NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 8, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 8, 2022

The Canadiens will place Carey Price on LTIR after announcing the signing of Kirby Dach, the Senators ink Tim Stutzle to an eight-year extension, Disney and Turner announce their 2022-23 NHL schedules and more in today’s Morning Coffee Headlines.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens will garner salary cap relief for the coming season by placing Carey Price on long-term injury reserve. The 35-year-old goaltender has four years remaining on his contract with an average annual value of $10.5 million.

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (NHL Images).

Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes said he’d have more news about Price after the netminder meets with team doctors prior to training camp later this month. He continues to be plagued by a nagging knee injury that shows no sign of improvement.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hughes signaled last month that he would likely place Price on LTIR. I wouldn’t be surprised if the long-time Canadiens starter has played his final NHL game.

The Canadiens can exceed the $82.5 million salary cap by 10 percent during the offseason but must be cap compliant when the season starts next month. Putting Price on LTIR now means they can exceed the cap by the equivalent of his $10.5 million AAV. Cap Friendly shows them at $10.24 million. It also allowed them to sign Kirby Dach to a new contract.

Hughes also indicated that forward Paul Byron might also start the season on LTIR as he returns from hip surgery. There are also questions over whether Sean Monahan (hip surgery) and Jonathan Drouin (wrist) will be ready to start the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Monahan and Drouin probably won’t be sidelined for much longer as they seem close to being cleared to play. It sounds like Byron could require more time.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: The Canadiens also announced they reached an agreement with Kirby Dach on a four-year, $13.5 million contract. The 21-year-old center was acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks in July and was the Habs’ final remaining free agent of the summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dach’s average annual value is just over $3.36 million. It’s a reasonable amount that could benefit the Canadiens’ cap payroll if he can play up to expectations.

The third-overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, Dach is looking forward to a fresh start in Montreal after struggling through injuries and inconsistent play during his brief tenure with the Blackhawks. He could start the season as their third-line center or shift to right wing depending on Monahan’s status.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators announced they’d signed Tim Stutzle to an eight-year, $66.8 million contract extension. Stutzle, 20, is in the final season of his entry-level contract. His annual cap hit starting in 2023-24 will be $8.35 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: We shouldn’t be shocked by this signing. Senators GM Pierre Dorion had already locked up young core players such as Brady Tkachuk, Josh Norris, Drake Batherson and Thomas Chabot so it’s fitting that he followed suit with Stutzle.

The third-overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft, Stutzle has the makings of a superstar. He followed up a promising rookie performance of 29 points in 53 games during the COVID-shortened 2020-21 season with a 22-goal, 58-point effort in 79 games in 2021-22.

Stutzle, Tkachuk, Norris, Chabot and Batherson are all 25-or-younger. Locking up that core on long-term deals should provide roster stability as Dorion continues to build around them. Those expensive contracts could become bargains over the long term if they play up to their potential.

NHL.COM: Disney and Turner Sports announced their 2022-23 NHL broadcast schedules. ESPN will open the season on Oct. 11 with a doubleheader featuring the New York Rangers hosting the Tampa Bay Lightning before the Vegas Golden Knights meet the Kings in Los Angeles. TNT will host the 2023 NHL Winter Classic on Jan. 2 in Boston at Fenway Park between the Bruins and the Pittsburgh Penguins.

ESPN.COM: The Arizona Coyotes expect to sell out every home game this season at Arizona State University’s Mullett Arena. They indicated their season-ticket sales have surpassed what they were making in their former arena in Glendale.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Coyotes had better sell out every home game at the 5,000-seat Mullett Arena. Failure to do so would be the latest embarrassment for a franchise that has had more than its share of them.

NHL.COM: The Edmonton Oilers announced the establishment of its Hall of Fame yesterday. It may include former players, coaches, trainers, staff, executives “or any other person whose role or service in the organization since its founding in 1972 is recognized as extraordinary.”

