NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 22, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 22, 2018

Latest on Mike Green, Max Domi, Alex Galchenyuk, Devante Smith-Pelley and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

Detroit Red Wings defenseman Mike Green will miss the start of the upcoming season. (Photo via NHL Images)

  DETROIT FREE PRESS: Red Wings defenseman Mike Green will miss the start of the season after being diagnosed with a virus that is attacking his liver. This comes after Green had been medically cleared for contact after recovering from offseason neck surgery.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Green doesn’t appear to be in any danger, though more will be learned about his condition following medical testing. It’s currently unknown how long he’ll be sidelined.  

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens forward Max Domi said he regrets punching Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad in the face. He accepted having to live with the consequences of his actions, adding his intent wasn’t to hurt Ekblad. Domi was suspended for the remainder of the preseason.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: According to Ekblad, those consequences Domi faces could also come in the first regular-season game between the Canadiens and Panthers. 

ARIZONA SPORTS: Coyotes center Alex Galchenyuk has suffered a lower-body injury and will be re-evaluated next week. 

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: Capitals forward Devante Smith-Pelly has yet to see preseason action. According to head coach Todd Reirden, “He’s just not at the level that he was at last year. That to me is really all there is to say about it. Once he gets there, he’ll be in and he’ll be helping us.”

Smith-Pelly,  meanwhile, said he’s not dealing with an injury and his not playing was a coach’s decision. While not making excuses, he observed that it was “a short summer”.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sounds like conditioning could be the issue. Doesn’t mean Smith-Pelly didn’t work hard enough but he could be used to having more time for offseason preparation. 

CBS SPORTS: Vegas Golden Knights placed goaltender Oscar Dansk on waivers. If he clears, he likely be sent to their AHL affiliate in Chicago. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 28, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 28, 2018

Reviewing a busy day for the Penguins, an update on Logan Couture, the latest signings and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

TSN: The PIttsburgh Penguins yesterday traded winger Conor Sheary and defenseman Matt Hunwick to the Buffalo Sabres for a conditional fourth-round pick in 2019.

Defenseman Jack Johnson could be signing a five-year deal as a free agent with the Pittsburgh Penguins on July 1. (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This move was a straightforward salary dump as the Penguins shed over $5.2 million in salary-cap payroll. 

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Sources say Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson intends to sign a five-year contract with the Penguins when the unrestricted free agent market opens on July 1. The annual average value is expected to  be between $3 million to $3.5 million. The Penguins also yesterday announced they re-signed center Riley Sheahan to a one-year, $2.1-million contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sheary-Hunwick deal was seen as Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford creating room to bring in a defenseman and a winger. It appears he’s accomplished the first if Johnson indeed signs on July 1.

I like the cap hit for Johnson but not the term, as five years is a long time to invest in a 31-year-old defenseman who lost the confidence of his coach in Columbus. Still, the Penguins have a reputation for successful reclamation projects with blueliners (Justin Schultz, Jamie Oleksiak, Trevor Daley) and could strike gold again with Johnson.

The Penguins had declined to make a qualifying offer to Sheahan, thus avoiding arbitration and getting him signed to an agreeable short-term deal. 

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: cites reports by TSN claiming the San Jose Sharks are expected to announce an eight-year contract extension this weekend for forward Logan Couture, who has one year remaining on his current contract. Financial terms weren’t reveal. Couture, 29, is currently earning an annual average value of $6 million on his current deal. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No surprise the Sharks intend to re-sign Couture, who’s one of their best players. An eight-year deal will take him up to age 38, which is a long time to invest in a player whose best seasons will soon be behind him. It’s safe to assume his new deal could be worth at least as much annually as his current one, though I daresay it’ll probably be higher. 

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes re-signed defenseman Kevin Connauton to a two-year, $2.75-million contract. He’ll earn $1.25 million in 2018-19 and $1.5 million the following season. 

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: The Capitals re-signed winger Devante Smith-Pelly to a one-year, $1-million contract

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: The Blackhawks traded goaltender Jean-Francois Berube to the Columbus Blue Jackets for winger Jordan Schroeder. 

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators yesterday completed “a $135 million financing of a “six year senior term debt with a syndicate of financial institutions.” It’s a move that could indicate team owner Eugene Melnyk has no intention of selling the club. 

OTTAWA CITIZEN: Senators assistant general manager Randy Lee “has been charged with a new count of harassment stemming from his May 31 arrest in Buffalo after a hotel shuttle driver complained of unwanted sexual advances.”


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 26, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 26, 2018

List of notable players who didn’t receive qualifying offers and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NBC SPORTS: Washington Capitals winger Devante Smith-Pelly, Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Petr Mrazek, Chicago Blackhawks winger Anthony Duclair, Vancouver Canucks defenseman Derrick Pouliot and Los Angeles Kings forward Tobias Rieder were among the notable players who didn’t receive qualifying offers yesterday. 

