NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 2, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 2, 2019

Evander Kane suspended plus updates on Sidney Crosby, Dylan Larkin, David Krejci, and more in your season-opening NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane received a three-game suspension for shoving an on-ice official during a preseason game against the Vegas Golden Knights. 

San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane receives a three-game suspension (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kane’s fortunate he didn’t receive more than that. His suspension had some Sharks fans wondering if it might open the door for a return by Patrick Marleau but that’s not going to happen

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby rejoined his teammates in practice yesterday for the first time since suffering an undisclosed injury over the weekend. Meanwhile, the club is expected to put sidelined winger Bryan Rust (upper body) on long-term injury reserve to start the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Placing Rust and defenseman Zach Trotman on LTIR, along with yesterday’s demotions of goaltender Casey DeSmith and defenseman John Marino, ensures the Penguins will be cap compliant to open the season. 

THE DETROIT NEWS: Red Wings center Dylan Larkin left practice yesterday following a collision. The club will learn more about his status later today. 

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Bruins center David Krejci (lower-body) remains uncertain for the club’s season-opener on Thursday against Dallas. Meanwhile, contract extension talks have begun between Bruins management and defenseman Torey Krug. 

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets center Bryan Little (concussion) is sidelined indefinitely while blueliner Nathan Beaulieu (upper body) will miss at least four weeks. The Jets also lost goaltender Eric Comrie via waivers to the Arizona Coyotes and claimed Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Carl Dahlstrom off waivers. 

STARTRIBUNE.COM: Minnesota Wild defenseman Greg Pateryn (sports hernia surgery) will be sidelined up to six weeks. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens demoted forward Ryan Poehling to their AHL affiliate in Laval. A concussion limited him to just two preseason games. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s only a matter of time until Poehling is back with the Canadiens. He’s a promising young forward with a potentially bright future in Montreal. 

NHL.COM: The New York Rangers agreed to a one-year, two-way contract with forward Micheal Haley. 

WGR 550: Buffalo Sabres assistant coach Don Granato is on a leave of absence after being hospitalized with severe pneumonia. He’s expected to make a full recovery.

SPORTSNET: After 13 seasons with ten NHL clubs, forward Lee Stempniak has announced his retirement. In 911 career games, Stempniak tallied 203 goals and 266 points in 469 games. His best season was his sophomore campaign in 2006-07, tallying 27 goals and 52 points with the St. Louis Blues. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Stempniak and his family in their future endeavors. 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 25, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 25, 2019

Game recaps, Red Wings trade Gustav Nyquist to the Sharks, Mats Zuccarello injured in his first game with the Stars, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Evgeny Kuznetsov scored in overtime as the Washington Capitals edged the New York Rangers 6-5 in a wild and physical contest. Nicklas Backstrom tallied twice for the Capitals while Rangers defenseman Brady Skjei also netted two goals. Following the game, Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist cut short his interview after becoming emotional responding to a question about the trade of Mats Zuccarello, his friend and long-time teammate, to the Dallas Stars on Saturday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yes, NHL hockey is a business and yes, players know getting trading is always a possibility. Nevertheless, they’re still human like the rest of us and it can be difficult to part ways with a good friend. 

Speaking of Zuccarello, he was having a strong debut with the Stars (one goal, one assist) during their 4-3 win over the Chicago Blackhawks but suffered an arm injury that likely requires surgery after blocking a shot and is expected to be sidelined for four weeks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Zuccarello could return to the Stars before the end of the season, but his absence still leaves them in need of scoring depth if they’re to avoid slipping out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference. Stars captain Jamie Benn also left the game with an upper-body injury and is expected to be re-evaluated today. 

The Detroit Red Wings trade forward Gustav Nyquist to the San Jose Sharks (Photo via NHL Images)

San Jose Sharks captain Joe Pavelski tallied a natural hat trick to lead his club to a 5-3 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. Following the game, the Red Wings traded winger Gustav Nyquist to the Sharks for a second-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft and a conditional third in 2020.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Red Wings also retained $1.425 million of Nyquist’s $4.7-million salary-cap hit. A versatile forward who can skate at center or on the wing, he’s tallied 49 points in 62 games and is on pace to exceed 60 points this season. He could slot in as a second- or third-line winger, providing even more bite to an already potent Sharks offense.