DAILY FACEOFF: Speaking of the Oilers, they signed former Vancouver Canucks forward Justin Bailey to a professional tryout offer.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 31, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 31, 2022

The Sabres re-sign Tage Thompson to a seven-year contract, the Penguins sign coach Mike Sullivan to a three-year contract extension, plus the latest on Nick Suzuki, Tim Stutzle and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

TSN: The Buffalo Sabres agreed to a seven-year, $50 million contract extension with Tage Thompson. The 24-year-old forward is in the final season of a three-year deal with an average annual value of $1.4 million.

Buffalo Sabres forward Tage Thompson (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s a big pay raise for Thompson as he’ll be earning an AAV of over $7.142 million. He enjoyed a breakout performance in 2021-22 with a team-leading 38 goals and 68 points in 78 games.

Thompson is now considered a key part of the rebuilding Sabres’ roster core. He’ll be under considerable pressure to earn that new contract but that shouldn’t be an issue if he can build upon last season’s production.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: The Penguins signed head coach Mike Sullivan to a three-year contract extension. The new deal begins in 2023-24 and runs through 2026-27.

Sullivan took over as the Penguins bench boss on Dec. 12, 2015, and guided them to the Stanley Cup in 2016 and in 2017. He recorded his 300th career NHL win on March 21, 2021, becoming the fourth American-born coach to reach that plateau.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sullivan and his Penguins have struggled to regain those lofty championship heights from earlier in his tenure behind their bench. While they’ve reached the playoffs in every season since 2017, they haven’t won a playoff round since 2018.

Much of that has to do with an aging roster of talent plus cap constraints forcing some players to be moved in cost-cutting deals. Nevertheless, Sullivan faces the challenge of trying to get the Penguins back on the championship track.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens center Nick Suzuki believes his club is going to surprise people after they finished last in the overall standings this season. He’s excited by the additions made by management during the offseason and is also looking forward to playing a full season under head coach Martin St. Louis.

We’ve got a pretty deep team and I think people are underestimating us,” said Suzuki. “I don’t think that’s a bad thing, either. I think we’re going to surprise people.”.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Suzuki’s not wrong when it comes to the Canadiens’ forward depth. Suzuki, Cole Caufield, Sean Monahan, Jonathan Drouin, Mike Hoffman, Josh Anderson, Christian Dvorak, Brendan Gallagher and Evgenii Dadonov provide the Habs with top-nine skills that could prove productive if they can remain healthy this season.

The Canadiens, however, will struggle without Carey Price in goal and lack skilled top-four depth on their blueline. They’re still a rebuilding team that won’t make the 2023 playoffs but they shouldn’t be the pushovers they were through the first half of last season. I think they’ll be the up-tempo, never-quit squad we saw after St. Louis took over behind the bench in February.

In other words, they shouldn’t have much trouble scoring goals this season but will have trouble keeping pucks out of their own next.

NHL.COM: Tim Stutzle believes the Ottawa Senators’ off-season additions should push the club into playoff contention this season.

Expectations are high,” said the 20-year-old Senators forward. He pointed to management adding forwards Alex DeBrincat and Claude Giroux last month as well as first-line center Josh Norris signing a long-term contract.

We want to show the fans that we’re a good team, a young team, and we can really be a lot better than we played the last two years,” he said. “We want to be in the playoffs, and I think that’s why we made the moves.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stutzle isn’t the only one thinking that way. Senators fans are excited by the offseason additions and the ongoing development of budding stars such as Stutzle and Norris. A number of pundits also point to the Senators’ moves and expect big improvement this season.

TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild signed free-agent forward Sam Steel to a one-year, one-way contract worth $825K.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Originally a first-round pick in 2016 with the Anaheim Ducks, the 24-year-old Steel struggled to meet expectations. A fresh start with the Wild could help him get his career on track.

GOPHNX.COM: The Arizona Coyotes named Lee Stempniak as their director of player development. Stempniak, 39, spent 14 seasons as an NHL player, including two seasons with the Coyotes. He was previously their Hockey Data Strategist.










What Next For The Ottawa Senators?

What Next For The Ottawa Senators?

