina Hurricanes over the Dallas Stars 5-4 to extend their points streak to 10 games. Necas, Andrei Svechnikov and Teuvo Teravainen each had a goal and an assist as the Hurricanes (18-6-6) moved to within two points of the Devils in the Metropolitan Division. Jason Robertson collected three assists for the 18-8-6 Stars, who sit atop the Central Division with 42 points.

The Winnipeg Jets (20-9-1) moved to within a point of the Stars in the Central with a 5-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks. Kyle Connor and Sam Gagner each had a goal and an assist while Pierre-Luc Dubois picked up three assists. Bo Horvat replied for the Canucks as they fell to 13-14-3.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jets played without Blake Wheeler (groin injury) and Nate Schmidt (upper body) as they’re both sidelined for at least a month. Canucks forwards Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser missed this contest with a non-COVID illness.

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Brandon Hagel scored twice and chipped in an assist as his club dumped the Montreal Canadiens 5-1. Nikita Kucherov had a goal and an assist for the Lightning (20-9-1) as they move to within three points of the Maple Leafs in the Atlantic Division. Nick Suzuki replied for the Canadiens (14-15-2) as they fall into the bottom of their division with 30 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canadiens defenseman Mike Matheson returned to the lineup following a four-game absence with a lower-body injury. Earlier in the day, the Habs moved blueliner David Savard to injured reserve retroactive to Dec. 4.

The New York Rangers extended their winning streak to six games with a 6-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. Artemi Panarin and K’Andre Miller each had a goal and an assist as the Rangers (17-10-5) sit fourth in the Metropolitan Division with 39 points. Carter Hart made 29 saves for the 10-15-7 Flyers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier in the day, the Flyers placed winger Cam Atkinson on injured reserve. He’s been sidelined the entire season with an upper-body injury.

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar had a goal and an assist in a 3-1 win over the Nashville Predators, handing the latter their sixth straight defeat. Alexandar Georgiev made 25 saves for the win as the Avalanche improved to 16-11-2 and sit fourth in the Central Division with 34 points. Matt Duchene scored for the 12-13-4 Predators.

Buffalo Sabres center Tage Thompson scored his 25th goal of the season in a 5-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes. Jeff Skinner returned to the Sabres lineup following a three-game suspension and tallied twice. The Sabres (15-14-2) have won three straight. Connor Ingram kicked out 38 shots for the Coyotes as they drop to 10-15-4.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Coyotes played without Liam O’Brien as they announced earlier in the day that he’s week-to-week with an upper-body injury.

The Anaheim Ducks got a 46-save performance by Lukas Dostal to upset the Edmonton Oilers 4-3. John Klingberg broke a 3-3 tie for the Ducks (9-20-3) after the Oilers (17-14-1)had overcome a 3-1 deficit to tie the game in the third period. Oilers captain Connor McDavid extended his points streak to 12 games with a goal and an assist.

Special teams made the difference for the Ottawa Senators as they clipped the Detroit Red Wings 6-3, tallying three power-play goals and two short-handed tallies. Alex DeBrincat had three assists as the Senators improved to 14-14-2. Olli Maatta returned to the Red Wings (13-11-6) following a four-game absence due to a non-COVID illness. The Wings have now lost five straight contests.

Shootout goals by Kevin Fiala and Trevor Moore gave the Los Angeles Kings a 3-2 win over the San Jose Sharks. Phillip Danault and Josh Anderson-Dolan scored for the Kings (17-12-5) while Timo Meier and Kevin Labanc replied for the Sharks as they fell to 10-16-6.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 8, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 8, 2022

The Sabres’ Tage Thompson has a five-goal game, Oilers captain Connor McDavid is already halfway to 100 points this season, Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin reaches another scoring milestone, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Buffalo Sabres forward Tage Thompson scored five goals as his club crushed the Columbus Blue Jackets 9-4. Thompson tied an NHL record with four goals in the first period and tied a franchise record for the most goals in one game. Alex Tuch had four points while Rasmus Dahlin and Dylan Cozens each had three points as the Sabres improved to 12-13-1. Patrik Laine and Gustav Nyquist each tallied twice for the Blue Jackets as they fell to 8-15-2.

Buffalo Sabres center Tage Thompson (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Thompson’s six points on the night vaulted him into fourth place among this season’s top-10 scorers with 40 points. Dahlin, meanwhile, sits second among defensemen with 32 points. The Sabres currently lead the league in goals-per-game average (4.00) but their 3.69 goals-against per game is the fifth-highest. They’ll rise higher in the standings if they can improve the latter without sacrificing the former.

