NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 18, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 18, 2020

Vezina Trophy finalists announced, Caleb Jones admits testing positive for COVID-19, plus updates on David Pastrnak, Marc-Andre Fleury, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines


NHL.COM: The Winnipeg Jets’ Connor Hellebuyck, Boston Bruins’ Tuukka Rask, and Tampa Bay Lightning’s Andrei Vasilevskiy are the finalist for the 2020 Vezina Trophy, awarded to the top goaltender as voted by NHL general managers.

Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck is among the finalists for the 2020 Vezina Trophy (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rask (2014) and Vasilevskiy (2019) won the Vezina before, while this is Hellebuyck’s second time as a finalist. Rask has the better stats of the three, but Hellebucyk led the league in shutouts (6) while carrying the Jets and their depth-depleted defense into the 2020 playoffs. That could be the determining factor in his favor.


NBC SPORTS BOSTON: David Pastrnak’s agent said his client is in quarantine after coming in contact with an individual who tested positive for COVID-19. The Bruins winger tested negative for the coronavirus. That explains why he was held out of practice Thursday.

Pastrnak and teammate Ondrej Kase were following travel quarantine protocols after recently returning from the Czech Republic to attend training camp. The reason for Kase’s absence remains unknown.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers defenseman Caleb Jones admitted he tested positive for COVID-19 several weeks ago when he returned to Edmonton from his off-season home in Dallas. He had no symptoms and self-quarantined for two weeks. He’s fine now and skating in Oilers’ practices.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jones is the second player known to have had the virus but the first to voluntarily admit it. Last month, the Toronto Sun reported Maple Leafs center Austin Matthews tested positive for COVID-19 over a month ago. He acknowledged it earlier this week.

The NHL is preventing teams from revealing the health status of its players during the return-to-play plan. Absent players are being listed as “unfit to play” or “unfit to participate” with no explanation.

Speaking of the Oilers, they and the mayor of Edmonton issued statements yesterday insisting the storm damage caused to part of Rogers Place arena on Thursday won’t derail plans to host Western Conference teams in the upcoming playoff tournament.

NHL.COM: Marc-Andre Fleury participated in training camp on Friday with his Vegas Golden Knights teammates for the first time this week. The club claims Fleury missed the opening days for “maintenance”, while head coach Peter DeBoer said the goaltender’s absence was not related to COVID-19.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Defensemen Olli Maatta and Connor Murphy joined Corey Crawford on the list of Blackhawks players deemed “unfit to play”. Blueliner Calvin de Haan missed his third straight practice dealing with a family emergency.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning forward Cedric Paquette was listed as “unable to practice” on Friday. He was banged-up during practice on Wednesday.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Noah Juulsen is battling for a spot on the Canadiens roster after being sidelined since Nov. 19, 2018, with migraines related to head trauma. The 23-year-old defenseman got in some games with the Habs’ AHL farm team in Laval before the schedule was interrupted in March and claims he’s felt great since then.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: For a while, there was concern Juulsen’s promising career could be over before it began. If he’s healthy he could be a valuable addition to the Canadiens blueline.


NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: San Jose Sharks general manager Doug Wilson declined to confirm a report by TSN’s Darren Dreger claiming interim coach Bob Boughner signed a contract extension to become their permanent head coach. Dreger also cited a report claiming former AHL coach Rocky Thompson would join the Sharks staff as an assistant coach. Wilson said there’s been no decision yet on the coaching staff.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Maybe Wilson doesn’t like it when a reporter spoils his big reveal.

THE DENVER POST: Some promising news to report on former NHLer Kyle Quincey’s young son Axl. The 1-year-old appears on the road to recovery following his second brain surgery on June 9 to remove a tumor.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Axl and his family. Here’s hoping he makes a full recovery.

NHL Rumor Mill – December 5, 2017

NHL Rumor Mill – December 5, 2017

Latest goaltending rumors for the Oilers, Sabres and Sharks plus updates on the Senators and Wild in your NHL rumor mill.


TSN: With Edmonton Oilers starting goaltender Cam Talbot sidelined by injury and backup Laurent Broissoit struggling, Frank Seravalli reports Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli is working the phones in search of a netminder. He lists Buffalo’s Chad Johnson, Winnipeg’s Michael Hutchinson, Philadelphia’s Michal Neuvirth, Toronto’s Calvin Pickard and Detroit’s Petr Mrazek as potential trade targets.

Seravalli notes salary-cap space isn’t an issue this season for the Oilers, whose draft picks could be of interest for clubs seeking to stock up on assets. However, they are one man shy of the 50-player limit, “likely necessitating a body-in, body-out trade.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Seravalli’s colleague Darren Dreger yesterday reported the Oilers and Pittsburgh Penguins are among the clubs inquiring into the availability of Johnson and Sabres starter Robin Lehner. While Johnson’s struggled this season, he has decent career numbers (2.52 goals-against average, .913 save percentage) as a backup. If he’s available, the asking price could be a draft pick, perhaps a fourth-round selection. I don’t see the Sabres trading Lehner.

