NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 23, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 23, 2021

The 2021 NHL Draft begins tonight, the league releases its 2021-22 schedule, Shea Weber’s career is likely over due to injuries, the Flyers send Shayne Gostisbehere to the Coyotes, the Hurricanes trade Alex Nedeljkovic to the Red Wings, plus much more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.com: The first round of the 2021 NHL Draft gets underway at 8 pm ET tonight. Rounds two through seven will be held on Saturday. Like last year, it will be a virtual draft.

The 2021 NHL Draft begins on Friday, July 23. (NHL.com).

The Buffalo Sabres hold the first-overall pick. University of Michigan defenseman Owen Power is ranked this year’s top prospect but there’s no guarantee he’ll be selected by the Sabres. Power intends to return to university this fall but Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams said that won’t affect his club’s decision. The Seattle Kraken holds the second-overall selection with the Anaheim Ducks holds the third.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Check out my 2021 NHL mock draft of the first round for Bleacher Report. I predict Power will be selected by the Sabres.

The NHL also unveiled its 82-game schedule for 2021-22. The season will begin Tuesday, Oct. 12 with the Pittsburgh Penguins visiting the defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning while the expansion Seattle Kraken plays their first-ever NHL game as they visit the Vegas Golden Knights. The Kraken’s first home game is Oct. 23 as they host the Vancouver Canucks

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin said he doesn’t expect team captain Shea Weber to play next season, adding the defenseman’s career is probably over because of injuries he tried to play through in recent years.

Bergevin confirmed goaltender Carey Price is in New York having his knee and hip examined with the possibility his knee could require surgery with a possible recovery period of 6-8 weeks. He also said he expects winger Jonathan Drouin will return to the team for training camp in September. Drouin took a season-ending leave of absence in March to deal with a personal matter.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bergevin anticipates the league will allow him to place Weber ($7.8 million cap hit) on long-term injury reserve for 2021-22. That would provide the Canadiens GM the flexibility to exceed the $81.5 million salary cap by the equivalent of Weber’s cap hit if necessary.

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes acquired defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere plus a 2022 second-round pick and a 2022 seventh-round pick from the Philadelphia Flyers without sending anything back in return.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was purely a cost-cutting move by the Flyers to shed Gostisbehere’s $4.5 million annual cap hit. “Ghost Bear” struggled over the past two years and could benefit from a change of scenery.

This is the second deal involving the Coyotes where they acquired a player and draft picks without sending anything the other way. They recently swung a deal with the New York Islanders for Andrew Ladd and three picks. As with the Gostisbehere deal, it was done by the Isles to clear some cap room.

The Flyers and Islanders paid a price to get those contracts off their books by giving up those draft picks to the Coyotes. Gostisbehere remains a decent NHL player and is expected to be part of the Coyotes roster next season. Ladd’s spent most of the past two seasons in the minors and could do so again in 2021-22.

THE DETROIT NEWS: The Red Wings acquired goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for goalie Jonathan Bernier and a third-round pick in this year’s draft. Nedeljkovic signed a two-year contract with the Wings worth an annual average value of $3 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This move baffled most observers. Nedeljkovic is a promising young netminder and a Calder Trophy finalist this season. However, it appears the Hurricanes front office wasn’t that enamored with his overall performance. Rather than face a possible salary arbitration battle, they opted to trade him to the Wings.

It’s believed the Hurricanes will seek a suitable replacement via trade or free agency. Nevertheless, this could backfire on them if Nedeljkovic goes on to a solid NHL career with the Wings.

NEW YORK POST: The Rangers signed forward Barclay Goodrow to a six-year contract worth an annual average value of $3.642 million. The deal also includes signing bonuses and a 15-team no-trade list. Goodrow was recently acquired from the Tampa Bay Lightning.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The cap hit is reasonable but the term seems long for a player of Goodrow’s caliber. The 28-year-old is a solid third-line forward but comparable players usually get three or four-year deals at most. Cap Friendly indicates he’ll receive $5 million in actual salary in 2023-24 and $5.1 million in 2024-25.

TSN: A former Chicago Blackhawks player described his alleged sexual assault by the club’s former video coach Bradley Aldrich in a recent court filing.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: The attorney handling two negligence lawsuits against the Blackhawks said one of her clients was bullied by several Blackhawks teammates after he accused Aldrich of sexually assaulting him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman yesterday said he would cooperate with the internal investigation conducted by the legal team hired by the club. The Tribune reports he declined to comment on the specifics of the review or the events in 2010 citing the pending lawsuits.

