NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 16, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 16, 2019

Game recaps, the Blues are honored at the White House, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: Morgan Rielly assisted on all of the Toronto Maple Leafs goals as they doubled up the Minnesota Wild 4-2. Mitch Marner had a goal and two assists while Auston Matthews and John Tavares also tallied for the Leafs. Wild winger Kevin Fiala was a healthy scratch.

Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly collected four assists in a 4-2 win over the MInnesota Wild (Photo via NHL Images).

The Vancouver Canucks picked up their third straight victory by downing the Detroit Red Wings 5-1. J.T Miller tallied two power-play goals while Elias Pettersson, Brock Boeser, and Alex Edler each had three-point performances. Earlier in the day, the Wings assigned Evgeny Svechnikov to the minors and activated Frans Nielsen and Trevor Daley from injured reserve.

Four straight goals powered the Nashville Predators to a 5-2 win over the Vegas Golden Knights. Kyle Turris and Ryan Ellias each had a goal and an assist. Predators winger Filip Forsberg left the game in the third period with an undisclosed injury while teammate Roman Josi dropped the gloves with Vegas’ Mark Stone. Earlier in the day, the Predators placed forward Daniel Carr on waivers.

Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy made 33 saves in a 3-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens. Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov each had a goal and an assist for the Lightning as they scored three unanswered goals.

Darcy Kuemper made 38 saves backstopping the Arizona Coyotes to a 4-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets. Christian Dvorak scored twice and Nick Schmaltz collected three points.

Calgary Flames winger Michael Frolik scored in his 800th career game as his club defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 3-1. Earlier in the day, the Flyers signed forward Chris Stewart to a one-year, one-way contract worth $750K. Stewart spent last season playing for the Nottingham Panthers in the British Elite Ice Hockey League.

Carolina Hurricanes goalie Petr Mrazek had a 31-save shutout performance in a 2-0 win over the Los Angeles Kings. Sebastian Aho and Martin Necas were the goal scorers.


STLTODAY.COM: The 2019 Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues were honored yesterday at the White House by President Donald Trump. 

NEW YORK POST: Contract issues and being supplanted by Artemi Panarin from the New York Rangers’ top line could account for winger Chris Kreider’s slow start. 

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins center Jared McCann is listed as day-to-day with an undisclosed injury. 

WGR 550: The Buffalo Sabres updated the status of winger Conor Sheary (upper-body injury) from week-to-week to day-to-day as he returned to practice yesterday. Assistant coach Don Granato, meanwhile, is doing much better as he recovers from pneumonia. 

VANCOUVER SUN: Veteran reporter Rick Dhaliwal was among several cuts yesterday at Sportsnet 650. Dhaliwal is well-connected in the NHL world. 

CBC.CA: Former NHL forward Danny Grant passed away Monday at age 73.  He spent 12 seasons in the NHL with the Montreal Canadiens, Minnesota North Stars, Detroit Red Wings, and Los Angeles Kings. Career highlights include winning a Stanley Cup with the Canadiens in 1968 and six seasons with 29-or-more goals, including a 50-goal performance with the Wings in 1974-75. The Fredericton native went on to become a college and Junior A coach and was a member of the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame. 

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

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 18, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 18, 2019

The latest contract signings and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

THE DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche yesterday avoided arbitration with J.T. Compher. The two sides agreed to a four-year, $14-million contract. The annual average value is $3.5 million.

Colorado Avalanche re-sign J.T. Compher to a four-year contract (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Compher, 24, has developed into a reliable, versatile forward for the Avalanche. Last season, he became the first player since Joe Sakic to scored three shorthanded goals, three power-play goals, and three game-winners in the same season. 

THE DETROIT NEWS: Police consider the death of Greg Johnson a likely suicide. The former NHL player died at his Michigan home last week at age 48. A gun and a single bullet was found near his body. Johnson suffered multiple concussions during his career but his wife said he displayed no signs of depression or other symptoms related to CTE. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is an extra measure of tragedy to Johnson’s passing. My condolences to his family, friends, and former teammates. 

