NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 5, 2016
Updates on the Leafs, Predators and more in this morning’s collection of NHL morning headlines.
TORONTO STAR: The Toronto Maple Leafs could have at least one winner in the upcoming World Cup of Hockey. They have players spread over seven teams (though recently injured goalie Frederik Andersen’s status is uncertain) plus Mike Babcock is head coach of Team Canada. Speaking of Canada, it’s the only team that doesn’t have a Leafs player in the lineup.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: No surprise there aren’t any Leafs players on Team Canada. The most prominent Canadian Leafs include forwards Tyler Bozak, Nazem Kadri and Joffrey Lupul. Defenseman Morgan Rielly is Canadian, but the 22-year-old is skating for Team North America.
THE TENNESSEAN: The Nashville Predators had a busy summer. Among their notable moves was shipping team captain Shea Weber to the Montreal Canadiens for defenseman P.K. Subban and re-signing rising star Filip Forsberg to a lucrative long-term contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Both moves should make the Predators a more competitive team over the next several years. Should goaltender Pekka Rinne regain his once-dominant form, adding Subban and re-signing Forsberg should improve their chances of becoming Stanley Cup contenders.
SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS: Sharks general manager Doug Wilson issued a statement Sunday claiming winger Tomas Hertl should be ready to play when the regular season opens in October. Hertl recently dropped out of the World Cup of Hockey to allow more time for his right knee, injured during the 2016 Stanley Cup Final, to fully heal.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A wise decision by Hertl. Better to be prepared for the long grind of an 82-game NHL regular season than to risk aggravating his knee in a meaningless tournament.
TORONTO STAR: Kevin McGran and Andrew Bailey recently examined the decline of the slapshot in the NHL as usage of the snapshot increases.