NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 10, 2018
Stars of the week plus latest on Ryan O’Reilly, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Max Pacioretty and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Dallas Stars winger Jamie Benn, Florida Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo and Philadelphia Flyers forward Claude Giroux are three stars of the final week of the NHL 2017-18 regular season.
WGR 550: Buffalo Sabres center Ryan O’Reilly was brutally honest about his club’s culture of losing and his own need to regain his love of the game. “We’re stuck in this mindset of just being OK with losing and I feel it’s really crept into myself and over the course of the year, I lost myself a lot and it was just kind of get through and being OK with not making a mistake, and that’s not winning hockey at all. It’s crept into all of our games and it’s sad. I feel throughout the year I’ve lost the love of the game multiple times and I need to get back to it because it’s just eating myself up.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: O’Reilly’s comments could spark speculation over his future with the Sabres. Regardless, management has a lot of work to do this summer to change the culture and improve the roster.
ARIZONA SPORTS: Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson said he’d like to sign a contract extension on July 1. “I’ve said it so many times. This is where I want to be. Hopefully we can work something out.” He’s signed through next season, after which he’ll be eligible to become an unrestricted free agent.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ekman-Larsson surfaced several times this season as a possible trade target. Coyotes management regularly rejected the notion while the blueliner maintained his desire to stay in Arizona. I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets that contract extension in early-July.
TSN: Calgary Flames center Sean Monahan underwent four surgeries since March 24. He had “reconstructive wrist surgery, surgery on both hips and surgery on his groin.” Monahan said he expects to be fully healed within three months.
Montreal Canadiens left wing Max Pacioretty said he wouldn’t return to the club if he’s stripped of the captaincy. He also said he’s open to a contract extension but hasn’t had any discussions with management yet on the matter. Pacioretty insists he wants to stay in Montreal but acknowledged the possibility of a trade this summer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If there’s a deal to be found where Pacioretty fetches a good young center or defenseman the Canadiens will do it. There’s a lot of unhappiness in Montreal over the club’s poor performance and an acknowledgement that changes are necessary. Pacioretty could be part of those changes.
LE JOURNAL DE MONTREAL: Canadiens forward Andrew Shaw said he’ll undergo knee surgery soon to allow him sufficient time to recover this summer. He also admitted he suffered a concussion during a collision with Dallas’ Greg Pateryn during a late-season game.
COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Good news for the Blues Jackets, as captain Nick Foligno received medical clearance to take part in the upcoming playoffs.
NEWSDAY: New York Islanders general manager Garth Snow and head coach Doug Weight said they expect to retain their jobs. There was speculation suggesting one or both might be replaced following the club’s disappointing second-half performance.
BOSTON GLOBE: Former Bruin Marc Savard responded to a contentious comment from the Toronto Sun’s Steve Simmons. “Marc Savard basically disappeared when his career ended in Boston,” Simmons wrote. “Media called. Nobody answered. Now suddenly Savard is a media guy. My advice: If he calls, don’t answer.” Savard responded on Twitter saying his withdrawal wasn’t by choice. “I spent many years dealing with some serious mental health issues and post-concussion symptoms.”.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Simmons has yet to apologize to Savard. He should.
Former NHL forward Steve Reinprecht has announced his retirement following 18 professional seasons, including nearly 11 in the NHL with the Los Angeles Kings, Colorado Avalanche, Calgary Flames, Phoenix Coyotes and Florida Panthers. He won a Stanley Cup with the Avalanche in 2001 and spent the last five seasons with the DEL’s Nuremberg Ice Tigers. Teammate Dave Steckel, who spent nearly nine NHL seasons with the Washington Capitals, New Jersey Devils, Toronto Maple Leafs and Anaheim Ducks, could also retire. (Stick tap to “Roland” for the link).