TRIBLIVE.COM: The Vegas Golden Knights granted the wish of teenage cancer survivor Doron Coldwell by making him a Golden Knight for a day. He received a team jersey and goaltending gear, received pointers from Marc-Andre Fleury, and skated with the players at the team’s practice facility. 

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: Speaking of the Golden Knights, forward Ryan Reaves is getting into the brewing business. He received approval for a brewery license from the city council. 

NBC SPORTS: The Philadelphia Flyers signed forward Chris Stewart to a professional tryout offer. A 10-year NHL veteran, Stewart spent last season playing for the Nottingham Panthers of the English Elite Ice Hockey League. 

NBCS CHICAGO’s Charlie Roumeliotis reports Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman remains hopeful of signing forward Brendan Perlini. 

TSN: Former Vancouver Canucks winger Ryan Spooner signed a one-year contract with Switzerland’s HC Lugano. 

MLIVE.COM: The Detroit Red Wings signed defenseman Joe Hicketts to a two-year contract. 

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 10, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 10, 2018

Latest on Jack Eichel, Coyotes re-sign Christian Dvorak and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

THE ATHLETIC: John Vogl reports Jack Eichel is ready to lead a locker room of new faces following a summer of change for the Buffalo Sabres. Eichel believes the additions of veterans Patrik Berglund and Vladimir Sobotka will bring a good element to the club, while Jeff Skinner and Conor Sheary will improve the Sabres’ speed and skill. 

Center Jack Eichel could take on more of a leadership role with the Buffalo Sabres. (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sabres played without a captain in 2017-18. Eichel could become the top candidate for the role this season.

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes yesterday announced they re-signed center Christian Dvorak to a six-year, $26.7-million contract extension. The annual average value is $4.45 million and takes effect in 2019-20. While the big raise and lengthy term for a player with only two years and 70 points on his NHL resume, Coyotes general manager John Chayka believes Dvorak will continue to improve.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dvorak put up decent numbers in his first two NHL campaigns, averaging 35 points per season. If the 22-year-old blossoms as a two-way center this deal will turn into a long-term bargain for the Coyotes. If he doesn’t, this contract will become fodder for Chayka’s critics.

UNITED STATES HOCKEY HALL OF FAME: Nashville Predators general manager David Poile, former NHL player and coach Gordon “Red” Berenson and former NHL referee Paul Stewart are among the 2018 class of inductees into the US Hockey Hall of Fame. Natalie Darwitz and Leland “Hago” Harrington round out this year’s class. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to this year’s inductees. The ceremony will take place in Nashville on Dec. 12. 

TSN: Travis Yost explored salary-cap allocation among the 31 NHL teams for 2018-19. On average, each clubs allots “$42 million for forwards, $22 million for defencemen, $7 million for goaltenders, and about $9 million in unallocated cap space.”

LE JOURNAL DE MONTREAL: Former NHL defenseman Enrico Ciccone will be a candidate for the Quebec Liberal Party in the next provincial election. In recent years, Ciccone was a sports columnist on radio and television. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 6, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 6, 2018

Game recaps, stars of the week and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid enjoyed a five-point performance in a 6-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning (Photo via NHL Images).

 NHL.COM: Connor McDavid scored four goals and collected an assist to lead the Edmonton Oilers to a 6-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Leon Draisaitl had a three-point night with a goal and two assists for the Oilers, who’ve now won five of their last seven games.

Three unanswered third-period goals gave the Toronto Maple Leafs a 7-4 victory over the Anaheim Ducks. Leafs forwards Auston Matthews and William Nylander each had two goals and an assist. Ducks winger Corey Perry set up all of his club’s goals.

The Leafs had a bit of a scare when goalie Frederik Andersen left the game in the second period after being accidentally struck in the mask by one of Perry’s skates. While Andersen didn’t return, Leafs coach Mike Babcock believes the netminder will be fine.

The Nashville Predators overcame a 4-2 deficit to edge the New York Islanders 5-4 in overtime. Kevin Fiala scored twice for the Predators while teammate Roman Josi tallied the game winner.

