NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 14, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 14, 2021

Pekka Rinne retires, Dominique Ducharme becomes full-time Canadiens coach, an updated list of injured Lightning players, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wild’s buyouts of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter were reported yesterday. You can read my take here.

THE TENNESSEAN: Pekka Rinne announced his retirement yesterday. A three-time All-Star, the 38-year-old goaltender spent his entire 15-season NHL career with the Nashville Predators, winning the Vezina Trophy in 2018, backstopping the franchise to its only Stanley Cup Final appearance.

Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne announced his retirement after 15 NHL seasons (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rinne had a remarkable NHL career. He holds several Predators single-season records (43 wins, .930 save percentage, 2.12 goals-against average, eight shutouts) and is their career leader in wins (369), shutouts (60) and goals-against average (2.43). Those stats could get him into the Hockey Hall of Fame one day.

NHL.COM: The Montreal Canadiens announced Dominique Ducharme is their full-time head coach, signing him to a three-year contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a tale of two seasons for Ducharme. Injuries to key players, a grueling second-half schedule (25 games in 44 days) following a COVID-19 outbreak and limited practice time made it difficult for him to implement his system, prompting questions over his readiness to become a full-time NHL bench boss.

The Canadiens’ surprising run to the Stanley Cup Final changed that perception. It’ll be interesting to see how he manages the heightened expectations over the course of a full schedule next season with the Bell Centre full of fans.

NBC SPORTS: The Tampa Bay Lightning finally revealed which players were dealing with serious injuries during the 2021 playoffs. Victor Hedman will require surgery to repair a knee injury suffered in March. His expected recovery time is two-to-four weeks. Nikita Kucherov suffered a fractured rib in the semifinal against the New York Islanders, requiring him to wear a flak jacket and undergo pain-blocking injections.

Ryan McDonagh and Barclay Goodrow suffered broken hands. Alex Killorn suffered a broken fibula that sidelined him for most of the Final.

TSN: Colorado Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson has waived his no-movement clause to allow himself to be exposed in next week’s expansion draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This will provide the Avalanche the flexibility to protect a defenseman they otherwise risked losing in the expansion draft. It’s unlikely the Seattle Kraken will select Johnson, who missed most of this season to injury. He’s signed through 2022-23 with an annual average value of $6 million and a modified no-trade clause.

The deadline for teams to request a player to waive their NMCs to be exposed in the expansion draft was yesterday at 5 pm ET. Those players will have until Friday to reach a decision.

SEATTLE TIMES: The Kraken’s expansion draft will be held next Wednesday on an outdoor stage at Gas Works Park with fans in attendance.

TSN: Former Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Sopel said almost every player and coach on their 2010 Stanley Cup roster were aware of the sexual assault allegations leveled by a former teammate against former video coach Brad Aldrich.

Sopel hopes more players from that team will speak out about what they were told about Aldrich. He understands the difficulty some of them feel as they’re either still playing with the club or employed by the team in other capacities.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sopel is the first player from that roster to publicly claim there was wide knowledge of those allegations. Former Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville issued a statement denying he had prior knowledge of those allegations, insisting he first learned about them through the media earlier this spring. He’s offered to participate in the Blackhawks’ investigation into those claims.

TSN: Former NHL forward Jordan Weal has signed a two-year contract with KHL club AK Bars Kazan. He last played in the NHL in 2019-20 with the Montreal Canadiens and spent this season with their AHL affiliate in Laval. Weal previously played with the Los Angeles Kings, Philadelphia Flyers and Arizona Coyotes.

THE MERCURY NEWS: The San Jose Sharks re-signed goaltender Josef Korenar to a one-year, two-way contract.










Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – May 23, 2021

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – May 23, 2021

What’s the future of J.T. Miller with the Canucks? Could Panthers coach Joel Quenneville have his eye on the Kraken’s coaching job? Could the Flames make a management change? Check out the latest in the Sunday NHL rumor roundup.

MILLER NOT SEEKING A TRADE FROM CANUCKS

SPORTSNET (via KUKLA’S KORNER): Elliotte Friedman reported there were lots of questions last week about J.T. Miller’s future with the Vancouver Canucks. He reached out to a source who indicated Miller doesn’t want to be traded and has no intention of leaving the Canucks.

Vancouver Canucks forward J.T. Miller (NHL Images).

SPECTORS’ NOTE: Earlier in the week, Friedman speculated one or two members of the “upset” Canucks players could ask for a trade. I don’t have the context as to what those players would be upset about. It could be the way the season turned out or perhaps unhappiness that Jim Benning is staying on as general manager.

Miller has two years remaining on his contract with an annual average value of $5.25 million. He’s one of the Canucks top players and among their leadership core. His outspoken concern over the way the NHL was handling the club’s return to action from a COVID-19 outbreak forced the league to move that date ahead by a few days to allow the Canucks more time to adjust.

