NHL Rumor Mill – May 13, 2020

NHL Rumor Mill – May 13, 2020

In today’s NHL rumor mill, we’ll review Sportsnet’s list of one off-season trade candidate for each team.

SPORTSNET: Rory Boylen yesterday compiled a list identifying one trade candidate for each team whenever the off-season rolls around. He excluded pending unrestricted free agents, as their rights could be moved after the conclusion of the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m encapsulating each of Boylen’s explanations behind his selections. I recommend you check out the link above for further details.

Anaheim Ducks: Adam Henrique. If Ducks general manager Bob Murray decides to shed salary, Henrique could be a prime candidate. He’s signed through 2023-24 with an annual average value just shy of $6 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Henrique’s modified no-trade clause (10-team no-trade list) could complicate things, as could Henrique’s $5.825-million cap hit.

Arizona Coyotes: Derek Stepan. The Coyotes must free up cap space if they hope to re-sign Taylor Hall. Moving Stepan could require picking up part of his salary or packaging him with another asset.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stepan lacks no-trade protection but his $6.5 million AAV through 2020-21 will be tough to move without following one of Boylen’s suggestions. They can’t take back a toxic contract because they’re trying to shed salary.

Boston Bruins: Nick Ritchie. Though just acquired, Ritchie might not fit into their plans after this season, especially with two goalies due for new deals next season, as well as Ondrej Kase and Brandon Carlo.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Boylen points out the Bruins’ cap situation is manageable for now, even if they re-sign Torey Krug. Ritchie has an affordable cap hit, so the Bruins could hang onto him and see how things unfold next season.

Buffalo Sabres: Rasmus Ristolainen. He’s been a frequent subject of trade speculation. The blueliner could fetch a return that helps the Sabres.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ristolainen receives lots of criticism for his defensive play. His $5.4 million AAV through 2021-22 could also be a concern under a flat salary cap. Nevertheless, he’s been suggested as a trade option to bring in a depth scorer.

Calgary Flames: Johnny Gaudreau. It’s believed Gaudreau could be shopped if the Flames fail to reach the playoffs or make another early post-season exit.

Calgary Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Anything’s possible, but I don’t believe Flames GM Brad Treliving will put the blame for his club’s difficulties on the shoulders of his biggest star, especially when he’s still got two more seasons on his contract at a reasonable $6.75-million AAV.

Carolina Hurricanes: Jake Gardiner. Despite his diminished role and seven-team no-trade list, Boylen feels Gardiner can still be an effective offensive blueliner. He also carries a manageable $4.05 million AAV.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gardiner also has three more years left on his contract. His declining performance could be tied to last season’s back injury. Those factors hurt his value in the trade market.

Chicago Blackhawks: Brandon Saad. He surfaced in rumors near the trade deadline and could pop up again. He’s a year away from UFA status with a $6 million cap hit for next season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It won’t be surprising if Saad is playing elsewhere next season. The Blackhawks are rebuilding on the fly and must restock their prospect cupboard.

Colorado Avalanche and Dallas Stars: first-round pick. The Avs will have plenty of cap room to target clubs looking to shed salary, while the Stars are built to win now and could peddle their pick for more immediate help.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Avalanche forward Tyson Jost has been mentioned as a trade option. I’ve seen some suggesting the Stars should peddle a defenseman for a scoring forward. That would mean moving Esa Lindell or John Klingberg and I don’t see that happening.

Columbus Blue Jackets: Josh Anderson. A restricted free agent with arbitration rights, Anderson missed all but 26 games to injury this season. A big winger with scoring ability, he frequently appeared in trade chatter this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I overlooked Anderson in my original post. My apologies. Anyway, his future with the Jackets could depend upon his contract negotiations in the off-season, and how much interest he garners in the trade market. 

Detroit Red Wings: Anthony Mantha. Boylen feels it’s less likely he’ll be moved but doesn’t rule it out. He suggests Mantha could fetch a haul of futures if they decide not to re-sign the restricted free agent to a long-term deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Mantha admitted his contract negotiations could get complicated. He also has arbitration rights. I think the Wings want to re-sign him, but he could be shopped if talks bog down.