 










NHL Betting: Calder Trophy Odds Update

NHL Betting: Calder Trophy Odds Update

 










Wild’s Kirill Kaprizov Emerges as Calder Trophy Front-Runner

Wild’s Kirill Kaprizov Emerges as Calder Trophy Front-Runner

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 3, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 3, 2021

Recaps of Tuesday’s games, Sidney Crosby on COVID-19 protocol list, the Canadiens fire their goalie coach, stars of the month and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: A 5-2 victory by the Pittsburgh Penguins over the Philadelphia Flyers was overshadowed by the news Penguins captain Sidney Crosby was placed on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list earlier in the day. Kaspari Kapanen scored twice and Tristan Jarry made 40 saves for the win. Joel Farabee tallied both goals for the Flyers (25 points), who are tied with the Penguins but hold fourth place in the MassMutual East Division with two games in hand.

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Crosby being placed on the list doesn’t necessarily mean he’s contracted the coronavirus. If he hasn’t returned to the lineup by the end of the week, however, it will be assumed he has it. A long absence by their captain could affect the Penguins’ efforts to clinch a playoff berth. Crosby is one of only three players on the league’s COVID protocol list.

The Montreal Canadiens got their first win under head coach Dominique Ducharme by downing the Ottawa Senators 3-1 to snap a five-game winless skid. Carey Price made 26 saves while teammates Brendan Gallagher and Jeff Petry each had a goal and an assist. Following the game, the Canadiens announced goaltending coach Stephane Waite was relieved of his duties. Sean Burke takes over as their new director of goaltending.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Waite’s sudden firing comes a week after they replaced Claude Julien with Ducharme. Some of the reactions on social media suggested management wouldn’t have made this move without clearing it first with Price. However, this move could also be a wake-up call from general manager Marc Bergevin to his struggling starting netminder.

Kyle Connor, Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele each collected three points as the Winnipeg Jets dumped the Vancouver Canucks 5-2. The Jets (29 points) moved in second place in the Scotia North Division, one point ahead of the Edmonton Oilers.

Andrei Vasilevskiy picked up his third straight shutout as the Tampa Bay Lightning blanked the Dallas Stars 2-0. Ondrej Palat and Yannie Gourde were the goal scorers. The Lightning have won five in a row while the Stars have just one victory in their last 10 games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill is not laying the blame for his club’s struggles at the feet of head coach Rick Bowness. “There is no hot seat,” Nill told The Athletic’s Saad Yousef. He praised Bowness’ efforts guiding the Stars to the Stanley Cup Final last year and his handling of what’s proven to be a difficult schedule this season.

The Carolina Hurricanes picked up their third straight win by doubling up the Nashville Predators 4-2. Sebastian Aho scored twice and rookie Steven Lorentz tallied his first NHL goal. Predators goalie Juuse Saros left the game early in the first period after being hit in the head. Before the game, the Predators placed defenseman Ryan Ellis and forward Luke Kunin on injured reserve and center Ryan Johansen on the COVID-19 protocol list. Ellis will be sidelined for four-to-six weeks with an upper-body injury.

Columbus Blue Jackets winger Cam Atkinson had a goal and an assist and teammate Zach Werenski collected two assists in a 4-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. It’s the Jackets’ first win in six games and came after general manager Jarmo Kekalainen gave a vote of confidence to head coach John Tortorella.

New York Islanders goaltender Semyon Varlamov made 28 saves as his club held off the New Jersey Devils 2-1. Oliver Wahlstrom and Anders Lee scored for the Islanders while Miles Wood replied for the Devils.

The New York Rangers edged the Buffalo Sabres 3-2, handing the latter their fourth straight loss. Pavel Buchnevich had a goal and an assist while teammate Filip Chytil returned to the lineup after missing 14 games with an upper-body injury.

IN OTHER NEWS…

Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrik Kane, Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews, Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak and San Jose Sharks captain Logan Couture are the NHL’s divisional stars for February 2021. Ottawa Senators forward Tim Stutzle was named the league’s rookie of the month for February.

TSN: Speaking of the Senators, the club confirmed center Derek Stepan will require season-ending shoulder surgery.

The NHL department of player safety suspended Edmonton Oilers winger Alex Chiasson one game for cross-checking Toronto Maple Leafs forward Jimmy Vesey at the end of Monday’s game between the two clubs.

AZCENTRAL.COM: Arizona Coyotes defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson is slated to appear in his 800th career NHL game tonight against the Los Angeles Kings