NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 25, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 25, 2021

More legal trouble for Evander Kane, Kevin Hayes pays tribute to his late brother Jimmy, more Canadian teams require proof of vaccination to attend games, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

THE ATHLETIC: San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane faces more legal troubles. Daniel Kaplan reports a federal bankruptcy judge has approved for discovery in a lawsuit filed against Kane alleging he reneged on a promise to pay at least $2 million for an abortion.

San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kaplan also pointed out Kane filed for bankruptcy earlier this year, endured a very public, messy, ongoing divorce from his wife and learned several of his teammates want him traded. He’s also the subject of an ongoing investigation by the league regarding allegations made by his estranged wife that he bet on NHL games.

SPORTSNET: Philadelphia Flyers forward Kevin Hayes made a heartfelt tribute on Instagram to his brother Jimmy, who died suddenly on Monday. He said he lost his best friend, crediting his older brother with paving the way for his NHL career.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to the Hayes family. Tributes poured in following Jimmy’s passing from around the hockey world.

DAILY FACEOFF: The Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames are the latest teams to require fans to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination to attend their games this season. The Winnipeg Jets and Toronto Maple Leafs announced similar rules earlier this month. The Edmonton Oilers are expected to follow suit.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Ottawa Senators are also expected to implement similar rules and I daresay the Montreal Canadiens will do the same.

THE PROVINCE: Daniel Sedin is enjoying the active role he and brother Henrik have taken in management decisions this offseason with the Vancouver Canucks. The twins were hired as senior advisors to general manager Jim Benning earlier this year. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens announced France Margaret Belanger has been named president (sports and entertainment) of Groupe CH. She becomes the first woman to serve on the Canadiens executive committee in its 104-year history. She also serves, alongside team owner Geoff Molson, as an alternate governor for the team.

MLIVE.COM: Former Detroit Red Wings forward Valtteri Filppula is returning to Europe after 16 NHL seasons. He signed a one-year contract with Geneve-Servette of the Swiss Hockey League.

NEW YORK POST: The Rangers announced Gord Murphy and Mike Kelly will serve as assistant coaches under head coach Gerard Gallant. Murphy is being promoted from the AHL’s Hartford Wolfpack. Steve Smith joins the Wolfpack as an assistant.

WINDSOR SPITFIRES: Announced former NHL player Marc Savard as their new head coach.

Where Are They Now? 2011 Vancouver Canucks

Where Are They Now? 2011 Vancouver Canucks


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 22, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 22, 2019

The highlights from the opening round of the 2019 draft, the home-opening schedule for 2019-20 revealed, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: The New Jersey Devils selected American center Jack Hughes with the first-overall selection in the opening round of the 2019 NHL Draft. Finnish winger Kaapo Kakko was taken second overall by the New York Rangers. 

Jack Hughes (left) and Kaapo Kakko were the first and second overall selections in the 2019 NHL Draft (Photo via NHL.com)

A record-setting seven players from USA Hockey’s Under-18 team from the National Team Development Program were selected among the top 15 picks. Overall, eight players from NTDP were taken in the opening round. Click this link for the complete list of picks. 

Rounds two through seven will be held today at 1 pm ET. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There was only one trade (a swap of first-round picks between the Arizona Coyotes and Philadelphia Flyers) in this round. Despite considerable speculation, no established NHL players were traded in this round. For the first time in 33 years, no players from the OHL were selected in the top-10 of the first round. 

The biggest surprise saw the Detroit Red Wings select German defenseman Moritz Seider. High-scoring right wing Cole Caufield dropped into the Montreal Canadiens’ lap at No. 15. Vasily Podkolzin, selected with the 10th overall selection by the Vancouver Canucks, was the only Russian player taken in the opening round. 

The Tampa Bay Lightning selected left win Nolan Foote with the 27th pick. He joins brother Cal Foote, who was taken by the Bolts with the 14th overall selection in 2017. Both are the sons of former NHL defenseman Adam Foote. Center Dylan Cozens, taken seventh overall by the Buffalo Sabres, is the first Yukon-born player in NHL history to be selected in the first round. 