An overtime goal by Ryan Donato enabled the Minnesota Wild to beat the St. Louis Blues 2-1. Donato now has four points in three games with the Wild since being traded to Minnesota from Boston. The Wild (66 points) have now won three straight and still cling to the final Western Conference wild-card spot.

Ottawa Senators forward Brady Tkachuk scored a goal but brother Matthew Tkachuk’s Calgary Flames won their first-ever face-to-face matchup 2-1 on a late goal by Austin Czarnik. The Flames (85 points) opened a three-point lead over the Sharks for top spot in the Pacific Division and the Western Conference. Following the game, the Senators shipped minor-league defenseman Patrick Sieloff to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for left wing Brian Gibbons.

The Arizona Coyotes (63 points) moved to within three points of a playoff spot by downing the Winnipeg Jets 4-1. Before the game, the Coyotes honored former long-time captain Shane Doan by retiring his No. 19 jersey. Doan began his career with the original Jets and moved with that club when it relocated to Arizona.

TSN: The Boston Bruins signed forward Lee Stempniak to a one-year contract and placed him on waivers for the purpose of assigning him to their AHL affiliate in Providence.

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 3, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 3, 2018

The 2018-19 NHL regular season opens tonight. Check out the latest contract signings, waiver news and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Washington Capitals will raise their 2018 Stanley Cup banner before their season-opener against the Boston Bruins as the curtain rises tonight on the NHL’s 2018-19 regular season.

TSN.CA: The city of Seattle is one vote away from getting an NHL expansion franchise after the league’s executive committee unanimously recommended to proceed with the city’s bid. It will be put toward a full Board of Governors vote on Dec. 3.

San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton’s lengthy beard is history (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The BoG vote is merely a formality. For all intent and purpose, Seattle will become the NHL’s 32nd franchise. 

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton had his lengthy beard shaved off by teammate Brent Burns during a season-opening party. Thornton had been growing the beard since 2015-16. 

THE SCORE: Detroit Red Wings defenseman Mike Green could be sidelined at least a month as he continues to recover from a liver virus.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Anaheim Ducks forward Ondrej Kase is out indefinitely due to a concussion suffered during a preseason game last Saturday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Another blow for the injury-ravaged Ducks. Kase joins Corey Perry (knee surgery) and Ryan Kesler (offseason hip surgery) among their regulars currently on injured reserve. 

LAS VEGAS SUN: The Golden Knights placed winger Alex Tuch (ankle) on injured reserve. He’s not expected to be sidelined for long.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens forward Jacob de la Rose suffered a cardiac incident during a recent preseason game and hasn’t been cleared by team doctors to travel with the club to Toronto for tonight’s game against the Leafs. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Coach Claude Julien said the move was a precautionary one as de la Rose’s condition isn’t considered to be serious. 

SPORTSDAY: Dallas Stars defenseman Stephen Johns is coping with post-concussion symptoms. 

EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers yesterday signed defenseman Jason Garrison and forward Alex Chiasson to one-year contracts.

SPECTOR’S NOTE:Cap Friendly indicates both players are each worth $650K.

SPORTSNET: The Toronto Maple Leafs lost two goaltenders via waivers yesterday. The Philadelphia Flyers claimed Calvin Pickard while the Carolina Hurricanes picked up Curtis McElhinney.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Both clubs have goalies currently on the sidelines. The Flyers have Michal Neuvirth (undisclosed) and Alex Lyon (lower body) are on injured reserve while Hurricanes starter Scott Darling is out two weeks with a lower-body injury. 

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: Anticipating a lengthy suspension for right wing Tom Wilson, the Capitals claimed forward Dmitrij Jaskin off waivers from the St. Louis Blues.

THE PROVINCE:  The Vancouver Canucks have loaned forward Sam Gagner to the AHL’s Toronto Marlies. The move was made to put Gagner closer to his family. The Canucks retain the right to recall him at any time.

COURIER-POST: The Flyers placed Dale Weise and Taylor Leier on waivers.

STARTRIBUNE.COM: The Minnesota Wild put defenseman Gustav Olofsson on waivers.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON’s Joe Haggerty reports the Bruins will keep forward Lee Stempniak on tryout basis for the time being. He’ll continue practicing with the club as he hopes a roster spot will open up for him soon.

