NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 7, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 7, 2019

Game recaps, Mikko Koivu suffers a season-ending injury, Devils trade Brian Boyle to Nashville, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: The Toronto Maple Leafs blew a 4-2 lead but Morgan Rielly’s third-period goal gave them a 5-4 win over the Ottawa Senators. Magnus Paajarvi scored twice for the Senators. During the game, CBC’s long-time play-by-play man Bob Cole was given a standing ovation as he called his final Leafs game. 

Morgan Rielly’s third-period goal gave the Toronto Maple Leafs a 5-4 win over the Ottawa Senators (Photo via NHL Images)

The New York Rangers edged the Boston Bruins 4-3 on a shootout goal by Tony DeAngelo. 

SPORTSNET: Speak of the Senators, team owner Eugene Melnyk vows his club will spend close to the salary cap from 2021 to 2025 once the club’s current rebuild is completed. “The Senators will be all-in again for a five-year run of unparalleled success – where the team will plan to spend close to the NHL’s salary cap every year from 2021 to 2025,” according to a statement released by the club.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Remains to be seen if Senators fans will buy into Melnyk’s vision. They’ve been disappointed by the club’s direction in recent years and unhappy with Melnyk’s ownership of the Sens. 

The Minnesota Wild yesterday announced captain Mikko Koivu is expected to undergo season-ending surgery Friday on his right knee.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Koivu’s absence leaves a big hole at the second-line center position that could prove difficult to fill. It will affect their efforts to hang onto a playoff spot in the Western Conference

THE TENNESSEAN: The Nashville Predators made two trades yesterday. The first saw them acquire forward Brian Boyle from the New Jersey Devils in exchange for a second-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft. They also reacquired forward Cody McLeod from the New York Rangers in exchange for a seventh-round selection in the 2020 draft. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With Austin Watson sidelined indefinitely while undergoing treatment for alcohol addiction and Zac Rinaldo undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery the Predators had a need for more size and grit on their checking lines. Boyle and McLeod should address those issues. Boyle also brings in additional leadership and playoff experience plus he also has a decent scoring touch, with 13 goals in 47 games this season. 

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Matt Murray is questionable for the club’s upcoming three-game road trip after suffering an upper-body injury. Head coach Mike Sullivan said it’s not a concussion and Murray will travel with the team. Goalie Tristan Jarry has been recalled on an emergency basis

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien returns to action tonight against the Montreal Canadiens after missing 15 games with a foot injury. Blueliner Josh Morrissey is questionable after blocking a shot during Tuesday’s overtime loss against San Jose. 

THE SCORE: Edmonton Oilers goaltender Cam Talbot apologized to his teammates for remaining in the dressing room after being pulled in the third period of their 6-2 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday. 

CSNPHILLY.COM: The Philadelphia Flyers placed forward Jori Lehtera on waivers. He’s expected to clear and be sent to their AHL affiliate.

Former NHL stars Mike Modano, Miroslav Satan, and Ziggy Palffy are among the eight members of the International Ice Hockey Federations’ Hall of Fame Class of 2019. 

THE PROVINCE: Former Vancouver Canucks forward and captain Andre Boudrias has passed away at age 75. He spent 12 seasons in the NHL from 1963-64 to 1975-76 with the Canucks, Montreal Canadiens, Minnesota North Stars, Chicago Blackhawks, and St. Louis Blues. His most successful period was with the Canucks, with five straight seasons of 61-plus points. He was also an assistant general manager with the Montreal Canadiens and was part of their Stanley Cup championship teams in 1986 and 1993. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Boudrias’ family, friends, and former teammates and associates. He was the Canucks first scoring star, netting a career-best 78 points in 1974-75 and leading them to their first playoff appearance in 1975. He also spent two seasons in the WHA, helping the Quebec Nordiques win the Avco World Trophy in 1977. 

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 3, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 3, 2018

Thornton and Hertl re-signing with Sharks among latest notable signings. Details and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NBC SPORTS: The San Jose Sharks yesterday re-signed center Joe Thornton to a one-year, $5-million contract and forward Tomas Hertl to a four-year deal.

The Beard is back, as Joe Thornton signs a one-year deal with the San Jose Sharks (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As per Cap Friendly, Thornton’s deal doesn’t contain any bonuses. It’s a straightforward $5 million. His salary is a significant drop from last season’s $8 million ($6.75 million base plus bonuses) but unsurprising given his age (39), recent knee surgeries and his willingness to stay in San Jose.