Washington Capitals winger Devante Smith-Pelly was among several notable NHL players not to receive qualifying offers yesterday (Photo via NHL Images).

Others included Buffalo Sabres goaltender Robin Lehner, Colorado Avalanche winger Nail Yakupov and Pittsburgh Penguins forwards Riley Sheahan and Tom Kuhnhackl.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: These players can still sign with their current teams and some are believed still in contract discussions. Most, however, will become unrestricted free agents on July 1 and can sign with anyone on that date.

The Capitals not qualifying playoff hero Smith-Pelly raised some eyebrows. They’re reportedly still talking contract with him and it’s believed they made this move to avoid arbitration with the winger. It remains to be seen, however, if they’ll reach agreement on a new deal. 

MLIVE.COM: The Detroit Red Wings agreed to a “two-year deal with Tyler Bertuzzi ($1.4 million cap hit) and a one-year contract with Martin Frk ($1.05 million cap hit).”

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: The Carolina Hurricanes re-signed forward Phil Di Giuseppe to a one-year, $750K contract. 

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: The Penguins re-signed wingers Daniel Sprong and Dominik Simon to two-year contracts each worth $750K annually. 

NHL.COM: The Minnesota Wild agreed to terms with defenseman Ryan Murphy on a one-year, two-way deal worth $650K at the NHL level. 



NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 7, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 7, 2018

Updates on the Capitals and Golden Knights plus the latest on Henrik Zetterberg, Scott Hartnell and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin has a chance to make history in Game 5 of the 2018 Stanley Cup Final (Photo via NHL Images).

 WASHINGTON POST: The Capitals are on the brink of capturing the Stanley Cup, which would make Alex Ovechkin the first Russian-born captain in league history to win hockey’s greatest prize. The Capitals currently lead the Stanley Cup Final three games to one over the Vegas Golden Knights. They can clinch tonight in Game 5 in Las Vegas.

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: If the Capitals win the Cup, forward Devante Smith-Pelly indicated he’s made up his mind about a possible visit to the White House. “The things that [President Trump] spews are straight-up racist and sexist,” said Smith-Pelly. ““Some of the things he’s said are pretty gross. I’m not too into politics, so I don’t know all his other views, but his rhetoric I definitely don’t agree with.”

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: Vegas Golden Knights center William Karlsson skipped yesterday’s optional practice but is expected to be in the lineup for Game 5 tonight. 

Forward William Carrier could return to the Golden Knights’ lineup for Game 5. 

DETROIT FREE PRESS: Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg confirms he’s preparing to play at least one more season. Zetterberg, 38, has three seasons remaining on his contract but injuries in recent years have hampered his performance. 

THE TENNESSEAN: Nashville Predators winger Scott Hartnell is training for another NHL season but he acknowledged he could also be facing retirement. The 36-year-old is due to become an unrestricted free agent this summer and he isn’t expected to be re-signed by the Predators. 

TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild cut ties with assistant coach John Anderson, replacing him with Dean Evason.



NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 19, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 19, 2018

Game recaps, injury updates, Miles Wood receives two-game suspension. Details and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Michal Neuvirth was sidelined during his club’s 7-4 win over the New York Rangers (Photo via NHL Images)

  NHL.COM: Claude Giroux had a three-point game, including his 200th career goal, as the Philadelphia Flyers downed the New York Rangers 7-4. Flyers backup Alex Lyon took over for a sidelined Michal Neuvirth at the start of the second period when Neuvirth left the game with a lower-body injury

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No word yet on the severity of Neuvirth’s injury. With starter Brian Elliott out for several weeks following core muscle surgery, losing Neuvirth for a significant period could jeopardize the Flyers’ hopes of clinching a playoff berth. I’ll have more in the Rumors section. 

A hat trick by Connor McDavid powered the Edmonton Oilers to a 4-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche, spoiling the return of Avs center Nathan MacKinnon after missing eight games to injury. 

The Pittsburgh Penguins moved into first place in the Metropolitan Division and fourth in the Eastern Conference with a 5-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Jake Guentzel scored and added two assists while Riley Sheahan tallied two goals for the Pens. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Two months ago, the Blue Jackets sat third in the division and fourth overall in the Conference while the Pens were at the bottom of the division and 11th in the conference. Since then, the clubs have pretty much flipped their positions. The Jackets are currently second-last in the Metropolitan and 10th in the Conference. 

A four-goal first period by the San Jose Sharks set the stage for their 5-2 win over the Dallas Stars. It was a costly victory, however, as their leading scorer Brent Burns left the game with an undisclosed ailment. No word as to how long he’ll be sidelined but his teammates are optimistic he won’t be out for long. 

Kyle Connor scored twice, Mathieu Perreault had a goal and two assists and Blake Wheeler had three assists as the Winnipeg Jets thumped the Florida Panthers 7-2. 

