NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 22, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 22, 2017

Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Matt Murray makes one of his 25 saves in a 7-0 shutout of the Ottawa Senators in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final.

Penguins take control in Eastern Conference Final, plus updates on the Ducks and Predators in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Evgeni Malkin and Carter Rowney each collected three assists and Matt Murray turned in a 25-save shutout as the Pittsburgh Penguins crushed the Ottawa Senators 7-0 in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final. The series returns to Ottawa for Game 6 with the Penguins hold a 3-2 series lead.

The Penguins were skating without injured forward Patric Hornqvist and defenseman Justin Schultz but winger Bryan Rust returned to the lineup. Senators defensemen Erik Karlsson and Cody Ceci and center Derick Brassard left the game with injuries but are expected to play in Game 6.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This lopsided victory by the Penguins was reminiscent of the Senators 5-1 win back in Game 3, when they took a 2-1 series lead and seemingly had the battered Pens on the ropes. But in the last two games, the Penguins reminded everyone why they’re the defending Stanley Cup champions. They’ve adjusted to the Senators’ defensive system while drawing upon their roster depth to overcome a rash of injuries. 

THE TENNESSEAN: With the Nashville Predators holding a 3-2 lead over the Anaheim Ducks in the Western Conference Final, their fans anticipate watching franchise history in Game 6. With a win tonight, the Predators would advance to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time.

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Ducks will be playing Game 6 without forwards Rickard Rakell and Patrick Eaves (lower-body injuries), while goaltender John Gibson (lower body) remains questionable.

STLTODAY.COM: St. Louis Blues owner Tom Stillman gave a vote of confidence to general manager Doug Armstrong. While Armstrong has a year remaining on his contract, Stillman said he still feels he’s the right man for the job.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: A source says Ulf Samuelsson is the top candidate for the vacant job of assistant coach.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Former Blackhawks defenseman Bill White has died at age 77. White played 10 seasons in the NHL, seven with the Hawks. He was also a member of Team Canada in the historic 1972 Summit Series against the Soviet Union. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to White’s family and friends. 

TSN: Sweden downed Canada 2-1 in a shootout to win the gold medal in the 2017 World Championships. Toronto Maple Leafs forward William Nylander was named tournament MVP. 


Coyotes Ship Hanzal to the Wild

Coyotes Ship Hanzal to the Wild

Arizona Coyotes trade center Martin Hanzal to the Minnesota Wild.

TSN reports the Arizona Coyotes traded center Martin Hanzal and winger Ryan White to the Minnesota Wild in exchange for a first-round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, a second-rounder in 2018,  a conditional pick in 2019 and minor-league center Grayson Downing.

TSN’s Bob McKenzie also reports the Wild receive back a 2017 fourth-rounder from the Coyotes. They’ll also retain half of Hanzal’s $3.1 million cap hit. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Big move by Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher as he loads up at forward for what he hopes could be a championship run for his high-flying club this spring. He obviously wants his club to have sufficient size and grit should they square off against potential Western Conference playoff opponents like the Chicago Blackhawks, San Jose Sharks or Anaheim Ducks. 

Some eyebrows were raised over how much Fletcher gave up for a couple of rental players. It’s worth remembering that this year’s draft isn’t considered a deep one, making that first rounder easier to part with. 

Hanzal, 30, is eligible for unrestricted free agency in July. He isn’t a scoring forward, though he’s on pace for over 20 goals this season. It’s his size (6’6″, 226 pounds) and two-way skills that should make him a solid fit for the Wild as their likely third-line center. He has a long injury history, but is on track to reach the 80-game mark for the first time in his NHL career.

White is an energetic, physical winger. He should bring an added measure of grit to the Wild’s forward lines. 

Quite the haul of picks the constantly rebuilding Coyotes got from this deal. They wanted a first-rounder as part of their initial asking price (which reportedly included a good young forward) for Hanzal.

The Coyotes will either keep those picks for themselves or perhaps use them as trade bait at the deadline or during the draft weekend in June. They also might not be done dealing before the March 1 trade deadline. Right wings Radim Vrbata and Shane Doan could also be available. 

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 22, 2016

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 22, 2016

The Edmonton Oilers celebrate one of their goals in their 5-0 win over the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Edmonton Oilers celebrate one of their goals in their 5-0 win over the Chicago Blackhawks.

Game recaps, injury and waiver updates, All-Star voting & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Leon Draisaitl scored twice, Connor McDavid collected two assists and Cam Talbot made 31 saves as the Edmonton Oilers shut out the Chicago Blackhawks 5-0. 

P.K. Subban scored twice as the Nashville Predators downed the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-1.