Edmonton Oilers: Jesse Puljujarvi. He’s requested a trade and spent this season in Finland.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Puljujarvi’s situation has been well-documented here and elsewhere. As Boylen pointed out, he remains the Oilers’ No. 1 trade candidate.

Florida Panthers: Michael Matheson. Changes could be coming for the disappointing Panthers. Matheson’s signed through 2025-26 but lacks no-trade protection.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Matheson appeared in media rumors before the Feb. 24 trade deadline. He has a reasonable $4.875 million AAV and could be tempting for clubs seeking experienced blueline depth.

Los Angeles Kings: Jeff Carter. Despite the decline in his production, Carter could attract some interest if the Kings picked up part of his salary-cap hit. He lacks no-trade protection.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Carter has two more years left on his contract. He’ll turn 36 in January and his best seasons are behind him. Maybe a contender takes a chance on him, but I doubt it. 

Minnesota Wild: Matt Dumba. He and Jonas Brodin appeared in trade speculation before the Feb. 24 trade deadline. Maybe the Wild’s improved play before the pause might tempt GM Bill Guerin to keep his roster intact.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dumba would draw plenty of interest in the trade market, but it would be a mistake to move him. Guerin may have listened to offers, but it’ll take a significant pitch to convince him to move Dumba.

Montreal Canadiens: Max Domi. A decline in Domi’s production, his RFA status this summer, and the promising centers (Nick Suzuki, Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Ryan Poehling) on the Habs roster and within their system could make him expendable.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: On the other hand, several Habs players struggled this season, Domi loves playing in Montreal, and much of the chatter about his future seems to originate from some in the Montreal media unhappy over his play. Nevertheless, he could get moved if contract talks become contentious.

Nashville Predators: Kyle Turris. The Predators would love to move his $6 million AAV through 2023-24. However, they could be forced to pick up part of that salary or include another asset.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Agreed. GM David Poile hasn’t retained salary in a trade, but he could be forced to if he intends to move Turris.

New Jersey Devils: Pavel Zacha. “If a trade makes sense to add to their prospect base, and if the team drafts another forward this year, a Zacha move should be explored.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Zacha’s future will depend upon who’s the Devils’ general manager after this season. Tom Fitzgerald holds the role on an interim basis, but the team ownership reportedly interviewed former Vancouver Canucks GM Mike Gillis for the role.

New York Islanders: Johnny Boychuk. He’s lost a step and his role is in decline. His $6 million AAV through 2021-22 is a concern for a club with limited cap space.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Those factors, as well as his eight-team trade list, also make moving him a difficult challenge.

New York Rangers: Henrik Lundqvist. Trading him is a big “if” and would require Lundqvist waiving his no-movement clause. The Rangers can’t go into next season carrying three goalies again.

New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Most of the speculation out of New York on Lundqvist suggest a buyout is more likely than a trade. Perhaps he’ll surprise everyone and retire.

Ottawa Senators: Anthony Duclair. He’s an RFA with arbitration rights, but this could be an opportunity to sell while his value is high.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Duclair’s streaky production could make the Senators leery about signing him to a long-term deal. If they do shop Duclair, they could seek a promising young NHL-ready player in return. They’re already loaded with picks and prospects.

Philadelphia Flyers: Shayne Gostisbehere. He’s frequently appeared in this season’s rumor mill and could surface in off-season speculation. He’s slipped to third-pairing duty this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A club in the market for a puck-moving rearguard could gamble on Gostisbehere regaining his form with a change of scenery.

Pittsburgh Penguins: Matt Murray or Tristan Jarry. Both goaltenders are restricted free agents with arbitration rights. Keeping them both could mean shedding salary elsewhere.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Penguins GM Jim Rutherford could surprise us by re-signing both netminders. However, I think he’ll move one of them and promote Casey DeSmith into the backup role.

