NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 10, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 10, 2018

Canadiens trade Max Pacioretty to the Golden Knights plus latest on Andrew MacDonald, Sean Couturier and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

TSN: The Montreal Canadiens traded left wing Max Pacioretty to the Vegas Golden Knight in exchange for winger Tomas Tatar, prospect center Nick Suzuki and a second-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft. The draft pick originally belonged to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Montreal Canadiens trade Max Pacioretty to the Vegas Golden Knights. (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This isn’t a great return for the Canadiens but it isn’t bad. It’s a clear indication they’re rebuilding, even if management can’t bring themselves to publicly say it. 

While Tatar isn’t on the same level as Pacioretty, he’s reached 20 goals in each of the last four seasons. Cap Friendly indicates he’s under contract through 2020-21 with a $5.3-million annual average value. He’s also listed as having a full no-trade clause for this season but perhaps he waived it to go to Montreal.

Tatar was hampered last season by shoulder surgery from the previous summer. If he’s now fully recovered he should be good for 25 goals per season. Listed as a left wing, he can also play the right side, giving the Habs some flexibility there. He could also be used as a future trade option.

Getting a second-round pick in 2019 is also worthwhile as the Habs can use it themselves or as a bargaining chip in a trade. The real key here is Suzuki, who was selected in the opening round (13th overall) of the 2017 NHL Draft. He has the potential to blossom into a first-line center, something the Canadiens have been lacking for years.

With training camp just days away, the Canadiens wanted to move Pacioretty as soon as possible rather than have questions over his future becoming an unnecessary distraction. Pacioretty forced the issue by saying he wouldn’t discuss a contract extension once the season opened next month. He’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

The addition of Pacioretty gives the Golden Knights some additional experienced scoring punch and leadership this season. He’s expected to skate on the second line along center Paul Stastny and right wing Alex Tuch. Golden Knights general manager George McPhee wants to give his club every opportunity to prove last season’s unexpected success was no fluke. 

Pacioretty’s time in Vegas could stretch beyond this season. According to Sportsnet’s John Shannon, the Golden Knights and the left winger’s camp are hopeful of getting an extension done. 



NHL.COM: Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Andrew MacDonald suffered a lower-body injury during off-season training and is expected to be sidelined for six weeks. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: MacDonald’s absence raises some questions over what the Flyers might do for a short-term replacement. I’ll have more later this morning in the Rumors section. 

PHILLY.COM: Speaking of the Flyers, GM Ron Hextall said sidelined center Sean Couturier will be ready for action when the season opens next month. Couturier is sidelined by a knee injury but has already resumed skating. 

MLIVE.COM: Winger Matt Puempel agreed to a two-year contract with the Detroit Red Wings.


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 22, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 22, 2017

Game recaps, injury updates and the Red Wings make two trades. Details in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Anze Kopitar scored twice and Dustin Brown collected four points to give the Los Angeles Kings a 6-4 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Kings remain the only team unbeaten in regulation this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Since changing to a more offensive style under new head coach John Stevens, the Kings are a different team compared to the club that struggled to score last season under Darryl Sutter’s defensive system. After finishing 24th in goals for per game last season (2.43), the Kings are currently third (3.86).  

William Karlsson’s overtime goal gave the Vegas Golden Knights a 3-2 win over the St. Louis Blues. The expansion Golden Knights have won six of their first seven games. However, they’ve lost another goaltender to injury as Malcolm Subban left the game with a lower-body injury.

Kevin Hayes and Jimmy Vesey each had a goal and an assist as the New York Rangers snapped a five-game losing skid by doubling up the Nashville Predators 4-2. Filip Forsberg also had a goal and an assists for the Predators. Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist collected his 407th career NHL win, moving into a tie with Glenn Hall for ninth on the all-time list.

Lance Bouma scored the game winner as the Chicago Blackhawks downed the Arizona Coyotes 4-2. The Coyotes remain winless (0-7-1) this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A season that began with so much promise for the Coyotes following a summer of roster and coaching changes has quickly gone off the rails. Could a front-office shakeup be next? 

Steven Stamkos netted four points and Nikita Kucherov scored twice as the Tampa Bay Lightning crushed the Pittsburgh Penguins 7-1.

