World Traveler Thomas Puts Canada Atop The Junior Hockey World
The Red Wings snap a 12-game winless skid, Joe Thornton reaches another milestone, Tim Thomas reveals concussion issues, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: The Detroit Red Wings picked up their first win in a month, defeating the Winnipeg Jets 5-2. Robby Fabbri, Filip Zadina, and Filip Hronek each picked up three points as the Wings snapped a 12-game winless skid (0-10-2). Kyle Connor tallied both goals for the Jets.
Steven Stamkos tallied two goals as the Tampa Bay Lightning edged the Boston Bruins 3-2, leaving the latter winless in their last five games (0-4-1). Bolts winger Nikita Kucherov collected two assists.
Buffalo Sabres captain Jack Eichel scored twice to lead his club over the Nashville Predators 4-3. Eichel now has points in his last 15 games. Sam Reinhart also picked up two assists.
Artemi Panarin tallied a hat trick to lead the New York Rangers over the San Jose Sharks 6-3, spoiling Bob Boughner’s debut as the Sharks’ interim coach. Mika Zibanejad also scored twice for the Rangers. San Jose is now winless in six games (0-5-1). Sharks center Joe Thornton picked up an assist in his 1,600th career game.
A three-goal third period, including two by Johnny Gaudreau, lifted the Calgary Flames to a 4-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Flames have won seven straight games. Mitch Marner and John Tavares each had two-point performances for the Leafs.
Clayton Keller scored twice as the Arizona Coyotes rolled to a 5-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. Vinnie Hinostroza collected three assists for the Coyotes, who’ve won four of their last six contests. Earlier in the day, the Blackhawks placed defenseman Calvin de Haan (shoulder) on injured reserve.
Vancouver Canucks netminder Jacob Markstrom kicked out 43 shot in a 1-0 shutout over the Carolina Hurricanes. Elias Pettersson potted the winner in overtime. Earlier in the day, the Canucks revealed goaltender Thatcher Demko was sidelined with a concussion. Vancouver winger Micheal Ferland is seeing a specialist to deal with concussion-like symptoms.
Goaltender Thomas Greiss made 32 saves as the New York Islanders held off the Florida Panthers 3-1. Anders Lee and Jordan Eberle each had two points. The Panthers scratched struggling defenseman Mike Matheson from this contest.
Pittsburgh Penguins netminder Tristan Jarry made 17 saves to blank the Columbus Blue Jackets 1-0. Bryan Rust tallied the winner in overtime. Penguins center Evgeni Malkin missed the game due to illness.
The St. Louis Blues halted a three-game losing skid by doubling up the Vegas Golden Knights 4-2. Blues winger Oskar Sundqvist returned to action after being sidelined for six games and collected a goal and an assist.
Minnesota Wild winger Jordan Greenway had a “Gordie Howe hat trick” as his club held on to beat the Edmonton Oilers 6-5. Eric Staal and Jason Zucker each had a goal and an assist for the Wild. Connor McDavid and Oscar Klefbom each collected a goal and an assist for the Oilers, who’ve dropped six of their last eight games.
The Los Angeles Kings snapped an 11-game road winless skid by edging the Anaheim Ducks 2-1. Jonathan Quick made 36 saves for the win.
IN OTHER NEWS…
NBC SPORTS: Former NHL goaltender Tim Thomas revealed he’s been dealing with brain damage related to his playing career that’s derailed his life. Doctors told Thomas that two-thirds of his brain were getting less than 5% blood flow and the other third was averaging about 50%.
Thomas revealed the news during a press conference before his induction into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame. He revealed it was a concussion suffered in Dec. 2013 that changed his life and lead to his retirement. He’s better now but still isn’t close to normal, admitting he’s had difficulty communicating with people and watching hockey.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was heartbreaking watching an emotional Thomas reveal this to the world. I wish him well in his ongoing efforts to cope with this condition.