Before the start of the opening round, the league released the home-opening schedules for its 31 teams. It begins on Oct. 2 with the Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues facing off against the Washington Capitals. 

During his introductory remarks, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman revealed Daniel and Henrik Sedin will have their numbers retired by the Vancouver Canucks next February. The twins were onstage with Bettman at Rogers Arena when the announcement was made.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Well-deserved honors for the two greatest players in Canucks history. 

VANCOUVER SUN: The Canucks announced former winger Alex Burrows to their Ring of Honour. He will join Orland Kurtenbach, Kirk McLean, Harold Snepsts, Thomas Gradin, Pat Quinn and Mattias Ohlund.

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Former Penguins winger Chris Kunitz is said to be considering retiring as an active player and go into coaching. The 40-year-old winger spent last season with the Chicago Blackhawks, netting 10 points in 56 games. He’s a four-time Stanley Cup winner, including three with the Penguins. 

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 13, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 13, 2018

Canucks to retire Sedins numbers plus updates, Duncan Keith reaches a key milestone, and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

VANCOUVER SUN: “Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini announced Thursday morning on Sportsnet 650 that the team plans to retire the Sedins’ numbers during the 2019-20 season.” The date has yet to be determined but the club is talking to the league over scheduling.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Future Hall-of-Famers Daniel and Henrik Sedin were the greatest players in Canucks history. They deserve this honor. I expect they’ll also be inducted into the club’s “Ring of Honour” at some point. 

Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith will play his 1,000th career NHL game on Saturday. (Photo via NHL Images)

  CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith will play his 1,000th career NHL game tonight against the St. Louis Blues at the United Center in Chicago.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Keith’s NHL career began in 2005-06, spending each of those 1,000 games with the Blackhawks.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators yesterday announced three players – “winger Ryan Dzingel (muscle injury), defenceman Cody Ceci (two separate undisclosed injuries) and winger Alex Formenton (concussion)” – were placed on injured reserve.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Flyers forward Travis Konecny left practice yesterday with an apparent foot injury. It’s uncertain if he’ll be able to play in today’s games against the Vegas Golden Knights.

SUN-SENTINEL.COM: Florida Panthers forward Michael Haley “will be away from the team while taking part in the NHL/NHL Players Association assistance program.” Haley, an eight-year NHL veteran, played 73 games last season with the Panthers.



NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 6, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 6, 2018

The Sedins have a memorable final home game in Vancouver, the Predators win the Presidents’ Trophy and the Devils clinch a playoff berth. Details and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Sedin twins had a storybook ending to their final NHL home game. Daniel scored twice, including the winner in overtime, and brother Henrik had assists on both goals as the Vancouver Canucks defeated the Arizona Coyotes 4-3. The Sedins’ final game will be Saturday in Edmonton against the Oilers.

Daniel Sedin scored twice as the Vancouver Canucks defeated the Arizona Coyotes 4-3 (Photo via NHL Images).

 For the first time since 2012, the New Jersey Devils are heading to the playoffs. Pavel Zacha and Miles Wood scored in the second period as the Devils squeaked past the Toronto Maple Leafs 2-1. Keith Kinkaid made 31 saves and Patrick Maroon collected two assists for New Jersey, who have 97 points and sit one point ahead of the Philadelphia Flyers, who hold the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: For the first time in his eight-year NHL career. Devils left wing and leading scorer Taylor Hall is going to the postseason. 

Speaking of the Flyers, a third-period goal by Jakub Voracek gave them a 4-3 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes, opening a four-point lead over the Florida Panthers (92 points) for the final Eastern Conference wild-card spot.

