NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 29, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 29, 2020

Some players express reluctance about resuming the season, a look at some possible neutral-site host cities and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines,

LATEST ON THE NHL’S EFFORTS TO RESUME THE SEASON

TSN: Darren Dreger reports the NHL is expected to extend its quarantine period from April 30 to May 15. He also said there will be a call today between the league and the NHL Players’ Association to discuss player concerns regarding a resumption of the season. Those issues include travel and quarantine issues for European players returning to North America, the potential period players could be separated from their families, and the expense of continuing the schedule in divisional host cities.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The state of Texas is reopening, but Stars general manager Jim Nill said he’ll await approval from the league before allowing his players to resume small-group training at the team’s facilities.

Montreal Canadiens center Phillip Danault recently expressed concern about resuming the NHL season (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some players, such as the Los Angeles Kings’ Drew Doughty, the Montreal Canadiens’ Phillip Danault, and the New York Islanders’ Ryan Pulock, expressed skepticism about returning to action or concern about lengthy family separations. Others, such as the Toronto Maple Leafs’ Jake Muzzin, said they’re looking forward to restarting the season.

Any plan to continue playing will require the NHLPA’s approval. While the concerns of some players are certainly justified, the possibility of larger escrow deductions from their salaries next season could tip the scales in the league’s favor.

If the NHL cancels the season, it will lose around $1.1 billion in hockey-related revenue. That reportedly means over 40 percent of the players’ salaries for 2020-21 will be clawed back. Completing this season would recoup between $400 million and $500 million, meaning next season’s escrow number would be around 20 percent. That’s still higher than the usual 12-to-15 percent escrow clawbacks, but more palatable than 40 percent.

Pierre LeBrun reports the league is also considering starting up the 2020-21 season in December if the end of the current season stretches into September or October. A December start also means a better chance of having fans back in the arenas again.

Bob McKenzie reports a decision on when to stage the 2020 NHL Draft could be made next week. He’s pessimistic that it could be held in June before the resumption of the season, citing the negative reaction to the idea around the league.

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Penguins GM Jim Rutherford expects the NHL will follow the National Football League’s lead in staging a virtual draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the NHL canceled the remainder of the season and playoffs, it would make sense to hold the draft in June. The issues raised by staging the draft before resuming the season in July, such as sorting out the draft order and addressing conditional draft picks moved in trades earlier this season, would create unnecessary headaches and unpopular solutions.

TAMPA BAY TIMES/EDMONTON JOURNAL/THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Tampa Bay, Edmonton, and Columbus are among the clubs under consideration to become divisional host cities if the NHL season resumes this summer.

OTTAWA SUN: Don’t expect Ottawa to be a neutral site location. A lack of suitable hotels and their proximity to the rink are among the issues.

SPORTSNET: The NHL is selling team-branded face coverings with the proceeds going to Feeding America and Food Banks Canada COVID-19 Response Funds.

 

IN OTHER NEWS…

THE SCORE: Philadelphia Flyers forward Oskar Lindblom will undergo his final treatments as he makes progress against Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare bone cancer. “He feels great, considering the condition he’s in. He’s such a great kid and he’s determined. His focus is to play as soon as possible,” said Flyers assistant general manager Brett Flahr.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s hoping Lindblom makes a full recovery and resumes his NHL career.

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: Recently retired NHL player Joel Ward hopes to become a coach with the San Jose Sharks. Ward said he’s chatted with management several times.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: The Carolina Hurricanes Foundation donated $478,000 during the 2019-20 season, including cash grants, to 26 local nonprofits and youth hockey organizations in North Carolina.

 










Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – March 22, 2020

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – March 22, 2020

The latest on the Islanders, several stars who may have played their final NHL games, and questions about conditional draft picks in the Sunday NHL rumor roundup.

