NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 25, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 25, 2019

Connor McDavid extends his points streak to 11 games, Robert Bortuzzo receives a four-game suspension, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: Connor McDavid scored the only goal in a shootout as the Edmonton Oilers nipped the Arizona Coyotes 4-3. He also picked up an assist in regulation to extend his points streak to 11 games. McDavid sits one point behind linemate Leon Draisaitl (48 points) in the NHL scoring race. Coyotes defenseman Alex Goligoski collected three assists. The Oilers played without Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who could be sidelined for two more games with an injured hand.

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid extended his points streak to 11 games in a 4-3 win over the Arizona Coyotes (Photo via NHL Images)

Buffalo Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark kicked out 43 shots in a 5-2 victory over the Florida Panthers. Jack Eichel had three points and Zemgus Girgensons tallied twice for the Sabres. Panthers defenseman Keith Yandle maintained his ironman streak at 820 games. He underwent dental surgery to replace nine missing teeth after taking a puck to the mouth during Saturday’s loss to the Carolina Hurricanes.

Carolina Hurricanes center Sebastian Aho had a goal and an assist as his club blanked the Detroit Red Wings 2-0. Goaltender James Reimer made 19 saves for the shutout. The Wings are winless in their last six contests.


STLTODAY.COM: Blues defenseman Robert Bortuzzo received a four-game suspension from the NHL department of player safety for cross-checking Nashville Predators winger Viktor Arvidsson.

THE TENNESSEAN: The Predators announced Arvidsson will be sidelined four-to-six weeks with a lower-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s a slap on the wrist for Bortuzzo, who has a history of questionable hits. He was suspended last year for two pre-season games and a regular-season game for elbowing Washington Capitals defenseman Michal Kempny, fined in 2017 for repeatedly cross-checking New York Islanders center Brock Nelson, and received a two-game suspension in 2014 for a late hit on Jaromir Jagr. Meanwhile, the Predators will be without one of their better forwards for over a month.

TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs center Alexander Kerfoot has a hearing scheduled for today with the department of player safety for boarding Colorado Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson on Saturday.

CALGARY SUN: Flames defenseman TJ Brodie is poised to return to action after collapsing on the ice during practice on Nov. 14. Subsequent medical examinations did not uncover any significant concerns.

NHL Gold & Mold: Sharks & Flames Streaking in Opposite Directions

NHL Gold & Mold: Sharks & Flames Streaking in Opposite Directions


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 9, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 9, 2019

Game recaps, Sharks bring back Patrick Marleau, injury updates, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: Winger James Neal scored four goals as the Edmonton Oilers defeated the New York Islanders 5-2. Neal set a franchise record with six goals in his first three games of the season. Oilers captain Connor McDavid collected three assists. The Oilers also welcomed back center Riley Sheahan off injured reserve. Islanders defenseman (and Prince Edward Island native) Noah Dobson picked up an assist in his first NHL game.

Edmonton Oilers winger James Neal scored four goals in a 5-2 win over the New York Islanders (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: After tallying just seven goals in 63 games with the Calgary Flames last season, Neal now has six goals in his first three games with the Oilers.

The San Jose Sharks dropped their fourth straight game, falling 5-2 to the Nashville Predators. Roman Josi tallied twice for the Predators. Off to one of their worst starts in franchise history, the Sharks announced they’re bringing back Patrick Marleau. Before the game, they signed the 40-year-old winger to a one-year, $700K contract. The Sharks also revealed forward Marcus Sorensen is day-to-day with an undisclosed injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Desperate times call for desperate measures. Sharks general manager Doug Wilson declined to sign Marleau during the off-season, preferring to give more playing time to his younger players. Given Marleau’s age and declining production, there’s some skepticism over how much he’ll improve the Sharks’ sputtering offense.

Carolina Hurricanes goaltender James Reimer made 47 saves against his former team in a 6-3 win over the Florida Panthers. Winger Ryan Dzingel scored two goals as the Hurricanes extended their franchise-record season-opening win streak to four games. Panthers forwards Aleksander Barkov and Mike Hoffman each collected two assists while defenseman Keith Yandle skated in his 800th career game.

The Winnipeg Jets overcame an injury-depleted blueline to down the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1, snapping an 18-game losing skid in Pittsburgh. Mark Scheifele and Patrik Laine each had three assists while rookie defenseman Ville Heinola tallied his first NHL career. The Jets played without blueliners Josh Morrissey and Dmitry Kulikov and center Bryan Little. Penguins winger Patric Hornqvist left the game following the first period after being struck by a shot from teammate Kris Letang.

