NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 4, 2017

by | Oct 4, 2017 | News, NHL | 18 comments

Sabres signed Jack Eichel, Penguins & Canucks swing a trade and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

THE BUFFALO NEWS: The Buffalo Sabres signed center Jack Eichel to an eight-year, $80-million contract extension. The new deal begins in 2018-19 and is worth an annual average value of $10 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No surprise here, as it was rumored for months Eichel would get a long-term deal worth around $10 million annually. The second overall pick in the 2015 NHL draft, the 20-year-old center is considered the Sabres’ franchise player. 

Yes, it’s an expensive extension for a young player still on his entry-level contract but I doubt he’ll have any difficulty justifying that deal. Eichel has considerable upside and has yet to hit his playing prime. 

Following the signing, I saw some folks on Twitter criticizing the deal by noting Eichel hasn’t cracked 60 points in a season. That’s overlooking the fact he missed 21 games with a high-ankle sprain at the start of last season. He still finished with 57 points in 61 games, putting him close to a point-per-game pace. If he stays healthy this season, he should reach at least 80 points this season.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: The NHL ruled the Chicago Blackhawks can place winger Marian Hossa on long-term injury reserve for this season. The veteran forward is sidelined with a skin condition related to his hockey gear. Once he’s placed on LTIR, the club can exceed this season’s $75 million cap ceiling to replace him up to his cap hit of $5.275 million.

The Blackhawks will today sign left wing Bryan Bickell to a one-day contract, allowing him to retire with the club. Bickell spent all but one season with the Hawks, winning two Stanley Cups. His career was ended by multiple sclerosis.

SPORTSNET: The league also ruled the Toronto Maple Leafs can placed sidelined winger Joffrey Lupul on LTIR. Lupul, who failed to pass his training-camp physical, also failed a second medical examination. His annual cap hit is $5.25 million.

TRIBLIVE.COM: The PIttsburgh Penguins traded defenseman Derrick Pouliot to the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for  defenseman Andrey Pedan and a fourth-round pick in the 2018 draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This move provides Pouliot an opportunity for a fresh start. He struggled to crack the Penguins roster and could have a better opportunity with the rebuilding Canucks. There was some expectation the Penguins might use Pouliot as a trade chip to bring in a third-line center but GM Jim Rutherford is willing to stick with Greg McKegg and Carter Rowney centering the bottom two lines.

AZCENTRAL.COM: The Arizona Coyotes won’t have a captain for this season, opting instead for three alternates. A source said defensemen Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Niklas Hjalmarsson would be named alternates, with centers Derek Stepan and Brad Richardson and blueliner Alex Goligoski in the running for the third spot. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bit of a surprise move by the Coyotes. It was anticipated Ekman-Larsson will take over the captaincy from now-retired winger Shane Doan. 

CALGARY SUN: The Flames signed gritty winger Tanner Glass to a one-year, $650K contract. 

NBC SPORTS: Washington Capitals winger Tom Wilson received a four-game suspension for boarding St. Louis Blues forward Sammy Blais.

THE DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche claimed defenseman Patrik Nemeth off waivers from the Dallas Stars. 

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: The Vegas Golden Knights plucked goaltender Malcolm Subban off waivers from the Boston Bruins. 



  1. What’s Mathews deal look like if he goes 45-35-80 ? That’s a bit expensive based on results to date , upside is huge though . Mathews will have a big edge in Results to date age bigger upside . If the caps at close to 80 I’m guessing 8×12.

    • He’s not that much older then Mathews. Mathews just missed the same draft as McDavid and Eichle. and was projected that he would go 3rd after Eichle. Don’t be surprised if Eichle gets more points then Mathews this year.

      • I corrected that mistake or tried to haha . That was supposed to read results to date AND bigger upside . I wouldn’t be all that surprised if they both have good seasons but if Mathews goes In to his negotiations with 2 , 40 goal seasons and I’m going to guess 75 / 80 points this year does it matter what eichel does in the year following his signing ? Wouldn’t Mathews agent just point to where his client will be in year 3 ?

      • I think 10.5 has become the bed floor with Mathews hitting his projections this year

      • If Mathews doesn’t ask for or get 12 I’d be shocked

      • If he puts up those numbers, he should get 12m or more. I’d put the odds against him playing 82 games, increasing his goals and assists. Things rarely go that smooth.

  2. And * bigger upside

  3. The Pouliot trade shows how stupid people are to believe rumors. Pouliot for Sheahan, yeah sure. It never made any sense. But hey, it’s a rumor, so it must be true. Just like the one that says that the Pens are dying to get Sheahan. It’s all bunk.

  4. I’m shocked that Vegas took Subban. I know he’s young, but his very limited exposure in the NHL is anything but pretty.

    • McPhee has demonstrated on more than on occasion that he’s 10 lbs shy of a full load as a GM

      • Subban imo is a strange claim for most teams, now Vegas is carrying 5 goalies if I’m not mistaken? And 3 on the NHL roster?

    • I bet Subban gets waived and sent to Vegas’ farm team, just more depth.

      but obviously McPhee overplayed his hand with the defense. yesterday’s roster had 11F and 9D. that will change b4 their first game but McPhee should have done a better job managing his roster. Theodore should NOT be in the minors, he is probably their most talented dman. Trade Merrill to EDM for a pick and waive Reinhart, those guys aren’t that great

      • It didn’t work out but he had to load up on expansion guys somewhere and generally a bottom pairing d is more valuable than a bottom 6 forward. He woulda had extra people somewhere

      • Can he be waived? They can try but isn’t there some caveat attached to plucking someone off waivers? If LV tries what’s to stop Boston from re-claiming him – and then waiving him again so he can go THEIR farm system? The kid would be like the proverbial yo-yo. I think LV has to keep him for some length of time.

  5. If NHL teams are going to give every under 22 entry level RFA who sniffs a PPG $10 million/year contracts, prepare for a 2020 lockout.

    The 60 point criticism is valid and fair. Injuries vs. staying healthy is another indicator of a players worth. If you scored 55 points for your team last season, that was your offensive output plain and simple.

    • Agree on the criticism. It may be a little soon to call with Eichel but it still has to be taken into consideration. See Stamkos, Bishop, etc. Sure Stamkos took a better deal at 8.5 ,But it seems he is making about 500k per game these days.

      • 8.5 in Tampa is worth over 10 in Canada. I think the leafs would have to paid Stamkos 10.5 to match with the tax breaks in Florida.

  6. I love the Eichel contract. It makes the Crosby, Malkin, Kessel and Letang deals look better every day.

    If teams keep paying according to this new higher pay scale, it could extend the Pen’s window of contention longer than it would have otherwise been.


    I’ve suspected for a while that the Canucks do not employ pro scouts and the Derrick Pouliot deal confirms it.

    When we talk about a gritty competitive player who outworks his opponents we say “he wants (wanted) it more than the other guy.”

    Derrick Pouliot is “the other guy”.