NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 18, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 18, 2021

Team owners approved jersey ads starting in 2022-23, Predators hope to re-sign Mattias Ekholm and Filip Forsberg, Steven Stamkos sells his Tampa mansion, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

SPORTICO: The NHL Board of Governors unanimously approved adding advertisements to team jerseys effective 2022-23. Clubs can now begin negotiating with potential ad partners. The ads must fit a 3 by 3.5-inch rectangle. Last season, the league began selling ad space on the side of players’ helmets.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Critics of these ads believe it is yet another step in a slippery slope toward turning players into billboards on skates akin to some European leagues. No NHL fans want to see that but I doubt it’ll ever go that far. European clubs have little choice because they lack the lucrative revenues streams enjoyed by the NHL.

Manufacturer logos have appeared on NHL player equipment for decades with no quibble from hockey fans. The small patch to appear on the front of jerseys will be as unobtrusive as those on the helmets.

The NHL is a business and that business took a big hit during the pandemic. They’re looking for whatever measures they can find to generate more hockey-related revenue. Anything that increases HRR will eventually translate into a higher salary cap, providing teams with more cap space to invest in building and maintaining their rosters.

Nashville Predators winger Filip Forsberg (NHL Images).

Fans got used to ads painted on the boards and the ice. They weren’t put off by arenas being named after corporations or ads on the players’ helmets. They won’t be distracted by a small jersey patch as long as they don’t spread like measles all over the jersey.

NHL.COM: Nashville Predators general manager David Poile said his club is focused on signing Mattias Ekholm and Filip Forsberg to long-term contract extensions. Both players are slated to become unrestricted free agents next summer.

Poile said discussions have started with Ekholm’s agent and should continue later this week or next week. He intends to reach out to Forsberg’s representatives before training camp opens next month.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly shows the Predators with over $46.4 million invested in 10 players for 2022-23 with Ekholm and Forsberg as their two core players becoming free agents. They have plenty of cap space to re-sign both players.

The question is how much Ekholm and Forsberg want on their new contracts and if they see their long-term futures in Nashville. It might be easier to re-sign them if the Preds were a Cup contender as they were three years ago. Their recent decline, however, could become a factor in those contract talks.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning captain Steven Stamkos recently sold his Davis Islands home for a whopping $16 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No, this doesn’t mean Stamkos is going to be traded. He still has a full no-movement clause and reportedly has no intention of waiving it.

As the story goes, the house was never listed and he and his family were happy living there. Stamkos had no intention of selling until someone met his “move-out number.” He and his family are preparing to move to another unlisted home in the area.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators signed rugged forward Scott Sabourin to a one-year, two-way contract.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Former Bruins Chris Kelly and Adam McQuaid have returned to the club in off-ice roles. Kelly is now an assistant coach while McQuaid is their new player development coordinator.

WGR 550.COM: Buffalo Sabres alumni Tim Kennedy and Nathan Paetsch have returned to the club as player development coaches.

TSN: Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment announced attendees to their sports teams (including the Toronto Maple Leafs) will be required to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test effectively mid-September to gain access to its arenas, stadium and restaurants.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 8, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 8, 2021

Recaps of Sunday’s action plus the latest injury and COVID-19 updates and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Scott Laughton tallied his first career NHL hat trick while a returning Sean Couturier scored twice and added an assist as the Philadelphia Flyers beat the Washington Capitals 7-4. Joel Farabee collected three assists for the Flyers. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin scored twice and set up two others while Tom Wilson had a four-point game.

Philadelphia Flyers forward Scott Laughton (NHL Images).

Before the game, Flyers defenseman Travis Sanheim entered the league’s COVID-19 protocol list, resulting in rapid testing of both clubs. Once those tests returned negative the game was allowed to proceed.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The NHL and NHLPA are reportedly looking into implementing more rapid testing league-wide in hope of flattening the rising COVID-19 curve among the teams. The Buffalo Sabres, Colorado Avalanche, Minnesota Wild and New Jersey Devils are currently sidelined because a number of their players are on the COVID protocol list.

