NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 6, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 6, 2018

Islanders fire GM Garth Snow and coach Doug Weight, plus the latest on the Capitals, Golden Knights, Auston Matthews & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NEWSDAY: New York Islanders president of hockey operations Lou Lamoriello yesterday relieved general manager Garth Snow and head coach Doug Weight of their duties. Lamoriello takes over as GM and begins the search for a new coach. He said things remain “status quo” for the coaching and scouting staff.

Andrew Gross lists Toronto Marlies coach Sheldon Keefe, former Florida Panthers assistant coach John Madden, former Minnesota Wild and New Jersey Devils assistant coach Scott Stevens, former NHL coach Brent Sutter, Washington Capitals head coach Barry Trotz and Toronto Maple Leafs assistant coach D.J. Smith as potential replacements for Weight behind the Islanders bench. 

New York Islanders fire GM Garth Snow (pictured above) and head coach Doug Weight. (Photo via NHL.com)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Few folks were surprised by these moves by Lamoriello. While it was assumed the contracts of Snow and Weight might keep them around for at least another season, it’s apparent Lamoriello wants to quickly change the Islanders’ culture.

Snow had a mixed record as Isles general manager, hampered in part by a shoestring budget under former owner Charles Wang for nearly a decade. Regardless, the Islanders failed to significantly improve during his tenure.

It’ll be interesting to see if this move affects Lamoriello’s efforts to re-sign Islanders captain John Tavares, who is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. I’ll have more on that later this morning in the Rumors section. 

WASHINGTON POST: Game 4 of the 2018 Stanley Cup Final broke the Capitals’ TV viewership records, drawing a 22.9 local household rating. 

SPORTSNET: Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Colin Miller suffered a broken nose during Game 4 when he was hit in the face by Capitals winger T.J. Oshie. Despite the injury, Miller still finished the game.

STARTRIBUNE.COM: The Minnesota Wild yesterday announced former North Stars general manager Jack Ferreira was named an assistant GM.

TSN: Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews has changed agents. He’s joining OrrHockeyGroup, which is led by Hall of Fame defenseman Bobby Orr. The group also represents Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Interesting move by Matthews, whose entry-level contract expires next July. He can be re-signed to a contract extension by the Leafs as early as July 1. 

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Speaking of McDavid, his rookie card sold online for a record $55, 655.

BOSTON HERALD: Sad news out of Wakefield, Massachusetts, as former Boston Bruins star Johnny McKenzie is reportedly dying. The 80-year-old is resting comfortably at home. McKenzie played 13 seasons in the NHL and six in the WHA, winning two Stanley Cups with the Boston Bruins.  After his playing career ended, McKenzie overcame alcoholism and reconciled with his children. His family is considering donating his brain after his death for CTE research. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 1, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 1, 2018

William Karlsson becomes the first member of the Vegas Golden Knights to score 20 goals in a season. (Photo via NHL Images)

Happy New Year, hockey fans! Here’s the latest game recaps and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: William Karlsson tallied the first hat trick in Vegas Golden Knights’ history as his club thumped the Toronto Maple Leafs 6-3. It’s the Golden Knight’s seventh straight win. Leafs center Auston Matthews picked up his 100th career point. The Leafs also learned defenseman Nikita Zaitsev (suspected broken foot) could be sidelined until late-January. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Karlsson is Vegas’ leading goal scorer, reaching a career-high 20 goals. He’s also the first player in franchise history to reach that mark. Of all the players selected in the expansion draft, he could turn out to be a steal for the Golden Knights. 

Speaking of the Golden Knights, goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury was named The Hockey News’ newsmaker of the year for 2017. “From a second straight Stanley Cup to the Vegas expansion experience to concussion pains, Marc-Andre Fleury was in the headlines for some of hockey’s biggest stories in 2017.”

Andrei Vasilevskiy picked up his league-leading fifth shutout of the season while Tyler Johnson scored twice as the Tampa Bay Lightning blanked the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-0. 

The Winnipeg Jets also enjoyed a 5-0 shutout with their victory over the Edmonton Oilers. Connor Hellebuyck turned aside 35 shots while Kyle Connor and Bryan Little each collected a goal and an assist. 

Jimmy Howard made 37 saves and Gustav Nyquist notched his 100th career NHL goal as the Detroit Red Wings upset the struggling Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1. Nyquist tallied twice in this contest. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the Penguins struggling and perched three points out of a wild-card berth, this loss to Detroit will further stoke the trade speculation swirling about the defending Stanley Cup champions in recent weeks. 

The Calgary Flames blew a 3-0 lead but went on to defeat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 on an overtime goal by Mark Giordano. Matthew Tkachuk scored twice for the Flames while Blackhawks forwards Jonathan Toews and Brandon Saad each had a goal and an assist. Earlier in the day, the Flames placed winger Michael Frolik (fractured jaw) on injured reserve

Gabriel Landeskog scored twice and Nathan MacKinnon collected three assists as the Colorado Avalanche crushed the New York Islanders 6-1. The Avalanche played without rookie J.T. Compher, who suffered an upper-body injury during Friday’s game against Toronto. Isles head coach Doug Weight was ejected from the game for cursing at the on-ice officials following the Avs’ fourth goal. 