ISLANDERS WOULD MATCH OFFER SHEET FOR BARZAL

SPORTSNET: In a recent Q&A with New York Islanders fans, general manager Lou Lamoriello said it wasn’t his intention to let contract talks with Mathew Barzal reach the point where the 22-year-old center received an offer sheet from a rival club. If Barzal did sign one, however, Lamoriello said he’d match it. He remains confident in getting Barzal and fellow restricted free agents Ryan Pulock and Devon Toews re-signed.

New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Isles have over $71 million invested in 18 players. Assuming the salary cap remains at $81.5 million, Lamoriello will be hard-pressed to squeeze new contracts for Barzal, Pulock, and Toews within that $10 million of cap space available to him.

Matching an expensive offer sheet would gobble up almost all of that cap room. Lamoriello would get some cap wiggle room as he’s allowed to exceed the cap by 10 percent during the off-season, but he must shed salary before the start of the season to become cap compliant.

I doubt Lamoriello’s worried about a rival GM signing Barzal to an offer sheet. Most NHL clubs will feel the financial squeeze from this pandemic, leaving few with enough cap room to take a run at poaching the young Isles center.

SEVERAL STARS WHO MAY HAVE PLAYED THEIR FINAL NHL GAMES

THE ATHLETIC: New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, Anaheim Ducks goalie Ryan Miller, and Minnesota Wild captain Mikko Koivu are among those on James Mirtle’s list of 15 NHL players who may have played their final NHL games if this season is canceled.

Others include Carolina Hurricanes winger Justin Williams, St. Louis Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester, Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook, and Anaheim Ducks winger David Backes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think Lundqvist may have played his last game with the Rangers, but I can see him playing with another NHL club if he waives his no-movement clause or is bought out of his current contract. Miller turns 40 in July and I suspect the Ducks will replace him with a younger option. If he’s unwilling to leave Calfornia, he’s likely done. Koivu has already hinted at retirement.

Williams spent half this season mulling retirement before returning to the Hurricanes. He could be done after this. Bouwmeester’s recent cardiac incident has likely ended his playing career. Seabrook’s double hip surgeries place his playing career in jeopardy. Ditto Backes’ concussion history.

WHAT TO DO WITH CONDITIONAL DRAFT PICKS FROM RECENT TRADES?

TSN: Frank Seravalli recently reported there are many questions about how the NHL deals with the minutiae related to contracts and trades if the schedule is reduced or canceled. What happens with conditional draft picks involved in recent trades is among those issues.

In last summer’s deal that saw the Edmonton Oilers ship Milan Lucic to the Calgary Flames for James Neal, the Flames get a conditional third-round pick if Neal tallies 21 goals and Lucic under 10 this season.

“What does the NHL do moving forward here? Do they decide to prorate it? In which case Lucic would remain under 10 and Neal gets to about 23? Or do they decide to leave it as is and that’s just one of the questions at stake with regards to other bonuses in contracts and compensation? Things like expansion draft considerations and also other picks that changed hands for deals at the deadline. Can we see things like compensatory picks and such.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This issue will have to be sorted out once a final decision is reached regarding the remainder of this season and the playoffs. For now, your guess is as good as mine.

 










NHL Most Important Players: New York Islanders

NHL Most Important Players: New York Islanders

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 18, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 18, 2018

Coyotes owner looking to sell a portion of the franchise, an update on Tom Wilson plus the latest contract signings and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

FORBES.COM: Mike Ozanian reports multiple sources claim Arizona Coyotes owner Andrew Barroway is looking to sell 49 percent of the franchise for an estimated $500 million. That figure includes “working capital to cover current losses as well as capital calls (money investors put into the team in subsequent years to cover operating losses).” Ozanian cites one source suggested the deal was “being presented would give the new investor a path towards control, if not immediate control” of the money-losing franchise.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In Forbes’ annual evaluation of NHL franchises, the Coyotes were estimated to be worth $300 million last year. Ozanian said we should be skeptical if this deal is announced as $500 million as that’s not “a true sale price in the sense of an enterprise value.”

I’m doubtful Barroway will get $500 million for 49 percent of a franchise that’s been bleeding money for years. Then again, the Coyotes have proven to have more lives than a cat. Maybe he can find a new co-owner who can one day become majority owner. 