Benning indicated some changes will be coming this summer. I don’t see Miller being part of them unless he requests a trade. We now know that’s not something he wants to do.

IS QUENNEVILLE EYEING KRAKEN COACHING GIG?

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports of speculation suggesting Florida Panthers bench boss Joel Quenneville could have his sights set on becoming head coach of the Seattle Kraken when this season is over. Brooks thinks that might be the reason why Kraken GM Ron Francis is moving so slowly to reach a decision.

If Quenneville departs for Seattle, Brooks feels it would be money-related. He thinks that would also be a reason to rethink whether the Panthers would re-sign captain Aleksander Barkov before his UFA eligibility next summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates Quenneville is signed through 2023-24 earning a league-high $5.25 million per season. He’d have to break that contract to join the Kraken and that could get legally complicated. The Kraken would also have to make it financially worth his while.

The Panthers could fire Quenneville if they lose their first-round series to the Lightning. However, I don’t see that happening after he guided them to their best regular-season performance in years.

FRONT OFFICE CHANGE COMING TO THE FLAMES?

FLAMES NATION: Ryan Pike cited former TSN insider Frank Seravalli suggesting there could be management change coming to the Calgary Flames. During his recent appearance with Jason Gregor on the DFO Hockey Rundown podcast, he disagreed with general manager Brad Treliving’s end-of-season assessment that his club was a good team that had a bad year.

Seravalli pointed out the Flames have had the same core for a while. They doubled down on it last year by adding Jacob Markstrom and Chris Tanev but it didn’t pan out. He feels the Flames need a new look, be it a change in management or blowing up the core by moving Johnny Gaudreau or Sean Monahan.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No indication thus far as to whether Treliving returns as general manager. He reportedly has two more years left on his contract. Ownership could give him at least one more year to try and get this club back on track.

If they intend to dump Treliving and hire a new general manager they must act soon. The expansion draft is July 21, the NHL Draft follows soon afterward (July 23-24) and the free-agent market opens on July 28. His replacement needs time to prepare for those important off-season events.










Tough Sledding For Florida Fans As Panthers Stumble Through Another NHL Season

Tough Sledding For Florida Fans As Panthers Stumble Through Another NHL Season

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 22, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 22, 2020

Florida Panthers coach Joel Quenneville returns to Chicago, Artemi Panarin to miss the upcoming NHL All-Star Game, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Florida Panthers coach Joel Quenneville made a triumphant return to Chicago as his club edged the Blackhawks 4-3. Quenneville, who coached the Hawks from 2008-09 to 2018-19, was honored by the club during the game. The Panthers’ victory was powered by Frank Vatrano’s hat trick, giving them six straight wins. Before the game, the Blackhawks honored Patrick Kane for reaching 1,000 career points. Earlier in the day, eyebrows were raised when Blackhawks’ stars Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith had a physical altercation during practice. Toews downplayed the incident as “just some friendly wrestling.”

Florida Panthers coach Joel Quenneville picked up a win in his return to Chicago (Photo via NHL.com)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Panthers (61 points) maintain their hold on third place in the Atlantic Division, while the Blackhawks (54 points) remain three points out of a wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

Justin Williams scored two goals to lead the Carolina Hurricanes to a 4-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets. Teuvo Teravainen collected three points while Andrei Svechnikov had two assists. The slumping Jets have dropped three in a row.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Williams doesn’t look rusty after taking over half the season off. His return seems to have provided an extra spark for the Hurricanes. The Jets, meanwhile, are three points out of a Western Conference wild-card spot.

The New York Islanders doubled up the New York Rangers 4-2. Thomas Greiss made 40 saves and Josh Bailey had a goal and two assists. Isles center Mathew Barzal was benched during the third period by coach Barry Trotz for not playing within the team framework. Rangers all-star winger Artemi Panarin missed this game with an upper-body injury. He’ll be replaced at the upcoming 2020 NHL All-Star game by teammate Chris Kreider.

Third-period goals by Jake DeBrusk and David Krejci lifted the Boston Bruins to a 3-2 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights.

Brian Elliott had a 19-save shutout as the Philadelphia Flyers blanked the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-0. The Flyers have won four of their last five contests.

SUN-SENTINEL: The 2021 NHL All-Star Game will reportedly be hosted by the Florida Panthers.

DETROIT FREE PRESS: Red Wings forward Anthony Mantha could miss the remainder of the season with an injured rib cage and shoulder. His last game was Dec. 21 against Toronto.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With 24 points in 29 games, Mantha was on his way to eclipsing last season’s 25-goal, 48-point performance in 67 games. His absence is among the reasons behind the Wings’ struggles this season.

CBS SPORTS: Nashville Predators forward Colton Sissons was assigned to their AHL affiliate in Milwaukee on a conditioning stint.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Brandon Manning received a five-game suspension by the AHL for uttering a racial slur during a recent game.

 










Best of the Decade: Top Five NHL head coaches

Best of the Decade: Top Five NHL head coaches

 










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.