San Jose Sharks: Martin Jones. He’s struggled in goal the last two years and the Sharks need to upgrade at that position. They’ll have to retain part of his $5.75-million AAV to make it happen.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless Jones broadens his three-team list of preferred trade destinations, the Sharks will have a difficult time moving him. The length of his contract (signed to 2024) is another sticking point.

St. Louis Blues: Tyler Bozak. The Blues must clear cap space if they intend to re-sign captain Alex Pietrangelo. Bozak carries a $5 million AAV through 2020-21 for playing a bottom-six role.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think goalie Jake Allen is a more likely trade candidate. He’ll have more value and will be easier to move than Bozak.

Tampa Bay Lightning: Alex Killorn. The Lightning must free up cap space to re-sign Mikhail Sergachev and Anthony Cirelli. Killorn’s full no-trade becomes a modified list after this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Killorn would also have plenty of value around the league, especially for playoff contenders.

Toronto Maple Leafs: Alex Kerfoot. The Leafs face another cap crunch this off-season. Kerfoot could become a trade candidate, as could wingers Kasperi Kapanen and Andreas Johnsson and defenseman Travis Dermott.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kerfoot is off the 40-plus point pace of his first two NHL seasons. The Leafs could prefer hanging onto the other three.

Vancouver Canucks: Olli Juolevi. The Canucks might not be looking to trade Juolevi, but that could change if he can’t crack the roster next season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Injuries hampered Juolevi’s development. They’re being patient with him, but one has to wonder how long that will last.

Vegas Golden Knights: Marc-Andre Fleury. It’s a long shot that Fleury will be moved, but the Golden Knights’ acquisition of Robin Lehner at the trade deadline was an interesting move. Re-signing Lehner would mean shedding salary by moving a top-six forward or Fleury, who’s signed for two more years but whose performance has been in decline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lehner’s acquisition appeared to be an insurance move for the playoffs. Nevertheless, it’s generated plenty of speculation about Fleury’s future in Vegas. His contract ($7 million AAV through 2021-22 with a 10-team no-trade list) won’t be easy to move.

Washington Capitals: Nick Jensen. If the Capitals re-sign Braden Holtby, they’ll have to cut some payroll. Jensen could become a cap casualty.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With over $71 million invested in 16 players and Holtby looking for a lucrative new contract, I don’t think they’ll be shedding salary to re-sign him.

Winnipeg Jets: Jack Roslovic. Boylen suggests Roslovic could be shopped to address the Jets’ greater need for blueline depth. He’s struggled to crack the top-six forward lines and previously aired his frustration over his use in the Jets lineup.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff could be reluctant to move Roslovic. Having freed up $7.6 million in cap space by terminating Dustin Byfuglien’s contract, he has room to perhaps bolster his blueline through the free-agent market without moving Roslovic.

In today’s NHL rumor mill, we’ll review Sportsnet’s list of one off-season trade candidate for each team.

SPORTSNET: Rory Boylen yesterday compiled a list identifying one trade candidate for each team whenever the off-season rolls around. He excluded pending unrestricted free agents, as their rights could be moved after the conclusion of the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m encapsulating each of Boylen’s explanations behind his selections. I recommend you check out the link above for further details.

Anaheim Ducks: Adam Henrique. If Ducks general manager Bob Murray decides to shed salary, Henrique could be a prime candidate. He’s signed through 2023-24 with an annual average value just shy of $6 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Henrique’s modified no-trade clause (10-team no-trade list) could complicate things, as could Henrique’s $5.825-million cap hit.

Arizona Coyotes: Derek Stepan. The Coyotes must free up cap space if they hope to re-sign Taylor Hall. Moving Stepan could require picking up part of his salary or packaging him with another asset.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stepan lacks no-trade protection but his $6.5 million AAV through 2020-21 will be tough to move without following one of Boylen’s suggestions. They can’t take back a toxic contract because they’re trying to shed salary.

