NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 31, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 31, 2017

Game recaps, update on Vadim Shipachyov, Mark Streit retires & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: John Tavares scored twice and Josh Bailey collected three assists to lead the New York Islanders to a 6-3 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights, snapping the latter’s win streak at five games. The Knights also lost goaltender Oscar Dansk to a lower-body injury. He joins Marc-Andre Fleury and Malcolm Subban on the sidelines.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It doesn’t appear as though Fleury or Subban will be rejoining the lineup soon. If Dansk is out for a lengthy period, GM George McPhee could be forced to shop for help between the pipes. 

Vegas center Vadim Shipachyov’s NHL tenure may be coming to an end. Sportsnet’s Eric Engels reports he could be returning to Russia once he clears unconditional waivers and has his contract terminated. The Golden Knights also recalled defenseman Shea Theodore, though he was made a healthy scratch against the Islanders.

The Arizona Coyotes 11-game losing skid is over. Alex Goligoski’s overtime goal gave the Coyotes their first victory of the season as they edged the Philadelphia Flyers 4-3.  The Coyotes blew a 3-0 as the Flyers stormed back to force the extra frame. Sean Couturier scored twice for the Flyers.

Tim Heed, Joe Pavelski and Joel Ward scored as the San Jose Sharks hung on for a 3-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs, spoiling the return of Patrick Marleau to San Jose for the first time since he signed with the Leafs in July. Sharks fans greeted Marleau warmly with a lengthy standing ovation. 

Charles Hudon and Artturi Lehkonen each scored twice as the Montreal Canadiens crushed the Ottawa Senators 8-3. After opening the season 1-6-1, the Habs have now won three of their last four games. Earlier in the day, the Habs learned young forward Nikita Scherbak underwent knee surgery and will be sidelined for six weeks. 

Steven Stamkos scored twice and set up another to lead the Tampa Bay Lightning to an 8-5 victory over the Florida Panthers. Aleksander Barkov had a four-point game and Jonathan Huberdeau netted three points for the Panthers. 

Vladimir Taranseko and Jaden Schwartz each had a goal and an assist as the St. Louis Blues doubled up the Los Angeles Kings 4-2. 

Artemi Panarin and Oliver Bjorkstrand scored in a shootout to give the Columbus Blue Jackets a 4-3 win over the Boston Bruins. Patrice Bergeron collected two points for the Bruins. 

Alexander Radulov’s overtime goal gave the Dallas Stars a 2-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks. 

THE DETROIT NEWS: Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser (ankle injury) will be sidelined an additional 10 to 21 days. 

TRIBLIVE.COM: Following goaltender Casey DeSmith’s poor showing in his first NHL game, the Pittsburgh Penguins returned him to their AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and called up Tristan Barry. 

TSN: After 12 NHL seasons, defenseman Mark Streit has retired. In 786 games, Streit tallied 96 goals and 338 assists for 434 points with the Montreal Canadiens, New York Islanders, Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins, winning a Stanley Cup with the latter. From 2011-12 to 2012-13, he was captain of the Islanders. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 16, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 16, 2017

Game recaps, Streit on unconditional waivers and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.com: It was a game of firsts for Malcolm Subban, Alex Tuch and Vadim Shipachyov as they led the Vegas Golden Knights to a 3-1 victory over the Boston Bruins. Subban, replacing sidelined starting goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, got his first NHL victory, made all the sweeter by getting it against his former team. Tuch and Shipachyov, meanwhile, scored their first NHL goals. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tuch’s goal was a solid individual effort by the young forward. He made a fine backchecking play at center to strip the puck from Sean Kuraly, zippped around defenseman Kevan Miller and beat Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask high to the glove side with a wrist shot.

Earlier in the day, the Knights placed Fleury (upper body) and forward Jonathan Marchessault (lower body) on injured reserve. Those moves opened spots for Subban and Tuch in the roster. 

Chad Johnson made 25 saves and Johan Larsson collected two points as the Buffalo Sabres picked up their first win of the season by downing the Anaheim Ducks 3-1. 

