NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 17, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 17, 2020

NHL releases “Reverse Retro” jerseys plus the latest on Henrik Lundqvist, Bobby Ryan and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The NHL and adidas released their “Reverse Retro” alternate jerseys for all 31 clubs. The jerseys will be available for purchase on Dec. 1 and will be worn by the teams during multiple games in 2020-21.

Henrik Lundqvist could return to the New York Rangers once his playing career is over (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The big reveal of these jerseys stirred up considerable buzz on social media among NHL fans but time will tell if this translates into significant sales. As I noted yesterday, I’m not a fan of alternate jerseys. However, I don’t fault the league for its current cash grab given how COVID-19 is affecting the start of the 2020-21 season and NHL revenue. They’re facing a shortened season with limited attendance and needs all the money it can get.

FOREVER BLUESHIRTS: Former New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist could be returning to the Blueshirts following his playing career. The 38-year-old goaltender told Sweden’s Goteborgs-Posten he expects to return to the club in some capacity.

I’ll be part of the Rangers for the rest of my life, in one way or another,” he said.”Both I and the Rangers have been clear about that. That’s how it will be.”

Lundqvist signed with the Washington Capitals after the Rangers bought out the final season of his contract. He’s not sure what his role with the Blueshirts will be but feels he’ll be connected to the club “forever.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The New York Post subsequently picked up the story, confirming the blog’s translation of the Swedish interview.

TSN: Detroit Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said Bobby Ryan is really motivated to have a great year with the club. The 33-year-old winger signed with the Wings after the Ottawa Senators bought out his contract. Blashill feels his experience and right-hand shot will be beneficial to the Wings’ power play. Ryan won the Masterton Trophy after publicly sharing his battle with alcohol issues.

WGR 550: The Buffalo Sabres signed prospect winger Jack Quinn to a three-year entry-level contract. They selected the 18-year-old Quinn with the eighth overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers are facing a lawsuit from a Dallas hotel over two unpaid hotel bills. The first was last December worth $28,000.00 and the second was $27,000.00 for a stay in March. The club claims the error is due to an accounting glitch compounded by a timeline miscommunication and intends to pay the bill in full in a matter of days.

ESPN.COM: The Tampa Bay Lightning announced the elimination of 30 positions. The club didn’t make any money during its 2020 Stanley Cup championship run because the playoffs took place in quarantine bubbles in Toronto and Edmonton. Due to COVID-19, the Lightning lost money last season and expects to do so again in 2020-21.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: They’re not the only NHL club to lose money, cut positions and lay off employees because of the pandemic. That’s why the majority of clubs are keen to return to play this season in their own arenas.










Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – May 2, 2021

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – May 2, 2021

Is an offseason shakeup in store for the Rangers?  Is Alec Martinez any closer to re-signing with the Golden Knights? What’s the latest on Rod Brind’Amour’s contract talks with the Hurricanes? Find out in the Sunday NHL rumor roundup.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks recently suggested the Rangers could face an offseason shakeup following Thursday’s season-crushing 4-0 loss to the New York Islanders. He singled out marquee players such as Artemi Panarin and Mika Zibanejad for criticism as well as the leadership group and head coach David Quinn.

New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad (NHL Images).

Brooks pointed out the lack of production from the Rangers’ core players (Panarin, Zibanejad, Pavel Buchnevich, Chris Kreider and Ryan Strome) against the Isles throughout this season, combining for just one goal against their rival. He feels the Rangers lack the mentality and personnel to adjust against a tight-checking opponent.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Brooks wasn’t as harsh in his assessment of the Rangers’ 3-0 loss to the Islanders on Saturday, perhaps because, as he pointed out, that loss felt inevitable. He did, however, suggest the Rangers lacked the physical presence to deal with rugged Islanders winger Matt Martin. He noted the Blueshirts attempted to sign Martin during the offseason before he returned to the Isles on a four-year deal.

The Rangers could make some offseason changes, perhaps behind the bench as well as in the lineup. There’s no shortage of former NHL coaches who’d relish the opportunity of coaching the promising Blueshirts. Gerard Gallant, Claude Julien and Bruce Boudreau could be among the potential candidates.

As for the roster, Cap Friendly shows the Rangers have $55.6 million invested in 17 players for 2021-22. Buchnevich and goaltender Igor Shesterkin are their notable free agents, with both being RFAs holding arbitration rights. Filip Chytil, Brett Howden, Ryan Lindgren and Libor Hajek are coming off their entry-level contracts.

The Blueshirts have sufficient cap space to re-sign their key free agents and perhaps have some space to tap into the UFA market to add some toughness to their lineup. They could, however, forego an expensive signing by going the trade route.

Zibanejad and Strome are one year away from unrestricted free agent eligibility. Their names popped up in trade speculation in the recent past and could surface in the offseason if management decides core changes are needed.