Boston Bruins: Nick Ritchie. Though just acquired, Ritchie might not fit into their plans after this season, especially with two goalies due for new deals next season, as well as Ondrej Kase and Brandon Carlo.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Boylen points out the Bruins’ cap situation is manageable for now, even if they re-sign Torey Krug. Ritchie has an affordable cap hit, so the Bruins could hang onto him and see how things unfold next season.

Buffalo Sabres: Rasmus Ristolainen. He’s been a frequent subject of trade speculation. The blueliner could fetch a return that helps the Sabres.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ristolainen receives lots of criticism for his defensive play. His $5.4 million AAV through 2021-22 could also be a concern under a flat salary cap. Nevertheless, he’s been suggested as a trade option to bring in a depth scorer.

Calgary Flames: Johnny Gaudreau. It’s believed Gaudreau could be shopped if the Flames fail to reach the playoffs or make another early post-season exit.

Calgary Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Anything’s possible, but I don’t believe Flames GM Brad Treliving will put the blame for his club’s difficulties on the shoulders of his biggest star, especially when he’s still got two more seasons on his contract at a reasonable $6.75-million AAV.

Carolina Hurricanes: Jake Gardiner. Despite his diminished role and seven-team no-trade list, Boylen feels Gardiner can still be an effective offensive blueliner. He also carries a manageable $4.05 million AAV.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gardiner also has three more years left on his contract. His declining performance could be tied to last season’s back injury. Those factors hurt his value in the trade market.

Chicago Blackhawks: Brandon Saad. He surfaced in rumors near the trade deadline and could pop up again. He’s a year away from UFA status with a $6 million cap hit for next season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It won’t be surprising if Saad is playing elsewhere next season. The Blackhawks are rebuilding on the fly and must restock their prospect cupboard.

Colorado Avalanche and Dallas Stars: first-round pick. The Avs will have plenty of cap room to target clubs looking to shed salary, while the Stars are built to win now and could peddle their pick for more immediate help.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Avalanche forward Tyson Jost has been mentioned as a trade option. I’ve seen some suggesting the Stars should peddle a defenseman for a scoring forward. That would mean moving Esa Lindell or John Klingberg and I don’t see that happening.

Detroit Red Wings: Anthony Mantha. Boylen feels it’s less likely he’ll be moved but doesn’t rule it out. He suggests Mantha could fetch a haul of futures if they decide not to re-sign the restricted free agent to a long-term deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Mantha admitted his contract negotiations could get complicated. He also has arbitration rights. I think the Wings want to re-sign him, but he could be shopped if talks bog down.

Edmonton Oilers: Jesse Puljujarvi. He’s requested a trade and spent this season in Finland.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Puljujarvi’s situation has been well-documented here and elsewhere. As Boylen pointed out, he remains the Oilers’ No. 1 trade candidate.

Florida Panthers: Michael Matheson. Changes could be coming for the disappointing Panthers. Matheson’s signed through 2025-26 but lacks no-trade protection.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Matheson appeared in media rumors before the Feb. 24 trade deadline. He has a reasonable $4.875 million AAV and could be tempting for clubs seeking experienced blueline depth.

Los Angeles Kings: Jeff Carter. Despite the decline in his production, Carter could attract some interest if the Kings picked up part of his salary-cap hit. He lacks no-trade protection.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Carter has two more years left on his contract. He’ll turn 36 in January and his best seasons are behind him. Maybe a contender takes a chance on him, but I doubt it. 

Minnesota Wild: Matt Dumba. He and Jonas Brodin appeared in trade speculation before the Feb. 24 trade deadline. Maybe the Wild’s improved play before the pause might tempt GM Bill Guerin to keep his roster intact.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dumba would draw plenty of interest in the trade market, but it would be a mistake to move him. Guerin may have listened to offers, but it’ll take a significant pitch to convince him to move Dumba.

Montreal Canadiens: Max Domi. A decline in Domi’s production, his RFA status this summer, and the promising centers (Nick Suzuki, Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Ryan Poehling) on the Habs roster and within their system could make him expendable.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: On the other hand, several Habs players struggled this season, Domi loves playing in Montreal, and much of the chatter about his future seems to originate from some in the Montreal media unhappy over his play. Nevertheless, he could get moved if contract talks become contentious.

