NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 27, 2021
Marc-Andre Fleury hopes to remain with the Vegas Golden Knights, Alec Martinez played through injury, Canadiens coach Ducharme should return during Stanley Cup Final and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
Marc-Andre Fleury wants to end his playing career with the Vegas Golden Knights and hopes Robin Lehner does too. He said he’s developed a good relationship with Lehner and is proud of what they accomplished this season. The duo combined to win the William M. Jennings Trophy for the fewest goals allowed (124) during this season.
Lehner also said he and Fleury have grown closer, adding it’s been a privilege to play alongside him. Fleury is entering the final season of his three-year contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fleury surfaced again as a cost-cutting trade candidate following the Golden Knights’ playoff elimination. He has a 10-team no-trade clause, giving the club some flexibility if they wish to shed his $7 million cap hit. Lehner, meanwhile, just completed the first season of a five-year contract.
SPORTSNET: Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez said he played through a broken foot for over a month. He still averaged over 22 minutes per game and has a playoffs-leading 72 shots.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Martinez, 33, is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 28. That performance will boost his stock in the free-agent market. It could also earn him a new contract with the Golden Knights if they can free up sufficient cap room to re-sign him.
SPORTSNET: Montreal Canadiens head coach Dominique Ducharme expected to return for Game 3 of his club’s Stanley Cup Final series with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Ducharme’s been in self-isolation following a positive COVID-19 test before Game 3 of the semifinal against the Vegas Golden Knights.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some wonder if Ducharme’s return behind the bench could upset the coaching dynamic since the Canadiens advanced to the Final under assistant coach Luke Richardson. They forget it was his coaching that got the Habs to the semifinal in the first place. He’s been in regular contact with his coaching staff and players through videoconferencing between games.
THE ATHLETIC: Minnesota Wild general manager Bill Guerin denied a report claiming contract talks with winger Kirill Kaprizov have gone cold. He said both sides continue working toward a new deal.
TSN: Former Chicago Blackhawks associate coach John Torchetti confirmed a meeting took place during the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs to discuss the alleged sexual assault of two of their players. One of those players recently filed a lawsuit against the team alleging he and a team were sexually assaulted by then-video coach Bradley Aldrich.
TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning owner Jeff Vinik could miss Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final if it goes that far. He’ll be in Rhode Island as his son is getting married the following day.
CBS PITTSBURGH: Former Penguins forward Beau Bennett announced his retirement. A first-round pick of the Penguins in 2010 (20th overall), he spent four seasons (2012-13 to 2015-16) with the organization followed by one with the New Jersey Devils and another with the St. Louis Blues. In 200 NHL games, Bennett tallied 20 goals and 64 points and won a Stanley Cup with the Penguins in 2016.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Bennett in his future endeavors.