Game recaps plus updates on Aleksandar Barkov, Quinn Hughes, Filip Zadina, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Matt Murray made 29 saves as the Pittsburgh Penguins held off the Washington Capitals 4-3. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin’s goal-scoring streak ended at five games while teammate Lars Eller scored two goals. The Penguins (71 points) move to within four points of the first-place Capitals in the Metropolitan Division.
A three-point effort by Pierre-Luc Dubois carried the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 4-3 win over the Montreal Canadiens (Photo via NHL Images).
Pierre-Luc Dubois extended his points streak to eight games with two goals and an assist in the Columbus Blue Jackets’ 4-3 win over the Montreal Canadiens. The struggling Habs (55 points) remain eight points out of a wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. The Jackets (65 points) sit third in the Metropolitan Division.
Shootout goals by Teuvo Teravainen and Justin Williams gave the Carolina Hurricanes a 4-3 victory over the Vancouver Canucks. Carolina winger Andrei Svechnikov tallied his 20th goal of the season. Elias Pettersson scored twice for the Canucks as their five-game winning streak came to an end. The Hurricanes (63 points) hold the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth.
SPORTSNET: Results from an MRI on the knee of Florida Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov came back “all good”. He was injured during Saturday’s game against the Canadiens. Barkov is questionable for tonight’s tilt with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Panthers need a healthy Barkov if they hope to clinch a playoff berth.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Until recently, Makar appeared a lock to win the Calder Memorial Trophy as this season’s rookie of the year. Hughes, however, has made this a two-horse race.
MLIVE.COM: Andreas Athanasiou is set to return to the Detroit Red Wings lineup after a 13-game absence with a lower-body injury. Rookie winger Filip Zadina, however, will be sidelined two-to-three weeks with a lower-body injury.
TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild placed defenseman Nick Seeler on waivers.
TSN: The Blue Jackets signed forward Nathan Gerbe to a two-year, two-way contract extension. Cap Friendly indicates he’ll receive $750K at the NHL level.
The latest on the Red Wings, Senators, and Maple Leafs in today’s NHL rumor mill.
CHANGES COMING FOR THE RED WINGS?
THE ATHLETIC: Fluto Shinzawa reports outside sources believe the Detroit Red Wings will be a team with hand raised high for Torey Krug if the Boston Bruins defenseman tests next summer’s free-agent market. The Wings are Krug’s hometown team and he played for Wings coach Jeff Blashill in the USHL. They are also desperate for a power-play quarterback.
THE DETROIT NEWS: Ted Kulfan recently reported the Red Wings’ mounting losses is generating speculation about Blashill’s future in Detroit. General manager Steve Yzerman hasn’t commented about his coach’s status. Citing Yzerman’s tenure as Tampa Bay Lightning GM, Kulfan observed he is normally patient and not given to making rash decisions. Despite the Wings’ poor start, the players remain supportive of Blashill.
Could the Detroit Red Wings pursue Torey Krug in next summer’s UFA market? (Photo via NHL Images).
NBC Sports NHL analyst Pierre McGuire told TSN radio Ottawa not to be surprised if Yzerman attempts to shop 2018 first-round pick Filip Zadina. McGuire was critical of the young winger’s play without the puck.
Zadina was drafted by former Wings GM Ken Holland. McGuire thinks it’s fair to say he shouldn’t have been selected as high as he was (sixth overall) in that draft.
MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan recently wondered if Yzerman might make a move to improve the Wings’ performance and provide some hope for the fanbase. For now, the plan is to once again unload contracts at the trade deadline for draft picks.
Their rental players (Jimmy Howard, Trevor Daley, Mike Green) won’t have much value. Others signed beyond this season (Darren Helm, Valtteri Filppula, Frans Nielsen, Justin Abdelkader, Jonathan Bernier) will be almost impossible to move.
Khan believes Andreas Athanasiou could be the Wings’ biggest trade chip. He wonders if Yzerman will shop him at the trade deadline or before the 2020 NHL Draft for an additional first-round draft pick.
As for Blashill, Khan believes Yzerman could stick with him for the rest of the season unless the team completely falls apart. He also think Yzerman will continue to chip away at his roster with value-seeking deals leading up to the trade deadline.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wings weren’t expected to be a playoff contender this season but it was hoped they’d show improvement. If these disheartening losses keep piling up, Yzerman could give Blashill the hook.
Yzerman can’t be happy with what he’s seeing right now. Making a significant move to turn things around will be difficult at this point in the season. Rival GMs are likely more interested in young core players like Dylan Larkin, Tyler Bertuzzi, and Anthony Mantha than those carrying expensive or expiring contracts.
If Athanasiou doesn’t pick up his play I can see Yzerman fielding trade offers later in the season. Playing for a deeper club could help the speedy forward regain his spark. I agree with McGuire it wouldn’t be surprising if Zadina was moved. It’s not a certainty but Yzerman could gauge his trade value.
Yzerman could get into the bidding for Krug if he hits the open market next summer. Krug, however, might not be keen to join a rebuilding club. He’ll draw plenty of interest around the league.