David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand each collected three points as the Boston Bruins held on for a 4-3 win over the Vegas Golden Knights. Bruins captain Zdeno Chara suited up for his 1,488th career game, passing Wayne Gretzky for 23rd on the all-time list.

The Los Angeles Kings picked up their first win of the season by edging the Calgary Flames 4-3. Drew Doughty tallied the game-winner in overtime. Flames winger and Doughty’s nemesis Matthew Tkachuk scored twice, including the game-tying goal that forced the extra frame.

Tyler Seguin’s overtime time lifted the Dallas Stars to their first victory of the season by edging the Washington Capitals 4-3. Alexander Radulov scored twice for the Stars. Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov scored his first goal of the season after serving a season-opening three-game suspension.

Third-period goals by Rickard Rakell, Nick Ritchie, and Jakob Silfverberg powered the Anaheim Ducks to a 3-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. Ducks goalie John Gibson kicked out 31 shots for the win. Earlier in the day, the Ducks recalled Max Comtois and placed Sam Steel (mid-body) on injured reserve.

SABRES PR: Buffalo Sabres winger Conor Sheary is listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – June 11, 2017

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – June 11, 2017

Could the Chicago Blackhawks ship out a core player such as Artem Anisimov?

Updates on the Blackhawks, Rangers and Lightning plus the latest on Dion Phaneuf, Keith Yandle, Sami Vatanen and more in your NHL rumor mill. 

NBC SPORTS: Adam Gretz reports trade rumblings about the Chicago Blackhawks are growing louder. On Friday, Jay Zawatski of Chicago’s 670 The Score reported hearing there’s a good chance the Blackhawks could move a core player other than Jonathan Toews. He believes the move won’t help the club in the short term, as it could be to cut salary or restock their prospect cupboard.

On Saturday, The Athletic’s Scott Powers said neither Artem Anisimov and Brent Seabrook were asked to waive their NMCs. Gretz doubts the Blackhawks will move Toews, Patrick Kane, Artemi Panarin, Duncan Keith and Corey Crawford. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Hawks aren’t willing to part with those players listed by Gretz, the only real options are Anisimov and Seabrook. Of the two, Anisimov would be easiest to move. He carries an annual cap hit of $4.55 million through 2020-21 while Seabrook’s is $6.875 million through 2023-24. Unless the Hawks are willing to pick up, say, $2 million of Seabrook’s annual cap hit, I doubt there will be much interest in his contract around the league. 

SPORTSNET: In his latest “30 Thoughts” column, Elliotte Friedman reports it appears the Columbus Blue Jackets and Vegas Golden Knights could be working on something. He said there’s a possibility the two sides are discussing David Clarkson and also noted the Blue Jackets have the 24th pick in this year’s draft “and some young forwards at the AHL level who might be part of this,” though Friedman said it’s been difficult for him to pin this down. He points out any trades Vegas makes won’t be official until June 21.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Clarkson is all but retired due to a back injury and is reportedly willing to waive his no-movement clause to allow the Jackets to move him. 

Friedman also reports the word is the Ottawa Senators asked defenseman Dion Phaneuf to waive his no-movement clause in order to expose him in the upcoming expansion draft.  Ditto the Florida Panthers with Keith Yandle. Both blueliners have yet to decide if they’ll do so. Friedman thinks there would be a ton of interest if the Golden Knights selected Yandle and then flipped him to another team.

Nick Kypreos claims Vegas’ pick from the Pittsburgh Penguins will be Marc-Andre Fleury. Friedman suggests he could also be a “flip candidate.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Exposing Phaneuf in the draft would allow the Sens the flexibility to protect seven forwards and three defensemen. It’s doubtful the Golden Knights select Phaneuf, but the Sens could swing a deal with Vegas to ensure they bypass him and select someone else.

Yandle’s situation is much more interesting as the Panthers paid big bucks to sign him last summer and supposedly consider him part of their core talent. This could also be another scenario in which the Panthers ask Vegas to overlook Yandle and instead select another player.  