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid became the player this season to reach the 50-point plateau in an 8-2 thrashing of the Arizona Coyotes. McDavid had two goals and two assists while Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored twice and collected an assist for the 15-12-0 Oilers. Christian Fletcher collected two assists for the Coyotes (7-13-4) as they’re winless in their last six games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Oilers winger Jesse Puljujarvi was held scoreless in this game. On Tuesday, the 24-year-old winger told a Finnish journalist that he’s not sure that he can be a scorer at the NHL level. “Twenty games in and I have one goal. It’s sad,” said Puljujarvi. “I’ve been thinking a lot about how to do things differently. Right now, I just don’t have the answer.”

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin now sits 99 goals behind Wayne Gretzky’s career record of 894 after tallying two empty-netters in a 4-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. Ovechkin had 795 career goals while his Capitals improved their record to 12-12-4. Kevin Hayes replied for Philadelphia (9-13-15). Flyers winger James van Riemsdyk returned to the lineup after missing the last 20 games with a broken index finger.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Flyers winger Travis Konecny took issue with how Ovechkin scored his second empty-netter and the two jostled along the boards. Following the game, Konecny explained that he thought the Capitals winger was deking the puck and putting it on his backhand. “Maybe it wasn’t as bad as I thought,” he said. Ovechkin shrugged off the incident. “They have character. They’re a good bunch of guys,” he said, chalking up Konecny’s actions to frustration over the Flyers’ loss.

New York Rangers winger Artemi Panarin collected three assists to reach 600 career points as his club downed the Vegas Golden Knights 5-1. Mika Zibanejad scored twice and collected an assist while Igor Shesterkin stopped 25 shots for the Rangers (13-10-5). Jonathan Marchessault replied for the Golden Knights (19-8-1), who remain on top of the Western Conference with 39 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Golden Knights defenseman Alex Pietrangelo remains sidelined as he’s dealing with an illness in his family. There is no timetable for his return.

The Boston Bruins got a 23-save shutout from Linus Ullmark to blank the Colorado Avalanche 4-0. Taylor Hall scored twice as the Bruins (21-3-1) regained first place in the overall standings with the New Jersey Devils. Both clubs have 43 points but the Bruins hold a game in hand.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins played well and deserved this win but I think this game (and the one the two clubs played on Dec. 3) would’ve been more closely contested if the Avalanche roster wasn’t depleted by injuries. Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog, Valeri Nichushkin, Josh Manson, Artturi Lehkonen, Bo Byram and Evan Rodrigues are among the notables missing from their lineup for this contest.

The Calgary Flames improved their record to 13-10-3 with a 5-3 win over the Minnesota Wild. Tyler Toffoli scored twice while Elias Lindholm and Rasman Andersson each had three points. Minnesota winger Kirill Kaprizov scored for the seventh straight game while extending his points streak to 13 games. The Wild are 13-10-2 on the season.

An overtime goal by Elias Pettersson lifted the Vancouver Canucks over the San Jose Sharks by a score of 6-5. Dakota Joshua tallied twice for the Canucks as they reach .500 for the first time this season with a record of 12-12-3. Tomas Hertl and Logan Couture each collected two points for the 8-16-5 Sharks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks have won three straight games in overtime with Pettersson scoring the game-winner in two of those contests. With 27 points, they’re two points out of a wild-card berth in the Western Conference.

HEADLINES

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov has missed the last six games battling pneumonia. He’s expected to return to action on Thursday against the Detroit Red Wings.

TSN: The Seattle Kraken will release center Shane Wright to play for Team Canada at the upcoming World Junior Championship in Halifax and Moncton.

LA KINGS INSIDER: The Kings will loan defenseman Brandt Clarke to Canada’s WJC squad.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Penguins prospect Sam Poulin is taking a leave of absence from the club’s AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for personal reasons.

NHL.COM: The Carolina Hurricanes have assigned defenseman Dylan Coghlan to the AHL affiliate in Chicago on a conditioning stint.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Blackhawks goaltending coach Jimmy Waite suggests deflections and tip-in are partly responsible for the rise in scoring and the decline in save percentage. The league’s 6.4 goals-per-game average is the highest since 1994 while the league save percentage (.904) is the lowest since 2006.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Waite pointed out that teams are driving to the net more and generating more traffic in front of goaltenders. However, I believe that’s just one factor contributing to the rise in goal scoring.

