NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 14, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 14, 2021

Recaps of Saturday’s action, including the Lightning finally raising their Stanley Cup banner, plus the latest on Erik Karlsson, Keith Yandle and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Artemi Panarin collected an assist in his return to the New York Rangers lineup in a 4-0 victory over the Boston Bruins. Keith Kinkaid made 18 saves for the shutout while Chris Kreider, Mika Zibanejad and Pavel Buchnevich each collected two points. The Bruins (32 points) maintain a three-point lead over the Philadelphia Flyers for fourth place in the MassMutual East Division. The Bruins played without winger Jake DeBrusk as he was placed on the league’s COVID-19 protocol list.

An overtime goal by Zach Werenski lifted the Columbus Blue Jackets past the Dallas Stars 4-3, giving the Jackets their first win in four contests. Jack Roslovic collected three assists while Max Domi had a goal and an assist for the Jackets (28 points), who sit five behind the fourth-place Chicago Blackhawks in the Discover Central Division.

Calgary Flames center Sean Monahan (NHL Images).

Two first-period goals by Sean Monahan gave the Calgary Flames a 3-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens. Monahan now has 200 career goals. Jeff Petry tallied his league-leading 11th goal among NHL defensemen for the Canadiens (31 points), who hold only a two-point lead over the Flames in the Scotia North Division. It’s the Flames’ second straight win in as many games under new head coach Darryl Sutter.

Pittsburgh Penguins backup Casey DeSmith made 24 saves for a 3-0 blanking of the Buffalo Sabres, handing the latter their 10th straight loss. Penguins captain Sidney Crosby tallied his 10th of the season as his club (35 points) opened a three-point lead over the slumping Bruins for third in the East Division.

The New York Islanders picked up their eighth straight victory by edging the New Jersey Devils 3-2. The Isles overcame a 2-1 deficit on third-period goals by Kieffer Bellows as they maintained their lead in the East Division with 40 points.

Alex Ovechkin scored his 716th career goal as his Washington Capitals held off the Philadelphia Flyers 5-4. Ovechkin is one goal behind Phil Esposito for sixth place on the all-time goal-scoring list. Washington (38 points) sit two back of the first-place Islanders in the East Division. Capitals center Lars Eller left the game in the first period with an apparent injury to his right leg.

The Tampa Bay Lightning raised their 2020 Stanley Cup championship banner in front of 3,800 fans at Amelie Arena prior to defeating the Nashville Predators 6-3. Tyler Johnson and Blake Coleman each had a goal and an assist for the Bolts (40 points), who hold possession of first place in the Central Division with a game in hand over the Florida Panthers.

Speaking of the Panthers (40 points), they got two goals from captain Aleksander Barkov to double up the Chicago Blackhawks 4-2. Before the game, the Panthers honored defenseman Keith Yandle for recently passing the 1,000 game milestone. They also hold a one-point lead over the third-place Carolina Hurricanes in the Central.

Third-period goals by Adam Lowry, Nikolaj Ehlers and Mark Scheifele carried the Winnipeg Jets over the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-2. The first-place Leafs (40 points) sit four points ahead of the Jets in the North Division but they’ve also dropped four of their five games.

Vegas Golden Knights captain Mark Stone tallied twice in a 5-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues. Max Pacioretty scored and collected two helpers as the Golden Knights (37 points) sit in first place in the Honda West Division, four points up on the Minnesota Wild.

The Vancouver Canucks snapped the Edmonton Oilers’ four-game win streak with a narrow 2-1 victory. Tyler Myers scored the winner in the third period while Thatcher Demko kicked out 34 shots for the win. The Oilers (36 points) slip into third place in the North Division.

Evander Kane scored in his third straight game as the San Jose Sharks downed the Anaheim Ducks 3-1. Martin Jones made 26 saves for the Sharks.










Are The Florida Panthers For Real?

Are The Florida Panthers For Real?

 










NHL Rumor Mill – February 4, 2021

NHL Rumor Mill – February 4, 2021

A list of several clubs possibly interested in Tony DeAngelo plus the latest on Keith Yandle and Derek Stepan in today’s NHL rumor mill.

FLAMES, RED WINGS, KINGS AND DUCKS LINKED TO DEANGELO

Several teams are reportedly interested in New York Rangers defenseman Tony DeAngelo (NHL Images).

