NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 29, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 29, 2020

The Tampa Bay Lightning are the 2020 Stanley Cup champions, Victor Hedman wins the Conn Smythe Trophy, plus the latest on the Flyers, Blackhawks, Golden Knights and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Tampa Bay Lightning are the Stanley Cup champions after blanking the Dallas Stars 2-0 in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final, winning the series four games to two. Andrei Vasilevskiy turned in a 22-save shutout while Brayden Point and Blake Coleman were the goal scorers. Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.

Tampa Bay Lightning are the 2020 Stanley Cup Champions (NHL.com).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to the Lightning for a well-deserved championship run under quarantine conditions in Toronto and Edmonton. The Bolts just get better as the playoffs progressed, using their deep roster and solid defensive play to defeat their opponents They never suffered consecutive losses during this postseason. Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov finished with 34 points to lead all playoff scorers while linemate Brayden Point was the goal-scoring leader with 14 goals.

Give the Stars credit for getting this far. They gave everything they had against a strong Lightning club in this series but seemed to run out of gas in Game 6.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Interim Stars coach Rick Bowness deflected questions during the post-game press conference over whether he’ll return as Dallas’ bench boss. However, he said he still has the passion to coach.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stars owner Tom Gaglardi and general manager Jim Nill said Bowness earned the right to return as their full-time coach next season. I’ll be very surprised if he doesn’t. Bowness did a fine job guiding the Stars to their first Stanley Cup Final in 20 years.

SPORTSNET: For the ninth straight week, the NHL reported no positive COVID-19 tests.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Everyone involved in the NHL return-to-play plan deserves a big round of applause. Their collective goal was to stage a safe environment for a playoff tournament to crown a Stanley Cup champion. Mission accomplished.

TSN: NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr doesn’t expect to see all of next season played under playoff quarantine conditions. However, he suggested the possibility of a hybrid bubble to start next season.

Frank Seravalli reports the league and the PA will meet soon to begin discussions. One concept could be starting the season in four-to-six bubbles in various locations, preferably cities where fans can be allowed into the arenas. At least one bubble would be in Canada, given the current restrictions at the Canada-US border.

Seravalli said the plan could see teams start the season in hybrid bubbles and gradually progress toward teams hosting games in their home arenas and cities with limited capacity before hopefully ramping up to full capacity in time for the playoffs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The league and the PA won’t rush into anything. As they did with the return-to-play plan, they’ll take their time to evaluate all their options as they formulate a workable schedule for next season. They’ll also likely evaluate how the NFL and US college football handles their games with fans in the stands. As with the playoff tournament, player safety will be the priority.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: The Flyers re-signed defenseman Robert Hagg to a two-year, $3.2 million contract extension. Hagg, 25, was a restricted free agent with arbitration rights. The Flyers also hired recently-retired forward Chris Stewart as a player development coach.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: The Blackhawks traded forward Dylan Sikura to the Vegas Golden Knights for forward Brandon Pirri.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 18, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 18, 2019

Golden Knights snuff out the Flames, the Blackhawks beat the Sabres, Oskar Sundqvist fined, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury made 34 saves to blank the Calgary Flames 6-0, snapping his club’s five-game winless skid. Nate Schmidt collected four assists while William Karlson scored twice and set up another. The Flames have been shut out in two straight games and have dropped four straight. 

Vegas Golden Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury backstopped his club to a 6-0 win over the Calgary Flames (Photo via NHL Images).

The Chicago Blackhawks picked up their fourth straight victory by downing the Buffalo Sabres 4-1. Patrick Kane scored to extend his point streak to nine games while rookie Kirby Dach scored twice. Jack Eichel tallied for the Sabres. 

TSN: St. Louis Blues winger Oskar Sundqvist was fined over $7,300.00 by the NHL department of player discipline for charging Anaheim Ducks goaltender John Gibson. 

THE DETROIT NEWS: Robby Fabbri has bolstered the Red Wings secondary scoring since his acquisition from the Blues earlier this month. They have a record of three wins and two overtime/shootout losses since he joined the roster. Fabbri has also tallied six points during that period. 

NEW YORK POST: The Rangers demoted center Lias Andersson to their AHL affiliate in Hartford and placed winger Micheal Haley on waivers

CBS SPORTS: The Florida Panthers placed winger Dryden Hunt on waivers. 

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 17, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 17, 2019

Jack Eichel enjoys a four-goal performance, Joel Quenneville, Jeff Carter, and Steven Stamkos reach notable milestones and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Buffalo Sabres captain Jack Eichel scored all of his team’s goals as they doubled up the Ottawa Senators 4-2. It was the first four-goal game of Eichel’s NHL career. The Sabres snapped a six-game winless skid.

Buffalo Sabres captain Jack Eichel scored four goals in a 4-2 win over the Ottawa Senators (Photo via NHL Images).

