NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 28, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 28, 2019

Bill Peters releases a statement regarding his alleged use of racial slurs, the Boston Bruins re-sign Charlie Coyle and Chris Wagner, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: The Calgary Flames edged the Buffalo Sabres 3-2 on an overtime goal by Elias Lindholm. Flames defenseman TJ Brodie collected his first points since returning to the lineup after collapsing during practice on Nov. 14. The Sabres have just one win in their last six games. They also announced Vladimir Sobotka is sidelined indefinitely following surgery on his right knee while Rasmus Dahlin is out indefinitely with a concussion.

Flames coach Bill Peters released a statement yesterday apologizing for racial slurs aimed at former NHL player Akim Aliu a decade ago (Photo via NHL.com).

The Flames’ victory was overshadowed by the ongoing controversy surrounding head coach Bill Peters. He was accused of uttering racial slurs toward former NHL player Akim Aliu when both were with the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs a decade ago. Former Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Michal Jordan also accused Peters of kicking him during a game in 2015-16.

Peters was not behind the bench against the Sabres, having returned to Calgary as the club investigates his previous conduct. Read below for further details.

Brad Marchand scored his fifth goal in four games as the Boston Bruins nipped the Ottawa Senators 2-1. The Bruins have won five straight games. The club also announced the re-signings of Charlie Coyle and Chris Wagner (details below).

The Toronto Maple Leafs picked up their third straight win under new coach Sheldon Keefe by crushing the Detroit Red Wings 6-0. Andreas Johnsson scored twice and Frederik Andersen made 25 saves as the Leafs peppered the Wings with 54 shots. Wings goalie Jimmy Howard left the game in the first period after suffering a mid-body injury. An ailing Jonathan Bernier took over, giving up three goals on 40 shots.

St. Louis Blues winger Oskar Sundqvist scored twice as his club held off the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3. He subsequently left the game with a lower-body injury. Ivan Barbashev also collected three assists. Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov scored and picked up two assists.

The New York Rangers picked up their third straight win by hanging on for a 3-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes. Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist made 41 saves for the win as his teammates tallied three first-period goals.

Evgeni Malkin had five points while teammates Jake Guentzel and Bryan Rust each had four as the Pittsburgh Penguins overcame a 6-3 deficit to beat the Vancouver Canucks 8-6. J.T. Miller and Adam Gaudette each tallied twice for the Canucks.

The Washington Capitals picked up their first win in three games by defeating the Florida Panthers 4-3. Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby kicked out 37 shots. The Panthers are winless in their last three contests.

Philadelphia Flyers goalie Brian Elliott made 15 saves in the third period to preserve a 3-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Flyers extended their points streak to four games.

Max Pacioretty’s game-tying goal late in the third period set the stage for Paul Stastny’s overtime goal as the Vegas Golden Knights beat the Nashville Predators 4-3. The Knight snap a three-game winless skid. Earlier in the day, they placed forward Valentin Zykov on waivers.

Arizona Coyotes forward Christian Dvorak scored twice in the first period and buried the winner in a 4-3 shootout victory over the Anaheim Ducks. The Coyotes have won four of their last six games.

The Colorado Avalanche tallied three third period goals to beat the Edmonton Oilers 4-1. Nathan MacKinnon had a goal and an assist for the Avs, who ended Edmonton captain Connor McDavid’s points streak at 11 games.

Dustin Brown and Alex Iafallo each collected two points as the Los Angeles Kings downed the New York Islanders 4-1. It’s the Isles second straight loss coming off a 17-game points streak. The Kings also activated Trevor Lewis from injured reserve.

Winnipeg Jets winger Patrik Laine collected three points as his club tallied five straight goals to beat the San Jose Sharks 5-1. Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck made 32 saves for the win while Blake Wheeler and Kyle Connor each picked up two points.


Calgary Flames head coach Peters issued an apology yesterday in a letter to general manager Brad Treliving, calling the incident “isolated and immediately regrettable.” TSN’s Frank Seravalli noticed a discrepancy in the statement. Peters claimed he immediately returned to the dressing room and apologized to the team following the racial slur aimed at Aliu, but the latter claimed that didn’t happen even after the team captain confronted Peters.

Seravalli also pointed out that Peters didn’t acknowledge the incident with Jordan. However, Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour acknowledged that incident took place, as well as another in which Peters punched an unnamed player. Brind’Amour was Peters’ assistant coach when those episodes took place. He claimed the incidents were addressed by the players and management and never happened again.

