NHL Rumor Mill – June 21, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – June 21, 2022

Could Devils winger Jesper Bratt become an offer-sheet target? Could the Canucks sign P.K. Subban? What’s the latest on James van Riemsdyk and Ethan Bear? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.

UPDATES ON BRATT AND SUBBAN

NHL WATCHER: recently cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek discussing the contract negotiations between the New Jersey Devils and restricted free agent winger Jesper Bratt. His talks on his last contract were “really tough” and both sides are gearing up for another difficult round of negotiations.

New Jersey Devils winger Jesper Bratt (NHL Images).

Marek raised the possibility of Bratt being targeted by a rival club with an offer sheet. Friedman doubted that will happen, pointing to the Devils carrying $25 million in cap space.

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  NJ.com’s Ryan Novozinsky has reported both sides are engaged in ongoing contract talks. Bratt has arbitration rights this summer giving him the leverage he didn’t have in his previous negotiations.

The Devils could listen to trade offers for Bratt if those talks stall or appear headed to arbitration to resolve. I don’t doubt recent reports claiming there are several teams interested in the 23-year-old winger following his career-high 73 points this season. Nevertheless, I think both sides want to get a deal done here.

Friedman’s right when he said an offer sheet wouldn’t make any sense here. The Devils can easily match, making it a pointless exercise. Since the salary-cap era began in 2005, only 10 players have signed offer sheets. Of those, only two (Dustin Penner and Jesperi Kotkaniemi) were successfully signed away.

VANCOUVER HOCKEY NOW: Rob Simpson addressed the notion raised by some Canucks fans of New Jersey Devils defenseman P.K. Subban signing with the club as an unrestricted free agent next month.

Simpson noted Subban is a skilled right-handed shot who could be motivated with a new club and could be had at an extreme discount. However, he doubted the Canucks will be interested, pointing out the decline in the 33-year-old’s performance. His acquisition would also go against management’s intention of building up a youthful core of talent.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see how free agency unfolds for Subban. He’s not expected to be re-signed by the Devils and could find his market options limited because of his declining skills. I think a team in need of some experienced blueline depth will sign him to an affordable one-year contract.

WILL THE FLYERS MOVE VAN RIEMSDYK?

NHL WATCHER: recently cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek discussing potential moves by the Philadelphia Flyers. Friedman believes they could shop winger James van Riemsdyk to free up salary-cap space.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: van Riemsdyk has a year left on his contract with an annual average value of $7 million but an actual salary of $5 million. The 6’3”, 217-pound winger also lacks no-trade protection, giving the Flyers a wide range of potential trade partners.

Now 33, van Riemsdyk is in decline. Nevertheless, he still managed to score 24 goals on the offensively anemic Flyers, marking the seventh time in his 13 NHL seasons he’s reached or exceeded the 20-goal plateau.

A playoff contender could be interested in a big veteran scorer such as van Riemsdyk. However, that contract could be difficult to move given his age and cap hit. The Flyers might have to retain salary, include a sweetener like a draft pick or prospect, or take back a comparable contract.

HURRICANES GIVE BEAR PERMISSION TO SPEAK TO OTHER CLUBS

SPORTSNET’s Elliotte Friedman tweeted on Monday that the Carolina Hurricanes have given Ethan Bear permission to speak to other clubs. They still wish to sign the restricted free agent defenseman but they’re not close to an agreement. Friedman also noted nothing can take place before July 13 with the Hurricanes’ permission.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bear struggled this season with the Hurricanes and seemed to fall out of favor with head coach Rod Brind’Amour. He was a healthy scratch during the Canes’ playoff run. The 24-year-old is completing a two-year, $4 million contract and has arbitration rights.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 8, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 8, 2022

The Lightning tie the Eastern Conference Finals at two games apiece, P.K. Subban wins the King Clancy Trophy, new contracts for the Blue Jackets’ Jack Roslovic and the Stars’ Denis Gurianov, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Eastern Conference Finals is now a best-of-three as the Tampa Bay Lightning downed the New York Rangers 4-1 to even the series at two games apiece. Ondrej Palat had a goal and two assists, Andrei Vasilevskiy made 34 saves and Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos and Pat Maroon also scored for the Lightning. Artemi Panarin replied for the Rangers. The series returns to New York for Game 5 on Thursday.

