NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 9, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 9, 2017

Game recaps plus updates on Carey Price, Marc-Andre Fleury & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Patrick Marleau scored his 514th career goal and Frederik Andersen made 35 saves as the Toronto Maple Leafs doubled up the Minnesota Wild 4-2. Marleau moved past Jeremy Roenick for 39th on the all-time goals list. Jason Zucker scored both Wild goals.

The Leafs were skating without superstar Auston Matthews (day-to-day, upper-body injury). Meanwhile, they also learned forward Nikita Soshnikov currently isn’t entertaining offers to return to the KHL before Nov. 14 as per a clause in his contract. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The possibility of Soshnikov returning to Russia unless called up by the Leafs prompted speculation they could trade a current forward on their roster to make room for him. If he decides not to use that option it’ll take pressure off Leafs management to call him up. 

Jimmy Vesey scored two first-period goals in 29 seconds and Henrik Lundqvist kicked out 31 shots to give the New York Rangers a 4-2 victory over the Boston Bruins. Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak each had a goal and an assist for the banged-up Bruins. 

Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov and Vladislav Namestnikov each collected three points to lead the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 5-1 win over the San Jose Sharks, snapping the latter’s four-game win streak. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Carey Price (lower-body injury) is skating again but the Habs goalie won’t be playing in tonight’s game against the Wild. Forwards Jonathan Drouin (upper-body) and Andrew Shaw (undisclosed) are “50-50” to play tonight. 

NORTHJERSEY.COM: The slumping New Jersey Devils could have winger Kyle Palmieri (left leg injury) in the lineup for tonight’s game against the Edmonton Oilers. 

LAS VEGAS JOURNAL-REVIEW: Vegas Golden Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (concussion) could soon return to the lineup. He’s started skating with his teammates in practice.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fleury, Malcolm Subban and Oscar Dansk are all currently sidelined, contributing to the Knights’ recent slump. The sooner one or more return to action, the better the chances they’ll snap out of their slump.

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Anaheim Ducks netminder Ryan Miller is looking forward to facing the Vancouver Canucks tonight. Miller played for the Canucks from 2014-15 to 2016-17.

STLTODAY.COM:  The St. Louis Blues are reportedly interested in signing suspended KHL forward Danis Zaripov.

THE WASHINGTON POST: T.J. Oshie’s energy and positive attitude were significant reasons why the Capitals re-signed him to a lucrative long-term deal last summer. 



NHL Rumor Mill – September 4, 2017

NHL Rumor Mill – September 4, 2017

Could the St. Louis Blues make a pitch for NY Islanders star John Tavares?

Updates on John Tavares and Danis Zaripov plus some possible PTO targets for the Capitals in your NHL rumor mill. 

STLTODAY.COM: In a recent live chat with St. Louis Blues fans, Jeff Gordon doubted the club could afford to pursue New York Islanders center John Tavares via trade or free agency, Gordon feels Tavares wants to stay with the Islanders if the club can get a new arena. If not, he thinks the Toronto Maple Leafs have the pieces to acquire the Isles captain in a blockbuster trade.

Gordon also believes Tavares will get $10 million per season on his next contract. He points out it would be difficult for the Blues to afford Tavares and winger Vladimir Tarasenko, who’s earning over $7 million annually. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blues have over $58 million invested in 14 players for 2018-19. Assuming they acquired Tavares and paid him $10 million per season, that would push their payroll to over $68 million for 15 players. If there’s another marginal cap increase to between $77-$78 million for ’18-’19, the Blues will have limited salary-cap space to re-sign or replace other key players, including RFAs Robby Fabbri and Joel Edmundson. 

CSN MIDATLANTIC: J.J. Regan notes the Washington Capitals currently have only five defensemen (Matt Niskanen, Dmitry Orlov, John Carlson, Brooks Orpik and Taylor Chorney) under contract from last season, leaving two spots open for prospects. If the Caps decide they need additional veteran depth, Regan lists unrestricted free agent defensemen Roman Polak, Fedor Tyutin, Cody Franson and Mark Stuart as possible professional tryout offer candidates. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I daresay the Capitals aren’t the only clubs looking at those four as potential PTO candidates. The Chicago Blackhawks, for example, also only have five blueliners under contracts from ’16-’17. In July, a rumor emerged linking Franson to the Hawks as a tryout candidate. The Colorado Avalanche only have four rearguards under contract and recently invited Jared Cowen to camp on a tryout basis. 

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Dan Kingerski reports sources say the Pittsburgh Penguins are among four NHL teams interested in former KHL winger Danis Zaripov. “According to sources, the Penguins have made an inquiry and are “internally discussing” a contract offer,” write Kingerski. He also notes the Pens remain in the market for a third-line center. The New York Rangers are also thought to have interest in the 36-year-old Zaripov. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This could depend upon how much it’ll cost the Penguins to sign Zaripov and if that leave sufficient space to bolster their depth at center. They currently have over $3.2 million in cap space, though Kingerski observes that’ll drop to $2.4 million if blueliner Derrick Pouliot cracks the roster this season. That could affect efforts to land that third-line center unless some salary is shipped out in a trade. 


NHL Rumor Mill – September 2, 2017

NHL Rumor Mill – September 2, 2017

Should the San Jose Sharks consider signing Jaromir Jagr?

Updates on the San Jose Sharks, Pittsburgh Penguins and Tampa Bay Lightning in your NHL rumor mill. 

CSN BAY AREA’s Kevin Kurz, responding to a reader’s question on Twitter, said he wouldn’t be shocked if the San Jose Sharks added another scoring forward. Thus far, however, he hasn’t heard anything. 

SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER: Paul Ladewski suggests the Sharks consider signing Jaromir Jagr. He notes the 45-year-old right wing can still contribute offensively, especially on the power play, an area where the Sharks struggled last season. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier this summer, I also suggested Jagr could help the Sharks power play. They have over $8 million in salary-cap room and could easily afford inking him to a one-year, bonus-laden deal with a $2 million base salary.

It remains to be seen, however, if general manager Doug Wilson will consider that option. I think he intends to evaluate his roster during training camp, especially the play of wingers Mikkel Boedker, Timo Meier, Joonas Donskoi and Melker Karlsson. If those players show improvement, the Sharks won’t need to bring in Jagr. 

SPORTSNET: cites Sport-Express hockey writer Igor Eronko reporting Pittsburgh Penguins star Evgeni Malkin hopes his team will sign countryman and former KHL forward Danis Zariopov. Malkin said he’d enjoy having Zaripov playing on his line. Zaripov was recently banned from playing in the KHL for using the decongestant pseudoephedrine. However, the 36-year-old is allowed to sign with an NHL team because the substance in question isn’t banned in that league. He was also barred from testifying at his own hearing for his KHL suspension. 

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Joe Smith reports Zaripov’s agent, Dan Milstein, said the Lightning are among his client’s preferred NHL destinations. Several clubs, including the New York Rangers, are also believed interested in the Russian forward. Smith notes the Bolts have over $3.25 million in available cap space. While the Bolts seem set at forward, Smith suggests adding a skilled veteran winger such as Zaripov might be intriguing. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins also have over $3 million in salary-cap room, but their priority is addressing their third-line center spot. They’ve offered Jay McClement a professional tryout offer and could go the trade route to bring in help at center. With their depth in young wingers, there might not be enough room for Zaripov on the Penguins’ roster.

As for the Lightning, they might not have room for Zaripov. As Smith notes, they’re well stocked at forward entering this season. Still, after trading away Jonathan Drouin to Montreal this summer, maybe GM Steve Yzerman is keeping his options open. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 29, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 29, 2017

Philadelphia Flyers to retire Eric Lindros’ No. 88.

Hall of Famers Eric Lindros & Jean Ratelle to have their numbers retired. Details & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

CSN PHILLY.COM: The Philadelphia Flyers will retire Eric Lindros’ No. 88 in a ceremony on Jan. 18 at the Wells Fargo Center prior to their game against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Lindros spent eight of his 13 NHL seasons with the Flyers (1992-93 to 1999-2000) and had his best years in Philadelphia. 

NEW YORK POST: The New York Rangers will retire Jean Ratelle’s No. 19 in a pregame ceremony at Madison Square Garden on Feb. 25 against the Detroit Red Wings. Ratelle played for the Rangers from 1960 to 1975 and is the club’s third-leading all time scorer (817 points). In 1975, he was traded to the Boston Bruins, playing for them until his retirement in 1981. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Well deserved honors for both Hall of Famers, and long overdue in Ratelle’s case. 

CALGARY SUN: The Flames signed defenseman Brett Kulak to a one-year, two-way contract worth $650K at the NHL level.

SPORTSNET: Russian winger Danis Zaripov has been cleared to pursue an NHL contract. He was banned by the KHL and the International Ice Hockey Federation for doping, but wouldn’t have been banned under NHL rules. He also wasn’t allowed to testify at the hearing for his initial ban. Zaripov is appealing his IIHF ban and agreed to additional drug testing if he signs an NHL contract. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It appears the offending drug Zaripov is accused of using is pseudoephedrine, which is a nasal decongestant. In large doses, however, it can be a stimulant. The Vegas Golden Knights and New York Rangers are rumored to be among the clubs that could pursue him. 

WGR 550: Seven  Buffalo Sabres will have new numbers for the upcoming season. 


NHL Rumor Mill – August 28, 2017

NHL Rumor Mill – August 28, 2017

Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak not on the trade block.

An update on David Pastrnak plus there could be interest in Russian forward Danis Zaripov among some NHL teams.

THE BOSTON GLOBE: Kevin Paul Dupont reports the Boston Bruins have offered restricted free agent winger David Pastrnak his choice of a six- or seven-year contract worth $6 million annually. He lacks arbitration rights, leading Dupont to speculate the 21-year-old could attempt to “jiggle his average a little higher ($6.5 million?) over 5-7 years, or shoot for something slightly lower ($5.5 million) on a one- or two-year deal.”

Bruins general manager Don Sweeney insists he won’t place Pastrnak on the trade block. “We like him,” Sweeney said, emphatically. “We are not trading him.” He adds there’s plenty of time to get him under contract. If Pastrnak isn’t signed by Dec. 15, he’ll be ineligible to play the remainder of this season. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sweeney previously dismissed recent trade speculation about Pastrnak. Given how quiet things are in this summer’s trade rumor mill, his name still occasionally pops up. I’ll be surprised if he isn’t under contract when the season opens in October. They’ll get something worked out, either a long-term contract or a short-term deal. 

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports 36-year-old Russian forward Danis Zaripov is expected to become an unrestricted free agent following his appeal of a two-year doping ban by the IIHF. Zaripov maintains his innocence. Part of the reason for launching his appeal is to become eligible to play in the NHL this season. His KHL club, AK Bars Kazan, voided his contract. If Zaripov is allowed to play in the NHL, Friedman expects the Vegas Golden Knights and New York Rangers could be among the interested parties.