NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 19, 2017
Updates on the Columbus Blue Jackets, Boston Bruins and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: While the Blue Jackets still haven’t re-signed restricted free agent forwards Alex Wennberg and Josh Anderson, general manager Jarmo Kekalainen isn’t concerned. He notes both sides are trying to use the current system to their advantage and expects there will be more urgency toward getting these deals done as training camp approaches.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s plenty of time to get these contracts done. Wennberg and Anderson will be re-signed, either before training camp or likely within days of the start of training camp. It’s possible one of them could receive an offer sheet, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.
THE BOSTON GLOBE: The Bruins backup goalie job remains up for grabs between Anton Khudobin, Zane McIntyre and Malcolm Subban.
NBC SPORTS: Center Jori Lehtera hopes his trade from the St. Louis Blues to the Philadelphia Flyers will give him the opportunity for a fresh start. “I have no idea why (the Blues traded me), but I think it’s better for me that I got traded, so I don’t really care why,” Lehtera said. He feels the trade will be good for him.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think the Blues dealt Lehtera because his production declined from his promising 44-point NHL debut in 2014-15.
TORONTO STAR: Damien Cox offers up the Colorado Avalanche as a cautionary tale for teams and fans who believe it’s important for clubs to lock up a young core of stars to expensive long-term contracts.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cox makes some good points, but I also believe it’s important to properly build around the young core and provide them with a solid coaching staff capable of helping that young talent improve. That’s what the Avalanche failed to do with Nathan MacKinnon, Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog. The Edmonton Oilers made a similar mistake earlier in the decade with Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
The Pittsburgh Penguins also locked up Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin to long-term deals earlier in their careers, as did the Chicago Blackhawks with Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews. What they did differently was build up the depth of talent surrounding those players and provide them with solid coaching.
TSN: The California Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board ruled the judge overseeing former NHLer Mike Peluso’s lawsuit didn’t have the ability to impose a “gag order” on him.
THE DENVER POST: The Colorado Eagles will become the AHL’s 31st franchise and the Avalanche’s primary minor-league affiliate.