NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 4, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 4, 2019

Game recaps and remembering the late Ted Lindsay in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

DETROIT FREE PRESS: Hall of Fame forward Ted Lindsay has passed away at the age of 93. He spent all but three of his 17 NHL seasons with the Detroit Red Wings, helping them win four Stanley Cups in the 1950s and served as captain from 1952-53 to 1956-57. He also starred on the famous “Production Line” with Gordie Howe and Sid Abel.

A skilled, tough, rambunctious player, “Terrible Ted” mocked opponents, clashed with referees and argued with Wings head coach and general manager Jack Adams. His efforts to form a players union led to his being traded to the Chicago Blackhawks in 1957. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lindsay left a long legacy with the Red Wings and in the NHL. In 1,068 games, Lindsay tallied 379 goals, 472 assists and 851 points, along with 1,808 PIMs, winning the Art Ross Trophy in 1950. In 133 playoff games, he scored 47 goals and 96 points. He later went on to serve as Red Wings general manager from 1977 to 1980 and briefly coached them in 1979-80 and 1980-81.

Lindsay was long active in the Detroit community and raised over $1.5 million for autism research. In 2010, the NHL Players Association remained the Lester B. Pearson Award to the Ted Lindsay Award in recognition of his groundbreaking efforts to form a union. Elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1966, Lindsay was named one of the NHL’s 100 greatest players in 2017.   

NHL.COM: Blake Wheeler scored four goals, Mark Scheifele collected three assists, and Connor Hellebuyck kicked out 40 shots to give the Winnipeg Jets a 5-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Jets (82 points) hold first place in the Central Division while the Blue Jackets (75 points) sit two points behind the Montreal Canadiens for the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Since the trade deadline, the Jackets have dropped three of their last games. This definitely isn’t the outcome management expected when they brought in Matt Duchene, Ryan Dzingel, Adam McQuaid and Keith Kinkaid leading up to last Monday’s trade deadline. 

A four-goal performance by Blake Wheeler carried the Winnipeg Jets to a 5-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets (Photo via NHL Images)

Ryan Johansson’s shootout goal gave the Nashville Predators a 3-2 win over the Minnesota Wild, snapping the latter’s five-game winning streak. Predators forward Craig Smith rejoined the lineup after missing six games with a lower-body injury. The Predators (81 points) sit one behind the Jets for first place in the Central Division while the Wild (71 points) hold the final wild-card spot in the West.  

Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury made 19 saves to pick up his second straight shutout (and his league-leading eighth of the season) backstopping his club to a 3-0 win over the Vancouver Canucks. Fleury also leads the league with 32 wins. With the loss, the Canucks (63 points) sit eight points out of a playoff berth in the Western Conference. 

A three-goal third period powered the San Jose Sharks to a 5-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. Melker Karlsson tallied twice for the Sharks, who were playing without defenseman Erik Karlsson for the second straight game with a groin injury. Karlsson won’t require surgery but the Sharks intend to be “extra cautious” with him. The Blackhawks (63 points) sit eight points out of a playoff spot in the West. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  Of course they’ll be “extra cautious.” The Sharks want Karlsson healthy and ready to go for the 2019 Stanley Cup playoffs. No point risking reaggravating that injury on some meaningless games down the stretch. 

Alex Ovechkin tallied the game-winner to give the Washington Capitals a 3-2 shootout win over the New York Rangers. With the win, the Capitals (83 points) take over sole possession of first place in the Metropolitan Division from the New York Islanders. 

The Philadelphia Flyers picked up their 16th victory in their last 21 games by defeating the Islanders 4-1. Claude Giroux collected two assists for the Flyers, reaching the 70-point plateau for the sixth time in his career.  Forwards Jakub Voracek missed the game with a lower-body injury and is listed as day-to-day while Nolan Patrick left the game after taking a puck to the head and is listed as day-to-day. With 72 points, the Flyers are five points out of a wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. 

Jakob Silfverberg had a goal and an assist as the Anaheim Ducks snapped a five-game losing skid by edging the Colorado Avalanche 2-1. Avalanche defenseman Ian Cole was ejected from the game following a knee-on-knee hit on Ducks forward Devin Shore, who had to be helped off the ice and didn’t return. He undergoes an MRI today. The loss leaves the Avalanche (68 points) three points behind the Minnesota Wild for the final Western Conference wild-card spot.