Former Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos Jr. claimed then-Hurricanes GM Ron Francis never informed him about Peters’ alleged physical abuse of the two players. He claimed he would’ve fired Peter “in a nanosecond” had Francis told him about those claims.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman cites a source claiming a face-to-face meeting between Peters and the league will likely occur, depending on the Flames’ own actions. That raises the possibility of league-mandated punishment along with whatever the Flames do.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ll be very surprised if Peters remains coach of the Flames. His statement hasn’t done anything to dampen calls for his firing. This situation could result in more players coming forward, either on their own or through the NHLPA, with their own stories of mental and physical abuse by NHL and minor-league coaches.

BOSTON HERALD: The Bruins yesterday re-signed forwards Charlie Coyle and Chris Wagner to multi-year contract extensions. Coyle inked a six-year deal worth an annual average value of $5.25 million while Wagner got a three-year deal with an annual salary-cap hit of $1.35 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Coyle’s contract was the most notable, as he was slated to become an unrestricted free agent next July. He’s become a valuable part of the Bruins’ lineup since being acquired in a trade last season from Minnesota. He’s proven to be a versatile two-way third-line forward who can play center or on the wing but also move up to the second line when the need arises. The term seems a little long and the salary a little high but the Bruins are willing to pay it to keep him in the fold.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 14, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 14, 2019

Islanders and Capitals extend their points streaks, Roberto Luongo joins the Panthers’ front office, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: The New York Islanders extended their points streak to 13 games (12-0-1) by edging the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-4. Anthony Beauvillier scored twice and Derick Brassard collected three points for the Islanders. Leafs captain (and former Isles captain) John Tavares was once again serenaded by chants of “We don’t need you!” by Long Island fans. Leafs winger Zach Hyman made his season debut following recovery from a knee injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As the Isles soar, the Leafs dropped six of their last 10 games (two in overtime), including their last three contests. They’re barely clinging to the last Eastern Conference wild-card spot. They still have plenty of time to reverse their fortunes but the grumbling in Leafs Nation is growing.

Ottawa Senators forward Jean-Gabriel Pageau tallied his first career NHL hat trick in a 4-2 win over the New Jersey Devils (Photo via NHL Images).

The Washington Capitals also extended their points streak to 13 games with a 2-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. Braden Holtby made 30 saves while T.J. Oshie and Evgeny Kuznetsov scored in the shootout for the Capitals, who have a league-leading 32 points.

Jean-Gabriel Pageau netted his first career NHL hat trick as the New Jersey Devils doubled out the New Jersey Devils 4-2. Pageau is red hot of late, tallying eight goals in his last six contests.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pageau is on pace for a career-best 70-point campaign in his contract year.

Patrick Kane and Dylan Strome each had a goal and two assists to give the Chicago Blackhawks a 5-3 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights. Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford made 39 saves.

Joe Pavelski scored twice and Justin Dowling tallied his first NHL goal as the Dallas Stars dropped the Calgary Flames 3-1. Sean Monahan tallied for the Flames.


SUN-SENTINEL.COM: Former Florida Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo has rejoined the team as a special advisor to general manager Dale Tallon. Luongo announced his retirement over the summer after 19 NHL campaigns, 11 with the Panthers.

TSN.CA: Jason Garrison is suing his financial advisor over negligent advice that ended up costing the former NHL defenseman more than the multi-million dollar salary he earned during a six-year contract ($28 million) with the Vancouver Canucks. Garrison, 35, mow plays in Sweden.

WGR 550: Buffalo Sabres forward Vladimir Sobotka will be sidelined four-to-six weeks with a lower-body injury. Forward Marcus Johansson is day-to-day with an upper-body injury.




NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 9, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 9, 2019

The Lightning edged the Sabres in the first game of the 2019 Global Series, 2020 Global Series sites and teams revealed, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: The Tampa Bay Lightning edged the Buffalo Sabres 3-2 in the first of their two-game NHL Global Series in Stockholm, Sweden. Nikita Kucherov, Alex Killorn, and Yanni Gourde scored for the Bolts while Sam Reinhart tallied both Sabres’ goals. Sabres forward Vladimir Sobotka left the game following a low-bridge hit by Kucherov, who could face supplemental discipline.

Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov was among the scorers in a 3-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres at the 2020 NHL Global Series in Stockholm (Photo via NHL Images).

Robby Fabbri scored twice as the Detroit Red Wings upset the Boston Bruins 4-2. It was Fabbri’s first game with the Wings since they acquired him in a trade with the St. Louis Blues earlier in the week. Anthony Mantha also tallied a goal and an assist for the Wings. Bruins winger David Pastrnak picked up an assist to extend his points streak to 14 games.

Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mikko Koskinen turned in a 29-save shutout performance in a 4-0 blanking of the New Jersey Devils. Leon Draisaitl scored to extend his points streak to eight games while Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Alex Chiasson had two points each. Devils defenseman Sami Vatanen left the game in the first period after being elbowed in the head by Chiasson.

The Winnipeg Jets extended their points streak to four games with a 4-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks. Connor Hellebuyck made 32 saves while Kyle Connor scored and collected an assist. Earlier in the day, the Jets reassigned defenceman Ville Heinola from the Manitoba Moose to Lukko Rauma in the Finnish Liiga.


The NHL announced it will stage regular-season games next season in the Czech Republic and Finland in the 2020 NHL Global Series and preseason contests in Germany and Switzerland as part of the 2020 Global Series challenge. The Boston Bruins and Nashville Predators will take part in the Global Series Challenge while the Colorado Avalanche and Columbus Blue Jackets will face off in the Global Series.

THE SCORE: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman remains resistant to his league’s participation in the Winter Olympics. “I don’t want to sound like a broken record on the subject, but I think going to the Olympics is a challenge for us,” Bettman said during a press conference Friday at the Global Games in Sweden. He feels the Olympic break is very disruptive to the NHL season.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang is listed as week-to-week with a lower-body injury.

OTTAWA SUN: Senators center Artem Anisimov was placed on injured reserve with a nagging groin injury. There’s no timetable for his return.

THE DENVER POST: Colorado Avalanche defenseman Nikita Zadorov is sidelined indefinitely after taking a puck to the face during Thursday’s win over the Nashville Predators. He joins sidelined Avs Mikko Rantanen, Gabriel Landeskog, Colin Wilson, and Philipp Grubauer.

CBS SPORTS: Minnesota Wild winger Marcus Foligno (lower body) is questionable for tonight’s contest against the Arizona Coyotes.

NJ.COM: A New Jersey Devils spectator struck by a puck during a 2017 game filed a lawsuit against the club.

NHL Gold & Mold: Carlson on Fire, Bobrovsky Feeling the Heat

NHL Gold & Mold: Carlson on Fire, Bobrovsky Feeling the Heat


NHL Rumor Mill – August 22, 2019

NHL Rumor Mill – August 22, 2019

Updates on the Sabres, Canucks, and Blackhawks in today’s NHL rumor mill.


THE BUFFALO NEWS: In a recent mailbag segment, Lance Lysowski was asked if Rasmus Ristolainen will be in the Buffalo Sabres lineup on opening night. He felt the 24-year-old defenseman’s recent comments to a Finnish news outlet indicated he wants out of Buffalo. Lysowski doubted general manager Jason Botterill pulls the trigger unless he gets a package he wants in return. That doesn’t seem likely anytime soon.

Will Rasmus Ristolainen still be on the Buffalo Sabres roster when the season opens in October? (Photo via NHL Images)

In his 10 Sabres storylines to watch, Lysowski noted Ristolainen’s departure seemed imminent when the Sabres acquired right-shot rearguards Colin Miller and Henri Jokiharju this summer. Botterill and head coach Ralph Kruger sound prepared for Ristolainen’s return but Lysowski wondered what role he’d play.

THE ATHLETIC: Joe Yerden also weighed in on Ristolainen’s future with the Sabres. They’re not aggressively shopping the defenseman and he hasn’t publicly requested a trade but tension remains in the air.

Yerden suggested the Tampa Bay Lightning, Winnipeg Jets, and Anaheim Ducks as potential destinations. It’s possible Ristolainen might not be moved until sometime during the regular season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The additions of Miller and Jokiharju seems to set the stage for trading Ristolainen. However, if Botterill doesn’t get a decent offer, the blueliner will likely be back for training camp and the start of the regular season.

Ristolainen could stage a holdout but it doesn’t sound like he’s interested in that. If things improve under Kruger, perhaps he will feel more positive about sticking around.

WGR 550: Paul Hamilton reports veteran winger Jason Pominville would still like to return to the Sabres this season. Now an unrestricted free agent, he’s working out in Buffalo with several players (including Sabres d-man Rasmus Dahlin). Botterill said he hasn’t closed the door on bringing back Pominville.


VANCOUVER SUN: Ben Kuzma reports the Canucks are still hopeful of getting restricted free agent winger Brock Boeser under contract before training camp opens next month. Prorating Boeser’s 56 points last season would give him 66. That would align the 22-year-old with San Jose Sharks winger Timo Meier, who inked a four-year, $24-million extension this summer.

Canucks GM Jim Benning said Meier and Winnipeg Jets winger Kyle Connor came up as comparables with Boeser’s camp. He said talks remain constructive as they seek to reach common ground. Boeser’s agent, Ben Hankinson, prefers a four-year deal worth $7 million annually because today’s top players outperform longer commitments.