Cap Friendly indicates Hertl’s new deal is worth an annual average value of $5.625 million, a big raise over his previous salary of $3 million annually. It’s a shorter term than perhaps he would’ve preferred, but given his injury history, it’s understandable why the Sharks were reluctant to invest in a lengthier deal.

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Joe Starkey scolds Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford for suggesting the reason the Columbus Blue Jackets, former team of new Penguins defenseman Jack Johnson, scratched the blueliner was for reasons other than on-ice performance.

Rutherford’s remarks, and those of Johnson expressing his happiness over joining a team with a winning culture, prompted angry rebuttals from Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella and GM Jarmo Kekalainen. Johnson claimed he meant no offense by his comments and apologized to the Jackets organization.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Starkey also chided Tortorella for not being the bigger man in this situation and ignoring those remarks. If anything, this back-and-forth will only stoke the ongoing rivalry between the two clubs. 

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Rangers owner James Dolan denied reports claiming he’s looking to sell the club and his other sports franchises.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Former Kings defenseman Slava Voynov was granted a dismissal of his misdemeanor domestic abuse conviction, potentially paving the way for his return to the NHL. He can now request a reinstatement hearing with league commissioner Gary Bettman.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Even if Bettman grants Voynov’s reinstatement, the blueliner could have a difficult time landing with a new NHL club. While some general managers could be interested in his on-ice skills, the baggage from his domestic assault conviction could be a potential public-relations nightmare. 

THE TENNESSEAN: The head district attorney handling a criminal charge of domestic assault leveled at Nashville Predators forward Austin Watson has recused herself because of her upcoming wedding to Gerry Helper, the team’s senior vice president and senior adviser.

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks yesterday signed UFA winger Carter Rowney to a three-year deal worth $3.4 million.

NHL.COM: The Minnesota Wild signed forward J.T. Brown to a two-year, $1.375-million deal. 

NHL.COM: The Tampa Bay Lightning re-signed defenseman Slater Koekkoek to a one-year, $865K contract.

NEWSDAY: The New York Islanders signed forward Tom Kuhnhackl to a one-year, $650K deal.

NHL.COM: The Nashville Predators signed forward Zac Rinaldo to a one-year, two-way contract worth $650K at the NHL level. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 28, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 28, 2017

Game recaps plus latest on Mark Scheifele, Kris Letang, Zach Parise and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins overcame a 4-2 deficit to nip the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-4 on shootout goals by Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, with the latter having a three-point game. The Penguins were playing without defenseman Kris Letang, who’s day-to-day with a lower-body injury.

Joel Armia scored twice as the Winnipeg Jets held on for a 4-3 victory over the Edmonton Oilers. It was a costly victory, however, as first-line center Mark Scheifele left the game in the second period with an apparent right-shoulder injury. A further update is expected later today.

Malcolm Subban made 27 saves to give the Vegas Golden Knights their fifth straight win by defeating the Anaheim Ducks 4-1. The expansion Golden Knights (50 points) sit atop the overall standings in the Western Conference. This game was the first of the season for Ducks center Ryan Kesler, returning to action after being sidelined by offseason hip surgery. 

Two goals by Nico Hischier powered the New Jersey Devils to their fifth consecutive victory as they beat the Detroit Red Wings 3-1. Sami Vatanen scored his first goal as a Devil. Brian Boyle and Kyle Palmieri returned to the lineup after leaving Saturday’s games against Chicago.

Pekka Rinne made 29 saves as the Nashville Predators held off the St. Louis Blues 2-1. Earlier in the day, the Blues announced the re-signing of general manager Doug Armstrong to a four-year contract extension.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Armstrong’s new deal shouldn’t come as any surprise. He’s done a fine job building the Blues into one of the league’s better clubs. 

Riley Nash scored twice and set up another as the Boston Bruins downed the Ottawa Senators 5-1. The Sens have dropped 16 of their last 19 games while the Bruins move into a tie with the Toronto Maple Leafs for second place in the Atlantic Division.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sorry, Sens fans, no playoffs for your team this year. They’ve sunk too far in the standings to rally back now. 