Joel Quenneville became just the second coach in NHL history to reach 900 career victories as his Florida Panthers nipped the New York Rangers 4-3. Panthers winger Evgenii Dadonov scored twice while teammates Jonathan Huberdeau and Keith Yandle each had three assists. Rangers winger Artemi Panarin extended his points streak to 11 games with a goal and an assist.

Los Angeles Kings winger Jeff Carter scored the winning goal in his 1,000th career game to give his club a 4-3 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights. Drew Doughty had a goal and an assist for the Kings. Golden Knights forwards Max Pacioretty and William Karlsson each had two points. Earlier in the day, the Golden Knights placed left wing Brandon Pirri on waivers.

Steven Stamkos tallied his 400th career goal but it wasn’t enough to prevent his Tampa Bay Lightning from dropping a 4-3 decision to the Winnipeg Jets. Blake Wheeler and Kyle Connor each had two points for the Jets, who’ve won six of their last eight games. The Lightning’s win streak was stopped at three games.

Jamie Benn scored in overtime as the Dallas Stars overcame a 4-2 deficit to edge the Edmonton Oilers 5-4. Tyler Seguin scored and collected two assists for the Stars. Edmonton’s Connor McDavid had three assists, linemate Leon Draisaitl extended his points streak to 12 games with a goal and an assist, and Jujhar Khaira tallied twice. Draisaitl (43 points) and McDavid (40 points) sit first and second respectively atop the NHL scoring leader board.

Jakub Vrana’s shootout goal gave the Washington Capitals a 3-2 win over the Boston Bruins. The Capitals have won 12 of their last fifteen games and sit atop the overall standings with 33 points. Bruins winger David Pastrnak sniped his league-leading 17th goal of the season. Earlier in the day, the Bruins placed defenseman Torey Krug (upper body) on injured reserve while Patrice Bergeron missed this contest as he rests a lower-body injury.

Nathan MacKinnon’s overtime goal lifted the Colorado Avalanche to a 5-4 victory over the Vancouver Canucks, who stormed back from a 4-2 deficit to force the extra frame. MacKinnon had three points on the night while Cale Makar had four assists. Adam Gaudette scored twice for the Canucks. The Avs weren’t happy over the officials’ failure to stop play when Matt Calvert was struck in the head by a shot from Elias Pettersson and lay bleeding on the ice. The Canucks scored their third goal soon afterward.

The New York Islanders extended their points streak to 14 games with a 4-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. The Islanders rallied back from a 3-0 deficit on third-period goals by Anthony Beauvillier (2) and Mathew Barzal, who also scored the winner in the shootout.

Derek Grant netted his first career NHL hat trick and John Gibson made 37 saves as the Anaheim Ducks snapped a five-game winless skid by dropping the St. Louis Blues 4-1. The Blues’ points streak ended at nine games.

Three-point performances by Dominik Kahun (two goals) and Bryan Rust carried the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 6-1 thumping of the Toronto Maple Leafs. It’s the Penguins first win without sidelined captain Sidney Crosby. The Leafs are winless in their last five games (0-4-1) and slipped out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

The New Jersey Devils rallied from a 3-1 deficit to defeat the Montreal Canadiens 4-3 on an overtime goal by Kyle Palmieri. Devils winger Taylor Hall collected two helpers. The Canadiens picked up a point to move into fourth place in the Eastern Conference. Earlier in the day, the Habs announced forward Jonathan Drouin was placed on injured reserve with an upper-body injury suffered during Friday’s victory over Washington.

Robin Lehner made 39 saves and Alexander Nylander potted two goals as the Chicago Blackhawks romped to a 7-2 win over the Nashville Predators. Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, and Brandon Saad each had two points for the Blackhawks. Predators’ goalie Pekka Rinne was yanked after giving up four goals on 14 shots.

Arizona Coyotes goaltender Darcy Kuemper turned in a 37-save shutout to blank the Calgary Flames 3-0. Kuemper also got involved in a fracas in front of his net, grabbing Flames winger Matthew Tkachuk in a headlock and flipping him to the ice. The Coyotes have won three of their last four while the Flames are winless in their last three contests.

Kevin Labanc’s shootout goal gave the San Jose Sharks a 4-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings, extending their win streak to six games. Labanc finished the night with a goal and two assists while teammate Logan Couture added three assists. . The Wings extended their points streak to five.

The Carolina Hurricanes needed an overtime goal by Andrei Svechnikov to defeat the Minnesota Wild 4-3 after blowing 2-0 and 3-1 leads.