Meier’s contract is backloaded to give the Sharks an initial break on annual average salary but climbs to $10 million in the final season. He’ll be an RFA when it expires, meaning the qualifying offer will be $10 million. Benning is concerned about that.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see what Boeser’s contract eventually looks like but I don’t see Benning agreeing to a deal that’s heavily backloaded. I expect it’ll be in the $7 million AAV range.



THE ATHLETIC: In a recent mailbag segment, Mark Lazerus was asked about the possibility of the Chicago Blackhawks trading Erik Gustafsson at the trade deadline. The 27-year-old defenseman enjoyed a breakout performance last season with 60 points.

If Gustafsson continues playing well, Lazerus suggested the Blackhawks could shop him as they likely couldn’t afford to re-sign him. If they’re out of the playoff races by the deadline, it could be an easy decision to make.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates the Blackhawks have over $61.8 million invested in just 13 players for 2020-21. In addition to Gustafsson, goaltenders Corey Crawford and Robin Lehner will be eligible to become unrestricted free agents. Budding stars Alex DeBrincat and Dylan Strome will be restricted free agents coming off their entry-level contracts.

Assuming the cap reaches $84 million next season, the Hawks will have around $22 million in cap room. It won’t be enough to keep all their notable free agents. If Crawford’s health issues remain a concern and Lehner plays well, and if they can convince DeBrincat and/or Strome to accept bridge contract, perhaps they could squeeze in a raise for Gustafsson. Otherwise, he could become the odd man out.

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – August 18, 2019

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – August 18, 2019

Updates on Patrik Laine and Rasmus Ristolainen in the Sunday NHL rumor roundup.


SPORTSNET: Sean Reynolds believes Patrik Laine’s recent remarks regarding his contract status serves as a reminder of the Winnipeg Jets’ vulnerability as a small-market club. The 21-year-old restricted free agent winger last week described contract talks as nonexistent, adding he didn’t know where he’d be playing this season and was prepared for anything.

Could Winnipeg Jets winger Patrik Laine receive an offer sheet? (Photo via NHL Images)

Reynolds points out the Jets hold the leverage and control where Laine plays. He also suggested the winger’s remarks could be an attempt to get contract negotiations moving forward. Nevertheless, Reynolds feels “time, money, and circumstance are all working against the Jets.”

Unlike teammate Kyle Connor, there’s no confirmation if Laine has been contacted by rival clubs hoping to sign him to an offer sheet. However, Reynolds suggests the young Finn’s comments indicate he “at the very least understands that he is prepared, if not open, to a hockey future outside of Winnipeg.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: An offer sheet is always possible but the best opportunity for that was late June or early July when teams had more salary-cap space and willingness to spend it. I believe it would take an offer sheet worth over $9 million annually to tempt Laine.

Cap Friendly indicates only six teams have the cap space to make that pitch. Three of them (Colorado, Columbus, Tampa Bay) have RFA talent of their own (Mikko Rantanen, Zach Werenski, Brayden Point) to re-sign. That leaves the Minnesota Wild, Ottawa Senators, and Philadelphia Flyers.

The Wild is undergoing a management change and unlikely to go the offer-sheet route. The rebuilding Senators probably won’t interest Laine while the Flyers must re-sign Ivan Provorov and Travis Konecny.

If another club wants to offer-sheet Laine, they’ll have to shed salary or do some creative accounting. Regardless, it would be a pointless exercise. The Jets have over $17 million in salary-cap space and can match an offer sheet for Laine.


THE BUFFALO NEWS: Mike Harrington reports Sabres general manager Jason Botterill still plans on having Risto Ristolainen on his team when training camp opens next month. The 25-year-old defenseman raised eyebrows during a recent interview in Finland by implying it might be better if he were traded.

Botterill said he wasn’t disappointed or surprised by Ristolainen’s remarks. He continues to interact with the blueliner but is keeping those discussions private.

Ristolainen has three years remaining on his contract with an annual average value of $5.4 million. While the Sabres sit over $1 million above the $81.5-million salary cap, Harrington said they can find other ways to become cap compliant other than moving Ristolainen. He also noted the Sabres are overloaded on right defense and require depth at forward.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Botterill isn’t  exactly smacking down the Ristolainen trade speculation. He may be looking ahead at having the blueliner on the roster when training camp opens, but he’s also not dismissing the notion that the d-man could be traded before camp opens.

Ristolainen could be shopped for a top-six winger before training camp. However, I think Botterill won’t move unless he gets the right return. It could take until next summer to find it.