Cody Franson to sign with Sabres, Avalanche & Coyotes make a trade, latest professional tryout offers & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
Latest NHL player movement.
THE BUFFALO NEWS: cites a report last night from TSN’s Bob McKenzie claiming unrestricted free agent defenseman Cody Franson is poised to sign a two-year, $6.6 million contract with the Buffalo Sabres.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Barring a last-minute pitch from a rival club, the Sabres offer is likely the best one Franson will get this summer. It’s probably a humbling experience for the 28-year-old defenseman, who entered this summer ranked among the top available free agents.
In early-July, there were rumors Franson’s agent sought a six-year, $36 million contract. If true, he grossly misjudged his client’s market value.
Franson’s struggles with the Nashville Predators following a mid-February trade from Toronto significantly hurt his worth as a free agent. It’s a good, affordable moves by the rebuilding Sabres, adding an experienced puck-moving defenseman to a blueline that needs all the help it can get.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is a deal involving two young rearguards in need of a change, as both appeared odd men out with their now-former clubs. Of the two, it sounds like Elliott stands the best chance of sticking with his new club, as Gormley is projected to begin the season with the Avs farm club. The latter also has a two-way contract, whereas Elliott’s is a one-way deal.
MIAMI HERALD: The Florida Panthers have signed winger and former Panther David Booth to a professional tryout offer. Booth’s best seasons came in a Panthers uniform.
NEWSDAY’s Arthur Staple reports the New York Islanders are bringing forward Steve Bernier to camp on a PTO, perhaps as insurance in case winger Brock Nelson fails to re-sign before the start of training camp. Nelson risks being sat out for the entire season by the Islanders if he fails to re-sign by Sept.16.
NHL.COM: The Arizona Coyotes have invited free-agent defensemen Keith Aulie and Corey Potter to training camp on a tryout basis.
Other notable NHL headlines.
ESPN.COM: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said he hasn’t spoken with Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane, who is the subject of a rape investigation. Bettman called Kane’s situation unfortunate, adding the league is monitoring his status. Kane’s grand jury investigation was reportedly postponed for two weeks amid rumors his lawyers are working on a settlement with his accuser.
CBS SPORTS: cites a report from Russian news agency TASS claiming Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov faces deportation from the United States following his recent jail term on a domestic violence charge. US Immigration and Customs Enforcement currently have Voynov under detention pending a thorough review of his case to determine if sufficient grounds exist for deportation to Russia.
THE TAMPA TRIBUNE: Lightning forward Tyler Johnson claims his wrist is not 100 percent healed but it’s getting close. Johnson suffered a broken wrist during the 2015 Stanley Cup Final.
NHL.COM: The league has the tournament dates and schedule for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The league’s revival of this tournament is seen as its attempt to move away from Olympic participation, which hasn’t proven as lucrative as hoped. However, if the comments of Boston Bruins’ captain Zdeno Chara are anything to go by, the players’ reaction seems lukewarm at best.