NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 7, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 7, 2019

The Blues take a 3-2 lead in the Stanley Cup Final, Stars re-sign two players, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The St. Louis Blues are one victory away from their first-ever Stanley Cup following a 2-1 win over the Boston Bruins in Game 5 of the Final. Ryan O’Reilly scored the game-opener and set up David Perron for the winner while Jordan Binnington kicked out 38 shots.

St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington backstopped his club to victory in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final (Photo via NHL Images)

The winning goal was controversial as an obvious trip on Bruins winger Noel Acciari by Blues center Tyler Bozak went uncalled before David Perron’s tally. Bruins president Cam Neely and coach Bruce Cassidy were furious with the officials. Following the game, Cassidy said the non-call was “egregious”, calling it a “black eye” for the league.

Bruins captain Zdeno Chara suited up for this contest despite a broken jaw suffered in Game 4. He played over 16 minutes, blocked three shots and led all Bruins defensemen with four hits.  

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That missed trip by Bozak on Acciari was just the latest embarrassment for the league in the 2019 Stanley Cup playoffs. If the Blues go on to win this series, Bruins fans could point to that missed penalty as the reason. The officiating has been terrible, so much so that league commissioner Gary Bettman recently promised some changes in the off-season. 

That call overshadowed Binnington’s outstanding performance. The Blues were dominated through most of Game 5, especially in the first period. Binnington, however, made the difference.

O’Reilly also deserves his share of plaudits for his efforts in this contest. While Binnington will be considered the Blues’ front-runner for the Conn Smythe Trophy, O’Reilly also deserves consideration. He’s been impressive throughout this postseason. 

SPORTSDAY: The Dallas Stars re-signed defenseman Roman Polak and winger Mattias Janmark to one-year contracts yesterday. Polak, 33, will earn $1.75 million for 2019-20. The 26-year-old Janmark will make $2.3 million.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators officially hired Jack Capuano yesterday as an associate coach.  His role will be improving the club’s young defense.

WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets inked forwards Seth Griffth and JC Lipton to one-year, two-way deals worth $700K at the NHL level.

NEW YORK POST: Overhauling their AHL affiliate will be the priority of the Rangers under new team president John Davidson.


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 24, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 24, 2019

Game recaps, injury updates, and more heading into the All-Star break in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Nazem Kadri’s hat trick powered the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 6-3 win over the Washington Capitals, handing the latter their seventh consecutive defeat. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin scored a goal and tied former teammate and mentor Sergei Fedorov for the most career NHL points (1,179) by a Russian player. 

Nazem Kadri’s hat trick powered the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 6-3 win over the slumping Washington Capitals (Photo via NHL Images)

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price made 30 saves for his 20th win of the season by edging the Arizona Coyotes 2-1. Mike Reilly tallied the tie-breaker in the third period. 

Eric Staal scored two goals as the Minnesota Wild beat the Colorado Avalanche 6-2 to pick up their fourth victory in their last five games. 

Nashville Predators netminder Juuse Saros kicked out a career-high 47 saves in a 2-1 win over the Vegas Golden Knights. Predators defenseman P.K. Subban claimed Golden Knights forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare bit his finger during a scrum in front of the Nashville net. Bellemare wasn’t penalized on the play. Speaking of the Golden Knights, they recalled goalie Oscar Dansk and demoted Maxime Legace. 

The St. Louis Blues downed the Anaheim Ducks 5-1, handing the latter their seventh straight home loss. Before the game, the Blues activated forwards Tyler Bozak and Zach Sanford off injured reserve. The pair each scored a goal in this contest. The Ducks, meanwhile, received bad news as winger Ondrej Kase will undergo season-ending surgery to repair a torn labrum. They also placed defenseman Andrej Sustr on waivers

Nino Niederreiter scored twice to lead the Carolina Hurricanes to a 5-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks. Teuvo Teravainen had a three-point night for the Hurricanes. 

MLIVE.COM: Player agent Dan Milstein recently floated the notion that his client Pavel Datsyuk could return to the NHL. The Arizona Coyotes own Datsyuk’s NHL rights until July 1, when he’ll become an unrestricted free agent. The Detroit Red Wings traded Datsyuk’s rights to the Coyotes in 2016 after he decided to return to Russia for family reasons. Milstein suggested the future Hall of Famer could consider returning to the Red Wings. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Milstein also indicated Datsyuk hasn’t ruled out staying in the KHL. If he does decide to return to the NHL there’s no certainty the Red Wings will sign him, though I daresay they’ll be willing to consider the option. 