Ryan Suter collected three points and Alex Stalock kicked out 35 shots to give the Minnesota Wild a 4-2 victory over the Calgary Flames, who also lost winger Jaromir Jagr to a lower-body injury.

Derrick Brassard and Mark Stone each had two goals and an assist as the Ottawa Senators held off a third-period rally by the Toronto Maple Leafs to emerge with a 6-3 victory. Auston Matthews and William Nylander each had a goal and an assists for the Leafs. Senators winger Bobby Ryan fractured his right index finger blocking a shot and will be sidelined for a month.

James Reimer made 41 saves as the Florida Panthers ended a three-game losing streak with a 4-1 win over the Washington Capitals. Before the game, the Panthers announced goaltender Roberto Luongo was placed on injured reserve (right hand) and will be out at least a week.

Ryan O’Reilly scored in overtime as the Buffalo Sabres overcame a three-goal deficit to edge the Boston Bruins 5-4. Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak each scored twice for the Bruins, who placed center David Krejci and defenseman Kevan Miller on injured reserve.

John Tavares scored a goal and set up two others while Anders Lee tallied twice to give the New York Islanders a 5-3 victory over the San Jose Sharks. Logan Couture scored all of the Sharks goals.

Wayne Simmonds’ late third-period goal gave the Philadelphia Flyers a 2-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers.

Tyler Pitlick scored twice and Ben Bishop made 36 saves as the Dallas Stars nipped the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3. Jeff Skinner scored twice for the Hurricanes.

MLIVE.COM: The Detroit Red Wings made two trades Saturday to free up salary-cap space and clear a log jam on their blueliner. They shipped center Riley Sheahan and a 2018 fifth-round selection to the Pittsburgh Penguins for left wing Scott Wilson and a third-round pick in 2018. They also dealt blueliner Ryan Sproul to the New York Rangers in exchange for winger Matt Puempel. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sheahan ($2 million cap hit) was moved to create salary-cap space for winger Andreas Athanasiou’s one-year, $1.38) million contract.  The Pens were in the market for an affordable third-line center and were linked to Sheahan in the rumor mill since the summer. 

Sheahan’s struggled offensively since last season but perhaps he’ll regain his scoring touch with a deeper roster. His defensive ability, size (6’3″, 226 lbs) and versatility (he can also play on the wing) are the attributes that made him attractive for the Penguins. Sproul will report to the Rangers AHL affiliate in Hartford while Puempel is headed to Grand Rapids. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 15, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 15, 2017

The New York Rangers will buy out the contract of defenseman Dan Girardi.

Salary cap update, Rangers to buy out Girardi, Karlsson undergoes surgery & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

THE ATHLETIC:  James Mirtle cites sources saying the NHL salary cap for 2017-18 is likely to be set at $75 million. The NHLPA executive board is hearing arguments on escrow and the five percent escalator clause. Should it rise to $75 million, it means the PA will have voted against using the full five percent. The current cap ceiling is $73 million. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Mirtle explains, the PA could vote for that lower cap figure to ease the burden of rising escrow clawbacks from players salaries. It could, however, affect several cap-strapped teams, such as the Chicago Blackhawks, Anaheim Ducks, Columbus Blue Jackets and New York Islanders.

NEW YORK POST: The Rangers announced yesterday they are buying out the final three seasons of defenseman Dan Girardi’s contract. “With the buyout, they will have dead space on the cap for the next six seasons, the value going from $2.61 million next season, followed by two seasons of $3.61 million and three seasons of $1.11 million.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers appear to be making room on their roster and salary-cap payroll for a significant addition or two in the coming weeks. 

Speaking of the Rangers, they re-signed Matt Puempel yesterday to a new contract yesterday, meeting their exposure requirements for the upcoming expansion draft. It’s a one-year deal worth $725K. 

OTTAWA SUN: Senators captain Erik Karlsson underwent surgery to repair torn tendons in his left foot and will require four months of recovery. The Sens also parted ways with long-time enforcer Chris Neil after 16 seasons. Neil is due to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. 

PHILLY.COM: Agent Anton Thun, who represents goaltender Steve Mason, doesn’t expect his client will be re-signed by the Philadelphia Flyers. Mason is due for unrestricted free agency in July. 

ARIZONA SPORTS: Long-time Coyotes captain Shane Doan is leaning toward returning for another season. 