A third-period goal by Chandler Stephenson lifted the Vegas Golden Knights to a 4-3 win over the Los Angeles Kings. Stephenson scored twice while teammate Zach Whitecloud tallied his first NHL regulation goal. Kings’ rookie Jaret Anderson-Dolan netted his first career NHL goal. The Kings played without forward Martin Frk as he was unavailable due to a lower-body injury.

Alex DeBrincat scored twice, including the winner in overtime, as the Chicago Blackhawks edged the Dallas Stars 2-1. Patrick Kane had two assists and Malcolm Subban kicked out 31 shots for the win.

The Detroit Red Wings upset the Florida Panthers 4-1, handing the latter their first regulation loss of the season. Wings forward Givani Smith had a Gordie Howe hat trick with a goal, an assist and a fight with Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad following Smith’s hit to the head of Panthers’ blueliner MacKenzie Weegar. No word if Smith will face supplemental discipline. Wings forward Anthony Mantha was a healthy scratch from this contest.

A controversial offside call in the second period overshadowed the Carolina Hurricanes 6-5 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Officials overruled an offside challenge by the Jackets on a goal by Hurricanes center Vincent Trocheck and assessed the Jackets a bench penalty. The officials subsequently decided the play was offside after all and waved off the final 45 seconds of the Hurricanes power-play but still allowed Trocheck’s goal to stand.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Usually outspoken Jackets coach John Tortorella declined to offer his opinion following the game. “You know what? I’m gonna let the league explain it,” said Tortorella. Jackets winger Patrick Laine, who scored twice in the game, didn’t shy away from expressing his view. “I think that’s the biggest joke I’ve ever seen,” said Laine.

HEADLINES

WGR 550: Buffalo Sabres forwards Dylan Cozens, Curtis Lazar and Casey Mittelstadt joined teammates Taylor Hall, Rasmus Ristolainen, Brandon Montour, Tobias Rieder and Jake McCabe on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list.

STARTRIBUNE.COM: Minnesota Wild defenseman Brad Hunt joined teammates Nick Bjugstad, Nick Bonino, Ian Cole, Joel Eriksson Ek, Marcus Foligno, Marcus Johansson, Jared Spurgeon and Nico Sturm on the COVID protocol list.

TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs winger Wayne Simmonds could be sidelined up to six weeks after getting hit in the hand with a shot during Saturday’s game against the Vancouver Canucks.

SPORTSNET: The Leafs signed forward Scott Sabourin to a one-year, two-way contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sabourin signing is a further indication Simmonds could miss significant time.

SPORTSNET: The Edmonton Oilers activated goaltender Mike Smith off long-term injury reserve.

TSN: San Jose Sharks defenseman Radim Simek was fined $5,000.00 for spearing Anaheim Ducks forward Adam Henrique during Saturday’s game between the two clubs.

FOX SPORTS MIDWEST: The St. Louis Blues activated defenseman Robert Bortuzzo off injured reserved, placed winger Robert Thomas (broken thumb) on IR and recalled winger Jacob de la Rose.

NHL.COM: Former NHL forward Ralph Backstrom died Sunday at age 83 following a lengthy illness. Backstrom won the Calder Memorial Trophy as rookie of the year in 1959 and won six Stanley Cups with the Montreal Canadiens. He tallied 278 goals and 639 points in 1, 032 NHL games with the Canadiens, Los Angeles Kings and Chicago Blackhawks, as well as 214 points in 234 games in the WHA.

Backstrom went on to coach the University of Denver, scouted for the St. Louis Blues and founded the Colorado Eagles, now the AHL farm club of the Colorado Avalanche.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Backstrom lived a full, productive life in hockey and the game is better for it. My condolences to his family, friends, teammates and associates.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 22, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 22, 2020

Jordan Eberle and Jared Spurgeon each tally hat tricks, the Jets acquire Cody Eakin from the Golden Knights, the Avalanche re-sign Pavel Francouz, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: On the night the New York Islanders honored John Tonelli, Jordan Eberle netted a hat trick to lead them to a 4-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. The Islanders (74 points) hold the first wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference. The Red Wings are officially eliminated from playoff contention. Earlier in the day, the Isles placed Cal Clutterbuck on injured reserve, while the Red Wings claimed defenseman Cody Goloubef off waivers from the Ottawa Senators.

Jared Spurgeon’s natural hat trick gave the Minnesota Wild a 5-3 win over the Edmonton Oilers (Photo via NHL Images).