Nashville Predators: Kyle Turris. The Predators would love to move his $6 million AAV through 2023-24. However, they could be forced to pick up part of that salary or include another asset.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Agreed. GM David Poile hasn’t retained salary in a trade, but he could be forced to if he intends to move Turris.

New Jersey Devils: Pavel Zacha. “If a trade makes sense to add to their prospect base, and if the team drafts another forward this year, a Zacha move should be explored.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Zacha’s future will depend upon who’s the Devils’ general manager after this season. Tom Fitzgerald holds the role on an interim basis, but the team ownership reportedly interviewed former Vancouver Canucks GM Mike Gillis for the role.

New York Islanders: Johnny Boychuk. He’s lost a step and his role is in decline. His $6 million AAV through 2021-22 is a concern for a club with limited cap space.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Those factors, as well as his eight-team trade list, also make moving him a difficult challenge.

New York Rangers: Henrik Lundqvist. Trading him is a big “if” and would require Lundqvist waiving his no-movement clause. The Rangers can’t go into next season carrying three goalies again.

New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Most of the speculation out of New York on Lundqvist suggest a buyout is more likely than a trade. Perhaps he’ll surprise everyone and retire.

Ottawa Senators: Anthony Duclair. He’s an RFA with arbitration rights, but this could be an opportunity to sell while his value is high.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Duclair’s streaky production could make the Senators leery about signing him to a long-term deal. If they do shop Duclair, they could seek a promising young NHL-ready player in return. They’re already loaded with picks and prospects.

Philadelphia Flyers: Shayne Gostisbehere. He’s frequently appeared in this season’s rumor mill and could surface in off-season speculation. He’s slipped to third-pairing duty this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A club in the market for a puck-moving rearguard could gamble on Gostisbehere regaining his form with a change of scenery.

Pittsburgh Penguins: Matt Murray or Tristan Jarry. Both goaltenders are restricted free agents with arbitration rights. Keeping them both could mean shedding salary elsewhere.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Penguins GM Jim Rutherford could surprise us by re-signing both netminders. However, I think he’ll move one of them and promote Casey DeSmith into the backup role.

San Jose Sharks: Martin Jones. He’s struggled in goal the last two years and the Sharks need to upgrade at that position. They’ll have to retain part of his $5.75-million AAV to make it happen.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless Jones broadens his three-team list of preferred trade destinations, the Sharks will have a difficult time moving him. The length of his contract (signed to 2024) is another sticking point.

St. Louis Blues: Tyler Bozak. The Blues must clear cap space if they intend to re-sign captain Alex Pietrangelo. Bozak carries a $5 million AAV through 2020-21 for playing a bottom-six role.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think goalie Jake Allen is a more likely trade candidate. He’ll have more value and will be easier to move than Bozak.

Tampa Bay Lightning: Alex Killorn. The Lightning must free up cap space to re-sign Mikhail Sergachev and Anthony Cirelli. Killorn’s full no-trade becomes a modified list after this season. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Killorn would also have plenty of value around the league, especially for playoff contenders.

Toronto Maple Leafs: Alex Kerfoot. The Leafs face another cap crunch this off-season. Kerfoot could become a trade candidate, as could wingers Kasperi Kapanen and Andreas Johnsson and defenseman Travis Dermott.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kerfoot is off the 40-plus point pace of his first two NHL seasons. The Leafs could prefer hanging onto the other three.

Vancouver Canucks: Olli Juolevi. The Canucks might not be looking to trade Juolevi, but that could change if he can’t crack the roster next season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Injuries hampered Juolevi’s development. They’re being patient with him, but one has to wonder how long that will last.