CALGARY SUN: The Flames acquired forward Tyler Pitlick from the Seattle Kraken in exchange for a fourth-round pick in 2022.

THE MERCURY NEWS: The San Jose Sharks re-signed Rudolfs Balcers to a two-year, $3.1 million contract.

CAP FRIENDLY: The Tampa Bay Lightning re-signed center Gemel Smith to a two-year, $1.5 million contract. The first year is a two-way deal with Smith earning $750K at the NHL level.

NHL.COM: The Colorado Avalanche re-signed forward Kiefer Sherwood to a one-year deal.

NHLPA: Matt Calvert announced his retirement from the NHL after 10 seasons due to a career-ending injury. He played 566 games with the Columbus Blue Jackets and Colorado Avalanche, tallying 203 career points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Calvert in his future endeavors.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 26, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 26, 2021

Mika Zibanejad lights up the Flyers again, Sidney Crosby reaches another career milestone, the Canadian government will reportedly loosen quarantine rules for players, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: An overtime goal by Anthony Beauvillier lifted the New York Islanders over the Boston Bruins 4-3. The Isles overcame a 2-0 deficit to take a 3-2 lead until Boston’s Anders Bjork tied it late in the third. Beauvillier finished with two points while teammate Jean-Gabriel Pageau had a goal and two assists. Bruins backup Jaroslav Halak made 17 saves in relief of Tuukka Rask, who left the game following the first period with an upper-body injury. With 48 points, the Islanders hold a two-point lead over the Washington Capitals for first place in the MassMutual East Division. The Bruins (37 points) hold a three-point lead over the New York Rangers for fourth place.

New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad (NHL Images).

Mika Zibanejad enjoyed a six-point game, including a natural hat trick, as the Rangers thumped the Philadelphia Flyers 8-3. Zibanejad set an NHL record with consecutive six-point performances against the same opponent. Adam Fox collected five assists, Ryan Strome had a goal and three assists and Pavel Buchnevich scored twice. The Rangers (34 points) surged past the Flyers into fifth place in the MassMutual East Division.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Carter Hart was shelled for five goals before getting the hook from the Flyers net. The 22-year-old goaltender looks nothing like last season’s promising starter when he out-dueled Montreal’s Carey Price in the playoffs. His confidence is completely shot and he hasn’t received much help from his defense. The Rangers, meanwhile, have played their way into the playoff race in the East Division, though the Bruins have three games in hand.

The Washington Capitals picked up their eighth win in their last nine contests by edging the New Jersey Devils 4-3. Evgeny Kuznetsov tallied twice while Alex Ovechkin scored his 721st career goal. The Capitals (46 points) hold a two-point lead over the third-place Pittsburgh Penguins in the East Division.

Sebastian Aho’s overtime goal gave the Carolina Hurricanes a 4-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Hurricanes defenseman Dougie Hamilton extended his assist streak to 13 games while Blue Jackets rearguard Seth Jones collected three helpers. The Hurricanes (47 points) sit three points behind the first-place Tampa Bay Lightning in the Discover Central Division while the Blue Jackets (34 points) are three back of the fourth-place Chicago Blackhawks.

The Toronto Maple Leafs nipped the Ottawa Senators 3-2 on an overtime goal by Justin Holl. Senators netminder Anton Forsberg made 38 saves in his first start in a year. The Leafs (44 points) move into sole possession of first place in the Scotia North Division, two points up on the Winnipeg Jets and Edmonton Oilers.

Sidney Crosby collected three assists to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins over the Buffalo Sabres 4-0, handing the latter their 16th straight defeat. Crosby became the eighth-fastest player to reach 1,300 career points. Casey DeSmith kicked out 36 shots for the shutout while rookie Radim Zohorna’s first NHL goal proved to be the game-winner. Before the game, the Penguins announced winger Kasperi Kapanen is sidelined week-to-week with an undisclosed injury. With 44 points, the Penguins sit in third place in the East Division. Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams took over his club’s coaching duties after interim head coach Don Granato and assistant Matt Ellis went onto the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list two hours before game time.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: What happened to Granato and Ellis is just the latest blow in a season that represents the nadir of a decade of suck for the once-proud Sabres.