Tyler Seguin and Martin Hanzal scored to lift the Dallas Stars to a 2-1 win over the New York Rangers.

Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin, Florida Panthers goaltender Harri Sateri and Vegas Golden Knights winger Reilly Smith are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Feb. 4, 2018.

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Rangers forward Jimmy Vesey suffered a concussion and defenseman Marc Staal a cervical strain as the result of unpenalized hits during Saturday’s game against Nashville. Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault considers Staal as day-to-day. Predators forward Filip Forsberg received a three-game suspension for his hit on Vesey. 

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Penguins forward Patric Hornqvist is listed as week-to-week with a lower-body injury. 

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: It’s been a rough season back with the Blackhawks for struggling winger Brandon Saad, as he’s now been relegated to the fourth line. 

TWINCITIES.COM: Minnesota Wild forward Chris Stewart is trying to remain positive after being a healthy scratch in three of his last six games. With the Wild roster finally at full strength, there isn’t enough playing time to go around. 

NHL.COM: The Los Angeles Kings traded minor-league defenseman Zac Leslie to the Vegas Golden Knights for future considerations. 


NHL Rumor Mill – January 20, 2018

NHL Rumor Mill – January 20, 2018

Latest on Erik Karlsson, John Tavares, Evander Kane and more in your NHL rumor mill.

Are the Ottawa Senators laying the groundwork to trade Erik Karlsson (Photo via NHL Images).


SPORTSNET: Comments on Thursday by Ottawa Senators general manager Pierre Dorion suggesting he could listen to a good offer for Erik Karlsson prompted Elliotte Friedman to suggest the Sens could be laying the groundwork to trade their captain. Dorion said his club’s first priority is to re-sign Karlsson, who’s eligible in 2019 to become an unrestricted free agent. However, he added, “He’s a special player, but Wayne Gretzky got traded, so, if a team offers you an offer you can’t turn down, you listen.”

Friedman feels Karlsson’s wants to be a Senator for the remainder of his career. “But I think there’s a lot of players there who doubt they can win under current ownership — I think he’s one of them,” he said.

Taking note of Dorion’s comments, Eric Francis ponders what it might cost the Calgary Flames to make a pitch for Karlsson. “(What)  if the Flames offered up a package that included (Harvard defenseman Adam) Fox, a top goalie prospect (former NCAA champ Jon Gillies or former Memorial Cup/world junior champ Tyler Parsons) and another stud defensive prospect in either Rasmus Andersson or Oliver Kylington?” He also wonders if the Flames might have to add a roster play as well, and if it would be too high a price for a blueliner who’ll be a UFA next year.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before everyone starts salivating over a Karlsson trade, let’s remember that Dorion said his first priority is re-signing the blueliner. He’s not ruling out a trade but he’s not saying he’s shopping him. Unless Karlsson is asking to be dealt, Dorion isn’t under pressure to move him before the Feb. 26 trade deadline.

Is it possible the Sens could get an offer too good to pass up for Karlsson? Sure. Will they get it before the trade deadline? Probably not. Players of that magnitude tend to get dealt in the offseason, not in the weeks leading up to the trade deadline. That’s because there are more teams flush with salary-cap space in the summer willing to make trades. If the Sens and Karlsson can’t agree to a contract extension this summer, I wouldn’t be surprised if Dorion tries to trade him.


TSN: Darren Dreger believes it’s unlikely center John Tavares will leave the New York Islanders via free agency in July. Given the Montreal Canadiens’ lack of depth at center, however, he feels they have no choice but to be ready just in case Tavares hits the open market. If the Isles captain becomes a UFA, Dreger said an NHL executive suggested someone could offer him a seven-year deal worth $15-million per season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I share Dreger’s belief that Tavares will re-sign with the Islanders. Assuming he doesn’t, however, I expect the Canadiens will be among the numerous suitors who’ll line up to sign him. Some folks might scoff at Tavares getting $15 million annually and I agree that’s too much, but never dismiss the ability of some general managers to succumb to auction fever on July 1. 