The New York Rangers overcame a 2-0 deficit to defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-2. Rookie Jake Guentzel scored both goals (his first in the NHL) for the Penguins. Earlier in the day, the Rangers claimed forward Matt Puempel off waivers from the Ottawa Senators, while forward Pavel Buchnevich (back) will be sidelined two-three weeks.  The Penguins, meanwhile, placed winger Chris Kunitz (lower-body injury) on injured reserve

Brent Burns had a goal and an assists and Martin Jones made 27 saves as the San Jose Sharks blanked the New Jersey Devils 4-0. Earlier in the day, the Sharks announced winger Tomas Hertl is sidelined indefinitely following a minor procedure to address a knee sprain. 

Jamie Benn scored in overtime to give the Dallas Stars a 3-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild. 

Matt Duchene’s overtime goal lifted the Colorado Avalanche to a 3-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. 

Kyle Okposo had a goal and an assists to lead the Buffalo Sabres to a 4-2 victory over the Calgary Flames. 

TSN:  Los Angeles Kings center Jeff Carter, Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward and Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom are the NHL’s stars of the week. 

ARIZONA SPORTS:  The Coyotes announced Tucson Roadrunners captain Craig Cunningham is in stable but critical condition after collapsing prior to an AHL game against the Manitoba Moose. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s hoping Cunningham makes a swift and full recovery. 

NHL.COM: The Florida Panthers announced defenseman Alex Petrovic (ankle injury) will miss the next eight weeks

The Carolina Hurricanes placed goaltender Eddie Lack (concussion) on injured reserve, called up goalie Michael Leighton and assigned defenseman Ryan Murphy to their AHL affiliate on a conditioning stint

LAS VEGAS JOURNAL-REVIEW:  The NHL’s Las Vegas expansion franchise will reveal their name and jersey today. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Thank heavens, I was getting tired of calling them the “Las Vegas Insert Your Name Here”. 

NHL.COM:  The league is changing the fan voting rules to prevent the fans from stuffing the ballot box for a write-in candidate.”Players who are injured or in the minors won’t be on the active ballot until they’re back in the NHL. If someone is voted captain and is hurt or in the AHL, the player with the second-most votes gets in.” Last year, the fans voted for long-time enforcer John Scott, who was playing in the minors at the time.. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fortunately for the league, Scott’s presence at the 2016 All-Star Game turned into a feel-good story with a happy ending. The league obviously wants to avoid the possibility of a potential embarrassment in future All-Star contests.

WINNIPEG SUN: Former NHL defenseman Ian White was granted a three-month conditional sentence and placed on 12 months supervised probation after pleading guilty to three firearm storage offenses. 

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 23, 2015

Check out the highlight video of Sunday’s NHL action, which includes the San Jose Sharks setting a franchise record for road wins, the Carolina Hurricanes edging the Los Angeles Kings and the Montreal Canadiens beating the New York Islanders again.

 Notable NHL Headlines

Canadiens winger Brendan Gallagher is helped to the dressing room after suffering a hand injury against the Islanders.

Canadiens winger Brendan Gallagher is helped to the dressing room after suffering a hand injury against the Islanders.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens win over the Islanders proved costly, as winger Brendan Gallagher suffered two fractured fingers blocking a Johnny Boychuk shot. Gallagher is sidelined indefinitely.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Habs were already thin at right wing. Losing Gallagher, who was on pace for a career-best performance this season, is a significant blow.

NEW YORK POST: Defensive zone breakdowns and poor power-play stats are among several reasons why Larry Brooks suggests the Rangers’ hot start to this season could be a mirage.

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Several weeks into this season, the rebuilding Sabres remain a work in progress.

TWINCITIES.COM: In the absence of winger Zach Parise, Thomas Vanek has stepped up for the Minnesota Wild.

THE DETROIT NEWS: Red hot Red Wings rookie Dylan Larkin is showing no sign of slowing down.

THE DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche have taken goalie Semyon Varlamov off injured reserve. He could be ready to start tonight against the Winnipeg Jets.

THE WASHINGTON POST: The Capitals’ Tom Wilson doesn’t believe he hits to injure opponents, but his style of play has become a concern with the Department of Player Safety.

NBC SPORTS: UFA forward Dainius Zubrus is moving closer to a one-year contract with the San Jose Sharks. He’s currently skating with the club on a professional tryout.

THE SCORE: The Boston Bruins claimed forward Landon Ferraro off waivers from the Detroit Red Wings.

TSN: Former NHL defenseman Ian White was arrested Friday in Winnipeg and charged with a number of weapons-related offenses.