The Dallas Stars picked up their fourth win in five games with a 6-0 beatdown of the San Jose Sharks. Ben Bishop made 26 saves for the shutout, Tyler Pitlick scored twice and Radek Faksa added three assists. 

Three unanswered third-period goals lifted the Anaheim Ducks to a 5-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes. Ducks center Antoine Vermette scored and set up two others while Rickard Rakell scored twice.   


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 13, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 13, 2017

St. Louis Blue goalie Jake Allen makes one of his 51 saves in a 2-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild.

Game recaps, latest coaching hires and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Jake Allen kicked out 51 shots and Joel Edmundson scored in overtime to give the St. Louis Blues a 2-1 win in the first game of their opening-round best-of-seven series against the Minnesota Wild. 

Melker Karlsson scored in overtime as the San Jose Sharks overcame a 2-0 deficit to down the Edmonton Oilers 3-2 in Game 1 of their first-round series. Sharks center Logan Couture returned to action after being sidelined since March 25 by a facial injury, but center Joe Thornton (knee) was a late scratch

The defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins downed the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-1 in Game 1 of their first-round series. Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury was a surprise starter after Matt Murray (lower-body) was injured in the pregame warmup. The veteran made 31 saves for the win.

Henrik Lundqvist turned in a 31-save shutout performance as the New York Rangers blanked the Montreal Canadiens in the opening game of their first-round series. 

Brad Marchand scored late in the third period to give the Boston Bruins a 2-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators in the opening game of their first-round series. The Bruins got the win without center David Krejci, who missed the game with an upper-body injury. 

TORONTO SUN/WASHINGTON POST: Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Nikita Zaitsev (upper body injury) will miss his club’s opening game of their first-round tilt against the Washington Capitals. Washington blueliner John Carlson (lower body) seems likely to play. 

NEWSDAY: The New York Islanders announced interim head coach Doug Weight will take over the role next season on a full-time basis. Meanwhile, the operators of Barclays Center are preparing a pitch that will send the Isles back to their old arena, the recently renovated Nassau Coliseum. Barclays is even prepared to add more seating in the Coliseum and address other issues the Isles might have. No comments from either side so far. They have a 30-day window effective last Sunday to opt out of their current arena lease agreement. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No surprise that Weight will be back. He took over a last-place team in mid-January and guided them to a 24-12-2 run that nearly got them into the playoffs, even with team captain John Tavares sidelined for the final games of the season.

Throughout this season there’s been talk of the Isles moving to a new venue, including a possible return to Nassau. We’ll likely find out very soon if this comes to pass. No word as to when this would take place, but I suspect it would be for the start of the 2018-19 season. Feel free to weigh in with your thoughts, Islanders fans!

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Dallas Stars have brought back Ken Hitchcock as their new head coach. Hitchcock coached the club from 1995-96 to 2001-02, during which they rose to become one of the league’s top clubs during that era. Under his tenure, the Stars won the Stanley Cup in 1999 and returned to the Cup Final the following season. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hitchcock is aging but remains a well-respected NHL coach. The Stars were lacking structure, especially in their defensive game. He will certainly help them improve in that department. Whether he can help them rise to once gain become a Cup contender remains to be seen. 

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: The Vegas Golden Knights are expected to name Gerard Gallant as their head coach today. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Good choice by the Golden Knights, one that was not unexpected. Gallant was a Jack Adams Award finalist last season and a fine choice to guide the expansion Knights through their growing pains. 

ARIZONA SPORTS: Long-time Arizona Coyotes captain Shane Doan expects to reach a decision on his future by mid-June. 

BSN DENVER: The Colorado Avalanche will protect veteran goaltender Semyon Varlamov in the NHL expansion draft this June. 

CSNPHILLY.COM: The Philadelphia Flyers have told pending unrestricted free agent defensemen Nick Schultz and Michael Del Zotto they will not be re-signed. 

LOS ANGELES TIMES: The Kings promoted vice president of hockey operations and director of player personnel Michael Futa to assistant general manager. 

Islanders Fire Capuano

Islanders Fire Capuano

New York Islanders fire head coach Jack Capuano.

The New York Islanders fired head coach Jack Capuano. He’ll be replaced on an interim basis by assistant general manager Doug Weight, who also served as a coach on Capuano’s staff.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Most Islanders fans probably feel this is long overdue. After winning their first playoff series in 23 years last season, the Isles are now last in the Eastern Conference and eight points out of a wild-card berth. With their playoff hopes fading and no help coming from a stagnant trade market, firing Capuano was the only option Isles general manager Garth Snow had to reverse their fortunes.

 Capuano’s faced his share of criticism this season. However, it’s worth noting the Isles reached the playoffs in three of his previous seven seasons behind the bench, with two 100-point campaigns in 2014-15 and 2015-16.

Capuano is also paying the price for Snow’s inability to suitably replace departed veterans Kyle Okposo, Frans Nielsen and Matt Martin last summer. He also had to make do with a three-goalie system since the middle of last season, while once-promising forward Ryan Strome has struggled over the last two seasons.

Sometimes a coaching change can spark an improvement. Given the Isles’ roster deficiencies this season, it’ll be interesting to see if Weight has better luck than Capuano.