NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 1, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 1, 2019

Game recaps, injury updates, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: The Philadelphia Flyers extended their winning streak to six games with a 3-2 overtime victory over the Boston Bruins. Travis Sanheim tallied the winner and also picked up an assist. David Pastrnak scored both Bruins goals. 

Mika Zibanejad’s hat trick carried the New York Rangers to a 4-3 win over the New Jersey Devils (Photo via NHL Images).

Mike Zibanejad’s hat trick carried the New York Rangers to a 4-3 win over the New Jersey Devils. Mats Zuccarello collected three assists for the Rangers, who’ve won five of their last seven contests. Earlier in the day, the Rangers revealed center Brett Howden will be sidelined three-to-four weeks with a sprained MCL. 

Third-period goals by Jack Roslovic and Kyle Connor lifted the Winnipeg Jets to a 4-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Jackets were playing without Cam Atkinson, who was a late scratch after being struck in the face by a puck during warmups. Earlier in the day, the Jackets revealed center Boone Jenner will miss one-to-three weeks with an infected laceration on his ankle.  Meanwhile, Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien (lower-body injury) is now listed as day-to-day. He’s been sidelined since Dec. 29. 

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Anaheim Ducks winger Corey Perry could make his season debut on Saturday against the Winnipeg Jets. He’s been sidelined for four months recovering from surgery on his right knee. 

SPORTSNET: Edmonton Oilers defenseman Oscar Klefbom suffered an apparent setback in his recovery from a broken left finger after being struck on the injured hand during practice. 

STLTODAY.COM: Blues winger David Perron (upper-body injury) was placed on injured reserve. 

DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars forward Tyler Pitlick (upper-body injury) will be sidelined for two more weeks.

SPORTSNET: The Montreal Canadiens will neither confirm or deny a report claiming defenseman Noah Juulsen may have suffered a career-threatening eye injury. He was struck in the face by a puck during a Nov. 19 game against Washington and his last game was with their AHL farm team on Dec. 27. The club will only confirm he has an upper-body injury that requires rest and is not a concussion.  

TSN: The Florida Panthers placed forward Jamie McGinn on waivers. 

CBC.CA: Olympic gold medalist Kendall Coyne Schofield defended NBC Sports analyst Pierre McGuire from social media backlash for “mansplaining” hockey to Coyne Schofield. The incident occurred during her appearance with McGuire as a guest analyst in Wednesday’s contest between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Tampa Bay Lightning. 

“I know he respects me as a hockey player, a woman, and a friend and that’s why I didn’t think twice about our on-air exchange when it happened,” said Coyne Schofield. Nevertheless, she added, “If I were watching it at home and saw a man say this to a woman athlete, I would have been offended.”

McGuire also issued a statement apologizing for his remarks. “At times my excitement got the better of me and I should have chosen my words better.”

THE SCORE: Antoine Vermette yesterday announced his retirement after 14 NHL seasons. In 1,046 games with the Ottawa Senators, Columbus Blue Jackets, Phoenix/Arizona Coyotes, Chicago Blackhawks, and Anaheim Ducks, Vermette scored 228 goals and 287 assists for 515 points, along with 14 goals and 28 points in 97 playoff games. He won a Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks in 2015. 

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

Slim Pickings Remain in 2018 NHL UFA Market

Slim Pickings Remain in 2018 NHL UFA Market

A week into the 2018 NHL free-agent market, not much talent remains for teams attempting to bolster their lineups. Here’s a brief look at the notable names still available as of July 7, 2018.

Left wing Patrick Maroon is the best player still available in this summer’s UFA market (Photo via NHL Images).

Patrick Maroon. The best remaining scorer in the bunch. A big-bodied (6’3”, 225 lbs) left winger coming off back-to-back 40-plus point seasons. The St. Louis Blues are reportedly interested in his services.

Kari Lehtonen. The 34-year-old Lehtonen posted a respectable 2.56 goals-against average and .912 save percentage last season in a backup role with the Dallas Stars. He could be a mentor for a rising young starter.

Dan Hamhuis. Though Hamhuis’ best days are behind him,  the 35-year-old defenseman still tallied 24 points while skating over 20 minutes per game with the Stars. He could be a solid depth addition for a playoff contender.

