NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 24, 2016
Alexander Steen re-signs with Blues, plus updates on Rick Nash, P.K. Subban & more in your NHL morning headlines.
STLTODAY.COM: The St. Louis Blues re-signed forward Alexander Steen to a four-year, $23 million contract extension which begins in 2017-18. Steen will earn an annual average cap hit of $5.75 million, down slightly from the $5.8 million AAV of his current deal. He was eligible for unrestricted free agency next July.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Having lost veteran leadership and experience when David Backes and Troy Brouwer departed via free agency this summer, the Blues obviously didn’t want to face the same risk with Steen. When healthy, the 32-year-old winger is a reliable scoring forward for the Blues. Given his age and injury history, this deal is perhaps a year too long. Still, if he can remain as productive as he’s been through most of his career, it could prove worthwhile.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: With the Rangers loading up on forwards in the offseason, winger Rick Nash isn’t taking his roster spot for granted in the upcoming season. Nash was linked to St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk in this summer’s rumor mill. He was hampered by injury last season but refused to use that as an excuse for his low production.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nash’s $7.8 million annual cap hit through 2017-18 is a significant sticking point in any attempt to move him. Teams could prefer waiting to see how he performs this season before pursuing a trade.
THE TENNESSEAN: P.K. Subban will miss the opening days of Nashville Predators training camp to an upper-body injury. He’s currently listed as day-to-day.
THE GLOBE AND MAIL/SPORTSNET: James Mirtle and Elliotte Friedman commented on Toronto Maple Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul failing his team physical. Lupul, who underwent sports hernia surgery last February, reportedly told teammates this summer he was ready to go for the upcoming season. Mirtle and Friedman compared this situation to that of Stephane Robidas last year, who missed all of last season to medical reasons despite claiming he felt great after coming off a broken leg.
Friedman wondered if Lupul might contest this, citing defenseman Jared Cowen’s upcoming grievance hearing. Judging by Lupul’s brief statement on Thursday, Mirtle suspects he might not challenge the decision. Both agree Lupul probably didn’t fit into the Leafs plans for the upcoming season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given Lupul’s lengthy injury history, it’s not surprising that he failed his team medical. As Mirtle points out, the Leafs can free up two roster spots from having Lupul and Robidas sit out.
NBC SPORTS: Calgary Flames center Mikael Backlund is listed as day-to-day after suffering a concussion playing for Team Sweden at the World Cup of Hockey.
OTTAWA SUN: Senators forward Curtis Lazar is sidelined with mononucleosis.
TWINCITIES.COM: Tomas Fleischmann failed his physical with the Minnesota Wild. He’s attending Wild training camp on a tryout basis.
NEWS 1130: Unrestricted free agent winger David Jones signed a professional tryout offer with the Anaheim Ducks.