I agree with Seravalli that the Jets likely won’t part with Hutchinson while Steve Mason remains sidelined with a concussion. Neuvirth may be streaky but I don’t see the Flyers moving him right now. I expect they’ll keep their current tandem of Neuvirth and Brian Elliott intact as they attempt to snap out of their recent losing funk. 

Sportsnet’s John Shannon believes Pickard could be the best bet, but he could cost the Oilers a third- or fourth-round pick. He could certainly be a tempting choice but the Leafs won’t be in any hurry to move him. I doubt Chiarelli has interest in Mrazek, who’s struggling this season and won’t bring much improvement between the pipes for Edmonton.

Perhaps Chiarelli should get in touch with San Jose Sharks GM Doug Wilson. In a recent mailbag segment, The Athletic’s Kevin Kurz was asked if the Sharks could trade backup Aaron Dell at the trade deadline rather than risk losing him to free agency this summer. Kurz believes it’s a little early to predict what moves the Sharks could make at the deadline but said he’d include Dell among the assets that could be moved if the Sharks look to upgrade their forward depth. 


OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch suggests we shouldn’t be surprised if Senators GM Pierre Dorion decides to make a roster move via call-ups or a trade. With the Sens struggling and five points out of a playoff berth, Garrioch said there’s a belief Dorion is getting calls from rival GMs.

He speculate the Senators could look at improving their defense, which has been horrific at times. Garrioch thinks teams could be calling about blueliner Cody Ceci, who’s been a lightning rod for criticism this season. However, he’s still well regarded around the league. However, “the Senators have never been willing to trade him in the past and the last thing Dorion wants to do is make a change for change sake.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dorion’s already made what’s likely to be his big trade for this season by acquiring Matt Duchene from Colorado and shipping center Kyle Turris to Nashville in a three-team deal last month. If he makes a move before the Dec. 19 holiday trade freeze it’ll likely be a depth move where he gives up a draft pick. He could also keep a close eye on the waiver wire. 



NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 30, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 30, 2017

Game recaps, updates on possible sale of the Hurricanes, Drew Doughty charts his next contract & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Carey Price made 27 saves backstopping the Montreal Canadiens to a 2-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators. It was the Habs’ third straight win since Price’s return from a lower-body injury. The Senators’ losing skid, meanwhile, has reached seven games. 

John Gibson kicked out 37 shots and Antoine Vermette scored twice as the Anaheim Ducks upset the St. Louis Blues 3-2 to snap their four-game losing streak. Kyle Brodziak scored both of the Blues’ goals as their third-period rally fell short. The Ducks were playing without blueliner Brandon Montour (elbow), who hopes to return to action on Friday. 

The Boston Bruins scored three goals and hung on for a 3-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Goalie Tuukka Rask made 19 saves to end his four-game losing skid and teammate Brad Marchand collected two assists for the Bruins, who won for the fifth time in their last six games. 

Nathan MacKinnon’s overtime power-play goal gave the Colorado Avalanche overcame 1-0 and 2-1 deficits to down the Winnipeg Jets 3-2.  

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Carolina Hurricanes president Don Waddell said talks to potentially sell the club to Texas-based sports attorney Chuck Greenberg have slowed. However, three other potential buyers have emerged, including Dallas businessman Tom Dundon. Greenberg said he remains interested in purchasing the club but he has yet to raise sufficient funds. A letter of intent with the Greenberg group was non-binding and has expired, said Waddell. Funding shouldn’t be an issue for billionaire Dundon. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s an assumption that a new owner of the Hurricanes will move the team. However, it’s believed any sale of the club depends upon the incoming ownership keeping the franchise in its current location. The club also has an arena lease agreement running through 2024-25

THE ATHLETIC: Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty suggested he might discuss contract negotiation tactics with Ottawa Senators blueliner Erik Karlsson. Both players are eligible in 2019 for unrestricted free agency. They can begin contract talks with their respective teams on July 1.  “I’ll kind of look at what money I’m looking for. I don’t know if he’s going to re-sign with Ottawa. I don’t know if I’ll re-sign with L.A. You just never know what’s going to happen,” said Doughty, who also believes he and Karlsson deserve “quite a bit more” than that of Nashville’s P.K. Subban, who carries an annual cap hit of $9 million. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Doughty and Karlsson are part of a “super class” of blueline UFAs in 2019 that includes Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Ryan McDonagh and Ryan Ellis. Doughty and Karlsson are former Norris Trophy winners and will easily command over $10 million annually. Ekman-Larsson could come in between $9-$10 million per season. 

