NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 10, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 10, 2018

Game recaps plus updates on Matt Murray, Kevin Shattenkirk and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Auston Matthews and John Tavares each scored twice while Mitch Marner and Morgan Rielly each had a four-point night to lead the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 7-4 beatdown of the Dallas Stars. Tyler Seguin had a goal and three assists and Alexander Radulov collected three points in a losing cause for the Stars.

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews had his fourth straight multiple-goal game. (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Matthews also became “the third player in franchise history to record multiple points in each of the club’s opening four contests, joining Harry Cameron (8-6—14 in 4 GP) in 1917-18 and Sweeney Schriner (9-6—15 in 6 GP) in 1944-45.”

Joe Pavelski and Evander Kane also had two-goal performances while Kevin Labanc had four assists as the San Jose Sharks crushed the Philadelphia Flyers 8-2. Flyers goaltender Brian Elliott faced 48 shots.

Mike Smith turned in a 43-save shutout performance as the Calgary Flames blanked the Nashville Predators 3-0. Sean Monahan had two goals and Johnny Gaudreau picked up three assists.

Mark Scheifele and Kyle Connor rallied the Winnipeg Jets to a 2-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings. Ilya Kovalchuk scored the Kings’ only goal, his first in the NHL since 2013. Kings netminder Jack Campbell kept it close, turning aside 37 shots.

Sebastian Aho, Teuvo Teravainen and Jaccob Slavin each had two points in the Carolina Hurricanes’ 5-3 victory over the Vancouver Canucks. Vancouver rookie Elias Pettersson collected an assist while Sven Baertschi scored twice and set up another for the Canucks.

Nick Foligno scored twice and added an assist to lead the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 5-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Matt Murray suffered a concussion during practice on Monday. There’s no timetable for his return. The Penguins have called up Tristan Jarry to support backup Casey DeSmith.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is Murray’s third concussion since 2015-16 and his second in less than a year. 

NEW YORK POST: Rangers defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk is expected to be a healthy scratch from Thursday’s game against the San Jose Sharks. Shattenkirk is in the second year of a four-year, $26.6-million contract and is struggling to regain his form following offseason knee surgery.

SPORTSNET: Calgary city council voted to re-start negotiations on a new arena with the Flames. The club broke off talks last year with president Ken King calling discussions “spectacularly unproductive.”

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: “In his book ‘‘The Break Away: The Inside Story of the Wirtz Family Business and the Chicago Blackhawks,’’ former Sun-Times writer Bryan Smith — now a senior writer at Chicago magazine — suggests late Hawks owner and emperor Bill Wirtz was mentally incapacitated toward the end of his reign.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That would certainly explain a lot of the puzzling decisions Wirtz made during his final years running the Blackhawks. 

DETROIT FREE PRESS: Little Caesars Arena will be replacing its red seats with black ones. “The red seats have been noteworthy for highlighting empty seats during Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Pistons telecasts, although both franchises say fans are dispersed throughout the arena in clubs and bars.”



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 – December 30, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 30, 2017

Game recaps plus updates on Filip Forsberg, Artem Anisimov, Michael Frolik and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COMIn his NHL debut, 32-year-old netminder Jeff Glass made 42 saves backstopping the Chicago Blackhawks to a 4-3 overtime win over the Edmonton Oilers. Patrick Kane collected two points, including the winning goal. Oilers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had a three-point game.

Earlier in the day, the Oilers activated defenseman Oscar Klefbom off injured reserve and placed blueliner Eric Gryba on waivers. Meanwhile, the Blackhawks placed center Artem Anisimov (upper body) on injured reserve.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: After years of kicking around the minors and the KHL, Glass finally makes his NHL debut. He was part of Canada’s 2005 World Junior Hockey championship roster that featured future superstars such as Sidney Crosby, Ryan Getzlaf, Patrice Bergeron, Corey Perry and Shea Weber. Of course, this is only temporary as he’ll be backing up Anton Forsberg until starter Corey Crawford returns from injury. Still, if he plays well perhaps he can attract interest from another NHL club in need of goaltending depth. 

Devan Dubnyk made 41 saves in his return after missing six games to a lower-body injury while Mikael Granlund netted a hat trick as the Minnesota Wild downed the Nashville Predators 4-2. Wild head coach Bruce Boudreau needed a few stitches after being struck on the head by a puck later in the third period. Predators winger Filip Forsberg left the game in the third period with an unspecified “problem”. An update is expected today.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Boudreau’s a former player so I doubt this phased him very much. No word yet if Forsberg’s problem was injury related. 

