NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 1, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 1, 2019

The Canadiens and Flames rally for overtime victories plus the latest on Dustin Byfuglien, injury updates and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: Max Domi’s overtime goal gave the Montreal Canadiens a 5-4 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights. The Habs overcame a 4-2 deficit on goals by Tomas Tatar and Brendan Gallagher to force the extra frame. Domi and Tatar each had a goal and an assist. Golden Knights winger Max Pacioretty collected an assist against his former club for his 500th career NHL point. Canadiens center Jesperi Kotkaniemi missed the game as he’s listed as day-to-day with a groin injury.

The Calgary Flames overcame 2-0, 4-1, and 5-4 deficits to burn the Nashville Predators 6-5 on a between-the-legs overtime goal by Matthew Tkachuk, who also tallied the game-tying goal. Tkachuk and Sean Monahan finished with three points apiece. Predators winger Auston Watson celebrated his new three-year, $4.5-million contract extension with a four-point performance. Teammate Calle Jarnkrok also tallied twice.


TSN: Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien could require up to four months to recover from recent ankle surgery. His agent is in discussions with the NHL Players Association as they review his case. it could have financial complications if it’s determined he injured his ankle playing hockey.

Dustin Byfuglien’s ankle surgery raises more questions over his future with the Winnipeg Jets (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Byfuglien is on a leave of absence mulling his future and was suspended without pay for salary-cap purposes. He underwent this surgery in his home state of Minnesota without informing the team.

General manager Kevin Cheveldayoff shed little light on the situation, raising speculation of a difference of opinion between the player and the organization over the status of his injured ankle. The silence from both sides only generates more questions over the future of Byfuglien’s playing career. For the time being, it seems increasingly likely he won’t be back with the Jets this season.

WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets got more bad news as center Mark Letestu has been sidelined by a heart virus (myocarditis) for six months. Winger Patrik Laine remains sidelined with a minor lower-body injury. Center Bryan Little left practice yesterday with an undisclosed injury and could miss tonight’s game against the San Jose Sharks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Letestu is expected to make a full recovery but he’ll miss the remainder of the regular season.

THE SCORE: Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin has hired a lawyer to investigate how his name became associated with a Russian virtual reality start-up that reportedly lost millions of dollars. The report claimed Malkin invested $4 million into the company, which used his name to attract other investors. He denied investing in the company.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Speaking of the Penguins, they’ve assigned Sam Lafferty to their AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

CBS SPORTS: Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov is listed as day-to-day with an undisclosed injury. Buffalo Sabres winger Jimmy Vesey (lower body) has been upgraded from week-to-week to day-to-day. San Jose Sharks center Dylan Gambrell is day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Kings forward Tyler Toffoli was a healthy scratch during Wednesday’s 5-3 loss to the Vancouver Canucks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Toffoli is an unrestricted free agent in July. It’ll be interesting to see how he responds to this move.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: The Blackhawks have recalled defenseman Adam Boqvist.

The Charlotte Checkers have released Jamie McGinn from his professional tryout offer.


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 24, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 24, 2019

Game recaps, Bruins and Jets clinch playoff berths, Bruins re-sign Zdeno Chara, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Boston Bruins clinched a postseason spot by thumping the Florida Panthers 7-3. Bruins captain Zdeno Chara had a big day, becoming the 22nd defenseman in NHL history to reach 200 career goals and re-signing a one-year contract extension. The new deal is worth $2 million in base salary plus $1.75 million in performance bonuses. Meanwhile, the Bruins got some bad news earlier in the day when it was revealed Sean Kuraly will be sidelined a month with a fracture in his right hand.

Boston Bruins re-sign captain Zdeno Chara to a one-year extension (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Chara’s new contract is a reasonable one for both sides. The Bruins keep their captain in the fold for another season to maintain stability and leadership on their blueline. Chara gets a fair deal for a player of his declining (but still effective) skills.