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: The Vegas Golden Knights re-signed defenseman Brayden McNabb to a four-year, $10 million contract extension. He was slated for UFA status next July. The annual cap hit is $2.5 million. “We’re excited about his growth,” said Vegas general manager George McPhee. “He will be a core member of this hockey club going forward.”

TSN: Minnesota Wild defenseman Kyle Quincey, Chicago Blackhawks forward Jordin Tootoo and St. Louis Blues rearguard Nate Prosser were placed on waivers yesterday. 

THE ATHLETIC: A vote by the Seattle city council on a potential $600 million renovation of KeyArena on Dec. 4 could be a significant step toward bringing an NHL franchise to the city. If approved, the building’s size would double and seat over 17,000 fans for hockey. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 2, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 2, 2017

The Florida Panthers part ways with right wing Jaromir Jagr.

Latest on Jaromir Jagr, Alexei Emelin, Ilya Kovalchuk, Daniel Alfredsson & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

MIAMI HERALD: The Florida Panthers yesterday confirmed they were parting ways with right wing Jaromir Jagr, who became an unrestricted free agent at noon ET on July 1. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Panthers GM Dale Tallon yesterday thanked Jagr for his contributions to the club over the past two seasons. Tthe 45-year-old will land likely with another NHL team at some point this summer on a one-year, bonus-laden contract. 

THE TENNESSEAN: The Nashville Predators yesterday acquired defenseman Alexei Emelin from the Vegas Golden Knights in exchanged for a 2009 third-round pick. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some observers wondered if this trade meant the Preds were preparing to ship a top-four defenseman to acquire center Matt Duchene from the Colorado Avalanche. It appears, however, this move was made simply to load up on the blueline for another run at the Stanley Cup next season. 

THE DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche yesterday acquired forward Colin Wilson from the Nashville Predators in exchange for a 2019 fourth-round pick. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Avs fans were likely expecting a more significant move from GM Joe Sakic yesterday involving Matt Duchene. There’s speculation the Predators and Columbus Blue Jackets are interested in the 26-year-old center. Sakic declined to comment on the rumors. Most pundits still expect Duchene will be dealt at some point soon. 

OTTAWA SUN: Former Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson stepped down as the club’s senior adviser of hockey operations, a role he held for the past two seasons. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No explanation was offered by Alfredsson or the club for his decision.

Russian sports writer Slava Malumud reports Ilya Kovalchuk’s Russian agent claims his client won’t make a decision about his plans for 2017-18 until Monday at the earliest. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kovalchuk spent the past four seasons with the KHL’s SKA St. Petersburg. It’s expected he’ll return to the NHL if the New Jersey Devils (who still own his NHL rights) can arrange a sign-and-trade deal.

Here’s a collection of several NHL free-agent signings that weren’t included among yesterday’s collection of notable free-agent moves.

Ottawa Senators signed center Nate Thompson to a two-year, $3.3 million contract.

Washington Capitals signed winger Brett Connolly to a two-year contract ($1.5 million annual average value).

Minnesota Wild signed defenseman Kyle Quincey to a one-year, $1.25 million contract. 

Toronto Maple Leafs inked center Dominic Moore to a one-year, $1 million deal.  

Chicago Blackhawks signed forwards Tommy Wingels and Lance Bouwma to one-year contracts. 

Carolina Hurricanes signed forward Josh Jooris to a one-year, $775K contract. 

Boston Bruins signed defenseman Paul Postma to a one-year, $725K contract. 

Los Angeles Kings signed goaltender Darcy Kuemper to a one-year, $650K deal. 

Arizona Coyotes signed defenseman Adam Clendening to a one-year, $650K contract. 

Montreal Canadiens signed defenseman Joe Morrow to a one-year, $575K contract. 


List of NHL Trade Deadline Deals – March 1, 2017

List of NHL Trade Deadline Deals – March 1, 2017

Detroit Red Wings ship winger Thomas Vanek to the Florida Panthers.

The list of notable deals made leading up to today’s NHL trade deadline at 3 pm Eastern Time. I’ll have analysis of the day’s most notable trades tonight in my Soapbox

Winnipeg Jets trade winger Drew Stafford to the Boston Bruins in exchange for a conditional sixth round pick in 2017. 

Dallas Stars acquire minor-league defenseman Dillon Heatherington from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for left wing Lauri Korpikoski.

Philadelphia Flyers trade defenseman Mark Streit to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for center Valtteri Filppula, a fourth-round pick in the 2017 NHL draft and a conditional seventh-round pick in 2017.

The Lightning flip Streit to the Pittsburgh Penguins for a fourth-round draft pick in 2018. 

