NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 29, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 29, 2019

Game recaps, Capitals clinch a playoff berth, Masterton Memorial Trophy nominees revealed, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Third-period goals by Jakub Vrana and Nic Dowd gave the Washington Capitals a 3-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. With the win, the Capitals (100 points) clinched a playoff spot and hold a three-point lead over the New York Islanders for first place in the Metropolitan Division. Before the game, Hurricanes captain Justin Williams said his club’s popular “Storm Surge” postgame win celebrations have come to an end for the remainder of the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That should delight Don Cherry and Brian Burke as they are the most vocal critics of the Hurricanes’ postgame antics. 

The Islanders, meanwhile, scored three unanswered third-period goals to overcome a 4-2 deficit to upset the Winnipeg Jets 5-4. Jordan Eberle tallied twice for the Isles. The loss leaves the Jets (94 points) two points ahead of the Nashville Predators for the top spot in the Central Division.

The Columbus Blue Jackets regained the second-wild card spot in the Eastern Conference by thumping the Montreal Canadiens 6-2. Both clubs have 90 points but the Jackets hold a game in hand. Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella was furious at Canadiens’ forward Andrew Shaw’s second-period hit to the head of defenseman Adam McQuaid, who left the game and didn’t return. Shaw received a two-minute interference penalty. Tortorella believes the hit was “Suspendable. Ridiculously suspendable.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: We’ll find out later today if the NHL’s department of player safety agrees. 

Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl became the first German national to reach 100 points in a 3-2 loss to the Dallas Stars (Photo via NHL Images)

The Dallas Stars rallied back from a 2-0 deficit to nip the Edmonton Oilers 3-2. Shootout goals by Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn completed the comeback for the Stars. Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl became the first German national to reach 100 points in an NHL season. He and Connor McDavid are also the first Oilers teammates to reach 100 points since Jari Kurri and Jimmy Carson in 1988-89.

The San Jose Sharks suffered their seventh straight loss by falling to the Chicago Blackhawks 5-4. The Sharks (95 points) remains six points behind the first-place Calgary Flames in the Pacific Division. Blackhawks winger Alex DeBrincat became the youngest player in franchise history (21) to scored 40 goals in a season. The Hawks (78 points) sit five points out of a Western Conference playoff spot.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier this month, the Sharks were rolling through a six-game winning streak. Shaky goaltending and the ongoing absence of sidelined defenseman Erik Karlsson have contributed to their current slide.

Tanner Pearson tallied the only goal in a shootout as the Vancouver Canucks edged the Los Angeles Kings 3-2. Kings captain Dustin Brown became the franchise leader in games played (1,112). Canucks defenseman Alexander Edler set a franchise record for most goals by a defenseman with 94.

Florida Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov reached the 90-point plateau for the first time in a 5-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators. Teammate Jonathan Huberdeau also scored twice. Panthers defenseman Brady Keeper made his debut and became the first member of the Pimicikamak Cree Nation to play in the NHL.

The Detroit Red Wings blew a 4-2 lead but went on to defeat the Buffalo Sabres 5-4 in overtime. Tyler Bertuzzi tallied the game-opening and game-winning goals while Dylan Larkin reached the 30-goal mark for the first time and Anthony Mantha collected three assists.

Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara, Calgary Flames blueliner Mark Giordano, Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford, New York Islanders netminder Robin Lehner, and St. Louis Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester are among the nominees for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.

THE DENVER POST: Good news for the Colorado Avalanche as sidelined captain Gabriel Landeskog (separated shoulder) makes his return tonight against the Arizona Coyotes.

NBC SPORTS: Boston Bruins defenseman Torey Krug (285 career points) recently became the highest-scoring American-born player in franchise history.


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 31, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 31, 2018

Jarome Iginla officially retires plus the latest notable contract signings and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

CALGARY SUN: Jarome Iginla made it official yesterday at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, announcing his retirement as an active player after a 20-year NHL career. He spent sixteen seasons with the Flames and nearly a decade as their captain. “I was very fortunate to have a very blessed career,” Iginla said.

