NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 6, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 6, 2021

The fallout from the Carolina Hurricanes signing away Jesperi Kotkaniemi from the Montreal Canadiens, an update on Jake Gardiner, player milestones to watch this season and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Carolina Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell spoke to the media yesterday about his club successfully signing away Jesperi Kotkaniemi from the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday.

Carolina Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell (NHL Images).

Waddell said the Hurricanes weren’t surprised that the Canadiens opted not to match the one-year, $6.1 million offer sheet. He denied revenge for the Habs’ unsuccessful attempt to sign Sebastian Aho in 2019 was the motivation behind the Kotkaniemi offer. Waddell also dismissed the club’s PR staff trolling the Canadiens over the signing as merely a marketing ploy to keep their fans engaged.

The Hurricanes GM said he initially attempted to acquire Kotkaniemi via trade and decided several days later to tender an offer sheet. Waddell indicated he hasn’t had contract extension discussions with the 21-year-old forward and his agent. The earliest they can re-sign him is in January.

Asked where Kotkaniemi would play this season, Waddell indicated the 21-year-old will probably start at left wing. Although the Hurricanes now sit above the $81.5 million salary cap by over $1.5 million, they intend to place defenseman Jake Gardiner ($4.05 million cap hit) on long-term injury reserve. Waddell indicated Gardiner will undergo hip and back surgery and won’t be ready for the start of the season.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Kotkaniemi also talked about his new contract with the Hurricanes. He considers it a great opportunity and felt confident his new club has trust in him. He noted the presence of fellow Finns Aho and Teuvo Teravainen and considers it an honor to play for a potential Stanley Cup contender.

Asked about his time with the Canadiens, Kotkaniemi acknowledged there were “ups and downs” but overall felt he had a good run in Montreal. However, he did say he thought his development with the Habs could’ve gone better.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The revenge angle keeps getting played up in the media but I think that’s just a small factor here. The Hurricanes were seeking a young forward who could play center or wing. They had an interest in Kotkaniemi, tried to trade for him and when that didn’t work not only went the offer-sheet route but gave the Habs a heads-up as to their intentions.

PuckPedia speculates the Hurricanes could maximize their long-term injury reserve space to the full $4.05 million of Gardiner’s cap hit by demoting two players to put them just under the cap ceiling before the start of the season. They’ll then put Gardiner on LTIR. No word yet on how long he’ll be sidelined but the 31-year-old blueliner could be sidelined for the season.

A contract extension for Kotkaniemi will be decided by his performance this season. It would cost them $6.1 million to qualify his rights but the two sides could agree to a long-term deal for a lower annual average value.

Kotkaniemi’s comments about his development in Montreal and his willingness to accept the Hurricanes offer had some observers suggesting the Canadiens must ensure that issue doesn’t recur with their other younger players. Whether the current management shares that view remains to be seen.

SI.COM: Jason Chen looks at several player milestones to watch in 2021-22. Joe Thornton has an opportunity to move into third place overall for games played, Ryan Getzlaf, Nicklas Backstrom and Jason Spezza could reach 1,000 points while Alex Ovechkin is 36 goals away from tying Jaromir Jagr for third place (766) on the all-time goal-scoring list.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Former Blue Jackets defenseman James Wisniewski sold his Muirfield, Ohio home for $3.75 million.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 5, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 5, 2018

The Washington Capitals within one game of winning the Stanley Cup. Details and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Evgeny Kuznetsov collected four assists and T.J. Oshie had a goal and two assists to lead the Washington Capitals to a 6-2 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 4 of the 2018 Stanley Cup Final. Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby had another solid outing with 28 saves. James Neal and Reilly Smith tallied for the Golden Knights. Game 5 goes Thursday in Las Vegas with the Capitals holding a 3-1 series lead. 

Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov collected four assists in his club’s 6-2 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 4 of the 2018 Stanley Cup Final.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Golden Knights didn’t lack for quality scoring chances, especially early in the first period. The game seemed to turn after Neal, with an open net, clanked a shot off the post. The Capitals struck for three goals in the first and entered the third period with a 4-0 lead. The Golden Knights did make it interesting in the third by cutting the lead to 4-2 before the Capitals put the game away. Washington’s special-team play made the difference, going three-for-five on the power play and killing off four penalties. 

