NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 3, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 3, 2022

Recaps of Friday’s games featured a big night for Senators captain Brady Tkachuk, the latest on Joe Thornton plus updates on the injury statuses of Thatcher Demko, Jakub Voracek, Tyler Bertuzzi and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Ottawa Senators captain Brady Tkachuk had a “Gordie Howe hat trick” to a 3-2 overtime victory over the New York Rangers. Tkachuk scored the tying and winning goals, collected an assist on Tim Stutzle’s goal, and fought Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba. Tkachuk’s game-tying tally was also his 100th career goal as the Senators improved their record to 9-13-1. Vitali Kravtsov and Mika Zibanejad replied for the 11-9-5 Rangers.

Ottawa Senators captain Brady Tkachuk (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There was a scary moment prior to Kravtsov’s goal when he fired a shot that struck Senators defenseman Travis Hamonic in the throat. Hamonic left the game but returned in the second period and played the remainder of the contest.

Columbus Blue Jackets winger Patrick Laine scored twice to lead his club over the Winnipeg Jets by a score of 4-1. Laine had missed the previous seven games with an ankle injury. Johnny Gaudreau collected three assists and Joonas Korpisalo made 37 saves for the Blue Jackets (8-12-2). Pierre-Luc Dubois replied for the 14-7-1 Jets.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before this game, the Blue Jackets announced that winger Jakub Voracek is out indefinitely with a concussion. Defenseman Zach Werenski underwent successful surgery to repair a torn labrum and will be sidelined for six months while blueliner Jake Bean (shoulder surgery) is out for four-to-six months.

The Nashville Predators picked up their third straight win by downing the New York Islanders 4-1. Kevin Lankinen kicked out 48 shots for the win and Matt Duchene had a goal and two assists as the Predators improved to 12-9-2. Mathew Barzal scored for the Islanders as they sit at 15-10-0.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Predators captain Roman Josi had a goal and an assist in this game. With 562 career points, he’s just four points away from David Legwand’s franchise record of 566 points.

HEADLINES

THE MERCURY NEWS: Joe Thornton has been seen attending San Jose Sharks practices and home games with members of the team’s front office in recent weeks. Thornton, 43, hasn’t announced his retirement as an NHL player but is said to be carefully considering his next move.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My guess is Thornton will officially bring his playing career to a close once he decides what his off-ice career will be. One of the greatest playmakers in NHL history, he’s a certain first-ballot Hall of Famer.

DAILY FACEOFF: Vancouver Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko is expected to miss at least six weeks with a lower-body injury suffered during Thursday’s 5-1 loss to the Florida Panthers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The fate of the Canucks’ playoff hopes could rest upon the performance of backup Spencer Martin and call-up Collin Delia.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Oft-injured Red Wings forward Tyler Bertuzzi will spend six more weeks on injured reserve. He underwent successful surgery on Friday to repair damage to his left hand after being struck by a shot from teammate Ben Chiarot during Wednesday’s 5-4 loss to the Buffalo Sabres.

CBS SPORTS: The Carolina Hurricanes removed Teuvo Teravainen (upper body) from injured reserve on Friday. His availability for Saturday’s game against the Los Angeles Kings remains to be determined.

TSN: The Tampa Bay Lightning placed defenseman Philippe Myers on waivers. He was acquired last summer from the Nashville Predators and signed to a two-year contract by the Lightning. Myers has appeared in 11 games this season.

The New Jersey Devils have recalled winger Andreas Johnsson.

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 2, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 2, 2022

The Lightning’s Steve Stamkos reaches a scoring milestone, the Stars’ Jason Robertson extends his points streak, the three stars and the rookie of the month for November are revealed, and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos became the first player in franchise history to reach the 1,000-point plateau in a 4-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. Stamkos assisted on the second of Nick Paul’s two goals to reach the milestone while Andrei Vasilevskiy made 21 saves as the Lightning improved their record to 14-8-1. Travis Konecny replied for the Flyers as they fall to 8-11-5.

Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stamkos’ teammates poured off the bench to congratulate their captain on his achievement. The 32-year-old forward shows no signs of slowing down, leading his club with 13 goals and sitting second in points with 28.