Iginla is the Flames franchise leader in “goals (525), points (1,095), games played (1,219) and game-winning goals (83)”, and retires with 625 goals and 1,300 points in 1,554 regular-season games. Iginla led the Flames to the 2004 Stanley Cup Final and won gold medals with Canada at the World Juniors (1996), World Championships (1997), World Cup of Hockey (2004) and Olympics (2002 and 2010).  

Jarome Iginla officially announced the end of his playing career in Calgary. (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Iginla retires as the greatest player in Flames history and one of the top power forwards in NHL history. He’s also among the most well-respected players. It was fitting that he made the announcement in Calgary, the city where he had his best seasons.Though he never won a Stanley Cup he’s a shoo-in as a first-ballot inductee into the Hockey Hall of Fame. 

TSN: Speaking of the Flames, they avoided arbitration with forward Garnet Hathaway to a one-year contract worth $850K.

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: The Rangers avoided an arbitration hearing with center Kevin Hayes as the two sides agreed to a one-year deal worth $5.125 million. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hayes will be eligible for unrestricted free agent status next summer. His new deal suggests this season could be his last with the Rangers. 

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators and defenseman Cody Ceci appear far apart as his arbitration hearing approaches on Wednesday. Ceci seeks $6 million per season while the Senators are offering $3.35-million annually. Ceci completed a two-year, $5.6-million contract. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If this goes to arbitration Ceci’s new salary could be be around $4.75-million per season. 

THE TENNESSEAN: The Nashville Predators avoided arbitration with Miikka Salomaki by agreeing to a two-year, $1.5-million deal. 

TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild inked former Philadelphia Flyers winger Matt Read to a one-year, two-way contract. “He will make $650,000 at the NHL level and $200,000 at the AHL level.”




NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 3, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 3, 2017

Flames sign Jagr, Blue Jackets re-sign Anderson, latest waiver news & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

CALGARY SUN: The Flames yesterday signed free-agent right wing Jaromir Jagr to a one-year, bonus-laden contract. Jagr’s base salary is $1 million and he could also earn an additional $1 million in bonuses.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flames’ lack of scoring punch on right wing was the reason behind the signing of the 45-year-old Jagr, who tallied a respectable 46 points in 82 games last season. It’s assumed he’ll be skating on one of the top two lines.

Jagrs not the dominant player he used to be but he still has solid offensive skills. He could become a complimentary player for young guns Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: The Blue Jackets ended their contact standoff with forward Josh Anderson, signing him to a three-year deal worth $1.85 million per season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That contract was reportedly on the table since early-July, making his impasse with the Jackets a waste of time. Missing training camp and the preseason could adversely affect his early-season play. 

TWINCITIES.COM: Minnesota Wild left wing Zach Parise (back injury) will miss the opening two games of the regular season.

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Penguins winger Patric Hornqvist (hand surgery) appears unlikely to suit up for the club’s season opener on Wednesday.

THE WASHINGTON POST: Capitals winger Tom Wilson faces a disciplinary hearing for boarding St. Louis Blues forward Sam Blais during a game on Sunday.

THE DETROIT NEWS: Forward David Booth’s NHL comeback with the Red Wings was successful, earning a one-year, two-way contract.

NBC SPORTS: The Chicago Blackhawks placed defenseman Michal Rozsival (post-concussion symptoms) on long-term injury reserve. 

The Philadelphia Flyers placed veteran winger Matt Read on waivers

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: Vegas Golden Knights owner Bill Foley said his team is ready to provide the city with “whatever support is needed” in the wake of Sunday night’s shooting massacre outside the Mandalay Bay hotel in downtown Las Vegas.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My sincere condolences to the families and friends of the dead and my best wishes for quick recoveries for the injured. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 2, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 2, 2017

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (left) celebrates his overtime goal against the Detroit Red Wings in the 2017 Centennial Classic.

Game recaps, injury updates, unveiling 33 of 100 greatest NHL players & more in your morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Auston Matthews scored twice, including the winner in overtime, to give the Toronto Maple Leafs a 5-4 victory over the Detroit Red Wings at the Centennial Classic game at BMO Field in Toronto. The Wings had rallied back from a 4-1 deficit to force overtime with 1 second remaining in regulation. Henrik Zetterberg collected three assists for Detroit. 

