Updates on Jonathan Bernier, Slava Voynov, Dainius Zubrus, Erik Haula and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
ESPN.COM: Scott Burnside lists Mike Richards, Alexander Semin, Jarret Stoll, Brenden Morrow, Viktor Stalberg, Chris Stewart and Cody Hodgson among the NHL players whose careers hang in the balance entering next season.
TORONTO SUN: The Toronto Maple Leafs are lowballing goaltender Jonathan Bernier as they head to arbitration on Friday (July 31). The Leafs are offering the minimum of $2.89 million, while Bernier (who made $3.4 million in a sub-part season in 2014-15) seeks $5.1 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Not that the Leafs aren’t within their rights to pitch the minimum in this instance, especially considering Bernier’s struggles last season, but that’s still a slap in the face to the goaltender. If this ends up being settled via arbitration rather than negotiation, I doubt Bernier will have a long-term future in Toronto.
STARTRIBUNE.COM: The Minnesota Wild are offering Erik Haula $775,000 next season, while Haula seeks $1.2 million. Like Bernier, Haula’s arbitration hearing is slated for July 31.
NBC SPORTS: The New Jersey Devils have placed forward Dainius Zubrus on unconditional waivers for the purpose of buying out the final year of his contract. Because Zubrus falls under the “plus-35” rule, his full salary ($3.1 million) still counts against the Devils’ cap for 2015-16. The move is being done to free up a roster spot.
LOS ANGELES TIMES: Kings defenseman Slava Voynov began serving his 90-day jail sentence on a misdemeanor domestic violence charge on July 7. “To stay at the 30-bed Detention Center in Seal Beach, Voynov must pay $100 per day. Bedding and uniforms are provided.” His actual amount of time served could be 45 days or less based on good behavior.
THE BOSTON GLOBE: The NHL yesterday officially announced the 2016 Winter Classic between the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens will take place at Gillette Stadium.
TSN: Since the end of the last NHL lockout, 43 players have signed contracts which stretched into 2020-21, when either the league or NHLPA can opt out of the current CBA. Of those, 16 will receive signing bonuses as of July 1, 2020, which can be consider a measure of lockout protection.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: You can bet that number will rise leading up to 2020. As for the opt-out clause, I don’t believe the league or the PA will use it. There were similar clauses in the last two CBA but neither side went that route, preferring to let the agreements run their full term. I suspect they’ll do the same with the current CBA.
WPBF.COM: Former NHL player Sergei Berezin has been accused of Medicaid fraud in Florida.
NBC SPORTS: Jim Craig, goaltender for Team USA Winter Olympics “Miracle on Ice” team, is selling his Olympic memorabilia, including his gold medal. The asking price for the entire collections is $5.7 million, of which he’s seeking $1.5 million for his gold medal.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: The Blackhawks and the city of Chicago have reached an agreement on construction of a new practice facility for the team.