Contract negotiations are ongoing between the Washington Capitals and free-agent winger Tom Wilson (Photo via NHL Images)

  THE WASHINGTON POST: Contract negotiations between the Capitals and restricted free agent winger Tom Wilson are ongoing but his agent claims they’re not close yet to a deal. Wilson passed on salary arbitration so it’s unclear how long talks could drag on.

The Capitals have roughly $8.2 million in cap space. Some have estimated Wilson’s new deal could come in between $3.5 – $4.5 million per season.

SPORTSNET: The New York Rangers avoided salary arbitration with winger Jimmy Vesey as he agreed to a two-year contract. The Rangers also hired David Oliver and Greg Brown as assistant coaches.

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  As per Cap Friendly, Vesey’s deal is worth $4.55 million with an annual salary-cap hit of $2.275 million. 

NEWSDAY: The New York Islanders and defenseman Ryan Pulock have agreed to a two-year contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly reports the new deal is worth $4 million, with an annual average value of $2 million. 

NORTHJERSEY.COM: The New Jersey Devils re-signed forward Blake Coleman to a three-year contract worth an annual average value of $1.8 million and forward Stefan Noesen to a one-year, $1.725-million deal.

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: The Vegas Golden Knights and Tomas Nosek avoided arbitration as he agreed to a one-year, $963K contract.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: The Carolina Hurricanes have hired Dean Chynoweth as an assistant coach.

TVA SPORTS: After a decade in the NHL, free-agent forward Torrey Mitchell is joining Lausanne of the Swiss National League A.

 

 











NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 21, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 21, 2018

New York Islanders defenseman Ryan Pulock collected five points in a 7-3 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks (Photo via NHL Images).

Games recaps, including a big night for Islanders rookie Ryan Pulock, plus the latest on Carey Price, Martin Jones & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Defenseman Ryan Pulock had a five-point game (one goal and four assists) as the New York Islanders thumped the Chicago Blackhawks 7-3. Chicago winger Patrick Kane had a goal and two assists to become the fifth player in Blackhawks history to reach 800 points. He also notched his 20th goal of the season. 

The red-hot Colorado Avalanche picked up their ninth straight win by downing the New York Rangers 3-1. Nathan MacKinnon, Miko Rantanen and Erik Johnson each had a goal and an assist.

The Boston Bruins extended their points streak to 16 games (12-0-4) with a 4-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens. David Pastrnak scored twice for the Bruins. Before the game, the Canadiens honored legendary sportswriter Red Fisher, who passed away Friday at age 91.

Earlier in the day, Canadiens goaltender Carey Price revealed he was diagnosed last year with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. He credits a change of diet with improving his performance. Before the diagnosis and being sidelined by a lower-body injury, he began the season with a 3-7-1 record and a save percentage of .877. Since his returns. his record was 10-8-3 with a .923 save percentage.

The Nashville Predators won their fifth straight game by beating the Florida Panthers 4-3. Kevin Fiala tallied twice while teammates Nick Bonino and Calle Jarnkrok each had three points. 

Bryan Little and Blake Wheeler scored in a shootout as the Winnipeg Jets edged the Calgary Flames 2-1. Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck made 30 saves for the win.

Three unanswered third-period goals by Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and Connor Carrick rallied the Toronto Maple Leafs from a 3-1 deficit to a 4-3 victory over the Ottawa Senators. Matthews’ goal was also his 20th of the season.

Mattias Janmark scored twice, John Klingberg collect three assists and Alexander Radulov picked up his 200th career NHL point as the Dallas Stars crushed the Buffalo Sabres 7-1.

The Minnesota Wild extended their home points streak to eight games with a 5-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning, who’ve dropped three straight and lost five of their last seven games. 

