NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 24, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 24, 2022

Recaps of Sunday’s games plus the latest on Gabriel Landeskog, Tyler Seguin, Phil Kessel and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Detroit Red Wings extended their season-opening points streak to five games (3-0-2) by downing the Anaheim Ducks 5-1. Dominik Kubalik had a goal and two assists while Ville Husso made 32 saves for the win. Trevor Zegras scored the Ducks’ only goal as they finished their road trip 0-4-1.

Detroit Red Wings forward Dominik Kubalik (NHL Images).

Third-period goals by Tyler Johnson and Jason Dickinson lifted the Chicago Blackhawks to a 5-4 victory over the Seattle Kraken. Johnson scored twice while Patrick Kane and Seth Jones each had two assists for the Blackhawks (3-2-0) as they staged their third straight comeback win. Jared McCann had a goal and an assist for the Kraken (2-3-2).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blackhawks goaltender Petr Mrazek missed this game with a groin strain and was placed on injured reserve.

A third-period goal by Ryan Lomberg enabled the Florida Panthers to hold off the New York Islanders 3-2. Anton Lundell and Eetu Luostarinen also scored for the Panthers (4-1-1) while Anders Lee tallied twice for the Islanders, who drop to 2-4-0.

Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Daniil Tarasov made 30 saves for his first NHL win as he backstopped his club to a 5-1 victory over the New York Rangers. Jakub Voracek, Jack Roslovic and Liam Foudy each collected two assists for the Jackets (3-4-0). Artemi Panarin scored to extend his season-opening points streak to six games as the Rangers are 3-2-1 over the stretch.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rangers center Filip Chytil left the game in the first period about being elbowed in the head by Blue Jackets forward Cole Sillinger. He’s listed as day-to-day.

San Jose Sharks goalie James Reimer turned in a 30-save shutout to blank the Philadelphia Flyers 3-0. Erik Karlsson scored what proved to be the game-winner for the Sharks (2-6-0) while Flyers winger James van Riemsdyk left the game in the first period with an injured hand after blocking a shot. The Flyers are 4-2-0 under head coach John Tortorella.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tortorella wasn’t pleased with the performance of his leading scorers Kevin Hayes and Travis Konecny in this contest. He sent a message by benching them for the entire third period.

HEADLINES

THE DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche will be without team captain Gabriel Landeskog for the next three months as he recovers from knee surgery. They’re turning to leadership by committee to fill the void left by Landeskog’s absence.

NHL.COM: Dallas Stars forward Tyler Seguin admitted he thought about retirement in January 2021 as he was recovering from hip surgery. “I looked over at my friend and said, ‘I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to play anymore,’” he told Mike Zeisberger. He added that he didn’t see any light at the end of the tunnel at the time.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Seguin would return to play three games late in the 2020-21 season and skated in 81 last season. The 30-year-old current has five points in as many games this season and shows no lingering ill effects from his surgery.

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: Golden Knights winger Phil Kessel is set to tie the NHL’s Ironman record for consecutive games played (989) held by Keith Yandle when he skates against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday night. The 35-year-old Kessel can break the record on Tuesday against the San Jose Sharks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s fitting that Kessel will tie the record against the Leafs in Toronto, where he played six seasons from 2009-10 to 2014-15.

CBS SPORTS: The Los Angeles Kings placed forward Alex Iafallo (lower-body injury) on long-term injury reserve.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins forward Teddy Blueger (undisclosed injury) was placed on LTIR retroactive to Oct. 11.

THE TENNESSEAN: Nashville Predators defenseman Mark Borowiecki is resting at home and suffered no major injuries after crashing awkwardly into the boards during Saturday’s game against the Flyers. Borowiecki was stretchered from the ice and sent to a hospital for observation.

WGR 550: With defensemen Mattias Samuelsson and Henri Jokiharju sidelined, the Buffalo Sabres have called up Kale Clague.

