NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 13, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 13, 2017

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby wins his eighty ESPY Award as the NHL’s top player.

Latest on Sidney Crosby, Jaccob Slavin, Mark Streit and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

TSN: Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby won the ESPY Award as the top NHL player, beating out Edmonton’s Connor McDavid, Toronto’s Auston Matthews, Winnipeg’s Patrik Laine, Chicago’s Patrick Kane and Columbus’ Sergei Bobrovsky. It’s the eighth time Crosby’s won the award. 

NBC SPORTS: Speaking of Crosby, he said he wasn’t paying attention to those in the media questioning his health after he suffered a concussion during the second round of the 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs. The Penguins captain said he was focusing on helping his team win the Cup. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t doubt Crosby wasn’t following the media during the playoffs. But given how he was constantly questioned by reporters about his health after his return to action, he wasn’t oblivious to it. His concussion history ensures his physical well-being will remain a topic of interest among fans and pundits. 

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: And speaking of the Penguins, they re-signed Derrick Pouliot to a one-year, one-way contract worth $800K and Josh Archibald to a one-year, one-way deal worth $675K.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: The Carolina Hurricanes announced they re-signed defenseman Jaccob Slavin to a seven-year, $37.1 million contract extension. The annual average value is $5.3 million and begins in 2018-19. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I love this signing by the Hurricanes. In just two seasons, the 23-year-old Slavin became an elite NHL defenseman and an invaluable core player for the Canes. They now have him under contract throughout his playing prime at a reasonable price. At his current rate of development, this new contract could turn into a bargain for Carolina. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens have offered unrestricted free agent defenseman Mark Streit a one-year, $1.5 million contract. The 39-year-old began his NHL career in Montreal, playing three season with the Habs. He split last season between the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Looks like Habs GM Marc Bergevin’s getting a little desperate in his search for an experienced defenseman. This could also cast further doubt upon the possibility of Andrei Markov returning to Montreal. 

WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets re-signed versatile forward Andrew Copp to a two-year deal worth $1 million per season.  

OTTAWA SUN: Former Senators forward Viktor Stalberg signed a two-year deal with EV Zug in Switzerland. 

TSN: Toronto Maple Leafs GM Lou Lamoriello said his club are using the offseason long-term injured reserve. That will give them sufficient salary-cap space to re-sign Connor Brown. 

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes named Steve Patterson as their new president, CEO and alternate governor. General manager John Chayka was also named their president of hockey operations. 

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Former Sabres coach Ted Nolan was named coach of Poland’s national team. 

TORONTO SUN: Former Maple Leaf Tod Sloan passed away at age 89. He played 13 seasons in the NHL, 10 of those with the Leafs. He was a member of two Stanley Cup champions, one in Toronto in 1951 and the other with Chicago a decade later. He had 482 points in 765 games, including two 30-goal seasons in 1951 and 1956. 

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


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 15, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 15, 2017

Nick Ritchie (left) celebrates his goal with Ryan Getzlaf in Game 2 of the 2017 Western Conference Final.

Ducks win Game 2 of Western Conference Final, plus updates on Carl Hagelin, Kris Russell & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Ryan Getzlaf collected three assists as the Anaheim Ducks overcame an early 2-0 deficit to defeat the Nashville Predators 5-3 in Game 2 of the Western Conference Final. The series is now tied at one game apiece.

Following the game, Predators center Ryan Johansen was critical of how Ducks center Ryan Kesler was playing against him in the faceoff circle.“It just doesn’t make sense how he plays the game. I’m just trying to go out there and play hockey, and it sucks when you have to pull a stick out of your groin after every shift.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: While I understand Johansen’s frustration over Kesler’s style of play, he’s allowed the cagey Ducks center to get inside his head. He cannot let Kesler drive him to distraction in this series and must find a way to overcome his chippy tactics. The Ducks also achieved something in this game that the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues couldn’t earlier in this postseason: score four goals on Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne. 

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins left wing Carl Hagelin (day-to-day, undisclosed injury) skated in practice yesterday but remains uncertain when he’ll return to the lineup. The Penguins face off tonight against the Ottawa Senators in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Final.  

OTTAWA SUN: Senators forward Viktor Stalberg (undisclosed injury, day-to-day) could be ready to play in Game 2 against the Penguins.

EDMONTON SUN: Pending unrestricted free agent defenseman Kris Russell hopes to re-sign with the Edmonton Oilers. 

