NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 20, 2016
Analysis of the Monahan and Vesey signings, updates on Johnny Gaudreau, Rickard Rackell & more.
CALGARY SUN: The Flames yesterday announced the re-signing of restricted free agent center Sean Monahan to a seven-year, $44.6 million contract. The annual average value is $6.375 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I doubt anyone’s surprised by this new contract for Monahan. It’s the most expensive contract (for now) in Flames history, but he’s earned it. In his three NHL seasons, the 21-year-old Monahan blossomed into a first-line center and a foundation player for the rebuilding Flames. He wanted a long-term deal and there’s no way management could justify pushing for a short-term bridge deal. Monahan’s already proven himself as a rising star and hasn’t reached the prime of his career yet. Barring the unforeseen, he’ll be worth every penny.
YAHOO SPORTS: Having re-signed Monahan, the focus of Flames management shifts to re-signing RFA left wing Johnny Gaudreau.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Just as it took time to hammer out the details of Monahan’s lengthy new deal, so it will with Gaudreau. Don’t expect the Flames to play hardball with one of last season’s top-10 NHL scorers. Like Monahan, Gaudreau will get a lucrative long-term contract. I expect it’ll be worked out before the start of the upcoming World Cup of Hockey in September. It’ll probably be a seven-year deal worth between $6.5-$7 million per season.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: The New York Rangers yesterday announced the signing of 2016 Hobey Baker Award winner Jimmy Vesey to a two-year entry-level contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier this week, it was reported Vesey (a Massachusetts native) preferred signing with a team close to home, so that narrowed the field to the Rangers, Boston Bruins, New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils. One reason he chose the Rangers was he wished to avoid the pressure of playing for his hometown Bruins, especially if he struggled to adjust to the NHL pace. Vesey was also impressed by Rangers director of player development Chris Drury, another former Hobey Baker Award winner who successfully made the jump to the NHL.
NHL.COM: Anaheim Ducks forward Rickard Rakell will replace Alexander Steen (shoulder surgery) on Team Sweden in the upcoming World Cup of Hockey.
OTTAWA SUN: The Senators signed 2016 first-round pick (11th overall) to a three-year entry-level contract.
MIAMI HERALD: Former NHL stars Olli Jokinen, Radek Dvorak and Tomas Vokoun have embarked on their second careers training players at the South Florida Hockey Academy.