NBC SPORTS (via Mike Gould of Flames Nation): Bob McKenzie reported at least four or five teams were “kicking tires” and doing due diligence to see if Tony DeAngelo is a worthwhile reclamation project. The Calgary Flames, Detroit Red Wings, Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks are among the clubs potentially interested in the 25-year-old New York Rangers defenseman.

McKenzie said the Rangers’ Plan B if a trade isn’t possible is to buy out DeAngelo at the end of the season. They’re not prepared to retain a huge portion of his $4.8 million annual average value nor are they willing to take on a huge contract coming back the other way. They’d only face a $300K penalty for buying him out next season and $800K the season after that.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: DeAngelo was banished from the Rangers following an altercation with teammate Alexandar Georgiev over the weekend. He’s at home while his agent and the Blueshirts attempt to find a suitable trade partner.

Gould also cited Sportsnet 960’s Dean Molberg reaching out to the Flames regarding McKenzie’s report. Based on that conversation, Molberg doesn’t expect they’ll make a move to acquire DeAngelo.

The Red Wings and Kings are rebuilding while the Ducks should be. The Wings and Ducks desperately need more offensive punch, which the puck-moving DeAngelo could provide from the blue line. The Kings could use some more experienced skill on their blueline, though DeAngelo’s shaky defensive game might not fit into their plans.

Cap Friendly indicates the buyout numbers are over $383K in 2021-22 and over $883K in 2022-23. Because he doesn’t turn 26 until October, his buyout is calculated at one-third the remaining value over twice the remaining term.

LATEST YANDLE SPECULATION

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: In a recent mailbag segment, George Richards said he thinks one reason the Panthers would like to move Keith Yandle is his no-movement clause means he’d be among the three defensemen they’d have to protect in this summer’s expansion draft. They could ask him to waive it thinking Seattle wouldn’t claim him because of his contract.

Richards was also asked about the possibility of the Panthers swapping Yandle for St. Louis’ Vince Dunn or Philadelphia’s Shayne Gostisbehere. He said the veteran blueliner doesn’t want to leave the Panthers, pointing out his NMC gives him full control. While there’s been talk linking Yandle to the Flyers, Richards doesn’t know if he’d agree to be traded to Philadelphia.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The more likely scenario could be the Panthers asking Yandle to waive his clause for the draft. Given what transpired last month when they were reportedly thinking of benching him before the start of the season, he could be unwilling to oblige them.

COULD STEPAN BE ON THE MOVE AGAIN?

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch cites a report from Nick Kypreos indicating the Senators are willing to move Derek Stepan. The 30-year-old center was acquired from the Arizona Coyotes before training camp but hasn’t made the impact the Senators would like.

Former NHL GM Doug MacLean wondered if Stepan might want to be moved because he’s not happy with his role under Senators coach D.J. Smith. He also mentioned perhaps the veteran center is missing his family back in Arizona.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stepan lacks no-trade protection so the Senators could send him anywhere they want. If he does want out of Ottawa, perhaps they’ll try to deal him to a team closer to his Arizona home. It won’t be the Coyotes as they moved him to shed salary.










NHL Rumor Mill – January 26, 2021

NHL Rumor Mill – January 26, 2021

Are the Flyers in the market for a defenseman? What does the Jets’ acquisition of Pierre-Luc Dubois mean for Paul Stastny? What’s the latest on the Ducks? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.

THE ATHLETIC: Charlie O’Connor believes the Philadelphia Flyers aren’t going to rush into the trade market to address their recent struggles. Two-way center Sean Couturier is sidelined while the defense is bereft of puck-moving blueliners beyond Ivan Provorv and Travis Sanheim.

O’Connor points out it is only two weeks into the season and the only players on the trade market are those demanding to be moved or those who’ve been available for months because of bad contracts or poor fits with their current teams.

Winnipeg Jets center Paul Stastny (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That last blurb is probably aimed at recent speculation tying the Flyers to Florida Panthers defenseman Keith Yandle and Detroit Red Wings blueliner Danny DeKeyser. Philadelphia rearguard and South Florida native Shayne Gostisbehere were linked to Yandle but O’Connor indicates the Flyers intend to use him in the lineup once he’s off the COVID-19 protocol list.

SPORTSNET: In the wake of the Winnipeg Jets shipping Patrik Laine and Jack Roslovic to Columbus for center Pierre-Luc Dubois last Saturday, Luke Fox is curious about where the Jets and current second-line center Paul Stastny go from here.

