NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 13, 2017
Predators draw first blood against the Ducks plus updates on Kevin Shattenkirk, TJ Oshie & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: James Neal scored in overtime to give the Nashville Predators a 3-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks in Game 1 of the 2017 Western Conference Final. Ryan Johansen and Mattias Ekholm each collected two assists as the Predators outshot the Ducks 46-29.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The score flattered the Ducks, who performed well in the third period but were outplayed in the first two periods. Overall, this was an entertaining game with a good flow to the action. It also looks like it’s going to be quite physical as this series progresses.
THE WASHINGTON POST: Isabelle Khurshudyan reports pending free agent defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk wants to return with the Capitals if he can play a bigger role. “Wants to be a No. 1 defenseman somewhere.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Shattenkirk might want to be a No.1 blueliner, but I don’t think he’s got the skills to be one. Yes, he’s talented and the case can be made that he never got the opportunity with the Capitals or the St. Louis Blues. But if he had the talent to be a top d-man, wouldn’t he have that role by now? Just my two cents. Feel free to counter this in the comments section, Shattenkirk fans.
CSN MIDATLANTIC: Winger TJ Oshie also hopes to return with the Capitals. He said his agent had a brief discussion with Capitals GM Brian MacLellan but there hasn’t been any substantive contract talks yet.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Capitals have over $50 million invested in 11 players for 2017-18, though they could get some extra cap room if a salaried player departs via the expansion draft next month. They must re-sign restricted free agents such as Evgeny Kuznetsov, Andre Burakovsky, Dmitry Orlov and Nate Schmidt and ensure they have sufficient cap room to perhaps promote a couple of promising youngsters. If they decide to re-sign Shattenkirk or fellow UFA blueliner Karl Alzner, there could end up parting ways with Oshie.
TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman received a four-stitch cut under his left eye when his visor split in two after finishing his check in Sweden’s 8-1 win over Germany at the World Championships.
THE BUFFALO NEWS: An adverse reaction to medication used to treat a concussion is what landed Sabres winger Kyle Okposo in intensive care back in early-April. Okposo has since improved and is expected to be ready for training camp in September.
Speaking of the Sabres, they raised their season-ticket prices by four percent across the board for 2017-18.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Considering the poor product the Sabres iced last season, some of their fans will be understandably upset about this news. However, the club is merely charging what the market can bear.
THE MERCURY NEWS: The San Jose Sharks re-signed Melker Karlsson to a three-year deal worth an annual salary-cap hit of $2 million and Joonas Donskoi to a two-year deal worth $1.9 million annually.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Affordable new deals for two good depth forwards. The signings bring the Sharks up to $58 million invested in 17 players for next season. Veterans Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau are their notable remaining free agents.
NEWSDAY: New York Islanders goaltender Thomas Greiss “issued an apology for causing an uproar in his native Germany for several Instagram posts that he “liked” during the U.S. presidential campaign, one of which compared Hillary Clinton to Adolf Hitler.”
THE DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche signed Russian defenseman Andrei Mironov.