NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 22, 2017
Tatar & Dzingel re-signed, Wingels injured & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines
THE DETROIT NEWS: Forward Tomas Tatar re-signed a four-year, $21.2 million contract on Friday with the Detroit Red Wings. The two sides had gone to arbitration on July 20 and an arbiter’s decision would’ve come down today.
The annual average cap hit is $5.3 million. “Tatar will earn $6 million this season, $5.5 million the next two seasons, and $4.2 million in the 2020-21 season — with a full no-trade the second year, and partial no-trade in the final two years.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was a reasonable compromise between the two sides, as Tatar reportedly sought a six-year deal worth around $6 million while the Wings countered with a four-year deal worth around $5 million annually.
While the Wings are rebuilding, Tatar expressed his desire to stay in Detroit. Over the past four seasons, the 26-year-old was one of the Wings most consistent players. He’s exceeded 20 goals and 40 points three times. Tatar underwent offseason shoulder surgery but is expected to be fully recovered for training camp.
This signing leaves the Wings sitting over the $75 million salary-cap ceiling by $3 million, though they’re expected to put all-but-retired winger Johan Franzen on long-term injured reserve. I’ll have more on this later this morning in the Rumors section.
OTTAWA CITIZEN: The Ottawa Senators avoided salary arbitration with forward Ryan Dzingel, re-signing him to a two-year, $3.6 million contract.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Blackhawks forward Tommy Wingels fractured his left foot during offseason training. He’ll require six-to-eight weeks of recovery but is expected to be ready for training camp in September.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens season ticket holders who want printed tickets must now fork over an additional $150.00 (plus taxes) per seat. They’ll also have to pay a $100.00 administration fee plus taxes. “In the letter to season-ticket holders, Canadiens management cites security, ease of use and environmental sustainability as reasons for the change. Some fans, however, are calling the new fees a cash grab.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Those season-ticket holders who receive their tickets via smartphone won’t incur these additional fees. Still, not everyone prefers that option. I can certainly understand why some Habs season ticket holders are upset about this. However, it’ll take a significant backlash from those folks to sway the Habs into reversing this new policy.
NBC SPORTS: The decision by NBA Houston Rockets owner Leslie Alexander to sell the franchise could open the door to Houston one day getting an NHL franchise. He owns Houston’s Toyota Center and is considered the biggest reason why the city never got an NHL team. Hisham-handed efforts to purchase the Edmonton Oilers in the late-1990s apparently didn’t sit well with NHL headquarters and a feud with the owner of the AHL’s Houston Aeros, forcing the club to relocate to Des Moines, Iowa.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The NHL won’t be putting a team in Houston anytime soon, but it is a major sports and media market and could be an attractive destination one day for an expansion or relocated franchise. Of course, that’ll also depend on suitable ownership and ensure Alexander won’t block an NHL franchise in his arena for as long as he continues to control the Toyota Center.