NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 30, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 30, 2020

The Sabres avoid arbitration with Victor Olofsson, the Stars name Rick Bowness as a full-time coach, former Panthers GM Dale Tallon cleared of wrongdoing, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

WGR 550: The Buffalo Sabres avoided salary arbitration with Victor Olofsson by reaching an agreement on a two-year, $6.1 million contract.

Buffalo Sabres winger Victor Olofsson (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Olofsson had an impressive first full NHL season, scoring 20 goals and 42 points in 54 games to become a finalist for the 2019-20 Calder Trophy as rookie of the year. This is a reasonable raise for the 25-year-old winger, who becomes a restricted free agent with arbitration rights in 2022.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Stars removed the interim tag from head coach Rick Bowness’ job title as he signed a two-year contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No surprise. Bowness took over behind the bench on Dec. 10 and guided the Stars to the 2020 Stanley Cup Final.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: The NHL has cleared former Florida Panthers general manager Dale Tallon of wrongdoing following an investigation into whether he used racially-charged language during the club’s time in the Toronto playoff bubble.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tallon was reportedly being considered for an advisory role with the Pittsburgh Penguins. This could clear the way for his new job but is being greeted with criticism by some observers.

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes are renouncing the rights of 2020 fourth-round pick, Mitchell Miller, after reports emerged of his bullying and racially taunting an African-American classmate with developmental issues four years ago.

THE DENVER POST: Former Colorado Avalanche winger Colin Wilson discussed his struggle with obsessive-compulsive disorder, as well as drug and alcohol abuse, in The Players’ Tribune on Thursday. The 31-year-old center also indicated hip injuries may have brought his NHL career to a close. He’s now sober, receiving therapy and back in New England preparing for the next step in his life.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wilson spent 11 seasons in the NHL with the Nashville Predators and the Avalanche, tallying 113 goals and 286 points in 632 games. Best wishes to him in his future endeavors.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Carolina Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon has an option to sell the club back to former owner Peter Karmanos. While the coronavirus is affecting the NHL’s economics, Dundon doesn’t believe it will affect his ownership of the club. “I don’t have any intention of not owning the team,” he said.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: The Lightning officially announced the signings of Patrick Maroon and Luke Schenn. The pair signed new contracts with the Lightning on Oct. 9.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: The Blackhawks have loaned center Kirby Dach to Team Canada’s roster for the 2021 World Junior Championships.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A wise decision by the Blackhawks. This will allow Dach to get in some meaningful playing time under a quarantine bubble in Edmonton as he and the Hawks await the start of the 2020-21 season.

WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets signed restricted free agent defenseman Sami Niku to a two-year contract worth an annual average value of $725K.

NORTHJERSEY.COM: The New Jersey Devils signed defenseman Colton White to a one-year, two-way contract.

TVA SPORTS: The Montreal Canadiens have been refused access to their practice facility in Brossard by public health officials. The facility is within a COVID-19 red zone.

SPORTSNET: Travis Roy, who was left paralyzed in his first college hockey game with Boston University in 1995, has died at age 45. He went on to become an advocate for spinal cord injury survivors both in and outside the sports world, raising over $9 million through the Travis Roy Foundation. He also worked in tandem with the Boston Bruins, with team president Cam Neely and former Bruins defenseman Ray Bourque among those extending condolences.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My sympathies to Roy’s family, friends, and former teammates. Neely put it best when he called him “the ultimate symbol of determination and courage.”










NHL One-Year Wonders: Central Division

NHL One-Year Wonders: Central Division

 










NHL Most Important Players: Ottawa Senators

NHL Most Important Players: Ottawa Senators

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 22, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 22, 2019

The Wild hire Bill Guerin as their new general manager, the Senators re-sign Colin White, the Islanders sign Derick Brassard and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild yesterday named Bill Guerin as their new general manager. Guerin spent 18 seasons as an NHL player and the past decade as an executive with the Pittsburgh Penguins, including the past five years as assistant GM.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wild hope Guerin, a proven winner as a player and in management, can right the ship and change the culture after they missed the playoffs last season. He didn’t waste any time getting started, re-signing forward Joel Eriksson Ek to a two-year, $2.975-million contract.

Guerin must also re-sign restricted free agent winger Kevin Fiala. He must decide if defenseman Jared Spurgeon still has a future with the Wild as he enters the final season of his contract.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators yesterday re-signed center Colin White to a six-year, $28.75-million contract. Cap Friendly indicates the annual average value is $4.75 million and lacks no-trade protection.

Ottawa Senators re-sign center Colin White to a six-year contract (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: White is considered a core player for the rebuilding Senators. The 22-year-old played 23 games between 2016-17 and 2017-18. Last season was his first full NHL campaign and he didn’t disappointed, tallying 41 points in 71 games to finish fifth among NHL rookies.

A swift, versatile two-way forward, White should prove worthy of his new contract over the next six years. Given his upside, this deal could turn into a bargain for the Sens.

NEW YORK POST: The New York Islanders yesterday signed center Derick Brassard to a one-year, $1.2-million contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: So much for recent speculation claiming Brassard was on the verge of joining the Edmonton Oilers. The Isles hope the 31-year-old will provide some much-needed depth at center on their bottom-six.

MILE HIGH HOCKEY: (stick tap to Shawn Lamba) cites a report out of Finland indicating Colorado Avalanche winger Mikko Rantanen “is set to travel to Hamar, Norway next week to begin training with Storhamar of the GET league.” Rantanen reportedly intends to keep his options open if a new contract with the Avalanche isn’t in place when training camp opens next month. Meanwhile, Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston believes a new contract with the Avs isn’t far off.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The site reports Rantanen is believed seeking an annual average value in the range of $10 million. There’s also speculation he could get a four-year deal worth around $9 million per season. We’ll find out soon enough when Rantanen is signed and for how much for how long.

