NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 18, 2020
The Tampa Bay Lightning are going to the Stanley Cup Final, the Coyotes have a new general manager, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: The Tampa Bay Lightning are going to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 2015. Anthony Cirelli scored in overtime as the Lightning edged the New York Islanders 2-1 in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final to win the series 4-2 and the Prince of Wales Trophy as the Conference champions.
Islanders defenseman Devon Toews opened the scoring in the first period but Victor Hedman tied it with his ninth goal of the playoffs. Hedman is tied with Bobby Orr and Brad Park for the third-most goals in a single postseason by an NHL defenseman.
The Islanders were playing without defenseman Adam Pelech, who suffered a broken wrist in Game 5 that will require surgery. He was replaced by Noah Dobson.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to the Lightning, whose depth of talent proved the difference in this series. The Isles also deserve praise for their impressive playoff run.
The Lightning will face the Dallas Stars in the Stanley Cup Final which begins Saturday with Game 1 at 7:30 pm ET. The league has released the full schedule for the Final. Game 7 (if necessary) would be played on Wednesday, Sept. 30.
ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes officially named Bill Armstrong as their new general manager. Armstrong is the former assistant GM and director of scouting for the St. Louis Blues.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I like this move by the Coyotes. Armstrong is an experienced and successful NHL executive, which is what the Coyotes need right now.
Armstrong began as an amateur scout with the Blues in 2004, became their director of scouting in 2010. He’s also a former AHL and ECHL coach. During his tenure, the Blues drafted such notables as Vladimir Tarasenko, Jaden Schwartz, Jordan Binnington, Colton Parayko and Vince Dunn.
Meanwhile, the Coyotes were behind on their payments to the company that manages the Gila River Arena. The club had layoffs and furloughs of employees in mid-August, citing the pandemic. Several players were also late receiving their bonus payments.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Coyotes are the most noteworthy team that appears to be having financial difficulties tied to the pandemic. It’ll be interesting to see if reports of similar problems emerge for other NHL clubs in the coming weeks and months.
TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs hired Manny Malhotra as an assistant coach.
NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: The Flyers re-signed winger Nicolas Aube-Kubel to a two-year, $2.15-million contract extension.
NHL.COM: The Washington Capitals re-signed forward Brian Pinho to a two-year contract, with the second year being a one-way deal. He’ll earn $700K at the NHL level in the first year and $750K in the second.
WGR550.COM: The Rochester Americans hired Adam Mair and Mike Weber as assistant coaches. The Americans are the AHL affiliate of the Buffalo Sabres.
IIHF.COM: The 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship will be staged as a single-venue format in Edmonton under similar quarantine bubble conditions as the NHL’s return-to-play tournament.