TSN: Nashville Predators winger James Neal played in the Stanley Cup Final with a broken hand. 

SPORTSNET: New Jersey Devils GM Ray Shero doesn’t expect to trade his first-round pick (first overall) in the 2017 NHL draft. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The last time the first overall draft pick was traded occurred in 2003, when the Florida Panthers shipped their pick to the Pittsburgh Penguins for the third overall pick. The Pens used that selection to draft goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury. 

CSN MID-ATLANTIC: The Washington Capitals acquired center Tyler Graovac from the Wild in exchange for a 5th round pick in 2018. The move will allow the Capitals to protect center Lars Eller in the upcoming expansion draft. 

TRIBLIVE.COM: An estimated 650,000 people turned out in downtown Pittsburgh yesterday to watch the Penguins’ Stanley Cup parade.

TSN: The NHL is telling general managers not to leak any trades made with the Vegas Golden Knights prior to the unveiling of that club’s inaugural roster on June 21.  

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Good luck with that. 

SUN-SENTINEL.COM: The Florida Panthers promoted Bryan McCabe to director of player personnel. 

THE GLOBE AND MAIL: “Over the entire run of the 2017 playoffs, the average audience on CBC and Sportsnet was 1.61 million viewers a game – a 94-per-cent increase over last year.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Certainly helped to have several Canadian NHL teams in the playoffs. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 4, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 4, 2017

The Columbus Blue Jackets are one win away from tying the NHL record of 17 consecutive victories.

Game recaps, December’s top rookie and star and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Columbus Blue Jackets collected their 16th consecutive victory by downing the Edmonton Oilers 3-1, moving to within one game of tying the league record of 17. Cam Atkinson, William Karlsson, and Nick Foligno scored for the Jackets. 

Alex Ovechkin’s overtime goal capped the Washington Capitals’ rally from a 4-2 deficit as they defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 6-5, snapping the Leafs five-game win streak.

Ovechkin’s OT goal was his 19th, tying him with Florida Panthers winger Jaromir Jagr for the most in NHL history. Evgeny Kuznetsov had a four-point performance (one goal, three assists) and Justin Williams collected three points for the Capitals. Leafs rookies Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner each had two points. 

Shea Weber scored in his return to Nashville since being dealt last summer to the Montreal Canadiens, helping his new club defeat the Predators 2-1 in overtime. Former Predators winger Alexander Radulov set up Weber’s goal and Max Pacioretty’s winner. 

Nikolaj Ehlers scored twice and set up another while Connor Hellebuyck made 32 saves to give the Winnipeg Jets a 6-4 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Jets rookie Patrik Laine also scored and set up two others, while Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov scored two goals and picked up an assist. 

Tanner Pearson scored in overtime, Jeff Carter had a goal and an assist and Peter Budaj made 26 saves to give the Los Angeles Kings a 2-1 win over the San Jose Sharks. 

Justin Bailey scored his first NHL goal and Anders Nilsson made 24 saves as the Buffalo Sabres upended the New York Rangers 4-1. Earlier in the day, the Rangers revealed forward Matt Puempel is sidelined indefinitely by a concussion. 

The New Jersey Devils got back-to-back wins for the first time since December 8, as Corey Schneider made 29 saves in a 3-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes.

Earlier in the day, the Devils placed forward Reid Boucher on waivers only a day after claiming him from the Nashville Predators in hopes of giving him playing time with their AHL affiliate. Meanwhile, the Hurricanes remain without the services of backup goalie Eddie Lack, who’s once again sidelined by a concussion

Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, Pittsburgh Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin and Minnesota Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk were named the NHL’s three stars for December 2016

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This marks the first time a Blue Jackets player was named player of the month. 

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews was named NHL rookie of the month for December 2016

SPECTOR’S NOTE: After being somewhat overshadowed by Winnipeg’s Patrik Laine, Columbus’s Zach Werenski and Leafs teammates William Nylander and Mitch Marner earlier in the season, Matthews rose to the fore in December. He’s now tied with Laine for the rookie scoring lead and the Leafs top scorer. 

ESPN.COM: Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby, Edmonton’s Connor McDavid, Montreal’s Carey Price and Nashville’s P.K. Subban were named divisional captains for the 3-on-3 tournament in the upcoming NHL All-Star Game. 