Anaheim Ducks goalie John Gibson made a franchise-record 51 saves, Ryan Kesler netted a hat trick and Corey Perry netted the game winner in a shootout in a 4-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. Gibson was briefly pulled in the second period after the Flyers tied the game at 3 but returned and was solid in goal for the remainder of the game.

The Flyers welcomed winger Matt Read back to the lineup after being sidelined since early-December with an olique pull. 

Karl Alzner and Taylor Chorney tallied for the Washington Capitals in their 2-1 win over the Ottawa Senators. 

Prior to the Centennial Classic, the NHL revealed 33 of its greatest 100 players of all time. All played predominantly during the league’s first 50 seasons (1917-1967). Here they are in alphabetical order:

Sid Abel, Syl Apps, Andy Bathgate, Jean Beliveau, Max Bentley, Toe Blake, Johnny Bower, Turk Broda, Johnny Bucyk, King Clancy, Charlie Conacher, Alex Delvecchio, Bill Durnan, Bernie Geoffrion, Glenn Hall, Doug Harvey, Tim Horton, Gordie Howe, Dave Keon, Red Kelly, Ted Kennedy, Elmer Lach, Ted Lindsay, Frank Mahovlich, Dickie Moore, Howie Morenz, Jacques Plante, Henri Richard, Maurice Richard, Terry Sawchuk, Milt Schmidt, Eddie Shore and Georges Vezina.

The Nashville Predators announced defenseman P.K. Subban was placed on injured reserve (herniated disc) and will be re-evaluated in two-three weeks. 

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES:  Marian Hossa (upper-body injury) will miss today’s Winter Classic game against the St. Louis Blues, while center Marcus Kruger (upper-body injury) is sidelined for around three weeks. 

WINNIPEG SUN:  The Jets placed winger Alexander Burmistrov on waivers. If he clears, he’ll be demoted to their AHL affiliate.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Burmistrov’s name briefly popped up earlier this season in trade speculation linking him to the Montreal Canadiens. We’ll find out by noon ET today if the Habs or another club selects him. He’s had a disappointing NHL career thus far.  In 23 games this season, he has only two assists and was a healthy scratch in the Jets’ previous 10 games. 

ARIZONA SPORTS: Coyotes defenseman Anthony DeAngelo received a three-game suspension for physically abusing an official after trying to shove away the arms of linesman Julien Brisebois while arguing with him during Saturday’s game against the Calgary Flames. 

THE WASHINGTON POST: The Capitals have reassigned forward Jakub Vrana to their AHL affiliate in Hershey.

USA TODAY: NHL Players Association director Donald Fehr is optimistic over NHL participation in the 2018 Winter Olympics, but league commissioner Gary Bettman remains pessimistic. The two sides are expected to meet for further discussion on the subject later this month. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The league will  reportedly reach a decision on the ’18 Games by the end of January. I expect discussions (negotiations?) with the PA will do right down to the wire.

While Bettman cites concern by the team owners about shutting down the league, condensing the schedule and injuries, those excuses ring hollow when one considers they had no problem doing so for last fall’s league-sponsored World Cup of Hockey. If the PA accepted Bettman’s recent proposal of Olympic participation in exchange for extending the current collective bargaining agreement by three years, those concerns would magically vanish. 

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 6, 2016

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 6, 2016

Pittsburgh Penguins forward Bryan Rust scores one of his three goals against the Ottawa Senators.

Pittsburgh Penguins forward Bryan Rust scores one of his three goals against the Ottawa Senators.

Game recaps, stars of the week, injury updates & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Bryan Rust netted his first career NHL hat trick as the Pittsburgh Penguins overcame a 4-2 deficit and a goalie change (Matt Murray in for a struggling Marc-Andre Fleury) to defeat the Ottawa Senators 8-5.

Sidney Crosby scored his league-leading 17th goal while Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel each tallied a goal and two assists for the Penguins. Senators winger Mark Stone also had a goal and two assists, while Sens goalie Craig Anderson face 43 shots.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Not exactly a defensive battle in this one as the Penguins and Senators gave us an entertaining flashback to ’80s style hockey. 

Sam Gagner’s two-goal, two-assist performance carried the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 4-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gagner’s already exceeded last season’s career-low 16-point effort, with 10 goals and 17 points in 23 games. He’s on pace for a 60-point performance, which would be a career high. While it remains to be seen if he’ll hit that total, there’s no question he’s rejuvenated his career with the Blue Jackets. 

