NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 16, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 16, 2021

Recaps of Thursday’s action include milestones for Tuukka Rask and Nicklas Backstrom, the Canucks’ Friday game is postponed plus the latest on Steven Stamkos and Jack Eichel in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Taylor Hall scored his first goal with the Boston Bruins and Tuukka Rask picked up his 300th career NHL victory after returning from injury in a 4-1 win over the New York Islanders. Brad Marchand scored twice for the Bruins, who sit fourth in the MassMutual East Division with 52 points. The Islanders are in second place with 58 points.

Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask (NHL Images).

The Washington Capitals failed to widen their lead over the Isles as they were upset 5-2 by the Buffalo Sabres. Washington center Nicklas Backstrom picked up an assist in his 1,000th career NHL game. Anders Bjork had a goal and an assist for the Sabres. The Capitals remain atop the East with 60 points.

New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin picked up his second straight shutout over the New Jersey Devils with a 4-0 victory. Artemi Panarin scored two goals as the Rangers (48 points) remain four points behind the Bruins and two ahead of the Philadelphia Flyers.

Speaking of the Flyers, they got shootout goals from Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier to nip the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1. Carter Hart kicked out 31 shots for the Flyers. The Penguins are in third place with 57 points, one back of the second-place Islanders.

The Carolina Hurricanes moved into first place in the Discover Central Division by downing the Nashville Predators 4-1. Andrei Svechnikov and Vincent Trocheck each had a goal and an assist to give the Hurricanes 60 points in the standings. The Predators, meanwhile, are in fourth place with 49 points.

An overtime goal by Victor Hedman gave the Tampa Bay Lightning a 3-2 victory over the Florida Panthers. Alex Killorn had a goal and an assist for Tampa Bay. The Lightning also announced they placed captain Steven Stamkos on long-term injury reserve with a lower-body injury retroactive to April 9. Tampa Bay also has 60 points but sits second in the Central on the basis of games played while the Panthers are one point behind them.

Jakub Vrana scored his first goal with the Detroit Red Wings as they upset the Chicago Blackhawks 4-1. Troy Stecher also scored two goals for the Wings to extend their win streak to three games. The loss leaves the Blackhawks (45 points) four points behind the Predators.

The Dallas Stars kept their playoff hopes alive by dropping the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-1. Denis Gurianov scored twice and collected an assist as the Stars are one point back of the Blackhawks.

Two-goal performances by Nikolaj Ehlers and Kyle Connors carried the Winnipeg Jets to a 5-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Toronto center Auston Matthews missed the game with an undisclosed injury and is listed as day-to-day. The Jets (57 points) moved to within three points of the first-place Leafs in the Scotia North Division.

THE PROVINCE: The Vancouver Canucks’ scheduled game tonight against the Edmonton Oilers was postponed because of player preparation concerns. The Canucks last played on March 24 and their schedule was postponed on March 31 by COVID-19.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s speculation Saturday’s game could also be postponed. It wouldn’t surprise me if it takes another week before the Canucks can safely ice a healthy roster. This latest postponement came about after the players raised concerns with the NHLPA that they hadn’t fully recovered in time for Friday’s contest with the Oilers.

WGR 550: Buffalo Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams denied reports claiming team captain Jack Eichel would soon undergo surgery to repair a season-ending herniated disk in his neck. He said Eichel will continue to rehab the injury and he’ll be reevaluated in May.










NHL Rumor Mill – April 14, 2021

NHL Rumor Mill – April 14, 2021

The ongoing fallout from the trade deadline features Taylor Hall’s future with the Bruins, the Canadiens making a pitch for Tony DeAngelo and musing over the availability of Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin. Check out the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill.

NOTABLE HIGHLIGHTS FROM FRIEDMAN’S LATEST “31 THOUGHTS”

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the hope between the Boston Bruins and Taylor Hall is for a long-lasting relationship beyond this season. The Bruins acquired the 29-year-old left-winger from the Buffalo Sabres before Monday’s trade deadline. He’s due to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. The Bruins are betting his two percent shooting percentage this season is an aberration.

Edmonton Oilers general manager Ken Holland said he didn’t make a push to acquire Hall at the deadline. Friedman doubts the Toronto Maple Leafs made a pitch. The New York Islanders, Vegas Golden Knights and St. Louis Blues seemed the strongest pursuers beside the Bruins. The Golden Knights made an offer the Sabres would’ve preferred but Hall exercised his no-movement clause to go to Boston.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hall had every right to use his no-movement clause to dictate where he could go. Sabres management agreed to give him that clause to bring him to Buffalo for one season and had to live with the consequences. We’ll find out soon enough if Hall is a good fit with the Bruins.