Ondrej Pavelec kicked out 30 shots backstopping the New York Rangers to a 1-0 blanking of the Washington Capitals. Mika Zibanejad and Mats Zuccarello scored in the shootout for the Blueshirts. Rangers winger Chris Kreider left the game in the first period with an upper-body injury

Sebastien Aho’s two-goal performance gave the Carolina Hurricanes a 3-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Barring a miraculous second-half turnaround, the Canadiens can forget about reaching the playoffs this season. Despite goalie Carey Price’s heroics, their offense is anemic and their defense atrocious. 

Mathew Barzal scored in overtime as the New York Islanders edged the Buffalo Sabres 3-2. John Tavares and Josh Bailey each collected two points for the Isles.

The Minnesota Wild doubled up the Dallas Stars 4-2. Mikael Granlund tallied the winner on a second-period power play. Tyler Seguin had a goal and an assist for the Wild. Meanwhile, Wild left wing Zach Parise headed to the Wild’s AHL affiliate to play a tune-up game before returning to NHL action. He’s been sidelined since undergoing back surgery on Oct. 24.  

Antti Raanta turned aside 25 shots to give the Arizona Coyotes a 3-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche. Earlier in the day, the Avs learned defenseman Tyson Barrie will miss four-to-six weeks with a fractured bone in his right hand, Meanwhile, Coyotes forward Zac Rinaldo received a six-game suspension for sucker-punching Avs blueliner Samuel Girard during Saturday’s game between the two clubs. 

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Bad news for the Blackhawks as goaltender Corey Crawford is sidelined indefinitely with an upper-body injury. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Crawford’s out for a significant period it will put considerably pressure upon backup Anton Forsberg to fill the gap. Forsberg’s been used sparingly in recent weeks. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 27, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 27, 2017

Johnny Bower passes away plus injury updates on Cam Atkinson, Tyson Barrie and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

TORONTO SUN: Hall of Fame goaltender Johnny Bower passed away on Dec. 26 after a brief battle with pneumonia. He was 93.

Bower began his NHL career with the New York Rangers but spent 12 of his 15 NHL seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He backstopped the Leafs to four Stanley Cups (1962-64, 1967) and was a two-time winner of the Vezina Trophy. He was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1976.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bower was also renowned as one of the league’s most personable players. He was actively involved in charity work during and after his playing days and was beloved by hockey fans everywhere. Bower was well-respected by teammates and opponents alike. He didn’t reach the NHL until he was in his thirties and retired at age 45 following a knee injury. His perseverance served as an inspiration for players and fans. Rest in peace, China Wall. 

SPORTSNET: Columbus Blue Jackets forwards Cam Atkinson (fractured foot) and Alexander Wennberg (back injury) will be sidelined four-to-six weeks. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A difficult season for Atkinson and Wennberg just got worse. Both were struggling offensively prior to their respective injuries. 

BSN DENVER: The Colorado Avalanche are still awaiting word on defenseman Tyson Barrie, who broke a bone in his hand after blocking a shot during Saturday’s game against the Arizona Coyotes. He could be out anywhere between 10 days to eight weeks. 

NJ.COM: No update yet on the status of New Jersey Devils forwards Kyle Palmieri and Brian Boyle. Both left Saturday’s game against Chicago for precautionary reasons with undisclosed injuries. 

PHILLY.COM: The Philadelphia Flyers activated goaltender Michal Neuvirth from injured reserve. He’s been sidelined since Nov. 27 with a lower-body injury. 

THE PROVINCE: The Vancouver Canucks have granted center Alex Burmistrov’s request to be released from his one-year, $900K contract. He’s expected to join a Russian team in the KHL. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A first-round pick (eighth overall) by the Atlanta Thrashers in 2010, Burmistrov struggled to play up to lofty expectations. He’s yet another example of the hazards of rushing a youngster into an NHL roster before he’s fully ready for big-league play. 

SPORTSNET: Arizona Coyotes forward Zac Rinaldo waived his right for an in-person hearing yesterday with the NHL’s department of player safety. He will instead face a telephone hearing today to determine if he’ll receive supplemental discipline for sucker-punching Colorado Avalanche defenseman Samuel Girard during’s Saturday’s game between the two clubs. Rinaldo received a match penalty for the incident. Girard left the game for examination and later returned to action. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rinaldo already has a lengthy NHL suspension history. Don’t be surprised if he’s hit with another.