NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 8, 2017
Updates on the Predators & Penguins, arena talk in Calgary & Seattle, Kings re-sign Toffoli & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
THE TENNESSEAN: With the 2017 Stanley Cup Final now down to a “best of three”, winning a game in Pittsburgh, containing Sidney Crosby and steady goaltending from Pekka Rinne will be key factors for the Nashville Predators.
PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Penguins winger Phil Kessel has struggled to score in the Final, but he feels he’s on the verge of breaking his slump.
CALGARY SUN: Flames president of operations Brian Burke raised eyebrows yesterday by stating the club will move if it doesn’t get a new arena. “We’re not going to make the threat to leave. We’ll just leave,” Burke told a business luncheon at the Canadian Club of Calgary Wednesday.
Later in the day, Flames president and CEO Ken King issued a statement saying Burke “is not our spokesperson regarding a new events centre for our city.” King adds the club remains “committed to our dialogue with the City and very optimistic we will get to a positive conclusion. We admire everyone’s enthusiasm on this subject.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Burke is renowned for his blunt, outspoken style so we shouldn’t be surprised that he went off script on this topic. While King’s remarks distanced the club from Burke’s comments, this will be interpreted by Flames fans as an unsubtle attempt to pressure the city of Calgary into ponying up for a new arena.
SEATTLE TIMES: Hollywood film and TV producer Jerry Bruckheimer and billionaire investment banker David Bonderman were introduced yesterday by Seattle Mayor Ed Murray as part of Oak View Group, whose goal is to renovate KeyArena. The group hopes to attract an NHL franchise in the short term and an NBA franchise down the road.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Flames to Seattle, anyone? Just kidding! If this project gets off the ground and turns KeyArena into a viable NHL venue, they could prove enticing to the NHL as an expansion or relocation destination.
NHL.COM: The Los Angeles Kings last night announced the re-signing of forward Tyler Toffoli to a three-year contract worth an annual average value of $4.6 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Toffoli, 25, was a restricted free agent with arbitration rights. He’s among the Kings’ few good young scorers. A solid two-way player, he tallied a career-best 31 goals and 58 points in 2015-16. Injuries limited him this season to 34 points in 63 games, contributing to the Kings’ failure to reach the 2017 playoffs.
This is a good, affordable re-signing by new general manager Rob Blake. I think he sold Toffoli on this deal with the promise of a more lucrative contract in two- or three-years time.
This signing pushes the Kings payroll for 2017-18 to over $67 million invested in 18 players. Toffoli was their most significant free agent this summer. However, they still need to free up some cap space to bolster their scoring punch.
NBC SPORTS: The San Jose Sharks are reportedly close to re-signing goaltender Martin Jones to a contract extension.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Multiple reports claim Ulf Samuelsson has accepted as assistant coach job with the Blackhawks.
SPORTSNET: Newell Brown and Nolan Baumgartner have joined the Vancouver Canucks as assistant coaches.