NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 29, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 29, 2020

The playoff schedule resumes today, former Panthers GM under investigation for uttering a racial slur, plus updates on Andrei Svechnikov, John Tortorella, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The league has released its revised schedule for the resumption of the second round of the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs. Game 4 between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Boston Bruins begins at noon ET, Game 3 between the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Islanders starts at 7 pm ET, and Game 3 between the Vegas Golden Knights and Vancouver Canucks begins at 9:45 ET. The Lightning holds a 2-1 series lead over the Bruins, while the Flyers and Islanders and the Golden Knights and Canucks are tied at a game apiece.

 SI.COM/THE HOCKEY NEWS: Matt Larkin wonders what steps the NHL will take in the wake of the recent player protest against racial injustice to ensure the fight for equality isn’t forgotten. He cites TSN’s Rick Westhead reporting the Hockey Diversity Alliance has requested the league to invest $100 million over 10 years to fund anti-racism, education, and grass-roots initiatives. That works out to just over $312K per team or less than half the minimum salary of one player.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s a reasonable request by the HDA. It’ll also be interesting to see if the NHL Players Association will be working alongside the league in this matter or if they’ll be taking their own steps.

SPORTSDAY: Dallas Stars president and CEO Brad Alberts said his club lost season-ticket holders over its support of Black Lives Matter and protests over racial inequality. He claimed it was a mix of individual and company accounts. “But I/we stand by our organization’s commitment and support our players 100% to express their views,” said Alberts.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is the first report I’ve seen by a team regarding the loss of season-ticket holders over the players’ recent protests. Alberts didn’t specify how many season-ticket holders the Stars lost. It could’ve been a large number or a handful. He also said none of the club’s advertisers have pulled funding.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW(subscription required): George Richards reports the NHL is investigating whether former Florida Panthers general manager Dale Tallon used a racial slur while representing the team. Tallon has been accused of using racially-charge language at some point during the Panthers time in the Toronto playoff bubble.

Tallon denied the charge. “I am not a racist by any means,” he said. “I have never said anything of the sort. I am all for peace, am all for this alliance and what everyone is trying to do right now.”

THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): Aaron Portzline reports the $25,000 fine levied by the league on Columbus Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella is the 15th time he’s been punished by the league. Portzline estimates Tortorella has lost “well over $200,000” because of “his mouth and his temper.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t think Tortorella is losing any sleep over those fines. While he’s mellowed a bit over the years, he remains outspoken and irritable. 

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Carolina Hurricanes winger Andrei Svechnikov said he’d be ready to go if his club were still in the postseason. He was sidelined two weeks ago by a high-ankle sprain suffered in his club’s first-round series with the Boston Bruins. Svechnikov said he’s now feeling at almost 100 percent.

TRIBLIVE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins re-signed defenseman Chad Ruhwedel to a one-year contract extension worth $750K.

THE DETROIT NEWS: The Red Wings loaned defenseman Filip Hronek to Mountfield HK of the Czech League. He’s the fifth player the Wings have loaned to European clubs. All are scheduled to return to the Wings once NHL training camps later this fall.

THE PROVINCE: The death of popular Vancouver sportswriter Jason Botchford was revealed to be caused by an accidental overdose of cocaine and fentanyl. Botchford died suddenly last April at age 48. He covered the Canucks for The Province from 2005 to 2018.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s still a tragic, heartbreaking loss for Botchford’s family, friends, and the hockey community regardless of the cause of death.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 24, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 24, 2019

Updates on the Stanley Cup Finalists, Islanders re-sign Brock Nelson, Oilers reportedly to hire Dave Tippett as head coach, and the Senators hire D.J. Smith as head coach. Details and much more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Over 16,000 fans turned out for a Bruins intra-scrimmage game last night at Boston’s TD Garden. Bruins winger Brad Marchand left the game after jamming his left hand in a collision with Connor Clifton but returned to finish the contest. 

STLTODAY.COM: Blues defenseman Vince Dunn has resumed skating after missing the last three games of the Western Conference Final. Dunn was sidelined after taking a puck to the face during Game 3. He’s believed to be dealing with concussion symptoms. There’s no timetable for his return. 

NEWSDAY: The New York Islanders re-signed center Brock Nelson to a six-year, $36-million contract. Nelson was slated to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. He’s completing a one-year, $4.25-million deal. 