PHILLY.COM:  The Philadelphia Flyers activated goaltender Michal Neuvirth off injured reserve. 

STLTODAY.COM: The St. Louis Blues placed forward Ty Rattie on waivers. 

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: The Blackhawks sent rookie Tyler Motte to their AHL affiliate in Rockford. 

NEWSDAY: New York Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic is glad he rescinded last season’s trade request. Hamonic asked to be dealt to a Western Conference club to be close to an ailing relative in Manitoba but changed his mind after the relative’s health improved. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: So no, the Islanders’ struggles this season hasn’t made Hamonic regret his decision to pull his trade request.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Former Blackhawks Nick Boynton, Ben Eager, and Dan Carcillo admit they experienced difficulty adjusting to life after their NHL careers ended. “I had a difficult period,” Carcillo said. “Every year you’re familiar with a routine and structure and you have a purpose, and now you’re kind of searching for what to do next and what will motivate you.” The trio credit their families with helping in their transition. 

STLTODAY.COM:  St. Louis city leaders and Blues executive seek taxpayer help in making $138 million in renovations to Scottrade Center. 

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 30, 2016

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 30, 2016

The Ottawa Senators retire Daniel Alfredsson’s No. 11.

Game recaps, Senators retire Daniel Alfredsson’s number & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.com: Anthony Mantha’s overtime goal gave the Detroit Red Wings a 3-2 win over the Ottawa Senators. Before the game, the Senators honored former captain Daniel Alfredsson by retiring his number 11

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Alfredsson was truly the greatest player in the Senators’ modern history. He spent 17 of his 18 NHL seasons with Ottawa, 13 as their captain. He holds the franchise records for goals (426), assists (682) and points (1,108), won the 1996 Calder Memorial Trophy as rookie of the year and led the Sens to the Stanley Cup Final in 2007. In my opinion, he’s a future Hall of Famer. 

The Columbus Blue Jackets extended their winning streak to 14 games by downing the Winnipeg Jets 5-3. Alexander Wennberg scored twice and Nick Foligno netted a goal and two assists for the Jackets. 

Mikael Granlund, Mikko Koivu and Ryan Suter had two-point performances leading the Minnesota Wild to a 6-4 win over the New York Islanders. Brock Nelson tallied twice for the Isles. The Wild have now won 12 straight games. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This sets the stage for the Jackets’ game against the Wild In Minnesota on New Year’s Eve. One of these clubs will see their winning streak come to an end. 

Matt Puempel got his first career NHL hat trick and Kevin Hayes picked up three assists as the New York Rangers beat the Arizona Coyotes 6-3. 

Ryan Spooner scored twice and David Krejci tallied a goal and an assist as the Boston Bruins doubled up the Buffalo Sabres 4-2. Bruins forward David Backes was knocked out of the game by a blindside hit from Sabres center William Carrier, who could face a suspension as a result.

Tyler Seguin netted two goals to lead the Dallas Stars to a 4-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche. Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen was forced from the game following a collision with Jarome Iginla but coach Lindy Ruff said he suffered no ill effects from the incident. 

Patrick Kane scored and set up another and Corey Crawford turned aside 36 shots to lead the Chicago Blackhawks to a 3-2 win over the Nashville Predators. Ryan Johansen set up both of the Predators’ goals. 

Antoine Vermette and Ryan Kesler each collected two points as the Anaheim Ducks beat the Calgary Flames 3-1. 

Jordan Eberle netted two assists in the Edmonton Oilers’ 3-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings 

Brendan Gallagher’s game-tying goal set the stage for Phillip Danault’s overtime winner as the Montreal Canadiens rallied to edge the Florida Panthers 3-2. It was reported Panthers center Aleksander Barkov will miss two-three weeks with an undisclosed injury. 

Auston Matthews netted a goal and an assist while Nazem Kadri tallied the winner in overtime to lift the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 3-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Lightning also learned forward Brayden Point (upper-body injury) will be sidelined four-to-six weeks. 

Shootout goals from Mike Cammalleri and Jacob Josefson plus a 43-save effort by Kevin Kinkaid helped the New Jersey Devils squeak past the Washington Capitals 2-1. 