A 42-save performance by Connor Hellebuyck carried the Winnipeg Jets to a 4-2 victory over the New York Islanders. Jets forwards Blake Wheeler, Patrik Laine, Kyle Connor and Adam Lowry each had two points, while Anders Lee scored both Isles goals.

Cam Ward made 27 saves for his 305th career victory as the Carolina Hurricanes edged the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1. The Canes have won four straight for the first time this season and seven of their last eight.

The Philadelphia Flyers ended the Tampa Bay Lightning’s home winning streak at eight games with a 5-3 victory. Sean Couturier and Claude Giroux each collected three points.

Alexander Radulov scored twice, including the game winner, to give a Dallas Stars a 4-2 win over the St. Louis Blues. Stars captain Jamie Benn had a goal and an assist.

Rickard Rakell had a two-point game as the Anaheim Ducks squeaked past the Calgary Flames 2-1. The Flames were playing without winger Michael Frolik, who’s listed as week-to-week with a fractured jaw.

Two goals by Jack Eichel set the stage for Rasmus Ristolainen’s overtime winner as the Buffalo Sabres overcame a 3-1 deficit to defeat the New Jersey Devils 4-3, handing the latter their first loss in six games.

J.T. Compher scored in overtime as the Colorado Avalanche edged the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3. Nathan MacKinnon scored twice for Colorado, spoiling the return of former Avs goalie Calvin Pickard, who made 24 saves. The Leafs were playing without center Nazem Kadri, who missed the game with an upper-body injury.

The Ottawa Senators rallied from a 3-1 deficit with four straight goals and held on to beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-4. Erik Karlsson, Mark Stone and Dion Phaneuf all collected two points for the Sens while Sonny Milano scored twice for the Jackets.

Jimmy Howard’s 37-save performance helped the Detroit Red Wings snap a three-game losing skid by edging the New York Rangers 3-2 in a shootout. Frans Nielsen picked up the winner with the only goal in the shootout.

SPORTSNET: NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said the league won’t be drawn into any discussions over future Olympic participation until after the 2018 Pyeongchang Games in South Korea. 

THE PROVINCE (VIA EDMONTON JOURNAL): Douglas Quan profiles former NHL enforcer Stephen Peat, whose struggles with substance abuse and concussion symptoms related to his playing career have left him estranged from his family and homeless in Surrey, BC. Peat is also part of a class-action lawsuit filed by former players in the United States alleging the league didn’t do enough to protect them from brain trauma.


Stars Sign Alexander Radulov

Stars Sign Alexander Radulov

Dallas Stars sign right wing Alexander Radulov to a five-year deal.

The Dallas Stars signed right wing Alexander Radulov to a five-year, $31.25 million contract. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Radulov’s annual salary-cap hit is worth $6.25 million. That’s up slightly from the $5.75 million he earned on a one-year deal with the Montreal Canadiens last season.

Radulov, who turns 31 on July 5, returned to the NHL in 2016-17 after a four-year absence, netting 54 points to finish second among Habs’ scorers. He was also their leading scorer (seven points) during the Canadiens’ brief appearance in the 2017 playoffs.

For months, speculation claimed Radulov sought a seven-year contract from the Canadiens for between $6- $7 million per season. Habs GM Marc Bergevin hinted yesterday that Radulov’s agent sought a significant deal but didn’t elaborate. We’ll likely learn soon enough how those demands were to the contract he signed today with the Stars.

It’s expected Radulov will skate on the Stars top line alongside Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin, where his playmaking skills could make that line even more offensively powerful. As a result, the Stars into a consistent powerhouse in the Western Conference and justify that expensive annual salary.

Radulov’s contract, however, pushes the Stars payroll to over $70 million for 2017-18. That leaves around $4 million to re-sign Radek Faksa, Jamie Oleksiak and Brett Ritchie. 

The Canadiens will miss Radulov’s offense. They already moved to address his departure, inking oft-injured former Stars right wing Ales Hemsky to a one-year, $1-million contract. At this stage in Hemsky’s career, however, he’s unlikely to suitably replace Radulov’s contributions.

This also likely means right wing Alex Galchenyuk, subject of recent trade chatter, will be retained by the Canadiens. 


NHL Rumor Mill – July 3, 2017

NHL Rumor Mill – July 3, 2017

Montreal Canadiens want Alexander Radulov and Andrei Markov to return, but on the club’s terms.