New York Rangers defenseman Tony DeAngelo (NHL Images).

The Montreal Canadiens made a proposal to Tony DeAngelo that would’ve been comparable for this season and next to what he’d lose if he terminated his contract with the New York Rangers. The 25-year-old defenseman rejected the offer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The New York Post’s Larry Brooks reports more than one team was interested in signing DeAngelo as a free agent prior to Monday’s deadline if he’d been placed on, and cleared, unconditional waivers for the purpose of terminating his contract. However, sources say there wasn’t enough time for the blueliner to find the right fit and deal.

DeAngelo will remain on the Rangers payroll until he’s either selected by the Seattle Kraken in this summer’s expansion draft or is thereafter bought out of the remaining year of his contract. Brooks doubts the Kraken will take him.

The Rangers could try to trade DeAngelo before the expansion draft or afterward but that remaining year at $4.8 million ($5.3 million in actual salary) will be difficult to move if teams believe the Blueshirts will buy him out.

The Canadiens also asked about Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf but Friedman doubts it was a serious possibility. He also believes they had an interest in St. Louis Blues winger Mike Hoffman but weren’t willing to meet the Blues’ price. The Ducks had a discussion with the Vegas Golden Knights (with Getzlaf in the loop) but it doesn’t appear they were close.

The big trade on Monday that sent Anthony Mantha from the Detroit Red Wings to the Washington Capitals prompted Friedman to wonder if anyone asked Wings GM Steve Yzerman about team captain Dylan Larkin. One of the factors behind moving Mantha is the Wings feel their rebuild will take longer than expected. Perhaps the Mantha deal will elicit other clubs to inquire about Larkin.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This could be worth monitoring during the offseason unless Yzerman tells his peers around the league not to waste their time.

Nashville Predators GM David Poile intends to speak with Mattias Ekholm following this season about a contract extension, “not whether we want to trade him.” He indicated he would not lose Ekholm in the expansion draft. Friedman also wondered if Poile will re-sign pending UFA winger Mikael Granlund.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Poile either intends to protect four defensemen (Ekholm, Roman Josi, Ryan Ellis and Dante Fabbro) in the expansion draft, leave Fabbro unprotected, or swing a side deal with the Seattle Kraken to get them to select another player.

The Winnipeg Jets asked about Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov before the deadline. The Jets and Philadelphia Flyers kicked the tires on Arizona Coyotes defenseman Alex Goligoski.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jackets aren’t likely to part with Gavrikov, especially given the fact there’s some uncertainty over blueliner Seth Jones’ future in Columbus. He’s a year away from UFA eligibility. They’ll need Gavrikov if Jones departs via free agency or if the Jackets trade him before then.

The Leafs considered Coyotes winger Conor Garland before acquiring Nick Foligno from the Blue Jackets. Friedman doesn’t think they were ever close.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: And I don’t think Coyotes general manager Bill Armstrong wanted to trade one of his leading scorer with his club battling for a playoff spot in the Honda West Division.

In other tidbits, the Pittsburgh Penguins looked at Travis Zajac before he was shipped to the New York Islanders. Friedman believes the Dallas Stars’ unwillingness to trade Jamie Oleksiak suggests they could try to re-sign the pending UFA defenseman.

The Oilers had an interest in defenseman Patrik Nemeth before he was traded to the Colorado Avalanche. Speaking of the Avalanche, they considered goaltender David Rittich before acquiring Devan Dubnyk from the San Jose Sharks.










NHL Trade Deadline: Who Scored and Who Missed

NHL Trade Deadline: Who Scored and Who Missed

 










NHL Rumor Mill – April 13, 2021

NHL Rumor Mill – April 13, 2021

In today’s NHL rumor mill: the fallout from yesterday’s NHL trade deadline includes Taylor Hall hoping to remain a Bruin, the Penguins asking about Ryan Getzlaf, and the Flyers, Flames and Red Wings look ahead to the offseason.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Darren Hartwell reports Taylor Hall said he’d be willing to sign with the Bruins if things work out with them over the remainder of this season. Hall was acquired by the Bruins in the early-morning hours before yesterday’s 3 pm ET trade deadline.