A 37-save shutout by Cam Talbot carried the Minnesota Wild to a 2-0 blanking of the St. Louis Blues. Marcus Johansson and Kirill Kaprizov were the goal scorers as the Wild (43 points) picked up their 11th straight home win and sit two points behind the second-place Colorado Avalanche in the Honda West Division. Wild defenseman Matt Dumba returned to action after missing three games with a lower-body injury. The fourth-place Blues (37 points) sits six points back of the Wild.

Chicago Blackhawks goalie Kevin Lankinen kicked out 41 shots in a 3-0 shutout of the Florida Panthers. Patrick Kane had a goal and an assist for the Blackhawks (37 points), who hold a three-point lead over the Blue Jackets for fourth in the Central Division. Panthers winger Patric Hornqvist left the game in the third period with an undisclosed injury following a hard hit by Blackhawks defenseman Nikita Zadorov. He’s listed as day-to-day as the Panthers (44 points) sit three points behind the second-place Hurricanes in the Central.

The Colorado Avalanche scored five unanswered goals in a 5-1 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights. Gabriel Landeskog and Cale Makar each had a goal and an assist as the Avalanche moved into a tie with the first-place Golden Knights (45 points), though the latter holds a game in hand.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avalanche have won eight of their last 10 and picked up points in all but one of those games.

A late third-period goal by Roope Hintz lifted the Dallas Stars over the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3. Hintz and Joe Pavelski each had a goal and two assists. Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy saw his winning streak end at 12 games. The Bolts remain atop the NHL’s overall standings with 50 points.

The Nashville Predators moved to within four points of the fourth-place Blackhawks in the Central Division by crushing the Detroit Red Wings 7-1. Rocco Grimaldi scored four goals, including three in a span of 2:34 as the Predators have won five of their last six contests.

HEADLINES

TSN: The Canadian government is reportedly poised to approve reducing the 14-day quarantine on NHL players crossing the border from the United States into Canada to seven days.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This would allow the Canadian general managers who could be buyers more time to make moves in the days leading up to the April 12 trade deadline. Under the 14-day quarantine, a player acquired by a Canadian team acquired at the April 12 trade deadline would be unable to join the roster until April 27. A seven-day quarantine means they can join the roster more quickly.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin said one of his two players on their COVID-19 protocol list tested positive for one of the coronavirus variants. He wouldn’t say who the player was but indicated he was feeling ok. No other Habs have tested positive. The Canadiens had four games postponed by the league but could return to action early next week. Bergevin also suggested his club’s season could last a little longer to make up those games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The regular season is slated to end on May 8 and the playoffs begin on May 11. The Habs could play on May 9 and 10, or the league could extend the start date of the playoffs by a couple of days to accommodate teams with postponed games to be played.

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Four Anaheim Ducks players (Danton Heinen, Ben Hutton, Jacob Larsson and Anthony Stolarz) are off the COVID-19 protocol list due to false-positive tests. Alexander Volkov goes on the list for seven days as per league protocols for traded players.

SPORTSNET: Edmonton Oilers defenseman Oscar Klefbom underwent successful shoulder surgery on Thursday and is on track to return to action next season.

CBS SPORTS: Arizona Coyotes forward Tyler Pitlick was placed on injured reserve with an undisclosed injury.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 6, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 6, 2019

Game recaps, Alex Ovechkin and Patrice Bergeron reach notable milestones, injury updates, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin picked up an assist to become the highest-scoring Russian-born player in NHL history (1,180 points) in a 3-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks. During a timeout, the Capitals honored Canucks center Jay Beagle for his 10 seasons with the club. Beagle signed with the Canucks last summer as a free agent. 

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin is now the highest-scoring Russian player in NHL history (Photo via NHL Images).

Earlier in the day, the Canucks learned defenseman Alexander Edler suffered a concussion and required stitches during Monday’s game against Philadelphia. An injury to backup goalie Thatcher Demko on Monday prompted the Canucks to call up Mike DiPietro on an emergency basis

Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron celebrated his 1,000th career NHL game by scoring twice in a 3-1 victory over the New York Islanders, ending the latter’s eight-game points streak.

Sam Reinhart scored the only goal in the shootout frame as the Buffalo Sabres edged the Minnesota Wild 5-4. The Sabres (58 points) are three points out of a wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference

The St. Louis Blues overcame a 2-0 deficit with three unanswered third-period goals to beat the Florida Panthers 3-2. Vince Dunn tallied the game-winner. The Blues (53 points) sit one point out of a wild-card berth in the Western Conference

A four-goal third period powered the Los Angeles Kings to a 5-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils. Tyler Toffoli scored two straight goals while Ilya Kovalchuk tallied in his first game back in New Jersey since departing the Devils in 2013 for the KHL. 

Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Curtis McElhinney made 23 saves to blank the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-0. The Hurricanes (58 points) are also three points out of wild-card contention in the Eastern Conference. 

Montreal Canadiens winger Brendan Gallagher scored two first-period goals to lead his club to a 4-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks. The Canadiens also learned earlier in the day that forward Paul Byron did not suffer a fracture to his left forearm on Sunday. The Ducks announced defenseman Korbinian Holzer has left the team and returned home for personal reasons. 

The Vegas Golden Knights snapped a four-game losing streak by beating the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 on a shootout goal by Alex Tuch. Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy made 35 saves. 

Nashville Predators captain Roman Josi scored a goal and set up two others in a 5-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes, handing the latter their fourth straight loss. 

San Jose Sharks captain Joe Pavelski’s shorthanded overtime goal enabled his club to down the Winnipeg Jets 3-2. Jets head coach Paul Maurice was appearing in his 1,500th career NHL game. Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson remains sidelined by an illness but could rejoin his teammates later in their four-game road trip. 

A three-goal outburst in the third period gave the Columbus Blue Jackets a 6-3 win over the Colorado Avalanche. Pierre-Luc Dubois scored twice for the Jackets. 

The Chicago Blackhawks tallied five straight third-period goals to thump the Edmonton Oilers 6-2. The Blackhawks now sit three points out of a wild-card berth in the Western Conference. Oilers defenseman Oscar Klefbom returned to the lineup after missing 21 games with a broken finger. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That was an ugly collapse by the Oilers, who are also three points out of playoff contention but also have just three wins in their last 10 games. The Blackhawks, meanwhile, have won five straight to play themselves into the postseason picture after spending most of this season wallowing near the bottom of the conference. 

SPORTSDAY: Dallas Stars forward Tyler Pitlick will miss the next eight weeks recovering from wrist surgery. 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 1, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 1, 2019

Game recaps, injury updates, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: The Philadelphia Flyers extended their winning streak to six games with a 3-2 overtime victory over the Boston Bruins. Travis Sanheim tallied the winner and also picked up an assist. David Pastrnak scored both Bruins goals. 

Mika Zibanejad’s hat trick carried the New York Rangers to a 4-3 win over the New Jersey Devils (Photo via NHL Images).

Mike Zibanejad’s hat trick carried the New York Rangers to a 4-3 win over the New Jersey Devils. Mats Zuccarello collected three assists for the Rangers, who’ve won five of their last seven contests. Earlier in the day, the Rangers revealed center Brett Howden will be sidelined three-to-four weeks with a sprained MCL. 

Third-period goals by Jack Roslovic and Kyle Connor lifted the Winnipeg Jets to a 4-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Jackets were playing without Cam Atkinson, who was a late scratch after being struck in the face by a puck during warmups. Earlier in the day, the Jackets revealed center Boone Jenner will miss one-to-three weeks with an infected laceration on his ankle.  Meanwhile, Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien (lower-body injury) is now listed as day-to-day. He’s been sidelined since Dec. 29. 

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Anaheim Ducks winger Corey Perry could make his season debut on Saturday against the Winnipeg Jets. He’s been sidelined for four months recovering from surgery on his right knee. 

SPORTSNET: Edmonton Oilers defenseman Oscar Klefbom suffered an apparent setback in his recovery from a broken left finger after being struck on the injured hand during practice. 

STLTODAY.COM: Blues winger David Perron (upper-body injury) was placed on injured reserve. 

DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars forward Tyler Pitlick (upper-body injury) will be sidelined for two more weeks.

SPORTSNET: The Montreal Canadiens will neither confirm or deny a report claiming defenseman Noah Juulsen may have suffered a career-threatening eye injury. He was struck in the face by a puck during a Nov. 19 game against Washington and his last game was with their AHL farm team on Dec. 27. The club will only confirm he has an upper-body injury that requires rest and is not a concussion.  

TSN: The Florida Panthers placed forward Jamie McGinn on waivers. 

CBC.CA: Olympic gold medalist Kendall Coyne Schofield defended NBC Sports analyst Pierre McGuire from social media backlash for “mansplaining” hockey to Coyne Schofield. The incident occurred during her appearance with McGuire as a guest analyst in Wednesday’s contest between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Tampa Bay Lightning. 

