NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 23, 2024

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 23, 2024

The Panthers take Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final, the latest on the Stars and Oilers ahead of the Western Conference Final, the Devils and Kings hire new head coaches, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: The Florida Panthers blanked the New York Rangers 3-0 to take Game 1 of the 2024 NHL Eastern Conference Final. Sergei Bobrovsky turned in a 23-save shutout and Matthew Tkachuk opened the scoring with what proved to be the game-winning goal.

Tkachuk and Carter Verhaeghe each finished with a goal and an assist, with Verhaeghe’s goal the result of an accidental deflection by New York winger Alexis Lafreniere into his own net. Igor Shesterkin made 25 saves for the Rangers.

Florida Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky (NHL Images).

Game 2 is in New York on Friday, May 24 at 8 pm EDT.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Panthers’ strong defensive play made the difference in this contest. They kept the Rangers from registering shots on goal for long stretches, especially in the second period.

The Blueshirts didn’t look sharp in this game but we can expect a more determined effort from them on Friday. That could include boosting their physical play by inserting hulking forward Matt Rempe into the lineup.


EDMONTON JOURNAL: Adam Henrique could return to the Oilers lineup for Game 1 or 2 of the Western Conference Final against the Dallas Stars. Henrique missed all but one game of their second-round series with the Vancouver Canucks dealing with a suspected ankle injury. He’ll bring invaluable secondary scoring and depth to their special teams.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Stars goaltender Jake Oettinger left practice on Wednesday with an illness. However, head coach Pete DeBoer is confident Oettinger will be good to go for the first game of the Western Conference Final tonight in Dallas at 8:30 pm EDT. Sidelined Stars Roope Hintz (upper body) and Jani Hakanpaa (lower body) remain day-to-day.


NEW JERSEY HOCKEY NOW: Various reports indicate the Devils have hired Sheldon Keefe as their new head coach. It’s believed he’s signed a four-year contract.

Keefe was the head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs for five seasons until fired earlier this month. He guided them to a regular-season record of 212-97-40 but won only one playoff series.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: So much for the rumors of Keefe being hired by his old buddy, Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Kyle Dubas, to replace Mike Sullivan, enabling Sullivan to be hired by his old friend, Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald.

Keefe has a proven record of working well with a team carrying plenty of offensive talent. However, his efforts were hampered by the Leafs lack of reliable goaltending and blueline depth. He faces the same issues in New Jersey but Devils management will attempt to address those problems.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: The Kings removed the interim tag from Jim Hiller’s job title, making him their full-time head coach. He took over on Feb. 2 after Todd McLellan was hired with the Kings in danger of falling out of playoff contention. Hiller righted the ship as the club went 21-12-1 in 34 games, clinching a playoff berth but getting eliminated from the opening round in five games by the Edmonton Oilers.

CALGARY SUN: The Flames and assistant coach Marc Savard mutually agreed to part ways after one season. His responsibilities included running the power-play, which finished as the league’s seventh-worst.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hockey News’ David Alter cited rumors linking Savard to the Maple Leafs as a possible assistant coach to their new bench boss, Craig Berube.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: The Kings have granted the Sharks permission to speak with Marco Sturm as part of their search for a new head coach. Sturm coached the Kings AHL affiliate and began his NHL playing career with the Sharks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Eishockey News recently indicated Sturm was interested in the Sharks coaching job.

THE ATHLETIC: The Penguins are looking into having Jaromir Jagr return to the club in an official capacity. Jagr spent his first 11 NHL seasons with the Penguins, winning five Art Ross Trophies and helping them win two Stanley Cups.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 21, 2024

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 21, 2024

The Oilers defeat the Canucks to advance to the Western Conference Final, updates on the Eastern Conference finalists, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: The Edmonton Oilers advanced to the Western Conference Final by holding off the Vancouver Canucks 3-2 in Game 7 of their second-round series. Second-period goals by Cody Ceci, Zach Hyman and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins gave the Oilers a 3-0 lead. Conor Garland and Filip Hronek replied for the Canucks in the third. The Oilers will face the Dallas Stars with Game 1 in Dallas on Thursday, May 23 at 8:30 pm EDT.

Edmonton Oilers forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Vancouver made this game interesting in the final minutes of the third period but it wasn’t as close as the score implied. Edmonton outshot the Canucks 13-2 in the first period and 27-12 after the second. The Oilers would’ve run away with this one if not for the heroics of Canucks goaltender Arturs Silovs.


THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Stars and Oilers will face off for the first time since 2003. They met six times between 1997 and 2003 with the Stars winning five of those series. They also went 2-0-1 in their three meetings this season. Oilers captain Connor McDavid is the best player in the world but the Stars have the goaltending edge thanks to Jake Oettinger.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As a Canadian, I’d like to see Edmonton defeat Dallas and go on to end my country’s long playoff drought. However, the Stars are the better-balanced team and expect they’ll take this series in six games.

TVA SPORTS: The Oilers eliminating the Canucks also affected the order of the 2024 NHL Draft. The Montreal Canadiens hold the Winnipeg Jets’ first-rounder that is now 26th overall. The 29th and 30th overall picks will belong to the losing clubs in the Conference Finals, with the 32nd overall pick belonging to the Stanley Cup champion.

NEW YORK POST: Rangers center Filip Chytil is making strides as he hopes to rejoin the lineup for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Florida Panthers. Chytil returned to action in Game 3 of the Rangers’ second-round series with the Carolina Hurricanes after being sidelined since November by a suspected concussion. However, an unspecified illness and “soreness” have since kept him out of the lineup.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: The Florida Panthers are working on their special teams play as they prepare for the Eastern Conference Final. All their players were on the ice for Monday’s practice, indicating they’re fully healthy for their upcoming series with the Rangers. Game 1 is in New York on Wednesday, May 22 at 8 pm EDT.


CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: The Blackhawks expect their attendance will remain high for 2024-25 after a big increase this season. They ranked fourth overall in attendance, averaging 18, 836 fans with a season-ticket renewal of 96 percent. The popularity of rookie star Connor Bedard and the club’s marketing strategies are responsible for the improvement despite their losing season.

SPORT-EXPRESS: Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Nikita Zaitsev is expected to sign a multi-year contract with KHL team SKA St. Petersburg. The 32-year-old Zaitsev spent the past eight seasons in the NHL with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Ottawa Senators and the Blackhawks, tallying 118 points in 482 games.

EISHOCKEY NEWS: Michael Bauer reports Marco Sturm confirmed his interest in coaching the San Jose Sharks. He is currently the head coach of the AHL’s Ontario Reign. Sturm said his agent will reach out to the Sharks to determine if there’s mutual interest. Due to league rules, no interviews have yet taken place.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sturm indicated his goal and dream is becoming an NHL head coach. He has a deep connection to San Jose, beginning his NHL playing career there. He spent nearly eight seasons with the Sharks before being shipped to Boston in November 2005 in the Joe Thornton trade.

Notable NHL Free Agent Signings and Trades – July 13, 2022

Notable NHL Free Agent Signings and Trades – July 13, 2022

The following is a list of notable NHL free-agent signings and trades during the opening day of free agency. This list will be updated throughout the day as details become available. I’ll also be doing live grades of today’s biggest signings on Bleacher Report.

Columbus Blue Jackets sign Johnny Gaudreau to a seven-year, $66.5 million contract.

Seattle Kraken sign defenseman Justin Schultz to a two-year, $6 million contract.

Vegas Golden Knights trade winger Max Pacioretty and defenseman Dylan Coghlan to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for future considerations.

Ottawa Senators trade winger Connor Brown to the Washington Capitals in exchange for a second-round pick in 2024.

San Jose Sharks sign center Nico Sturm to a three-year, $6 million contract.

Detroit Red Wings sign David Perron to a two-year, $9.5 million contract.

Detroit Red Wings sign Dominik Kubalik to a two-year, $5 million contract.

Seattle Kraken sign Andre Burakovsky to a five-year, $27.5 million contract.

Detroit Red Wings sign Ben Chiarot to a four-year, $19 million contract.

Pittsburgh Penguins sign Jan Rutta to a three-year, $8.25 million contract.

Florida Panthers sign Eric and Marc Staal to identical one-year, $750K contracts.

Colorado Avalanche sign winger Artturi Lehkonen to a five-year, $22.5 million contract.

Dallas Stars sign winger Mason Marchment to a four-year, $18 million contract.

Tampa Bay Lightning sign Ian Cole to a one-year, $3 million contract.