Toby Enstrom. Injuries have frequently sidelined the 33-year-old Enstrom, hampering his effectiveness as a puck-moving blueliner. His experience, however, could be helpful to a rebuilding club.

Brooks Orpik. The shutdown blueliner helped the Washington Capitals win the Stanley Cup this spring. Traded to Colorado and bought out, the Capitals are reportedly interested in bringing him back for one more year.

Steve Mason. The 30-year-old struggled with injury and inconsistency as the Winnipeg Jets’ backup last season. Those factors could hurt Mason’s efforts to land with another NHL club.

Luca Sbisa. Missed all but 30 games to injury last season but was solid in the playoffs for the Vegas Golden Knights. Sbisa could be a good depth addition to a blueline in need of a physical rearguard.

Antoine Vermette. The 35-year-old’s 20-goal, 40-point seasons are well in the past. However, he could provide depth for clubs in need of a veteran checking-line center.

Alexei Emelin. A physical defenseman, Emelin could provide some experienced grit as a third-pairing blueliner.

Ondrej Pavelec. The 30-year-old netminder sported a decent .910 save percentage serving as Henrik Lundqvist’s understudy with the New York Rangers.


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 10, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 10, 2018

The Capitals’ Cup celebration continues plus the latest on Auston Matthews, Antoine Vermette and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: has a collection of the very best of the Capitals celebrating with the Stanley Cup. Among the highlights: partying with DJ Tiesto at a Las Vegas nightclub, Alex Ovechkin twice throwing out the ceremonial first pitch before Saturday’s Washington Nationals’ game, and swimming in a fountain at Georgetown Waterfront. 

NEW YORK POST: Attempting to be the skunk at the garden party, Larry Brooks believes winning the Stanley Cup doesn’t erase Alex Ovechkin’s ledger of losing. 

Auston Matthews recent change of agents has apparently raised concern among Toronto Maple Leafs’ management (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yeah, just like all anyone remembers from the careers of Steve Yzerman, Ray Bourque, Teemu Selanne, Dominik Hasek and Lanny McDonald are the blemishes of losing before they finally won the Cup. 

TORONTO SUN: Steve Simmons reports the Toronto Maple Leafs are confused over center Auston Matthews changing agents. “What the Leafs want to know: What does this say about Matthews’ loyalty? What does this say about his relationship with Babcock, who tends not to talk to agents? What does this say about his apparent future captain-ship of the Leafs? And what does this say about the disappointing way in which Matthews season ended and the maximum money he is looking for after a playoff disappearance and 20 games lost to injury?”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Or maybe this is much ado about nothing and Matthews simply felt he needed a change in representation? As Simmons also noted, Matthews was following agent Judd Moldaver, who also changes agencies.

Regardless of who his agent is, the Leafs star is going to get big money on his next contract. Buffalo Sabres star Jack Eichel, who was drafted second overall in the 2015 NHL Draft a year before Matthews, got an eight year, $80 million contract. Matthews will likely to get a comparable deal, perhaps slightly more expensive but for the same number of years. 

TVA SPORTS: Anaheim Ducks center Antoine Vermette isn’t ready to end his 14-year NHL career, but he suggests his family will take precedence over hockey. Vermette, who turns 36 next month, is due to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Vermette can’t land with another NHL team, it sounds like he’s not keen to continue his career overseas.

BOSTON HERALD: Former Bruins forward John McKenzie, 80, died last night following a long illness. He spent 21 seasons in the NHL and WHA, winning two Stanley Cups in seven seasons with the Bruins in 1970 and 1972. In 691 NHL game, McKenzie scored 206 goals, 268 assists and 474 points, along with 917 PIMs. 

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


NHL Rumor Mill – February 17, 2018

NHL Rumor Mill – February 17, 2018

The Blues and Senators could be talking trade, updated TSN trade bait list, the latest on the Bruins and more in your NHL rumor mill.

The St. Louis Blues are reportedly interested in Ottawa Senators winger Mike Hoffman (above) and teammate Derick Brassard (Photo via NHL Images).


