NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 19, 2017
Wild re-sign Mikko Koivu, plus updates on Joffrey Lupul, Andrew Shaw & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild yesterday re-signed center Mikko Koivu to a two-year, $11-million contract extension. The annual average salary is $5.5 million. In real salary, the 34-year-old Koivu will earn $6 million next season and $5 million in 2019-20.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This should Koivu, the long-time Wild captain, finishes his career in Minnesota. He was eligible for unrestricted free agency next July. Koivu tallied 58 points last season to finish third among Wild scorers, marking the seventh time in his 12 NHL seasons (all with the Wild) he’s exceeded 50 points.
The cap hit is a little pricey for a player in his mid-thirties as there’s a risk of declining production. However, the term is reasonable and the annual average value is less than his current $6.75 million. No indication yet if the deal comes with no-trade protection.
NBC SPORTS: Toronto Maple Leafs winger Joffrey Lupul has a deadline of 5 pm ET on Thursday to seek a second medical opinion via the NHL Players Association regarding his failed training-camp physical. Lupul recently raised eyebrows with an Instagram comment (now deleted) saying the Leafs had “cheated” with their evaluation of his condition.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: So far, there’s no indication Lupul intends to use that option. The Leafs, the league and the PA have declined to comment. If he’s placed on LTIR he’ll continue to receive his salary for this season, while the Leafs can receive salary-cap relief if necessary to put toward other players.
SPORTSNET: Montreal Canadiens forward Andrew Shaw admitted he should’ve sought medical help for head trauma suffered during the Habs opening-round playoff series last spring against the New York Rangers. Shaw attributes those “bell ringers” for the concussion that sidelined him from Game 6 and affected him until mid-July.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Despite improvement in concussion education in recent years, some players still attempt to hide symptoms in hopes of overcoming the condition on their own. As Shaw indicates, doing so only made his condition worse. A medical staff can only do so much in spotting concussion symptoms. The injured player must acknowledge their condition and seek immediate help.
NEWSDAY: After spending part of last season buried in the minors, New York Islanders goaltender Jaroslav Halak hopes for a bounce-back effort in 2017-18.
TSN: The Detroit Red Wings have reportedly offered restricted free agent forward Andrea Athanasiou a two-year, $3.8 million contract.
NORTHJERSEY.COM: Nico Hischier scored the final goal in the New Jersey Devils 4-1 win over the Washington Capitals in their preseason opener on Monday, Hischier was the first overall selection in the 2017 NHL Draft.