Washington Capitals sign Charlie Lindgren to a three-year, $3.3 million contract.

Columbus Blue Jackets sign Erik Gudbranson to a four-year, $16 million contract.

Tampa Bay Lightning sign Mikhail Sergachev to an eight-year, $68 million contract extension effective 2023-24.

The Lightning signed center Anthony Cirelli to an eight-year, $50 million contract extension effective 2023-24.

The Lightning signed defenseman Erik Cernak to an eight-year, $41.6 million contract extension effective 2023-24.

Washington Capitals sign goaltender Darcy Kuemper to a five-year, $26.26 million contract.

San Jose Sharks trade defenseman Brent Burns and center Lane Pederson to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for winger Steven Lorentz, goaltender Eetu Makiniemi and a conditional 2023 third-round pick. The Sharks also retain 33 percent of Burns’ $8 million annual average value through 2024-25.

New York Rangers sign center Vincent Trocheck to a seven-year, $39.38 million contract.

Detroit Red Wings sign forward Andrew Copp to a five-year, $28.13 million contract.

Vancouver Canucks sign winger Ilya Mikheyev to a four-year, $19 million contract.

Chicago Blackhawks sign forwards Max Domi and Andreas Athanasiou to one-year contracts worth $3 million apiece.

St. Louis Blues re-sign defenseman Nick Leddy to a four-year, $16 million contract.

Ottawa Senators sign forward Claude Giroux to a three-year contract with an annual cap hit of $6.5 million.

Edmonton Oilers signed goaltender Jack Campbell to a five-year contract with an annual salary-cap hit of $5 million (as per TSN’s Darren Dreger).

Buffalo Sabres re-sign restricted free agent winger Victor Olofsson to a two-year contract with an annual average value of $4.75 million.

Toronto Maple Leafs sign goaltender Ilya Samsonov to a one-year, $1.8 million deal (as per Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli).

New Jersey Devils trade winger Pavel Zacha to the Boston Bruins in exchange for Erik Haula (as per TSN’s Darren Dreger and Daily Faceoff).

Colorado Avalanche signed defenseman Josh Manson to a four-year contract with an annual average value of $4.5 million (as per TSN’s Pierre LeBrun).

St. Louis Blues sign forward Robert Thomas to an eight-year, $64 million contract extension (as per Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli).

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 16, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 16, 2022

Alex Ovechkin takes over third place on the all-time goal list, Connor McDavid, Chris Kreider, Roman Josi and Mitch Marner also reach scoring milestones, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin tallied his 767th career NHL goal as his club downed the New York Islanders 4-3 on a shootout goal by Anthony Mantha. Evgeny Kuznetsov collected two assists for the Capitals while Brock Nelson had a goal and an assist for the Islanders. With 76 points, the Capitals hold the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ovechkin surpassed Jaromir Jagr to move into sole possession of third place on the all-time goal-scoring list, becoming the top European goal scorer in NHL history. He now sits 34 goals behind Gordie Howe for second place.

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid had two points and Evander Kane tallied twice to give the Edmonton Oilers a 7-5 win over the Detroit Red Wings. Warren Foegele snapped a 5-5 tie while Leon Draisaitl, Duncan Keith and Kailer Yamamoto also collected two points for the Oilers, who sit in third place in the Pacific Division with 70 points. Marc Staal scored two goals for the Red Wings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was McDavid’s 200th career multi-point game. It’s the most among all players since his debut in 2015-16.

New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider became the sixth active skater to score at least 20 power-play goals in a season as his club nipped the Anaheim Ducks 4-3. Adam Fox had three points (including the winning goal in overtime) and Artemi Panarin collected three assists. The Rangers are tied with the Pittsburgh Penguins with 81 points but hold second place in the Metropolitan Division with a game in hand. The Ducks (65 points) have dropped five straight and sit three points out of the final Western Conference wild-card berth.

Speaking of the Penguins, they dropped a 4-1 decision to the Nashville Predators. Roman Josi collected three assists, becoming the third place in franchise history to record 50 assists in a season. Josi also leads all defensemen in scoring this season with 69 points while his club moved into third place in the Central Division with 74 points. Penguins captain Sidney Crosby picked up an assist to extend his points streak to 10 games.