Players are faster and better skilled now. Smaller, quicker forwards and puck-moving defensemen are thriving. Flyers head coach John Tortorella recently pointed out that there’s an increase in young players and that’s resulting in more defensive mistakes.

The overall caliber of goaltending also seems to be in a decline, though it could also be attributable to players being more creative now with their shots and passing. Most goalies favor the “butterfly style” to take away the bottom of the net. In recent years, however, we’ve seen players shooting higher on goaltenders more often and also attempting more shots from difficult angles.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 29, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 29, 2022

The Devils and Golden Knights each collect their 10th road win of the season, Mitch Marner and Jason Robertson extend their points streaks, the three stars of the week are announced, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The New Jersey Devils picked up their 10th road win of the season with a 5-3 victory over the New York Rangers. Yegor Sherangovich scored two goals and Vitek Vanecek stopped 35 shots as the Devils (19-4-0) take over first place in the overall standings with 38 points. Artemi Panarin, Mika Zibanejad and Vincent Trocheck replied for the 10-9-4 Rangers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers’ struggles this season can be tied in part to Igor Shesterkin’s difficulties between the pipes. He seems to have lost the form that earned him the Vezina Trophy last season and shouldered the blame for the loss against the Devils.

A shootout goal by Paul Cotter lifted the Vegas Golden Knights to their 10th road win as they dropped the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2. William Karlsson and William Carrier gave Vegas a 2-0 lead but the Jackets rallied on goals by Johnny Gaudreau and Boone Jenner. The Golden Knights (17-6-1) sit in first place in the Western Conference with 35 points while the Blue Jackets (7-12-2) remain mired at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings.

Toronto Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Devils and Golden Knights are the first clubs to reach 10 road wins this season. Vegas defenseman Alex Pietrangelo missed this game for personal reasons.

Toronto Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner scored to extend his points streak to 17 games as his club doubled up the Detroit Red Wings by a score of 4-2. Matt Murray kicked out 44 shots while Auston Matthews and Rasmus Sandin each had a goal and an assist for the Leafs (14-5-5), who are unbeaten in the last nine games (7-0-2). The Red Wings (11-6-4) got goals from Moritz Seider and Adam Erne.

Dallas Stars winger Jason Robertson extended his points streak to 16 games in a 4-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues. Robertson tallied his league-leading 19th goal of the season while Jamie Benn and Wyatt Johnston each had two points for the 13-6-4 Stars. Brandon Saad replied for the Blues as they fall to 11-11-0. They played without center Robert Thomas, who is day-to-day with a lower-body injury.

An overtime goal by Leon Draisaitl gave the Edmonton Oilers a 4-3 win over the Florida Panthers. Connor McDavid and Zach Hyman each had three points for the Oilers as they improve their record to 12-10-0. Matthew Tkachuk remains a thorn in the Oilers’ side with his new team as he tallied a goal and collected an assist for the 10-8-4 Panthers.

The Tampa Bay Lightning got an overtime goal by Steven Stamkos to beat the Buffalo Sabres 6-5. Stamkos scored twice and collected an assist for the Lightning (13-7-1) as he now sits two points shy of 1,000 career points. Nikita Kucherov and Mikhail Sergachev had three assists for the Bolts. Tage Thompson had a goal and an assist for the 9-12-1 Sabres.

HEADLINES

Stars winger Jason Robertson, Winnipeg Jets defenseman Josh Morrissey and New York Islanders goaltender Ilya Sorokin are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Nov. 27, 2022.

SPORTSNET: The Philadelphia Flyers placed winger Travis Konecny (upper body) on injured reserve retroactive to Nov. 17.

THE SCORE: Boston Bruins goaltender Linus Ullmark has been cleared to play after suffering an apparent arm injury on Friday against the Carolina Hurricanes.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: The Bruins also placed defenseman Anton Stralman on waivers as they prepare to make room for blueliner Derek Forbort’s return from injury.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: The Sharks have placed goaltender James Reimer on IR with a lower-body injury and is considered day-to-day. Defenseman Mario Ferraro has a foot injury that could sideline him on a week-to-week basis.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: The Avalanche signed winger Alex Galchenyuk on a one-year, two-way contract worth $750K at the NHL level.

TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild sent struggling rookie forward Marco Rossi to their AHL affiliate in Iowa.

TSN: Hall-of-Famer Scott Niedermayer has been added to Team Canada’s staff for the upcoming Spengler Cup next month.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 13, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 13, 2021

Andre Burakovsky pots his first career hat trick, Max Pacioretty sets a Golden Knights record, Alex Pietrangelo has concerns about COVID protocols for the Winter Olympics, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.com: Colorado Avalanche winger Andre Burakovsky tallied his first career hat trick in a 3-2 win over the Florida Panthers. Burakovsky broke a 2-2 tie in the third period as the Avs picked up their fourth straight win while snapping the Panthers’ five-game points streak.

Colorado defenseman Jacob MacDonald was stretchered from the ice in the second period following a hit by the Panthers’ Ryan Lomberg. He was said to be “alert, responsive and has full movement” and undergoing further evaluation. The Avs also played without captain Gabriel Landeskog as he’s sidelined for two weeks with a lower-body injury. Earlier in the day, they placed goaltender Jonas Johansson on waivers after recalling Pavel Francouz from their AHL affiliate.

Vegas Golden Knights winger Max Pacioretty (NHL Images).

Max Pacioretty pushed his goals streak to a franchise-record six games as the Vegas Golden Knights downed the Minnesota Wild 6-4. Pacioretty and Mark Stone each had a goal and two assists to extend their points streaks to eight games while teammate Chandler Stephenson picked up four assists. The Wild (39 points) still lead the Western Conference but have lost two straight games.

The Vancouver Canucks picked up their fourth win in as many games under new head coach Bruce Boudreau by holding off the Carolina Hurricanes 2-1. Brock Boeser and Elias Pettersson scored for the Canucks. Martin Necas replied for the Hurricanes, who played without leading scorer Sebastian Aho due to a non-COVID-related illness.

Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros had a 32-save shutout to blank the New York Rangers 1-0. Philip Tomasino scored the game’s only goal in the Predators’ fifth consecutive win, bringing Rangers’ goalie Alexandar Georgiev’s three-game win streak to an end. Earlier in the day, the Predators placed center Ryan Johansen in COVID protocol.

The Anaheim Ducks defeated the St. Louis Blues 3-2 on an overtime goal by Troy Terry, who also scored the tying goal in the third period on a penalty shot. St. Louis forward Nathan Walker had a goal and an assist. Blues forward Jordan Kyrou missed the game with an upper-body injury.

HEADLINES

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: Golden Knights defenseman Alex Pietrangelo has expressed concern about the potential COVID-19 protocols in Beijing and is uncertain if he’ll participate in the 2022 Winter Olympics. Pietrangelo was already named to Canada’s roster along with the Edmonton Oilers Connor McDavid and the Pittsburgh Penguins Sidney Crosby.

I’ve got four kids that are under the age of 3 1/2. For me to be potentially locked up there for five weeks plus the Olympics, that’s a long time being away from my family,” said Pietrangelo. He indicated he won’t make a decision until the players receive further clarification on the COVID protocols for the Olympics.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Chinese law states people who test positive for COVID-19 face a quarantine period of between three to five weeks. It remains to be seen if there will be exemptions for Olympic participants.

The NHL and NHLPA have until Jan. 10 to opt-out of Olympic participation without facing financial consequences. League commissioner Gary Bettman expressed concern last week over those protocols but said he’d leave it up to the players to decide if they’ll participate in the Beijing Games.

Other NHL players could share Pietrangelo’s concerns. A number of them could back out of participation rather than risk a lengthy quarantine in China without pay if they contract COVID-19 during the Olympic tournament.

THE ATHLETIC: Aaron Portzline reports Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Joonas Korpisalo faces a deadline to fulfill his mandatory military service in Finland before the end of the regular season. All Finnish males between 18 and 28 must serve a required number of days of compulsory service.

The Finnish government released a statement indicating athletes like Korpisalo, who turns 29 on Apr. 28, will begin their service on Apr. 11. However, the Blue Jackets regular season ends on Apr. 29. The required service is 165, 255 or 347 days depending on the assignment.

Korpisalo said he put off his service due to his offseason training schedule. His passport expires in a year’s time and the Finnish government won’t issue him a new one until he completes his service.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Portzline pointed out it was easier in the past for Finnish athletes to avoid service but the rules were changed several years ago. Korpisalo said he wouldn’t leave the Jackets to do his service while their season was ongoing. However, this could affect his chances of getting a new NHL contract this summer when he becomes eligible for unrestricted free agent status.