As for the Panthers, they kept their playoff hopes alive by beating the Boston Bruins 3-2. Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo made 26 saves for the win in his 1,000th career NHL games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Panthers have one more victory than the Flyers and hold a game in hand. Florida can clinch a playoff berth if they win both of their final two games and the Flyers suffer a regulation loss on Saturday against the New York Rangers. 

The San Jose Sharks (100 points) moved closer to securing home-ice advantage in the upcoming playoffs by doubling up the Colorado Avalanche 4-2. The Sharks sit in second place in the Pacific Division. The Avalanche (93 points) failed to widen their lead over the St. Louis Blues (92 points) for the final Western Conference playoff spot. The Blues hold a game in hand and will face the Avs on Saturday in what will be decisive game for both clubs.

The Nashville Predators clinched their first Presidents’ Trophy in franchise history by defeating the Washington Capitals 4-3 thanks to third-period goals by Roman Josi and Ryan Johansen. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin tallied his 47th goal of the season while teammate Evgeny Kuznetsov scored twice.

The Winnipeg Jets ensured they will finish second in the Central Division by defeating the Calgary Flames 2-1. Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck made 31 saves for his 43rd win over the season, tying the single-season record for an American-born netminder. Flames rookie Spencer Foo tallied his first career NHL goal.

Dustin Brown scored four goals, including the overtime winner, as the Los Angeles Kings tamed the Minnesota Wild 5-4. The Kings (98 points) retook position of third place in the Pacific Division.

Phil Kessel scored two goals, including the winner in overtime, to give the Pittsburgh Penguins a 5-4 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. With the win, the Penguins (98 points) sit one point ahead of the Jackets for second place in the Metropolitan Division. Despite the loss, the Jackets also secured a playoff berth. 

Connor McDavid collected three assists as the Edmonton Oilers beat the Vegas Golden Knights 4-3. With 106 points, McDavid holds an eight-point lead over Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov and Philadelphia’s Claude Giroux in the NHL scoring race and is all but assured of winning the Art Ross Trophy for the second straight year.

Anthony Beauvillier’s second-period goal stood up as the game winner as the New York Islanders edged the New York Rangers 2-1 to sweep their season series.

Nicolas Deslauriers scored twice as the Montreal Canadiens clipped the Detroit Red Wings 4-3.

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes have re-signed goaltender Antti Raanta to a three-year contract believed to be worth roughly $4 million per season. Raanta was eligible to become an unrestricted free agent in July. As per Cap Friendly, he’s completing a two-year deal worth $1 million per season. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Raanta, 28, would’ve been the best goaltender available in this summer’s UFA market. Despite being hampered by injuries, he put up solid numbers this season. He won 21 of 45 starts, with a 2.24 goals-against average, a .930 save percentage and three shutouts. His strong play during the second half of this season is a significant factor behind his club’s improvement during that period. Raanta gets a healthy pay raise and the opportunity to establish himself as a starting goaltender while the Coyotes lock up him for a reasonable term. 

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: The Blackhawks confirmed general manager Stan Bowman and head coach Joel Quennville will return with the club next season. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the once-mighty Blackhawks missing the postseason for the first time in a decade there was some anticipation Bowman and/or Quenneville might be fired. Given the club’s previous success, however, ownership is obviously willing to give the duo an opportunity to improve the roster next season. 

OTTAWA SUN: Senators forwards Mark Stone (high-ankle sprain) and Marian Gaborik (herniated disk) are done for the season. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 3, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 3, 2018

Sedins to retire, game recaps, Coyotes offer contract to Raanta, and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: After 17 seasons, Vancouver Canucks forwards Daniel and Henrik Sedin yesterday announced they intend to retire at the end of the 2017-18 campaign. The twins, both 37, were selected second and third overall in the 1999 NHL Draft. They went on to become the best players in Canucks history.

Vancouver Canucks stars Daniel and Henrik Sedin will retire at season’s end (Photo via NHL.com).

Henrik leads the clubs in games played (1,327), assists (828) and points (1,068), while Daniel is their leader in goals (391), even-strength goals (253), power-play goals (137), game-winning goals (85) and shots (3,457). Henrik sits second in playoff points (78) while Daniel (71) is third.