Tampa Bay Lightning winger Ondrej Palat (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was a dominating performance by the Lightning, who have recovered their footing after dropping the first two games of this series. Their puck possession and defensive game have improved plus they’re doing a better job staying out of the penalty box.

The Rangers entered this game down one center with Ryan Strome still day-to-day with a lower-body injury. This lost another when Filip Chytil left the game in the second period with an upper-body injury following a hard hit from Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman. Rangers coach Gerard Gallant expects Chytil will be fine but is still awaiting further word on his condition.

New Jersey Devils defenseman P.K. Subban is this year’s winner of the King Clancy Trophy for his commitment to racial and social justice, underserved youth and COVID-19 relief. Subban is the first player in Devils history to win this award.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to Subban for his well-deserved and long-overdue recognition of his off-ice contributions to his community. He was also active in charity work during his time with the Montreal Canadiens and Nashville Predators.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: The Blue Jackets signed Jack Roslovic to a two-year, $8 million contract. The 25-year-old center was slated to become a restricted free agent with arbitration rights on July 13.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The annual average value of Roslovic’s contract is $4 million, leaving the Blue Jackets with $22.8 million in cap space with 17 players under contract for 2022-23. He got off to a slow start to this season but steadily improved to finish with a career-best 22 goals and 45 points. Roslovic will eligible for unrestricted free agent status following this deal.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Stars inked Denis Gurianov to a one-year, $2.9 million contract. The 25-year-old winger will be a restricted free agent with arbitration rights next summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Stars have $14.6 million in cap space with 17 players under contract next season.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: Andrew Cogliano could miss the 2022 Stanley Cup Final. Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar said the veteran forward is “out for now” with an injury similar to Nazem Kadri, who suffered a broken thumb in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals. Bednar said the club isn’t really sure on the timeline of return for both players.

THE SEATTLE TIMES: Kraken goaltender Chris Driedger underwent successful surgery on Monday to repair a torn MCL suffered while playing for Canada in the 2022 IIHF World Championships. His estimated timeline of recovery is seven-to-nine months.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens hired Marie-Phillip Poulin as a player development consultant. It will be a part-time position over the next four years for the three-time Women’s Olympic gold medalist as she continues her playing career with the goal of pursuing her fourth Olympic gold at the 2026 Turin Games.










NHL Rumor Mill – April 22, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – April 22, 2022

Updates on Kris Letang and Patrice Bergeron plus four free agents who could use a strong finish to this season in today’s NHL rumor mill.

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports there’s been ongoing talk between the Pittsburgh Penguins and defenseman Kris Letang. While Letang wants to focus on the season, there’s been more of a connection between his camp and the Penguins, though the progress has been slow.

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Letang, 34, is completing an eight-year contract worth $7.25 million per season. Earlier this year, there was talk he would seek a raise based on his strong performance this season. With 64 points in 74 games, he’s just three away from tying his personal best set in 2015-16.

The Penguins must also attempt to sign fellow UFAs Evgeni Malkin and Bryan Rust. Malkin, 35, has indicated he’s willing to accept a pay cut. The 29-year-old Rust is finishing a four-year, $14 million contract and will justifiably seek a raise on a long-term deal.

Letang has said he’d like to retire as a Penguin. Unless he’s willing to accept a pay cut or perhaps a modest raise on a short-term deal, he could price himself out of Pittsburgh. The Athletic’s Josh Yohe guesses Malkin stays, Letang signs with the Montreal Canadiens and Rust cashes in with his hometown Detroit Red Wings. We’ll find out by July 13 if those scenarios come to pass.