SPORTSNET: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said he’s not looking to pick a fight with the NHLPA over the decision not to stage a World Cup of Hockey in 2020. He noted both sides wanted to avoid staging a tournament if negotiations over a new collective bargaining agreement are ongoing at that time. The league and the PA have the option this September to opt out of the current agreement, bringing it to an end in September 2020. Bettman remains hopeful of avoiding another work stoppage by working out a new collective bargaining agreement with the PA.  

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 27, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 27, 2018

Game recaps, Wilson to appeal his suspension to a third-party arbitrator, injury updates and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Colorado Avalanche winger Mikko Rantanen took over the lead in the NHL scoring race with a four-point performance to lead his club to a 6-3 victory over the Ottawa Senators. Former Avs center Matt Duchene, making his first appearance with the Senators in Denver since he was traded to Ottawa nearly a year ago, received a video tribute during the game. He also tallied twice for the Sens. Senators winger Zack Smith left the game with a facial fracture after being hit in the face by a skate.

Colorado Avalanche winger Mikko Rantanen took over the NHL scoring lead in a 6-3 victory over the Ottawa Senators (Photo via NHL Images)

J.T. Miller’s second-period goal proved to be the winner as the Tampa Bay Lightning edged the Vegas Golden Knights 3-2. Andrei Vasilevskiy made 29 saves for the Lightning, who extended their points streak to seven games.

It was a costly game for both clubs. Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman left the game in the second period after being checked into the boards by Vegas’ Ryan Reaves with an upper-body injury, though Lightning coach Jon Cooper ruled out a concussion.  Golden Knights forward Max Pacioretty also left in the first period with an undisclosed injury following a hit by Lightning defenseman Braydon Coburn.

Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien picked up his 500th NHL point with the game-winning goal in a 2-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings.

Carolina Hurricanes forward Sebastian Aho extended his season-opening points streak to a franchise-record 10th game as the Carolina Hurricanes edged the San Jose Sharks 4-3. Brock McGinn scored the only goal in a shootout for the win.

WASHINGTON POST: Capitals winger Tom Wilson “will appeal to a neutral arbitrator after NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman upheld Wilson’s 20-game ban Thursday. The appeal will be heard Wednesday in New York by Shyam Das, the league’s neutral disciplinary arbitrator.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The New York Post’s Brett Cyrgalis believes NHL players should be ashamed of the NHLPA for defending Wilson. The Hockey News’ Ken Campbell, however, reminds us the union was doing what it is supposed to do. “When a player makes an appeal, it must be done through the NHLPA, which has no choice in the matter. The same goes for the appeal. If the player pushes, the NHLPA must appeal to the furthest degree and it must provide him with adequate representation.”

TSN: Former NHL president John Ziegler passed away Thursday at age 84. He served in that role from 1977 to 1992, overseeing the merger of the NHL and WHA in 1979 and the entry of former Soviet Union players into the league. Labor tensions between the league and its players also rose during his tenure, as well as between the league and former players over pension issues. He was forced from office in 1992 following a 10-day players strike.  

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Ziegler’s family and friends. 

SPORTSNET: Los Angeles Kings forward Kyle Clifford was fined $4,301.08 for kneeing Minnesota Wild winger Jordan Greenway. 

CBS SPORTS: The Anaheim Ducks placed defenseman Andrej Sustr on waivers. 

VANCOUVER SUN: Former NHL forward Cody Hodgson is releasing a documentary about the genetic disorder malignant hyperthermia which ended his playing career.


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 6, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 6, 2018

Forty-four players elect arbitration, Shea Weber sidelined by knee injury, latest contract signings, the date for next season’s trade deadline and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHLPA: Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck and defenseman Jacob Trouba, Vegas Golden Knights center William Karlsson, Ottawa Senators forward Mark Stone and Minnesota Wild winger Jason Zucker and blueliner Matt Dumba were among the forty-four players who elected salary arbitration yesterday.  The deadline for club-elected arbitration is 5 pm ET today. The arbitration period runs from July 20 to August 4 in Toronto. The complete list is below:

Vegas Golden Knights center William Karlsson was among 44 NHL players to file for salary arbitration (Photo via NHL Images)