Konecny and Tony DeAngelo returned to the Flyers’ lineup after being briefly sidelined by injuries. Earlier in the day, general manager Chuck Fletcher said Ryan Ellis will not play this season. He’s been sidelined since last November by what could be a career-threatening back injury.

Dallas Stars winger Jason Robertson extended his points streak to 17 games by tallying a hat trick as his club blanked the Anaheim Ducks 5-0. Jake Oettinger made 31 saves for the shutout while Miro Heiskanen collected three assists. The Stars (14-6-4) have 32 points and hold a three-point lead over the Winnipeg Jets for first place in the Central Division. The Ducks (6-16-2) sit dead last in the overall standings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Robertson is the first player to score 20 goals this season.

Colorado Avalanche center scored two goals and set up three others in a 6-4 victory over the Buffalo Sabres. J.T. Compher scored twice and collected two assists as the Avalanche improved to 13-7-1. Tage Thompson and Dylan Cozens each had a goal and two assists for the 10-13-1 Sabres.

The Nashville Predators blew a 2-0 lead but rallied to down the league-leading New Jersey Devils 4-3 in overtime. Ryan Johansen tallied twice, including the game-winner as the Predators improved to 11-9-2. Jack Hughes and Erik Haula each collected two assists for the Devils (19-4-1) as their 39 points put them one up on the Boston Bruins in the overall standings.

Third-period goals by Jake Guentzel and Kasperi Kapanen lifted the Pittsburgh Penguins over the Vegas Golden Knights by a score of 4-3. Guentzel, Kapanen and Brock McGinn each had a goal and an assist for the Penguins (12-8-4). Logan Thompson made 43 saves and Jack Eichel had a goal and an assist for the 17-7-1 Golden Knights as they sit atop the Western Conference with 35 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Penguins captain Sidney Crosby credited sidelined teammate Kris Letang as inspiration for his club’s win. Letang is sidelined indefinitely after suffering a minor stroke on Monday. Letang went for a brief skate on his own yesterday morning but it was more for his mental health than anything else. His condition is not considered career-threatening but there’s no timetable for his return.

The Seattle Kraken improved to 15-5-3 and moved to within two points of the Golden Knights with a 3-2 overtime victory over the Washington Capitals. Matty Beniers scored the winner as the Kraken overcame a 2-0 deficit while Andre Burakovsky and Vince Dunn each picked up two assists. Alex Ovechkin collected two assists as the Capitals fell to 10-11-4.

Carolina Hurricanes forward Jordan Martinook tallied a hat trick in a 6-4 win over the St. Louis Blues. Brent Burns picked up two assists for the 13-6-5 Hurricanes while Vladimir Tarasenko and Pavel Buchnevich each had two points for the Blues, who drop to 11-12-0.

Minnesota Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov had a goal and two assists to lead his club over the Edmonton Oilers 5-3. Kaprizov set a franchise record for consecutive games with assists (nine) while extending his points streak to 10 games while the Wild improve to 11-9-2. Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl each had a goal and an assist for the 13-11-0 Oilers. McDavid leads all NHL scorers with 43 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier in the day, the Wild recalled defenseman Andrej Sustr to replace Jonas Brodin, who’s out indefinitely with a lower-body injury.

Montreal Canadiens center Sean Monahan collected two assists while Jake Allen kicked out 45 shots in a 2-1 win over the Calgary Flames. Juraj Slafkovsky and Cole Caufield scored for the Canadiens (12-10-1) while Elias Lindholm replied for the 10-10-3 Flames.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was Monahan’s first game in Calgary against the Flames since he was traded to the Canadiens in the offseason. He received a video tribute from his former club and a standing ovation from Flames fans. Earlier in the day, the Canadiens announced that winger Brendan Gallagher would miss the game with a lower-body injury while winger Mike Hoffman (lower body) was placed on injured reserve.

The Florida Panthers got two goals from Sam Bennett and three points from Matthew Tkachuk to beat the Vancouver Canucks 5-1 and improve their record to 11-9-4. Dakota Joshua replied for the Canucks (9-12-3), who also lost goaltender Thatcher Demko in the first period with an apparent injury to his right leg. No word as to the severity of Demko’s injury.