TSN: cites The Columbus Dispatch’s Brian Hedger reporting Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski seeks a three-year contract with an annual salary-cap hit around $5 million.

Hedger also said he’s heard Philadelphia Flyers blueliner Ivan Provorov’s camp has asked for $10 million per season, likely on a long-term contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Werenski probably thinks he’s not going to get more than Seth Jones’ $5.4 million AAV as Jones is a better all-around rearguard. As for Provorov, I’ll be stunned if the Flyers pay him $10 million annually. He’s a talented defenseman yet to reach his full potential but he’s not worth that much.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: The Carolina Hurricanes are still awaiting word from winger Justin Williams if he’ll return for another season. GM Don Waddell said he doesn’t want to set a deadline for Williams to reach a decision but noted time is getting short. Williams, meanwhile, is visiting family in Northern Ontario and has “nothing to report.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wouldn’t surprise me if Williams makes his decision following the Labor Day weekend.

TSN: Former Washington Capitals winger Dmitrij Jaskin is expected to sign with the KHL’s Moscow Dynamo.

SPORTING NEWS: Mark Pavelich, a member of the 1980 USA “Miracle on Ice” team and a former NHL player, was arrested Monday for reportedly attacking a neighbor with a metal pole following a fishing trip.

The charges include “second- and third-degree assault, possession of an illegal shotgun and possessing a gun with a scratched off serial number.” Pavelich was ordered by a Minnesota judge to undergo a mental evaluation before standing trial.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 20, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 20, 2017

Nashville Predators name defenseman Roman Josi as their new captain.

Predators name Roman Josi as captain, injury updates and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

THE TENNESSEAN: The Nashville Predators named defenseman Roman Josi as their new captain. He takes over from Mike Fisher, who announced his retirement during the offseason. The 27-year-old becomes the second Swiss-born captain in NHL history.

CSNPHILLY.COM: The Philadelphia Flyers are experimenting with long-time center Claude Giroux by moving him to left wing during practice on Tuesday.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens forward Jonathan Drouin will donate $500,000 of his own money over the next ten years to a new local hospital with the goal of helping to raise another $5 million over the next decade.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some Canadiens fans took to comparing Drouin’s donation to the $10 million pledge by former Habs star P.K. Subban to a children’s hospital. Former NHL defenseman Mike Commodore has the perfect response to those critics. “Folks…let’s not compare Drouin + PK donations/pledge to raise. Who cares. Both are nice gestures 2 great causes. That’s all that matters.”

NJ.COM:  New Jersey Devils center Brian Boyle has been diagnosed with “Chronic Myeloid Leukemia, a rare but treatable form of cancer.” The condition is treated with oral medication and Boyle said he intends to play through his treatement.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Boyle in his recovery from this disease. 

STLTODAY.COM: Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester suffered a fractured left ankle and will be re-evaluated in three weeks. Meanwhile, forward Zach Sanford will undergo surgery for a dislocated left shoulder and will be sidelined five-to-six months.

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets defenseman Tyler Myers hopes to return to form after missing most of 2016-17 to a groin injury and his young son suffering a stroke. Both have since recovered and are doing well. 

OTTAWA SUN: Senators forward Colin White is “devastated’ after suffering a broken left wrist that will sideline him six-to-eight weeks. White was hoping to crack the Sens roster this season. 

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Blackhawks analyst and former NHL player Ed Olczyk will undergo six months of chemotherapy. He recently underwent surgery for colon cancer. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s hoping Olcyzk makes a complete recovery and returns to his broadcast duties soon. 

TSN: The NHL has begun cracking down on slashing and faceoff infractions. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Crackdowns on “tapping” slashes is long overdue. However, it remains to be seen how effective it will be. Ditto for the effort to speed up faceoffs, Toronto Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock and Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand have already expressed their displeasure. I daresay other players and coaches will voice their criticism in the coming days.

THE PROVINCE: The growing Chinese market could be a bonanza for the NHL. The Los Angeles Kings and Vancouver Canucks face off against each other in two exhibition games this week in Shanghai and Beijing.

ARIZONA SPORTS: A look at the high cost of maintaining a hockey facility in a desert environment. 

 











NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 30, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 30, 2017

Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun.

An update on Jakob Chychrun, latest professional tryout offers & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

ARIZONA SPORTS: Coyotes general manager John Chayka said defenseman Jakob Chychrun’s knee injury is “definitely not season-ending.”  Chychrun suffered the injury during offseason training and is rehabbing in Philadelphia. Chayka doesn’t expect the blueliner to be ready for the Coyotes season opener on Oct. 5.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Chayka didn’t say how long Chychrun could be sidelined. He could seek an affordable short-term replacement for the young blueliner from within his system, or via trade or free agency. 

NHL.COM: The Montreal Canadiens invited former Colorado Avalanche defenseman Eric Gelina to training camp on a professional tryout offer.

Former Florida Panthers forward Brandon Pirri is back with the club on a professional tryout offer. He played parts of three seasons (2013-14 to 2015-16) with the Panthers. 

Former Ottawa Senators defenseman Jared Cowen has joined the Avalanche on a tryout basis. He missed all of last season rehabbing from hip surgery. 

The Vancouver Canucks signed forward Ryan White to a PTO. He split last season between the Arizona Coyotes and Minnesota Wild. 

NBC SPORTS: The Calgary Flames gave former New York Rangers enforcer Tanner Glass a professional tryout offer. 

THE ATHLETIC: Forward David Booth is expected to get a PTO from the Detroit Red Wings. He spent last season in the KHL. 

TSN: Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment agreed to a 20-year, $800-million sponsorship agreement with Scotiabank to rename the Air Canada Centre.