Since 2006-07, the Sedins have been the twin faces of the Canucks. In their prime, they were among the league’s top players, with Henrik winning the Art Ross Trophy and the Hart Memorial Trophy in 2010 and Daniel winning the Art Ross and the Ted Lindsay Award in 2011.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Daniel and Henrik also led the Canucks to their best years in franchise history. During a five-season stretch from 2008-09 to 2012-13, Vancouver won five division titles, consecutive Presidents’ Trophy seasons (2011, 2012), one Campbell Bowl (2011) and a trip to the 2011 Stanley Cup Final. The twins are also retiring while they’re still effective players. Daniel is second among Canucks scorers this season with 52 points, Henrik is third with 48. 

Devan Dubnyk’s 22-save shutout performance backstopped the Minnesota Wild to a 3-0 win over the Edmonton Oilers. The Wild also clinched a playoff spot for the sixth straight year, sitting third in the Central Division with 98 points. Earlier in the day, they learned defenseman Ryan Suter’s season is over after suffering a fractured right ankle during a loss on Saturday against Dallas. 

The Washington Capitals dealt a blow to the St. Louis Blues’ playoff hopes with a 4-2 victory. Alex Ovechkin tallied his league-leading 46th goal of the season while goaltender Braden Holtby made 34 saves. With 92 points, the Blues remain one back of the Colorado Avalanche for the final Western Conference playoff spot. Earlier in the day, the Blues learned forward Scottie Upshall’s season is over after he suffered a lacerated kidney during Saturday’s loss to Arizona. 

The Avalanche, meanwhile, maintain their slim one-point lead over the Blues after falling 3-1 to the Los Angeles Kings, who moved up into third in the Pacific Division with 96 points. With the Kings win and the Blues loss, the idle San Jose Sharks (98 points) have clinched a playoff spot.

The Florida Panthers kept their playoff hopes alive with a 3-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. Aleksander Barkov had two assists for the Panthers (88 points), who sit five points behind the New Jersey Devils for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Blake Wheeler scored twice and Mark Scheifele collected two assists as the Winnipeg Jets edged the Ottawa Senators 6-5. Following the game, Senators captain Erik Karlsson picked up the puck and tucked it into his hockey pants, prompting speculation this may be his final home contest in Ottawa. Karlsson, Matt Duchene, Mike Hoffman and Thomas Chabot each had three-point performances.

Two-goal performances by Auston Matthews and William Nylander powered the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 5-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres. The Leafs have matched a franchise high in points with 103.

Vegas Golden Knights forward Wiliam Karlsson, Arizona Coyotes goaltender Antti Raanta and Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel are the NHL’s stars for the week ending April 1, 2018.

ARIZONA SPORTS: Speaking of Raanta, the Coyotes have offered the pending unrestricted free agent a multiyear contract extension. “The deal could be for up to four years and would be between $4 to $4.5 million in average annual value.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Raanta probably won’t get a better offer via this summer’s UFA market. Despite being hampered by injuries, he put in a solid effort in his first season as a full-time starting goalie, winning 20 games while posting a 2.27 goals-against average, a .929 save percentage and three shutouts. Still, his overall inexperience as a starter combined with his recent history of injuries could hurt his chances of scoring a lengthier, more expensive contract.

NHL.COM: Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos is listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury.

BOSTON HERALD: The NHL department of player safety slapped a $5,000.00 fine on Bruins winger Brad Marchand for cross-checking Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Andrew MacDonald during a game on Sunday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yeah, that’ll really send a message to a recidivist like Marchand. 

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks enter the final week of the season with goaltender John Gibson and defenseman Cam Fowler questionable due to injuries. 

NHL.COM: New York Rangers forward Jesper Fast has suffered a groin injury that will likely sideline him for the club’s final three games. Teammate Mats Zuccarello could also miss some time after undergoing an MRI.