New York Islanders re-sign center Brock Nelson (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s a considerable pay raise for Nelson, who’s coming off a career-high 53-point performance.  Cap Friendly indicates the deal ($6 million annual average value) comes with a full no-trade clause in the first two years and a modified no-trade for the remaining term.

Such is the market value for a second-line center under a constantly rising salary cap. I anticipated Nelson would get at most $5.5 million on a five-year contract. 

Newsday’s Arthur Staple anticipated Islanders captain Anders Lee can expect a deal (from the Isles or someone else) worth $7 million annually. 

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Kurt Leavins reports Dave Tippett is the new head coach of the Oilers. The hiring could be formally announced as early as today. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tippett has 14 seasons of NHL head-coaching experience under his belt. However, there’s some concern over whether he can coach the new up-tempo style prevalent around the league. If he can’t, there won’t be much change in the Oilers’ fortunes. 

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators introduced D.J. Smith as their new head coach. Smith was an assistant coach with the Toronto Maple Leafs. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I like this hire by the Senators. Smith spent four seasons with the Leafs. Before that, he spent three seasons as head coach of the OHL’s Oshawa Generals. In 2014-15, he guided the Generals to the OHL championship and the Memorial Cup. He has lots of experience with young players, which should prove invaluable for the rebuilding Senators. 

Speaking of the Leafs, they hired former Florida Panthers assistant coach Paul McFarland as Smith’s replacement. 

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: Two members of the San Jose Sharks dealt with multiple injuries during the playoffs. Captain Joe Pavelski suffered a head injury in the opening round. He also aggravated a knee injury in Game 5 of the Conference Final and had surgery on his left hand. Tomas Hertl suffered a head injury in Game 5 of the Final and broke his left pinkie finger in the opening round.

Erik Karlsson confirmed he reaggravated a lower-body injury and hopes to avoid off-season surgery. Joe Thornton suffered a groin injury in the conference final.

Thornton also said he hasn’t reached a decision yet on his future. If he does return for one more season, he said it’ll only be with the Sharks. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think Thornton has another year left in him. I also expect the Sharks will re-sign captain Pavelski. I don’t believe they can afford to re-sign Karlsson. 

MLIVE.COM:  Detroit Red Wings center Dylan Larkin will be fine after being struck in the groin by a shot during a game against Canada in the IIHF World Championships. Larkin missed the remaining games for Team USA, who were eliminated yesterday by Russia. 

TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild have hired Mike Modano as an executive advisor to Craig Leipold, the club owner. 

LOS ANGELES TIMES: The Kings cut ties with defenseman Slava Voynov after his season-long suspension was cut in half by an independent arbitrator. Voynov pleaded no contest to a charge of misdemeanor corporal injury to his spouse in 2015. He was suspended indefinitely by the NHL and spent two months in jail before returning to Russia. The conviction was expunged last summer, but the league levied a one-year suspension.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Voynov can sign with an NHL club after 41 games this coming season. Given the reason behind his suspension, I doubt any NHL team will risk the public backlash. 

SPORTSNET: Jacques Martin will be staying with the Pittsburgh Penguins as an assistant coach. He was interviewed by the Buffalo Sabres and Ottawa Senators for their head-coaching positions. 

TRIBLIVE.COM: Speaking of the Penguins, they re-signed defenseman Chad Ruhwedel to a two-year deal worth $700K per season.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: The Blackhawks hired Tomas Mitell as an assistant coach. 

ESPN.COM: On a non-NHL note, the National Women’s Hockey League “is increasing salaries, offering a 50-50 split of sponsor-related revenues and improved benefits in an agreement reached with its players’ association.”










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 23, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 23, 2017

The Arizona Coyotes mutually part ways with head coach Dave Tippett.

On the eve of the 2017 NHL Draft, the Arizona Coyotes part ways with Dave Tippett. Details and more notable news in your morning coffee headlines. 

 ARIZONA SPORTS: The Arizona Coyotes announced it has mutually parted ways with long-time head coach Dave Tippett regarding some philosophical differences over the running of the team.

