NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 13, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 13, 2017

Detroit Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist (left) high sticks Minnesota Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon in the face.

Game recaps, Nyquist faces disciplinary hearing, Setoguchi on waivers & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: The Minnesota Wild’s 6-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings was overshadowed by Red Wings’ forward Gustav Nyquist high-sticking Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon in the face. Fortunately for Spurgeon, he wasn’t seriously injured and returned to the game.

Following the game, Nyquist was offered an in-person hearing with the NHL department of player safety, which could result in a suspension of six games or more. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nyquist’s intent may not have been to hit Spurgeon in the face, and he appeared immediately regretful of his actions, but it was certainly a retaliatory move that went awry on his his part. He is not considered a dirty player and has never been suspended before. His worst infraction was a $2,000.00 fine for embellishment/diving in 2015. I expect he’ll miss some playing time for this incident. 

Tuukka Rask turned in a 25-save shutout performance backstopping the Boston Bruins to a 4-0 win over the Montreal Canadiens. It’s the Bruins third straight victory, while the Habs have dropped six of their last seven games. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With Jack Capuano, Ken Hitchcock and Claude Julien losing their head-coaching jobs over the last four weeks, the focus now shifts toward Canadiens bench boss Michel Therrien, who’s starting to feel the heat in Montreal as the struggling Canadiens enter their bye week.

Brent Burns scored twice as the San Jose Sharks snapped a four-game losing streak by downing the New Jersey Devils 4-1. 

Burns now has 59 points, putting him only two behind league leader Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers. He has a shot at becoming the first defenseman since Bobby Orr in 1975 to win the Art Ross Trophy as the league’s leading scorer.

Roman Josi scored twice as the Nashville Predators overcame a 3-0 deficit to down the Dallas Stars 5-3. 

Anders Lee scored two third-period goals to give the New York Islanders a 5-1 victory over the Colorado Avalanche. It’s the ninth win in 12 games for the surging Islanders, putting them only one point out of a wild-card berth. 

Michael Chaput scored two goals as the Vancouver Canucks beat the Buffalo Sabres 4-2.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno took exception to a Hockey Night in Canada report on Saturday claiming the players held a meeting with head coach John Tortorella. It was reported they asked Tortorella to be more constructive with his criticism as they try to play their way out of an 8-9-1 funk. Foligno claims the story was blown out of proportion. “We talked about a lot of things in the meeting. Meetings happen all the time, and I’m not sure why this one was turned into something way more than what it was,” said Foligno.

TSN: The Los Angeles Kings placed winger Devin Setoguchi on waivers. 

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Blackhawks forward Jordin Tootoo is relishing his six years of sobriety following years of alcohol abuse that threatened to derail his hockey career. 

THE DETROIT NEWS: A public visitation for Mike Ilitch, the late owner of the Detroit Red Wings, will be held on Wednesday at Fox Theater in Detroit. Ilitch passed away on Friday at age 87. 












NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 6, 2016



NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 6, 2016

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby celebrates one of his two goals against the San Jose Sharks.

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby celebrates one of his two goals against the San Jose Sharks.

Game recaps, injury updates, World Cup of Hockey player revenue & more in your NHL morning headlines. 

NHL.COM: Sidney Crosby scored twice and Matt Murray made 32 saves to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 5-0 drubbing of the San Jose Sharks in this rematch of last spring’s Stanley Cup Final. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: After missing the opening six games of the season with concussion symptoms, Crosby is quickly making up for that lost time. He has 10 points in six games and is only five points behind the league’s leading scorers. 

Tyler Bozak scored twice and set up another as the Toronto Maple Leafs doubled up the Vancouver Canucks 6-3, handing the latter their eighth straight loss. The game turned nasty in the third period, with six players ejected from the game, including starting goalies Ryan Miller and Frederik Andersen. Following the game, Canucks blueliner Erik Gudbranson had strong words for Leafs forward Matt Martin. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gudbranson was overhead by reporters yelling “Matt Martin’s dead”. The Canucks defenseman was likely caught up in the heat of the moment and feeling the frustration of his club’s ongoing losing streak. It’ll be interesting to see if the league has anything to say about his comments. The two clubs are schedule to meet next on Dec. 3. While there could be fireworks in that game, I suspect the league will ensure that game is closely called by the officials to ensure things don’t get out of hand again between these two clubs. 

