NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 29, 2017
Connor McDavid could get a big pay raise, an update on Dion Phaneuf & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
SPORTSNET: Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid could sign an eight-year contract extension with the club worth $13.25 million per season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some observers could take McDavid and his agent to task for seeking such a lucrative contract. I’ve seen a few folks on Twitter attempting to disparage the McDavid camp by comparing his rumored new salary-cap hit to what Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby ($8.7 million annually) and Washington’s Alex Ovechkin ($9.5 million) received following the completion of their ELCs.
However, the percentage of McDavid’s potential new annual cap hit would be similar to what Crosby and Ovechkin received coming off their ELCs. McDavid’s annual average value would be around 18 percent of the Oilers’ $75 million cap ceiling for 2018-19 (assuming a flat cap for that season. It could be higher). When Crosby’s five-year deal kicked in back in 2008-09, it was just over 15 percent of the Penguins’ $56.7 million salary-cap maximum for that season, while Ovechkin’s 13-year contract was worth around 17 percent of the Capitals’ cap ceiling in its first season.
Besides, what are the Oilers to do? Not pay their franchise player top dollar? Play hardball with the guy who could lead them back to championship glory? If they’re willing to pony up over $13 million annually to lock up McDavid during his playing prime, so be it. Should he reach all expectations and take over as the NHL’s top player over that period, it’ll be money well spent.
TSN’s Darren Dreger reports the Ottawa Senators intend to keep defenseman Dion Phaneuf. “Inquiries slowed after the Draft in Chicago and more so once Methot was traded to Dallas.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Phaneuf’s partial no-trade clause also complicated things. Reports indicated the teams with interest in him weren’t on his list of acceptable trade destinations.
OTTAWA SUN: Speaking of the Senators, they re-signed goaltender Mike Condon to a three-year, $7.2 million contract ($2.4 million annual cap hit).
STLTODAY.COM: St. Louis Blues center Patrik Berglund underwent surgery on his left shoulder and will be sidelined until December.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: The Rangers re-signed defenseman Brendan Smith to a four-year, $17.4 million contract. It’s worth an annual cap hit of $4.35 million.
BSN DENVER: The Colorado Avalanche re-signed forward Sven Andrighetto to a two-year, $2.8 million contract.
BOSTON HERALD: The Bruins re-signed forward Noel Acciari to a two-year deal worth $725K per season.
MLIVE.COM: The Detroit Red Wings re-signed defensemen Dylan McIlrath and Brian Lashoff to two-year contracts.
THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks hired Steve Konowalchuk and Mark Morrison as assistant coaches.
TSN: Rick Westhead reports of ongoing internal squabbling within the NHL Players Association. “In front of the 30 players in attendance in downtown Toronto, NHLPA special assistant to the executive director Mathieu Schneider and union lawyer Bruce Meyer condemned player agents Anton Thun, Ritch Winter and Kurt Overhardt, according to sources with knowledge of the meeting.” The trio were accused of “misleading clients when they said the NHLPA has stonewalled requests for information about union finances.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: On the one hand, this could be poisonous for association unity leading up to what could be another nasty labor dispute with the league if either side exercises its early opt-out option from the current collective bargaining agreement in September 2019, which could lead to another lockout a year later. On the other hand, it might be worthwhile to address these disputes now so that they don’t become toxic before squaring off with the league in three year’s time.