NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 19, 2012.

Ville Leino’s decline has hurt the Sabres…Red Wings forward Jiri Hudler regaining his scoring touch…Avs’ Peter Mueller powers his team over Panthers…Penguins defenseman Paul Martin overcoming slow start…Francois Beauchemin leads Ducks over Coyotes…Hurricanes block shots and pain…Blackhawks rookies lead team over Sabres…Stars Richard Bachman learning as he settles into backup role.

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Sabres forward Ville Leino has been the biggest bust of last year’s free agent market, his poor play a key reason for the club’s decline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sabres GM Darcy Regier violated the first rule for NHL general managers during free agency: “Just because you can spend a lot of money, doesn’t mean you should”. He certainly hasn’t gotten his money’s worth so far with Leino, or for that matter, defenseman Christian Ehrhoff.

DETROIT FREE PRESS: Red Wings forward Jiri Hudler is regaining his scoring touch (13 goals, 29 points) after only notching 10 goals and 37 points last season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see if Hudler’s improvement wins him a new contract with the Red Wings, or if they let him walk via free agency this summer.

Mueller nets first goals since April 2010 in win over Panthers.

DENVER POST: Peter Mueller scored his first NHL goals since April 2010, potting two to lead the Colorado Avalanche to a 4-3 overtime win over the Florida Panthers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Mueller also assisted on the game-tying goal. Here’s hoping Mueller continues to improve and fully puts his concussion issues behind him.

POST-GAZETTE.COM: Paul Martin has overcome a slow start and injuries to become a valuable part of the Penguins defense.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some Pittsburgh fans and pundits have called for Martin to be shopped, but if he continues his improvement in the coming weeks, he’ll become too valuable to move.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Defenseman Francois Beauchemin had two goals and an assist as the Anaheim Ducks down the Phoenix Coyotes 6-2.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Ducks are 6-0-1 in their last seven games.

NEWSOBSERVER.COM: Several Hurricanes players explain the art – and pain – of shot-blocking.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Rookies Andrew Shaw and Jimmy Hayes each had a goal and an assist as the Blackhawks defeated the floundering Buffalo Sabres 6-2.

DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Richard Bachman is learning the ropes as the Stars backup goaltender.


  1. Don’t see Martin getting traded this season but in the off-season. It’s not that he’s not a good D-man, just don’t think he fits well in the Pens style of play and for 5 mill a year, that’s taking up a lot of maneuvering room with cap space. Move him for forward depth or if they get lucky picks and prospects. They have enough depth at D to absorb the move either way and then the money to add some pieces / resign Neal, Niskanen etc. Dream trade mind you but…. Martin and Niskanen (draft pick, 3rd?) for Suter. If Suter could be locked up for 6.5 to 7 a year, Pitt would be paying that to both of them anyway and Nashville gets two NHL guys with at least three years under their belts, Martin for three more years and Niskanen an RFA that could be signed for 2 to 2.5. Now I know the money equals out and most would say that if Nashville is gonna pay that money why not just keep Suter. This way Nashville gets two guys for sure with the likelihood that Suter would walk anyway and Weber probably to follow a year later. As far as Pitt goes they run a D-line that has Suter-Michalek / Orpik-Letang / Despres-Engelland with Lovejoy, Bortuzzo, Sneep just to name guys that will be there next year or so and would only raise Pitts D money by 500k to 1 mill. Again dream trade but…

  2. Watch out NHL… The Ducks are starting to quack their way back up the standings…. reminds me of last season when they came from the bottom to make it to 4th.

  3. With the Ducks being 6-0-1 in their last 7 games, you can be sure trade rumors about any of their 3 core players being traded will fade if they continue to play consistently from here on forward

  4. It was always evident that the Ducks had too much quality on their roster to be amongst the worst teams in the NHL but I personally think this resurgence is coming too late to be of benefit to their season. Reminds me of NJ last season, who had an outrageous second half of the season only to fall short of the playoffs. If the Ducks put together a near historical run they might even make the playoffs but will have likely spent too much energy getting there. A shame Murray didn’t call out his players back in November.