The Montreal Canadiens bounced back from a humiliating 10-0 loss to Columbus on Friday by edging the Philadelphia Flyers 5-4. Tomas Plekanec’s shorthanded goal stood up as the game winner while Carey Price made 34 saves. The Habs hold the league’s best record (10-1-1). 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Shots-against is becoming a concern for the Canadiens. They’ve been outshot by wide margins in their last six games. 

Patrick Kane’s tallied the game-winning goal as the Chicago Blackhawks nipped the Dallas Stars 3-2, giving the Hawks their fifth straight win. The Stars also lost another player to injury, as center Jason Spezza left the game with a lower-body injury

T.J. Oshie potted two goals, including the game winner, as the Washington Capitals picked up their fifth straight victory by downing the Florida Panthers 4-2. Panthers right wing Jaromir Jagr is listed as day-to-day with a sore groin. 

Devin Setoguchi scored twice and Peter Budaj made 24 saves as the Los Angeles Kings blanked the Calgary Flames 5-0. Earlier in the day, Flames coach Glen Gulutzan announced winger Kris Versteeg (groin injury) could miss the next couple of weeks. 

Mark Letestu’s shootout goal gave the Edmonton Oilers a 4-3 win over the New York Islanders. The Oilers overcame 2-0 and 3-2 deficits to snap a three-game winless skid while extending the Isles winless streak to three. It was a costly game for both clubs, as  Oilers wingers Jesse Puljujarvi and Zack Kassian and Isles defenseman Travis Hamonic suffered injuries.  

Shorthanded goals by Derek Stepan and Kevin Hayes powered the New York Rangers to a 5-2 victory over the Boston Bruins. 

Victor Hedman and Nikita Kucherov each had a goal and an assist in the Tampa Bay Lightning’s 4-1 win over the New Jersey Devils. 

Vladimir Tarasenko’s overtime goal lifted the St. Louis blues to a 2-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. 

Calvin Packard made 32 saves for his second career NHL shutout backstopping the Colorado Avalanche to a 1-0 win over the Minnesota Wild. 

Third period goals by Kyle Okposo and Sam Reinhart lifted the Buffalo Sabres to a 2-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators. 

Jaccob Slavin’s shootout goal gave the Carolina Hurricanes a 3-2 win over the Nashville Predators. 

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports sources say the players’ share of revenue from the World Cup of Hockey could be split 70-30, with the 180 players who participated in the tournament getting the largest share. Brooks suggests that won’t do much for unity among the NHLPA membership, especially with the possibility of another lockout in 2020. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Brooks also reports that revenue split has yet to be approved via PA membership vote. If the majority of the 520 members agree with it, I doubt this becomes an issue that pits player against player in a possible future labor dispute with the league. 

YAHOO SPORTS: Forward Raffi Torres has retired due to knee injuries. The 35-year-old Torres played 635 NHL games, scoring 137 goals. Notorious for his reckless play, Torres was fined three times and received five suspensions totaling 74 NHL games. One of those was for 41 games for an illegal hit to the head of Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg in the 2015 preseason.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Torres’ recklessness often overshadowed his effectiveness as an agitating energy forward with a decent scoring touch. He’ll be remembered as one of the dirtiest players in NHL history.  










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 12, 2016



NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 12, 2016

Buffalo Sabres re-sign defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen.

Buffalo Sabres re-sign defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen.

 Recent contract signings, waiver claims and more in this morning’s NHL headlines. 

TRIBLIVE.COM:  Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby expressed optimism over his recovery from his latest concussion, saying he’s taking things day-by-day. He denied rumors that he suffered the injury during the World Cup of Hockey tournament, insisting that it occurred during a Penguins practice last Friday. While Crosby has no timetable for his return, he’s confident his recovery won’t be as arduous as it was from his previous two concussions. 