There’s been less discussion between the Boston Bruins and Patrice Bergeron but that’s by design. There’s a willingness to be patient between the two sides.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bergeron and the Bruins agreed to shelve contract talks until the end of this season. I expect he wants to finish his career in Boston and the Bruins want to keep him. Their contract negotiations will start in earnest following the playoffs.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Mike Stephens believes pending free agents such as the Chicago Blackhawks’ Dylan Strome, the Vancouver Canucks’ Brock Boeser, New Jersey Devils’ P.K. Subban and Dallas Stars Alexander Radulov could benefit from a strong finish to this season.

Strome overcame a struggling start to this season to score a career-best 21 goals this season. He’s a restricted free agent and the Blackhawks could be reluctant to pay $3.6 million to qualify his rights for another year.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Athletic’s Mark Lazerus believes Strome faces a murky future in Chicago. However, he believes the 25-year-old forward’s solid play over the past four months could earn him a new contract with another NHL team if the Blackhawks let him walk.

The 25-year-old Boeser is also a restricted free agent. The Canucks could be unwilling to pay $7.5 million to qualify his rights given how injuries have hampered his production.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Boeser was the frequent topic of trade speculation this season. Unless he’s willing to accept a pay cut to stick with the Canucks next season, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s shopped this summer regardless of his performance over his remaining games. If anything, a strong finish would burnish his value in this summer’s trade market.

Stephens acknowledges that Subban and Radulov are now past their prime. Nevertheless, he suggests the pending UFAs could have value playing sheltered minutes on bargain contracts with contenders.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The 32-year-old old Subban is no longer the flashy mobile defenseman that garnered him the Norris Trophy in 2013 and made him a finalist for the award in 2017. However, he could have value as Stephens suggests in a third-pairing role.

Age and injuries have caught up with the 35-year-old Radulov. I don’t dismiss the possibility he could sign with another NHL club on a cheap one-year deal. Still, I think that he’s at the point in his career where he might need a training-camp tryout next fall to earn a new contract.










NHL Rumor Mill – March 9, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – March 9, 2022

Check out the latest on Shea Weber, Jakob Chychrun, Tomas Hertl, Claude Giroux, Semyon Varlamov and P.K. Subban plus updates on the Ducks and more in today’s NHL rumor mill.

LATEST ON WEBER, CHYCHRUN, HERTL AND HAGEL

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports several capologists responded to his recent musting about whether it would make sense for the Minnesota Wild to acquire Shea Weber’s contract from the Montreal Canadiens. The capologists don’t believe the Wild would do it as it would prevent them from accruing cap space, robbing them of flexibility. They also pointed out that a team cannot acquire a player on long-term injury reserve without activating him first, something few teams (like the Wild) can afford to do.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, Weber’s LTIR contract would only be suitable for low-spending teams looking for a creative way to reach the salary-cap floor, not for those bumping against the cap ceiling seeking a way to exceed it.

TSN: Darren Dreger reports eight teams are “seriously” pursuing Jakob Chychrun. Based on the Arizona Coyotes’ high asking price for the 23-year-old defenseman, it could come down to the March 21 trade deadline. The primary suitors include the Florida Panthers, Los Angeles Kings, Boston Bruins, St. Louis Blues, Carolina Hurricanes and Anaheim Ducks.

Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Coyotes’ asking price is reportedly a first-round draft pick, a top prospect and a good young NHL player. Bear in mind some of these clubs (Blues, Hurricanes, Panthers) have limited salary-cap space so they’ll have to send some salary back to the Coyotes or make a separate cost-cutting deal to make the dollars work.

Chychrun is also signed through 2024-25 so there’s no rush on the Coyotes’ part to move him at the trade deadline. They can wait until the offseason if they don’t get any suitable offers over the next couple of weeks.

Pierre LeBrun reports teams have been calling the San Jose Sharks about Tomas Hertl but they’re still trying to sign the 28-year-old pending unrestricted free agent. However, he speculates they could attempt to move him if there’s no progress in contract talks seven days from now. Teams have also called about penalty-killing defenseman Jake Middleton.

