NHL Betting: Calder Trophy Odds Update
Recaps of Sunday’s game, the Leafs remember the late George Armstrong and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Morgan Rielly collected three assists and Auston Matthews netted the game-winner as the Toronto Maple Leafs held on for a 3-2 victory over the Calgary Flames. Before the game, the Leafs mourned former captain George Armstrong, who passed away yesterday at age 90.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Armstrong spent his entire 21-NHL career with the Leafs, 12 of those as captain. He led the Leafs to four Stanley Cups in the 1960s, finishing his career with 296 goals and 713 points in 1,188 games. Armstrong was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1975 and went on to work for the Leafs in various front-office roles and was a long-time scout and team ambassador. My condolences to Armstrong’s family, friends, former teammates, and the Leafs organization.
The Chicago Blackhawks picked up their second win of the season by thumping the Detroit Red Wings 6-2. Blackhawks rookie Pius Suter tallied a hat track, becoming the second player in franchise history to score his first three NHL goals in one game.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a well-deserved victory by the Blackhawks. The Red Wings certainly didn’t help their cause, looking every bit as horrible as they did last season.
Jack Eichel’s shootout goal lifted the Buffalo Sabres to a 4-3 decision over the Washington Capitals. Sabres defensemen Colin Miller and Rasmus Ristolainen each had two points, as did Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom and blueliner Justin Schultz.
A controversial goal by William Karlsson late in the third period lifted the Vegas Golden Knights over the Arizona Coyotes 1-0. Vegas goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury made 16 saves for his 62nd career shutout, moving into 17th place on the all-time list.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet wasn’t pleased by Karlsson’s goal, believing play should’ve been whistled down for icing.
The New Jersey Devils got goals from Jack Hughes and Pavel Zacha to blank the New York Islanders 2-0. Scott Wedgewood kicked out 28 shots for the shutout. Devils blueliner Ty Smith became the sixth rookie defenseman in NHL history to collect points in his first five games.
Jake Guentzel tallied his 100th career NHL goal, breaking a 2-2 tie as the Pittsburgh Penguins nipped the New York Rangers 3-2. Penguins captain Sidney Crosby picked up two assists. Rangers center Filip Chytil left the game with an upper-body injury following a second-period collision with Penguins forward Evan Rodrigues.
The Anaheim Ducks defeated the Colorado Avalanche 3-1 thanks to a 32-save performance by goaltender John Gibson.
Los Angeles Kings captain Anze Kopitar had a goal and two assists to lead his club over the St. Louis Blues 6-3. Brayden Schenn scored twice for the Blues.
Brent Burns’ goal late in the third period was the game-winner as the San Jose Sharks beat the Minnesota Wild 5-3. Sharks forward Ryan Donato had a goal and an assist, as did Wild winger Zach Parise.
The Dallas Stars tallied three power-play goals to hold off the Nashville Predators 3-2. Stars forwards Joe Pavelski and Roope Hintz each tallied a goal and two assists. The Stars were playing without captain Jamie Benn, who’s been sidelined with a lower-body injury since Friday’s season-opener.
Leon Draisaitl scored with one second remaining in the game to give the Edmonton Oilers a 4-3 win over the Winnipeg Jets. Oilers captain Connor McDavid collected three assists in this contest.
THE PROVINCE: Vancouver Canucks center Elias Pettersson has changed agents, moving to Pat Brisson at CAA Hockey. Brisson also represents Canucks defenseman Quinn Hughes.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Brisson is among the NHL’s most powerful agents. Pettersson and Hughes are in the final seasons of their entry-level contracts. Both will be seeking significant raises this summer.
TSN: The Columbus Blue Jackets placed center Brandon Dubinsky on long-term injury reserve. He’s been sidelined since the 2019 playoffs with a chronic wrist injury.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dubinsky’s playing career is likely over. He’s in the final season of his contract and becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer.
A look at 10 supposedly untradeable contracts in today’s NHL rumor mill.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Noting the recent Milan Lucic trade, Ken Campbell feels no NHL contract is truly “untradeable” anymore. Nevertheless, he provides a list of 10 players with seemingly unmoveable deals.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Remember, Campbell isn’t saying the following contracts can’t be traded. It would be difficult to move them, but a bit of creativity and a willing trade partner could make it happen. He also looked at contracts with four-or-more seasons remaining. That’s why Loui Eriksson isn’t on this list.
Nashville’s Kyle Turris, Detroit’s Justin Abdelkader, and Buffalo’s Kyle Okposo come in at 10 through eight on Campbell’s list. Turris has five years remaining on his contract worth $6-million annually. He lacks no-trade protection. Abdelkader, 32, has four years left with an annual average value of $4.25-million. Okposo has four years remaining ($6 million AAV) and has battled injuries and concussion-related illness in recent years.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Turris could be the easiest to move if the Predators picked up part of his cap hit or took back a toxic contract in return. The 29-year-old center had a rough 2018-19 but played well for Canada at this year’s World Championships. He could be poised for a bounce-back performance, which could also make him enticing if the Preds want to move him. Abdelkader’s declining play and Okposo’s injury history are significant sticking points.