THE BUFFALO NEWS:  The Sabres re-signed restricted free agent defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen to a six-year, $32.4 million contract. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ristolainen’s annual cap hit ($5.4 million) makes him the Sabres highest-paid defenseman. This contract is similar to the one Seth Jones signed this summer with the Columbus Blue Jackets. The 21-year-old Ristolainen certainly earned his new deal. blossoming into a big-minute (25:16 TOI), point-producing (41 last season) top-pairing blueliner. With his best seasons still ahead of him, this contract could turn into a real bargain for the Sabres. 

NBC SPORTS:  The Los Angeles Kings signed winger Devin Setoguchi to a one-year, two-way contract.

EDMONTON JOURNAL:  Winger Kris Versteeg passed on signing with the Edmonton Oilers and instead joined the Calgary Flames on a one-year, $950K contract, Versteeg was on a professional tryout with the Oilers during training camp. The Oilers signed defenseman Eric Gryba to a one-year, two-way deal. 

TSN:  Notable waiver-wire transactions yesterday saw the New Jersey Devils claim winger PA Parenteau from the New York Islanders, Pittsburgh Penguins claim goalie Mike Condon from the Montreal Canadiens, the Minnesota Wild pluck forwardTeemu Pulkkinen from the Detroit Red Wings, the Toronto Maple Leafs grab forward Seth Griffith from the Boston Bruins and the Carolina Hurricanes claim defenseman Klas Dahlbeck from the Arizona Coyotes. 

THE PROVINCE:  The Vancouver Canucks will place winger Emerson Etem on waivers and intend to sign Jack Skille to a one-year, two-way deal. 

NHL.COM:  The Carolina Hurricanes acquired forward Connor Brickley from the Florida Panthers in exchange for forward Brody Sutter.

NBC SPORTS:  Montreal Canadiens defenseman Jeff Petry will miss the club’s season opener.

THE BOSTON GLOBE: The Bruins placed defensemen Adam McQuaid and Kevan Miller on injured reserve.  

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Winger Rick Nash will join Dan Girardi, Marc Staal and Derek Stepan as rotating alternate captains for the New York Rangers.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH:  Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno and his wife Janelle donated $1 million to children’s hospitals in Columbus and Boston. 

ESPN.COM/TSN: As the NHL enhances its concussion protocol by hiring a staff of concussion spotters, the United States Congress is calling on the league to explain how it cares for brain-injured players. 

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 11, 2016



NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 11, 2016

Pittsburgh Penguins Sidney Crosby sidelined by another concussion.

Pittsburgh Penguins Sidney Crosby sidelined by another concussion.

Sidney Crosby concussed again, latest notable training camp cuts and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby suffered a concussion during practice on Friday. There is no timetable for his return. The Penguins haven’t revealed how Crosby was hurt during that practice. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Crosby, 29, had one of the best seasons of his career in 2015-16, winning the Conn Smythe Trophy as he led the Penguins to the Stanley Cup. He recently led Team Canada to victory in the World Cup of Hockey as the tournament’s top scorer and MVP. His absence will leave a significant void on the Pens roster. Given his well-documented concussion history, this will also raise concerns again about his health and his future as an NHL player.

STLTODAY.COM:  St. Louis Blues goalie Jake Allen avoided a serious ankle injury during a recent preseason game and could be ready for the club’s season-opening game on Wednesday against the Chicago Blackhawks. 

CHICAGO TRIBUNE:  Blackhawks forward Andrew Desjardin is out four-to-six weeks with a lower-body injury.

TSN/NBC SPORTS/LA PRESSE: Yesterday’s notable waiver wire names include Winnipeg Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec, New York Islanders winger P-A Parenteau, Arizona Coyotes defenceman Zbynek Michalek, Detroit Red Wings forward Teemu Pulkkinen, Columbus Blue Jackets forward Gregory Campbell,  Tampa Bay Lightning forwards Cory Conacher and Erik Condra, Los Angeles Kings blueliner Rob Scuderi, Montreal Canadiens goalie Mike Condon and Toronto Maple Leafs winger Colin Greening. 