Los Angeles Kings captain Anze Kopitar scored twice, including the winning goal in the third period, to lead his club over the Arizona Coyotes 5-3. Kevin Fiala had a goal and an assist for the Kings (13-9-4). Rookies Dylan Guenther and Matias Macelli each collected two assists for the Coyotes, who fell to 7-11-3.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kings goaltender Cal Petersen cleared waivers yesterday and was sent to the Kings’ AHL affiliate.

HEADLINES

NHL.COM: Stars winger Jason Robertson, Devils goalie Vitek Vanecek and Toronto Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner are the NHL’s three stars for November 2022. Golden Knights goalie Logan Thompson is the rookie of the month for November.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: The Red Wings placed forward Tyler Bertuzzi on injured reserve with a hand injury.

OTTAWA SUN: The deadline for the Senators to reach an agreement on a new contract with restricted free-agent winger Alex Formenton passed yesterday without a deal. Formenton, 23, is now ineligible to play in the NHL for the remainder of this season but his rights are still held by the Senators.

TSN: Maple Leafs forward Calle Jarnkrok is expected to miss some time after leaving Wednesday’s game against the San Jose Sharks with a groin injury.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: The Blackhawks placed defenseman Jarred Tinordi (hip) on injured reserve retroactive to Nov. 27 and recalled blueliner Ian Mitchell from their AHL affiliate in Rockford.

Former Buffalo Sabres center Riley Sheahan has signed with EHC Biel in Switzerland. Sheahan and the Sabres mutually agreed to terminate his contract earlier this week after he decline demotion to their AHL affiliate.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 18, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 18, 2022

Recaps of Monday’s games, Sidney Crosby tops the stars of the week, an update on the health of Hall-of-Famer Borje Salming, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Artemi Panarin and Mika Zibanejad each had four points while Adam Fox collected three assists as the New York Rangers downed the Anaheim Ducks 6-4. It was Panarin’s second four-point game of the season and set a Rangers record for the most points (10) in the first four games of a season.

New York Rangers winger Artemi Panarin (NHL Images).

Alex Ovechkin scored twice as the Washington Capitals defeated the Vancouver Canucks 6-4. The Capitals got four unanswered goals in the third period as Ovechkin finished the night with four points while Evgeny Kuznetsov had three assists. Kuznetsov could face supplemental discipline for slashing Canucks defenseman Kyle Burroughs in the face. Capitals winger Connor Brown left the game with an apparent injury to his right leg.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sportsnet reports the Canucks became the first team in NHL history to lose each of their first three games of the season after blowing a multi-goal lead in each game. They had a players-only meeting after the game but it could take more than that to address their poor defensive play.

Boston Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk celebrated his 26th birthday with two goals and an assist in a 5-3 victory over the Florida Panthers. Patrice Bergeron had a goal and an assist while Linus Ullmark kicked out 38 shots for the win. Sam Bennett and Colin White each had a goal and an assist for the Panthers, who lost defenseman Aaron Ekblad to a lower-body injury in the second period.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Panthers blueliner Brandon Montour missed this game with an upper-body injury.

The Arizona Coyotes upset the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-2. Shayne Gostisbehere snapped a 2-2 tie late in the third period after the Leafs overcame a 2-0 deficit. The Leafs appeared to tie the game 3-3 with 37 seconds remaining but it was overturned on a hand pass by Morgan Rielly. Gostisbehere, Nick Ritchie and Christian Fischer each had a goal and an assist. Leafs captain John Tavares picked up an assist for his 900th career point. Leafs defenseman Jake Muzzin left the game with a neck injury in the second period.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The overturned goal shouldn’t overshadow the fact the Leafs were dreadful for most of this game against a club that (on paper) they should’ve easily defeated. Whatever the reason, they struggled against a determined Coyotes club that didn’t collapse when the Leafs staged their third-period rally.