“I know he respects me as a hockey player, a woman, and a friend and that’s why I didn’t think twice about our on-air exchange when it happened,” said Coyne Schofield. Nevertheless, she added, “If I were watching it at home and saw a man say this to a woman athlete, I would have been offended.”

McGuire also issued a statement apologizing for his remarks. “At times my excitement got the better of me and I should have chosen my words better.”

THE SCORE: Antoine Vermette yesterday announced his retirement after 14 NHL seasons. In 1,046 games with the Ottawa Senators, Columbus Blue Jackets, Phoenix/Arizona Coyotes, Chicago Blackhawks, and Anaheim Ducks, Vermette scored 228 goals and 287 assists for 515 points, along with 14 goals and 28 points in 97 playoff games. He won a Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks in 2015. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Vermette and his family in their future endeavors.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 27, 2016



NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 27, 2016

Arizona Coyotes captain Shane Doan salutes the crowd after his 1,500th NHL game.

A roundup of recent notable news from the last three days in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Florida Panthers right wing Jaromir Jagr, Los Angeles Kings center Jeff Carter and Edmonton Oilers goaltender Cam Talbot are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Dec. 25. 

ARIZONA SPORTS:  Long-time Coyotes captain Shane Doan tallied his 400th career goal in his 1,500th NHL game in his club’s 4-1 loss on Friday to the Toronto Maple Leafs. 

ESPN.COM: The Columbus Blue Jackets picked up their 12th consecutive victory by edging the Montreal Canadiens on Dec. 23. 

TWINCITIES.COM:  The Minnesota Wild set a franchise record for consecutive wins (10) with their 7-4 victory over the New York Rangers on Friday. 

NHL.com:  On Monday, the Pittsburgh Penguins announced the re-signing of head coach Mike Sullivan to a three-year contract extension that begins in 2017-18. Sullivan took over as bench boss last December and guided the Penguins to the 2016 Stanley Cup championship. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sullivan’s style also helped the Pens avoid the dreaded Stanley Cup hangover. Thus far, they’re second overall in the Eastern Conference with 49 points in 35 games. 

THE DETROIT NEWS: Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard will miss four-to-six weeks with a knee sprain. 

TSN:  Vancouver Canucks winger Jannik Hansen suffered an apparent knee injury in last Thursday’s game against the Winnipeg Jets. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  No word as to how long Hansen might be sidelined. 

DALLAS MORNING NEWS:  The Stars placed forward Antoine Roussel on injured reserve. 

Edmonton Oilers center Tyler Pitlick’s season is over after suffering a torn ACL in his left knee. 

OTTAWA SUN: NHL free-agent forward Steve Downie went on a Twitter rant prior to Christmas, calling out “his former head coach Dave Tippett, the NHL’s Director of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell and hockey commentator Don Cherry”. He ripped Tippett for allowing his best player, left wing Max Domi, to engage in a fight that broke the winger’s hand, Campbell for mocking former Coyotes enforcer John Scott for taking part in the 2016 NHL All-Star Game, and Cherry for years of advocating violent play. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some observers have commended Downie’s outspokenness. Others, however, could interpret his remarks as sour grapes. Violent play has always been a part of the NHL, though in recent years the league has taken steps to reduce its effects and better protect its players. Still, there remains a “tough guy” code that has its champions around the league, with Cherry among the most prominent. That makes the colorful commentator a big target for criticism, some of it quite justified. 

MLIVE: The recent postponed game between the Detroit Red Wings and Carolina Hurricanes has been rescheduled for March 27, 2017.

TSN: Rick Westhead reports a California workers’ compensation appeals board ruled the New Jersey Devils wrongfully withheld medical record from Mike Peluso, who alleges he suffered brain injuries as a result of his NHL career. 

“California was among the few U.S. states where pro athletes until 2014 could file workers compensation claims without playing their home games in the state. That meant that players from any NHL club, Peluso included, could file there.

In 2014, after lobbying by the National Football League, the state changed the law so that only players who played home games in California could file claims. That means former NHL players with the Los Angeles Kings, San Jose Sharks, Anaheim Ducks and California Golden Seals can now file there.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The league currently faces a lawsuit from a number of former players regarding concussions suffered during their NHL careers. The Peluso ruling could lead to a number of former players from those teams filing similar claims.