NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 12, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 12, 2021

The Sabres traded Taylor Hall to the Bruins, the Kings ship Jeff Carter to the Penguins, plus recaps of Sunday’s action and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

OVERNIGHT TRADES

TSN: The Buffalo Sabres trade left wing Taylor Hall and center Curtis Lazar to the Boston Bruins in exchange for winger Anders Bjork and a second-round draft pick in 2021. The Sabres also retain 50 percent of Hall’s $8 million cap hit to facilitate the trade.

Buffalo Sabres trade Taylor Hall to the Boston Bruins (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins hope Hall will regain his offensive form and provide them with much-needed secondary scoring. Lazar should bring some depth to their checking lines.

It’s a disappointing return for the Sabres, who were believed seeking at least a first-round pick for Hall. It’s indicative of perhaps how much the former Hart Trophy winner’s stock has fallen this season. Bjork struggled to play up to expectations in Boston and might benefit from a fresh start in Buffalo.

TRIBLIVE.COM: The Los Angeles Kings traded forward Jeff Carter to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for a conditional third-round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft and a conditional 2023 fourth-rounder. The Kings also retain 50 percent of Carter’s $5.272 million cap hit.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The conditions are based on how long the 36-year-old Carter plays. He has a year remaining on his contract. Carter’s tallied 20 goals 11 times in his career but his offense has declined in recent years. He has just 19 points in 40 games this season. Nevertheless, he should be a solid addition to the Penguins’ injury-depleted bottom-six forward lines.

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs acquired goaltender David Rittich from the Calgary Flames in exchange for a 2022 third-round pick. The Flames also retained 50 percent of the pending UFA’s $2.75 million cap hit.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This move provides additional experienced goaltending depth for the Leafs behind Frederik Andersen and Jack Campbell. It also raises questions over how long Andersen could be sidelined by a lower-body injury.

NHL.COM: The Ottawa Senators traded defenseman Mike Reilly to the Boston Bruins in exchange for a third-round pick in the 2022 NHL draft. They also shipped blueliner Braydon Coburn to the New York Islanders for a 2022 seventh-rounder.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog had a goal and two assists to lead his club over the Anaheim Ducks 4-1. Nathan MacKinnon had a goal and an assist as the Avs hold a four-point lead atop the Honda West Division with 60 points and moved into first in the overall standings.

Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury moved into fourth place on the NHL’s all-time wins list by blanking the Arizona Coyotes 1-0. Fleury now has 484 career victories and also picked up his 66th career shutout. Tomas Nosek tallied the only goal as the Golden Knights remain four points behind the Avalanche in the West. With 43 points, the Coyotes remain one point behind the fourth-place St. Louis Blues.

Two-goal performances by T.J. Oshie, Lars Eller and Conor Sheary carried the Washington Capitals to an 8-1 romp over the Boston Bruins. The Capitals are tied with the New York Islanders with 58 points but hold first place in the MassMutual East Division on the basis of regulation wins with 20. The Bruins, meanwhile, remain in fourth place with 48 points.

Speaking of the Islanders, they edged the New York Rangers 3-2 on an overtime goal by Ryan Pulock. Kyle Palmieri tallied his first goal since joining the Isles in a trade from the New Jersey Devils.

A hat trick by Jake Guentzel powered the Pittsburgh Penguins past the New Jersey Devils 5-2. Colton Sceviour also scored twice for the Penguins (56 points), who sit two points back of the Capitals and Islanders.

Three goals late in the third period by Jeff Skinner, Rasmus Asplund and Casey Mittelstadt rallied the Buffalo Sabres over the Philadelphia Flyers 5-3. Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark finished with 40 saves. The loss moved the Flyers into a tie with the Rangers (44 points) but the latter hold fifth place with 16 regulation wins.

The Nashville Predators edged the Dallas Stars 3-2 on a shootout goal by Ryan Johansen. The Predators sit in fourth place in the Discover Central Division, holding a four-point lead over the Chicago Blackhawks.

IN OTHER NEWS…

NEW YORK POST: Washington Capitals goaltender Henrik Lundqvist announced on social media yesterday he will not be returning to play this season. Lundqvist said he’s making progress since undergoing heart surgery in January but it will be a few more months before he’s fully recovered.

THE PROVINCE: The Vancouver Canucks plan to open their practice facility was postponed to Monday after sidelined forward Jay Beagle was placed on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list. The Canucks are scheduled to return to action on Friday against the Edmonton Oilers.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: The Panthers signed winger Nikita Gusev to a prorated one-year, $1 million contract. Gusev became an unrestricted free agent on April 10 after his contract with the New Jersey Devils was terminated.