SPORTSNET: Montreal Canadiens forward Matthew Peca is expected to miss the next six weeks with a knee injury.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens mascot Youppi was voted in the Mascot Hall of Fame. Youppi got his start with the Montreal Expos and joined the Canadiens after the Expos moved to Washington.
Game recaps, injury updates, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: The Montreal Canadiens overcame a 4-1 third-period deficit to defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs 6-5 on a shootout goal by Paul Byron. Brendan Gallagher had a goal and two assists for the Canadiens while Auston Matthews scored twice for the Leafs.
Connor McDavid had a four-point performance (one goal, three assists) and James Neal scored twice as the Edmonton Oilers edged the Los Angeles Kings 6-5. Kings captain Anze Kopitar had a goal and two assists.
Mika Zibanejad’s hat trick carried the New York Rangers to a 4-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators. Zibanejad scored at even strength, shorthanded, and on the power play. Speaking of the Senators, they will retire Chris Phillips’ No. 4 during a pre-game ceremony on Feb. 18 against the Buffalo Sabres. “The Big Rig” spent his entire 17-season NHL career with the Senators, holding the franchise record for games played with 1,179.
Patric Hornqvist and Jared McCann each scored twice as the Pittsburgh Penguin thumped the Columbus Blue Jackets 7-2. Penguins captain Sidney Crosby had a rare fight, tussling with Blue Jackets center Pierre-Luc Dubois. It was a costly win for the Penguins as forwards Evgeni Malkin and Nick Bjugstad left the game with injuries. Updates on their status are expected later today.
Tyler Bertuzzi had a four-point performance (two goals, two assists) as the Detroit Red Wings upset the Nashville Predators 5-3. Wings goalie Jimmy Howard kicked out 39 shots for the win.
Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky and coach Joel Quenneville picked up their first win with the Florida Panthers with a 4-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Bobrovsky made 32 saves while teammate Mike Hoffman tallied a hat trick.
The Calgary Flames blanked the Vancouver Canucks 3-0 as David Rittich turned in a 34-save shutout. Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau had a hand in all three goals, scoring one and setting up the other two. The Canucks scratched veteran winger Loui Eriksson.
The Colorado Avalanche’s top line led the way as they doubled up the Minnesota Wild 4-2. Mikko Rantanen had a goal and an assist, Nathan MacKinnon collected two helpers and Gabriel Landeskog netted one goal. Philipp Grubauer made 29 saves to seal the victory.
Jack Eichel and Rasmus Dahlin had three-point performances while Sam Reinhart and Victor Olofsson each scored twice as the Buffalo Sabres crushed the New Jersey Devils 7-2. Devils winger Taylor Hall briefly left the game after being shaken up following a collision with Sabres defenseman Jake McCabe but returned for the third period.
Third-period goals by Brayden Schenn and Sammy Blais lifted the St. Louis Blues to a 3-2 win over the Dallas Stars. Blues forward Robert Thomas sat out the game with an unspecified upper-body injury.
John Gibson made 35 saves as the Anaheim Ducks beat the San Jose Sharks 3-1, handing the latter their third straight loss. Second-period goals by Ryan Getzlaf and Adam Henrique broke a 1-1 tie for the Ducks.
Jake Gardiner’s first goal with the Carolina Hurricanes was an overtime winner in a 3-2 victory over the Washington Capitals. Gardiner’s goal completed a two-goal third-period rally by the Hurricanes.
A 35-save shutout by Jaroslav Halak carried the Boston Bruins to a 1-0 blanking of the Arizona Coyotes. Brad Marchand tallied the lone goal as the Bruins picked up their 15th consecutive victory over the Coyotes. Earlier in the day, the Coyotes recalled goalie Antti Raanta from his conditioning stint with their AHL affiliate.