Former NHL defenseman Michal Kempny has signed with Czechia club HC Sparta for the next two seasons. His contract with the Seattle Kraken was terminated by mutual agreement after he cleared unconditional waivers last week.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 3, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 3, 2022

Recaps of Sunday’s preseason games, Bruins winger Taylor Hall sidelined longer than expected, Jaromir Jagr could be hanging up his skates and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines

PRESEASON GAMES RECAP

NHL.COM: The Minnesota Wild blanked the Chicago Blackhawks 3-0. Wild goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury made 12 stops to shut out his former team. Blackhawks netminder Petr Mrazek made 30 saves.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Mrazek is hoping a new stretching routine will improve his flexibility and reduce his injury risk. He’s been frequently sidelined over the past two seasons.

The Blackhawks also learned yesterday that Boris Katchouk will miss four-to-six weeks with a sprained left ankle. The 24-year-old winger suffered the injury during Saturday’s preseason contest against the Detroit Red Wings.

New York Islanders defenseman Scott Mayfield tallied what proved to be the winning goal in a 2-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This game marked John Tortorella’s first of the preseason behind the Flyers bench. He’d spent the previous four contests observing his club’s performance from the coaches box. I daresay Tortorella isn’t too pleased with what he’s seen thus far. The Flyers have won just once in their five preseason contests and scored just five goals.

Boston Bruins winger Taylor Hall (NHL Images).

Jonathan Quick made 24 saves to backstop the Los Angeles Kings to a 2-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Urho Vaakanainen could soon return to the Ducks lineup. The 23-year-old defenseman was stretchered from the ice after crashing into the end boards during Friday’s preseason game against the San Jose Sharks. He was taken to a hospital for observation but was released on the same night.

HEADLINES

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Bruins winger Taylor Hall is listed as week-to-week after suffering an upper-body injury during Saturday’s preseason game against the Flyers. Rookie winger Fabian Lysell also left that game and is listed as day-to-day.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hall could miss the start of the season next week. The Bruins will also be without Brad Marchand, Charlie McAvoy and Matt Grzelcyk as they are still recovering from offseason surgeries.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Brian Hedger tweeted that Blues Jackets forward Gustav Nyquist is listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury.

TORONTO STAR: Maple Leafs goaltenders Matt Murray and Erik Kallgren wore specialized goggles during training yesterday. They are designed to reduce their peripheral vision as a puck-tracking technique.

THE MERCURY NEWS: The San Jose Sharks left veterans Alexander Barabonov and Markus Nutivaara behind as they traveled to Czechia for their season-opening games against the Nashville Predators. Injuries sideline both players and questionable to join their teammates for those upcoming games.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: The Lightning returned to Tampa Bay to resume training camp. They moved camp to Nashville last week ahead of Hurricane Ian which battered Florida.

DAILY FACEOFF: Jaromir Jagr is mulling retirement from hockey. The 50-year-old forward has spent the past five seasons playing for the Kladno Knights in Czechia. He also owns the club and helped them play their way into Czechia’s top league.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jagr’s last NHL season was in 2017-18 with the Calgary Flames before being loaned to Kladno midway through that campaign. He’s one of the greatest players in hockey history but hasn’t been elected into the Hall of Fame because he’s still maintained his playing career.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 9, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 9, 2022

Erik Karlsson intends to stick with the Sharks, Carey Price sends a message to his fans, John Tortorella has concerns about the Flyers, Nazem Kadri makes a big charitable donation, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

THE ATHLETIC: Erik Karlsson has no plans to request a trade from the San Jose Sharks. “No, I committed here a long time ago,” he said. The 32-year-old defenseman is signed through 2026-27 with an average annual value of $11.5 million.

San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson (NHL Images).

Karlsson, 32, acknowledged things haven’t gone the way they wanted to earlier in his tenure with the Sharks. However, he said he’s excited about the future and believes the club can be successful again.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Karlsson has also been hampered by injuries since joining the Sharks in a trade from the Ottawa Senators in 2018. The former two-time Norris Trophy winner told The Athletic he intends to be more cautious in dealing with future injury rather than attempt to play through the pain.