ESPN.COM: The Chicago Blackhawks placed forward Reese Johnson on injured reserve with a broken right clavicle.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 4, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 4, 2021

Canada’s 2022 Olympic men’s hockey team names its first three players, the league reaches out to Robin Lehner over his social media accusations, Jake Guentzel tests positive for COVID-19, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

TSN: Team Canada general manager Doug Armstrong has notified Sidney Crosby, Connor McDavid and Alex Pietrangelo they will be part of the 2022 Olympic team. The move was made at the request of the International Ice Hockey Federation, the NHL, and the NHL Players Association.

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby (NHL Images).

This will be Crosby’s third Olympics, the second for Pietrangelo and the first for McDavid.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s no surprise seeing Crosby, McDavid and Pietrangelo being named to Canada’s squad. I daresay Crosby will be named team captain as he was in 2014. It remains to be seen when the rest of the roster will be named.

No word on which three players will be named to the other men’s Olympic ice hockey clubs. Perhaps those will be revealed in the coming days.

LAS VEGAS SUN: The NHL has reached out to Robin Lehner to set up an interview after the Vegas Golden Knights goaltender took to social media accusing several teams of giving players drugs without a doctor’s prescription.

Lehner claimed he knew several teams that gave players sedatives and anxiety pills with a doctor’s consent, singling out the Philadelphia Flyers and head coach Alain Vigneault. Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher issued a statement yesterday denying the allegation.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lehner claimed he had proof to back up his allegation against the Flyers though he never played for the club or Vigneault. As I said yesterday, he could end up in hot water if he cannot substantiate his claims. If he can, however, it could force the league to launch an investigation.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins winger Jake Guentzel tested positive for COVID-19 and has been placed in the NHL’s protocol for the coronavirus. He’s the second Penguin to test positive, joining forward Zach Aston-Reese.

Guentzel must remain in isolation for 10 days following his positive test. If he’s asymptomatic and fully vaccinated, he can be released from isolation if he receives two negative tests during that period.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers forward Josh Archibald has been diagnosed with COVID-related myocarditis. It’s the same heart ailment that sidelined Oilers goalie Alex Stalock.

Archibald had contracted COVID during the summer. The unvaccinated forward was in the midst of his 14-day quarantine after traveling to Edmonton from the United States for training camp when he began to not feel well.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Like Stalock, Archibald’s career is now in jeopardy. Myocarditis causes inflammation of the heart muscle which can prove fatal under physical exertion. Stalock is out for the upcoming season and Archibald could suffer the same fate.

TSN: The Vancouver Canucks officially signed Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes to their new contracts yesterday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly has the full details. It’s going to be expensive for the Canucks to re-sign Pettersson at the end of his three-year contract. He’ll earn $10.25 million in actual salary in the final season (2023-24) of that deal, meaning it’ll cost them that much to qualify his rights. Hughes, on the other hand, can become an unrestricted free agent at the end of his new six-year contract.

**UPDATE**: I’ve been reminded that rule for contracts signed after July 10, 2020, is now 120 percent of the contract’s annual average value. That means it’ll cost the Canucks $8.82 million to qualify Pettersson’s rights. Still expensive but not as much as $10.25 million. 

THE SCORE: The Tampa Bay Lightning have reportedly opened contract extension talks with head coach Jon Cooper. The club recently re-signed general manager Julien BriseBois.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cooper could become the NHL’s highest-paid coach after guiding the Lightning to consecutive Stanley Cup titles.

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: Capitals goaltender Ilya Samsonov missed yesterday’s practice with a lower-body injury. He’ll be re-evaluated today.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens signed checking-line forward Jake Evans to a three-year, $5.1 million contract extension. The annual average value is $1.7 million.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Sharks goalie Adin Hill left practice yesterday favoring his left wrist. His participation in today’s preseason game against the Anaheim Ducks is in doubt.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 11, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 11, 2021

Recaps of Wednesday’s action, the NHL and ESPN officially announce their new seven-year partnership, plus the latest on Artemi Panarin, Alex Pietrangelo, Evander Kane and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Leon Draisaitl had a hat trick and collected two assists as the Edmonton Oilers thumped the Ottawa Senators 7-1. Connor McDavid had a goal and two assists and Tyson Barrie had three helpers as the Oilers went 6-0-0 over the Senators this season. Senators forwards Colin White and Ryan Dzingel both left the game with injuries.

Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl (NHL Images).

A two-goal performance by Joel Eriksson Ek enabled the Minnesota Wild to hold off the Vegas Golden Knights by a score of 4-3. Vegas rookie Dylan Coghlan tallied his first career NHL hat trick. The Golden Knights played without defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, who coach Pete DeBoer said is sidelined “for the foreseeable future” with an upper-body injury. Meanwhile, goaltender Robin Lehner (upper-body) has been loaned to the Golden Knights AHL affiliate for a conditioning stint as he moves closer to returning to the lineup.

Montreal Canadiens forwards Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Tyler Toffoli each had two points in a 5-1 drubbing of the Vancouver Canucks. Jeff Petry scored his 10th goal of the season to lead all NHL defensemen in goals. He’s also the Canadiens leading scorer with 24 points. Habs blueliner Ben Chiarot left the game after injuring his hand in a fight with Canucks forward J.T. Miller.

The Colorado Avalanche edged the Arizona Coyotes 2-1 on an overtime goal by captain Gabriel Landeskog. Coyotes goaltender Antti Raanta kicked out 44 shots in a losing cause. The Avalanche (30 points) sit in fourth place in the Honda West Division, two points up on the Los Angeles Kings.

Speaking of the Kings, goalie Troy Grosenick made 33 saves to win his first start in six years as he backstopped his club over the Anaheim Ducks 5-1.

HEADLINES

The NHL, ESPN and the Walt Disney Company officially announced their new seven-year media rights partnership beginning in 2021-22. The deal will be a combination of television and “cutting-edge streaming” that should “help Disney grow its audience, help the NHL grow the game and give fans more options.”

The remainder of the league’s media rights is still being negotiated. NBC, which carried the NHL’s broadcasting rights for the past decade, is among the bidders.

Among the highlights:

The Stanley Cup Final will be on ABC four of the seven years of this deal. ABC and ESPN will carry one conference final series and half of the first- and second-round games in the Stanley Cup playoffs each season, plus 25 regular-season games.

ESPN will also produce 75 national games each season and stream them on ESPN+ and Hulu. It will also stream more than 1,000 out-of-market games each regular season on ESPN+, replacing NHL TV.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston reports the ESPN package is worth around $2.8 billion, paying out over $400 million per season to the NHL. That’s a considerable increase over the $200 million per season from the current deal with NBC, with more to come when the second broadcast/streaming deal is finalized.

SPORTSNET: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said the salary cap will likely remain stagnant as part of the four-year extension of the collective bargaining agreement with the NHL Players Association. He indicated it will remain flat until the league recovers overpayments through the escrow that built up in the return-to-play last season and the lack of attendance this season due to COVID-19.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That means less money for the foreseeable future for restricted and unrestricted free agent players. The league approached the PA last fall about a short-term increase in escrow payments or deferred salary to address the potential overpayments. However, that was rejected by the players as they didn’t want to make changes to a CBA extension agreement made just several months earlier. The players were within their rights, of course, but this is going to make it increasingly difficult for free agents to land lucrative new contracts.

NEW YORK POST: Artemi Panarin returned to Rangers practice for the first time in over two weeks. He took time off to deal with unsubstantiated accusations from a former KHL coach claiming he assaulted a young Latvian woman in 2011. Panarin is listed as day-to-day and won’t be in the lineup for tonight’s game against the Boston Bruins.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Panarin could be back in action perhaps on Saturday or Monday against the Philadelphia Flyers.

THE SCORE: The San Jose Sharks denied a report claiming they could void Evander Kane’s contract as the winger navigates through bankruptcy proceedings. “The Sharks are 100 percent committed to honoring Evander Kane’s contract and have no intention of having it terminated,” said a team spokesperson.

Kane filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in January, citing $26.8 million in debt and $10.2 million in assets. There is $29 million remaining on his contract with the Sharks. His creditors have requested to convert the bankruptcy to Chapter 11, which would make that remaining money available to them. A hearing to determine the designation is slated for later in March.

TSN: Nashville Predators defenseman Dante Fabbro received a two-game suspension for elbowing Carolina Hurricanes forward Brock McGinn on Tuesday.

SPORTSNET: Winnipeg Jets defenseman Nathan Beaulieu will be sidelined for weeks after blocking a shot with his right hand during a recent game against the Toronto Maple Leafs.