Drew Doughty and Anze Kopitar each tallied a goal and an assist to lead the Los Angeles Kings to a 3-2 victory over the New York Islanders. 

TSN: The Montreal Canadiens reportedly placed defenseman Mark Streit on unconditional waivers for the purpose of terminating his contract. 

OTTAWA SUN: With Senators captain Erik Karlsson due to return to the lineup soon, the club demoted defenseman Thomas Chabot to their AHL affiliate in Belleville. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 14, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 14, 2017

Game recaps, Jack Eichel sick of losing, Mark Streit clears waivers & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Nicklas Backstrom collected four points, T.J. Oshie scored twice and Alex Ovechkin netted his league-leading ninth goal as the Washington Capitals defeated the New Jersey Devils 5-2, handing the latter their first loss of the season. 

Henrik Zetterberg scored and set up three others to lead the Detroit Red Wings to a 6-3 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights, ending the latter’s three-game winning streak. The Golden Knights also unveiled their mascot, Chance the Gila Monster. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No offense, Golden Knights, but Chance looks more like The Fantastic Four’s Ben Grimm dipped in cheese sauce. As a fan of Mystery Science Theater 3000, I’ll never be able to look at Chance without thinking of this episode

Mikko Rantanen had two assists and Tyson Barrie scored the winner as the Colorado Avalanche beat the Anaheim Ducks 3-1. Avs forward Nathan MacKinnon left the game after being clipped in the eye by the stick of Derek Grant. They were also playing without rookie Tyson Jost, who’s day-to-day with a bone bruise.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: MacKinnon wasn’t seriously hurt and is expected to play in tonight’s game against the Dallas Stars. 

Craig Anderson turned in a 26-save shutout as the Ottawa Senators blanked the Calgary Flames 6-0. Kyle Turris collected three assists while Cody Ceci and Mark Stone each had a goal and and an assist. 

Sergei Bobrovsky made 37 saves and Artemi Panarin scored the game winner to give the Columbus Blue Jackets a 3-2 victory over the struggling New York Rangers. 

NBC SPORTS: Buffalo Sabres young star Jack Eichel isn’t happy with this club’s poor start. “We’ve got to just figure a way to be sick of losing. I know I’m sick of losing. There’s a lot of guys that are sick of losing. There’s a difference between playing hard and playing hard and smart. We’ve got to execute our game all the way through the lineup, myself included.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sabres and the Arizona Coyotes are the only teams still winless this season. Both clubs entered this season with heightened expectations for improvement after making significant changes. It’ll be interesting to see if Eichel’s comments provide motivation for his teammates. 

TWINCITIES.COM: Minnesota Wild forward Charlie Coyle is out six-to-eight weeks with a broken leg, Nino Niederreiter will miss the next three weeks with a high-ankle sprain and Marcus Foligno is expected to miss at least a week with a left facial fracture. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wild placed Coyle on long-term injury reserve, providing them with some much-needed cap relief. Still, that’s cold comfort for a club that now has five key forwards (Coyle, Niederreiter, Foligno, Zach Parise and Mikael Granlund) on the sidelines. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens defenseman Mark Streit cleared waivers on Friday. However, he won’t be reporting to their AHL affiliate in Laval. Instead, he’ll take the next several days to consider his options. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens tried trading Streit but evidently found no takers. At 39, his NHL playing days appear over. It’s speculated he could retire and return to Switzerland in order to join their Olympic club. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 13, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 13, 2017

Game recaps, injury updates, Mark Streit on waivers & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Slater Koekkoek scored the first two goals of his NHL career, Alex Killorn had four points and Steven Stamkos netted his first goal of the season to give the Tampa Bay Lightning a 5-4 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. 

Florida Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo made 37 saves backstopping his club to a 5-2 win over the St. Louis Blues, handing the latter their first loss of the season. Luongo picked up his 454th career win, tying Curtis Joseph for fourth on the NHL all-time wins list. 

