NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 28, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 28, 2019

Bill Peters releases a statement regarding his alleged use of racial slurs, the Boston Bruins re-sign Charlie Coyle and Chris Wagner, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Calgary Flames edged the Buffalo Sabres 3-2 on an overtime goal by Elias Lindholm. Flames defenseman TJ Brodie collected his first points since returning to the lineup after collapsing during practice on Nov. 14. The Sabres have just one win in their last six games. They also announced Vladimir Sobotka is sidelined indefinitely following surgery on his right knee while Rasmus Dahlin is out indefinitely with a concussion.

Flames coach Bill Peters released a statement yesterday apologizing for racial slurs aimed at former NHL player Akim Aliu a decade ago (Photo via NHL.com).

The Flames’ victory was overshadowed by the ongoing controversy surrounding head coach Bill Peters. He was accused of uttering racial slurs toward former NHL player Akim Aliu when both were with the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs a decade ago. Former Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Michal Jordan also accused Peters of kicking him during a game in 2015-16.

Peters was not behind the bench against the Sabres, having returned to Calgary as the club investigates his previous conduct. Read below for further details.

Brad Marchand scored his fifth goal in four games as the Boston Bruins nipped the Ottawa Senators 2-1. The Bruins have won five straight games. The club also announced the re-signings of Charlie Coyle and Chris Wagner (details below).

The Toronto Maple Leafs picked up their third straight win under new coach Sheldon Keefe by crushing the Detroit Red Wings 6-0. Andreas Johnsson scored twice and Frederik Andersen made 25 saves as the Leafs peppered the Wings with 54 shots. Wings goalie Jimmy Howard left the game in the first period after suffering a mid-body injury. An ailing Jonathan Bernier took over, giving up three goals on 40 shots.

St. Louis Blues winger Oskar Sundqvist scored twice as his club held off the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3. He subsequently left the game with a lower-body injury. Ivan Barbashev also collected three assists. Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov scored and picked up two assists.

The New York Rangers picked up their third straight win by hanging on for a 3-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes. Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist made 41 saves for the win as his teammates tallied three first-period goals.

Evgeni Malkin had five points while teammates Jake Guentzel and Bryan Rust each had four as the Pittsburgh Penguins overcame a 6-3 deficit to beat the Vancouver Canucks 8-6. J.T. Miller and Adam Gaudette each tallied twice for the Canucks.

The Washington Capitals picked up their first win in three games by defeating the Florida Panthers 4-3. Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby kicked out 37 shots. The Panthers are winless in their last three contests.

Philadelphia Flyers goalie Brian Elliott made 15 saves in the third period to preserve a 3-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Flyers extended their points streak to four games.

Max Pacioretty’s game-tying goal late in the third period set the stage for Paul Stastny’s overtime goal as the Vegas Golden Knights beat the Nashville Predators 4-3. The Knight snap a three-game winless skid. Earlier in the day, they placed forward Valentin Zykov on waivers.

Arizona Coyotes forward Christian Dvorak scored twice in the first period and buried the winner in a 4-3 shootout victory over the Anaheim Ducks. The Coyotes have won four of their last six games.

The Colorado Avalanche tallied three third period goals to beat the Edmonton Oilers 4-1. Nathan MacKinnon had a goal and an assist for the Avs, who ended Edmonton captain Connor McDavid’s points streak at 11 games.

Dustin Brown and Alex Iafallo each collected two points as the Los Angeles Kings downed the New York Islanders 4-1. It’s the Isles second straight loss coming off a 17-game points streak. The Kings also activated Trevor Lewis from injured reserve.

Winnipeg Jets winger Patrik Laine collected three points as his club tallied five straight goals to beat the San Jose Sharks 5-1. Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck made 32 saves for the win while Blake Wheeler and Kyle Connor each picked up two points.

HEADLINES

Calgary Flames head coach Peters issued an apology yesterday in a letter to general manager Brad Treliving, calling the incident “isolated and immediately regrettable.” TSN’s Frank Seravalli noticed a discrepancy in the statement. Peters claimed he immediately returned to the dressing room and apologized to the team following the racial slur aimed at Aliu, but the latter claimed that didn’t happen even after the team captain confronted Peters.

Seravalli also pointed out that Peters didn’t acknowledge the incident with Jordan. However, Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour acknowledged that incident took place, as well as another in which Peters punched an unnamed player. Brind’Amour was Peters’ assistant coach when those episodes took place. He claimed the incidents were addressed by the players and management and never happened again.

Former Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos Jr. claimed then-Hurricanes GM Ron Francis never informed him about Peters’ alleged physical abuse of the two players. He claimed he would’ve fired Peter “in a nanosecond” had Francis told him about those claims.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman cites a source claiming a face-to-face meeting between Peters and the league will likely occur, depending on the Flames’ own actions. That raises the possibility of league-mandated punishment along with whatever the Flames do.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ll be very surprised if Peters remains coach of the Flames. His statement hasn’t done anything to dampen calls for his firing. This situation could result in more players coming forward, either on their own or through the NHLPA, with their own stories of mental and physical abuse by NHL and minor-league coaches.