Latest on Matt Duchene, Alexander Radulov and more in your NHL rumor mill.

SPORTSNET: Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin is willing to welcome back unrestricted free agents Alexander Radulov and Andrei Markov, but on the Habs’ terms. During yesterday’s press conference announcing the re-signing of Carey Price, Bergevin said he’s made his final offers to Radulov and Markov and won’t negotiate any further.

If both players sign elsewhere, Bergevin said there’s no suitable replacement for them in this summer’s free-agent market. He also said Radulov’s asking price was expensive. “If I told you what Radulov’s agent was asking in January, you’d fall off your chair,” he said in French. He also said it would be first come, first served for the duo. 

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Stars are reportedly among the clubs with interest in Radulov. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Radulov, who turns 31 on July 5, is believed seeking a six- or seven-year, $42-million deal, while the Habs apparently countered with a four-year contract. Markov, 38, wants a two-year, $12-million contract. Of the two, I expect Markov to be most likely to return. Still, it’s possible both could land with new clubs very soon, though it’ll likely be for much less than what they’re currently seeking.

Their departures could put Bergevin into the trade market for possible replacements. He’s got nearly $60 million invested in 20 players for 2017-18. He could either re-sign restricted free agent forward Alex Galchenyuk or trade him for a scoring forward or top-four blueliners. 

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Aaron Portzline yesterday reported the Blue Jackets were trying to swing a trade to acquire center Matt Duchene from the Colorado Avalanche. Discussions between Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen and Avalanche GM Joe Sakic held lengthy trade discussions on Saturday. Jackets defenseman Ryan Murray was assumed to be part of a possible deal for Duchene.

Portzline speculates another Jackets roster player (“perhaps Boone Jenner, Oliver Bjorkstrand or Cam Atkinson”) would have to be included. The Jackets could also have interest in Ilya Kovalchuk in a sign-and-trade scenario with the New Jersey Devils.

Kekalainen told Portzline yesterday that he was comfortable heading into next season with his current roster, meaning he’s not gutting it just to acquire Duchene or break the bank to land an expensive free agent. Portzline said it’s no secret the Jackets GM wants to add a top-six center and he’s aggressively shopping for one, but he won’t get reckless. The Boston Bruins, Nashville Predators and Pittsburgh Penguins also reportedly had trade discussions with the Avs regarding Duchene.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Avalanche GM Sakic apparently won’t budge from his high asking price for Duchene, reportedly with a good, young established top-four defenseman as the centerpiece of the return. It also appears, however, those clubs with interest in the Avs center remain insistent on Sakic lowering his price. This standoff could be resolved as early as today or it could stretch on for weeks.

As for Kovalchuk, NHL Network’s Brian Lawton said he’s heard the left wing seeks a three-year deal worth $6.5 million annually to return to the NHL. If so, I doubt he’ll find any takers for that price. 

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks recently reported the Rangers, prior to signing Kevin Shattenkirk on Saturday, inquired into Colorado’s Tyson Barrie, Winnipeg’s Jacob Trouba and Carolina’s Justin Faulk. The cost for Barrie was Brady Skjei, which is a non-starter for the Blueshirts. Trouba and Faulk were ruled off-limits by their respective teams. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s understandable that the Avs would want a good young defenseman if they were to move Barrie in a trade. For all the talk of Trouba and Faulk perhaps becoming trade candidates this summer, it appears their teams have no intention of moving them. 

STARTRIBUNE.COM: Michael Russo reported Saturday the Minnesota Wild had talks with unrestricted free agent center Matt Cullen. The discussions, however, failed to yield a deal. 


NHL Rumor Mill – July 1, 2017

NHL Rumor Mill – July 1, 2017

Kevin Shattenkirk tops the list of this year’s top unrestricted free agents.

The NHL’s free agent market opens today. Check out the latest free-agent and trade speculation. 

TSN: Bob McKenzie reports the New Jersey Devils and Tampa Bay Lightning could be two clubs with more interest in Washington Capitals UFA defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk. The Arizona Coyotes and Colorado Avalanche could also be lurking. 

NEW YORK POST: Brett Cyrgalis reports the New Jersey Devils could target Shattenkirk, who could seek a seven-year deal worth around $7 million annually. That would be too rich for the New York Rangers, but perhaps not for the Devils, who have plenty of salary-cap space and are in need of skilled blueline depth. Cyrgalis also speculates the Devils could pursue center Nick Bonino and left wing Thomas Vanek via free agency. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Devils, Coyotes and Avalanche have the cap space to ink Shattenkirk to a lucrative long-term deal. If it gets down to a bidding war, I can’t see the Lightning winning that one unless he’s willing to accept less to play in Tampa Bay. 