Taylor Hall scored in overtime as the New Jersey Devils edged the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2. The Devils played without forward Miles Wood, who received a two-game suspension for boarding Tampa Bay Lightning forward Vladislav Namestnikov. 

A late third-period goal by Auston Matthews lifted the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 3-2 victory against the Detroit Red Wings. 

The NHL issued a statement yesterday condemning the racial taunts and abuse by several Chicago Blackhawks fans against Washington Capitals forward Devante Smith-Pelly during Saturday’s game between the two clubs.

Smith-Pelly told the Washington Post, “We’re at a time now where we can’t brush it under the rug. You’ve got to start calling people out and making sure people see other people’s true colors. That’s why I’m trying to get the conversation started and show, whoever these people were, their true colors.”

NEWSDAY: New York Islanders goaltender Thomas Greiss is listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 18, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 18, 2018

Game recaps plus the latest on Nathan MacKinnon, Cam Talbot, Devante Smith-Pelly and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

Washington Capitals winger Devante Smith-Pelly was the target of racial taunts by several Chicago Blackhawks fans (Photo via NHL Images)

  NHL.COM: The Chicago Blackhawks snapping an eight-game losing skid by crushing the Washington Capitals 7-1 was overshadowed by several Blackhawks fans racially taunting Capitals winger Devante Smith-Pelly while he was in the penalty box serving a five-minute fighting major. The four fans were identified and ejected from the game. The Blackhawks subsequently issued an apology to Smith-Pelly and the Capitals.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Capitals coach Barry Trotz summed it up perfectly following the game: “There is absolutely no place in the game of hockey, or our country, for racism. I think it’s disgusting,” Trotz told reporters. “There’s no place for it. Athletes in this country don’t deserve that. It just shows ignorance.”

Arizona Coyotes goaltender Antti Raanta made 40 saves to pick up his first shutout of the season in a 1-0 blanking of the Edmonton Oilers. Following the game, Oilers goalie Cam Talbot voiced his displeasure over the league’s goaltender interference rules after two calls went against his club. “There’s no consistency and I’m fucking sick of it,” said Talbot. “It’s fucking ridiculous. You can quote me, they can fine me, I don’t give a fuck anymore.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see what the NHL’s reaction will be toward Talbot, whose frustration is likely shared by many of his peers around the league. 

The Vegas Golden Knights set another milestone with their 6-3 win over the floundering Montreal Canadiens, tying the record for most home wins (22) for a team in its inaugural season. Reilly Smith scored twice and Jonathan Marchessault collected three assists for the Golden Knights.

The Pittsburgh Penguins collected their 11th straight home victory by downing the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-3. Pittsburgh center Evgeni Malkin scored a goal and added two assists, becoming the fourth player in Penguins history to reach 900 career points.

Florida Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo made a triumphant return to action on Saturday with a 30-save effort in a 6-3 victory over the Calgary Flames. It was Luongo’s first start since being sidelined by injury on Dec. 4. Mike Matheson had two goals and Aleksander Barkov collected three points.

Ottawa Senators center Derick Brassard scored a goal and set up two other as his club downed the New York Rangers 6-3. Rangers winger Michael Grabner had two goals, while teammate Pavel Buchnevich returned to action after missing seven games with a concussion.

Eddie Lack kicked out 48 shots backstopping the New Jersey Devils to their third straight win by edging the struggling Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3. The Bolts have dropped three of their last four games. Devils forward Miles Wood could face supplemental discipline for boarding Lightning forward Vladislav Namestnikov.

The Los Angeles Kings snapped a three-game losing skid by doubling up the Buffalo Sabres 4-2. Anze Kopitar led the way with two goals for the Kings, who picked up their first win in Buffalo in 15 years.

Detroit Red Wings goaltender Petr Mrazek made 31 saves to give his club a 3-1 win over the Nashville Predators.

Loui Eriksson scored twice to lead the Vancouver Canucks to a 6-1 upset of the Boston Bruins.

Nick Ritchie’s goal in the 11th round of the shootout gave the Anaheim Ducks a 3-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild.

The Columbus Blue Jackets activated defenseman Ryan Murray off injured reserve and sent him to their AHL affiliate for conditioning. 

NBC SPORTS: Good news for the Colorado Avalanche, as leading scorer Nathan MacKinnon will return to action on Sunday against the Edmonton Oilers after missing eight games with an upper-body injury. Unfortunately, they’ll be playing without backup goaltender Jonathan Bernier, who suffered a head injury during the Avs 6-1 loss on Friday to Winnipeg. 

TSN: Former NHL defenseman Greg Smyth recently passed away at age 51. He played in “228 career games over 10 NHL seasons with the Flyers, Quebec Nordiques, Calgary Flames, Florida Panthers, Toronto Maple Leafs and Chicago Blackhawks” from 1986-87 to 1996-97.

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