 











NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 11, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 11, 2018

Golden Knights re-sign Max Pacioretty plus the latest on David Krejci, Paul Byron, Luca Sbisa and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

LAS VEGAS SUN: Soon after acquiring Max Pacioretty yesterday from the Montreal Canadiens, the Vegas Golden Knights announced they had re-signed the left wing to a four-year, $28-million contract extension. Pacioretty, 29, was due to become an unrestricted free agent next July.

Hours after acquiring Max Pacioretty, the Vegas Golden Knights signed him to a four-year contract extension. (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pacioretty’s recent statement that he wouldn’t discuss a contract with the Canadiens once the season opened next month spurred his departure from Montreal. It also accounts for the haste in which the Golden Knights signed shortly after acquiring him. Pacioretty’s current contract (six years, $27 million) carries an annual average value of $4.5 million. The Canadiens picked up 10 percent of that for this season.

Cap Friendly indicates his new deal is worth an AAV of $7 million, paying him $10.5 million in actual salary in 2019-20, $7 million in 2020-21, and $5.25 million in each of the final two seasons. He won’t receive performance bonuses but it does come with a modified no-trade clause (10-team no-trade list), something he doesn’t have in his current deal.

It’s a fair deal for Pacioretty, a five-time 30-goal scorer who was underpaid for most of his current contract.The lack of a state tax in Nevada means he’ll keep much more of his salary than he would’ve had he re-signed with the Canadiens. It will also make him the Golden Knights’ highest-paid forward and tie him with goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury with the highest annual cap hit.

Some might question the Golden Knights payingthat high AAV to a soon-to-be 30 year old winger but the term is a reasonable one. If Pacioretty’s regains his 30-goal form, this deal could prove worthwhile for a club hoping to prove itself more than a one-year wonder. 

NESN: A visa issue will prevent center David Krejci, a native of the Czech Republic, from joining his Boston Bruins teammates in China for their upcoming exhibition games with the Calgary Flames.

NHL.COM: The Bruins have signed forwards Lee Stempniak and Daniel Winnik to professional tryout agreements.

CBS SPORTS: Canadiens winger Paul Byron expects to be ready for the start of training camp after recovering from offseason shoulder surgery.

TSN: The Canadiens also re-signed center Michael McCarron to a one-year, two-way contract worth over $875K at the NHL level.

MLIVE.COM: Veteran forward Jussi Jokinen will be attending the Detroit Red Wings training camp on a tryout basis. 

TSN: Free-agent defenseman Luca Sbisa will join the New York Islanders on a professional tryout offer. 

EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Edmonton Oilers have signed right wing Alex Chiasson to a PTO.

 











NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 3, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 3, 2018

Nate Schmidt receives 20-game suspension, notable remaining UFAs and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: Golden Knights defenseman Nate Schmidt received a 20-game suspension for violating the NHL/NHLPA Performance Enhancing Substances Program, a charge he, his agent and the team denied yesterday. The league didn’t reveal what substance Schmidt tested positive for or when the test was conducted. His appeal was denied by an independent arbitrator.

Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Nate Schmidt has been suspended for violating the NHL’s PED program. (Photo via NHL Images)

In a statement yesterday, Schmidt professed his innocence, claiming he never knowingly ingested a banned substance. He said the trace amount was “consistent with environmental contamination that I could not possibly have prevented.”

Schmidt cited one expert who testified on his behalf claiming the amount of substance found in his system ” 7 billionths of a milligram/mL — as the equivalent of a pinch of salt in an Olympic-sized swimming pool.” Another who analyzed a sample of his hair concluded there was no evidence of intentional use. “The Vegas Golden Knights track players’ strength and performance metrics and my results have remained constant over the past year.”

The Golden Knights also released a statement supporting Schmidt, expressing their belief “that the presence of a trace of the banned substance was accidental and unintentional.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: We don’t know the full details from the hearings or what Schmidt may have ingested. Going by his story, however, it appears the punishment received was unduly harsh and perhaps unjustified.  It’s worth noting the Golden Knights are standing by Schmidt. It’ll be interesting to see if the league or the PA will issue a statement. it doesn’t sound as though there’s another appeal option for Schmidt.