Friedman doubts the Anaheim Ducks are interested in Buffalo Sabres left wing Evander Kane. With considerable interest in Sami Vatanen, he doesn’t think the Ducks want to take back much salary. While he thinks shipping Vatanen to Tampa Bay for Jonathan Drouin, he doubts they can afford a new contract for the young winger.

If the Lightning can’t swing a deal for Vatanan, Friedman wonders if they’ll try to pry a blueliner (Jonas Brodin? Matt Dumba?) away from the Minnesota Wild.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Wild acquired Drouin, they could also face salary-cap concerns. Moving Dumba or Brodin would clear some cap room and they could free up more if another salaried player departs via the expansion draft. However, in addition to re-signing Drouin, they also have to re-up RFAs Nino Niederreiter and Mikael Granlund. That could be an expensive trio.  

Regarding recent trade speculations over Calgary Flames center Sam Bennett, a league executive said they’re reluctant to plug one hole by opening another. If they do move Bennett, the return will be expensive.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: While anything’s possible, I don’t see the Flames parting with Bennett. They still have high hopes for this kid. 

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports the Rangers have spoken with clubs with player protection problems on defense or those that might be willing to move a legitimate top-pairing blueliner with a right-handed shot. Colorado’s Tyson Barrie and Winnipeg’s Jacob Trouba are players of interest but there’s nothing doing on those fronts for the time being.

Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon is a player the Rangers and many others “would be willing to move just about anyone to acquire, but the problem is Colorado general manager Joe Sakic is asking for just about everyone.”

Contract talks continue between the Rangers and defenseman Brendan Smith. The Blueshirts also haven’t asked Dan Girardi and Marc Staal to waive their no-movement clauses for the purpose of exposure in the expansion draft. 

The Calgary Flames and Winnipeg Jets are believed among the clubs with interest in making a pre-expansion draft trade involving Rangers backup goalie Antti Raanta. The Blueshirts aren’t yet committed to moving him nor have they received a convincing offer. 

Brooks also dismissed a report out of Russia claiming the Rangers could be out of the bidding for Ilya Kovalchuk. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ll be shocked if the Avalanche trade away MacKinnon. Still believe Matt Duchene is their likely trade candidate. I wouldn’t rule out a Barrie trade for the right offer.

Maybe the Blueshirts intend to buy out Staal or Girardi later this week.That would explain why they haven’t yet been asked to waive their NMCs.

 The Rangers risk losing Raanta to the Golden Knights for nothing in the expansion draft.  But if they trade him, they risk losing another player they could prefer to protect in that draft. 

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Joe Smith reports Lightning GM Steve Yzerman has spoken with Vegas GM George McPhee but isn’t sure if he can work out a side deal that controls which unprotected Lightning player gets chosen in the upcoming draft. Smith speculates on the possibility of Yzerman swinging a deal with teams that have a glut on defense, such as Anaheim or Minnesota.

In his mailbag segment, he feels it would be more likely for Yzerman to trade Alex Killorn rather than lose him in the expansion draft, but given Killorn’s value to the Bolts, he thinks it’s crazy that a player the Bolts GM called part of the club’s core last summer gets moved.

He also wouldn’t be surprised if Drouin got moved but it would take an impressive return for the Lightning to part with him. He wonders if the Avs would part with Tyson Barrie. He also lists Anaheim’s Sami Vatanen or Minnesota’s Matt Dumba as trade options. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s a widespread belief Yzerman will make a significant move this summer to land a top-four defenseman. Drouin or Killorn could fetch that return, though Drouin would obviously attract better offers. I also believe it’s possible Yzerman could put Tyler Johnson on the block. 


NHL Rumor Mill – March 29, 2017

NHL Rumor Mill – March 29, 2017

Could the Florida Panthers face a shakeup this summer?

Latest on the Florida Panthers and Colorado Avalanche in your NHL rumor mill. 

SUN-SENTINEL.COM: Harvey Fialkov reports Florida Panthers coach Tom Rowe said under-performing players on his club with long-term contracts could be traded in the offseason. Rowe made his remarks following the Panthers’ disappointing 4-2 loss to the Buffalo Sabres on Monday. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  Rowe didn’t single anyone out, but his comments could spark considerable season-ending speculation over which players could hit the trade block come June.

Panthers on long-term deals include forwards Aleksander Barkov, Vincent Trochek, Nick Bjugstad, Reilly Smith and Jonathan Huberdeau, defensemen Aaron Ekblad, Jason Demers and Keith Yandle and goaltenders Roberto Luongo and James Reimer.