Darren Dreger reports Capitals winger Jason Williams was high on the Dallas Stars list, while the Nashville Predators are still poking around. He’d reportedly like to stay in the East. He’s been linked to the Lightning, Philadelphia Flyers and New York Islanders. 

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Chip Alexander reports Carolina Hurricanes assistant coach Rod Brind’Amour is pushing hard for his club to bring back Williams, who helped the Canes win the Stanley Cup in 2006. 

NEWSDAY: Arthur Staple reports the Islanders, Flyers and Lightning are among Williams’ suitors. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lots of interest in the 35-year-old Williams, who remains a capable second-line right wing. Given his age, he’ll likely get a two-year deal and it could be for around $4 million annually. If he intends to stay in the East he won’t lack for destinations. Maybe he joins the Lightning for one more shot at a Stanley Cup run.

CSN BAY AREA: Kevin Kurz cites reports the San Jose Sharks have offered up a two-year contract offer to forward Patrick Marleau and could be prepared to offer up a multiyear deal to Joe Thornton. 

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks speculates perhaps there’s some rationale for the New York Rangers to sign Thornton and Marleau to lucrative bonus-laden one-year contract if they’re unable to remain with the Sharks. However, there’s no indication the duo are willing to consider that option. If so, Brooks wonders if it’s worthwhile to offer the pair matching two-year deals for around $5.5 million per season. 

Darren Dreger reports the Rangers are in talks with former Winnipeg goaltender Ondrej Pavelec. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It wouldn’t surprise me if Marleau and Thornton accept two-year deals with the Sharks. It’ll be interesting to see how this pans out. If they do move on, I expect they’ll try to sign with teams as close to San Jose as possible. 

EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples cites NHL Network’s Brian Lawton reporting he was working “on 2 rumours involving @EdmontonOilers. Draisaitl @Avalanche trade for Duchene & @SanJoseSharks interest in him. Lot of moving parts!” He notes Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli emphatically denied the report.  ‘We are not trading him. I have talked to nobody nor will I,” said Chiarelli. Staple said he doesn’t get how a Draisaitl for Duchene swap would work for the Oilers. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s talk the Draisaitl camp seeks over $9 million annually on his new contract, but he’s coming off an entry-level contract and lacks arbitration rights. There’s no need to trade him. I expect he’ll ink an eight-year deal for around $8 million per season with the Oilers. 

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Aaron Portzline reports the Blue Jackets “are pursuing all avenues toward increasing their firepower at forward, which means big trades and noteworthy free agent signings over the next few days should not be a surprise.” He expects they’ll pursue a first-line center via trade, noting recent reports linking the Jackets to Colorado’s Matt Duchene.

Acquiring Duchene, however, could cost them two roster players plus a prospect and a draft pick. If they’re offering up one of their wingers as part of the deal for Duchene, it would explain their interest in left wing Ilya Kovalchuk, whose rights are owned by the New Jersey Devils. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Keep an eye on the Jackets over the next couple of days. It looks like they’re willing to go all in to push themselves into Stanley Cup contention for 2017-18. Could see at least one big move by them.

Pierre LeBrun reports the Montreal Canadiens are no closer to re-signing right wing Alexander Radulov, who’s reportedly seeking a six- or seven-year deal. The Dallas Stars could have some interest in Radulov, who turns 31 later this month. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens also aren’t any closer to re-signing Andrei Markov. GM Marc Bergevin could be scrambling to replace those two when the market opens today. 

Darren Dreger reports the Winnipeg Jets appear for now to be out of the bidding for Washington Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner. He’s believed seeking a six-year deal worth around $5 million annually.

TWINCITIES.COM:  Dane Mizutani reports Minnesota Wild GM Chuck Fletcher said his club won’t be a big player in the upcoming UFA market. Fletcher has about $17.6 million in salary-cap space after shipping Marco Scandella and Jason Pominville yesterday to the Buffalo Sabres. The Wild are looking at options at center and for a right-shot defenseman, but they could consider in-house options to address those needs. 

NEWS 1130’s Rick Dhaliwal reports the Vancouver Canucks could be close to a deal with former Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Michael Del Zotto.