In the meantime, Schmidt’s absence will leave a significant gap on their blueline early in the coming season that could force the Golden Knights to address via trade, free agency or waivers. I’ll have more in my Rumors section later this morning.  

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Center Antoine Vermette, left wing Mike Cammalleri, right wing Lee Stempniak, defensemen Luca Sbisa and Cody Franson and goaltender Steve Mason are the notable veterans remaining in this summer’s unrestricted free agent market. Others include forwards Scott Hartnell and Daniel Winnik, blueliner Kevin Bieksa and goalie Kari Lehtonen. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A handful of these players could earn one-year deals via professional tryout offers. The rest face continuing their playing careers in Europe or retirement. 

TSN: Former Montreal Canadiens and Nashville Predators defenseman Alexei Emelin signed a three-year contract with KHL club Avangard Omsk.

THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): The Vancouver Canucks need a healthy Chris Tanev to return to form this season. 

 











Latest on the Avalanche, Sabres & Hurricanes – March 6, 2017

Latest on the Avalanche, Sabres & Hurricanes – March 6, 2017

Could the St. Louis Blues be among this summer’s suitors for Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene?

The latest speculation involving the Colorado Avalanche, Buffalo Sabres and Carolina Hurricanes in your NHL rumor mill. 

THE DENVER POST: Despite the lack of a significant move by the floundering Colorado Avalanche at the trade deadline, Terry Frei believes their roster makeover will kick into high gear in the offseason. He anticipates a core player will be dealt to upgrade their defense. The trade speculation that dogged top forwards Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog will persist into this summer, but Frei feels Avs GM Joe Sakic must continue to insist on a big return for either player. 

Frei’s colleague Mark Kiszla believes Sakic should be replaced as general manager before Duchene is traded. Indeed, he feels Sakic is the main problem affecting the Avs. Kiszla doesn’t believe the club is as bad as their record this season suggests. He feels they could benefit from a management chance. He lists Chicago Blackhawks assistant GM Norm McIver, Florida Panthers executive Dale Tallon and LA Kings executive Rob Blake as possible replacement. 

STLTODAY.COM: Jeremy Rutherford believes the St. Louis Blues were among the clubs with interest in Duchene. The asking price is high. Rutherford speculates it could cost the Blues defenseman Colton Parayko as part of the return. The Blues need to upgrade at center.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sakic could find it difficult to move Duchene or Landeskog if rival clubs decide to look around for more affordable options in June. The expansion draft could see several teams putting some notable talent into the trade market. A stagnant salary cap could also affect Sakic’s efforts to swing a blockbuster. I don’t think the Avs will fire Sakic this year, but he’s definitely going to be under pressure to improve the roster before next season.

The Blues certainly could benefit from adding a center such as Duchene, but I think they’ll look elsewhere if the Avs maintain a high asking price. Given Duchene’s $6 million annual cap hit through 2018-19, the Blues would have to either move some salary to Colorado in the deal or stage a salary-dumping deal with another club. 

THE BUFFALO NEWS: John Vogl recently reported Sabres GM Tim Murray unsuccessfully attempted to move pending unrestricted free agents Dmitry Kulikov and Brian Gionta before the recent trade deadline. Murray received an offer for Gionta and asked the winger about it, but he wasn’t interested in waiving his modified no-trade clause.

The Sabres GM also declined offers for left wing Evander Kane, who has a year remaining on his contract. While the two sides can open contract extension talks in July, Murray said Kane must first address his off-ice issues.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I can see Murray taking a wait-and-see approach with Kane for next season. The winger is on pace to reach 30 goals this season. If he avoids trouble away from the ice and plays well next season, Murray could try to re-sign him before his eligibility for unrestricted free agency next July. 

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Chip Alexander recently reported the Carolina Hurricanes were among the teams linked to Colorado center Matt Duchene in trade rumors leading up to last week’s trade deadline. Teuvo Teravainen, Ryan Murphy and Lee Stempniak also came up on trade chatter. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Murphy’s name surfaced several times earlier this season and he could be shopped this summer. Stempniak still has a season left on his contract. Interesting that Teravainen’s name surfaced, as the Canes acquired him last summer. He’s a restricted free agent this summer. His status could be worth keeping an eye on this summer.