Of these Barkov, Huberdeau, Bjugstad, Ekblad and Luongo were all hampered/sidelined by injuries this season. Trochek’s their leading scorer and among their more consistent players.

Smith is having a disappointing season and could be among those Rowe was referring to as a possible trade candidate. Demers and Yandle were brought in to bolster the Panthers defense. However, Florida remains among the league’s worst defensive teams. Perhaps one of them could hit the trade block.

Reimer is seen as Luongo’s successor. He’s been decent (2.60 GAA, .917 SP) but I don’t think he’s performing to the level the Panthers expected of him. 

THE DENVER POST: Terry Frei recently cast doubt over the possibility of the Colorado Avalanche finding any takers for oft-injured goaltender Semyon Valamov, especially with him carrying two more years on his contract at $5.9 million per season. He also doubts the Vegas Golden Knights will take him off the Avs hands in the draft, noting Knights GM George McPhee was skeptical of Varlamov’s health during their tenure with the Washington Capitals. McPhee dealt Varlamov to the Avs in 2011. 

Frei also expected Avs general manager Joe Sakic will explore trade options for Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog. He also called upon Sakic to upgrade the Avalanche’s woeful defense and to avoid overpaying a veteran or two via unrestricted free agency. 

FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Chris Nichols cited NHL insider Elliotte Friedman’s appearance on the NHL Network on Friday, in which he wondered if Duchene might ask to be dealt this summer. He speculated Duchene might be growing weary of hearing his name so often in the rumor mill. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ll be very surprised if Sakic can find any takers for Varlamov. I think they’ll bring him back next season and if he struggles, they could look at buying out the final season of his contract next June. They could look at buying him out in June. However, if he’s still recovering from hip surgery by then, he’ll be ineligible for a buyout. As for Duchene, he’ll remain a fixture in the rumor mill, especially once the playoffs end in June. 

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 19, 2016

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 19, 2016

Calgary Flames reportedly close to re-signing center Sean Monahan.

Calgary Flames reportedly close to re-signing center Sean Monahan.

 Updates on Sean Monahan, Keith Yandle, Vladimir Sobotka & more in this morning’s collection of NHL headlines. 

CALGARY SUN: Eric Francis cites a source claiming the Flames are on the verge of re-signing restricted free agent center Sean Monahan to a seven- or eight-year deal. Francis claims the deal could make Monahan “the highest-paid of all the high-profile young centres who’ve signed extensions to their entry-level deals this summer.” Those centres are “Florida’s Aleksander Barkov (six years, $35.5 million, $5.9 million annual average value)…Winnipeg’s Mark Scheifele (8 years/$49 million, $6.125 AAV), Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon (7 years/$44.1 million, $6.3 AAV) and Nashville’s Filip Forsberg (6 years/$36 million, $6 million AAV)”.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Monahan’s new deal could be worth between $6.5 – $7 million per season. No word if Monahan’s teammate and fellow RFA Johnny Gaudreau is any closer to a new contract. He had better offensive stats than Monahan over the last two years and was among last season’s top-10 NHL scorers. Depending on what Monahan gets, I expect Gaudreau will receive more. 

MIAMI HERALD: Keith Yandle, the newest member of the Florida Panthers defense corps, is already settled into South Florida and working out in preparation for the upcoming season.

STLTODAY.COM: Despite a report out of Russia claiming forward Vladimir Sobotka is set to rejoin the KHL’s Avangard Omsk, St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong remains confident he’s returning to their lineup this season. Armstrong said he spoke yesterday with Sobotka’s agent, who said his client is still coming to St. Louis.

THE DENVER POST:  The Colorado Avalanche are about to interview candidates to fill their vacant head coach position. Among them are Jared Bodnar of the AHL’s Lake Erie Monsters, “Washington Capitals assistant Lane Lambert, New York Rangers associate head coach Scott Arniel and another AHL coach, Travis Green of the Utica Comets.”

THE TENNESSEAN:  The Nashville Predators are exploring options to expand and improve Bridgestone Arena. 

CSN CHICAGO: Blackhawks tickets for the 2016-17 regular season go on sale Monday. 

TRIBLIVE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins signed former Washington Capitals prospect center Thomas DiPauli to an entry-level deal. 

TSN:  The NHL’s Las Vegas franchise named Murray Craven as their senior vice-president.