BOSTON HERALD: The Bruins yesterday re-signed forwards Charlie Coyle and Chris Wagner to multi-year contract extensions. Coyle inked a six-year deal worth an annual average value of $5.25 million while Wagner got a three-year deal with an annual salary-cap hit of $1.35 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Coyle’s contract was the most notable, as he was slated to become an unrestricted free agent next July. He’s become a valuable part of the Bruins’ lineup since being acquired in a trade last season from Minnesota. He’s proven to be a versatile two-way third-line forward who can play center or on the wing but also move up to the second line when the need arises. The term seems a little long and the salary a little high but the Bruins are willing to pay it to keep him in the fold.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 9, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 9, 2019

The latest on Zdeno Chara, Vladimir Tarasenko, Adam McQuaid, Jason Pominville, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara said he’s not feeling any limitation playing with a facial injury. While it hasn’t been confirmed by the club, Chara is believed to have suffered a fractured jaw in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final. He played over 16 minutes in Game 5 and is expected to be in the lineup for Game 6 tonight in St. Louis. 

Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara claims he’s feeling no limitations playing with a facial injury (Photo via NHL Images).

Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk (concussion) and forward Chris Wagner (injured right arm) skated in non-contact jerseys during practice yesterday. Grzelcyk hasn’t been cleared to return but Wagner could be ready if the series goes to Game 7. 

STLTODAY.COM: Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko’s wife gave birth to a son on Friday. Tarasenko said he’ll be ready to play in Game 6 tonight. The Blues lead the series three games to two and can win the Stanley Cup with a victory on Sunday. 

With Ivan Barbashev serving a one-game suspension, Blues forward Robert Thomas could return to the lineup tonight. Thomas last skated in Game 1 when he was on the receiving end of a big hit from Boston’s Torey Krug. 

SPORTSNET: has a collection of the most controversial calls of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This should be used as “Exhibit A” when the league launches its review of its officiating this summer. 

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets defenseman Adam McQuaid is still dealing with concussion issues. His agent, Rick Curran, confirmed he’s been struggling with the symptoms since receiving a hit during a game in late-March. He played only 14 regular-season games with the Jackets after being acquired from the New York Rangers at the trade deadline. McQuaid is due to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: McQuaid has a long injury history, including several head/concussion injuries since October 2011. The wear-and-tear of his 10 NHL seasons is taking a toll on the 32-year-old blueliner. 

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Congratulations to the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers defeated the Chicago Wolves in five games to win their first-ever Calder Cup. 

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 19, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 19, 2019

Injury updates before Game 5 of the Western Conference Final, Senators to interview Patrick Roy for their vacant head-coaching position, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NBC SPORTS: There was no update yesterday to the status of Erik Karlsson. The San Jose Sharks defenseman sat out half of the third period in Game 4 of the Western Conference Final in obvious discomfort. That’s prompted speculation his nagging groin injury has flared up again. 

San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson’s status remains uncertain for Game 5 of the Western Conference Final (Photo via NHL Images).

St. Louis Blues defenseman Vince Dunn will miss Game 5 with an upper-body injury. Dunn was struck in the face by a puck in Game 3. Blues forward Sammy Blais, meanwhile, is expected to play in today’s contest. Blais took a Brent Burns shot off his foot in Game 4. 

NHL.COM: Game 5 of the Western Conference Final begins at 3 pm ET today. 

STLTODAY.COM: Speaking of the Blues, they’re rallying around Laila Anderson, an 11-year-old fan battling a rare disease. 

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Bruins defenseman Kevan Miller (knee injury) and forward Chris Wagner (right arm) aren’t expected to be ready for the start of the Stanley Cup Final. 

OTTAWA SUN: Patrick Roy is expected to be interviewed for the Ottawa Senators’ vacant head-coaching position. Roy, a Hall-of-Fame goaltender, is a former coach of the Colorado Avalanche. He’s now the coach and general manager of the Quebec Remparts of the QMJHL.

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  Roy won the Jack Adams Award in 2014 but stepped down two years later over a lack of input regard player personnel decisions. He has a reputation for being hot-tempered and impulsive but he also has plenty of experience working with young players. Roy is just one of several candidates for the Senators’ coaching job. 

NEW YORK POST: Finnish prospect Kaapo Kakko believes he can convince the New Jersey Devils to select him with the first overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft. Kakko is tied for the scoring lead at the IIHF World Championships with six goals in four games. “This is a big thing for me for the draft,” Kakko told NHL.com through a translator. “I think I can be the first [pick].”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: American center Jack Hughes is considered the top prospect in this year’s draft. Kakko’s performance at the Worlds, however, has some observers suggesting the Devils should select him instead. 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 16, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 16, 2019

Sharks get controversial OT win over the Blues in Game 3 of the Western Conference Final. Check out the recap plus updates on the Bruins, Hurricanes, Patrick Kane, Jeff Skinner, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: An overtime goal by Erik Karlsson gave the San Jose Sharks a 5-4 victory over the St. Louis Blues in Game 3 of the Western Conference Final. Karlsson’s tally was controversial as it was the result of an uncalled hand pass by teammate Timo Meier deemed unreviewable by the officials. The Sharks hold a 2-1 lead in this best-of-seven series.