Marcus Johansson scored twice, including the winner in overtime, as the Washington Capitals edged the Buffalo Sabres 3-2. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin took his team-leading 11th minor penalty of the season, which didn’t sit well with head coach Barry Trotz. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: After being among the league’s dominant teams last season and considered among this season’s favorites to win the Stanley Cup, the Capitals have struggled through the opening quarter of this schedule. Ovechkin’s undisciplined play appears to reflect those difficulties. 

David Pastrnak’s overtime goal lifted the Boston Bruins to a 4-3 victory over the Florida Panthers. 

Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Steve Mason, St. Louis Blues right wing Vladimir Tarasenko and San Jose Sharks goalie Martin Jones are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending December 4

Montreal Canadiens center Alex Galchenyuk is sidelined indefinitely with a leg injury. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s going to hurt the Canadiens offense. He’s their leading scorer this season. 

CSNNE.COM: Boston Bruins winger Matt Beleskey will miss six weeks with a right-knee injury. 

PHILLY.COM: An upper-body injury will sidelined Philadelphia Flyers winger Matt Read for four weeks. 

TSN: The Toronto Maple Leafs have placed goaltender Jhonas Enroth on waivers, prompting speculation he could be replaced by free-agent netminder Karri Ramo. 

THE DENVER POST: The cause of death of former Colorado Avalanche forward Marek Svatos on Nov. 5 was revealed to be a drug overdose. The coroner’s report revealed he had “codeine, morphine and an anti-anxiety medication in his system” when he died. Svatos “had a history of heroin use and had gone through drug rehabilitation, according to the coroner’s report. He also had suspected depression, prior suicidal ideation, and “recent life stressors.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A tragic end. It’s a shame Svatos was unable to find the help he needed to cope with his illness. Once again, my condolences to his family and friends. 

NHL Expansion Speculation – November 24, 2016

NHL Expansion Speculation – November 24, 2016

Could Ottawa Senators winger Bobby Ryan be exposed in next June's NHL expansion draft?

Could Ottawa Senators winger Bobby Ryan be exposed in next June’s NHL expansion draft?

A look at the players potentially available to the Vegas Golden Knights (and those who might not be) in next June’s expansion draft. 

SPORTSNET: Chris Johnston published a list of 66 players currently considered exempt from next June’s NHL expansion draft because of their no-movement clauses. 

Anaheim (4)
Kevin Bieksa
Ryan Getzlaf
Ryan Kesler
Corey Perry

Arizona (1)
Alex Goligoski

Boston (4)
David Backes
Patrice Bergeron
Zdeno Chara
David Krejci

Buffalo (1)
Kyle Okposo

Carolina (1)
Jordan Staal

Columbus (5)
Sergei Bobrovsky
David Clarkson
Brandon Dubinsky
Nick Foligno
Scott Hartnell

Chicago (8)
Artem Anisimov
Corey Crawford
Niklas Hjalmarsson
Marian Hossa
Patrick Kane
Duncan Keith
Brent Seabrook
Jonathan Toews

Colorado (2)
Francois Beauchemin
Erik Johnson

Dallas (2)
Jamie Benn
Jason Spezza

Detroit (1)
Frans Nielsen

Edmonton (3)
Milan Lucic
Andrej Sekera
Cam Talbot

Florida (1)
Keith Yandle

Los Angeles (1)
Anze Kopitar

Minnesota (4)
Mikko Koivu
Zach Parise
Jason Pominville
Ryan Suter

Montreal (2)
Jeff Petry
Carey Price

Nashville (1)
Pekka Rinne

New Jersey (1)
Ryane Clowe

N.Y. Islanders (3)
Johnny Boychuk
Andrew Ladd
John Tavares

N.Y. Rangers (4)
Dan Girardi
Henrik Lundqvist
Rick Nash
Marc Staal

Ottawa (1)
Dion Phaneuf

Philadelphia (1)
Claude Giroux

Pittsburgh (5)
Sidney Crosby
Marc-Andre Fleury
Phil Kessel
Kris Letang
Evgeni Malkin

Tampa Bay (4)
Ryan Callahan
Valtteri Filppula
Victor Hedman
Steven Stamkos

Toronto (1)
Nathan Horton

Vancouver (3)
Loui Eriksson
Daniel Sedin
Henrik Sedin

Winnipeg (2)
Dustin Byfuglien
Toby Enstrom

Johnston also reports “Anaheim Ducks centre Antoine Vermette and Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask each hold no-move clauses that run until June 15, 2017 – just two days before each team must submit a list of protected players.”  Arizona Coyotes goalie Mike Smith’s no-move expired last June. 