Dreger also reports there’s lots of interest in Chicago Blackhawks winger Brandon Hagel given his play and affordable contract. However, there’s no guarantee he’ll be moved as he could have a place in the Blackhawks rebuild. Dreger said the asking price could be a first-round pick and something else.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Athletic’s Mark Lazerus and Scott Powers put the likelihood of Hagel getting moved at the trade deadline at one percent.

LATEST ON THE DUCKS

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports Anaheim Ducks general manager Pat Verbeek is willing to test the trade market on pending unrestricted free agents such as Hampus Lindholm, Josh Manson, Rickard Rakell and Nic Deslauriers. It doesn’t mean they’ll automatically be traded as there’s a little more wiggle room with Lindholm. Winger Max Comtois could also be available after struggling through this season.

DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli moved Lindholm to No. 2 on his trade targets list. The Florida Panthers are believed among several teams said to be interested in the 28-year-old Ducks defenseman.

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports the Ducks have opened contract talks with Lindholm but not yet with Manson. Some believe management wants to see how negotiations go with Lindholm and if they fall through they could try to sign Manson before the trade deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Much could also depend on where the Ducks are in the standings. They’re currently four points out of a wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

Verbeek could be more inclined to become a seller if they don’t gain ground before the trade deadline. Nevertheless, he’s indicated he doesn’t want to lose those guys to free agency for nothing, so he could move them regardless of where his club sits in the playoff race.

RUMOR TIDBITS FROM FRIEDMAN’S LATEST “32 THOUGHTS” COLUMN

SPORTSNET: Rumors suggesting sidelined Colorado Avalanche defenseman Bowen Byram wanted a fresh start elsewhere have been denied.

There’s increased interest in New York Islanders goaltender Semyon Varlamov, who has a year remaining on his contract with a $5 million cap hit and a no-trade clause that covers half the league. Friedman doesn’t see the Edmonton Oilers as a destination.

Don’t count out the St. Louis Blues as a suitor for the Philadelphia Flyers Claude Giroux, who’s been linked to the Colorado Avalanche and Florida Panthers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blues are bumping against the $81.5 million salary-cap ceiling. They’ll have to get creative to take on the remainder of Giroux’s $8.275 million cap hit.

No evidence the Winnipeg Jets have pivoted and tried to re-sign Andrew Copp. The Boston Bruins and the Avalanche are believed among the interested parties.

It will be tough for the New Jersey Devils to move P.K. Subban’s $9 million cap hit. However, his actual cash to him is $2 million. With most of that already paid out, Friedman wondered if it would make sense for the Devils to terminate his contract and let him sign elsewhere for similar money. He said he hasn’t run that idea by the league yet.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It would be interesting to learn the league’s response. I daresay it would be considered salary cap circumvention rather than Subban violating the terms of his deal, which is the reason behind the San Jose Sharks terminating Evander Kane’s contract earlier this season.










NHL Rumor Mill – March 8, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – March 8, 2022

The Devils could shop P.K. Subban at the trade deadline, updates on Shea Weber, Tomas Hertl and Jake DeBrusk plus the latest on the Islanders, Capitals and Jets in today’s NHL rumor mill.

DEVILS COULD SHOP SUBBAN

THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun reports New Jersey Devils general manager Tom Fitzgerald said he’s informed P.K. Subban the club doesn’t intend to sign him to a contract extension. The 32-year-old defenseman is slated to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. Fitzgerald also told Subban he could move him before the March 21 trade deadline if he receives an offer that makes sense for the Devils.

New Jersey Devils defenseman P.K. Subban (NHL Images)

Fitzgerald also stressed the value of Damon Severson to the Devils. He said he hasn’t spoken to anyone about the 27-year-old defenseman, who has a year remaining on his contract. However, he stressed it would take “a really good package” that helps the Devils now and in the future to pry away Severson. He also didn’t rule out making a splash in this summer’s free-agent market.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Adam Proteau suggests Fitzgerald could retain some of the remainder of Subban’s $9 million salary-cap hit to facilitate a trade but that would require a team offering up top assets such as prospects or draft picks.