LE JOURNAL DE MONTREAL: cites TVA Sports’ Renaud Lavoie reporting contract negotiations have not started yet between the Montreal Canadiens and captain Max Pacioretty, who is a year away from unrestricted free agent status. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: TSN’s Darren Dreger last week reported the two sides had engaged in preliminary discussions regarding a contract extension. 

TRIBLIVE.COM: Player agent Allan Walsh shot down speculation his client, Pittsburgh Penguins forward Dominik Simon, might play in the KHL next season if unable to reach agreement on a new contract with the Penguins. Walsh maintains Simon’s priority is playing in the NHL. 

SPORTSNET: Ottawa Senators assistant general manager Randy Lee has pleaded not guilty to sexual harassment allegations in Buffalo. 

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Former NHL defenseman James Wisniewski was hospitalized last Friday with broken ribs following a single-car accident outside Columbus. PGA golfer Bud Cauley was also seriously injured. Both men are reportedly in stable condition. 

VANCOUVER SUN: It’s been 10 years (May 29) since Canucks defenseman Luc Bourdon was killed in a motorcycle crash in New Brunswick. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Has it really been that long ago? It only seems like a year or two since Bourdon’s tragic passing. Such a shame that a young man with a promising future in the NHL had his life cut short. 

TSN: NHL referee and amateur golfer Garrett Rank has qualified for the U.S. Open.


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 23, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 23, 2017

Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid downplays talk he’s the NHL’s top player.

Updates on Connor McDavid, Jarome Iginla, Shane Doan and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

TSN: Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid is attempting to downplay his displacing Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby atop The Hockey News’ annual ranking of the 50 best NHL players. “Everyone knows who the best player in the league is…and it’s not me,” said a modest McDavid.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some will point to McDavid winning the Hart Memorial Trophy, Ted Lindsay Award and the Art Ross Trophy as proof he’s now the NHL’s top player. Others will point to Crosby winning his second consecutive Conn Smythe Trophy leading the Penguins to their second straight Stanley Cup championship ( as well as winning the Richard Trophy as the top scorer in the regular season) as indicative of his ongoing dominance. McDavid can downplay that talk now, but he’s clearly Crosby’s successor. 

Sean Burke, general manager of Canada’s Men’s Olympic Hockey Team, contacted unrestricted free agents Jarome Iginla and Shane Doan about their potential availability. Whether the two veterans are interested remains to be seen. Iginla’s agent, Don Meehan, said they’re currently not dealing with this issue. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Iginla and Doan obviously hope to sign with NHL clubs for the upcoming season, which would make them ineligible to play in the 2018 Olympics. If they don’t get new NHL contracts, I can see them skating for Team Canada in South Korea. 

OTTAWA SUN: Former Senators executive Daniel Alfredsson intends to take some time away from hockey to focus on his family. They’ll continue to live in Ottawa. 

NBC SPORTS: Detroit Red Wings forward Andreas Athanasiou is mulling a one-year offer from a KHL team. Talks between the Wings and the 23-year-old restricted free agent have apparently stalled. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Seems like a negotiating ploy by the Athanasiou camp to reboot those contract talks. I think the Wings would’ve re-signed him by now but they’re currently handicapped by their lack of salary-cap space

THE ATHLETIC: Defenseman James Wisniewski is skating in Columbus and hoping to sign with an NHL team. He split last season between the KHL and AHL. Failing that, he could skate with Team USA in the Pyeongchang Olympics. 

TORONTO SUN: Unrestricted free agent winger Scottie Upshall could also consider playing in the Olympics if unable to land an NHL job. 

NEW YORK POST: Former New Jersey Devils winger Bobby Farnham signed a professional tryout offer with the New York Rangers. 

THE TENNESSEAN: The Nashville Predators will hold auditions Thursday for anthem singers. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 23, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 23, 2017

Washington Capitals forward Evgeny Kuznetsov celebrates one of his two goals against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Game recaps, injury updates and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.com: Evgeny Kuznetsov scored twice, Alex Ovechkin and Justin Williams each collected two assists and Braden Holtby made 30 saves to give the Washington Capitals a 4-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. It was a costly win for the Capitals, as defenseman Matt Niskanen suffered an apparent left-leg injury after a collision with Flyers blueliner Radko Gudas. 