Fabulous news: @CanadiensMTL @HockeyHallFame icon Guy Lafleur was discharged from Montreal hospital yesterday following Sept. 26 quadruple bypass surgery & he’s happily back home rebuilding his strength. “My thanks to everyone for their incredible support,” Flower says by text pic.twitter.com/1zltPUF55H
— Dave Stubbs (@Dave_Stubbs) October 5, 2019
An update on NHL CBA talks, the latest on Connor McDavid, the Kings re-sign Adrian Kempe, the latest PTOs, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
TSN: NHL Player Association executive director Donald Fehr said the players haven’t decided if they’ll exercise their early opt-out of the collective bargaining agreement by the Sept. 15 deadline. The PA executive board and other players met in Chicago yesterday for an update on current negotiations with the NHL. No decisions were reached regarding the CBA. Talks with the league continue on Friday.
Fehr said discussions remain pleasant and cordial. “It doesn’t mean there haven’t been disagreements and significant disagreements, but it’s so far at least free from rancor,” he said. “That’s a big improvement.” The PA and the league haven’t discussed a possible extension of the Sept. 15 deadline.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fehr’s statement was essentially status quo. He’s not going to tip the PA’s hand while negotiations with the league are ongoing but also won’t say anything that could put those talks in jeopardy.
Escrow payments likely remain among the “significant disagreements” Fehr was alluding to. Indeed, it’s the biggest, perhaps the only, impediment toward a new agreement or an extension of the current one.
As for extending the PA’s opt-out deadline, TSN’s Pierre LeBrun believes that won’t fly with the league as both sides would have to agree. If so, Sept. 15 remains the next significant milestone.
THE SCORE: Player agent Jeff Jackson can’t say if client Connor McDavid will be fully recovered from a knee injury by the start of the Edmonton Oilers’ season on Oct. 2. The Oilers captain suffered the injury during the final game of the 2018-19 season. Jackson said McDavid hasn’t had any setbacks and is working toward getting ready for the start of training camp next week.
WINNIPEG SUN:Josh Morrissey confirmed contract-extension talks have begun with the Jets. The defenseman is slated to become a restricted free agent next summer. “I’d love to get something done. I’d love to play here throughout my career,” he said.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: After the recent departure of Jacob Trouba, Morrissey’s remarks will be music to the ears of Jets fans.
LOS ANGELES TIMES: The Kings re-signed center Adrian Kempe to a three-year contract with an annual average value of $2 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: No surprise Kempe got a bridge deal. After a promising 37-point rookie campaign in 2017-18, Kempe managed just 28 points last season. Cap Friendly indicates the Kings now have over $74.7 million invested in 23 players for 2019-20.
VANCOUVER SUN: The Canucks inked restricted free agent winger Nikolay Goldobin to a one-year, $900K contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is probably Goldobin’s last chance to prove himself as a reliable NHL regular with the Canucks. Another inconsistent effort could turn him into a waiver or trade candidate.
TSN: The Calgary Flames signed forwards Devante Smith-Pelly, Tobias Rieder, Zac Rinaldo, and Alexandre Grenier to professional tryout offers. Meanwhile, the Florida Panthers have brought back forward Troy Brouwer on a PTO.
STAR-TRIBUNE.COM: Winger Drew Stafford will attend Minnesota Wild training camp on a professional tryout offer.
COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets forward Sonny Milano and Colorado Avalanche forward A.J. Greer pleaded not guilty in a Manhattan court to an assault charge stemming from an incident in New York on July 7. Both will be permitted to skip their next court date next month because of their respective travel schedules.
THE SCORE: NBC Sports has removed Pierre McGuire from its No. 1 broadcast team, relegating him to the second game of their doubleheaders. McGuire will be replaced by Brian Boucher.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: McGuire has attracted criticism for his coverage in recent years. The Score observed he was “essentially forced to apologize for a series of awkward on-air exchanges with fellow analyst Kendall Coyne Schofield in January.”
THE HOCKEY NEWS: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and former NHLers Tim Thomas and Brian Gionta are among this year’s inductees into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The taciturn Thomas was part of the conference call with reporters following the announcement, marking his first public statement since his retirement in 2014. He alluded to a “state of nervousness” since his retirement, adding he doesn’t like traveling and prefers to keep his personal life to himself.