Vegas Golden Knights: Marc-Andre Fleury. It’s a long shot that Fleury will be moved, but the Golden Knights’ acquisition of Robin Lehner at the trade deadline was an interesting move. Re-signing Lehner would mean shedding salary by moving a top-six forward or Fleury, who’s signed for two more years but whose performance has been in decline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lehner’s acquisition appeared to be an insurance move for the playoffs. Nevertheless, it’s generated plenty of speculation about Fleury’s future in Vegas. His contract ($7 million AAV through 2021-22 with a 10-team no-trade list) won’t be easy to move.

Washington Capitals: Nick Jensen. If the Capitals re-sign Braden Holtby, they’ll have to cut some payroll. Jensen could become a cap casualty.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With over $71 million invested in 16 players and Holtby looking for a lucrative new contract, I don’t think they’ll be shedding salary to re-sign him.

Winnipeg Jets: Jack Roslovic. Boylen suggests Roslovic could be shopped to address the Jets’ greater need for blueline depth. He’s struggled to crack the top-six forward lines and previously aired his frustration over his use in the Jets lineup.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff could be reluctant to move Roslovic. Having freed up $7.6 million in cap space by terminating Dustin Byfuglien’s contract, he has room to perhaps bolster his blueline through the free-agent market without moving Roslovic.










What’s In Store This NHL Offseason For The New Jersey Devils?

What’s In Store This NHL Offseason For The New Jersey Devils?

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 11, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 11, 2018

The latest on Evgeni Malkin, Phil Kessel, Taylor Hall, Pavel Zacha, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

THE SCORE: cites The Athletic’s Rob Rossi reporting multiple sources claim Evgeni Malkin asked the Pittsburgh Penguins to trade him if the club kept Phil Kessel. On June 30, the Penguins shipped Kessel to the Arizona Coyotes.

Malkin denied this, insisting his friendship with Kessel was real. Rossi’s sources, however, say the Russian center was tired of being caught in the ongoing conflict between his former linemate and Penguins coach Mike Sullivan.

Was Evgeni Malkin the reason behind the Pittsburgh Penguins trading Phil Kessel? (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Whatever the reason behind Kessel’s trade, it’s now up to Malkin to bounce-back from a sub-par performance last season. If he doesn’t, Kessel isn’t around to be the scapegoat.

NHL.COM: New Jersey Devils general manager Ray Shero said he’ll continue to discuss a contract extension with Taylor Hall and his agent. The 27-year-old left-winger is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next July.

NJ.COM: Shero also re-signed Pavel Zacha to a three-year contract worth $6.75 million. The annual average value is $2.25 million. The signing comes just a day after reports claimed Zacha inked a one-year contract with the KHL’s Avangard Omsk.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Zacha got the contract he wanted, now he’ll have to earn it. Thus far, he’s struggled with his consistency but showed some improvement last season.

SPORTSNET’S Rick Dhaliwal reports the Vancouver Canucks and winger Brock Boeser remain far apart on a new contract. Boeser won’t report to training camp unless there’s a deal in place.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly reports the Canucks have only $4.1 million in salary-cap space. The Boeser camp could be seeking around $7 million annually on a new deal.

THE ATHLETIC: Minnesota Wild GM Bill Guerin said he’s made a “fair offer” to Kevin Fiala. The restricted free agent winger is reportedly mulling it over. Guerin hopes to have Fiala under contract before training camp opens later this week.

SPORTSNET: Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta still hopes to bring an NHL franchise to Houston one day. “There’s not a month that goes by that we don’t have some type of talks about the NHL,” he said in a recent interview.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the league soon to reach 32 franchise with an expansion club in Seattle starting in 2021-22, Fertitta could be waiting a while for a franchise of his own. If an existing club has to relocate, Houston could be a preferred destination. So far, there’s no indication of that happening anytime soon.

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 10, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 10, 2019

An update on CBA negotiations plus the latest on Patrice Bergeron, Max Domi, Pavel Zacha, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NBC SPORTS: The quiet nature of recent labor negotiations between the NHL and NHL Players Association is breeding cautious optimism another work stoppage can be avoided. The NHLPA has until Sept. 15 to opt out of the current agreement effective next September.