Kris Russell’s first goal of the season was the game winner as the Edmonton Oilers edged the Florida Panthers 4-3. Jussi Jokinen and Keith Yandle each collected two assists in a losing effort for the Panthers, whose five-game win streak came to an end. The Oilers left this game short two defensemen, as Adam Larsson didn’t play due to an undisclosed injury and Andrej Sekera left the game after being struck by the puck. They’re not expected to be sidelined for long. 

Rickard Rakell scored twice while Corey Perrey and Nick Ritchie each had two assists to lead the Anaheim Ducks to a 5-3 win over the Boston Bruins, snapping the Bruins’ four-game win streak. 

LOS ANGELES TIMES: The Kings placed goaltender Jeff Zatkoff on waivers as starter Jonathan Quick is close to returning to action from a groin injury suffering during the season-opener in October. He’s expected back by early- to mid-March. 

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning winger Ryan Callahan had a follow-up procedure on his surgically repaired right hip in New York and could miss the remainder of this season. 

NEWSDAY:  New York Islanders center Casey Cizikas will miss about a month with a suspected broken left hand. 

THE DENVER POST: Colorado Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson (broken fibula) could return to action on Saturday. He’s been sidelined since Dec. 3. 

DETROIT NEWS: The Red Wings sent goalie Jared Coreau to Grand Rapids on a conditioning stint. He’s expected to be recalled following the Wings’ bye week. 

OTTAWA SUN: Former NHL defenseman James Wisniewski talks about how he wound up playing in the KHL this season after failing to get an NHL contract and his efforts to play his way back to the bigs. 

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: The Vegas Golden Knights won’t be taking part in the 2017 NHL trade deadline on March 1, as owner Bill Foley won’t have his final installment payment of his expansion fee paid up by that point. Foley blamed documentation red tape on the delay. 

THE PLAYERS TRIBUNE: Hockey Night in Punjabi’s Harnarayan Singh documents how he rose from a young hockey-loving kid in Brooks, Alberta to becoming a play-by-play announcer for Sportsnet. 

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 28, 2016

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 28, 2016

Mitch Marner collected three assists in the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2 victory over the Florida Panthers.

Mitch Marner collected three assists in the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2 victory over the Florida Panthers.

 Notable game recaps, waiver updates, latest on Craig Anderson, David Pastrnak & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.com:  With a 3-1 victory over the New York Islanders, the Montreal Canadiens picked up their sixth straight win. 

Petr Mrazek made 31 saves backstopping the Detroit Red Wings to a 2-1 shootout victory over the St. Louis Blues, giving the wings their sixth consecutive win.

Mitch Marner collected three assists and Tyler Bozak scored twice as the Toronto Maple Leafs edged the Florida Panthers 3-2.

Patrik Laine’s two power-play goals helped the Winnipeg Jets double up the Dallas Stars 4-2. 

Sidney Crosby snapped a 2-2 tie with the game-winning goal as the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the New York Islanders 4-2. 

Minnesota Wild goale Devan Dubnyk made 38 saves to collect his second straight shutout in a 4-0 blanking of the Buffalo Sabres. 

Tomas Hertl scored twice as the San Jose Sharks downed the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-1. 

Jeff Carter scored in overtime to lift the Los Angeles Kings to a 3-2 win over the Nashville Predators, giving the Kings their fourth straight victory. 

The Arizona Coyotes edged the Philadelphia Flyers 5-4 to snap a five-game losing skid. Before the game, the Flyers honored such notable former stars as Bob Clarke, Bernie Parent and Eric Lindros in a pregame ceremony as part of the franchise’s 50th anniversary.


TSN: Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak faces a hearing with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety regarding an illegal check to the head of New York Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi in a recent game. 

OTTAWA SUN: Senators goalie Craig Anderson has taken a leave of absence to attend to a personal matter. 

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Having re-sign defenseman Hampus Lindholm, the Anaheim Ducks placed forward Nate Thompson (ruptured Achilles tendon, $1.6 million annual average salary) on long-term injury reserve and demoted Shea Theodore Emerson Etem. The moves were made to ensure sufficient salary-cap room for Lindholm’s new contract.