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Matt Murray is listed as week-to-week with a lower-body injury. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This could put an end, for a while at least, to the trade rumors dogging Pens veteran goalie Marc-Andre Fleury. A solid performance by Fleury, however, could boost his trade value once Murray returns. 

NHL.COM: The St. Louis Blues re-signed defenseman Robert Bortuzzo to a two-year, $2.3-million contract extension. 

TORONTO SUN: Hundreds of seats remain available for this Sunday’s Centennial Classic at BMO Field between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs. 

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 7, 2016

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 7, 2016

New Jersey Devils winger Taylor Hall levels Vancouver Canucks defenseman Philip Larsen.

New Jersey Devils winger Taylor Hall levels Vancouver Canucks defenseman Philip Larsen.

Game recaps, injury updates and much more in this morning’s collection of NHL headlines. 

NHL.com: A hit by New Jersey Devils’ winger Taylor Hall on Vancouver Canucks defenseman Philip Larsen knocked the latter from the game and overshadowed the Devils 3-2. victory.

Larsen was knocked unconscious and was stretchered from the game. Latest word is Larsen was awake and responsive and was taken to hospital for further evaluation. Though Hall was reassured the hit was clean, he still expressed remorse. He said his intention wasn’t to injure Larsen, a former teammate. 

Also during the game, Devils forward Travis Zajac suffered a facial injury after crashing head first into the boards, but was stitched up and returned to action. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The league will review the hit, but it remains to be seen if it will be ruled illegal. While a case could be made that it was a blindside hit, Hall didn’t target Larsen’s head or hit him from behind. Here’s hoping Larsen didn’t suffer a serious injury and returns to action soon. 

Marian Hossa scored twice while Scott Darling turned in a 22-save shutout performance to give the Chicago Blackhawks a 4-0 win over the Arizona Coyotes. However, Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook left the game with an upper-body injury

Jakub Voracek tallied in overtime after Wayne Simmonds scored twice in regulation to lift the Philadelphia Flyers to a 3-2 win over the Florida Panthers, giving the Flyers their sixth straight victory. 

Jaden Schwartz scored twice, including in overtime, as the St. Louis Blues overcame a 2-0 deficit to edge the Montreal Canadiens 3-2. Canadiens center Davis Desharnais left the game in the third period with an apparent knee injury. Earlier in the day, the Blues placed defenseman Robert Bortuzzo (lower body) on injured reserve

Jaroslav Halak made 36 saves backstopping the New York Islanders to a 4-2 victory over the New York Rangers. The Rangers also lost forwards Rick Nash (groin) and Matt Puempel (concussion) to injury

Henrik Zetterberg’s shootout goal capped a rally for the Detroit Red Wings that saw them roar back from a two-goal deficit to defeat the Winnipeg Jets 4-3. Jets rookie Patrik Laine scored his 17th of the season, tying him for first in the league. 

Rasmus Ristolainen’s overtime tally gave the Buffalo Sabres a 4-3 win over the Edmonton Oilers. Ristolaninen also collected two assists in the contest, as did Oilers captain Connor McDavid. 

Roma Josi’s overtime marker gave the Nashville Predators a 4-3 victory over the Colorado Avalanche, who dropped their sixth straight game. 

Sean Monahan’s third period power-play goal lifted the Calgary Flames to a 2-1 win over the Dallas Stars

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs demoted backup goalie Jhonas Enroth and called up Antoine Bibeau. Meanwhile, unrestricted free agent netminder Karri Ramo signed a professional tryout contract with the Marlies, the Leafs’ AHL affiliate. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This doesn’t mean Ramo has signed with the Leafs. That will depend upon his performance with the Marlies over the next several games. He remains a UFA and can sign with any NHL club he chooses.

ESPN.COM: Hall of Famer Eric Lindros is calling for a national standard to diagnose and treat concussions in sports. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think that’s a great idea, but getting some pro sports leagues to recognize such a standard is another matter. The commissioners of some of those leagues (hello there, NHL commish Gary Bettman) refuse to acknowledge the link between concussions and serious brain injuries. 

The NHL and NHLPA are in talks to give teams a “bye week” in the 2017-18 schedule. 

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Ken Campbell is no fan of Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland’s suggestion of a one-game wild-card play-in for the postseason. 

NEW YORK POST: The NHL will be moving its headquarters to a new location in New York City.