Subban isn’t the all-star defenseman he once was. Proteau suggested the Dallas Stars or Los Angeles Kings as offseason destinations for the veteran rearguard, though the decline in his performance in recent years will affect his value.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Subban has barely come up at all in trade chatter this season. That could change as we get closer to the trade deadline and if injuries strike the blueline of a playoff contender.

Subban’s actual salary for this season is $8 million, of which $6 million was paid by the Devils at the start of the season as a signing bonus. Nevertheless, the Devils will have to retain a big chunk of his remaining cap hit to improve his trade value.

LATEST ON WEBER, HERTL AND DEBRUSK

THE ATHLETIC: Marc Antoine Godin believes the Arizona Coyotes would be a good trade partner for the Montreal Canadiens to shed the contract of Shea Weber. The 36-year-old defenseman’s career could be finished due to injuries, leaving him on long-term injury reserve.

The Coyotes have only 10 players under contract next season at a total cap hit of $37.17 million. They’ll need to add over $23 million to their payroll but could prefer remaining a budget team next season. Godin believes the Canadiens would have to add a valuable asset to convince the Coyotes to go for it.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens have 12 picks in this year’s draft, with two in the first round, three in the second, two in the fourth and two in the seventh round. They’ll likely add more should they ship out some players as expected by the trade deadline. The Habs could package a couple of decent picks with Weber to tempt the Coyotes.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Sheng Peng cites reports indicating the Sharks are trying hard to sign Tomas Hertl to a contract extension. The 28-year-old pending UFA center hasn’t been placed on the trade block yet, but that could change if there’s no progress toward a deal as deadline day draws near.

THE ATHLETIC: Lisa Dillman recently examined the pros and cons of the Los Angeles Kings potentially trading for Boston Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk. While she believes DeBrusk to the Kings would make sense on some levels, they’re not facing any genuine urgency to make a splash at this year’s trade deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kings are currently in the thick of the Western Conference playoff race. They could make an addition by the deadline but GM Rob Blake could stick with his current roster for the rest of the season. He might prefer retaining assets for this summer’s trade market when better long-term options could be available.

UPDATES ON THE ISLANDERS, CAPITALS AND JETS

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks recently reported pending New York Islanders UFAs such as Cal Clutterbuck, Zach Parise, Andy Greene and Zdeno Chara could be gone by the trade deadline. However, the Isles still have seven players 30-or-older under contract beyond this season.

Semyon Varlamov is signed through next season, Josh Bailey and Matt Martin each have two seasons left while Brock Nelson and Kyle Palmieri have three years left, Anders Lee has four years to go and Casey Cizikas has five years.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Isles GM Lou Lamoriello does make some cost-cutting moves by the trade deadline they’ll likely involve those aging UFAs. Some of the others could be peddled in the offseason if he feels the club needs to add more youth into the lineup.

THE ATHLETIC: Tarik El-Bashir reports Washington Capitals GM Brian MacLellan remains interested in adding a rental goaltender provided he’s a significant upgrade over the current tandem of Vitek Vanecek and Ilya Samsonov. The top option is the Chicago Blackhawks’ Marc-Andre Fleury but other clubs are also interested in him plus he has a 10-team no-trade list.

MacLellan could also pursue an affordable upgrade for his middle-six forwards such as Seattle’s Calle Jarnkrok or Marcus Johansson. He hasn’t ruled out making an aggressive pitch for someone like Philadelphia’s Claude Giroux or San Jose’s Tomas Hertl, but that won’t be easy given their limited cap space. MacLellan has no intention of parting with a top prospect like Connor McMichael or Hendrix Lapierre and prefers to retain his high draft picks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: MacLellan won’t have much luck landing Fleury, Giroux or Hertl if he won’t part with a top prospect or a first as part of the return.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Jeff Hamilton reports the Jets could become sellers if they keep losing ground in the Western Conference playoff race. Most of the Jets trade rumors of late are about pending UFAs such as Andrew Copp and Paul Stastny.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: NHL Watcher cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman discussing Copp during his 32 Thoughts podcast on Monday. He believes the Jets forward will be coveted if he hits the trade block, suggesting the Colorado Avalanche as a possible destination.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 24, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 24, 2022