The Jets brought back Stastny last fall in a trade with the Vegas Golden Knights. He’s beloved by teammates and the coaching staff but the 35-year-old center becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer. Fox wonders if Stastny will take a pay cut to stay with the Jets as a No. 3 center or try to find a second-line center role elsewhere via free agency.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stastny’s had a long and production NHL career but he’s also at the age when skills and speed inevitably erode. If he has a decent performance this season he might be wise to consider sticking with the Jets. I doubt many teams will be in the market for a center turning 36 in December seeking second-line work.

THE ATHLETIC: Eric Stephens points out Anaheim Ducks GM Bob Murray attempted to acquire Justin Faulk, Kasperi Kapanen and Pierre-Luc Dubois over the past 18 months. He was also linked to Patrik Laine before the winger was shipped to Columbus. Fairly or not, it could reflect poorly on Murray’s ability to close a big trade.

Stephens wonders if the asking price for Dubois was top prospect Trevor Zegras. If so, Murray might be proven right not to part with Zegras or promising defenseman Jamie Drysdale. He doubts the Ducks GM could’ve put together a sufficient package to land Laine.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Ducks are at a point right now where they’ll have to gut it out with what they’ve got this season and hope for the best.

Stephens also pointed out the Ducks lack sufficient cap space to part with inexpensive assets to land expensive, established young talent. Trading away Zegras and/or Drysdale would’ve been gutting the pieces necessary for their long-overdue rebuild. They also lack suitable talent to do a dollar-for-dollar swap that could improve their roster.










NHL Rumor Mill – January 25, 2021

NHL Rumor Mill – January 25, 2021

Are the Flyers looking at Keith Yandle or Danny DeKeyser? Should the Leafs use Travis Dermott as a trade chip for a forward? Should the Avalanche upgrade their goaltending? Check out the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill.

FLYERS LINKED TO YANDLE, DEKEYSER

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy reports there’s been some trade chatter regarding Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere and Florida Panthers blueliner Keith Yandle since last fall’s NHL Draft.

Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere (NHL Images).

Gostisbehere is a South Florida native while Yandle surfaced in recent trade speculation. An NHL source told Murphy this rumor has “more than legs” to it, suggesting the Flyers could “eat some money there” and would be better with Yandle.

Murphy said Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher could be active in the trade market sooner rather than later. He also said the Flyers are scouting Detroit Red Wings rearguard Danny DeKeyser.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers have stumbled out of the gate this season. They’ve struggled defensively, giving up 35.5 shots-against per game with a bloated 3.50 goals-against per game and a sickly penalty-kill percentage of 63.6. Having Selke Trophy winner Sean Couturier and top-four defenseman Philippe Myers sidelined by injuries doesn’t help.

Gostisbehere’s been a fixture in the trade rumor mill for some time so it wouldn’t be shocking if the Flyers traded him this season. However, I don’t see Yandle or DeKeyser as a fit with the Flyers.

Yandle, 34, is a skilled puck-moving blueliner but he’s not renowned for his defensive play. He carries an annual average value of $6.35 million through 2022-23 with a full no-movement clause. The 31-year-old DeKeyser, meanwhile, missed most of last season recovering from back surgery. His annual cap hit is $5 million through next season with a 10-team no-trade list.

SHOULD THE LEAFS DERMOTT FOR A FORWARD?

THE ATHLETIC: Jonas Siegel acknowledged Saturday’s report by Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman claiming the Toronto Maple Leafs are looking to improve their forward depth with Joe Thornton and Nick Robertson sidelined by injuries.

Siegel wondered if the Leafs might draw upon their apparent surplus of defensemen. He suggested Travis Dermott as the likely trade candidate citing his limited ice time this season.

That could be a risky move, as Dermott could be worth retaining in case injuries strike the defense corps. Trading him would also leave the Leafs having to expose another defenseman at this summer’s expansion draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs could keep an eye on the waiver wire at this point rather than make a trade. Nevertheless, they could consider making a trade if the concern over the forward depth adversely affects their performance. Dermott does seem the most likely trade chip if they intend to deal from their roster.

SHOULD THE AVALANCHE UPGRADE BETWEEN THE PIPES?

THE DENVER POST: Mike Chambers recently suggested the Colorado Avalanche’s goaltending remains shaky entering this season. He feels it hasn’t improved over last season. Pavel Francouz is sidelined, forcing them to go with inexperienced backups for starter Philipp Grubauer. He feels the Avalanche might have to shop around for help if Francouz’s absence is longer than expected.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This could be a situation worth monitoring. Francouz missed his third straight game on Sunday. As long as Grubauer remains healthy they’ll likely wait for Francouz to heal up and return. However, they could be forced into the trade market if Grubauer struggles or gets hurt.