Karlsson’s contract would make him difficult to move if he did want out or if new Sharks general manager Mike Grier wanted to move him. In addition to that big cap hit, he carries a full no-movement clause.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Canadiens goaltender Carey Price posted a heartfelt “thank you” message to his fans on his Instagram account. The 35-year-old goaltender is on long-term injury reserve as a nagging knee injury threatens to end his playing career.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: More than a few people felt the tone of the message suggested Price may be acknowledging that his playing days are over. For now, however, neither he nor the Canadiens have suggested that he’ll be hanging up his pads.

Speaking of the Canadiens, they signed restricted free agent goalie Cayden Primeau to a three-year deal with an AAV of $890K.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Primeau, 23, is expected to start this season with the Canadiens AHL affiliate in Laval.

THE SCORE: cites John Tortorella telling SiriusXM NHL that he has “major concerns” about the mood in the Philadelphia Flyers dressing room. He was hired as their new head coach earlier in the offseason.

Tortorella made the assessment after speaking with players, management and other team personnel. “Before we even step on the ice, situations and standards and accountability in the room is forefront,” he said. “You can’t get squat done on the ice until you get your room straightened out, and I think we have a little bit of work to do there.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers are coming off a hellish season that saw them endure two long, season-killing winless skids, an early-season coaching change, and the departure of long-time captain Claude Giroux at the trade deadline. It’s no wonder morale is probably low right now.

A two-time winner of the Jack Adams Award as NHL coach of the year, Tortorella has a good reputation for turning around struggling teams. Improving the Flyers will be a challenge but one he’s capable of handling.

CALGARY HOCKEY NOW: Nazem Kadri has given back to his hometown of London, Ontario. The 31-year-old center donated $1 million to the London Health Sciences Centre. Kadri signed a seven-year contract last month with the Calgary Flames.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A very generous gift by Kadri toward an excellent cause.

BALLY SPORTS MIDWEST’s Andy Strickland reports the St. Louis Blues and Jordan Kyrou are working on a new contract. “Told talks between the two sides have been very good.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kyrou, 24, is coming off a career-best 75-point performance. He’s entering the final season of a two-year deal with an AAV of $2.8 million and will likely get a significant raise on a long-term contract.

DAILY FACEOFF: Former New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist has returned to the club in a new role. The position sees him support business operations for Madison Square Garden Corp. and MSG Entertainment Corp. He’ll also return to his role as a Rangers TV analyst on MSG Network.

Lundqvist, 40, announced his retirement last year. He holds franchise records with 459 career wins, 64 shutouts, and games played (887) during his 15 seasons with the Rangers.

SPORTSNET: Shane Doan is taking a step back from the Arizona Coyotes. He rejoined the Coyotes in 2021 as their Chief Hockey Development Officer following his retirement after 1,466 games with the franchise.

I don’t want this to be seen in any way that hurts the organization. I want the arena bid to be successful for hockey’s long-term future in the Valley,” said Doan. He added that he fully supports second-year coach Andre Tourigny and would help him in any way if asked.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The report suggests Doan is making this decision for family reasons. The report said he’ll be spending more time with his four children. His son, Josh, is a Coyotes draft pick who’s starting his second year at Arizona State University.

THE ATHLETIC: Columbus Blue Jackets captain Boone Jenner recently said he’s feeling much better following a season-ending back injury and looking forward to the coming season. “I’m feeling good, ready to go, absolutely,” he said. The 29-year-old center said his offseason training has gone well and he believes he can be a significant contributor to the Jackets.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Mathieu Perreault is retiring as an NHL player to move into a broadcasting position with TVA Sports. A hardworking and versatile 34-year-old forward, he spent 13 seasons with the Washington Capitals, Anaheim Ducks, Winnipeg Jets and Montreal Canadiens, netting 352 career points in 708 games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Perreault in his new job.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 17, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 17, 2022

The Flyers reportedly hire John Tortorella as head coach, the Predators are on the verge of being sold, the salary cap range for 2022-23 is set, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: Sam Carchidi reports a source claims the Flyers have hired John Tortorella as their new head coach with the official announcement expected Friday.

Philadelphia Flyers reportedly hire John Tortorella as their new head coach (NHL.com).