Pittsburgh Penguins trade forward Eric Fehr, minor-league defenseman Steve Oleksy and a 2017 fourth-round pick to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for defenseman Frank Corrado, 

Ottawa Senators trade forward Curtis Lazar and minor-league defenseman Mike Kostka to the Calgary Flames in exchange for defenseman Jyrki Jokipakka and a second-round pick.

New Jersey Devils trade winger P-A Parenteau to the Nashville Predators in exchange for a sixth-round draft pick in 2017. 

New Jersey Devils trade defenseman Kyle Quincey to the Columbus Blue Jackets for blueliner Dalton Prout. 

Montreal Canadiens trade winger Sven Andrighetto to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for left wing Andreas Martinsen.

Colorado Avalanche trade right wing Jarome Iginla to the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for a conditional fourth-round pick in 2018. The Avalanche also retained half of Iginla’s $5.33 million cap hit. 

Los Angeles Kings trade forward Dwight King to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for a conditional fourth-round pick in 2018. 

Detroit Red Wings trade left wing Thomas Vanek to the Florida Panthers for defenseman Dylan McIlrath and a third-round pick in the 2017 NHL draft. The Wings also pick up half of Vanek’s $2.6 million cap hit. 

Vancouver Canucks trade winger Jannik Hansen to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for minor-league forward Nikolay Goldobin and a conditional fourth-round pick in the  2017 NHL Draft.

Detroit Red Wings trade forward Steve Ott to the Montreal Canadiens for a sixth-round pick in the 2018 draft. 

NHL Rumor Mill Update – February 28, 2017

NHL Rumor Mill Update – February 28, 2017

Trade speculation continues to link Edmonton Oilers winger Jordan Eberle to the New York Islanders.

Latest on the Islanders, Senators, Canucks, Flyers and more in your NHL rumor mill update.

NEWSDAY: Arthur Staple reports the return of sidelined Islanders regulars Travis Hamonic, Cal Clutterbuck and Shane Prince could be the only additions they need at the trade deadline. Staple cites two sources claiming the Isles aren’t shopping for players who are on expiring contracts. While they’ve been liked to Colorado’s Matt Duchene and Edmonton’s Jordan Eberle, Staple said GM Garth Snow would have to hand over prospects plus a player or two off their current roster. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: TSN insider Darren Dreger last night suggested Hamonic might interest the Avalanche, who seek a good young NHL defenseman as part of the return for Duchene. As Staple points out, however, GM Garth Snow could be reluctant to move someone off his roster right now. 

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Chip Alexander considers it unlikely that Carolina Hurricanes GM Ron Francis will move out some of his core players and make a major move. He instead expects pending UFAs such as forwards Jay McClement, Viktor Stalberg and Derek Ryan could be shopped. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson last week cited scouts claiming Hurricanes defenseman Justin Faulk is in play. He’s considered a core player, but Matheson suggests their depth in young defenders not longer makes Faulk the mainstay of their  blueline.  He’s signed through 2019-20 with an annual cap hit of over $4.83 million and could fetch the Hurricanes a good scoring center. Maybe there’s a link with the Colorado Avalanche and Matt Duchene? 

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports the Senators might not be finished dealing after acquiring winger Alex Burrows yesterday from the Vancouver Canucks. He notes there’s talk the Sens have been shopping young forward Curtis Lazar for a first-round draft pick. One club reportedly offered up a second rounder. 

VANCOUVER SUN: Ben Kuzma reports Canucks GM Jim Benning’s been taking calls on pending UFA goaltender Ryan Miller and winger Jannik Hansen, who’s a year away from unrestricted free agency. However, the recent trading of Ben Bishop to the LA Kings and winger Ryan White as part of the Martin Hanzal deal to the Minnesota Wild has shrunk the market. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Their respective lists of preferred trade destinations also hampers efforts to move them. Of the two, Hansen could have the most value. 

PHILLY.COM: Sam Carchidi reports Philadelphia Flyers goaltenders Steve Mason and Michal Neuvirth, along with defensemen Mark Streit and Michael Del Zotto, are among the Flyers generating trade interest. All are eligible for UFA status in July. 

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Amy Moritz reports pending Sabres free agents such as winger Brian Gionta, defensemen Dmitry Kulikov and Cody Franson and goaltender Anders Nilsson could be available in the trade market. Gionta has a list of five preferred trade destinations but declined to say who they were. 

NJ.COM: Andrew Gross reports the New Jersey Devils held defenseman Kyle Quincey out of last night’s game against the Montreal Canadiens. Quincey, a pending free agent, could be dealt as a rental player by the trade deadline. 

THE MERCURY NEWS: Curtis Pashelka reports the San Jose Sharks could be in the market for an experienced scorer. They currently sit in the middle of the pack offensively among the 30 NHL clubs.