The Calgary Flames released forward Chris Higgins from his professional tryout contract, as did the Boston Bruins with defenseman Christian Ehrhoff. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pavelec and Parenteau were the notable surprises on this list. It was assumed the Jets would demote goalie Connor Hellebuyck, who is waiver exempt. Pavelec reportedly won’t fight the demotion and will report to the Jets farm team if he passes unclaimed through waivers. The Isles brought back Parenteau this summer on a one-year deal to skate alongside former linemate John Tavares. Evidently, that reunion failed to pan out as hoped.

PHILLY.COM:  Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas received a six-game suspension for “a shoulder-to-head hit on Boston rookie Austin Czarnik in the third period Saturday night.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was only a matter of time until Gudas’ recklessness caught up with him. He’ll have to adjust his style of play to avoid future suspensions and much stiffer punishments.

DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Dallas Stars signed forward Lauri Korpikoski to a one-year, $1 million contract. 

THE DENVER POST: Rene and Gabriel Bourque (unrelated) signed one-year deals with the Colorado Avalanche. 

LOS ANGELES TIMES:  Forward Devin Setoguchi appears on the verge of starting this season with the Los Angeles Kings. He joined the Kings on a PTO contract in an attempt at an NHL comeback. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This could be a wonderful comeback tale for Setoguchi, whose NHL career was nearly derailed by alcoholism.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 9, 2016



NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 9, 2016

Nathan MacKinnon scores one of his two goals in Team North America's 4-0 win over Team Europe in World Cup of Hockey pretournament play.

Nathan MacKinnon scores one of his two goals in Team North America’s 4-0 win over Team Europe in World Cup of Hockey pre-tournament play.

 World Cup of Hockey updates, Patrick Roy talks about leaving the Avalanche, Paul Gaustad retires & more in your NHL morning headlines. 

NHL.COM:  In World Cup of Hockey pre-tournament action, Finland edged Sweden 3-2 on an overtime goal by Olli Maatta, Evgeny Dadonov’s goal held up as the winner as Russia nipped the Czech Republic 4-3 and Nathan MacKinnon scored twice to lead Team North America to a 4-0 victory over Team Europe. 

ESPN.COM:  Team North America also named Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid their team captain, with Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad and Philadelphia Flyers blueliner Shayne Gostisbehere as his alternates. 

CHICAGO TRIBUNE:  Blackhawks winger Marian Hossa suffered an undisclosed injury during Team Europe’s 4-0 loss to Team North America. He missed the entire third period and following the game went for x-rays. The injury isn’t serious and he’s expected to play in Team Europe’s next game.

STLTODAY.COM:  Blues forward Vladimir Sobotka suffered an apparent shoulder injury playing for the Czech Republic in their 4-3 loss to Team Russia on Thursday. It’s reportedly a clavicle injury but might not be serious. He could play in the Czechs’ next pre-tournament game on Saturday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If injuries start mounting during this tournament, it could dampen the enthusiasm of NHL owners and general managers to allow their best players to take part in future World Cup of Hockey contests. 

TSN: Former Colorado Avalanche head coach Patrick Roy claims disagreements over “the types of players and stuff like that” and “people working for the team” were behind his decision to abruptly resign last month. Roy also denied a rumor claiming the Avs decision not to pursue free agent Alexander Radulov, who played for him during their days with the Quebec Remparts, was a reason for stepping down. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It might also be a coincidence that Roy’s resignation came within two weeks of the club’s decision to re-sign defenseman Tyson Barrie to a long-term contract. Still, I’d put more credence into that speculation than that stuff about Roy having his nose out of joint because the Avs passed up a chance to sign Radulov. 

THE TENNESSEAN: After 12 NHL seasons and 727 games, center Paul Gaustad announced his retirement on Thursday. In nearly seven seasons with the Buffalo Sabres and almost five with the Nashville Predators, the 34-year-old netted 231 points and was renowned for his faceoff and defensive skills. 

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Forward Devin Setoguchi is opening up over the drug and alcohol abuse that nearly derailed his playing career. Having received treatment for his addictions, Setoguchi is on a PTO with the Los Angeles Kings in hopes of getting his NHL career back on track. 

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Former NHL goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov is contemplating retirement if he doesn’t land another NHL job. 

