NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 23, 2018

by | May 23, 2018 | News, NHL | 16 comments

Capitals and Lightning prepare for Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final, Sharks and Evander Kane reportedly close to a long-term contract, and much more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

WASHINGTON POST: Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin considers tonight’s Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning as “the biggest game in our life”. In 10 previous Game 7 scenarios during the Ovechkin era, the Capitals won just three of them.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: As the Lightning approach Game 7, they hope to rediscover the strong opening-period form of Game 5, where they scored twice and outshot the Capitals 13-4. “First period of Game 5, bottle that up and do it three times. We should be okay,” said head coach Jon Cooper.

Winger Evander Kane is close to signing a seven-year contract extension with the San Jose Sharks (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s been a terrific series between these two clubs. With a trip to the Stanley Cup Final on the line, Game 7 could be the best of this series. 

NBC SPORTS: Various reports indicate the San Jose Sharks and pending free-agent winger Evander Kane are close to agreement on a seven-year contract worth $49 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: While this deal reportedly isn’t finalized yet, it appears close to being completed. It’ll be a significant pay raise for the 26-year-old Kane, who’s completing a six-year, $31.5-million contract (stick tap to Cap Friendly). This deal would also ensure the draft pick the Sabres received in return will become a first-round selection.

Though Kane was plagued by personal issues in the past, he appears to have put that behind him. He meshed well with the Sharks following his trade from the Buffalo Sabres in late-February. Kane has four 20-goal seasons under his belt and his aggressive physical style made him a good fit in San Jose over the remainder of this season. 

Kane’s reported cap hit would push the Sharks’ cap payroll for next season to over $67 million. That could have an effect upon other possible re-signings, such as veteran center Joe Thornton, as well as any intention they have of being active in this summer’s unrestricted free-agent market. 

NEWSDAY: The New York Islanders formally introduced Lou Lamoriello as their president of hockey operations. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No word from Lamoriello as to what’s in store for general manager Garth Snow or head coach Doug Weight. He also gave no indication as to his roster plans. Given he’s always been reticent, that shouldn’t come as a surprise. Islanders captain (and pending free agent) John Tavares is reportedly pleased by Lamoriello’s hiring. Whether the move convinces him to re-sign with the Isles remains to be seen. 

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs and assistant general manager Mark Hunter have mutually agreed to part ways. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens re-signed backup goaltender Antti Niemi to a one-year, $950K contract. 

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Anaheim Ducks goaltender Ryan Miller underwent surgery last Friday to remove a bone fragment from his left wrist. Recovery time is expected to be six weeks. 

LAS VEGAS REVIEW JOURNAL: Tickets for the first Stanley Cup Final game in Las Vegas are reportedly selling for as much as $10 grand on Stubhub. The average sales price on the site is over $1,100.00.



  1. Always been a Kane supporter, love his style of play and what he brings to the table as a player. However 7yrs @ $7m for a player whose highest point total is 30g and 57pts in 2011-2012 season seem a bit high.
    Last season finished with 29g and 54pts, maybe still more to offer, hopefully he has turned the corner and is now more of a team player and focused on winning.

    • Beware the kovalev effect. Super stud in contract years. Not so much in between

  2. everyone is saying that Tavares should stay with the Isles now that Lamoriello is running the show. But you have to consider, that at 75, LL is only going to be there for a few more seasons; they have no #1 goaltender; they don’t have a #1 d-man; and they have to go back and forth because Brooklyn and Nassau County for the next 3 years, hoping the new arena, which hasn’t even broken ground yet, will be ready for the 2021 season. So there are a lot more issues to consider than just a legend taking over hockey ops, who is a lot closer to the end of his career than the beginning

    I can see Lou acquiring a #1 goalie at the draft, but unless there is a huge surprise goalie available, there isn’t going to be much available. Grubauer or Aaron Dell or Robin Lehner to be acquired as the #1 ? none really inspire much confidence to be the true #1 goalie the Isles need.