The move also provides the Bruins with salary-cap flexibility. With over $68.6 million invested in 19 players, that should provide sufficient room to re-sign restricted free agents Charlie McAvoy, Brandon Carlo, and Danton Heinen, who are all coming off entry-level contracts. 

The Winnipeg Jets (94 points) secured a playoff berth by blanking the Nashville Predators 5-0. Kyle Connor netted a hat trick while Connor Hellebuyck turned aside 33 shots for the shutout. The Jets also hold a four-point lead over the Predators for the top spot in the Central Division.

Mark Giordano had a goal and two assists to give the Calgary Flames a 3-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks. Giordano now has points in seven straight games. The Flames (101 points) have a six-point lead over the San Jose Sharks for first place in the Pacific Division and the overall Western Conference standings.

The Colorado Avalanche (80 points) moved ahead of the Arizona Coyotes into the final Western Conference wild-card berth by defeating the Chicago Blackhawks 4-2. Colin Wilson had a goal and an assist for the Avs, while the Blackhawks (74 points) slip six points behind Colorado. The Avs played without winger Mikko Rantanen, who sat out the game with an undisclosed injury and will miss today’s contest against the Hawks.

The Arizona Coyotes (79 points) dropped one point out of the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference by falling 2-1 to the New Jersey Devils in a shootout. Pavel Zacha tallied the winner for the Devils. The Coyotes are winless in their last four contests.

Josh Bailey scored twice, including the go-ahead goal, as the New York Islanders doubled up the Philadelphia Flyers 4-2. The Islanders (93 points) move within one of the Washington Capitals for first place in the Metropolitan Division while the Flyers (80 points) are seven points out of a playoff berth in the East.

The Carolina Hurricanes (89 points) remain two ahead of the Montreal Canadiens for the first wild-card spot in the East by defeating the Minnesota Wild 5-1. Teuvo Teravainen had a goal and two assists for the Hurricanes, while the Wild (79 points) slip one behind the Avalanche in the Western Conference wild-card chase. Wild winger Zach Parise missed the game with a lower-body injury.

Brendan Gallagher, Max Domi, and Tomas Tatar each had three-point performances as the Montreal Canadiens beat the Buffalo Sabres 7-4. With the win, the Canadiens (87 points) hold a three-point lead over the Columbus Blue Jackets for the final Eastern wild-card spot. Gallagher tallied his career-high 33rd goal of the season. The Sabres are now officially eliminated from postseason contention.

Vladimir Tarasenko and Brayden Schenn each had a goal and an assist as the St. Louis Blues held off the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3. With 88 points, the Blues sit two back of the Predators for second in the Central Division. Lightning center Brayden Point scored his 40th of the season.

The Pittsburgh Penguins (93 points) remain tied with the Islanders for second in the Metro Division after nipping the Dallas Stars 3-2. Jared McCann scored twice for the Penguins, including the game-winner in the third period. The Stars (82 points) sit two points above the Avalanche in the first wild-card spot in the West. Stars center Jason Spezza was a healthy scratch for the second time in a week.

The New York Rangers upset the Toronto Maple Leafs 2-1 on an overtime goal by Ryan Strome. Despite the victory, the Rangers are officially eliminated from playoff contention. The Leafs (94 points) have won just four of their last 10 games.

Anthony Mantha scored twice, including the winner in overtime, as the Detroit Red Wings surprised the Vegas Golden Knights 3-2, snapping the latter’s four-game winning streak. Vegas sits five points behind the Sharks in the Pacific Division. Wings defenseman Jonathan Ericsson missed the game with a lower-body injury.

Ottawa Senators goaltender Craig Anderson made 26 saves to pick up his first victory since Dec. 17 by edging the Edmonton Oilers 4-3. Brady Tkachuk tallied two goals, including the winner in overtime. The Oilers (74 points) are six points behind the Avalanche for the final Western playoff spot. A lingering back injury prevented Senators forward Zack Smith from playing in this game.

