NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 19, 2017
Salary cap for 2017-18 set, plus updates on T.J. Oshie, Petr Mrazek, Valeri Nichushkin & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
TSN: The NHL salary cap for 2017-18 is set at $75 million, a slight increase over this season’s cap ceiling of $73 million. The cap minimum will be $55.4 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s going to hurt clubs with limited cap space, such as the Chicago Blackhawks, Columbus Blue Jackets and New York Islanders. Expect those clubs to shed salary via trades. They could also free up some cap space if they lose a salaried player via the upcoming expansion draft.
Teams carrying over $50 million in cap payroll with several notable players to re-sign (Washington Capitals, Tampa Bay Lightning, Minnesota Wild) could also find it difficult to re-sign that talent.
CSN MID-ATLANTIC: J.J. Regan wonders if the cap increase will be sufficient for the Washington Capitals to re-sign right wing T.J. Oshie, who’s eligible for unrestricted free agency on July 1.
MLIVE.COM: Performance and attitude were the factors behind the Detroit Red Wings’ surprising decision to leave goaltender Petr Mrazec exposed in the upcoming expansion draft. If unclaimed, the Wings could attempt to move him via trade.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: At the very least, this move is a shot across Mrazec’s bow by Wings management. They’re clearly unhappy with his inconsistent play and cocky manner.
NBC SPORTS: Amid speculation winger Valeri Nichushkin could return to the Dallas Stars, the club included him on its list of protected players in the upcoming expansion draft. Nichushkin spent last season in the KHL.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s believed Nichushkin didn’t like playing for former Stars head coach Lindy Ruff, who’s since been replaced by Ken Hitchcock. If he does return, however, it’ll be interesting to see how well he and Hitchcock get along.
CSNPHILLY.COM: The Philadelphia Flyers and pending UFA forward Jordan Weal aren’t far off in contract talks. They’ve agreed on term but still have to hammer out the annual salary. Weal’s agent said he’d like to better gauge his client’s value by testing the free-agent market but Weal’s preference is re-signing with the Flyers.
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Contract extension talks have begun between the Blue Jackets and head coach John Tortorella, who has a year remaining on his current contract. Tortorella is a finalist for the Jack Adams Award as NHL coach of the year.
TVA SPORTS: The Arizona Coyotes’ financial situation is so precarious they’ll have to take on another ghost contract (like they did last summer with Pavel Datsyuk) to reach next season’s salary cap minimum. Dealing away the bulk of goaltender Mike Smith’s contract on Saturday to the Calgary Flames “for nothing in return” doesn’t help. “They’re broke. It’s ridiculous,” a source told TVA Sports on Saturday on condition of anonymity.