The Hurricanes ship Calvin de Haan to the Blackhawks in a four-player trade, the Flyers re-sign Travis Sanheim and ship Ryan Hartman to Dallas, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES/NEWSOBSERVER.COM: last night reported the Carolina Hurricanes traded defenseman Calvin de Haan and forward Aleksi Saarela to the Chicago Blackhawks for goaltender Anton Forsberg and defenseman Gustav Forsling.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Having recently acquired Olli Maatta, the Blackhawks continue shoring up their defense corps with veteran players. de Haan brings a measure of “stay-at-home” defensive ability to a blueline that was missing that element this season.
The Hurricanes, meanwhile, move out a third-pairing rearguard who was earning $4.55 million annually for three more years. Taking back Forsberg provides additional goaltending depth that might be needed soon. The Athletic’s Craig Custance believes Hurricanes goalie Curtis McElhinney intends to test the unrestricted free agent market on Monday.
COURIER-POST ONLINE: The Philadelphia Flyers re-signed defenseman Travis Sanheim to a two-year contract worth $3.25 million per season. They also traded winger Ryan Hartman to the Dallas Stars in exchange for winger Tyler Pitlick.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sanheim gets a cost-effective short-term bridge contract. Hartman was a restricted free agent who no longer fit into the Flyers’ plans. Pitlick has a year remaining on his contract worth $1 million. The Flyers now have around $17 million in salary-cap space for 2019-20.
TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild re-signed defenseman Brad Hunt to a two-year deal worth $1.4 million.
NBC SPORTS BOSTON: The Bruins will reportedly re-sign defenseman Steven Kampfer to a two-year contract extension.
STLTODAY.COM: Blues forward Robert Thomas underwent surgery to repair a tendon in his left wrist.
Vegas makes Karlsson re-signing official. WK gets 8 years at 5.9 million per year.
— John Shannon (@JSportsnet) June 25, 2019
The latest on Zdeno Chara, Vladimir Tarasenko, Adam McQuaid, Jason Pominville, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara said he’s not feeling any limitation playing with a facial injury. While it hasn’t been confirmed by the club, Chara is believed to have suffered a fractured jaw in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final. He played over 16 minutes in Game 5 and is expected to be in the lineup for Game 6 tonight in St. Louis.
Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk (concussion) and forward Chris Wagner (injured right arm) skated in non-contact jerseys during practice yesterday. Grzelcyk hasn’t been cleared to return but Wagner could be ready if the series goes to Game 7.
STLTODAY.COM: Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko’s wife gave birth to a son on Friday. Tarasenko said he’ll be ready to play in Game 6 tonight. The Blues lead the series three games to two and can win the Stanley Cup with a victory on Sunday.
With Ivan Barbashev serving a one-game suspension, Blues forward Robert Thomas could return to the lineup tonight. Thomas last skated in Game 1 when he was on the receiving end of a big hit from Boston’s Torey Krug.
SPORTSNET: has a collection of the most controversial calls of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This should be used as “Exhibit A” when the league launches its review of its officiating this summer.
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets defenseman Adam McQuaid is still dealing with concussion issues. His agent, Rick Curran, confirmed he’s been struggling with the symptoms since receiving a hit during a game in late-March. He played only 14 regular-season games with the Jackets after being acquired from the New York Rangers at the trade deadline. McQuaid is due to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: McQuaid has a long injury history, including several head/concussion injuries since October 2011. The wear-and-tear of his 10 NHL seasons is taking a toll on the 32-year-old blueliner.
THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Congratulations to the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers defeated the Chicago Wolves in five games to win their first-ever Calder Cup.
GM Jason Botterill said there has been “dialogue” between the #Sabres and Jason Pominville. Did not rule out Pominville returning.
— Lance Lysowski (@LLysowski) June 8, 2019