Leafs sign top pick Auston Matthews, Islanders could be moving again & more in this morning’s collection of NHL headlines.
BLOOMBERG: Sources are claiming the New York Islanders are in talks “with the owners of baseball’s New York Mets about building a hockey arena adjacent to Citi Field in Queens. ” Barclays Center, the Isles current home, was marred by bad reviews from fans complaining about poor sight lines and players’ concerns over ice conditions.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I recommend checking out well-connected Islanders blogger B.D. Gallof’s take on this via Twitter. Of note is Barclays hasn’t informed anyone of any intention of opting out of the arena lease agreement with the Isles, while NYC mayor Bill DiBlasio has said he won’t support a sports-related expansion of the area in Queens. A source also told Gallof in a tongue-in-cheek manner that if Isles ownership decide to leave Brooklyn, being sold to an outside interest would be the likely route.
THE STAR: The Toronto Maple Leafs signed 2016 first-overall pick Auston Matthews to a “three-year, bonus-filled entry-level contract that will pay the first overall pick up to $3.775 million annually (all figures in U.S. dollars) if he hits his targets laid out on the bonus schedules.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Well, if Leafs GM Lou Lamoriello was playing hardball with Matthews, he didn’t fight for very long. Matthews is getting the full meal deal here, just like Edmonton’s Connor McDavid and Buffalo’s Jack Eichel. Some in the punditry and blogosphere are now wondering what took so long. Who cares? He’s signed now, nearly two months before training camp opens. This is no longer an issue.
NBC SPORTS: NBC Sports Group yesterday announced they’ll be broadcasting a record number of NHL games in 2016-17. Among the key dates are the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Stanley Cup banner raising (Oct. 13), the 2017 Winter Classic on Jan. 2 between the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues, the 2017 Centennial Classic on Jan. 1 between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs, and a quadrupleheader on Feb. 19 to celebrate Hockey Day in America.
CSN PHILLY.COM: A short-term deal could make sense for the Philadelphia Flyers and restricted free agent Brayden Schenn, whose arbitration hearing is set for July 25.