NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 7, 2016
Panthers re-sign Jonathan Huberdeau, latest World Cup of Hockey reports & more in your NHL morning headlines.
MIAMI HERALD: The Florida Panthers yesterday announced the re-signing of left wing Jonathan Huberdeau to a six-year, $35.4 million contract extension. The average annual value is $5.9 million, and the contract begins in 2017-18.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Huberdeau, winner of the 2013 Calder Memorial Trophy as NHL rookie of the year, hit a career-best 59 points last season skating on the Panthers’ top line. It’s obvious they consider him part of their young core that includes Aaron Ekblad, Aleksander Barkov, Nick Bjugstad, Reilly Smith and Vincent Trocheck, who’ve also re-signed new deals with the Panthers over the last year. If the 23-year-old continues putting up good numbers throughout the tenure of this deal and helps the Panthers become Stanley Cup contenders, this will be a worthwhile contract for them.
NHL.COM: Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin was named captain of Team Russia for the upcoming World Cup of Hockey. Pittsburgh Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin and former Detroit Red Wings star Pavel Datsyuk are the alternates.
LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS: Team Europe named Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar its captain for the World Cup tournament.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier this summer, Kopitar was also named captain of the Kings. This tournament will be a good early test for him as a team captain.
TSN: Dallas Stars forward Tyler Seguin missed Team Canada’s practice yesterday because of illness.
THE WASHINGTON POST: Capitals goaltender Philipp Grubauer will replaced the sidelined Frederik Andersen on Team Europe.
ESPN.COM: The increasing number of players absences from the World Cup because of injuries is calling into question the players’ enthusiasm for the tournament.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Those players are skipping the tournament with the blessing of their respective NHL general managers. And who can blame them? The sidelined players don’t want to risk re-injury in a meaningless hockey tournament, while their GMs want them healthy to start the long grind of an NHL season. The league, meanwhile, is powerless to prevent this. If they try to lean on those players to attend the World Cup, they risk a labor hassle with the NHLPA.
NBC SPORTS: Team USA coach John Tortorella was asked about his thoughts on San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand for the American national anthem in protest of racial inequality in the U.S. Tortorella said if any of his players refuse to stand for the anthem, they’ll find themselves stuck to the bench for the remainder of the game.
SIRIUS XM NHL (via TODAY’S SLAPSHOT): NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly doesn’t see any potential problems brewing regarding the current collective bargaining agreement. He believes the league and the NHLPA have worked well together in the first four years of the deal in addressing any issues that arose. “It’s early, but I don’t see any storm clouds on the horizon – at least yet,” said Daly.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I recall NHL commissioner Gary Bettman expressing how pleased he was with the previous CBA midway through that deal, and the league and the PA still wound up in a labor dispute that cost half a season in 2012-13. Right now, the best we can hope for is neither side decides to opt out in September 2019, which would bring the current CBA to an end the following year. As for what transpires when this agreement expires in Sept. 2022, we’ll just have to wait and see.
THE NEWS & OBSERVER: After suffering a season-ending back injury once believed career-threatening, Carolina Hurricanes winger Andrej Nestrasil has recovered and is happy to return to training camp.
TVA SPORTS’ Renaud Lavoie reports former NHL defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron is attending the Columbus Blue Jackets training camp on a tryout basis.
LA KINGS INSIDER’s Jon Rosen reports former NHL winger Devin Setoguchi received a professional tryout offer from the Los Angees Kings.
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: The Blues Jackets re-signed president of hockey operations John Davidson, general manager Jarmo Kekalainen and assistant general manager Bill Zito all signed two-year extensions.