ESPN’s Kevin Weekes reports Tortorella’s new contract is expected to be in the range of four years at $4 million per season. That means the Flyers will be paying $9 million on coaches for next season as they still owe former coach Alain Vigneault $5 million for ’22-’23.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tortorella has a reputation as a demanding coach who preaches an aggressive defensive style. He also has a long history of success in almost every NHL city he’s coached in.

Tortorella guided the Tampa Bay Lightning to their first-ever Stanley Cup in 2003-04, winning his first Jack Adams Award this season. He coached the New York Rangers to the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals and the Columbus Blue Jackets to their first-ever playoff series win in 2019 by sweeping the Lighting in the opening round. Tortorella won his second Adams Award with the Blue Jackets in 2016-17.

The Flyers, however, will be a challenge for Tortorella. While his hiring fits into management’s goal of “aggressive retooling” of its roster, there are questions about their scoring punch and their blueline depth. Signing him a four-year deal suggests they’re willing to give him the time he needs to reverse the Flyers’ on-ice fortunes.

THE TENNESSEAN: The Nashville Predators are nearing an agreement to sell the franchise to former Tennessee governor Bill Haslam. He’s expected to become the majority owner for an unspecified period of time.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see what changes, if any, Haslam could have in store for the Predators. One thing is certain: he won’t be moving the club out of Nashville.

NHL.COM: The NHL and NHLPA confirmed the salary cap limits for 2022-23. The upper limit will rise by $1 million to $82.5 million while the lower limit is set at $61 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: League commissioner Gary Bettman announced earlier this week that the upper limit will continue to rise by $1 million increments for at least the next two seasons. If hockey-related revenue continues to improve over that period, the increases will become more robust by 2024-25.

DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli believes it’s likely the San Jose Sharks and Evander Kane will reach some sort of settlement regarding the latter’s grievance over his contract termination. NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly suggested an arbitrator might not be available to hear the case until after the NHL free-agency period begins on July 13.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kane would still be allowed to sign with another NHL team if his case hasn’t been heard by July 13. However, the arbiter’s subsequent ruling could complicate things for both sides.

Seravalli suggests the arbiter could rule that the Sharks terminated Kane’s contract without cause. That would mean the winger would be reinstated with the Sharks and any contract he signed with another club would be voided. Kane would get the remainder of his original contract back but he’d have to return to the Sharks, which neither side wants at this stage.

THE DENVER POST: Valeri Nichushkin turned into the best bargain signing ever made by Colorado Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic. Inked to a one-year, $850K contract in 2019-20 after being bought out by the Dallas Stars, the two-way winger has gone on to become an invaluable member of the Avalanche’s march to the 2022 Stanley Cup Final.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nichushkin’s performance in 2019-20 earned him a two-year extension worth $2.5 million annually. This season has been a career year for the 27-year-old winger, tallying 25 goals and 52 points in 62 games during the regular season and six goals and 11 points in 15 postseason games thus far.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: The Lightning aren’t panicking over their overtime loss to the Avalanche in the opening game of the 2022 Stanley Cup Final. They’re 1-3 in Game 1 in this postseason and 11-3 in every other game.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be important for the Lightning to win Game 2 on Saturday and return home for Games 3 and 4 with this series tied. While they overcame being down 2-0 against the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference Finals, they could find it more difficult surmounting a similar deficit against the talented, swift-skatingAvalanche.

WINNIPEG SUN: Barry Trotz is set to meet again with the Jets for more discussions regarding the club’s vacant head coaching position.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That doesn’t mean it’s a certainty Trotz will sign with the Jets but it is a promising step in that direction.

NEW YORK POST: The Rangers have signed Sammy Blais to a one-year, $1.525 million contract extension. The 26-year-old winger was slated to become a restricted free agent on July 13. He missed most of this season following a knee injury suffered in November.

