NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 7, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 7, 2022

Bryan Rust had his third straight multi-point game as the Penguins get their 10th straight win, Nathan MacKinnon has a five-point performance, Joe Thornton and Jakub Voracek reach milestones and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Bryan Rust had his third straight multi-point game (two goals, one assist) as his Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Philadelphia Flyers 6-2 to pick up their 10th straight win. Jake Guentzel also tallied twice while Kris Letang collected three assists. With 45 points, the Penguins have a comfortable hold on the first wild-card berth in the very tight Eastern Conference playoff race. The Flyers (32 points) have lost three straight and sit four points behind the Boston Bruins for the final wild-card spot.

Speaking of the Bruins, they failed to gain ground on the Penguins by dropping a 3-2 decision to the Minnesota Wild, who snapped a five-game losing skid. Matt Boldy scored what proved to be the game-winner in his NHL debut while teammate Kirill Kaprizov left the game in the second period following what Wild coach Dean Evason called a “predatory hit” by Bruins forward Trent Frederic. Minnesota (42 points) holds the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference but sits just five points out of first in the Conference. Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy missed the game with a lower-body injury.

Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon (NHL Images).

The Colorado Avalanche’s top line of Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog combined for 12 points in a 7-1 drubbing of the Winnipeg Jets. MacKinnon had a goal and four assists, Landeskog tallied a hat trick and collected an assist while Rantanen has a goal and two helpers as the Avs (42 points) picked up their third straight win to move into third place in the Central Division.

Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov picked up two assists in his first game since Oct. 16 to help his club defeat the Calgary Flames 4-1. Tampa Bay forwards Corey Perry, Brayden Point, Ondrej Palat and Alex Killorn were the goal scorers as the Lightning sits atop the overall standings with 51 points. The Flames (40 points) are third in the Pacific Division.

The Vegas Golden Knights tallied four unanswered goals to down the New York Rangers 5-1, spoiling the return of Rangers coach Gerard Gallant and winger Ryan Reaves to Vegas. Jonathan Marchessault scored twice for the Golden Knights, who sit atop the Western Conference with 47 points.

Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros kicked out 46 shots as his club doubled up the Los Angeles Kings 4-2. Filip Forsberg and Roman Josi each had two points on the night as the Predators sit one point behind the Golden Knights.

Shootout goals by Joe Pavelski and Jason Robertson lifted the Dallas Stars to a 6-5 win over the Florida Panthers. It was the Stars’ first game in 16 days. Aleksander Barkov scored twice for the Panthers while Joe Thornton played in his 1,700th NHL game. The Panthers (49 points) sit second in the Eastern Conference while the Stars (34 points) are four points out of a wild-card spot in the West.

New Jersey Devils center Jack Hughes extended his career-high points streak to five games with a goal and two assists in a 3-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. MacKenzie Blackwood made 31 saves for the win. Blue Jackets winger Jakub Voracek played in his 1,000th NHL game. With the win, the Devils (33 points) are just three points out of a wild-card spot in the East.

The San Jose Sharks (37 points) moved within one point of a Western Conference wild-card spot by holding off the Buffalo Sabres 3-2. Tomas Hertl had a goal and an assist while goalie Adin Hill turned aside 37 shots.

A hat trick by Johan Larsson carried the Arizona Coyotes to a 6-4 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. Travis Boyd collected a goal and two assists for the Coyotes. Earlier in the day, the Coyotes announced forward Jay Beagle is out “long-term” with a lower-body injury and claimed forward Riley Nash off waivers from the Tampa Bay Lightning.

HEADLINES

SPORTSNET: St. Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko and New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin were among the latest players placed on the COVID protocol list.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens have extended their break from all activities until Saturday due to COVID-19. Twenty-two of their players are currently on the COVID protocol list.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Tuukka Rask signed a professional tryout contract with the Bruins AHL affiliate in Providence in the latest step toward his eventual return with the club. The 34-year-old goaltender is working his way back from offseason hip surgery and is expected to be back with the Bruins by sometime next week.

TSN: Seattle Kraken winger Jaden Schwartz is out four to six weeks with a hand injury.

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs placed winger Nick Ritchie on waivers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas’ gamble on Ritchie failed to pay off. However, his other affordable offseason additions (Michael Bunting, Ondrej Kase and David Kampf) are working out rather well for the Leafs.

CTV SASKATOON: The Winnipeg Jets are looking into the possibility of playing some of their home games in Saskatoon due to strict COVID-19 capacity restrictions in Manitoba.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 3, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 3, 2020

The Stars hope to re-sign Anton Khudobin, the Wild are close to re-signing Carson Soucy, the Senators acquire Josh Brown from the Panthers, the Jets re-sign Laurent Brossoit, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): Pierre LeBrun reports sources say the Dallas Stars hope to re-sign Anton Khudobin. The 34-year-old goaltender is due to become an unrestricted free agent on Oct. 9. General manager Jim Nill has reached out to Khudobin’s agent, Kent Hughes, expressing the club’s desire to re-sign him.

Dallas Stars goaltender Anton Khudobin (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No surprise the Stars hope to keep Khudobin in the fold following his heroics in the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs. LeBrun reports Hughes said his client is interested in staying.

The question, of course, is the cost. Khudobin’s completing a two-year contract worth an annual average value of $2.75 million. He could seek between $3.5 million and $4 million annually on a two- or three-year deal.