The two sides met twice in the past five days and discussions are expected to continue this week. Several players, including Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews and St. Louis Blues center Ryan O’Reilly, are hopeful those discussions could lead to a positive outcome.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s a sense the league and the PA are trying to reach some sort of agreement before Sept. 15. Publicly, both sides claim talks remain cordial and productive. We’ll find out soon enough if anything comes out of these ongoing negotiations. Should the PA pass on the early opt-out, the current CBA will expire on Sept. 2022.

Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron is still nursing a nagging groin injury (Photo via NHL Images).

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Bruins center Patrice Bergeron still feels the effects of a nagging groin injury but expects to be ready when training camp opens this week. He’s not concerned about his readiness for the start of the season. Defenseman John Moore, meanwhile, is still recovering from off-season shoulder surgery and will miss the start of camp.

TVA SPORTS: Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin said he’s had discussions with Max Domi’s representatives regarding a contract extension. The 24-year-old forward will be a restricted free agent next summer with arbitration rights.

In other Canadiens news, they won’t be inviting unrestricted free agent winger Jason Pominville to training camp. Management wants their young players to have a fair chance to crack the roster.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pominville was open to joining the Habs and he’s also hopeful of returning to the Buffalo Sabres. If they’re not interested, he’ll have to consider other options, provided any remain available to him.

NORTHJERSEY.COM: Reports indicate New Jersey Devils center Pavel Zacha signed a one-year contract with KHL team Avangard Omsk but neither club confirmed the signing. The KHL doesn’t include an opt-out clause in their contracts, meaning Zacha would have to play the entire season in Russia.

Devils GM Ray Shero said he didn’t care where Zacha signs as his club still holds the center’s NHL rights. Shero said playing in the KHL isn’t the path he advocates for the restricted free agent, adding it’s a long road back to the NHL.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Shero apparently wasn’t happy with that news, reportedly peppering his response with expletives. Zacha’s representatives could believe signing a KHL contract will pressure Shero into meeting their NHL contract demands. Judging by Shero’s remarks, that tactic may have backfired. He could be losing patience with the 22-year-old Zacha, who has averaged 25 points a year during his three seasons with the Devils.

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: Former Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik was named to the club’s player development department.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Long-time Lightning play-by-play broadcaster Rick Peckham will retire at the end of this season.










NHL Morning Headlines – November 3, 2018

NHL Morning Headlines – November 3, 2018

Game recaps, Lightning re-signed Yanni Gourde, latest demotions and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Florida Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo made 32 saves in his first game since suffering a season-opening knee injury backstopping his club to a 4-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets in the second game of the NHL Global Series in Helsinki, Finland. Jets forward Patrik Laine scored for the Jets, marking his fourth goal in two games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Panthers are a different team when Luongo’s between the pipes. 

Vancouver Canucks rookie Elias Pettersson had a five-point performance in his club’s 7-6 victory over the Colorado Avalanche (Photo via NHL Images)

Derrick Pouliot’s overtime goal gave the Vancouver Canucks a 7-6 win over the Colorado Avalanche. Elias Pettersson (two goals, three assists) and Brock Boeser (two goals, two assists) led the way for the Canucks, while Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen each had three points for the Avalanche.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This game may not have been a defensive masterpiece but you’ve got to admit that these high-scoring contests are fun to watch. Speaking of fun to watch, so are the leading scorers of the Avalanche and Canucks. 

Antti Raanta made 48 saves and Alex Goligoski collected three assists in the Arizona Coyotes 4-3 overtime victory over the Carolina Hurricanes. Michael Grabner tallied the Coyotes’ winning goal. Hurricanes center Sebastian Aho saw his twelve-game points streak come to an end.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Coyotes have won five straight games, rising from dead last in the Western Conference two weeks ago to within one point of a wild-card berth

TAMPA BAY TIMES: The Lightning yesterday signed forward Yanni Gourde to a six-year contract extension with an annual average value of $5.166 million. Gourde was slated to become an unrestricted free agent next July.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A versatile two-way skater who can play all three forward positions, Gourde was an undrafted prospect who worked his way into the Lightning lineup. He tallied 25 goals and 64 points as a 25-year-old rookie last season and is currently tied for second among Lightning scorers with 12 points in as many games. Little wonder management opted to ink him to a long-term deal. 