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: David Schoen recently reported there haven’t been any contract talks between the Vegas Golden Knights and Alec Martinez. The 33-year-old defenseman is slated to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.

Martinez is hopeful this season won’t be his last with the Golden Knights. He has 27 points on the season and averages over 22 minutes per game. General manager Kelly McCrimmon acknowledged the blueliner’s value to the lineup, adding talks will happen when appropriate and declined to comment further.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Martinez is completing a six-year, $24 million contract and turns 34 in July. His age will work against him getting a significant raise. So will the Golden Knights’ limited cap space. They have $75.4 million invested in 17 players next season. He’ll have to accept at least the same annual cap hit on a short-term deal to stay in Vegas, and only if they can free up some cap room.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports one of the biggest issues in the Carolina Hurricanes contract negotiations with head coach Rod Brind’Amour is he wants contract extensions for his coaching, training and equipment staffs. Like Brind’Amour, their respective contracts expire at the end of this season.

Friedman believed Brind’Amour will re-sign with the Hurricanes. However, he’s made it clear the future of his staff is as important as his own.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Brind’Amour was a team guy during his playing days. That attitude has carried over into his coaching career. Given the success he’s had turning the Hurricanes within three years from an also-ran to a Stanley Cup contender, he’s justified in wanting to keep his staff intact.

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 24, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 24, 2018

Game recaps, updates on Joe Thornton, Roberto Luongo, and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Erik Karlsson had a goal and two assists and Joe Thornton moved past Mario Lemieux into 11th place on the NHL all-time assist list as the San Jose Sharks blanked the Vancouver Canucks 4-0, handing the latter their eighth consecutive defeat. Thornton now has 1,034 assists. Canucks forward Antoine Roussel could face supplemental discipline for biting Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic’s left hand during a fracas at the end of the game.

Dallas Stars defenseman Miro Heiskanen scored twice to lead his club to a 6-4 win over the Ottawa Senators. Bobby Ryan had three assists for the Senators while goalie Craig Anderson made 48 saves in a losing cause. Speaking of lost causes, that might be the best way to describe the Senators’ hopes for a new arena in downtown Ottawa. Team owner Eugene Melnyk has filed a lawsuit against now-former partner John Ruddy over their “failed” arena bid.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As The Athletic’s Chris Stevenson observed, “there is now no way the Senators will be playing in a new rink at LeBreton as long as Melnyk owns the team.” 

Florida Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo is sidelined by an apparent knee injury. (Photo via NHL Images)

Jordan Martinook tallied his NHL hat trick as the Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Florida Panthers 4-1. Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo left the game with an apparent right knee injury and is listed as day-to-day. Teammate Mike Hoffman had his personal points streak ended at 17 games.

Craig Berube got his first win as coach of the St. Louis Blues as his club rolled to a 6-2 victory over the Nashville Predators. Earlier in the day, the Blues placed Jaden Schwartz (upper body) on injured reserve. It was also reported that former Blues president Jack Quinn died on Tuesday of cancer at age 80.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Quinn’s family, friends, and the Blues organization. 

The Buffalo Sabres extended their winning streak to eight games with a 3-2 overtime victory over the Montreal Canadiens. Jeff Skinner scored the tying and winning goals.

Josh Anderson scored twice and Sergei Bobrovsky made 31 saves as the Columbus Blue Jackets doubled up the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-2. Jackets winger Cam Atkinson extended his goal streak to six games.

Four unanswered third-period goals by Nino Niederreiter, Eric Fehr, Eric Staal, and Zach Parise rallied the Minnesota Wild from a 2-0 deficit to a 4-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets. Earlier in the day, the Jets reclaimed winger Marko Dano off waivers from the Colorado Avalanche.

Calvin Pickard made 31 saves backstopping the Philadelphia Flyers to a 4-0 shutout over the New York Rangers. Claude Giroux, Sean Couturier, and Travis Konecny each collected three points.

Tyler Johnson’s two first-period goals powered the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 4-2 triumph over the Chicago Blackhawks.

Two first-period shorthanded goals by J.T. Compher paved the way for the Colorado Avalanche’s 5-1 win over the slumping Arizona Coyotes, who’ve won just three games in their last 10.

Alex Ovechkin had a goal and an assist and Braden Holtby kicked out 31 shots to give the Washington Capitals a 3-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings.

Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury turned aside 28 shots to shut out the Calgary Flames 2-0.

Joakim Nordstrom’s overtime goal gave the Boston Bruins a 2-1 win over the struggling Pittsburgh Penguins, who’ve won just twice in their last 10 games. Bruins goalie Jaroslav Halak made 38 saves.

Nick Ritchie’s goal in the dying seconds of the third period set the stage for Rickard Rakell’s overtime winner as the Anaheim Ducks edged the Edmonton Oilers 2-1.

Mathew Barzal’s overtime goal gave the New York Islanders a 4-3 win over the New Jersey Devils.