Boston Bruins left wing Taylor Hall (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That will depend upon his performance and what kind of contract he seeks if he plays well enough to convince Bruins general manager Don Sweeney that he’s worth keeping.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Dan Kingerski cites a well-placed Penguins source saying Brian Burke, the club’s president of hockey operations, contacted the Anaheim Ducks to inquire into the availability of captain Ryan Getzlaf. This was done before the Penguins went on to acquire Jeff Carter from the Los Angeles Kings before yesterday’s trade deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Burke can’t be blamed for inquiring but it’s clear Getzlaf wants to stay in Anaheim and Ducks GM Bob Murray wants to keep him. Kingerski also said Getzlaf and Murray have mutually expressed expectation that the Ducks captain will return for another season.

PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: Mike Sielski reports Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher has no intention of changing his coaching staff during the offseason. A roster shakeup could be in store in the offseason as Fletcher looks to the long term to address his struggling club’s needs. Sielski calls on Fletcher to make some bold moves this summer to fix his stale roster.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Calling on Fletcher to make big moves in one thing. Pulling them off is another in a flattened salary-cap world.

They’ll need to bring in a younger 1-A goaltender to share the crease with Carter Hart until the latter gets his confidence back. Finding a suitable replacement for the retired Matt Niskanen on the blueline is a must.

As for which players should be moved to breathe some fresh life into a stale roster, Claude Giroux has a year left on his contract but also a no-movement clause and an $8.25 million cap hit. Winger Jakub Voracek lacks no-trade protection but his $8.25 million cap hit through 2023-24 is pretty much a trade deterrent.

Winger James van Riemsdyk has surfaced in trade rumors but his $7 million cap hit through 2022-23 and inconsistent production is tough to move. It seems they’re stuck with one-dimensional defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere and his $4.5 million cap hit through 2022-23.

THE ATHLETIC: Hailey Salvian believes the Calgary Flames trading Sam Bennett yesterday to the Florida Panthers could herald more changes to come in the summer following this disappointing season. She wonders if core players such as Johnny Gaudreau or Sean Monahan could be part of those changes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flames have steadily declined since topping the Western Conference standings two years ago. GM Brad Treliving won’t be making a coaching change after replacing Geoff Ward in midseason with Darryl Sutter. Any roster moves he makes this summer will involve plenty of consultation with Sutter.

Gaudreau seems the most likely trade candidate as he’s a year away from unrestricted free agent eligibility. His five-team no-trade list doesn’t kick in until July 28. Monahan has two years left on his contract. That could make him more enticing in the trade market but he has a 10-team no-trade list.

MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan reports Detroit Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman will wait until the offseason before making decisions on whether to re-sign his unrestricted free agents or retain head coach Jeff Blashill. He indicated this summer’s expansion draft will also play a part in which players he retains.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 13, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 13, 2021

Recaps of Monday’s action following the trade deadline, the stars of the week are revealed, the Kings re-sign Alex Iafallo, the Flyers re-up Scott Laughton, and much more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Nathan MacKinnon extended his points streak to 10 games with a goal and an assist as the Colorado Avalanche held off the Arizona Coyotes 4-2. Mikko Rantanen scored twice for Colorado as they’ve won 16 of their last 19 contests. With 62 points, the Avalanche sit atop the Honda West Division and the NHL’s overall standings. The Coyotes (43 points) remain one point back of the fourth-place St. Louis Blues.

Vegas Golden Knights winger Max Pacioretty (NHL Images).

Vegas Golden Knights winger Max Pacioretty netted his 300th career NHL goal as his club scored four unanswered goals to beat the Los Angeles Kings 4-2. The Golden Knights remain four points behind the first-place Avs in the West Division.

A franchise-record 46-save shutout performance by Anthony Stolarz carried the Anaheim Ducks over the San Jose Sharks 4-0. Alexander Volkov scored two goals for the Kings. The loss leaves the Sharks (40 points) four points behind the Blues.

The Montreal Canadiens doubled up the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-2 to snap Leafs goalie Jack Campbell’s 11-game winning streak. Montreal winger Tomas Tatar scored twice while Leafs star Auston Matthews tallied his league-leading 32nd of the season. The Canadiens sit in fourth place in the Scotia North Division with 45 points, 14 back of the first-place Leafs.

Ottawa Senators winger Brady Tkachuk tallied two goals in a 4-2 upset of the Winnipeg Jets. Senators forward Connor Brown extended his goal-scoring streak to eight games. The Jets remain in second place in the North with 53 points.

An overtime goal by Brandon Hagel gave the Chicago Blackhawks a 4-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Patrik Laine scored twice for the Jackets, who sit eight points behind the fourth-place Nashville Predators in the Discover Central Division. The fifth-place Blackhawks, meanwhile, sit just two points back of the Predators.