Nathan MacKinnon and Valeri Nichushkin each had a goal and two assists to lead the Colorado Avalanche over the Minnesota Wild 6-3, handing the latter their third straight loss. Kirill Kaprizov tallied twice for the Wild.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Goaltending has been an issue for the Wild thus far. Marc-Andre Fleury was terrible in their first two games while Filip Gustavsson wasn’t much better in this contest against the Avalanche.

The Montreal Canadiens nipped the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 on an overtime goal by Kirby Dach. Evgeni Malkin scored twice for the Penguins but the Canadiens got goals from Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield to force the extra frame. Canadiens goaltender Jake Allen missed this game on parental leave but Sam Montembeault got the win with a 26-save performance.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Caufield’s goal came from a beautiful thread-the-needle pass from Jonathan Drouin, who’s been the target of criticism from Canadiens fans and the subject of trade speculation. More passing plays like that could silence his critics and improve his stock in the trade market.

An overtime goal by Phillip Danault gave the Los Angeles Kings a 5-4 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. Danault scored twice while Anze Kopitar, Kevin Fiala and Adrian Kempe each had two points. David Perron scored two goals and collected an assist for the Red Wings. Kings defenseman Alex Edler missed this game after being struck in the face by a puck during warmups.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A strong defensive effort by Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin set the stage for teammate Oskar Sundqvist’s game-tying goal that forced overtime. With his club down 4-3, Larkin hustled back to thwart Kings winger Viktor Arvidsson’s attempt at an empty-net goal after the Wings pulled netminder Ville Husso to go with six attackers.

Andrei Svechnikov and Sebastian Aho each had three-point performances to lead the Carolina Hurricanes to a 5-1 victory over the Seattle Kraken. Schenikov scored two goals while goalie Frederik Andersen turned aside 22 shots for the win.

The Dallas Stars rolled to a 4-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets. Jake Oettinger made 24 saves, Tyler Seguin and Miro Heiskanen scored while Mason Marchment collected two assists. Mark Scheifele scored for the Jets.

HEADLINES

NHL.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid and Dallas Stars goaltender Jake Oetting are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Oct. 16, 2022.

TORONTO STAR: Hall-of-Famer Borje Salming can no longer speak and has to be fed through a tube as a result of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). On Aug. 10, Salming released a statement indicating he’d been diagnosed with the disease for which there is no cure.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It appears Salming’s symptoms are spreading rapidly. Spare a thought or prayer for the Leafs legend.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Red Wings forward Tyler Bertuzzi has been sidelined for four-to-six weeks with an upper-body injury.

ARIZONA SPORTS: Coyotes center Nick Schmaltz is out for six-to-eight weeks with an upper-body injury.

DAILY FACEOFF: The Philadelphia Flyers placed defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen on injured reserve with an undisclosed injury. He played in two preseason games but missed their first two regular-season contests.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 21, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 21, 2022

As training camps begin, check out the latest on Ryan Ellis, Joe Thornton, Tyler Bertuzzi and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: Ryan Ellis continues to rehab a pelvic injury suffered during preseason last year. There is no timetable for the 31-year-old defenseman’s return to the lineup. Daily Faceoff first reported Ellis’ status on Tuesday. He played just four games with the Flyers last season. 

Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ryan Ellis (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This news comes a day after the Flyers announced first-line center Sean Couturier is sidelined week-to-week with an upper-body injury. Having two of their best players on the shelf for the opening weeks of 2022-23 is a major setback for a club hoping to bounce back from one of the worst seasons in franchise history.

THE MERCURY NEWS: The San Jose Sharks released their training camp roster yesterday and Joe Thornton was not among the 34 forwards. The 43-year-old Thornton has taken part in informal “captain’s skates” with several of his former Sharks teammates in recent weeks, sparking speculation he might attend camp on a professional tryout offer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sharks general manager Mike Grier said he isn’t sure if a PTO is in Thornton’s future but he’s happy to have him and former Shark Patrick Marleau around the team. It sounds like Grier’s angling for one or both to join the club in an off-ice capacity. So far, there’s no word from Thornton or Marleau regarding their plans.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Tyler Bertuzzi might not have to miss games in Canada this season. The Canadian government will lift the COVID-19 vaccination requirement to cross the border on Sept. 30 pending cabinet approval. Bertuzzi was the only NHL player unvaccinated last season and wasn’t allowed to play in Canada.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: “Personal choice. Freedom of choice. And life choice,” explained Bertuzzi last season of his decision to be unvaccinated. The Red Wings won just two of its nine games in Canada last season without him in the lineup.