Speaking of the Oilers and Senators, Ken Hitchcock is receptive to the idea of returning behind the Edmonton bench next season. Meanwhile, the Senators confirm their intention to hire a president of hockey operations to provide assistance to general manager Pierre Dorion, who continues to have the full support of team owner Eugene Melnyk.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Remains to be seen if the eventual new Oilers general manager wants Hitchcock back. He might prefer bringing in his own bench boss. As for a new hockey ops president for the Senators, that move will take some of the burdens off Dorion, allowing him to focus on rebuilding the roster.

The Los Angeles Kings downed the Anaheim Ducks 4-3 on a shootout goal by Anze Kopitar.

NBC SPORTS: Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky has been dealing with an upper-body injury that’s been bothering him for a while. His status for today’s game against the Vancouver Canucks remains unclear.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bad enough for the Blue Jackets to be slumping when they’re trying to secure a wild-card spot. Having their starting goalie hampered by an injury makes matters potentially worse. 

DENVER POST: NHL referee and Colorado native Brad Watson has retired after 23 seasons. He worked 214 playoff games and eight Stanley Cup Finals.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Watson in his retirement. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 19, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 19, 2019

Game recaps, Lightning win Presidents’ Trophy, Steven Stamkos and Elias Pettersson have record-breaking nights, stars of the week, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: It was a record-breaking night for the Tampa Bay Lightning and team captain Steven Stamkos as they rolled to a 4-1 victory over the Arizona Coyotes. The Lightning (116 points) clinched the Presidents’ Trophy for the first time in franchise history, while Stamkos set a franchise record with his 384th career goal. The loss leaves the Coyotes (78 points) one point ahead of the Minnesota Wild for the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference. 

Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos tallied a franchise-record 384th goal in a 4-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes (Photo via NHL Images).

Vancouver Canucks center Elias Pettersson collected an assist to set a franchise record for most points by a rookie (61) in his club’s 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. Bo Horvat tallied the game-winner in overtime. The Blackhawks (74 points) gained a point to sit four behind the Coyotes. 

Kyle Connor had a goal and an assist as the Winnipeg Jets edged the Los Angeles Kings 3-2, officially eliminating the latter from playoff contention. With 90 points, the Jets hold a three-point lead over the Nashville Predators for the top spot in the Central Division. 

For the second straight game, the San Jose Sharks failed to clinch a playoff berth as they fell 7-3 to the Vegas Golden Knights. Jonathan Marchessault and Reilly Smith each had four-point performances for Vegas. Sharks captain Joe Pavelski missed the game with a lower-body injury that could sideline him a little longer than day-to-day.

New York Islanders goaltender Thomas Greiss, Chicago Blackhawks winger Brendan Perlini, and Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending March 17. 

THE TENNESSEAN: The NHL and NHLPA have ended the indefinite suspension of Nashville Predators winger Austin Watson following treatment for an alcohol-abuse relapse. He’s expected to rejoin the club for today’s morning skate but no timetable has been set for his return to action. 

SPORTSNET: Toronto Maple Leafs center Frederik Gauthier will miss the next two games with a foot injury. 

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 30, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 30, 2019

Game recaps, Wild re-sign Stalock, Hurricanes re-up Martinook, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Kyle Connor scored twice in regulation and tallied the shootout winner as the Winnipeg Jets edged the Boston Bruins 4-3. Bruins center Patrice Bergeron also scored two goals while linemates Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak collected three points each. 

Winnipeg Jets winger Kyle Connor led his club to a 4-3 shootout victory over the Boston Bruins (Photo via NHL Images).

Conor Sheary’s third-period goal gave the Buffalo Sabres a 5-4 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Sabres winger Jeff Skinner tallied his 31st goal of the season. 

Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Anthony Stolarz made 38 saves to shut out the New York Rangers 1-0. Oskar Lindblom netted the only goal as the Flyers picked up their fifth straight win. 