The Detroit Red Wings spoiled the 1,000th career NHL game of Carolina Hurricanes captain Jordan Staal by dropping the Hurricanes 3-1. Wings goaltender Jonathan Bernier made 37 saves as his teammates tallied three third-period goals. The loss leaves the Hurricanes tied with the Tampa Bay Lighting with 58 points but the latter holds first place in the Central Division on the basis of wins.

The NHL postponed Monday’s game between the St. Louis Blues and Minnesota Wild. The game is rescheduled for May 12.

HEADLINES

NHL.COM: Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck, Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews and Dallas Stars forward Roope Hintz are the three stars for the week ending April 11, 2021.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: The Kings signed forward Alex Iafallo to a four-year contract extension worth an annual average value of $4 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Contract talks between the Kings and Iafallo went through most of Monday before an agreement was reached before the 3 pm ET trade deadline. Having traded long-time veteran forward Jeff Carter to Pittsburgh, the Kings cleared sufficient cap room to keep the 27-year-old Iafallo as they continue their rebuild.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: The Flyers signed forward Scott Laughton to a five-year contract extension worth an annual salary-cap hit of $3 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Like Iafallo, Laughton’s contract talks carried on until close to the trade deadline. Both players were considered potential trade candidates if their respective teams failed to re-sign them before the 3 pm ET deadline. This is an affordable signing by the Flyers, retaining a versatile, energetic 26-year-old player who could help them rebound from this difficult season going forward.

WIVB.COM: Buffalo Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams said Jack Eichel will remain sidelined for a while. The Sabres captain has been out since March 7 with an upper-body injury. With 15 games remaining, this could be season-ending for Eichel.

THE ORANGE COUNTRY REGISTER: Anaheim Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm could miss the remainder of the season with a fractured wrist suffered on Feb. 27 against the Vegas Golden Knights.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins forward Branden Tanev could be sidelined for the rest of the regular season with an undisclosed injury.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators claimed defenseman Victor Mete off waivers from the Montreal Canadiens.

NJ.COM: The Dallas Stars claimed blueliner Sami Vatanen off waivers from the New Jersey Devils.










NHL Trades – Monday, April 12, 2021

NHL Trades – Monday, April 12, 2021

Check out the details of all the significant trades that took place on deadline day:

Buffalo Sabres trade forwards Taylor Hall and Curtis Lazar to the Boston Bruins for winger Anders Bjork and a second-round pick in the 2021 NHL draft. The Sabres retain half of Hall’s $8 million cap hit.

Los Angeles Kings trade forward Jeff Carter to the Pittsburgh Penguins for a conditional 2022 third-round pick and a conditional fourth in 2023. The Kings retain half of Carter’s $5.273 million cap hit.

Washington Capitals trade Jakub Vrana, Richard Panik, a 2021 first-round pick and a 2022 second-rounder to the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for winger Anthony Mantha.

Calgary Flames trade Sam Bennett to the Florida Panthers for a 2022 second-round pick and prospect winger Emil Heineman. 

Philadelphia Flyers trade forward Michael Raffl to the Washington Capitals in exchange for a fifth-round pick. 

Ottawa Senators trade defenseman Erik Gudbranson to the Nashville Predators for a seventh-rounder in 2023. 

Montreal Canadiens acquire defenseman Erik Gustafsson from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for a seventh-round pick in 2022. 

Colorado Avalanche re-acquire center Carl Soderberg from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for minor-league center Josh Dickinson and prospect winger Ryder Rolston. 

Toronto Maple Leafs acquire defenseman Ben Hutton from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for a fifth-round pick in 2022. 

Chicago Blackhawks trade Mattias Janmark and a fifth-round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft to the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for a second-round pick in 2021 and a third-round pick in 2022. TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reports the San Jose Sharks will receive a fifth-round pick from the Golden Knights for brokering the deal. The Blackhawks and Sharks retain 50 percent of Janmark’s salary. 

Edmonton Oilers acquire defenseman Dmitry Kulikov from the New Jersey Devils in exchange for a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2021 NHL draft. The pick becomes a third-rounder if the Oilers win a playoff round (as per TSN’s Gord Miller and Bob McKenzie)

Vancouver Canucks trade defenseman Jordie Benn to the Winnipeg Jets for a sixth-round pick. 

Chicago Blackhawks acquire forward Adam Gaudette from the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for center Matthew Highmore.

Carolina Hurricanes trade defenseman Haydn Fleury to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for defenseman Jani Hakanpaa.