NHL Rumor Mill – January 21, 2021

NHL Rumor Mill – January 21, 2021

The latest on Aleksander Barkov, Keith Yandle and Patrik Laine in today’s NHL rumor mill.

NBC SPORTS (via KUKLA’S KORNER): TSN insider Darren Dreger reports it’s hard to say at this point how seriously we should take trade speculation about Aleksander Barkov. The 25-year-old Florida Panthers captain is due to become an unrestricted free agent in 2022.

Florida Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov (NHL Images).

Dreger said the Florida Panthers and general manager Bill Zito believe they have time. Zito spoke to Barkov’s representative stating they had no interest in trade the center. Barkov has a no-movement clause in his contract for this season and a modified (12-team no-trade list) no-trade clause for 2021-22.

Barkov wants to win and wants assurances the Panthers are on the road toward achieving that goal. If they’re heading in that direction when it comes time to start contract talks, he’s willing to listen. Dreger indicates there are lots of NHL general managers who are eager to let Zito know they’re interested if Barkov becomes available.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Panthers cannot open contract talks with Barkov until he’s officially entered the final season of his deal, which will be when free agency begins on July 28. The recent trade speculation arose because some general managers are said to be skeptical that he’ll re-sign with the Panthers.

Barring the unforeseen, this will probably be the last we’ll hear about Barkov in this season’s rumor mill. Don’t be surprised, however, if the speculation over his future in Florida resurfaces this summer, especially if the Panthers have another disappointing season.

Dreger was also asked about Keith Yandle’s status with the Panthers. He called it “curious, at best,” suggesting the 34-year-old defenseman probably isn’t sure about his situation with the club going forward. He was told before the start of the season that he wouldn’t be in the lineup but there was an about-face perhaps because of push-back from his teammates. Dreger wondered if Yandle was seeing action to improve trade interest.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy reports NHL Network’s Kevin Weekes believes the Bruins should pursue Yandle. Weekes called out the Panthers’ organization for disrespecting the veteran blueliner and believes it’s an opportunity for Bruins GM Don Sweeney to acquire Yandle to bolster the Bruins’ scoring if the Panthers agree to pick up part of his $6.35 million cap hit.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Nick Goss acknowledged Yandle, a Massachusetts native, is still productive. However, his agent, contract and the Bruins’ need to give their young defensemen a chance to prove themselves doesn’t make Yandle a good fit at this time.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I concur with Goss. If Yandle were a little younger or had less time remaining on his contract at a more reasonable cap hit, perhaps he’d be a worthwhile trade target for the Bruins.

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch believes the current absence of Patrik Laine (upper-body injury) will give the Winnipeg Jets a good idea of what life will be like without him. The winger asked for a trade during the off-season but Garrioch said the Jets could find a suitable trade partner.

That doesn’t mean Laine is off the market. Garrioch pointed out many observers believe a deal could happen during this season. The 22-year-old winger is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights this summer who could seek over $9 million per season. Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff could attempt to move Laine before the trade deadline rather than meet Laine’s expensive salary demands.

Garrioch notes the speculations linking Laine to Columbus Blue Jackets center Pierre-Luc Dubois. Like Laine, Dubois has requested a trade, prompting suggestions of a one-for-one swap. Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen would have more than a passing interest in Laine.

Anyone interested in acquiring Laine will have to talk to him about a contract extension. Garrioch lists the Detroit Red Wings, Philadelphia Flyers, New Jersey Devils and Chicago Blackhawks among the potential suitors. He dismissed rumors linking Laine to the Carolina Hurricanes because he doesn’t believe they’ll shell out big bucks to sign him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Trading Laine during the season is possible but only if the Jets have fallen out of the playoff race or they get an offer of an immediate impact player in return. Laine remains a key ingredient in the Jets’ playoff hopes for this season.

The Blue Jackets would certainly need to know if Laine would be willing to sign a contract extension. The Jets, however, could also have concerns about Dubois’ contract status. He’s signed through next season and they could be unwilling to part with Laine for a player who could prove unwilling to commit to a long-term deal with them.

Laine would certainly provide some welcome star power to the Red Wings but their biggest needs remain improving their defense. Ditto the Blackhawks.

The Flyers reportedly kicked tires on Laine but the cost of the return apparently ended those discussions. The Devils could be a good fit as they have the cap space and the assets to acquire and re-sign Laine, provided he’s willing to agree to a long-term deal.