    If the Isles somehow sign John Carlson for their top pairing, his advanced stats don’t really show him to be a top #1 d-man.

    so other than team loyalty, not sure that the near future is that promising for JT to re-sign on the Island

    of course the Sharks might not be able to fit him under their cap now, after resigning Kane for $7M per

    • If I’M JT… signing back with NYI would ONLY be for loyalty sake… arena issues; goalie issues; limited # of quality Fwds…. chance at cup in next 5 years …, close to Nil….. money offered basically relatively the same wherever he goes …, if he doesn’t want to move homes he can go to NJ or NYR…he’s no Sal $’s through sponsors won’t change ….NJ young and building …. much closer to cup chance than NYI or NYR…. go for NJ. If he’s real keen on cup very very soon and going to an exciting team where he WILL be made captain…. VGK. Due to cap reasons… can’t see him in T.O. SJ nice fit; but big personal move; less in extra $’S through sponsors ; and would not be captain. IMO….50% chance NJ; 40% VGK; 5% each for SJ and return to NYI

      • How is NJ closer to a cup? That one playoff series loss in the last 6 years? One playoff game won in 6 years doesn’t exactly scream contender. Imo, there was not one single team NJ was getting by in the playoffs this year.

        NJ is far from ideal in so many ways.

      • NJ trending up… NYI and NHR trending down… though I love the moves rangers made… they could be back real quick. I don’t put Jersey much further ahead of them and they have been rebuilding much longer

      • It’s funny, Winnipeg , Calgary and a few other have one good season in recent years and people call them contenders, a perennial contender has one bad season and hits the reset button 2 points out of a playoff and they’re trending downward.

        I believe before they hit the reset button they were definitely heading down. Imo, they’re now trending up. This was the right course of action. They have 2 very good goaltenders on the way, a bunch of picks and prospects on the way, are younger, faster and are more suited for today’s game than they were 3-4 months ago and have a ton of cap space we’ve yet to see what they’ll do with….

        One okay season shouldn’t mean trending up, and one bad shouldn’t mean trending down. I don’t believe NY is cup bound next year, but I also don’t see them as a team like Buffalo, Edmonton etc taking on a a 10 year rebuild.

        Before I say where I think they stand, I’ll wait to see what the roster looks like in September-October. Personally, I think they’re a d-man or 2 away from a playoff team… right now. But we’ll see what changes are made before I make that call.

    • NYI has 1 of the best goalie prospects not playing in the NHL in Sorokin.

      They may not have what you perceive as the ideal #1 but with Leddy & Boychuk they have a #1 offensive pairing Dman in Leddy & a solid 2nd pairing shut down guy in Boychuk. It’s unfortunate they are going to lose de Haan but tons of young Dman ready for more responsibility. Pelech, Morrisey, Pulock, that’s 5 of NYI’s top 6 next season.

      NYI has 2 1sts & 2nds this summer & a solid prospect core. I assume Bellows will step straight into the NHL. Barzal but especially Beauvilier have more to give & Nelson isn’t yet fully developed.

      This roster isn’t as bad as it appears & NYI has a ton of cap space even if they resign Tavares.

      • I still think overall …. going to NJ or VGK …. way more attractive …. if it comes down to $’s (with all else equal)… most tax friendly states …. franchises in TB, FLA, Dal, Nsh, VGK gain JT Closing in on $1M annually over NYI or NYR and a little bit less gain over NJ. VGK and Nsh already contenders; VGK brand new arena; fan frenzy; and very good sponsor $’s avail ; would be automatic captain. Again IMO …. 90% chance JT signs with either NJ or VGK. I’d love to see him on VGK.

      • Yeah, nothing is more attractive than living in sunny Newark…. said no person ever! Lmao.

      • living anywhere in metro ny makes me want to gag in my mouth… human cesspool… though I feel that way about any huge city. hell… Pittsburgh is barely tolerable as it is too big.

        anyway point is too each their own.

      • Obviously you’ve never been 30-45 minutes north of the city . Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess are spitting distance from the city, and you’d think you were a 1000 miles from the city.

        I get that City life isn’t for everyone… but … Manhattan a cesspool? Yikes! Most cesspool cities can’t get 3-7k a month for a studio apartment that’s smaller than my master bedroom closet!

        I think given the opportunity, most people would chose Manhattan or Brooklyn over Pittsburgh. Let’s be realistic here….

      • I pay a mortgage of 900 a month ten minutes from downtown pburgh for a nice 3 bedroom 2 bath with a nice yard. Give me that over Manhattan 3-7 thousand closet anyway. At least until I retire to my cabin in the central pa mountains in 20 years

    • More than loyalty if he stays… he could be very comfortable in his home and not want to move… does he have kids? Moving is a big deal for them. comfortable with his teammates? lots of reasons not to want to uproot.

      • Hi Chrisms
        If JT signs with either NJ or NYR …. he won’t move homes. I don’t think he has kids yet. The home move only happens if he signs outside of the NYI, NYR, NJ triangle…I’m sticking with 90% chance of not being back with NYI

  3. as a Devils fan, I like what Pengy is selling 🙂