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.
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.
Have learned that Matt Beleskey will be assigned directly to AHL Wolf Pack and thus will not be at NYR camp. Cap charge will be $825,000.
— Larry Brooks (@NYP_Brooksie) September 10, 2019