What Are Marc Bergevin’s Off-Season NHL Plans For The Montreal Canadiens?
The Capitals snuff out the Flames, the Blackhawks edge the Ducks, Milan Lucic receives a two-game suspension, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Jakub Vrana’s first career NHL hat trick powered the Washington Capitals to a 4-2 victory over the Calgary Flames. Evgeny Kuznetsov and Tom Wilson each collected two assists. The league-leading Capitals have won four straight games.
The Flames played without winger Milan Lucic. He received a two-game suspension by the department of player safety for sucker-punching Columbus Blue Jackets winger Kole Sherwood. Flames general manager Brad Treliving disagreed with the decision, claiming Lucic was responding to Sherwood slashing goaltender David Rittich.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: With three suspensions and two fines on his resume, Lucic doesn’t get the benefit of the doubt for questionable tactics.
The Chicago Blackhawks blew a 2-0 lead but Patrick Kane scored in overtime as they edged the Anaheim Ducks 3-2. Blackhawks rookie Adam Boqvist scored his first NHL goal. It was Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf’s 1,000th career regular-season game. He picked up an assist in this contest.
NBC SPORTS: Ottawa Senators winger Scott Sabourin was released from the hospital yesterday after being stretchered off the ice following a collision with Boston Bruins winger David Backes on Saturday. The Senators announced he suffered a fractured nose.The club also announced Logan Brown is listed as week-to-week with an upper-body injury. Backes left the game with an upper-body injury and is expected to miss the next couple of games.
TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins winger Patric Hornqvist (undisclosed) was placed on injured reserve.
WINNIPEG SUN: Jets forward Adam Lowry will not face supplemental discipline for a questionable hit on Vegas Golden Knights winger Alex Tuch, who left the game and didn’t return.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens have called up forward Ryan Poehling and placed center Jesperi Kotkaniemi on IR with a groin injury.
WGR 550: The Buffalo Sabres placed defenseman Marco Scandella on injured reserve and called up blueliner Lawrence Pilut.
TORONTO SUN: Former NHL winger Dean Prentice has passed away at age 87. Prentice played 22 seasons with the New York Rangers, Boston Bruins, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Minnesota North Stars from 1952-53 to 1973-74. He tallied 391 goals and 860 points in 1,378 games.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Prentice’s family, friends, and former teammates.
Evander Kane suspended plus updates on Sidney Crosby, Dylan Larkin, David Krejci, and more in your season-opening NHL morning coffee headlines.
NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane received a three-game suspension for shoving an on-ice official during a preseason game against the Vegas Golden Knights.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kane’s fortunate he didn’t receive more than that. His suspension had some Sharks fans wondering if it might open the door for a return by Patrick Marleau but that’s not going to happen.
TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby rejoined his teammates in practice yesterday for the first time since suffering an undisclosed injury over the weekend. Meanwhile, the club is expected to put sidelined winger Bryan Rust (upper body) on long-term injury reserve to start the season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Placing Rust and defenseman Zach Trotman on LTIR, along with yesterday’s demotions of goaltender Casey DeSmith and defenseman John Marino, ensures the Penguins will be cap compliant to open the season.
THE DETROIT NEWS: Red Wings center Dylan Larkin left practice yesterday following a collision. The club will learn more about his status later today.
NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Bruins center David Krejci (lower-body) remains uncertain for the club’s season-opener on Thursday against Dallas. Meanwhile, contract extension talks have begun between Bruins management and defenseman Torey Krug.
WINNIPEG SUN: Jets center Bryan Little (concussion) is sidelined indefinitely while blueliner Nathan Beaulieu (upper body) will miss at least four weeks. The Jets also lost goaltender Eric Comrie via waivers to the Arizona Coyotes and claimed Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Carl Dahlstrom off waivers.
STARTRIBUNE.COM: Minnesota Wild defenseman Greg Pateryn (sports hernia surgery) will be sidelined up to six weeks.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens demoted forward Ryan Poehling to their AHL affiliate in Laval. A concussion limited him to just two preseason games.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s only a matter of time until Poehling is back with the Canadiens. He’s a promising young forward with a potentially bright future in Montreal.
WGR 550: Buffalo Sabres assistant coach Don Granato is on a leave of absence after being hospitalized with severe pneumonia. He’s expected to make a full recovery.
SPORTSNET: After 13 seasons with ten NHL clubs, forward Lee Stempniak has announced his retirement. In 911 career games, Stempniak tallied 203 goals and 266 points in 469 games. His best season was his sophomore campaign in 2006-07, tallying 27 goals and 52 points with the St. Louis Blues.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Stempniak and his family in their future endeavors.
Taylor Hall returns to the ice, Dan Girardi hangs up his skates, plus updates on Dustin Byfuglien, Alex Goligoski, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: New Jersey Devils winger Taylor Hall scored a goal and collected an assist in a 4-2 victory over the New York Rangers in preseason play on Friday. It was Hall’s first game since suffering a knee injury last December. “I felt pretty good,” said Hall, who played just over 18 minutes. “There wasn’t a whole lot of flow to the game at certain points, but it was a lot of fun to be out there and (to) have some success right off the bat was a good feeling. It’s kind of the way you’d want to draw it up if you were coming back.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s a promising start for Hall. He’ll be crucial to the Devils’ playoff hopes this season.
TSN: Defenseman Dan Girardi yesterday announced his retirement. He spent 13 seasons in the NHL, 11 with the New York Rangers and two with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A solid, big-minute defensive blueliner, Girardi’s best seasons came during his long tenure with the Rangers, helping them reach the Stanley Cup Final in 2014. In recent years, however, his performance declined as he struggled to adjust to the increasingly faster pace of the game. Best wishes to Girardi and his family in their future endeavors.
WINNIPEG SUN: Jets head coach Paul Maurice said he recently had a “wonderful conversation” with defenseman Dustin Byfuglien, who’s taken a leave of absence from the club. Maurice offered up no timetable for the big blueliner’s return. He also downplayed a chance encounter at a restaurant between a couple of fans and Byfuglien, with one of the fans claiming the defenseman told her he will be playing this season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jets’ official line is they’re giving Byfuglien all the time and space he needs during this leave of absence. A report earlier this week claiming the rearguard was pondering his future has Jets fans understandably concerned he might retire.
THE ATHLETIC: Arizona Coyotes defenseman Alex Goligoski admitted he lost his passion for the game around mid-December last season. However, he was re-energized following the club’s mandatory off-week in late-January.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Critics believe the off-week for teams is a waste of time, hurting momentum and roster cohesiveness. Goligoski’s case proves it can be beneficial for players experiencing burnout.
NEW YORK POST: The Rangers re-signed defenseman Tony DeAngelo to a one-year, $925K contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: DeAngelo was the Rangers’ only remaining unsigned restricted free agent. While he was holding out for more, the Rangers lacked sufficient cap space to give him a more substantial raise. If he matches or exceeds last season’s promising 30-point performance, the Blueshirts will reward him for it next summer.
TAMPA BAY TIMES: The Lightning placed goaltenders Louis Domingue and Mike Condon on waivers yesterday for assignment to their AHL affiliate in Syracuse.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens rookie Ryan Poehling is sidelined indefinitely with a concussion while veteran Paul Byron is nursing an upper-body injury.
NHL.COM: The Washington Capitals named Jim Slater to their player development department.
League source confirms a four-year, tentative agreement has been reached with the NHL’s on-ice officials. The old agreement expired Aug. 31. https://t.co/jLpP4ARLHg
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) September 21, 2019