The Ottawa Senators ended a five-game losing streak by nipping the Florida Panthers 3-2. Senators goalie Anders Nilsson made 30 saves for the win.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 13, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 13, 2018

Hockey Hall of Fame class of 2018 formally inducted, plus game recaps, three stars of the week and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Martin Brodeur, Martin St. Louis, Willie O’Ree, Alexander Yakushev, Jayna Hefford, and Gary Bettman were formally inducted last night into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

NEW YORK POST:  Larry Brooks received the Elmer Ferguson Award and was also enshrined into the Hockey Hall of Fame

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to the inductees. Fans and pundits have already started speculating over who will form the class of 2019. You can read my take at Featurd.io. 

New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist moves into fifth on the NHL’s all-time wins list. (Photo via NHL Images)

New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist made 25 saves to pick up his 437th career NHL win as his club edged the Vancouver Canucks 2-1. Lundqvist moves into eighth place on the all-time wins list. The Rangers are unbeaten (6-0-1) in their last seven games, but they lost forward Pavel Buchenich for four-to-six weeks with a broken thumb. 

The Chicago Blackhawks lost their eighth straight game, dropping a 3-2 overtime decision to the Carolina Hurricanes. Sebastian Aho tallied the game-winner. During the first intermission, the Hurricanes honored Blackhawks goaltender Cam Ward, who spent 13 seasons in Carolina and helped them win the Stanley Cup in 2006. Hurricanes defenseman Brett Pesce missed the game with a lower-body injury.

Cam Atkinson collected a goal and an assist and Pierre-Luc Dubois netted the game-winner as the Columbus Blue Jackets downed the Dallas Stars 2-1. The Stars also lost forward Devin Shore for 7-10 days with a lower-body injury.

John Gibson kicked out 34 shots, including 10 in overtime, backstopping the Anaheim Ducks to a 2-1 win over the Nashville Predators. Rickard Rakell potted the winner in a shootout. Earlier in the day, the Predators placed winger Viktor Arvidsson on injured reserve with an upper-body injury. 

Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak, Winnipeg Jets captain Blake Wheeler, and Philadelphia Flyers left wing Claude Giroux were named the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Nov.11, 2019.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Kings goaltender Jack Campbell will be sidelined four-to-six weeks as he’ll require surgery to repair torn cartilage in his knee. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Campbell joins starter Jonathan Quick, who recently underwent surgery for the same issue. If it wasn’t for bad luck, the Kings would have no luck at all this season. 

ARIZONA SPORTS: Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun is expected to make his season debut tonight against the Detroit Red Wings. He’s been recovering from off-season knee surgery. 

TSN: “The National Hockey League announced a tentative $18.9 million settlement Monday with more than 300 retired players who sued the league and accused it of failing to protect them from head injuries or warning them of the risks involved with playing.” 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 14, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 14, 2018

The Golden Knights re-signing Marc-Andre Fleury to a three-year extension was among yesterday’s notable contract signings. Details and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: The Vegas Golden Knights yesterday re-signed goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury to a three-year, $21-million contract extension. The annual average value is $7 million and begins in 2019-20.

Fleury, 33, was due to become an unrestricted free agent next July. His new contract will make him the third-highest paid goalie in the NHL, behind Montreal’s Carey Price (10.5 million annually) and the New York Rangers’ Henrik Lundqvist ($8.5 million).

Vegas Golden Knights re-sign goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury to a three-year contract extension (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In actual salary, Fleury will earn $8.5 million in 2019-20, $6.5 million in 2020-21 and $6 million in 2021-22. The deal also comes with a limited no-trade clause. He’s earning an AAV of $5.75-million on his current deal. The term of his new contract is reasonable but the raise is expensive for a goaltender in his mid-thirties.

Fleury quickly became the face of the Golden Knights, playing a key role in their record-setting inaugural campaign. Despite missing 25 games with a concussion, he finished last season with 29 wins in 46 starts, a 2.24 goals-against average with a .927 save percentage and four shutouts. He also backstopped the Golden Knights to the 2018 Stanley Cup Final.

It remains to be seen, however, if Fleury can maintain that level of performance over the next four years. Since 2015-16, he’s missed 45 games to concussions.  While he sits 11th all-time among goaltenders for career victories (404), he’s had his share of ups and downs over his career. In his final regular season in Pittsburgh, he had a bloated 3.02 GAA with a .909 save percentage, though he bounced back in the 2017 postseason with a 2.56 GAA and .924 SP.

For this deal to be worthwhile over the long run, Fleury must avoid injury and a downturn in his game as he ages.

SPORTSDAY: The Dallas Stars avoided salary arbitration with center Devin Shore by signing him to a two-year contract worth $2.3-million per season. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Forward Joel Armia avoided going to arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $1.85-million deal with the Montreal Canadiens. 

LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS: The Kings inked defenseman Paul LaDue to a two-year deal worth $825K per season. 

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs signed restricted free agent winger Andreas Johnsson to a one-year, two-way deal worth $787,500. 