NOTHING NEW REGARDING PAGEAU’S CONTRACT TALKS
TSN: Ian Mendes reports Jean-Gabriel Pageau said he’s had no contract extension discussion lately with the Ottawa Senators. The 26-year-old center is off to the best statistical start of his NHL career. Pageau said he’s focused on his game and hasn’t given much thought to his contract. If he doesn’t fit into the rebuilding Senators plans he could be shopped at the trade deadline.
OTTAWA SUN: Ken Warren also wonders about Pageau’s future with the Senators. His two-way skills would be attractive to playoff contenders.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Mendes and Warren believe it’ll come down to how much the Senators are willing to pay and how much Pageau believes his services are worth. Considering the Senators’ current rebuild, they could be unwilling to pony up big bucks for their pending UFA stars. Don’t be surprised if he’s playing elsewhere by the Feb. 24 trade deadline.
LATEST ON THE LEAFS
TORONTO SUN: Lance Hornby reports the Maple Leafs placed Nic Petan and Martin Marincin on waivers yesterday to free up salary-cap space for Zach Hyman’s return from knee surgery on Saturday. Petan and Marincin will be assigned to the Leafs’ AHL affiliate if they clear waivers at noon ET today.
Once those two are claimed or demoted, the Leafs must take one more salary off the roster. He lists Nick Shore, Jason Spezza, and Dmytro Timashov as prime candidates to be waived or traded. All have salary-cap salaries of around $700,000.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch considers it unlikely the Senators will try to bring Spezza back to Ottawa with a waiver claim. While he’d be a good mentor in the dressing room, the Sens don’t want an aging player taking a roster spot from their younger players.
Latest on Dustin Brown, Torey Krug, Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Filip Zadina and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
THE ATHLETIC: Los Angeles Kings winger Dustin Brown suffered an upper-body injury during Saturday’s preseason loss to the Anaheim Ducks after being hit by a shot by linemate Anze Kopitar. No update was provided regarding his status.
Los Angeles Kings winger Dustin Brown injured during a preseason game against the Anaheim Ducks. (Photo via NHL Images)
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Perhaps the Kings will provide an update on Brown later today.
NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Bruins defenseman Torey Krug left yesterday’s preseason game against the Philadelphia Flyers with a lower-body injury. Blueliner Matt Grzelcyk is also sidelined with a lower-body injury.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Prospect center Jesperi Kotkaniemi will start the regular season with the Canadiens, who selected him third overall in the 2018 NHL Draft. “The 18-year-old Finn will become the first player in North America’s four major professional team sports who was born in the 2000s.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kotkaniemi was considered a long shot to make the roster this season but had a strong training camp and performed well in preseason play. The Canadiens could still return the youngster to his Finnish team if he struggles in his first nine NHL games to avoid burning off the first year of his entry-level contract.
THE SCORE: Detroit Red Wings prospect winger Filip Zadina will start this season with the club’s AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids. He was the sixth-overall selection in the 2018 NHL Draft.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Zadina also had a strong camp and looked good in the preseason. Still, it’s not surprising that he’ll be starting in the minors. The Wings usually prefer their top prospects get some AHL seasoning.
THE DENVER POST’s Mike Chambers reports Colorado Avalanche forward Sven Andrighetto is out two-to-four weeks with a lower-body injury.
NBC SPORTS: NHL goaltending equipment continues to shrink as the league puts an emphasis on scoring. Starting this season, goalies will be wearing small chest protectors. “The overall aim is to boost scoring while at the same time rewarding athletic ability in the crease by eliminating unnecessary padding that wasn’t protecting goalies, but instead simply helping them block pucks.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given the advances in goaltending equipment combined with the improved athleticism of today’s netminders it’s possible to reduce the size of equipment without compromising safety or hindering their ability to block shots.
TSN: Former Toronto Maple Leafs forward Greg Terrion has died at age 58. Terrion spent eight seasons in the NHL from 1980-81 to 1987-88, two with the Los Angeles Kings and six with the Leafs. In 561 regular-season games he tallied 93 goals and 150 assists for 243 points.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Terrion’s family, friends and former teammates.
Updates on David Perron and Kris Letang plus the latest on the Detroit Red Wings and Vegas Golden Knights in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
STLTODAY.COM: David Perron became the first player in St. Louis Blues’ history to do three tours with the club. The 30-year-old left wing signed a four-year, $16-million contract last week with the Blues, admitting he passed up more lucrative offers to return to St. Louis. “I love St. Louis. This is the biggest reason why I came back. I didn’t even want to think about anywhere else.”
David Perron is happy to return to the St. Louis Blues for a third stint (Photo via NHL Images)
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Perron was still well-compensated on his new contract by the Blues, but it’s nice to see a player get an opportunity to return to a city he loved.
TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang and his wife, Catherine Laflamme, announced the birth of their second child, a daughter, on Sunday.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to Letang and his family on the occasion of their new arrival.
LAS VEGAS SUN: The Vegas Golden Knights have become an attractive destination for NHL free agents. They signed unrestricted free agent center Paul Stastny, convinced Ryan Reaves to stay and re-signed defenseman Colin Miller to a four-year deal.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Exceeding expectations in an inaugural season to reach the Stanley Cup Final will do that.
THE DETROIT NEWS: Over the weekend, the Detroit Red Wings signed prospect forward Filip Zadina to a three-year, entry-level contract. Zadina was selected sixth overall by the Wings in the 2018 draft.