Minnesota Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon netted a natural hat trick to beat the Edmonton Oilers 5-3. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins collected three points for the Oilers. The Wild (65 points) sit three points out of the final Western Conference playoff spot.

Goaltender Pavel Francouz celebrated his two-year, $4-million contract extension with the Colorado Avalanche by kicking out 26 shots to blank the Anaheim Ducks 1-0. J.T. Compher scored the only goal as the Avs (77 points) move one point ahead of the Dallas Stars for second in the Central Division.

The St. Louis Blues (80 points) opened a three-point lead atop the Western Conference by beating the Stars 5-1, leaving the latter four points behind them. Blues defenseman Colton Parayko had a goal and two assists.

Mika Zibanejad scored and set up two others to lead the New York Rangers over the Carolina Hurricanes 5-2. Hurricanes center Sebastian Aho tallied his 35th goal of the season. With 68 points, the Rangers sit five points behind the Columbus Blue Jackets for the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference, while the Hurricanes (72 points) are one point behind the Jackets.

Chicago Blackhawks winger Alex DeBrincat scored twice in a 2-1 overtime win over the Nashville Predators. Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford made 42 saves for the win. The Predators (68 points) sit two behind the Calgary Flames for the final Western Conference wild-card spot. The Blackhawks made defenseman Erik Gustafsson a late scratch, prompting speculation he could be moved before the upcoming Feb. 24 trade deadline.

Speaking of the Flames, they blew a 3-1 lead to drop a 4-3 decision to the Boston Bruins. Patrice Bergeron scored twice and David Pastrnak had two assists as the Bruins (90 points) won their fifth straight and widened their lead atop the overall standings by five points over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Mikael Backlund scored two goals for the Flames.

HEADLINES

WINNIPEG SUN/LAS VEGAS SUN: The Winnipeg Jets acquired center Cody Eakin from the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for a fourth-round pick in 2021.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Eakin is expected to center the Jets’ fourth line, providing an additional measure of experienced depth to their bottom-six forward lines. By shedding Eakin’s $3.85 million salary-cap hit, the Golden Knights freed up cap room for perhaps another deal before the upcoming trade deadline.

WGR 550: The Buffalo Sabres yesterday placed defenseman Zach Bogosian on unconditional waivers for the purpose of terminating his contract. If unclaimed by noon today, Bogosian will become an unrestricted free agent.

TSN: Ottawa Senators winger Bobby Ryan opened up about his alcohol addiction and his ongoing treatment. He’s returning to the lineup after being out of action for three months participating in the NHL player assistance program.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Ryan on his path forward.

Columbus Blue Jackets forward Oliver Bjorkstrand will be sidelined eight-to-ten weeks with a sprained and factured ankle.

The NHL Department of Player Safety fined Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Matt Niskanen $5,000.00 for slashing and Senators forward Scott Sabourin over $1.881.00 for unsportsmanlike conduct.

TVA SPORTS: With Victor Mete and Xavier Ouellet sidelined by injuries, the Montreal Canadiens recalled defenseman Karl Alzner.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 23, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 23, 2019

Taylor Hall tallies his first goal with the Coyotes, Alex Ovechkin non-committal about attending 2020 All-Star Game, the latest on Zdeno Chara and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Taylor Hall scored his first goal with the Arizona Coyotes in a 5-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings. He now has points in each of his first three games with the Coyotes. Clayton Keller scored twice and picked up an assist while Oliver Ekman-Larsson had three assists.

Taylor Hall has three points in as many games with the Arizona Coyotes (Photo via NHL Images).

Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard gave up five goals on 45 shots in his first game since being sidelined by a groin injury on Nov. 27. Teammate Anthony Mantha missed the game as he’s sidelined at least a week with an upper-body injury suffered against Toronto on Saturday. Wings forward Robby Fabbri was fined over $2,400.00 for spearing Maple Leafs center Alexander Kerfoot.

Matthew Tkachuk and Elias Lindholm led the Calgary Flames to a 5-1 victory over the Dallas Stars. Tkachuk scored a goal and set up two others while Lindholm collected three assists as the Flames went three-for-five on the power play.