NHL.COM: The department of player safety suspended Nashville Predators forward Michael McCarron two games for an illegal hit to the head of Tampa Bay Lightning forward Yanni Gourde.










NHL Rumor Mill – February 11, 2021

NHL Rumor Mill – February 11, 2021

Are the Predators and Bruins interested in Canucks forwards Jake Virtanen and Adam Gaudette? What’s the latest on the Senators and Blue Jackets. Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM FRIEDMAN’S LATEST “31 THOUGHTS”

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports it sounds like the Nashville Predators are among the teams interested in Vancouver Canucks winger Adam Gaudette. He also indicated the Boston Bruins were among the clubs checking out Canucks winger Jake Virtanen but he doesn’t know where that stands. He also said the San Jose Sharks had an interest in Virtanen during the offseason.

Vancouver Canucks winger Jake Virtanen (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Vancouver Province’s Patrick Johnston recently reported the Canucks have been trying to move either (or perhaps both) Virtanen and Gaudette. However, sources say interest in the pair is “lukewarm at best.” He suggested Gaudette’s lower salary-cap hit makes him “somewhat more appealing” than Virtanen.

Johnston doubted either player would fetch much of a return that provides immediate help for the struggling Canucks. Any player they acquire from an American club would be unavailable for two-to-three weeks due to quarantine restrictions. Gaudette, meanwhile, claims he’s unconcerned about the trade speculation.

Speaking of the Predators, Friedman noted forward Nick Cousins was a healthy scratch from their 6-1 loss earlier this week to Tampa Bay. Cousins has had a rough start in Nashville and Friedman believes there would be interest from other clubs depending on what the Predators do.

SPECTOR’ S NOTE: Cousins for Gaudette? Discuss…

Friedman reports the Ottawa Senators were looking to ease their crowded blueline once Erik Brannstrom got up to speed. He felt Mike Reilly was the most likely to move but that may have changed now that Brannstrom is sidelined. He also claims they’re trying to move center Derek Stepan closer to his family in Arizona.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Athletic’s Ian Mendes commented on Senators general manager Pierre Dorion’s remarks about Stepan during his appearance yesterday on TSN 1200. Dorion said the center hasn’t requested a trade to be close to his family. However, Mendes also pointed out Dorion, when asked point-blank about Stepan’s status, merely replied he’s a member of the team.

Mendes feels there might be a team interested in Stepan’s services. However, he doesn’t expect the Senators would get much back in return. My guess is a draft pick or prospect.

Friedman said the sudden retirement this week of Mikko Koivu has the Columbus Blue Jackets considering all options at center.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That will include trades and waivers. Hey, Nick Cousins is a versatile two-way forward who can play center or wing. Hmmm…










Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – December 20, 2020

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – December 20, 2020

Some recent Bruins and Senators speculation in today’s NHL rumor roundup.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: In a recent mailbag segment, Joe Haggerty was asked if there’s any truth to recent rumors linking the Bruins to Mike Hoffman. While Haggerty believes the Bruins could be interested in the free-agent winger he doesn’t believe they’re close to signing him unless he’s willing to accept a one-year, $3.5 million contract. They only have $3.6 million in cap space.

Hoffman reportedly seeks a one-year deal starting at $5.5 million. Haggerty feels he could get something in the $5 million range from somebody. He acknowledged the Bruins could put sidelined winger David Pastrnak on long-term injury reserve to start the season to free up sufficient wiggle room to sign Hoffman. However, he doesn’t see them going that route with Pastrnak due to return in February.

No truth to a rumor linking Calgary Flames defenseman Noah Hanifin to the Boston Bruins (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless Hoffman agrees to a more affordable salary or the Bruins make a cost-cutting deal, I don’t see him suiting up for Boston this season. I still think their priority is addressing the left side of their blueline.

Haggerty cites colleague Jimmy Murphy shooting down a rumor suggesting the Bruins ship winger Ondrej Kase to the Calgary Flames for defenseman Noah Hanifin. Murphy indicates that rumor was an idea proposed by a reporter and not actually discussed by the Bruins and Flames.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That proposal would certainly help the Bruins shore up the depth on the left side of their blueline. However, it makes no sense for the Flames.

Kase has one 20-goal season during his short, injury-ravaged NHL career. He really struggled to adjust with the Bruins after they acquired him from the Anaheim Ducks last season, with one assist in six regular-season games and four assists in 11 playoff contests.

THE ATHLETIC: Hailey Salvian was recently asked in a mailbag segment who she thought would become the first Ottawa Senators player to be traded this season. She observed they have five potential unrestricted free agents, which are the type of players typically moved before the trade deadline.

She points out goaltender Anders Nilsson is battling concussion issues, defenseman Erik Gudbranson carries a big cap hit ($4 million) for what he brings to the ice, while forward Artem Anisimov also has a significant cap hit ($4.45 million) and struggled with injuries last season.