Speaking of the Rangers, former Blueshirt Sean Avery was found guilty of using his scooter to hit a car that was blocking a bike lane in Manhattan in 2019. He was sentenced to time served.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 15, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 15, 2022

The latest on the Avalanche and Lightning ahead of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, the Golden Knights hire former Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy as their new bench boss, Ducks goalie John Gibson denies trade rumors, and much more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Colorado Avalanche coach Jared Bednar hadn’t named his starting goalie for tonight’s Game 1 of the 2022 Stanley Cup Final. Darcy Kuemper has fully recovered from the upper-body injury that sidelined him for most of the Western Conference Finals. Backup Pavel Francouz picked up the wins in all four games in that series as the Avs swept the Edmonton Oilers.

THE DENVER POST: Avalanche center Nazem Kadri’s status for Game 1 remains uncertain. He underwent surgery on his right thumb last week and wasn’t seen skating with his teammates in practice. Kadri wasn’t available to the media because of his injury status.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s been suggested Kadri could return at some point in the Stanley Cup Final. Given the severity of his injury, I’ll believe it when I see it.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning coach Jon Cooper said all signs indicated Brayden Point (lower-body injury) could return to the lineup for the first time in 31 days in Game 1. However, the final decision will be made on Wednesday.

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Brayden Point (NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s believed Point will definitely be in the line for Game 2 if he doesn’t play in Game 1 tonight.

LAS VEGAS SUN: The Vegas Golden Knights confirmed they’ve hired former Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy as their new bench boss.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fired by the Bruins on June 6, Cassidy wasn’t unemployed for long. That’s because of his solid resume during his six seasons in Boston, guiding the Bruins to the 2019 Stanley Cup Final and winning the Presidents’ Trophy the following season, earning himself the Jack Adams Award as coach of the year for 2019-20.

The Golden Knights will be counting on Cassidy to get them back on the winning track after missing the playoffs this season for the first time in franchise history.

THE ATHLETIC: John Gibson denied a recent rumor claiming he would welcome a trade from the Anaheim Ducks. The 28-year-old goaltender said he first learned of the speculation in a call with his agent, Kurt Overhardt.

All of the rumors that I got in a call from Kurt yesterday are false because I haven’t had a conversation with anybody there, “ said Gibson. “None of that is true.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Athletic’s Eric Stephens suggested Gibson, who has a 10-team no-trade clause, could be traded if Ducks general manager Pat Verbeek gets a “blow-me-away” offer. That appears unlikely if the goalie wants to stay put.

NHL.COM: The Vancouver Canucks intend to qualify Brock Boeser’s rights, according to president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford. “No, we’re not going to let him walk,” said Rutherford. “We recognize he’s a good player. We can figure out a way to fit him in next season with him taking his qualifying offer. Everything gets tricky and difficult, but we can figure it out.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It will cost the Canucks $7.5 million to qualify Boeser’s rights. With limited cap space, they’ll like have to make a cost-cutting trade or two to work it out.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: cited ESPN’s Kevin Weeks reporting the Flyers are in “late-stage negotiations” with John Tortorella regarding their head-coaching job.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As of early this morning a deal has not yet been reached. There could be an announcement coming soon. Stay tuned…

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: The Red Wings signed Juho “Jussi” Olkinuora to a one-year, two-way contract. The 31-year-old goaltender helped Finland win gold at the 2022 Beijing Olympics. He also backstopped them to gold at the 2022 World Championship, earning MVP honors.

TRIBLIVE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins promoted Chris Pryor to assistant general manager.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Stars signed forward Fredrik Karlstrom to a one-year, two-way contract extension. He appeared in three games with the Stars this season.

NHL.COM: Al Morganti and Bill Clement will be honored this year by the Hockey Hall of Fame. Morganti will receive the Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award for excellence in hockey journalism while Clement will receive the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award for outstanding contributions as a hockey broadcaster.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to Morganti and Clement on winning these prestigious awards honoring their many years in their respective fields.

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes are hopeful of reaching an agreement on a new arena with the city of Tempe by the end of this year.

IDNES.CZ: Czech goaltender Patrik Bartosak is under investigation by police after his father accused him of assault. He’s a former prospect of the Los Angeles Kings, selected in the fifth round of the 2013 NHL Draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stick tap to Alexander Wirdzek for the link.