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 5, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 5, 2019

Game recaps, update on Elias Pettersson, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins extended their winning streak to eight games by blanking the Winnipeg Jets 4-0. Matt Murray made 33 saves for the shutout for his seventh consecutive win while Matt Cullen had a goal and an assist. Jets winger Nikolaj Ehlers left the game early in the first period with an apparent left shoulder injury following a collision with Penguins captain Sidney Crosby. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A month ago, the Penguins were sitting outside the Eastern Conference playoff picture. They’ve since surged up the standings and are jockeying with the Washington Capitals for first place in the Metropolitan Division. Speaking of the Capitals…

Dallas Stars center Tyler Seguin scored twice in a 2-1 overtime win over the Capitals, handing the latter their first three-game losing skid of the season. Anton Khudobin kicked out 36 shots for the Stars. 

Dylan Larkin is the first player in Detroit Red Wings history to score four overtime goals in a single season. (Photo via NHL Image)

Dylan Larkin became the first player in Detroit Red Wings history to score four overtime goals in a single season with his game-winning tally in a 4-3 victory over the Nashville Predators. The win snapped a six-game losing streak for the Wings. 

The Colorado Avalanche broke a six-game losing skid by thumping the New York Rangers 6-1. Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, and Tyson Barrie each collected three points. 

New Jersey Devils goaltender Keith Kinkaid made 15 saves in relief of sidelined starter Mackenzie Blackwood to backstop his club to a 3-2 shootout victory over the Arizona Coyotes. Kyle Palmieri and Drew Stafford were the goal scorers in the shootout frame. Blackwood suffered a lower-body injury in the first period. 

Max Pacioretty returned from injury and scored what became the game-winning goal as the Vegas Golden Knights edged the Anaheim Ducks 3-2, handing the latter their seventh straight defeat. It was Pacioretty’s first game since Dec. 17. To make room for him, the Golden Knights demoted winger Brandon Pirri, who has six goals and nine points in seven games since his call-up on Dec. 19. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I have a feeling we’ll see Pirri back with the Golden Knights at some point in this season. 

Emergency call-up center Greg McKegg had a goal and an assist as the Carolina Hurricanes doubled up the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-2. The Hurricanes called up McKegg after placing center Jordan Staal (upper body) on injured reserve

IN OTHER NEWS…

VANCOUVER SUN: Canucks rookie center Elias Pettersson is awaiting the results of an MRI after injuring his right knee during a collision with Montreal Canadiens center Jesperi Kotkaniemi on Thursday. He remains upbeat, claiming he’s walking better than he was following the game. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks and their fans will be anxiously awaiting the results. Pettersson is their leading scorer, the odds-on favorite to win the Calder Memorial Trophy as NHL rookie of the year, and a big reason why they’ve recently surged back into playoff contention. 

NBC SPORTS: Goaltender Mike McKenna is on the move again. Two days after being traded to the Vancouver Canucks by the Ottawa Senators, he was claimed off waivers by the Philadelphia Flyers. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s what one of my readers had to say about this news: “Philly is like that guy in everyone’s fantasy hockey league who hordes goalies.”

THE ATHLETIC’s Scott Powers reports the Chicago Blackhawks placed forward Andreas Martinsen on waivers. 

TSN: “The Rendez-Vous LeBreton Group is headed to mediation in an effort to settle their differences over plans for a development that includes a new NHL arena.” One of the members is Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 1, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 1, 2018

Sharks re-sign Logan Couture, James van Riemsdyk heading to Philadelphia, Mike Green returns with the Red Wings. Details and more on the early news of the NHL’s opening day of free agency in your morning coffee headlines.

**Follow this link to check out the listing of today’s notables UFA signings**

NBC SPORTS: Reports indicated the San Jose Sharks and center Logan Couture have finalized an eight-year, $64-million contract extension that he’ll officially sign today. The annual average value is $8 million.

Logan Couture and the San Jose Sharks have reportedly agreed to an eight-year contract extension (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Couture has a year remaining on his current contract worth an AAV of $6 million. It’s a big pay bump for Couture,  who’s exceeded 50 points in six of of his 10 NHL seasons. He’s among the Sharks core players but will also be 30-year-old when this new contract kicks in. That cap hit could become troublesome over the final four years of his deal as his performance begins to decline. 

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: James van Riemsdyk is reportedly returning to the Philadelphia Flyers, as sources claim he’s signed a five-year, $35-million contract. The annual salary-cap hit is $7 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: van Riemsdyk began his NHL career with the Flyers, playing three seasons with them before being deal to the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2012 for Luke Schenn. Cap Friendly indicates the Flyers have over $57 million invested in 17 players, so adding JvR pushes their cap payroll to over $64 million.

The Flyers still have plenty of room for other additions, but one wonders if this move suggests Wayne Simmonds, who has a year left on his contract and is recovering from offseason surgery, might get dealt this summer. The Flyers can afford to re-sign Simmonds but his name has surfaced in trade rumors in recent weeks. 