Tippett reportedly wasn’t happy with trading away goaltender Mike Smith and how the club handled its decision not to re-sign captain Shane Doan. None of the other members of the coaching staff were let go. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s no coincidence these recent changes took place after Andrew Barroway became the Coyotes’ sole owner earlier this month. The timing of Tippett’s departure, however, could cause some difficulty for the Coyotes on the eve of the 2017 NHL Draft, as he had considerable input regarding player management decisions. 

NHL.COM: With the first overall selection in the 2017 NHL Draft, the New Jersey Devils could end up choosing either Nolan Patrick or Nico Hischier. Both are considered the top-two prospects in this year’s draft.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: The Chicago Blackhawks are expected to place winger Marian Hossa ($5.25 million annual cap hit) on long-term injury reserve for next season. Hossa will sit out the 2017-18 season because of a serious skin allergy related to his hockey equipment.

“A source said the most likely route the Hawks will take to replace Hossa is the “in-season” injured reserve approach. The means the Hawks will carry Hossa and his cap hit on the roster to start the season, then place him on injured reserve after the season begins.” That move would give the Blackhawks more flexibility with their roster during the season.

They could also attempt to trade Hossa’s rights to a club in need of reaching the $55.4 million salary cap minimum, but the Blackhawks could be reluctant to do that because it’s uncertain if his playing career is over. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some consider the timing of Hossa’s decision to skip next season suspicious because it could provide the cap-strapped Blackhawks with salary-cap relief. However, I doubt there’s anything fishy about this. Hossa’s suffered with this rare skin condition for some time and the medication he was taking to address the problem carried potential long-term health concerns. It remains to be seen if this brings about the end of his long playing career.

THE PROVINCE: The Vancouver Canucks are considering a one-year, bonus-laden contract offer for goaltender Ryan Miller. 

SPORTSNET’s Chris Johnston reports the Edmonton Oilers will match any offer sheet for restricted free agent forward Leon Draisaitl. 

NBC SPORTS: The Vegas Golden Knights reportedly aren’t interested in trading defensemen Shea Theodore and Nate Schmidt.

MIAMI HERALD: The Florida Panthers hired Chris Pronger as an adviser to general manager Dale Tallon. 

TRIBLIVE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins re-signed  defenseman Chad Ruhwedel to a two-year contract worth $650K annually.

NHL.COM: The league released its schedule for 2017-18. The curtain rises on October 4, 2017. 

 











NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 20, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 20, 2017

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby & goaltender Matt Murray carried their club to victory over the Ottawa Senators in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final.

Penguins square the Eastern Conference Final with Senators, Ryan Johansen done for the playoffs & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Sidney Crosby had a goal and an assist and Matt Murray made 24 saves as the Pittsburgh Penguins held on for a 3-2 win over the Ottawa Senators in Game 4 of the 2017 Eastern Conference.

Olli Maatta and Brian Dumoulin also tallied for the Penguins, while Clarke MacArthur and Tom Pyatt replied for the Senators. The series returns to Pittsburgh on Sunday tied at two games apiece.

The victory cost the Penguins another defenseman as Chad Ruhwedel left the game with a concussion. He’ll receive additional assessment back in Pittsburgh.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins proved they still had something left in the tank following their 5-1 blowout loss in Game 3. This was a big win for them, turning this series into a best-of-three while holding home-ice advantage over the remainder of this series. 

THE TENNESSEAN: Nashville Predators center Ryan Johansen suffered a season-ending left thigh injury during Game 3 against the Anaheim Ducks in the Western Conference Final. Johansen underwent emergency surgery and requires two-three months to recover. The injury may have stemmed from a collision with Ducks defenseman Josh Manson in the second period. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Losing Johansen is a serious blow to the Predators’ offense. He’s their first-line center and their leading scorer with 13 points in 14 games. Replacing that offense will be difficult. 

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Mark Whicker profiles the rise of Cam Fowler as the Ducks top defenseman. 

CSN BAY AREA: San Jose Sharks winger Joel Ward recently underwent shoulder surgery and is expected to be ready for next season. 

NBC SPORTS: The NHL released the schedule for the 2017 Stanley Cup Final. Game One is slated for May 29 and Game Seven (if necessary) will be held on June 14. 

TSN: Lawyers for the plaintiffs in the NHL concussion lawsuit wants the league and the 30 teams to produce records related to administration of drugs. 

PHILLY.COM: The city of Philadelphia renamed part of 11th Street to Ed Snider Way in honor of the late Flyers owner.