Toronto Maple Leafs rookie goaltender Erik Kallgren turned in a 35-save shutout in his first NHL start to blank the Dallas Stars 4-0. Mitch Marner collected two assists to surpass the 40-assist mark for the sixth straight season. With 81 points, the Leafs are one back of the second-place Tampa Bay Lightning in the Atlantic Division. The loss puts the Stars one point behind the Vegas Golden Knights (68 points) for the final Western wild-card berth.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was the first of two games the Leafs will play without Auston Matthews as he serves his suspension for cross-checking Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin during Sunday’s Heritage Classic.

The Golden Knights, meanwhile, suffered their fifth straight defeat as they fell 7-3 to the Winnipeg Jets, who’ve won four of their last five games. Kyle Connor led the way for the Jets with a goal and two assists while Connor Hellebuyck made 35 saves for the win. They now sit just two points behind the Golden Knights. Jets forward Andrew Copp missed this game with an upper-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Six weeks ago, the Golden Knights sat atop the Pacific Division with 57 points. The combination of injuries to team captain Mark Stone and starting goalie Robin Lehner has contributed to their decline since then. They’re in danger of dropping out of the playoff race.

Vancouver Canucks captain Bo Horvat scored twice and added an assist to lead his club over the New Jersey Devils 6-3, snapping a 12-game losing skid against New Jersey. Canucks center J.T. Miller extended his points streak to 13 games with three assists as his club sits one point behind the Golden Knights. Devils forward Pavel Zacha is doubtful for his club’s game tonight against the Calgary Flames after suffering an upper-body injury in this contest.

The league-leading Colorado Avalanche became the first team to reach 90 points this season (91) by beating the Los Angeles Kings 3-0. Darcy Kuemper made 23 saves for his second straight shutout while Mikko Rantanen and Valeri Nichushkin each had a goal and an assist. Josh Manson logged over 18 minutes in his first game with the Avs since they acquired him from the Ducks on Monday.

Florida Panthers forward Frank Vatrano scored the game-tying and overtime goals to lift his club to a 3-2 win over the San Jose Sharks. It was Panthers center Joe Thornton’s first game back in San Jose against his former club since his departure in 2020. The Panthers (88 points) move one point ahead of the Carolina Hurricanes into first place in the Eastern Conference.

The Boston Bruins (79 points) remain three points ahead of the Capitals for the first Eastern Conference wild-card berth by downing the Chicago Blackhawks 2-1 on an overtime goal by Matt Grzelcyk. Blackhawks goalie Marc-Andre Fleury made 46 saves in a losing cause.

A 36-save effort by Karel Vejmelka gave the Arizona Coyotes a 6-3 win over the Montreal Canadiens for their sixth victory in their last seven contests. Clayton Keller and Lawson Crouse each had a goal and an assist. Cole Caufield tallied twice in eight seconds for the Canadiens.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens held trade candidate Ben Chiarot out of this game while Josh Anderson missed this matchup with a lower-body injury. The Habs also indicated Ryan Poehling was placed on injured reserve with an upper-body injury.


THE DENVER POST/TWINCITIES.COM: The Colorado Avalanche made their second trade in as many days, shipping forward Tyson Jost to the Minnesota Wild for forward Nico Sturm.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This move adds more size to the Avalanche roster while also swapping Jost’s $2 million salary-cap hit through 2022-23 for the pending free agent Sturm’s more affordable $725K. Avs general manager Joe Sakic could be setting the table for a bigger move before the March 21 trade deadline.

As for the Wild, this deal is being seen as GM Bill Guerin’s attempt to inject some life into a roster that’s struggled over the past month. He believes Jost will have a better chance to showcase his skills with the Wild.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars goaltender Anton Khudobin underwent season-ending hip surgery on Monday. He’s expected to make a full recovery but will be sidelined for six months.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That should put an end to the Braden Holtby trade rumors. The Stars won’t shop their backup while they’re jockeying for a playoff spot. He’s currently sidelined by a lower-body injury though he skated with his teammates during practice yesterday.

NEW YORK POST: Former NHL defenseman Jean Potvin passed away last night at age 72. An 11-year NHL veteran, he spent two tenures totaling seven seasons with the New York Islanders, winning two Stanley Cups with brother Denis Potvin. He also served stints with the Los Angeles Kings, Philadelphia Flyers, Cleveland Barons and Minnesota North Stars. Potvin netted 287 points in 613 total games between 1970-71 and 1980-81.

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