Chris Stewart scored twice as the Minnesota Wild beat the Chicago Blackhawks 5-2. It was a costly win for the injury-riddled Wild, as forwards Marcus Foligno, Nino Niederreiter and Charlie Coyle left the game with injuries. No word yet regarding how long they could be out. The Wild entered with Zach Parise and Mikael Granlund on the sidelines. 

Timo Meier and Chris Tierney each collected two points powering the San Jose Sharks to their first win of the season as they edged the  Buffalo Sabres 3-2. The Sharks were missing defenseman Paul Martin, who was placed on injured reserve earlier in the day. 

Connor Hellebuyck made 30 saves backstopping the Winnipeg Jets to their second straight win of the season, doubling up the Vancouver Canucks 4-2. 

Rookie defenseman Samuel Girard tallied his first NHL goal and added an assist as the Nashville Predators downed the Dallas Stars 4-1. The Predators played without captain Roman Josi, who’s day-to-day with a lower-body injury

A shorthanded goal by Luke Glendening broke a 2-2 tie as the Detroit Red Wings defeated the Arizona Coyotes 4-2. The Coyotes remain winless this season. 

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl remains questionable for Saturday’s game against the Ottawa Senators after suffering an eye injury during their recent game against the Winnipeg Jets. Draisaitl missed his second straight practice. The injury isn’t considered serious but the Oilers don’t want him back on the ice until he’s completely healed.

CALGARY SUN: Eric Francis observes goaltender Mike Smith is masking the Flames shortcomings. Most notable is the high volume of shots they’re giving up, as Smith is facing an average of 40 shots per game this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given the Flames considerable blueline depth , it’s troubling they’re giving up such a high volume of shots. It’s the defensive system that’s the issue here. It must improve if they want to avoid burning out their goaltender this season. 

NBC SPORTS: The Montreal Canadiens yesterday placed defenseman Mark Streit on waivers. Multiple reports suggest he might not report to the Habs AHL affiliate in Laval. Instead, he might retire and return to Switzerland to play. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens were reportedly shopping Streit but obviously couldn’t find any takers. If he’s demoted and reports to Laval, the Canadiens won’t get any cap relief from his $700K salary. That’s because he’s on a plus-35 contract. 

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Kings forward Kyle Clifford is listed as week-to-week with an upper-body injury. 

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks placed forward Ondrej Kase on injured reserve after he suffered an apparent head injury in Monday’s game against the Calgary Flames. 

NJ.COM: New Jersey Devils forward Michael McLeod underwent surgery on his left knee and will be sidelined four-to-six weeks. 


NHL Rumor Mill – October 12, 2017

NHL Rumor Mill – October 12, 2017

Latest on the Canadiens plus updates on Kyle Turris and Griffin Reinhart in your NHL rumor mill.

FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Chris Nichols cites NHL insider Bob McKenzie’s appearance Wednesday on Montreal’s TSN 690 discussing the Canadiens’ salary-cap space. While they have room to pursue someone such as Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene ($6 million cap hit), he doesn’t think that’s a front-burner issue for the Habs or the Avs.

McKenzie doesn’t believe the Canadiens have the available assets to meet the Avalanche’s asking price for Duchene. He also points out that using up most of that cap room to address a short-term need could have long-term consequences when taking on a player who’s signed beyond this season. 

TSN: Darren Dreger thinks it could be time for a change for struggling Canadiens forward Alex Galchenyuk. He’s recently been demoted to the fourth line and is vulnerable defensively. Dreger doesn’t know what the market could be for Galchenyuk right now but feels like the Habs might have to do something to retrieve an asset in return.

SPORTSNET: Eric Engels reports the Canadiens are trying to trade defenseman Mark Streit, who signed with the Habs this summer (one year, $700K) but has been disappointing thus far, appearing in just two games. Streit could also be pushed further to the periphery with the imminent return of David Schlemko. To make room for Schlemko, they could demote Victor Mete but that’s unlikely because Mete is playing well. If they return him to the OHL’s London Knights, he cannot be recalled unless it’s an emergency.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Despite the Canadiens 1-3-0 start and their offensive struggles, I don’t see general manager Marc Bergevin pulling the trigger on a major move right now, in part because he’s unlikely to find a suitable deal this early in the season. He likely prefers to remain patient and use that cap room later on in the season if required to plug holes in his roster. If the Canadiens overcome their slow start and regain their playoff contending form, Bergevin will likely use that cap room near the Feb. 26 trade deadline for one or two rental players.