That leaves Alex Galchenyuk and Mike Reilly. The latter could be the most likely trade candidate as he’s shown he can be a capable puck-moving defenseman with the Senators. Galcheyuk could also attract some interest if he had a good offensive season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: We shouldn’t rule out Gudbranson or Anisimov also becoming trade candidates near the deadline. Much will depend upon their performances this season but they could be enticing to a playoff contender.

Everyone writes off Gudbranson’s value but teams still keep trading for him. I can see him landing with a playoff contender if the Sens agree to pick up part of his cap hit. A healthy season could make Anisimov worthwhile as an experienced depth forward.

The Senators won’t get much for any of those UFAs. Nevertheless, they will get some draft picks they can stockpile for off-season deals with cap-strapped clubs.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 27, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 27, 2019

Roberto Luongo retires, the Golden Knights trade Erik Haula to the Hurricanes, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

SUN-SENTINEL.COM: After 19 NHL seasons with the New York Islanders, Florida Panthers, and Vancouver Canucks, goaltender Roberto Luongo yesterday announced his retirement. He has the third-most wins (489) in league history, is second all-time in saves (20,409), and 10th all-time in save percentage (.919). Of the seven NHL goalies to appear in at least 900 games, Luongo’s save percentage is the best

Roberto Luongo hangs up his goalie pads after 19 NHL seasons (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Luongo, 40, is among the greatest goaltenders never to win the Stanley Cup. He also never won the Vezina Trophy despite being a five-time finalist and was runner-up for the Hart Trophy in 2007. Luongo backstopped Canada to Olympic gold in 2010 and helped the Canucks reach the Stanley Cup Final in 2011.

Apart from his eight-year stint with the Canucks, Luongo played for a lot of bad teams during his 19 seasons. During his first go-around with the Panthers, he was often the only reason they were at least competitive.

Luongo was the best goaltender in Panthers history, definitely among the best in Canucks history, and a future Hall-of-Famer. Best wishes to “Bobby Lu” and his family in their future endeavors. 

TSN: The Canucks and Panthers will feel the bite of Luongo’s salary-cap recapture penalty. The Canucks will be tagged $3.03 million for each of the next three seasons, the Panthers $1.09 million per season over the same period.

NEWSOBSERVER.COM/REVIEW-JOURNAL.COM: The Vegas Golden Knights last night traded center Erik Haula in exchange for center Nicolas Roy and a fifth-round pick in 2020. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was a straightforward salary dump by the Golden Knights. By shedding Haula’s $2.75-million annual average value for Roy’s $750K, they sit $4.775 million above the $81.5-million salary cap. Perhaps they’ll make another move to get closer to the cap before the start of the season.

Haula is a versatile swift-skating forward who can play center or wing. He missed most of last season to a knee injury. If he regains his form, he could be a solid addition to the Hurricanes’ forward lines. 

ARIZONASPORTS.COM: The Coyotes have hired former Buffalo Sabres head coach Phil Housley as an assistant coach. 

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: The Philadelphia Flyers re-signed goaltender Brian Elliott to a one-year, $2-million contract extension. He was slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. The Flyers also hired former NHL defenseman Nick Schultz as a player development coach. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers didn’t like the slim pickings for experienced backups in this summer’s UFA market. 

TSN: The Montreal Canadiens re-signed defenseman Mike Reilly to a two-year, $3-million contract. 

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: The Penguins re-signed defensemen Zach Trotman and Kevin Czuczman to two-year, two-way contracts. 










NHL Trade Deadline Tracker – February 26, 2018

NHL Trade Deadline Tracker – February 26, 2018

Today’s trades involving NHL players will be compiled here. Analysis of the notable deals will follow following the 3 pm ET trade deadline the Soapbox.

The New York Rangers have dealt defenseman Ryan McDonagh and forward J.T. Miller to the Tampa Bay Lightning for Vladislav Namestnikov, prospects Libor Hajek andBrett Howden, 2018 1st round pick and a conditional second round pick.

Edmonton Oilers trade left wing Patrick Maroon to the New Jersey Devils for a third-round pick and college prospect forward J.D. Dudek.

The Detroit Red Wings traded winger Tomas Tatar to the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for a first-round pick in 2018, a second in 2019 and a third in 2021

The Vancouver Canucks have dealt winger Thomas Vanek to the Columbus Blue Jackets for forwards Tyler Motte and Jussi Jokinen.

The Buffalo Sabres have traded left wing Evander Kane to the San Jose Sharks for “a conditional first-round pick in 2019, a conditional fourth-round pick in 2020 and center Daniel O’Regan. 