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS:  The Rangers placed defenseman Dylan McIlrath on waivers. Forward Josh Jooris (Grade 2 AC joint separation) is out three-to-four weeks. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers reportedly tried unsuccessfully to trade McIlrath. It’ll be interesting to see if he clears waivers later today.

STLTODAY.COM: The Blues placed winger Magnus Paajarvi on waivers. 

TSN’s Darren Dreger reports free-agent defenseman James Wisniewski signed with the KHL’s Vladivostok Admirals. His contract contains an NHL out-clause. 

CHICAGO TRIBUNE:  The Blackhawks have the worst early-season penalty kill since STATS started tracking such stats in 1987-88. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: One reason for that woeful penalty kill could be the slow but steady departure in recent years of key players for salary-cap purposes. 

THE GLOBE & MAIL:  Prejudice and the rise of the KHL are contributing to a declining number of Russian players in the NHL. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 19, 2016

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 19, 2016

Marian Hossa is saluted by Chicago Blackhawks fans for scoring his 500th career NHL goal.

Marian Hossa is saluted by Chicago Blackhawks fans for scoring his 500th career NHL goal.

Notable game highlights and much more in this morning’s collection of NHL headlines.

NHL.COM: Marian Hossa sniped his 500th career NHL goal in the Chicago Blackhawks 7-4 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. Artemi Panarin also scored twice for the Blackhawks, who blew a 4-0 lead but but finished strong to pick up the victory.  

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hossa is the 44th player in NHL history to tally 500 goals. 

Steven Stamkos game-tying goal set the stage for Brayden Point’s shootout winner as the Tampa Bay Lightning edged the Florida Panthers 4-3.

Henrik Sedin’s overtime goal gave the Vancouver Canucks a 2-1 win over the St. Louis Blues. The Canucks are unbeaten in their first three games of this season (3-0-0). 

Taylor Hall scored twice to lead the New Jersey Devils to a 2-1 win over the struggling Anaheim Ducks.

T.J. Oshie’s two goals helped the Washington Capitals blank the Colorado Avalanche 3-0.  

Al Montoya made 36 saves backstopping the Montreal Canadiens to a 4-0 shutout of the Pittsburgh Penguins. David Desharnais scored twice for the Habs. 

Sean Monahan scored in overtime and Matthew Tkachuk netted his first NHL goal to lift the Calgary Flames to a 4-3 victory over the Buffalo Sabres. 

Joe Pavelski’s late goal lifted the San Jose Sharks to a 3-2 win over the New York Islanders. 

Jason Pominville and Erik Haula collected a goal and an assist as the Minnesota Wild doubled up the Los Angeles Kings 6-3.

Jason Spezza netted the game winner as the Dallas Stars nipped the Nashville Predators 2-1.

Tom Pyatt, Mark Stone and Chris Kelly each had a goal and an assist to lead the Ottawa Senators to a 7-4 drubbing of the Arizona Coyotes, who also lost goalie Mike Smith to an apparent left leg injury.

Cam Talbot made 31 saves to give the Edmonton Oilers a 3-2 victory over the winless Carolina Hurricanes. 

TSN: Darren Dreger reports unrestricted free agent defenseman James Wisniewski is close to signing with KHL team Barys Astana.

OTTAWA SUN: Attendance is noticeably down for the Senators early home games this season. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Could be because Sens fans have low expectations for the club this season. After showing some promise in recent seasons, the Sens barely made the playoffs in 2015 and missed the cut last season. 

NEWSDAY:  The New York Islanders and Barclays Center are working to improve the fan and player experience in the Isles new home.

TORONTO SUN:  Children under two no longer need a ticket to attend special NHL events, such as Sunday’s Heritage Classic game in Winnipeg. 

ESPN.COM:  A fan angered at the Montreal Canadiens for trading P.K. Subban to Nashville is donating $250,000 to P.K.’s Helping Hand Fund at the Montreal Children’s Hospital. He’s the same fan who spent $25K on a full-page ad in the Montreal Gazette condemning the Subban trade. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Donating to P.K.’s charity fund is a much better use of his money.

THE BOSTON GLOBE: Fifty years ago this week, Bobby Orr made his NHL debut. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yet another reason for those of us of a certain age to feel old.