NEWSOBSERVER.COM: The Carolina Hurricanes re-upped winger Jordan Martinook to a two-year, $4-million deal. 

STAR-TRIBUNE.COM: The Minnesota Wild re-signed backup goaltender Alex Stalock to a three-year, $2.355-million contract. The annual average value is $785K. 

NJ.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins center Derick Brassard won’t receive supplemental discipline for his elbowing penalty on Devils defenseman Sami Vatanen, opening a gash on Vatanen’s forward. 

THE TENNESSEAN: Nashville Predators winger Austin Watson has been suspended indefinitely without pay by the NHL and admitted into stage two of the league’s substance abuse and behavioral health program for his ongoing issues with alcohol abuse.

CBS SPORTS: The Columbus Blue Jackets have recalled Mark Letestu, who’s spent the season in the minors. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Former Canadiens players Gerry Plamondon passed away Saturday at age 95. Plamondon was the last surviving member of the Canadiens’ 1946 Stanley Cup championship roster. 

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 26, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 26, 2018

Game recaps, Blackhawks trade Nick Schmaltz to Coyotes for Dylan Strome and Brendan Perlini, and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Noah Hanifin and Mark Jankowski scored twice (with each tallying a shorthanded goal) to lead the Calgary Flames to a 6-1 victory over the Arizona Coyotes. Flames head coach Bill Peters required eight stitches after being struck on the jaw by the puck during the second period but he returned to the game.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Like their players, hockey coaches are tough. And speaking of the Coyotes…

The Chicago Blackhawks traded Nick Schmaltz to the Arizona Coyotes. (Photo via NHL Images)

Following the game, the Coyotes traded forwards Dylan Strome and Brendan Perlini to the Chicago Blackhawks for center Nick Schmaltz.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yet another example of two stumbling teams swapping struggling players in hopes the change of scenery will help them regain their once-promising form.

Schmaltz is coming off a 21-goal, 52-points sophomore campaign but managed just two goals and nine points in 23 games this season. He’s more of a proven commodity than Strome and Perlini. If he rediscovers his scoring touch he’ll provide a welcome boost at center for the faltering Coyotes.

Strome, the third-overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, has yet to play up to expectations, with just six points in 20 games this season. Still, the 21-year-old is considered to have plenty of upside. He and Blackhawks forward Alex DeBrincat were teammates on the Erie Otters so it’ll be interesting to see if Hawks coach Jeremy Colliton reunites those two. If they reestablish their old offensive chemistry, it’ll provide the Hawks with a solid second scoring line.

Perlini had a promising 17-goal sophomore campaign in 2017-18 but just two goals and six points in 23 games this season. 

The Los Angeles Kings snapped a five-game home losing skid by defeating the Edmonton Oilers 5-2. Dustin Brown tallied a hat trick for the Kings. Earlier in the day, the Kings placed winger Carl Hagelin (MCL sprain, week-to-week) on injured reserve.

Auston Watson’s hat-trick gave the Nashville Predators a 5-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks. The Predators were playing without center Kyle Turris, who was placed on injured reserve before the game. Turris was injured in Friday’s game against the St. Louis Blues. 

Four first-period goals powered the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 5-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils. Brendan Point scored twice for the Lightning. 

SPORTSNET: The Vancouver Canucks placed right wing Darren Archibald on waivers to make room for defenseman Alexander Edler.


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 14, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 14, 2018

Game recaps plus updates on Elias Pettersson, Brent Seabrook, Tom Wilson and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Auston Matthews collected his 10th goal of the season as the Toronto Maple Leafs doubled up the Washington Capitals 4-2 for their fourth consecutive win. Matthews is just the second player in Leafs history to score a goal in his first six games of a season. Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov each collected two points in a losing cause for the Capitals.