SPORTSNET: “The federal judge overseeing the NHL concussion case has denied class-action status for the former players suing the league over head injuries.” 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In an nutshell, this means the players will have to file suit individually, rather than collectively, against the league. 

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: The Columbus Blue Jackets will maintain their partnership with the Papa John’s pizza chain in Columbus, despite company founder John Schnatter stepping down after it was revealed he used racial slurs during a meeting. However, the team will be removing Schnatter’s image from ads or marketing materials. 


NHL Trade Deadline Tracker – February 26, 2018

NHL Trade Deadline Tracker – February 26, 2018

Today’s trades involving NHL players will be compiled here. Analysis of the notable deals will follow following the 3 pm ET trade deadline the Soapbox.

The New York Rangers have dealt defenseman Ryan McDonagh and forward J.T. Miller to the Tampa Bay Lightning for Vladislav Namestnikov, prospects Libor Hajek andBrett Howden, 2018 1st round pick and a conditional second round pick.

Edmonton Oilers trade left wing Patrick Maroon to the New Jersey Devils for a third-round pick and college prospect forward J.D. Dudek.

The Detroit Red Wings traded winger Tomas Tatar to the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for a first-round pick in 2018, a second in 2019 and a third in 2021

The Vancouver Canucks have dealt winger Thomas Vanek to the Columbus Blue Jackets for forwards Tyler Motte and Jussi Jokinen.

The Buffalo Sabres have traded left wing Evander Kane to the San Jose Sharks for “a conditional first-round pick in 2019, a conditional fourth-round pick in 2020 and center Daniel O’Regan. 

The St. Louis Blues trade center Paul Stastny to the Winnipeg Jets “in exchange for a first-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, forward Erik Foley and a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft.” The Blues also retain half of Stastny’s $7 million cap hit. 

The Chicago Blackhawks trade forward Ryan Hartman and a fifth round pick in 2018 to the Nashville Predators for prospect forward Victor Edjsell plus the Predators first- and fourth-round picks in 2018.

The Ottawa Senators trade defenseman Ian Cole to the Columbus Blue Jackets for a third-round pick in 2020 and minor league right wing Nick Moutrey.

The Montreal Canadiens acquire defenseman Mike Reilly from the Minnesota Wild in exchange for a fifth-round pick in 2019 (previously acquired from Washington).  Canadiens trade defenseman Joe Morrow to the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for a fourth-round pick in 2018.

The New York Islanders trade forward Jason Chimera to the Anaheim Ducks for center Chris Wagner.

The Calgary Flames acquire forward Nick Shore from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for a seventh-round pick in 2019. 

The Boston Bruins acquired forward Tommy Wingels from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for a conditional fifth-round pick in 2019.

The Vancouver Canucks trade minor league defenseman Philip Holm to the Vegas Golden Knight for forward Brendan Leipsic.

The Carolina Hurricanes trade forward Josh Jooris to the Pittsburgh Penguins for minor-league forward Greg McKegg.


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 7, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 7, 2017

Pittsburgh Penguins assistant coach Rick Tocchet could become head coach of the Arizona Coyotes.

Update on the Coyotes coaching search plus latest contract signings in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

ARIZONA SPORTS: Reports from TSN and Sportsnet indicate Pittsburgh Penguins assistant coach Rick Tocchet could become the next head coach of the Arizona Coyotes. Elliotte Friedman reports hearing Tocchet and the Coyotes are working on a four-year contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tocchet played three seasons for the Coyotes (1997-2000) and was an assistant coach in 2005-06. No official word yet from the Coyotes but that could be coming soon. 

SUN-SENTINEL.COM: The Florida Panthers re-signed defenseman Mark Pysyk to a three-year, $8.2-million contract. 

CSN MID-ATLANTIC.COM: The Washington Capitals re-signed goaltender Philipp Grubauer to a one-year, $1.5-million deal. 

NBC SPORTS: The Dallas Stars retained forward Brett Ritchie to a two-year contract worth $3.5 million. 

The Los Angeles Kings re-upped center Nick Shore to a one-year, $925K deal. 

TVA SPORTS’ Renaud Lavoie reports the Nashville Predators placed goaltender Marek Mazanec on waivers. 

Player agent Dan Milstein announced via Twitter that former Montreal Canadiens defenseman Nikita Nesterov is headed to the KHL. 

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: The Vegas Golden Knights signed forward Teemu Pulkkinen to a one-year, $700K contract. 

MLIVE.COM: The Detroit Red Wings extended their affiliation agreement with the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffin. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 5, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 5, 2017

Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand could face a suspension for spearing Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Jake Dotchin.