TORONTO STAR: Defenseman Timothy Liljegren will miss the start of Maple Leafs training camp with an undisclosed injury. The team is expected to provide an update on the 23-year-old defenseman on Wednesday but he could be for a long-term period. It’s also believed forward Pierre Engvall could also be injured heading into camp.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The report also indicates Liljegren’s absence isn’t expected to put more pressure on Leafs management to sign restricted free agent blueliner Rasmus Sandin.

TORONTO SUN: Speaking of the Leafs, they’ll have a “Milk” advertising patch on the right breast of their sweaters for this season. It’s part of their ongoing marketing partnership with the Dairy Farmers of Ontario.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This news will likely enrage purists who are udderly against ad patches on NHL sweaters. It’s just part of each team’s desire to milk as much advertising revenue as possible but there will be fans who’ll find the whole scheme rather cheesy.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER’s Luke DeCock reports Jake Gardiner isn’t expected to join his Carolina Hurricanes teammates in training camp this week. He’s likely to end up on long-term injury reserve again.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gardiner spent all of last season on LTIR recovering from hip surgery. This could spell the end of his playing career. The 32-year-old defenseman is entering the final season of his four-year contract with an average annual value of $4.050 million.

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes signed restricted free agent Barrett Hayton to a two-year contract. The 22-year-old center will earn an average annual value of $1.775 million.

TSN: St. Louis Blues defenseman Marco Scandella will undergo surgery on his right hip joint. He’s expected to be re-evaluated in six months.

The Colorado Avalanche have reportedly signed forward Alex Galchenyuk to a professional tryout offer. Galchenyuk, 28, had 21 points in 60 games last season with the Arizona Coyotes.










NHL Rumor Mill – August 23, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – August 23, 2022

A look at five stars who could hit the trade block this season plus three potential destinations for Phil Kessel in the NHL Rumor Mill.

FIVE NHL STARS WHO COULD HIT THE TRADE BLOCK THIS SEASON

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: St. Louis Blues center Ryan O’Reilly and winger Vladimir Tarasenko topped Dan Kingerski’s list of five NHL stars who could get shopped this season. Detroit Red Wings forward Tyler Bertuzzi, Arizona Coyotes defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere and Anaheim Ducks blueliner John Klingberg round out the list.

St. Louis Blues center Ryan O’Reilly (NHL Images).

These five players are in the final season of their contracts and are eligible to become unrestricted free agents next summer. Kingerski suggested their respective teams would be wise to move them in order to avoid protracted contract talks ending with their departures via free agency. He cited what happened with the Calgary Flames and Johnny Gaudreau last season as an example.

Kingerski also believes Vancouver Canucks center J.T. Miller is among several players already on the trade block. He anticipates long-time Chicago Blackhawks stars Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews will also appear in trade rumors. Like the others, they’re also slated to become UFAs next summer

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be easier for those teams to shop those players if they’re not in the playoff chase when the 2023 NHL trade deadline rolls around. The Blackhawks, Coyotes and Ducks aren’t expected to be postseason contenders so it won’t be surprising if Kane, Toews, Gostisbehere and Klingberg hit the trade block in the New Year.

The Canucks and Red Wings could qualify for the playoffs. They could retain Miller and Bertuzzi as own rentals and take their chances on their possible departures next summer.

Most observers (including me) consider the Blues a postseason contender. Unless that changes over the course of the season, I don’t see O’Reilly or Tarasenko going anywhere.

WHERE COULD KESSEL END UP?

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Mike Stephens suggested the Edmonton Oilers, Dallas Stars and Los Angeles Kings as possible destinations for Phil Kessel. The 34-year-old right winger is among the few noteworthy players still available in this summer’s UFA market.

