NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 1, 2017
Blue Jackets re-sign Tortorella, Sabres re-up Beaulieu and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: The Blue Jackets signed head coach John Tortorella to a one-year contract extension stretching through 2018-19. Financial terms weren’t disclosed but the deal spares Tortorellia and the Jackets the awkward situation of having him enter this season in the final year of his current deal. Tortorella won the Jack Adams Award as NHL coach of the year for 2016-17, marking the second time he’s won that honor.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tortorella is earning $2 million per season on his current deal. Coming off his award-winning performance in 2016-17, it was assumed he would ink a lucrative long-term deal with the Jackets. Perhaps both sides agreed to take a “wait-and-see” approach. Should the Jackets continue to thrive under Tortorella’s tutelage, it’s a safe bet they will lock him up long term.
WGR 550: The Buffalo Sabres avoided salary arbitration with defenseman Nathan Beaulieu, signing him to a two-year contract worth an annual average value of $2.4 million. The Sabres acquired Beaulieu in June from the Montreal Canadiens.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Beaulieu now has the opportunity to become a top-four defenseman with the Sabres.
Speaking of the Canadiens, former Habs defenseman Andrei Markov signed a two-year contract with the KHL’s AK Bars Kazan.
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: Defenseman Nate Schmidt hopes to re-sign with the Vegas Golden Knights before his arbitration hearing on Thursday. The Golden Knights selected Schmidt from the Washington Capitals during the expansion draft in June.
SPORTSNET’S Elliotte Friedman reports the New York Islanders and defenseman Calvin de Haan have made their salary pitches prior to his arbitration hearing on Wednesday. The Isles are offering $1.95 million while de Haan seeks $5 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Isles offer is ridiculously low, as de Haan earned $1.966 million annually on his previous contract. The blueliner’s asking price, however, is way too high. I think they’ll end up settling for around $3.8 million per season.
THE PLAYERS’ TRIBUNE: Now-retired winger Bryan Bickell reflects on his NHL career. He was forced into retirement because of multiple sclerosis.
NBC SPORTS: released their 2017-18 NHL television schedule. “The Blackhawks lead all clubs with 17 total appearances on NBC and NBCSN, followed by the Penguins and Flyers with 16, and the Capitals, Red Wings, and Bruins with 15 appearances apiece, respectively.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fans of other clubs will complain about NBC showing favoritism toward those clubs but the network goes where the ratings are. Like it or not, those teams usually attract the highest ratings.
MLIVE.COM: A recent fan survey by The Hockey News reveals Detroit Red Wings fans have lost faith in the club’s management. The Wings “finished dead last when it came to each team’s fan base” while its front office ranked 29th.