THE DETROIT NEWS: Defenseman Mike Green is expected to forego unrestricted free agency and sign a two-year, $10.75-million ($5.375 million AAV) with the Red Wings. The Wings are also reportedly signing former Colorado Avalanche goaltender Jonathan Bernier to a three-year deal worth $3 million annually.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Green is accepting slightly less money than his previous annual cap hit ($6 million) to stay in Detroit. He was considered the best defenseman potentially available via free agency after John Carlson re-signed with the Washington Capitals last week. The depth in quality UFA defenseman has significantly thinned with Carlson and Green off the market. 

TSN: Darren Dreger reports the Vegas Golden Knights have re-signed winger Ryan Reaves to a two-year deal worth $2.775 million annually.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Holy overpayment, Batman! That’s a big raise for a fourth-line grit player. Reaves definitely capitalized on his solid playoff performance this spring but it remains to be seen if he can maintain that form. At least it’s a short-term deal and the Golden Knights have the cap space to afford this. 

The Montreal Canadiens yesterday placed goaltender Steve Mason on unconditional waivers for the purpose of a contract buyout. They acquired Mason from the Winnipeg Jets in a deal that also brought them forward Joel Armia and two draft picks.

TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild placed forward Tyler Ennis on unconditional waivers for buyout purposes.

DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Dallas Stars reportedly have an agreement with former Boston Bruins goaltender Anton Khudobin on a two-year deal. Meanwhile, former Stars forward Antoine Roussel is reportedly close to a four-year deal with the Vancouver Canucks worth just over $3 million annually while the Minnesota Wild are expected to sign former Stars defenseman Greg Pateryn.

NJ.COM: The New Jersey Devils re-signed goaltender Eddie Lack to a one-year, $650K contract.

 

 











NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 5, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 5, 2017

The 2017-18 NHL season has begun. Check out the latest notable news in your morning coffee headlines.

EDMONTON SUN: Connor McDavid tallied a hat trick as the Edmonton Oilers blanked the Calgary Flames 3-0.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: McDavid is wasting little time picking up from where he left off from last season’s MVP performance. As for the Flames, the good news was goalie Mike Smith gave up only two goals on 44 shots. The bad news is their vaunted defense didn’t play well against McDavid and company. 

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Wayne Simmonds also netted three goals to lead the Flyers to a 5-3 victory over the San Jose Sharks.

STLTODAY.COM: Alex Pietrangelo scored twice, including the winner in overtime, as the St. Louis Blues spoiled the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Cup banner night with a 5-4 win. 

TORONTO SUN: Patrick Marleau scored twice while Auston Matthews and James van Riemsdyk had three-point performances to lead the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 7-2 beat down of the Winnipeg Jets. 

WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets yesterday announced the signing of winger Nikolaj Ehlers to a seven-year, $42-million contract extension. His new deal begins in 2018-19 and is worth an annual average value of $6 million. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jets wasted little time locking up the skilled 21-year-old Ehlers, who followed up a promising 38-point NHL debut in 2015-16 with a 25-goal, 64-point effort last season. He finished third among Jets scorers in assists and points and fourth in goals. A highly-skilled winger, Ehlers is a valuable part of the Jets’ offense. Given his upside, this contract could look like a bargain in a few years. 

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: The Blackhawks officially placed sidelined winger Marian Hossa (skin condition) on long-term injury reserve yesterday and signed defenseman Cody Franson to a one-year, $1-million contract. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No surprise on either count. Franson was on a professional tryout offer with the Hawks but it was widely assumed he would make the roster. 

ORANGE COUNTRY REGISTER: Wednesday was a busy day for the Anaheim Ducks. They signed defenseman Josh Manson to a four-year, $16.4 million contract extension and placed veterans Ryan Miller (upper-body injury) and Patrick Eaves (lower body) on injured reserve. Manson will earn $3.25 million in 2018-19, $4.25 million in 2019-20 and $4.45 million in 2020-21 and 2021-22.

TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild signed forward Daniel Winnik to a one-year, $660K contract. Winnik attended Wild training camp on a tryout offer. 

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: The Capitals yesterday signed winger Alex Chiasson to a one-year, $660K contract. Chiasson attended Capitals training camp on a PTO. 

TSN: The Vegas Golden Knights inked free agent forward Brandon Pirri to a one-year, two-way deal worth $650K at the NHL level. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens traded defenseman Zach Redmond to the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for gritty winger Nicolas Deslauriers. The latter will report to the Habs’ AHL affiliate in Laval. 

CBS SPORTS: The Canadiens also shipped forward Andreas Martinsen to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchanged for forward Kyle Baun.

TSN: Former NHL forward Jiri Hudler is accused of creating an outburst during a recent flight to Prague. He is alleged to have “in which he threatened flight attendants, demanded cocaine and tried to urinate in a food cart.” Hudler denies the allegations.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wowsers! Sounds like a scene from a Hunter S. Thompson story.