Cap Friendly indicates the Stars have over $15 million in cap space, but they must also re-sign restricted free agents Roope Hintz and Denis Gurianov. They could be keen to bring back pending UFA Corey Perry for another season. A new contract for Khudobin could be a tight fit, depending on how close to the salary cap ownership is willing to go.

TSN: Frank Seravalli reports the Minnesota Wild are closing in on re-signing defenseman Carson Soucy to a three-year contract at $2.75 million annually.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Soucy is completing a one-year deal worth $750K. Seravalli recently reported the pending UFA blueliner was attracting a lot of interest.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators yesterday acquired defenseman Josh Brown from the Florida Panthers in exchange for the Senators’ fourth-round pick (95th overall) in the 2020 NHL Draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Looks like the Senators found their potential replacement for the departing Mark Borowiecki. The 6’5”, 217-pounder is a restricted free agent completing a two-year, $1.35-million contract.

WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets re-signed goaltender Laurent Brossoit to a one-year, $1.5-million contract.

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs re-signed forward Denis Malgin to a one-year, $700K contract.

ESPN.COM: The Vegas Golden Knights revealed their metallic gold third jersey for 2020-21.

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes named Ryan Jankowski as their new associate director of amateur scouting. He spent the last two years as the Buffalo Sabres director of amateur scouting.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Tim Smith, who performed as the Los Angeles Kings’ team mascot Bailey, was fired following allegations of sexual misconduct.

THE BOSTON GLOBE: Former Bruins winger Bobby Miller passed away yesterday at age 64. Miller spent his first four NHL seasons with the Bruins from 1977 to 1981, scoring 20 goals as a rookie in ’77-’78. He also spent two seasons with the Colorado Rockies and one with the Los Angeles Kings, finishing his NHL career with 75 goals and 194 points in 404 games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Miller’s family, friends and former teammates.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 22, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 22, 2017

Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid was the big winner at the 2017 NHL Awards.

The winners at the NHL Awards and the inaugural roster of the Vegas Golden Knights in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid won the Hart Trophy and the Ted Lindsay Award in last night’s NHL Awards in Las Vegas. McDavid was also named to the First All-Star Team. The Oilers captain also won the Art Ross Trophy as this season’s leading scorer.

Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron won his fourth Selke Trophy as the top defensive forward, tying Hall of Famer Bob Gainey as the only players to win it four times. 

San Jose Sharks defenseman Brent Burns took home the Norris Trophy as the league’s top defenseman, beating out Ottawa Senators captain Erik Karlsson. 

Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky won the Vezina Trophy as the top goalie for the second time in his career. His head coach John Tortorella won his second Jack Adams award as coach of the year. 

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews took home the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year.  Calgary Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau won the Lady Byng trophy as the most gentlemanly player and Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson won the Masterton Trophy for perseverance after taking time off during this season to be with his wife Nicholle, who was battling cancer. Nashville Predators general manager David Poile is this season’s GM of the Year. 

During the Awards show, the league honored former NHL player Bryan Bickell, whose career was cut short by multiple sclerosis. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The only surprise for me was Burns winning the Norris. Not that he doesn’t deserve it but I expected Karlsson would take home the award. I know some folks were upset with Tortorella winning the Adams over Toronto’s Mike Babcock and Edmonton’s Todd McLellan but Torts’ Blue Jackets finished the season with more points than the Leafs and Oilers. 

Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, winger James Neal and defenseman Marc Methot are among the notable players making up the Vegas Golden Knights inaugural roster. Here’s a look at the complete list (via TSN)

Forwards

Teemu Pulkkinen (Coyotes)
William Carrier (Sabres)
Cody Eakin (Stars)
Tomas Nosek (Red Wings)
Jonathan Marchessault (Panthers)
Reilly Smith (Panthers)
Connor Brickley (Hurricanes)
Chris Thorburn (Jets)
Pierre-Edouard Bellemare (Flyers)
Nikita Gusev (Lightning)
James Neal (Predators)
Mikhail Grabovski (Islanders)
Brendan Leipsic (Maple Leafs)
David Perron (Blues)
Oscar Lindberg (Rangers)
Erik Haula (Wild)
Alex Tuch (Wild)
William Karlsson (Blue Jackets)
David Clarkson (Blue Jackets)

Defencemen

Luca Sbisa (Canucks)
Jon Merrill (Devils)
Brayden McNabb (Kings)
Jason Garrison (Lightning)
Deryk Engelland (Flames)
Jake Bischoff (Islanders)
Colin Miller (Bruins)
Marc Methot (Senators)
David Schlemko (Sharks)
Griffin Reinhart (Oilers)
Alexei Emelin (Canadiens)
Clayton Stoner (Ducks)
Shea Theodore (Ducks)
Trevor van Riemsdyk (Blackhawks)
Nate Schmidt (Capitals)

Goaltenders

Calvin Pickard (Avalanche)
Jean-Francois Berube (Islanders)
Marc-Andre Fleury (Penguins)

The Golden Knights also stocked up on draft picks in trades made with several NHL clubs, including two first-round selections in the upcoming 2017 NHL draft. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some of the players selected by Vegas could end up flipped to other teams in the upcoming days. I’ll have more on that in my Rumors section later this morning.

Whatever the Golden Knights roster eventually looks like, it certainly won’t be a playoff contender next season. However, management is loading up with draft picks and prospects to stock up their youth pipeline. They also picked up several promising players in Theodore, Schmidt, Pickard, Tuch, Karlsson, Haula and Miller who could form this club’s long-term nucleus.