Anaheim Ducks

Brandon Montour

Calgary Flames

Garnet Hathaway

Mark Jankowski

Brett Kulak

Elias Lindholm

David Rittich

Carolina Hurricanes

*Trevor van Riemsdyk

Player/Club settled on a contract 07/05/18

Colorado Avalanche

Patrik Nemeth

Matt Nieto

Dallas Stars

Mattias Janmark

Devin Shore

Gemel Smith

Florida Panthers

MacKenzie Weegar

Minnesota Wild

Mathew Dumba

Jason Zucker

Montreal Canadiens

Joel Armia

Phillip Danault

Nashville Predators

Miikka Salomaki

New Jersey Devils

Blake Coleman

Stefan Noesen

New York Islanders

Brock Nelson

New York Rangers

Kevin Hayes

Brady Skjei

Ryan Spooner

Jimmy Vesey

Ottawa Senators

Cody Ceci

Mark Stone

Philadelphia Flyers

Taylor Leier

Alex Lyon

Pittsburgh Penguins

Jamie Oleksiak

San Jose Sharks

Chris Tierney

St. Louis Blues

Joel Edmundson

Dmitrij Jaskin

Oskar Sundqvist

Vancouver Canucks

Troy Stecher

Vegas Golden Knights

William Karlsson

Colin Miller

Tomas Nosek

Washington Capitals

Liam O’Brien

Winnipeg Jets

Marko Dano

Connor Hellebuyck

Adam Lowry

Brandon Tanev

Jacob Trouba

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bear in mind that players who file for arbitration usually end up re-signing with their respective clubs before their hearings. Case in point….

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Shortly after filing for salary arbitration, Trevor van Riemsdyk agreed to a two-year, $4.6-million contract with the Carolina Hurricanes.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens received bad news yesterday, as defenseman Shea Weber underwent surgery to repair a meniscal tear in his right knee. He’ll be sidelined five-to-six months.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: And with that, the Canadiens odds for reaching the 2019 playoffs just got longer. Weber is their top defenseman and missed half of last season to injuries, which contributed to the Habs missing the postseason for the second time in three years. 

COLUMBUS DISPATCH: The Blue Jackets yesterday re-signed forward Boone Jenner to a four-year, $15-million contract. They also signed unrestricted free agent winger Anthony Duclair to a one-year, $650k deal and named former NHL goaltender Manny Legace as their new goalie coach.

DETROIT FREE PRESS: The Red Wings re-signed winger Andreas Athanasiou to a two-year, $6-million deal.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: The Anaheim Ducks signed unrestricted free agent defenseman Andrej Sustr to a one-year contract worth $1.3 million.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: The Lightning agreed to a one-year, $1-million contract with forward Cedric Paquette.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens re-signed forward Jacob de la Rose to a two-year, $1.8-million deal.

NHL.COM: The St. Louis Blues inked UFA forward Jordan Nolan to a one-year, two-way contract. Cap Friendly indicates he’ll receive $650K at the NHL level.

NEWSDAY: The New York Islanders hired Lane Lambert as their top assistant coach.



NHL Rumor Mill – October 27, 2017

NHL Rumor Mill – October 27, 2017

Updated TSN NHL trade-bait list and more in today’s NHL Rumor Mill update. Enjoy!

TSN.CA: Five members of the Vegas Golden Knights, New York Rangers winger Rick Nash and Los Angeles Kings defenseman Alec Martinez make up TSN’s updated Trade Bait list for this season. Of course, the list is topped (as always) by Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene, but center Vadim Shipachyov sits second after his agent confirmed the Golden Knights have allowed him to contact the other 30 NHL clubs to explore trade possibilities.

Other Vegas players on the list include defenseman Luca Sbisa (three), wingers James Neal (five) and David Perron (seven) and blueliner Griffin Reinhart (eight). Sbisa, Neal and Perron are all eligible next summer for unrestricted free agency. Shipachyov is signed through 2018-19 with an annual cap hit of $4.5 million while Reinhart’s is $800K

Nash (10), Detroit Red Wings rearguard Mike Green (four) and Vancouver Canucks winger Thomas Vanek (six) are also slated for UFA status next July. Martinez (nine) is signed through 2020-21 with an annual average value of $4 million. He was mentioned as a possible trade candidate if the Kings decide later in the season to shop for more offense.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Duchene’s status is well documented so no reason to rehash it here. The Montreal Canadiens and Columbus Blue Jackets reportedly aren’t interested in Shipachyov, whose limited NHL experience and significant salary-cap hit could make him difficult to trade.

The trade status of the pending UFAs on this list will depend in part on where their respective clubs sit in the standings by the Feb. 26 trade deadline. If they’re in playoff contention they could be unwilling to move those players.

Should the Kings’ maintain their strong offensive improvement over the course of this season they’ll have no reason to shop Martinez or anyone else from their blueline. As for Reinhart, I don’t think he’s got any trade value. Given his cap friendly contract, if he was worth pursuing I think he would’ve been moved by now. 

NHL.COM: In his recent mailbag segment, Dan Rosen was asked about what the Washington Capitals might do to improve their defense corps. The offseason departures of Kevin Shattenkirk, Karl Alzner and Nate Schmidt and the recent sidelining of Matt Niskanen with an upper-body injury depleted their blueline depth. It’s an issue he feels must be addressed.