Timo Meier’s hand pass led to teammate Erik Karlsson’s OT goal as the San Jose Sharks edged the St. Louis blues 5-4 in Game 3 of the Western Conference Final (Photo via NHL Images)

Karlsson and Joe Thornton each scored twice for the Sharks, who overcame a 4-3 deficit after blowing a 3-1 lead. Blues winger David Perron scored twice. St. Louis defenseman Vince Dunn took a puck to the face in the first period and didn’t return. An update on his condition could be coming later today.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This game will stand as yet another example of the poor quality of the officiating in this year’s playoffs. The salt in the wound was Meier getting credited with an assist for a hand pass the officials apparently didn’t see. The argument was also made that Meier’s hand pass glanced off Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester and thus no infraction should be called. 

This wasn’t the only call the officials missed in this game. St. Louis winger David Perron flipped the puck over the glass in the second period but no delay of game penalty was whistled. In the third period, Blues forward Sammy Blais got away with a hit to the head of Sharks defenseman Justin Braun. 

Carolina Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour said there’s a good chance goaltender Curtis McElhinney will start Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final. The Boston Bruins hold a 3-0 lead and can close out the series tonight.

NBC SPORTS: Boston Bruins right winger Chris Wagner has returned to Boston for further evaluation of his injured right arm. He won’t play in Game 4 tonight and is sidelined indefinitely.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane set a US career scoring record at the World Hockey Championships. With 36 points, he surpassed Mark Johnson’s previous record of 33.

TSN: The Columbus Blue Jackets signed goaltender Elvis Merzlikins to a one-year contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Prior to this signing, Cap Friendly indicated the Blue Jackets only had two goaltenders under contract for 2019-20. “The CBA requires that all clubs have at least 3 goalies under contract at any given moment during a league year. Meaning the club needed to sign a third goalie prior to July 1st.” 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Former Canadiens team doctor Douglas Kinnear passed away at age 92. He worked with the Canadiens from 1962 to 1999.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Condolences to Kinnear’s family, friends, and the Canadiens organization.

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 15, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 15, 2019

Bruins take a commanding 3-0 lead in the Eastern Conference Final, Leafs re-sign Brendan Shanahan, Sabres to name Raph Kruger as head coach. Details and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Tuukka Rask made 35 saves as his Boston Bruins edged the Carolina Hurricanes 2-1, taking a commanding 3-0 lead in the Eastern Conference Final. Chris Wagner and Brad Marchand scored for the Bruins while Calvin de Haan replied for the Hurricanes. Game 4 goes tomorrow night in Raleigh at 8 pm ET.

Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask backstopped his club to victory over the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes had their best game of this series. They controlled most of the play, generated plenty of scoring opportunities and were the more physical of the two clubs. They also got a steady effort from backup goalie Curtis McElhinney. But it wasn’t enough to beat Rask, who was outstanding in this game.

The Hurricanes also missed about half-a-dozen glorious scoring chances and failed to cash in on the power play. They now find themselves on the verge of getting swept out of the Conference Final. 

NBC SPORTS: Wagner suffered an injured right arm after blocking a shot in the third period. His arm was in a sling following the game and he’ll get x-rays to determine the severity of the injury. 

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs yesterday announced clubs president Brendan Shanahan signed a six-year contract extension. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Color me unsurprised by this news. Under Shanahan’s stewardship, the Leafs rose from one of the worst teams in the league into one of the best during the regular season.

WGR 550: The Buffalo Sabres are today expected to announce they’ve hired Ralph Kruger as their new head coach. Krueger was the head coach of the Edmonton Oilers in 2012-13.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Apart from coaching Team Europe in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, Krueger’s been out of the game for a while. For the past five years, he was chairman of the Southhampton Football Club in the English Premier League. However, he’s a highly-regarded hockey coach. Many Oilers followers believe their club made a big mistake firing Krueger after only one season. 

THE ATHLETIC: George Richards reports Columbus Blue Jackets teammates Sergei Bobrovsky and Artemi Panarin are vacationing in South Florida. Bobrovsky insists the trip is merely a post-playoff holiday. Rumors link the duo to the Florida Panthers. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The trip prompted speculation this foreshadows their anticipated signings with the Panthers on July 1. The duo remains the property of the Blue Jackets until then. 

THE DENVER POST: Colorado Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic said he’d prefer re-signing winger Mikko Rantanen to a long-term contract. He also has no problem inking him to a short-term deal if necessary. Rantanen is completing an entry-level contract and could become the Avalanche’s highest-paid player. 

TSN.CA: Buffalo Sabres defenseman Brandon Montour will miss the remainder of the World Championships with a lower-body injury. Playing for Canada, Montour suffered the injury during a 6-5 win over Slovakia on Monday.