David Pastrnak’s hat trick led the Boston Bruins to an 8-2 thumping of the Detroit Red Wings. (Photo via NHL Images)

David Pastrnak’s hat trick powered the Boston Bruins to an 8-2 drubbing of the Detroit Red Wings. It was the Bruins’ fourth straight win and the Wings their fifth consecutive loss. Patrice Bergeron collected three assists and Jake DeBrusk tallied twice.

Connor McDavid scored the game-winner and collected an assist as the Edmonton Oilers picked up their first win of the season by edging the New York Rangers 2-1.

Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury picked up his 49th career shutout in a 1-0 squeaker over the Philadelphia Flyers. Cody Eakin scored the only goal late in the third. Golden Knights defenseman Deryk Engelland left the game in the second period clutching an arm and didn’t return. He’s listed as day-to-day for now.

Despite a 52-save effort by Devan Dubnyk, the Minnesota Wild dropped a 5-4 overtime decision to the Carolina Hurricanes. Sebastian Aho scored twice (including the game-winner) and added two assists while Justin Williams had a three-point night.

Alex DeBrincat scored the tying and winning goals to give the Chicago Blackhawks a 4-3 overtime win over the St. Louis Blues. Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith played his 1,000th career game while Brent Seabrook became the club’s all-time leader for games played by a defenseman (1,009).

Bo Horvat’s third-period goal gave the Vancouver Canucks a 3-2 win over the Florida Panthers. It was a costly win for the Canucks as rookie star Elias Pettersson left the game early in the third period with an apparent head injury after being hit from behind and thrown to the ice by Panthers defenseman Mike Matheson. Before the game, the Panthers honored sidelined goalie Roberto Luongo for playing 1,000 career games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No word yet on how long Pettersson could be sidelined or if the league will review Matheson’s actions. 

Shootout goals by Paul Byron and Jonathan Drouin lifted the Montreal Canadiens past the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3. Tomas Tatar scored twice and backup Antti Niemi made 25 saves for the Canadiens. Niemi got the call because starter Carey Price was sidelined by the flu. Phil Kessel and Evgeni Malkin had two-point performances for the Penguins, who lost defenseman Justin Schultz to a leg injury

Brayden Point scored twice and set up another as the Tampa Bay Lightning romped to an 8-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. J.T. Miller also had a three-point night (one goal, two assists) for the Lightning.

Filip Forsberg scored twice to lead the Nashville Predators to a 5-2 win over the New York Islanders. Earlier in the day, the Islanders announced forward Stephen Gionta agreed to a one-year, two-way contract. 

A four-goal second period powered the Dallas Stars to a 5-3 victory over the Anaheim Ducks. Jamie Benn, Alexander Radulov, and Tyler Seguin each had two points for the Stars. 

The Calgary Flames overcame a 2-0 deficit to edge the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 on an overtime goal by Johnny Gaudreau.

Ottawa Senators goaltender Craig Anderson made 36 saves and Chris Wideman scored twice in a 5-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings.

Rasmus Dahlin scored his first NHL goal and goaltender Linus Ullmark turned in a 36-save shutout performance as the Buffalo Sabres blanked the Arizona Coyotes 3-0. Jeff Skinner also scored his first goal with the Sabres. 

THE TENNESSEAN: Jennifer Guardino, the girlfriend of Nashville Predators forward Austin Watson, released a statement Saturday claiming Watson didn’t physically or mentally harm her during an incident on June 16 that led to the forward’s arrest on misdemeanor domestic assault charges. She said it was due to her own behavior and intoxication at the time and acknowledged her struggles with alcohol, claiming she and Watson handled the situation badly. 

Watson pleaded no contest to the charges and received three months probation. His original 27-game suspension by the league was recently reduced to 18 games.

THE WASHINGTON POST: Capitals forward Tom Wilson will have his appeal hearing with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman on Thursday. Wilson is currently serving a 20-game suspension for an illegal check to the head of St. Louis Blues forward Oskar Sundqvist.