NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 24, 2017
Results of opening round of the 2017 draft, latest contract signings and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: The New Jersey Devils selected Halifax Mooseheads center Nico Hischier with first overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft. Brandon Wheat Kings center Nolan Patrick was taken second overall by the Philadelphia Flyers, while the Dallas Stars selected HIFK defenseman Miro Heiskanen third overall.
With the 29th overall selection, host team Chicago Blackhawks picked Portland Winterhawks blueliner Henri Jokiharju.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: You can see the full list and analysis of all the opening-round picks at the link above. Unlike recent drafts, there were no obvious can’t-miss NHL superstars such as Connor McDavid or Auston Matthews in this round. However, some of these kids could go on to NHL stardom in their own right.
CSN MID-ATLANTIC: The Washington Capitals re-signed right wing T.J. Oshie to an eight-year, $46-million contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m not surprised that the Capitals retained Oshie. Since coming to Washington in a trade from St. Louis in 2015, he quickly become an invaluable part of their roster core. His new annual cap hit of $5.75 million is a reasonable rate, as he likely could’ve received more on the open market. However, handing a winger who turns 31 in December an eight-year deal is a gamble. His game will inevitably decline over that period.
THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks re-signed left wing Patrick Eaves to a three-year, $9.45-million contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s a $3.15 million annual average salary for the 33-year-old Eaves, up from $1 million last season. He’s coming off a career-best 32-goal, 51-point campaign split between the Ducks and the Dallas Stars, with 11 of those goals and 14 of those points coming in Anaheim.
Eaves proved to be a good addition after joining the Ducks before last season’s trade deadline. At this stage in his career it remains to be seen if he’ll come close to those numbers again. Still, it’s a justifiable term and salary for the Ducks.
EDMONTON SUN: The Oilers yesterday re-signed defenseman Kris Russell to a four-year, $16-million contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Analytics followers will hate Russell’s deal. Those who believe in human intangibles feel he’s worth retaining, though perhaps not for four years. What’s notable about the 30-year-old blueliner is he’s among the NHL’s best shot blockers. Oilers management obviously liked what he brought to their defense core. I’m sure his value to the Oilers will be debated by their fans for the next four years.
LOS ANGELES TIMES: The Kings yesterday officially bought out the final season of defenseman Matt Greene’s contract. He was slated to earn $2.5 million.
ARIZONA SPORTS: Craig Morgan believes the Coyotes are unlikely to re-sign restricted free agent center Alex Burmistrov.