It’s also possible Ottawa Senators right wing Bobby Ryan could be exposed in the draft. Johnston cites a source saying the language regarding his no-movement clause stipulates no-movement to the minors and gives him a limited no-trade clause.

Johnston also cautions the list could change as new contracts are signed, players are exempted because of injury (” i.e. New Jersey’s Ryane Clowe, Toronto’s Nathan Horton and Columbus’ David Clarkson”) and some might agree to waive their movement clause to go to Las Vegas. 

TSN: Frank Seravalli lists Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk, Minnesota Wild defenseman Jonas Brodin, Edmonton Oilers defenseman Brandon Davidson, Columbus Blue Jackets right wing Cam Atkinson, Wild left wing Jason Zucker, Washington Capitals defenseman Dmitri Orlov, Winnipeg Jets forward Mathieu Perreault, Ottawa Senators defensemen Marc Methot, Anaheim Ducks left wing Jakob Silfverberg and Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury as the top-10 players projected to be available. 

Other notables include San Jose Sharks winger Mikkel Boedker, Blackhawks center Marcus Kruger, LA Kings winger Marian Gaborik, Colorado Avalanche forward Mikhail Grigorenko, Buffalo Sabres forward Johan Larsson, New York Rangers winger Michael Grabner, Philadelphia Flyers winger Matt Read, Dallas Stars defenseman Dan Hamhuis, Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson, Sharks defenseman Paul Martin, Florida Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo and Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov. 

USA TODAY:  In his analysis of what the Golden Knights’ roster could look like next season, Kevin Allen speculates “the potential expansion draft goalie pool could include Marc-Andre Fleury, Semyon Varlamov, Thomas Greiss, Jimmy Howard, and perhaps Roberto Luongo”.

Other potentially available players include Jakob Silfverberg, Ryan Dzingel, Dmitri Orlov, Jonas Brodin, Tomas Plekanic, Mikkel Boedker, Trevor van Riemsdyk, Mikhail Grigorenko, Mathieu Perreault,  Marian Gaborik and Ryan Sproul.

Allen also notes Vegas will have a 48-hour head-start window before the expansion draft to negotiate with and potentially sign unrestricted free agents. Next summer’s notable UFAs include Ben Bishop, Kevin Shattenkirk, T.J. Oshie and Karl Alzner.

SI.COM’s Alex Prewitt reports the following via Twitter: “One small expansion draft rule clarified by the NHL to Vegas yesterday: Can’t arrange salary retention for picks with their prior teams.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A lot here to digest. For those who are interested, you can find the rules for the expansion draft at this link. The 30 NHL clubs must submit their protection lists by 5 pm ET on June 17. The Golden Knights will submit their selections on June 20, with the official announcement of their selections on June 21.

It’s interesting to note some of the notable inclusions and exclusions in Johnston’s list. Goes to show the full details of a player’s no-movement clause doesn’t reach sites such as CapFriendly.com. I’m not knocking them, as they do the best they can to compile NHL player contract info, but they can only get so much. 

It’ll be interesting to see if the Senators provide any clarification on Ryan’s status. I was under the impression he was in the same boat as Fleury, whose no-movement also reportedly covers only demotion to the minors. Perhaps Fleury’s no-movement is more ironclad than previously assumed.

As for the expiration of Rask’s no-movement clause, I don’t think there’s any question the Bruins will protect him. 

As for the oter players who could become available, some are certainties based on their high salaries and/or performance. Doesn’t mean, however, they’ll be selected by the Knights. I’m not convinced a player like Atkinson will be left unprotected, and it remains to be seen if Fleury will agree to waive his movement clause.

Still very early to start guessing which players will be available in the draft, but feel free to indulge in the comments section. I’ll waiting until next spring, when we’ll start getting a much clearer picture.