Galchenyuk, a former 30-goal scorer, was thought to be trade bait last June and was linked to Duchene in the rumor mill but the Habs opted to re-sign him. I doubt he’s enough to land Duchene, but perhaps he could be swapped for another scoring forward later in the season if an opportunity arises. Unless he changes his style to suit coach Claude Julien, this season could be Galchenyuk’s last in Montreal.

Moving a 39-year-old defenseman who’s well past his prime won’t be easy. Streit carries an affordable contract but I don’t see any takers for his services. I can see him getting demoted. 


EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples cites Sportsnet’s John Shannon suggesting Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Griffin Reinhart has no NHL trade value and would clear waivers if sent to the AHL. Shannon said Vegas GM George McPhee is still hoping to find a trade market for some of his excess players, which is why he hasn’t demoted them. They’re carrying nine blueliners and three of them – Reinhart, Brad Hunt and Jon Merrill – have yet to play. 


NHL UFA Update – July 15, 2017

NHL UFA Update – July 15, 2017

Andrei Markov is among the notable players still available in the NHL UFA market.

Reviewing Sportsnet’s latest breakdown of the NHL’s top-10 remaining unrestricted free agents. 

SPORTSNET: Luke Fox recently examined the NHL’s top-10 remaining UFAs. Topping the list is defenseman Andrei Markov, who is representing himself and sought a two-year, $12 million contract from the Montreal Canadiens, who countered with a one-year deal. A rumored report out of Montreal linking the 38-year-old to the Philadelphia Flyers were quickly refuted by Philly GM Ron Hextall. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers are going younger on the blueline so there’s no fit there for Markov. The Canadiens’ recent offer of a one-year deal to 39-year-old Mark Streit cast further doubt on the possibility of Markov returning to Montreal unless he’s willing to lower his asking price. 

Left wing Thomas Vanek remains in contact with the Detroit Red Wings, but they could lack sufficient salary-cap space to bring him back. They still must re-sign restricted free agents Tomas Tatar and Andreas Athanasiou. A reunion with the Buffalo Sabres isn’t likely.  Right wing Jaromir Jagr attracted some interest from NHL teams but no serious offers yet. If he’s unable to land with an NHL club, the ECHL’s Florida Everblades are keen to sign him. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wings will have around $6 million in cap space (once they place Johan Franzen on LTIR). Unless they free up more space, I doubt they’ll have enough room to re-sign Tatar and Athanasiou and still bring back Vanek. It could take a while for Vanek and Jagr to land with new NHL clubs. Wouldn’t be surprised if they aren’t signed until September. 

Nashville Predators center and captain Mike Fisher is taking time to decide if he’ll return or retire. The Predators would likely bring him back on a one-year contract at a reduced rate. Teams have contacted defenseman Cody Franson, who could be a good third-pairing rearguard. Fox wonders if the Chicago Blackhawks would try to bring back blueliner Brian Campbell if they can find the cap room. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think it’s either returning with the Preds or retirement for Fisher. I don’t see him signing elsewhere. Looks like another long summer searching for a contract for Franson. Two years ago, it took until September before he landed a contract. Could take that long again this year. I don’t see Campbell returning to the Hawks, who are pressed against the cap ceiling. 

The Boston Bruins and Minnesota Wild reportedly have some interest in winger Drew Stafford. The Montreal Canadiens pitched a one-year contract to blueliner Mark Streit. The Buffalo Sabres and winger Brian Gionta haven’t fully closed the door on his possible return, but the recent return of Jason Pominville makes that unlikely. Right wing Jarome Iginla is taking the summer to spend with his family and using the time to decide if he wants to return next season. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I expect Stafford will land with an NHL club at some point this summer. If the Habs can’t work out a deal with Markov, Streit is their obvious “Plan B”. The playing careers of Gionta and Iginla could be over.