Rosen was asked if he felt Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Andrej Sustr might be dealt to the Capitals. While acknowledging it’s a realistic scenario, given Sustr’s affordable contract ($1.95 million) and likely low return required to get him, Rosen doubts he’d provide a significant upgrade to their defense.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Capitals are already pressed against the $75 million cap ceiling for this season. To add a skilled defenseman means moving salary via trades or demoting players to the minors. For now, they’ll have to sit tight and ride this out until Niskanen returns from injury. Perhaps later in the season they’ll find a suitable deal to bolster the blueline. 

Rosen was also asked about the possibility of the Toronto Maple Leafs trading forward Mitch Marner for a defenseman later this season. While he doesn’t rule it out, he doesn’t think the Leafs are ready to move out one of their good young forwards while they’re still evaluating young blueliners within their system. However, they’ll eventually have to figure out what their salary cap structure will look like with William Nylander, James van Riemsdyk, Leo Komarov,Tyler Bozak due new contracts this season and Marner and Auston Matthews due at the end of next season. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If (and it’s only “if” at this point) the Leafs were to shop one of their young forwards for a top-four defenseman, Marner seems the likely candidate. Matthews is their franchise player and Nylander is emerging as a two-way force. I doubt they can address their long-term defensive needs by peddling van Riemsdyk, Komarov or Bozak when the trio are eligible next summer for UFA status. 

FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Chris Nichols cites NHL insider Elliotte Friedman’s Wednesday appearance on Vancouver’s Sportsnet 650 speculating the Edmonton Oilers could attempt to upgrade their team speed via trade. The Oilers lack players to keep up with team captain Connor McDavid.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Friedman didn’t specify who the Oilers might target or who he things could be a good fit. Considering how quiet the trade market usually is at this point in the season, it could take weeks or into the new year before the Oilers find suitable trade options to address this issue. 


NHL Rumor Mill – October 14, 2017

NHL Rumor Mill – October 14, 2017

 Latest on John Tavares, Dustin Brown, the Lightning’s defense and yes, Matt Duchene in your NHL rumor mill. Enjoy!

THE MERCURY NEWS: Paul Gackle wonders if San Jose Sharks general manager Doug Wilson will try to acquire New York Islanders center John Tavares via the Feb. 26 trade deadline or next summer’s free-agent market. The 27-year-old center could be the perfect fit to help the Sharks transition from an aging Joe Thornton.

Gackle acknowledges reports suggesting Tavares could prefer re-signing with the Islanders, but the center won’t commit to a long-term deal until the club finally locks down a permanent new home. He also notes the potential cost of adding Tavares could be a salary-cap headache for Wilson.

It’s unclear if Tavares will remain a dominant into his 30s, noting his production has declined over the last two years. Gackle suggests Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene might be a better option.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Wilson is interested in landing Tavares, he’ll have plenty of company. Tavares will be the best player in next summer’s unrestricted free agent market. However, he might not be available by then. If the Isles win the bidding for a new arena at Belmont Park, I think Tavares re-signs soon afterward. He’s very loyal to that franchise but wants assurances that they’ll get their arena issue sorted out before committing to a long-term deal. 

FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Speaking of Duchene, Chris Nichols cites NHL insider Elliotte Friedman appearing on Calgary’s Sportsnet 960 discussing the Avs’ plans for the center. The club’s strong start to the season has reduced the noise over Duchene’s trade status and Friedman believes the club intends to hold onto him for a bit. He also believes the Avs will do some heavy scouting of team prospects, as rival clubs are reluctant to part with talent from their rosters. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Duchene’s start to this season should improve his trade value but it could also give the Avs second thoughts about trading him. Mind you, the relationship between Duchene and Avs management needs some serious repair work. 

Friedman also discussed the strong start to this season of Los Angeles Kings winger and former captain Dustin Brown, who’s improved under new head coach John Stevens. He adds that Brown had grown frustrated under the stifling defensive system of former coach Darryl Sutter, but he’s now getting first-line minutes and is making the most of it. 

Friedman feels the Kings have moved from trying to trade Brown and his lengthy contract to trying to improve his play. He thinks Brown has a no-trade to Canada but thinks it’s possible his name came up in offseason trade discussions between the Kings and Ottawa Senators when they were discussing Dion Phaneuf. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Brown’s contract and the decline in his production over the last several seasons made him impossible to trade. Even if he regains his former 20-goal, 50-point form this season, I don’t see the Kings finding any takers for his services. It’s in the Kings’ best interest to find a way to help him improve his game. 

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Joe Smith reports something has to give with the Tampa Bay Lightning’s “eight-deep” blueline. Slater Koekkoek, who’s off to a good start to this season, needs more playing time to develop. Smith believes teams have inquired about Koekkoek’s availability. There’s also been rumblings Andrej Sustr is being shopped.