Aaron Dell made 31 saves and Tomas Hertl scored the game winner as the San Jose Sharks nipped the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1. Earlier in the day, the Sharks announced starting goalie Martin Jones is day-to-day with a “minor lower-body injury”.  Head coach Pete DeBoer said it is unrelated to the ailment Jones suffered earlier in the season. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I wonder if Jones’ recent injury explains the downturn in his performance since returning to action in early-December. 

The Edmonton Oilers got their third straight victory by downing the Vancouver Canucks 5-2. Oilers winger Jesse Puljujarvi scored a goal and set up two others while teammate Patrick Maroon scored two goals. Speaking of the Oilers, Paul Coffey is expected to rejoin the organization in “an active, skills-type role.” 

A three-goal first period power the Philadelphia Flyers to a 3-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils. Travis Konecny had a goal and an assist while Michal Neuvirth made 28 saves.

Two power-play goals by Elias Lindholm carried the Carolina Hurricanes to a 3-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings.

A four-game first period enable the Arizona Coyotes to snap a 12-game losing skid with a 5-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues. Christian Dvorak tallied two goals for the Coyotes. 

CBS SPORTS: The Vegas Golden Knights returned defenseman Jason Garrison to their AHL affiliate in Chicago. 

 











NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 20, 2016



NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 20, 2016

Winnipeg Jets rookie Patrik Laine (29) celebrates his overtime goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Winnipeg Jets rookie Patrik Laine (29) celebrates his overtime goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Game recaps plus updates on Jonathan Quick, Mike Smith & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Winnipeg Jets rookie Patrik Laine scored twice in the third period and netted the winner in overtime to give his club a 5-4 come-from-behind victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs, who at one point led the Jets 4-0.  Nazem Kadri scored twice and William Nylander had a goal and an assists for the Leafs, while their rookie star Auston Matthews collected an assist. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  That was an impressive performance by Laine, who is considered a future star for the Jets. The media is already playing up a so-called rivalry between Matthews, the first-overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, and Laine, the second-overall selection, trying to make it this generation’s “Crosby-Ovechkin”. However, it’s far too early to start making that comparison. 

Goaltender Jimmy Howard made 32 saves to backstop the Detroit Red Wings to a 2-1 win over the New York Rangers, who dominated the play through the first 40 minutes. Thomas Vanek and Drew Miller scored as the Wings overcame a 1-0 deficit. Mika Zibanejad tallied the Rangers’ only goal. 

LOS ANGELES TIMES:  Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick underwent a non-surgical procedure to strength a groin tendon and could be sidelined for up to three months. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That leaves the Kings goaltending duties to backup Jeff Zatkoff and call-up Peter Budaj. Could be worth keeping an eye on their performances. If they struggle, Kings management could be forced into the trade market for help.

ARIZONA SPORTS: Coyotes goalie Mike Smith is listed as day-to-day with an injured left leg. 

TRIBLIVE.COM:  Kris Letang (upper-body injury) and Conor Sheary (facial injury) are listed as day-to-day, but aren’t expected to be sidelined for long.

STLTODAY.COM: The St. Louis Blues placed center Jori Lehtera (upper-body injury) on injured reserve. The earliest he could return is Oct. 25 against the Calgary Flames.

PHILLY.COM: Philadelphia Flyers winger Michael Raffl (upper-body injury) is out for 10-14 days. 

NEWSDAY:  The New York Islanders called up defenseman Ryan Pulock on an emergency basis. 

TORONTO STAR: The Maple Leafs and defenseman Jared Cowen are awaiting an arbiter’s decision on the club’s attempt to buy out the remainder of his contract. Cowen claims he was still suffering the effects of injury when the Leafs tried to buy him out in June. Under the CBA, players still hampered by injuries suffered from game action during the season cannot be bought out.

USA TODAY: Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby’s Tragically Hip-themed mask raised $27K, which will be donated to lead singer Gord Downie’s charities. Downie suffers from inoperable brain cancer.

TODAY’S SLAPSHOT: NHL veteran forward Dave Moss yesterday announced his retirement. He spent nine seasons with the Calgary Flames and Arizona Coyotes, netting 178 points in 501 career NHL games.