Gourde’s signing also means the Bolts have over $72 million invested in 14 players for 2019-20  (stick tap to Cap Friendly), with Brayden Point due for a big raise coming off his entry-level contract and pending UFA defensemen Anton Stralman, Bradon Coburn, and Dan Girardi to re-sign or replace. Unless the Bolts can shed some salary next season, Point and the Lightning could face a contract stalemate akin to that of the Toronto Maple Leafs and William Nylander.

NBC SPORTS:  Anaheim Ducks winger Patrick Eaves “had a blast’ in his first game since Oct. 13, 2017, skating in the Ducks 3-2 loss to the New York Rangers on Thursday. He’d been sidelined by a post-viral syndrome and shoulder surgery.

NJ.COM: The New Jersey Devils have sent center Pavel Zacha to their AHL affiliate in Binghamton.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The sixth overall selection in the 2015 NHL Draft, Zacha’s been something of a disappointment thus far for the Devils. Perhaps spending some time in the minors will help the 21-year-old to elevate his game. 

EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers have returned defenseman Evan Bouchard to the OHL’s London Knights. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A first-round pick in this year’s NHL Draft, Bouchard has considerable potential as a top-pairing mobile blueliner. He could crack the Oilers’ roster on a full-time basis next season.

 











NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 24, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 24, 2017

Nashville Predators forward Filip Forsberg celebrates one of his three goals against the Colorado Avalanche.

Game recaps, Hurricanes trade Hainsey to Penguins, injury updates and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Filip Forsberg (left) became the first player in Nashville Predators history to tally back-to-back hat tricks as he led the Predators to a 4-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche.

Patrick Kane collected a hat trick and Corey Crawford kicked out 34 shots to give the Chicago Blackhawks a 6-3 win over the Arizona Coyotes.

Sean Monahan scored his 100th career NHL goal and Dougie Hamilton had a three-point night (one goal, two assists) as the Calgary Flames hung on to edge the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2. Lightning winger Jonathan Drouin missed the game with the flu.

Brad Marchand netted his 26th goal of the season and Anton Khudobin made 27 saves as the Boston Bruins defeated the Los Angeles Kings 4-1, picking up their fifth win in their last six games.

Henrik Lundqvist made 32 saves and Mika Zibanejad tallied the winner in a shootout to give the New York Rangers a 2-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Thomas Greiss turned in a 24-save shutout performance as the New York Islanders blanked the Montreal Canadiens 3-0, spoiling the 1,000th career NHL game for Canadiens head coach Claude Julien.

TRIBLIVE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins yesterday acquired defenseman Ron Hainsey from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for minor-league winger Danny Kristo and a second-round pick in 2017. The Hurricanes also picked up half of Hainsey’s $2.8 million cap hit. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  Hainsey’s a solid veteran addition to the Penguins injury-ravaged defense corps. While he has puck-moving skills, he’s largely used in a more defensive role now, especially on the penalty kill. In 891 career NHL games, Hainsey has never played in the postseason. With Olli Maatta and Trevor Daley sidelined long term, the Penguins could place them on LTIR, giving them more flexibility to add another defenseman if necessary. 

NEWS & OBSERVER: Speaking of the Hurricanes, they placed left wing Bryan Bickell on waivers with the intention of sending him to their AHL affiliate in Charlotte. Bickell, diagnosed with MS last fall, is attempting to play his way back into the Hurricanes’ lineup and is getting the opportunity to get back into game shape by skating in the minors. 

CSN MIDATLANTIC: Washington Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen is listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury. 

NJ.COM: New Jersey Devils rookie forward Pavel Zacha was diagnosed with a concussion. There’s no timetable for his return.

MERCURY NEWS: The San Jose Sharks are donating $20,000 toward the San Jose Flood Victims Relief Fund.