The New York Rangers snapped a three-game losing skid by dumping the depleted Anaheim Ducks 5-1. Chris Kreider scored twice for the Rangers while Mika Zibanejad had a goal and an assist. Ducks forwards Ryan Getzlaf and Jakob Silfverberg were sidelined by illness while Rickard Rakell missed the game with an upper-body injury.

Vegas Golden Knight goalie Malcolm Subban made 37 saves in a 3-1 win over the San Jose Sharks. William Karlsson picked up to assists as the Golden Knights are unbeaten in their last five games (4-0-1). The free-falling Sharks have just one victory in their last 10 games (1-8-1).

HEADLINES

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin is honored to be voted captain of the Metropolitan Division for the 2020 NHL All-Star Game on Jan. 25. However, he’s non-committal on his participation.

“We’ll see,” he said when asked if he would go. “It’s lots of games to play. I’m going to do the best for my health and for the playoffs and I have to be healthy for the most important games moving forward.” Ovechkin opted to skip the 2019 All-Star game and received a league-mandated one-game suspension.

Ovechkin and teammate Tom Wilson posted tweets yesterday honoring Capitals superfan Alex Luey, who passed away yesterday following a three-year battle with cancer. Luey was 13 years old.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Luey’s family and friends, and to the Capitals organization.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Bruins captain Zdeno Chara will miss today’s game against the Capitals due to a scheduled procedure related to his broken jaw suffered during last spring’s Stanley Cup Final.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets winger Oliver Bjorkstrand will be sidelined four-to-six weeks with a rib/cartilage contusion and oblique strain.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bjorkstrand joins a growing list of sidelined Jackets. Among them are Cam Atkinson, Brandon Dubinsky, Josh Anderson and David Savard.

TSN: Ottawa Senators forward Scott Sabourin will return to action tonight against the Buffalo Sabres. He’s been sidelined by a concussion since Nov. 2.










NHL Injury Outlook Week Six

NHL Injury Outlook Week Six

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 4, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 4, 2019

The Capitals snuff out the Flames, the Blackhawks edge the Ducks, Milan Lucic receives a two-game suspension, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Jakub Vrana’s first career NHL hat trick powered the Washington Capitals to a 4-2 victory over the Calgary Flames. Evgeny Kuznetsov and Tom Wilson each collected two assists. The league-leading Capitals have won four straight games.

The Flames played without winger Milan Lucic. He received a two-game suspension by the department of player safety for sucker-punching Columbus Blue Jackets winger Kole Sherwood. Flames general manager Brad Treliving disagreed with the decision, claiming Lucic was responding to Sherwood slashing goaltender David Rittich.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With three suspensions and two fines on his resume, Lucic doesn’t get the benefit of the doubt for questionable tactics.

Patrick Kane’s overtime goal gave the Chicago Blackhawks a 3-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks (Photo via NHL Images).

The Chicago Blackhawks blew a 2-0 lead but Patrick Kane scored in overtime as they edged the Anaheim Ducks 3-2. Blackhawks rookie Adam Boqvist scored his first NHL goal. It was Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf’s 1,000th career regular-season game. He picked up an assist in this contest.

HEADLINES

NBC SPORTS: Ottawa Senators winger Scott Sabourin was released from the hospital yesterday after being stretchered off the ice following a collision with Boston Bruins winger David Backes on Saturday. The Senators announced he suffered a fractured nose.The club also announced Logan Brown is listed as week-to-week with an upper-body injury. Backes left the game with an upper-body injury and is expected to miss the next couple of games.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins winger Patric Hornqvist (undisclosed) was placed on injured reserve.

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets forward Adam Lowry will not face supplemental discipline for a questionable hit on Vegas Golden Knights winger Alex Tuch, who left the game and didn’t return.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens have called up forward Ryan Poehling and placed center Jesperi Kotkaniemi on IR with a groin injury.

WGR 550: The Buffalo Sabres placed defenseman Marco Scandella on injured reserve and called up blueliner Lawrence Pilut.

TORONTO SUN: Former NHL winger Dean Prentice has passed away at age 87. Prentice played 22 seasons with the New York Rangers, Boston Bruins, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Minnesota North Stars from 1952-53 to 1973-74. He tallied 391 goals and 860 points in 1,378 games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Prentice’s family, friends, and former teammates.