NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 1, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 1, 2021

The Lightning takes a 2-0 series lead in the Stanley Cup Final, Jonathan Toews reveals the illness that sidelined him this season, Tom Dundon takes over full ownership of the Hurricanes, the latest coaching hires and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Montreal Canadiens 3-1 in Game 2 of the 2021 Stanley Cup Final. They hold a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series as it shifts to Montreal for Games 3 and 4.

Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (NHL Images).

Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy made 42 saves while Blake Coleman broke a 1-1 tie with a diving buzzer-beater goal in the second period. Ondrej Palat put the game out of reach with less than five minutes remaining in the third period. Nick Suzuki tallied the Canadiens’ only goal.

The Lightning played without winger Alex Killorn. He suffered a suspected leg injury in Game 1 after blocking a Jeff Petry shot and is listed as day-to-day.

Game 3 is Friday night at 8 pm ET in Montreal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens outplayed the Lightning in this contest but the few mistakes they made wound up in the back in their net. They blew an opportunity to open the scoring in the first period by failing to capitalize on a 4-on-3 power play. Joel Edmundson was the goat on the Lightning’s third goal as his behind-the-net back pass went directly to Palat.

Vasilevskiy was solid in this game for the Lightning but the Canadiens still didn’t generate enough high-quality scoring opportunities. Carey Price, meanwhile, wasn’t bad for the Canadiens but he hasn’t been at his best thus far in this series.

The Lightning have a great opportunity to take a commanding lead in Game 3. The Canadiens cannot afford to fall behind 3-0 against a powerhouse like the Bolts. They’ll need a better effort on Friday or risk watching the Lightning skate away with the Stanley Cup on Monday night.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens request to allow more than 3,500 fans for Games 3 and 4 was rejected by the Quebec government and health officials. The Habs hoped to expand that number to 10,500.

TSN: Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews revealed he was diagnosed with chronic immune response syndrome. The condition sidelined him for the entire 2020-21 season. He indicated he’s feeling much better now and intends to rejoin his teammates next season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Toews in his recovery.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Tom Dundon is now the full owner of the Carolina Hurricanes. He’d been the majority owner of the club since January 2018 but bought out all the remaining shareholders, including those of former owner Peter Karmanos Jr. The sale of the shares was unanimously approved by the NHL board of governors.

NJ.COM: Scott O’Neil, the CEO of the parent company that owns the New Jersey Devils and the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers, is stepping down to pursue other interests.

AZ COYOTES INSIDER: Craig Morgan reports the Arizona Coyotes have called a news conference for today where they’ll announce the hiring of Ottawa 67s head coach Andre Tourigny as their new bench boss.

THE DETROIT NEWS: The Red Wings have hired Alex Tanguay as an assistant coach. The former NHL player spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach with the AHL’s Iowa Wild.

THE MERCURY NEWS: The San Jose Sharks’ poor performance over the last two seasons saw their season-ticket sales drop from 10,500 in 2019 to 9000 for 2021-22.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 24, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 24, 2019

The Leafs reacquire David Clarkson’s contract, the Predators re-sign Colton Sissons to a seven-year deal, and an arbiter awards Jets forward Andrew Copp a two-year contract. Details and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs reacquired the contract of David Clarkson from the Vegas Golden Knights last night in exchange for goaltender Garret Sparks. The Leafs also received a fourth-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft.

The Toronto Maple Leafs reacquired the contract of permanently sidelined winger David Clarkson (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas continues to juggle his limited salary cap space. By taking back Clarkson’s dormant contract, Dubas can allocate his $5.25-million cap hit, and that of permanently sidelined Nathan Horton ($5.3 million), toward re-signing restricted free agent Mitch Marner by placing both on long-term injury reserve.

Some suggest the cap-strapped Leafs could start the season without Marner, place Clarkson and Horton on LTIR on the opening day of the regular season, and then re-sign the winger. It’ll be interesting to see how Dubas plays this. 

As for Sparks, he’ll likely start this season with the Golden Knights’ farm club. Having lost the confidence of the Leafs coaching staff, this move gives the goaltender a chance to get his career back on track with Vegas.

LAS VEGAS SUN: Soon after trading Clarkson’s contract to Toronto, the Golden Knights signed defenseman Deryk Engelland to a one-year, bonus-laden contract. He’ll earn a base salary of $700K with performance bonuses that could take him up to $1.5 million. The move gives the Golden Knights a projected $1.025-million in cap space.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Golden Knights still have restricted free agent Nikita Gusev to re-sign, but it sounds like they’ll instead try to trade his rights. Shedding Clarkson’s cap hit makes it easier for them to make other minor salary moves if necessary without the LTIR hassle.

THE TENNESSEAN: The Nashville Predators yesterday avoided salary arbitration with Colton Sissons, re-signing the winger to a seven-year, $20-million contract. The annual average value is $2.857 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Predators GM David Poile praised Sissons work ethic, versatility, and leadership when announcing this deal. While the cap hit is reasonable, it’s an unusually long term for a role player. Some observers wonder why Sissons would agree to such a lengthy deal with that low cap hit. Perhaps it’s because he’s playing in a city where there’s no state tax. It could just be because he loves living and playing in Nashville.