The Penguins continue their winning ways, Canucks coach Bruce Boudreau reaches a milestone, P.K. Subban speaks out against racism in hockey, and Keith Yandle is poised to tie the consecutive games record. Details and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Sidney Crosby’s shootout goal lifted the Pittsburgh Penguins over the Winnipeg Jets 3-2. Blake Wheeler and Kyle Connor staked the Jets to a 2-0 lead but Pittsburgh rallied on third-period goals by Kaspari Kapanen and Jeff Carter. With 57 points, the Penguins have won five straight and 16 of their last 18 contests to sit one point behind the first-place New York Rangers in the Metropolitan Division. The Jets (41 points) are three points behind the San Jose Sharks for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby (NHL Images).

Third-period goals by Mason Appleton and Calle Jarnkrok carried the Seattle Kraken to a 5-3 upset of the Florida Panthers. Yanni Gourde and Colin Blackwell scored 17 seconds apart in the second period for the fastest two goals in Kraken history. Jonathan Huberdeau had a goal and two assists for the Panthers, who remain in first place in the overall standings with 61 points.

St. Louis Blues goaltender Ville Husso made 38 saves to backstop his club to a 3-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks. Vladimir Tarasenko collected two assists as the Blues moved into second place in the Central Division with 55 points. Vancouver head coach Bruce Boudreau was appearing in his 1,000th career NHL game. The Canucks (40 points) remain four points out of a wild-card berth in the Western Conference.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to Boudreau for reaching this milestone. Before joining the Canucks, he was head coach of the Washington Capitals, Anaheim Ducks and Minnesota Wild. His career record is 577 wins, 306 losses and 117 overtime losses.

The Los Angeles Kings snapped a three-game losing skid by downing the New Jersey Devils 3-2. Carl Grundstrom snapped a 2-2 tie in the third period while Cal Petersen made 23 saves for the win. Jesper Bratt tallied both Devils’ goals. The Kings move into second place in the Pacific Division with 47 points, sitting three back of the Vegas Golden Knights.

Ottawa Senators sophomore Tim Stutzle broke a 1-1 tie as his club defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-1. Anton Forsberg got the win by stopping 35 shots.

HEADLINES

THE SCORE: Devils defenseman P.K. Subban is calling for change in hockey after his brother Jordan was the victim of a racial taunt by a white opponent during an ECHL game on Saturday. That player, Jacob Panetta, was released by the Jackson Icemen while the ECHL suspended him indefinitely pending a hearing over his actions.

This incident occurred just one day after the AHL suspended San Jose Barracudas player Krystof Hrabik for 30 games for directing a racist gesture toward Boko Imama.

This is life for people that look like me that have gone through the game of hockey. And that’s a part of history whether we like it or not,” said Subban. “We’re trying to change that. I’m an advocate to change that. To do that, we gotta bring people together, and hopefully, this is another step in doing that.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The NHL likes to promote hockey by saying it’s for everyone but it’s apparent there’s still work to be done at every level of the game. There should be no place for racism and bigotry in any sport. 

NHL.COM: Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Keith Yandle can tie the NHL consecutive games record of 964 consecutive games when his club faces off tonight against the Dallas Star. Doug Jarvis is the current Ironman record holder.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That would be a significant achievement for Yandle. Jarvis’ career stretched from 1975 to 1987. It’s taken almost 35 years for someone to approach his record. Arizona Coyotes winger Phil Kessel is right behind them with 940 games.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: The Blackhawks placed goaltender Kevin Lankinen on injured reserve with a right-hand injury. He’ll be evaluated today to determine the severity of the ailment.