Capitals re-sign Braden Holty, Red Wings re-sign Tomas Jurco, plus updates on Derek Stepan and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
THE WASHINGTON POST: The Capitals and goaltender Braden Holtby avoided an arbiter’s decision, as the netminder agreed to a five-year, $30.5 million contract. His new average cap hit is $6.1 million per season. In actual salary, Holtby will earn $6.5 million in 2015-16 ($3.5 million of which is a signing bonus). For the following two seasons, he’ll earn $7 million annually, followed by two seasons at $5 million annually.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Considering there was speculation Holtby could seek $7 million annually, this is more affordable for the Capitals. Still, it puts him among the top-ten goalies in terms of annual cap hit. Not that he didn’t earn it. Coming off a career-best performance last season and entering his playing prime, the 25-year-old Holtby should provide the Capitals with quality starting goaltending over the course of that contract. Indeed, if he maintains the high level of performance he demonstrated last season, a Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s top goaltender could be in his future.
NEW YORK POST: The Rangers must determine by today (July 25) if they’ll seek a one- or two-year contract for center Derek Stepan via arbitration. In their contract talks, the Rangers are seeking a multi-year deal worth between $6.5 – $6.75 million per season, while the Stepan camp reportedly seeks between $7.25 – $7.5 million annually on a seven-year deal. An arbitration decision could be between $5.75 million to $6.5 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: While I still believe the Rangers and Stepan can reach an agreement before an arbiter makes a decision (if it gets that far), it will be quite interesting if Stepan is awarded a contract via arbitration. It’ll raise questions over his long-term future with the Blueshirts.
THE DETROIT NEWS: The Red Wings have re-signed forward Tomas Jurco to a two-year contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Financial terms weren’t disclosed, but General Fanager puts his salary-cap hit at $900K per season.
NBC SPORTS: San Jose Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer said his club will have a new captain next season. The Sharks were without one throughout last season after Joe Thornton was stripped of the captaincy last summer.
ESPN.COM: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman could face some difficult potential disciplinary decisions over the off-ice issues of Mike Richards (contract termination), Slava Voynov (domestic abuse), Jarret Stoll (drug possession) and Ryan O’Reilly (DUI).
THE ARIZONA REPUBLIC: The Glendale city council unanimously approved its new arena lease agreement with the Arizona Coyotes.