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman dismissed the notion that his recent firing of assistant coach Mike Kitchen was done as a warning to head coach Joel Qunneville following the club’s swift opening-round elimination by the Nashville Predators. Bowman said there’s no deadline to replace Kitchen but claims Qunneville will play a significant role in the process. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 14, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 14, 2017

Ottawa Senators winger Bobby Ryan scores in overtime against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 1 of the 2017 Eastern Conference Final.

Senators edge Penguins in Game 1 of Eastern Conference Final plus updates on the Predators, Ducks & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Bobby Ryan scored in overtime to lift the Ottawa Senators to a 2-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 1 of the 2017 Eastern Conference Final. Jean-Gabriel Pageau also scored for the Sens while Evgeni Malkin tallied for the Penguins.

The Senators played without Viktor Stalberg, who’s day-to-day with an undisclosed injury. The Penguins could have sidelined defenseman Trevor Daley (lower-body injury) back in the lineup for Game 3

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Not to take anything away from the Senators’ well-earned win, but the Penguins looked drained in this one. They were probably still coming down from that hard-fought seven-game series against the Washington Capitals. 

THE TENNESSEAN: The Nashville Predators must try to improve their power play in Game 2 tonight against the Anaheim Ducks and take advantage of the Ducks’ poor penalty-killing percentage. The Preds failed to tally on five attempts with the man advantage in Game 1. 

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Ducks feel the urgency to win Game 2 and avoid falling 2-0 to the Preds as the series heads to Nashville for Games 3 and 4. 

THE WASHINGTON POST/CSN MID-ATLANTIC: Pending free agent wingers TJ Oshie and Justin Williams would like to return with the Washington Capitals. However, the Capitals could lack sufficient salary-cap room to re-sign Oshie, while the 36-year-old Williams knows it’s not that simple. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given a choice between the two I think the Caps prefer to re-sign the 30-year-old Oshie, as he still has some production seasons ahead of him.That’ll depend, of course, on how much of a raise Oshie wants on his next contract.  It’s likely both could end up departing via free agency. 


Desharnais to Oilers, Oduya returns to Blackhawks

Desharnais to Oilers, Oduya returns to Blackhawks

The Montreal Canadiens trade David Desharnais to the Edmonton Oilers for defenseman Brandon Davidson.

The Montreal Canadiens trade center David Desharnais to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for defenseman Brandon Davidson. The Canadiens also retained $700K of Desharnais’ $3.5 million cap hit.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No surprise that Desharnais, an unrestricted free agent,  is on his way out of Montreal. His production steadily declined from his career-best 52 point season in 2013-14. He missed time earlier this season to a knee injury and in recent games was a frequent healthy scratch.

The Oilers were reportedly seeking a third-line center who was strong in the faceoff circle. Desharnais is ok in that department (47.8 percent). However, the Oilers were looking at big guys like Martin Hanzal and Brian Boyle before their recent trades to Minnesota and Toronto respectively. Having lost out on those guys, perhaps the Oilers opted for speed and offensive skills. Perhaps they can plug Desharnais into their second line and move Ryan Nugent-Hopkins down to the third line.

The Habs, meanwhile, acquire their second defenseman in as many days, having dealt for Jordie Benn yesterday. Davidson, 25, is in only his second full NHL season. He missed over 30 games earlier this season to injury. The 6’2″, 210 pounder has good size and plays a physical game.

The Canadiens were lacking skilled depth at center before trading Desharnais to Edmonton. With this move, one has to assume the Habs aren’t done dealing. Having added Davidson, perhaps they intend to shop another blueliner in hopes of adding a center. 

The Chicago Blackhawks acquired defenseman Johnny Oduya from the Dallas Stars in exchange for minor-league forward Mark McNeill and a conditional fourth-round pick in 2018. Should the Blackhawks reach the 2017 Western Conference Final and Oduya play in at 50 percent or more of their games, that pick becomes a third rounder.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Oduya spent nearly four seasons with the Blackhawks from 2011-12 to 2014-15, helping them win two Stanley Cups. Signed by the Dallas Stars to a two-year deal, it’s clear he no longer had a future with the Stars after this season. He’s now at the tail end of his career, but the 35-year-old Oduya should be a solid depth addition to the Hawks as they look to add another championship. 

Earlier today, the Ottawa Senators acquired forward Viktor Stalberg from the Carolilna Hurricanes in exchange for a 2017 third round pick.