TSN: An arbiter awarded Winnipeg Jets forward Andrew Copp a two-year, $4.56-million contract. The annual average value is $2.28 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Copp sought a one-year, $2.9-million contract while the Jets pitches a two-year deal worth $1.5 million annually. The arbiter split the difference. This will affect the Jets’ efforts to re-sign Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor. I’ll have more later today in the Rumors section.

THE DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche signed defenseman Anton Lindholm to a two-year, two-way contract.

TWINCITIES.COM: Former NHL forward Alex Tanguay is joining the Iowa Wild as an assistant coach.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers added Brian Wiseman to their coaching staff. Wiseman spent several seasons as an assistant coach with the University of Michigan.

NHL Free Agent Updates – September 18, 2016

NHL Free Agent Updates – September 18, 2016

Ryan Strome has until Sept. 22 to re-sign with the New York Islanders.

Ryan Strome has until Sept. 22 to re-sign with the New York Islanders.

 A look at the status of several notable remaining unrestricted free agents plus the latest on New York Islanders restricted free agent Ryan Strome.

SPORTSNET:  Luke Fox recently provided an update on the top-10 remaining NHL unrestricted free agents. The Ottawa Senators and Calgary Flames were linked to defenseman Kris Russell, while blueliner James Wisniewski is on a professional tryout offer (PTO) with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The New Jersey Devils are speculated as a possible destination for defenseman Kyle Quincey. The Devils say there’s no timetable for a possible return of forward Patrik Elias, who underwent offseason knee surgery. 

The Ottawa Senators reportedly kicked tires on former Boston Bruins rearguard Dennis Seidenberg. Eight teams are apparently interested in offering a PTO to winger Tomas Fleischmann, while forward Tuomo Ruutu accepted a tryout offer with the Vancouver Canucks. 

Left wing Alex Tanguay isn’t interested in a PTO and prefers a one-way contract. Two or three teams reportedly have interest in him. Winger Kris Versteeg accepted a PTO with the Edmonton Oilers, while blueliner Christian Ehrhoff hopes his performance with Team Europe in the World Cup of Hockey bolsters his fading stock. 

TSN 1050 (VIA TODAY’S SLAPSHOT):  Bob McKenzie recently speculated Kris Russell could have a new contract “in the next number of days.” He claimed multiple teams have spoken to the defenseman, but the Toronto Maple Leafs aren’t believed among them. McKenzie also believes Russell could a one-year deal. 

NHL.COM: Dan Rosen recently suggested the Devils could be a potential fit for Russell because he believes they need another veteran defenseman. He thinks Russell, Kyle Quincey, David Jones, Lauri Korpikoski and Tomas Fleischmann will “definitely find work soon.” 

TORONTO SUN: Steve Simmons reports the Ottawa Senators are closely following Dennis Seidenberg at the World Cup of Hockey. He speculates Seidenberg will likely sign with the Senators once the tournament is over. 

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports the New York Islanders policy of cutting off contract talks when training camp opens gives restricted free agent forward Ryan Strome until Thursday (Sept. 22) to re-sign. GM Garth Snow also said that doesn’t necessarily mean he won’t match an offer sheet for Strome after that date. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Apart from Simmons’ report that Seidenberg could sign with the Senators, there’s nothing really new regarding those other UFAs. Russell’s agent recently said he expected his client be signed before the end of the World Cup of Hockey. One reason for the delay could be that the clubs with interest in Russell are waiting to see what the Anaheim Ducks do once they re-sign RFA blueliner Hampus Lindholm, as there’s talk they could put Cam Fowler on the trade block.

As for Strome, if he and the Isles fail to agree to a deal by Sept.22nd, Snow could decide to trade the 23-year-old forward. Strome had a promising 50-point sophomore performance in 2014-15 but managed only a disappointing 28 points last season. 

NHL Free Agent Update – September 5, 2016

NHL Free Agent Update – September 5, 2016

With training camp approaching, several veterans, such as Alex Tanguay, remain unsigned.

With training camp approaching, several veterans, such as Alex Tanguay, remain unsigned.

 A list of still-unsigned NHL unrestricted free agents, plus an update on Alex Tanguay. 

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Justin Dickie lists defenseman Matt Bartkowski, right wing David Jones, left wing Lauri Korpikoski, defenseman Kyle Quincey, goaltender Karri Ramo, blueliners Kris Russell and Dennis Seidenberg, center Jarret Stoll, left wing Alex Tanguay and defenseman James Wisniewski as 10 unsigned free agents who could still contribute to NHL teams. 

LA PRESSE: Marc-Antoine Godin reports Alex Tanguay’s agent said there are two or three teams interested in his client. The 36-year-old is willing to accept a one-year contract. While some of his peers accept professional tryout offers, Tanguay’s believes netting 35 points in 70 games last season puts him in a position to receive more than a PTO. While Tanguay contacted Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin earlier this summer to express his willingness to return to the Habs, they’re not among those three potential suitors. .  

Meanwhile, the agent for UFA forward Steve Bernier claims no fewer than seven teams had expressed interest in his client. It’s unknown if he’ll a get a one-way, two-way or tryout contract. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s tough for those remaining UFAs right now. Whatever leverage they had disappeared followed the opening days of free agency in early July.  They must now wait for teams to clear some salary-cap space, or for positions to open up in training camp. Of those still available, I’d say Russell, Wisniewski, Quincky, Tanguay and Korpikoski are the best of the bunch.