Arizona Coyotes center Nick Schmaltz and Minnesota’s Zach Parise and Ryan Suter fill positions seven through five. Schmaltz is starting a seven-year deal worth an AAV of $5.85 million and suffered a season-ending knee injury in 2018-19. Parise and Suter are aging veterans with six seasons remaining on their identical $98-million contracts with full no-movement clauses.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Including Schmaltz on this list could be premature. While Campbell notes he’s had only one good NHL season thus far, he did tally 14 points in 17 games with Arizona before his injury. With a strong recovery, he could quickly regain his offensive form and become a solid addition for the Coyotes. Parise and Suter, on the other hand, are now past their prime and age and injuries could take their toll. Parise turns 35 on July 28, Suter on Jan. 21.
The New York Islanders’ Andrew Ladd, Philadelphia’s Kevin Hayes, and Chicago’s Brent Seabrook fill spots four through two. Ladd was frequently sidelined by injuries, has a full no-trade clause this season and four years remaining on his deal with an AAV of $5.5 million. Hayes inked a seven-year, $49-million contract that Campbell doesn’t believe will age well. Seabrook has five years left ($6.875 million AAV) with a full no-movement clause to 2021-22.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ladd’s injury history could be a killer here unless he becomes a permanent long-term injury reserve candidate. As we’ve seen, those contracts can be desirable for cap-strapped clubs. I agree with Campbell that Hayes’ deal could become burdensome during its latter years. Seabrook’s name surfaced in trade speculation last season but came to nothing. Moving his contract remains a daunting challenge.
Montreal Canadiens defenseman Shea Weber topped Campbell’s list. The 34-year-old has seven years left on his deal worth over $7.9 million annually.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Weber’s contract was traded once before. It could be moved again. He’s still an effective top-pairing defenseman, making him valuable in the trade market. He also lacks no-trade protection.
The threat of salary-cap recapture is there if he retires, but it’s the Nashville Predators on the hook for the bulk of it, especially the latter years. If you’re a Predators fan, pray he doesn’t call it quits before 2025-26.
Game recaps, Golden Knights re-sign Nate Schmidt, Brian Boyle cancer-free, and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: The Toronto Maple Leafs took a 3-0 lead into the third period against the Winnipeg Jets and held on for a 4-2 victory. Nikolaj Ehlers and Mark Scheifele narrowed the score to 3-2 but John Tavares put it out of reach with his first goal in five games. Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen made 38 saves for the win.
Andrei Vasilevskiy turned in a 22-save shutout as the Tampa Bay Lightning blanked the Colorado Avalanche 1-0. Nikita Kucherov tallied the game’s only goal in the third period.
Third-period goals by Frank Vatrano and Evgenii Dadonov set the stage for Mike Hoffman’s overtime winner as the Florida Panthers overcame a 2-0 deficit to down the New York Islanders 3-2.
Bo Horvat scored twice, Jacob Markstrom kicked out 33 shots and Markus Granlund scored the only goal in a shootout as the Vancouver Canucks edged the Vegas Golden Knights 3-2. Alex Tuch, who’d been sidelined by a lower-body injury since preseason, rejoined the Golden Knights lineup.
Speaking of the Golden Knights, they reached an agreement with defenseman Nate Schmidt on a six-year, $35.7-million contract extension. The annual average value is $5.95 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Schmidt, who’s currently serving a 20-game suspension for violation of the league’s PED policy, is in the second year of a two-year, $4.45-million contract and was slated to become an unrestricted free agent next July. He’s getting a significant raise based on a limited body of work.
After several seasons as a speedy depth defenseman with the Washington Capitals, Schmidt was selected by the Golden Knights in last year’s expansion draft, quickly establishing himself as a top-four blueliner. He tallied a career-high 36 points in 2017-18 along with seven points in 20 playoff games. The Golden Knights are betting the 27-year-old has the potential to maintain that level of play over the long term.
NJ.COM: New Jersey Devils forward Brian Boyle said his cancer is now in remission. Boyle was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia 13 months ago.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Boyle won the Masterton Trophy for perseverance last season. Happy to hear that his treatments were successful.
TWINCITIES.COM: Minnesota Wild defenseman Ryan Suter will play his 1,000th career NHL game tonight against the Los Angeles Kings at XCel Energy Center.
THE TENNESSEAN: The Nashville Predators placed defenseman Dan Hamhuis on injured reserve.
SPORTSNET: Ottawa Senators defenseman Mark Borowiecki received a one-game suspension from the NHL Department of Player Safety for elbowing Boston Bruins defenseman Urho Vaakanainen in the head on Tuesday night.
CBS SPORTS: St. Louis Blues forward Robby Fabbri has been sent to their AHL affiliate in San Antonio on a conditioning stint. Fabbri has been sidelined by a groin injury.
NBC SPORTS: The Philadelphia Flyers sent goaltender Michal Neuvirth to the AHL’s Lehigh Valley Phantoms for conditioning.
THE SCORE: The New York Rangers placed winger Matt Beleskey on waivers.