SUN-SENTINEL.COM:  The Florida Panthers signed former Winnipeg Jets defenseman Adam Pardy and former Minnesota Wild forward Justin Fontaine to professional tryout offers. 

NBC SPORTS: Former Carolina Hurricanes forward Zach Boychuk accepted a PTO with the Arizona Coyotes. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens tickets for 2016-17 go on sale Saturday. 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 7, 2016



NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 7, 2016

Florida Panthers re-sign Jonathan Huberdeau to a six-year extension.

Florida Panthers re-sign Jonathan Huberdeau to a six-year extension.

 Panthers re-sign Jonathan Huberdeau, latest World Cup of Hockey reports & more in your NHL morning headlines.

MIAMI HERALD:  The Florida Panthers yesterday announced the re-signing of left wing Jonathan Huberdeau to a six-year, $35.4 million contract extension. The average annual value is $5.9 million, and the contract begins in 2017-18. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Huberdeau, winner of the 2013 Calder Memorial Trophy as NHL rookie of the year, hit a career-best 59 points last season skating on the Panthers’ top line. It’s obvious they consider him part of their young core that includes Aaron Ekblad, Aleksander Barkov, Nick Bjugstad, Reilly Smith and Vincent Trocheck, who’ve also re-signed new deals with the Panthers over the last year. If the 23-year-old continues putting up good numbers throughout the tenure of this deal and helps the Panthers become Stanley Cup contenders, this will be a worthwhile contract for them. 

NHL.COM: Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin was named captain of Team Russia for the upcoming World Cup of Hockey. Pittsburgh Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin and former Detroit Red Wings star Pavel Datsyuk are the alternates. 

LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS: Team Europe named Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar its captain for the World Cup tournament. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier this summer, Kopitar was also named captain of the Kings. This tournament will be a good early test for him as a team captain. 

TSN: Dallas Stars forward Tyler Seguin missed Team Canada’s practice yesterday because of illness. 

THE WASHINGTON POST: Capitals goaltender Philipp Grubauer will replaced the sidelined Frederik Andersen on Team Europe. 

ESPN.COM: The increasing number of players absences from the World Cup because of injuries is calling into question the players’ enthusiasm for the tournament. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Those players are skipping the tournament with the blessing of their respective NHL general managers. And who can blame them? The sidelined players don’t want to risk re-injury in a meaningless hockey tournament, while their GMs want them healthy to start the long grind of an NHL season. The league, meanwhile, is powerless to prevent this. If they try to lean on those players to attend the World Cup, they risk a labor hassle with the NHLPA. 

NBC SPORTS:  Team USA coach John Tortorella was asked about his thoughts on San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand for the American national anthem in protest of racial inequality in the U.S. Tortorella said if any of his players refuse to stand for the anthem, they’ll find themselves stuck to the bench for the remainder of the game. 

SIRIUS XM NHL (via TODAY’S SLAPSHOT): NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly doesn’t see any potential problems brewing regarding the current collective bargaining agreement. He believes the league and the NHLPA have worked well together in the first four years of the deal in addressing any issues that arose. “It’s early, but I don’t see any storm clouds on the horizon – at least yet,” said Daly.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I recall NHL commissioner Gary Bettman expressing how pleased he was with the previous CBA midway through that deal, and the league and the PA still wound up in a labor dispute that cost half a season in 2012-13. Right now, the best we can hope for is neither side decides to opt out in September 2019, which would bring the current CBA to an end the following year. As for what transpires when this agreement expires in Sept. 2022, we’ll just have to wait and see. 

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: After suffering a season-ending back injury once believed career-threatening, Carolina Hurricanes winger Andrej Nestrasil has recovered and is happy to return to training camp. 

TVA SPORTS’ Renaud Lavoie reports former NHL defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron is attending the Columbus Blue Jackets training camp on a tryout basis.

LA KINGS INSIDER’s Jon Rosen reports former NHL winger Devin Setoguchi received a professional tryout offer from the Los Angees Kings. 

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: The Blues Jackets re-signed president of hockey operations John Davidson, general manager Jarmo Kekalainen and assistant general manager Bill Zito all signed two-year extensions.