NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 17, 2017

by | Jul 17, 2017 | News, NHL | 8 comments

The Columbus Blue Jackets will find it expensive to re-sign head coach John Tortorella.

Updates on John Tortorella, Brandon Pirri and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: The Blue Jackets could end up paying head coach John Tortorella $3.5 million (or more) per season to re-sign him. Agent Neil Glasberg, who represents Tortorella, believes his client should be among the NHL’s highest-paid bench bosses, citing his Jack Adams Award win this year and his role in guiding the Jackets to their best season in franchise history. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jackets got Tortorella on the cheap when they hired him in October 2015. They’re paying only $750K of the $2 million annual salary he’s currently earning on the five-year contract he originally signed with the Vancouver Canucks. It will cost them much more to keep him behind the bench. 

TRIBLIVE.COM: Speaking of head coaches, this summer saw a number of rookies getting hired by several clubs. The first timers include Rick Tocchet (Arizona), Phil Housley (Buffalo), Bob Boughner (Florida) and Vancouver (Travis Green). The four are also former players who moved on to become assistant coaches at the NHL level or head coaches in the minors. 

UPDATE: Tocchet in fact was a head coach with the Lightning, first on an interim basis in 2008 and later became their full-time bench boss in 2009. He was relieved of his duties a year later. 

SWISSHOCKEY NEWS: Former New York Rangers forward Brandon Pirri has reportedly joined the ZSC Lions. He would be the second former Blueshirt to sign with the Lions, following defenseman Kevin Klein. 

EDMONTON SUN: The Oilers signed defenseman Dillon Simpson to a one-year, two-way contract worth $675K at the NHL leve, . The 24-year-old, who played three games with the Oilers last season, is the son of hockey analyst and former Edmonton forward Craig Simpson. 

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Legendary sportscaster Bob Wolff passed away Sunday at age 96. “He was a broadcaster at Madison Square Garden for more than 50 years, calling Rangers and Knicks games.” He also holds the record for the longest sportscasting career, 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Wolff’s family and friends. 



  1. didn’t Tocchet coach the Lightning ? so he’s not a rookie coach

    • Noted, thanks.

    • Assistant coach with Colorado 2002–03 – assistant coach with the Coyotes 2005 and from Dec 15 to 28 was interim head coach replacing Gretzky; hired as associate coach in TB in July 2008 and in Nov was named interim head coach replacing Barry Melrose – in May 2009 he became head coach on a 2-year deal – fired in April 2010; in June 2014 became an assistant coach with the Pens.

      So, not, he is hardly a rookie in that regard.

  2. Buyer beware with torts. He wears out his welcome hard and quick usually…

    • That thought crossed my mind when I heard Columbus had hired him – but I have to say he showed no sign of the “old Tortorella” at any stage this past season. Maybe – just maybe – he’s learned his lesson and how to control his temper.

      • at the tender ol age of 50 something? not saying its impossible but I doubt it.

  3. A Torts spots never change – Columbus beware.

  4. I believe Vin Scully owns the record for the longest broadcasting career. When he retired from the Dodgers last year it was his 67th year broadcasting Dodger games.