The Oilers and Stars could benefit from Kessel’s playmaking skills. However, both clubs would have to do some salary-cap maneuvering to make it work. The Stars have over $10 million in cap space but most of that will go toward re-signing Jake Oettinger and Jason Robertson.

Stephens suggested Kessel might be a fit on the Kings’ third line. They have enough cap space to make it happen if they can convince him to accept a pay cut.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kessel’s been linked to the Oilers though some observers believe they could or should make a play for Patrick Kane. The former Coyotes winger would be a much more affordable option for them.

Kessel is going to have to accept a pay cut wherever he goes. At this stage of his career, he’s probably not that worried about it.

The chance to play this season and set the NHL Ironman record likely means more to Kessel now. He could be a good, affordable fit as a depth forward with a postseason contender.










NHL Rumor Mill – August 11, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – August 11, 2022

Updates on Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, the latest on the Islanders, and the contract statuses of Red Wings forwards Dylan Larkin and Tyler Bertuzzi in today’s NHL rumor mill.

LATEST ON KANE AND TOEWS

THE ATHLETIC: Scott Powers reports neither Patrick Kane nor Jonathan Toews has approached Chicago Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson about a trade. Davidson also hasn’t asked them to waive their no-movement clauses.

Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews (NHL Images).

With the 2022 draft and the start of the 2022 free-agency period now history, Powers believes the 2023 trade deadline will be the next time frame when Kane and/or Toews could be moved. He anticipates the Blackhawks will be more willing by that time to retain part of their salaries to facilitate a trade, expecting the club will keep around $10 million in cap space open this season to prepare for that.

It’s expected the two long-time Blackhawks stars want to see how this season plays out as Davidson presses ahead with rebuilding the roster. Powers claims neither player really wants to leave Chicago. “Kane and Toews are going to be allowed to determine their future,” he writes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kane has featured prominently in this summer’s trade rumors, Toews less so. Nevertheless, we can expect these two will continue to surface in the coming season’s rumor mill, especially when the trade deadline approaches in February.

Both players carry $10.5 million salary-cap hits and full no-movement clauses so they have complete control over their fates for the coming season. The Blackhawks will be expected to retain up to half of those cap hits in a trade, which is why they’ll be more inclined to do so at the trade deadline when most of the season has been played.

UPDATE ON THE ISLANDERS

NYI HOCKEY NOW: Stefen Rosner cites ESPN’s Kevin Weekes’ cryptic tweet anticipating “at least 4 transactions with the NY Islanders coming down the line”.

Three of them are expected to be restricted free agents Noah Dobson, Alexander Romanov and Kieffer Bellows. The fourth is expected to be unrestricted free agent center Nazem Kadri.

Rosner recently cited sources indicating the 31-year-old Kadri would be joining the Islanders but they first have to move out a contract to make room for him. They’ve reportedly attempted to shop winger Josh Bailey but are now looking at another avenue in winger Anthony Beauvillier.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ve noted in the past the silence from the Islanders and from the Kadri camp. One or the other could bring this speculation to an end by issuing a statement denying the “Kadri to the Isles” talk.

Bailey is 32 and carries a $5 million cap hit through 2023-24. Beauvillier, on the other hand, is younger (24) and has a more affordable $4.15 million cap hit.

WHAT’S UP WITH LARKIN AND BERTUZZI?

THE ATHLETIC: In a recent mailbag segment, Max Bultman was asked at what point should fans become concerned that Dylan Larkin and Tyler Bertuzzi haven’t signed contract extensions with the Detroit Red Wings. Both players are eligible for UFA status next summer.

Bultman anticipates Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman will tell us that his club doesn’t need to get both players under contract before the coming season. He’s got plenty of time between now and next July to sign both. Nevertheless, Bultman expects there could be some concern if neither player is signed by opening night.

If the Red Wings aren’t in the playoff race before the trade decision, Yzerman could face some tough decisions if one or both remain unsigned. Larkin has a no-trade clause which gives him some leverage and could lead to a new contract this summer. Bertuzzi lacks no-trade protection.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Of the two, I think Larkin is the more likely to be re-signed given his status as the Wings’ captain. This is a young team with plenty of promise and Larkin’s been a big part of that.