 Game recaps, injury updates and reaction to NHL’s decision not to go to 2018 Winter Olympics in your morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: The Boston Bruins clinched a playoff berth for the first time since 2014 by blanking the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-0. Tuukka Rask turned in a 28-save shutout performance and winger David Pastrnak scored twice for the Bruins (94 points), who likely ended the Lightning’s thin playoff hopes. With 88 points, the Bolts are five out of a wild-card berth with three games remaining in the season.

The Bruins got the win without left wing Brad Marchand, who was ejected for spearing Lightning defenseman Jake Dotchin in the groin. The incident is under review by the league’s department of player safety.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Marchand has a long suspension history and was fined $10,000 earlier this season for a dangerous trip on Detroit’s Niklas Kronwall. He could end up missing the start of the playoffs if the league decides on a lengthy suspension. 

The Toronto Maple Leafs failed to clinch a playoff berth as they fell 4-1 to the Washington Capitals (114 points), who move ever closer to clinching their second straight Presidents’ Trophy. The Capitals played without defenseman John Carlson, who was a late scratch with a lower-body injury. The Leafs (93 points) fall one back of the Bruins and Ottawa Senators into the final wild-card spot in the East. 

Craig Anderson made 24 saves for his fifth shutout of the season as the Senators downed the Detroit Red Wings 2-0. With 94 points, the Sens moved into a tie for second in the Atlantic Division with the Bruins, but still haven’t clinched a playoff spot. Sens winger Clarke MacArthur returned to lineup for the first time since suffering a concussion in training camp last fall. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I believe MacArthur’s risking serious injury, but I admire his determination to continue his playing career. Here’s hoping he stays healthy. 

Thomas Hickey scored in overtime to lift the New York Islanders to a 2-1 win over the Nashville Predators. The Isles (88 points) move to within five points of a wild-card spot in the East. 

The Minnesota Wild defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 5-2 to clinch second place in the Central Division and officially eliminate the Canes from the playoff race. Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon left the game with a lower-body injury but it’s not believed to be serious. Before the game, the two clubs honored Wild center and former Hurricanes captain Eric Staal on his 1,000th NHL game. 

Matt Murray turned aside 38 shots while Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel each collected two points to give the Pittsburgh Penguins a 4-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Penguins (109 points) moved three ahead of the Jackets for second in the Metropolitan Division. 

Patrick Eaves, Kevin Bieksa and Chris Wagner scored to give the Anaheim Ducks a 3-1 victory over the Calgary Flames to move four points ahead of the Edmonton Oilers for top spot in the Pacific Division. It was a costly win for the Ducks, as defenseman Cam Fowler left the game in the third period following a knee-on-knee collision with Flames blueliner Mark Giordano. No word yet as to how long Fowler could be sidelined. 

Nick Shore had a goal and three assists as the Los Angeles Kings upset the Edmonton Oilers 6-4. The Oilers are four point back of the Ducks for top spot in the Pacific. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored twice for the Oilers. 

The San Jose Sharks defeated the Vancouver Canucks 3-1 to move into a tie with the Oilers for second in the Pacific Division. The Sharks played without Joe Thornton (left leg injury) and Logan Couture (facial injury) and are hoping both will be back when the playoffs begin next week. 

Erik Johnson scored in overtime and Matt Duchene picked up three assists as the Colorado Avalanche overcame a 3-0 deficit to nip the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3. 

Patrik Laine scored twice to lead the Winnipeg Jets to a 5-2 win over the St. Louis Blues. 

Julius Honka’s first NHL goal came in overtime to give the Dallas Stars a 3-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes, who were playing without winger Radim Vrbata (lower-body injury, day-to-day). 

Keith Kinkaid kicked out 35 shots and John Moore tallied the only goal as the New Jersey Devils edged the Philadelphia Flyers 1-0.

 SPORTSNET: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said the league isn’t looking to negotiate its position on Olympic participation. The league announced on Monday it would not participate in the 2018 Winter Games on Pyeongchang, South Korea. “NHL clubs have not wanted to go to the Olympics and we have been saying that for months if not years,” said Bettman. “All we’ve done is confirmed it.”

THE GLOBE AND MAIL: The International Ice Hockey Federation hasn’t given up on its efforts to broker a deal between the NHL and the International Olympic Committee. 

THE WASHINGTON POST: Capitals center Alex Ovechkin intends to participate in the 2018 Olympic with or without the league’s approval. “I didn’t change my mind, and I won’t,” Ovechkin said. “It’s my country. You know, I think everybody wants to play there, and it’s the biggest opportunity in your life to play in the Olympic Games. So I don’t know. Somebody going to tell me don’t go, I don’t care. I just go.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: You can read my take on this situation in the Soapbox section