NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 11, 2017
Latest on Ryan Ellis and Matt Cullen, Panthers to hire Boughner as head coach & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
TSN: Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis (undisclosed injury) is questionable for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final tonight in Nashville. Ellis skipped Saturday’s optional practice.
THE TENNESSEAN: On Friday, Predators stars Roman Josi and Mike Fisher surprised a two-year-old fan who’s battling cancer.
PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Penguins veteran center Matt Cullen, 40, could be playing his final NHL games. He’s hinting at retirement once the Stanley Cup Final is over.
MIAMI HERALD: The Florida Panthers are reportedly close to hiring San Jose Sharks assistant coach Bob Boughner as their new head coach.
WGR 550: The Buffalo Sabres are reportedly waiting for the end of the Stanley Cup Final to interview Nashville Predators assistant coach Phil Housley, “and possibly Pittsburgh Penguins assistants Rick Tocchet and Jacques Martin.”
THE WASHINGTON POST: Canadian-born Capitals right wing Justin Williams became a naturalized United States citizen on Saturday.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks cites sources saying concerns over stagnant NHL revenue and rising escrow payments could result in the NHLPA voting against triggering its five percent escalator clause for next season. That would leave the salary-cap ceiling at $73 million for 2017-18. The PA could also hire Chris Chelios to act as an ombudsman “as the union begins its preparation for the collective bargaining agreement negotiations that likely are on the 2019-20 horizon.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Over the last two years there were rumors the PA would vote against the escalator clause but they ultimately approved it. It’ll be interesting to see if they actually reject it this year. A flat cap could make things difficult for clubs bumping up against the salary cap ceiling for next season.
The PA can opt out of the CBA in September 2019, making the ’19-’20 season the final one under the current agreement. Concerns over revenue, escrow and the team owners’ refusal to participate in the 2018 Olympics has increased tensions between the PA and the league. If those issues bubble over, there could be another lockout in September 2020.