SPORTNET: Josh Beneteau cite’s NHL.com’s Lou Korac reporting a source claiming the St. Louis Blues and Ottawa Senators are engaged in strong trade discussions regarding Senators forwards Mike Hoffman and Derick Brassard. If a deal is done, the Blues would acquire one or the other but not both. A potential package from the Blues to the Sens could include forwards Vladimir Sobotka, Patrick Berglund and Robby Fabbri.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blues general manager Doug Armstrong has indicated he’s seeking “hockey trades” rather than rentals. In other words, he wants players with term remaining on their contracts rather than pending UFAs who could bolt this summer. Hoffman or Brassard would fit the bill and could help bolster the Blues’ offense. 

I can understand the Senators interest in Fabbri, but his back-to-back knee injuries are a concern. Frequent reports out of Ottawa claimed the Senators wanted to get younger, but taking on the 30-year-old Sobotka and the 29-year-old Berglund flies in the face of that plan. The only reason I can see why the Senators would want those two is they carry reasonably affordable contracts


TSN: Frank Seravalli added four new names to his 40-name trade-bait list in Ottawa Senators center Derick Brassard (fourth), teammate Bobby Ryan (39th), Arizona Coyotes forward Max Domi (11th) and Anaheim Ducks center Antoine Vermette (26th). Brassard could be an attractive option in a market thin on quality centers. The Coyotes aren’t actively shopping Domi but “as many as 20 teams” are believed to have investigated his availability.

He also dropped Vegas Golden Knights forwards James Neal and David Perron as they seem likely to stay put at the deadline. Defenseman Dion Phaneuf was also dropped following his trade this week from Ottawa to Los Angeles, while it’s unlikely the Buffalo Sabres will trade forward Sam Reinhart.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ottawa pundits have consistently expressed the view that Brassard might not be available, but that could change if the Sens get a significant offer for him (see above). Unless the Sens are willing to pick up a big chunk of Ryan’s $7.25 million annual cap hit or take back a toxic contract in return, I doubt he’ll be moved.

Given Domi’s struggles this season I don’t think the Coyotes will move him while his value is low. He’s a restricted free agent this summer lacking arbitration rights so they’re not under any pressure to trade him. If the Ducks become sellers they could test Vermette’s trade value before the Feb. 26 deadline.


NBC SPORTS BOSTON/THE BOSTON GLOBE: Joe Haggerty cites a reports by the Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson saying he’s heard the New York Rangers would want young Boston Bruns forward Jake DeBrusk included in any potential deal involving Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh. Haggerty also believes the Blueshirts would want defenseman Brandon Carlo and a first-round pick included in the deal.

The Globe’s Kevin Paul Dupont also noted Matheson’s report, adding rumors have also linked the Bruins to Edmonton Oilers left wing Patrick Maroon and Vancouver Canucks forward Thomas Vanek.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Haggerty cautions Bruins GM Don Sweeney to tread carefully in the trade market and not do anything to significantly alter a Bruins’ roster that’s challenging for the Presidents’ Trophy. Removing multiple players to add someone like McDonagh could adversely affect team chemistry. Sweeney could make a bold move at the deadline, but with his club playing very well over the past three months, there’s really very little reason for him to do so. If he adds, it could be for an affordable depth forward.


WGR 550: TSN’s Darren Dreger said Friday he thinks the Buffalo Sabres could move veteran defenseman Josh Gorges at the trade deadline. He’s in the final season of his contract the Sabres are willing to absorb half of his $3.9-million cap hit. He speculates the St. Louis Blues could seek a depth defenseman and believes the Winnipeg Jets have kicked the tires.




NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 26, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 26, 2017

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby opens the scoring against the Philadelphia Flyers at Heinz Field.

Game recaps, update on Vermette suspension & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Sidney Crosby tallied his 34th goal of the season and Matt Murray made 36 saves as the Pittsburgh Penguins doubled up the Philadelphia Flyers 4-2 in their Stadium Series match-up in front of over 67,000 fans at Heinz Field. Penguins defenseman Kris Letang (upper-body injury) missed the game and is listed as day-to-day. 

Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick made a triumphant return to action against the Anaheim Ducks, kicking out 32 shots in a 4-1 victory. It was Quick’s first game since being sidelined on Oct. 12 by a groin injury. Tyler Toffoli scored twice for the Kings, while leading scorer Jeff Carter suffered a one-punch knockdown at the hands of Ducks center Ryan Kesler in a rare fight for both players. Carter returned to tally his 30th goal of the season. 

Filip Forsberg scored a goal and set up two others to give the Nashville Predators a 5-2 win over the Washington Capitals. Forsberg is red hot of late, having scored hat tricks in his last two games. His linemate Ryan Johansen had three assists and Roman Josi also scored twice for the Predators, giving him six in his last eight games. 

Josh Anderson and Nick Foligno each scored twice, David Savard had a three-point night and Joonas Korpisalo made 24 saves for his first NHL shutout as the Columbus Blue Jackets crushed the New York Islanders 7-0. 

Andrew Shaw’s overtime goal lifted the Montreal Canadiens to a 3-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs, sweeping their four-game series and winning their 14th straight game over the Leafs. Toronto rookie Auston Matthews scored twice, including his 30th over the season. Canadiens goalie Carey Price collected his 259th career win to move past Ken Dryden into third all-time among Habs goalies. 

Mika Zibanejad scored in overtime as the New York Rangers topped the New Jersey Devils 4-3. Zibanejad and Chris Kreider each had a goal and an assist for the Blueshirts, while Kyle Palmieri scored twice for the Devils. 

Martin Jones made 35 saves and Patrick Marleau netted the game winner as the San Jose Sharks downed the Vancouver Canucks 4-1. The Canucks had five players absent from the lineup because of an outbreak of mumps. 

Goaltender Jeremy Smith made 34 saves for his first NHL victory backstopping the Colorado Avalanche to a 5-3 win over the Buffalo Sabres. Gabriel Landeskog scored twice and set up another for the Avs. 

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The NHL has upheld the 10-game suspension levied against Anaheim Ducks center Antoine Vermette for striking an official with his stick. 

THE DENVER POST: Despite the Colorado Avalanche’s woeful season, they’re still outdrawing the NBA’s Denver Nuggets. 

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson is listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury and will miss tonight’s game against the St. Louis Blues. 

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 17, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 17, 2017

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby scores in overtime against the Winnipeg Jets.

Game recaps, Crosby tallies 1,000th point, Vermette suspended & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Sidney Crosby’s assist on Chris Kunitz’s first-period goal gave the Pittsburgh Penguins’ captain his 1,000th career point as his club edged the Winnipeg Jets 4-3.

Crosby also scored the winner in overtime and finished the night with a goal and two assists. He’s the 86th player to reach the 1,000 point mark and 12th fastest to do so in NHL history.

It was a costly victory for the Penguins, as defensemen Justin Schultz (head or neck injury) and Olli Maatta (possible hand injury) left the game. Earlier in the day, the Jets learned blueliner Tobias Enstrom (lower-body injury) underwent surgery and will be sidelined 2-3 weeks. 

Connor McDavid scored and set up two others in the Edmonton Oilers’ 6-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. McDavid currently leads the NHL scoring race with 66 points. 

Mike Smith made 41 saves whiles Brendan Perlini and Jordan Martinook each scored twice to give the Arizona Coyotes a 5-3 win over the Los Angeles Kings. 

Andrew Ladd scored twice as the New York Islanders doubled up the New York Rangers 4-2, stretching their home record over the last 10 games to 8-0-2. They’re now within a point of a wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference. 

Darcy Kuemper made 34 saves as the Minnesota Wild topped the Dallas Stars 3-1, handing the latter their sixth straight road loss. 

Mike Condon turned in a 21-save performance for his fifth shutout of the season backstopping the Ottawa Senators to a 3-0 victory over the New Jersey Devils. 

Kevin Shattenkirk collected three assists while Vladimir Tarasenko netted the game winner as the St. Louis Blues edged the Vancouver Canucks 4-3. 

Robin Lehner kicked out 23 shots as the Buffalo Sabres blanked the Colorado Avalanche 2-0. 

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Anaheim Ducks center Antoine Vermette received a 10-game suspension for abuse of an official during a recent game against the Minnesota Wild. Vermette intends to file an appeal with league commissioner Gary Bettman.