Meanwhile, Dreger also reported Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin has assets, such as forwards Max Pacioretty, Andrew Shaw and Alex Galchenyuk, he could consider moving out at the trade deadline. He said there are suitors interested in those players.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: At least one of those forwards will be playing for a new club by Feb. 26. Pacioretty will attract the most interest but Bergevin might prefer waiting for the offseason trade market in hopes of getting a better return. Shaw’s $3.9 million cap hit isn’t too bad but the length of his deal (he’s signed through 2021-22) could be a deal breaker. Galchenyuk’s younger (23), still has upside and, while earning $4.9 million AAV, has only two more seasons remaining on his contract. That could make him the most likely to be dealt. 


THE ATHLETIC: Michael Russo recently fielded questions from his readers over possible moves by the Minnesota Wild. If GM Chuck Fletcher makes moves at the deadline, he thinks he’d attempt to shed salary by moving out players such as Marcus Foligno or Tyler Ennis, rather than trading draft picks for rental players. He wouldn’t be shocked if Fletcher tried to move Chris Stewart. He could also see him move Matt Cullen if the Wild fall out of the playoff race. 

Asked if the Wild might consider moving a player from their “young” core, Russo thinks they’ll have to consider it. He could see forward Charlie Coyle being moved, unless they feel the cost of re-signing Matt Dumba or Jason Zucker is getting out of whack. While noting Coyle’s had a disappointing season since returning from a broken tibia, trading him would be a significant step and they’d have to get a solid return. Such a move would likely have to happen in the offseason. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Much will depend, of course, on where the Wild are in the standings leading up to the deadline next month. As of today, they’re sitting just outside of a wild-card berth in the Western Conference. If they’re still in the hunt they could become buyers. If not, they’ll look to shed salary and perhaps rethink the makeup of their current roster. 



NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 16, 2016

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 16, 2016

The Toronto Maple Leafs officially retired the numbers of 17 players.

The Toronto Maple Leafs officially retired the numbers of 17 players.

Leafs retire 17 player numbers. Details & more in this morning’s collection of NHL headlines. 

NHL.COMMitch Marner tallied his first NHL goal in the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1 win over the Boston Bruins. Prior to the game, the Leafs announced in a pregame ceremony they were retiring the numbers of 17 players, including Wendel Clark, Doug Gilmour, Dave Keon, Darryl Sittler, Mats Sundin, Borje Salming, Turk Broda, Syl Apps, Frank Mahovlich and Johnny Bower. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was an honor long overdue for those Leafs legends. Nice to see the current management and ownership finally do the right thing and retire those numbers. 

Richard Panik’s hat trick lifted the Chicago Blackhawks to a 5-3 win over the Nashville Predators. 

Joe Colborne’s hat trick helped the Colorado Avalanche nip the Dallas Stars 6-5. 

Daniel Winnik two goals lifted gave the Washington Capitals a 2-1 victory over the New York Islanders

Phil Kessel tallied his second straight game-winning goal to give the Pittsburgh Penguins a 3-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks.

Chris Stewart had a Gordie Howe hat trick (goal, assist, fight) as the Minnesota Wild edged the Winnipeg Jets 4-3.

NBC SPORTS: The Columbus Blue Jackets have suspended forward Gregory Campbell for failing to report to their AHL affiliate 

OTTAWA SUN: John Horan wonders why NHL Hall of Famer Phil Esposito’s legacy hasn’t received proper recognition in Canada. Esposito set several scoring records (many eventually broken by Wayne Gretzky) and led Team Canada to victory over the Soviet Union in the 1972 Summit Series. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I believe part of the reason why Esposito doesn’t get his just due is he was overshadowed by teammate Bobby Orr, who was the NHL’s dominant, game-changing star during Espo’s glory years in the late-’60s and early-’70s. Some also considered Esposito a one-dimensional scorer who merely parked himself near the crease and swatted in rebounds. A better appreciation of his game didn’t occur until the Summit Series.