TSN: Carter Hutton announced his retirement on Tuesday. The 36-year-old goaltender spent 10 seasons in the NHL with the Chicago Blackhawks, Nashville Predators, St. Louis Blues, Buffalo Sabres and Arizona Coyotes. In 235 games, he had a record of 94 wins, 90 losses and 27 overtime losses, with a career goals-against average of 2.76, a save percentage of .908 and 13 shutouts.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Hutton and his family in their future endeavors.

CALGARY SUN: Jim “Bearcat” Murray passed away Tuesday at age 89. He was the trainer for Flames from 1980 until 1996, transitioning into retirement in a community ambassador role. Murray became one of the most popular and colorful characters in Flames’ history.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I saw Murray’s popularity in Calgary during the four years I lived there in the mid-1990s. He took part in many community and charity activities and was among the city’s most recognizable local celebrities. My condolences to his family, friends, and the Flames’ organization.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 12, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 12, 2022

The Lightning defeats the Rangers to advance to the Stanley Cup Final, the latest on the Flyers and Golden Knights’ search for new head coaches and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: For the third straight year, the Tampa Bay Lightning are heading to the Stanley Cup Final. Steven Stamkos scored twice and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 20 saves as the Bolts defeated the New York Rangers 2-1 in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals to take the series 4 games to 2. Frank Vatrano replied for the Rangers while Igor Shesterkin made 29 stops.

Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (NHL Images).

The Lightning will face off against the Colorado Avalanche in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday, June 15, in Denver.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Experience, a commitment to defensive play and their best players stepping up were keys to the Lightning winning back-to-back Stanley Cups. Those factors also enabled them to overcome a 2-0 series deficit against the Rangers.

The Bolts didn’t get rattled after dropping the first two games in New York. They effectively neutralized the Rangers’ top offensive players as the series went on, holding the Blueshirts scoreless in the final two games and limiting them to one goal in each of the final three games and just one five-on-five goal in the final four.

Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov, Victor Hedman and Ondrej Palat rose to the occasion over the final four games. Shesterkin was outstanding for the Rangers, but Vasilevskiy won the goaltending duel.

The Lightning will also get a boost to their roster for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. Center Brayden Point is expected to be ready to rejoin the lineup after being sidelined by a lower-body injury since Game 7 of their first-round series with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

THE DENVER POST: Speaking of the Avalanche, Mike Chambers agrees with Wayne Gretzky’s opinion of Cale Makar as the best defenseman since Bobby Orr. “The closest player we’ve ever seen offensively and defensively that can make an impact on the game that much – probably Bobby Orr,” Gretzky recently said on TNT. He considered Makar to be the Avalanche’s best player on the ice during the Western Conference Finals.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Makar has been an impact player since his arrival with the Avalanche in the 2019 playoffs. He’s the favorite to win the Norris Trophy this season and should be a perennial candidate for that award for at least the next 10 years.

Makar is a big reason why the Avs reached this year’s Stanley Cup Final and have a legitimate shot at dethroning the Lightning. He has to be considered among the leading candidates for the Conn Smythe Trophy.

DAILY FACEOFF: Sources tell Frank Seravalli that the Philadelphia Flyers have narrowed down their list of head coaching candidates. Former bench bosses Barry Trotz and John Tortorella are believed to be among the finalists.

YARDBARKER: cited Seravalli reported the Vegas Golden Knights have zeroed in on Bruce Cassidy in their search for a new head coach. Cassidy was recently relieved of his duties as coach of the Boston Bruins.

THE SCORE: cited NJ.com’s Ryan Novozinsky reporting New Jersey Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald met recently with winger Jesper Bratt and the two sides are trying to get a deal done this summer. The 23-year-old Bratt is coming off a career-high 73-point performance. He’s slated to become a restricted free agent with arbitration rights on July 13.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fitzgerald indicated his intent to pursue a long-term deal with Bratt during his end-of-season interview last month. The Devils GM could seek an eight-year deal while the winger’s camp could be looking for a raise of over $7 million annually.

TSN: The NHL Board of Governors is set to meet this Thursday in New York City.