The St. Louis Blues trade center Paul Stastny to the Winnipeg Jets “in exchange for a first-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, forward Erik Foley and a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft.” The Blues also retain half of Stastny’s $7 million cap hit. 

The Chicago Blackhawks trade forward Ryan Hartman and a fifth round pick in 2018 to the Nashville Predators for prospect forward Victor Edjsell plus the Predators first- and fourth-round picks in 2018.

The Ottawa Senators trade defenseman Ian Cole to the Columbus Blue Jackets for a third-round pick in 2020 and minor league right wing Nick Moutrey.

The Montreal Canadiens acquire defenseman Mike Reilly from the Minnesota Wild in exchange for a fifth-round pick in 2019 (previously acquired from Washington).  Canadiens trade defenseman Joe Morrow to the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for a fourth-round pick in 2018.

The New York Islanders trade forward Jason Chimera to the Anaheim Ducks for center Chris Wagner.

The Calgary Flames acquire forward Nick Shore from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for a seventh-round pick in 2019. 

The Boston Bruins acquired forward Tommy Wingels from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for a conditional fifth-round pick in 2019.

The Vancouver Canucks trade minor league defenseman Philip Holm to the Vegas Golden Knight for forward Brendan Leipsic.

The Carolina Hurricanes trade forward Josh Jooris to the Pittsburgh Penguins for minor-league forward Greg McKegg.

 











NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 4, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 4, 2018

Game recaps plus the latest on Phil Kessel, Tuukka Rask, Jonathan Drouin, Connor Hellebuyck and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask extended his personal points streak to 20 games (Photo via NHL Images).

 NHL.COM: Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask extended his personal points streak to 20 games (18-0-2) backstopping his club to a 4-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy returned to the lineup after being sidelined nearly two weeks due to a procedure to address an abnormal heart rhythm. Leafs blueliners Morgan Rielly and Ron Hainsey also returned from injuries and illness.

New Jersey Devils center Travis Zajac scored twice and set up another as the New Jersey Devils defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-1. Penguins winger Phil Kessel picked up his 40th assist of the season and moved within three points of Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov for the NHL scoring lead.

Speaking of Kucherov, he picked up two assists (including his 300th career point) as the Lightning doubled up the Vancouver Canucks 4-2.  

Michael Frolik’s game-tying goal in the third period set the stage for Sean Monahan’s overtime tally as the Calgary Flames snapped a six-game losing skid with a 4-3 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. 

Anntti Niemi made 43 saves and Jeff Petry tallied two power-play goals as the Montreal Canadiens upset the Anaheim Ducks 5-2. Canadiens winger Jonathan Drouin left the game after being struck in the ribs by a slapshot by teammate Karl Alzner. X-rays revealed no fractures but he’ll be re-evaluated on Sunday.

Connor Hellebuyck made 25 saves as the Winnipeg Jets shut out the Colorado Avalanche 3-0. Hellebuyck picked up his career-high 27th victory of the season and is two away from tying Ondrej Pavelec (29) for second-most wins in a season by a Thrashers/Jets goalie. Avalanche netminder Semyon Varlamov made his first start after missing 11 games with a groin injury.

Los Angeles Kings goaltender Darcy Kuemper turned in a 27-save shutout effort in a 6-0 victory over the Arizona Coyotes. Teammate Jake Muzzin had a goal and two assists. 

Tyler Seguin netted three points while Jamie Benn and Alexander Radulov each collected two points as the Dallas Stars thumped the Minnesota Wild 6-1. 

Third-period goals by Jordan Eberle and Brock Nelson rallied the New York Islanders to a 4-3 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Isles goalie Jaroslav Halak made 46 saves for the win.

Kevin Fiala scored twice and goalie Pekka Rinne picked up his seventh straight victory as the Nashville Predators downed the New York Rangers 5-2. Rangers defenseman Marc Staal and winger Jimmy Vesey both left the game with head injuries.

St. Louis Blues netminder Carter Hutton had a 27-save shutout performance as his club blanked the Buffalo Sabres 1-0. Carl Gunnarsson scored the only goal late in the third period.

Mike Hoffman’s shootout goal gave the Ottawa Senators a 4-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers, who overcame a 3-1 deficit to tie the game. Flyers forward Travis Konecny assisted on all three of his club’s goals.

A controversial goal by Aleksander Barkov with 8 seconds left in the game resulted in the Florida Panthers edging the Detroit Red Wings 3-2. The Wings contended Barkov interfered with goalie Petr Mrazek by bumping him before scoring. “That’s insane they called that a goal,” forward Justin Abdelkader said. “That was an easy one, I thought. It’s frustrating.”

TSN: The NHL’s department of player disciplined fined Washington Capitals winger T.J. Oshie $5,000.00 for cross-checking Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang on Friday.