NHL coaching legend Al Arbour passes away, Stars re-sign Cody Eakin, plus the latest on Cam Ward, Justin Abdelkader, Peter Budaj and more.
NHL.COM: Al Arbour, the legendary coach of the New York Islanders during their dynasty years, passed away at the age of 82. Arbour coached the Islanders to four straight Stanley Cups from 1980 to 1983. His 740 wins are the most for one coach with one NHL team. He won the Jack Adams Trophy in 1979 and the Lester Patrick Award in 1992. Arbour also won four Stanley Cups as a player with the Detroit Red Wings, Chicago Blackhawks and Toronto Maple Leafs.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Arbour was unquestionably one of the greatest coaches in NHL history. My condolences to his family and to the Islanders organization.
THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Stars have re-signed center Cody Eakin to a four-year contract worth $3.85 million per season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Eakin, 24, has quickly become a key part of the Stars roster. He tallied 19 goals and 40 points last season, ranking among their offensive leaders. It’s a fair deal for both sides.
THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward claims there’s nowhere else he wants to be. An unrestricted free agent next summer, Ward said he isn’t worried about his current contract talks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It remains to be seen if Ward and the Hurricanes management can reach agreement on a new deal. It’s possible GM Ron Francis could wait to see how this season shakes out before deciding to retain Ward, who could be pressured for the starter’s job by Eddie Lack.
THE DETROIT NEWS: Red Wings forward Justin Abdelkader is hoping to top his career-best performance this season, which is also a contract year.
STARTRIBUNE.COM: Michael Russo reports former Minnesota Wild forward Matt Cooke is healthy, fired up and hoping to land with an NHL team for the upcoming season. He also reports Wild head coach Mike Yeo is maintaining support for assistant coach Darryl Sydor, who is receiving treatment for alcohol abuse following his recent DUI arrest. Meanwhile, former Wild blueliners Keith Ballard and Jordan Leopold are mulling retirement but remain hopeful of continuing their playing careers.
THE TENNESSEAN: The Nashville Predators rookie camp opens on Sept. 10.
IIHF.COM: The declining value of the ruble could make it difficult for KHL teams to sign or retain players.