NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 27, 2018

by | May 27, 2018 | News, NHL

Latest on Marc-Andre Fleury, Nikita Kucherov, Brooks Orpik and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: David Schoen profiles Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury and how he quickly became a fan favorite in Las Vegas this season. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fleury became popular with Vegas followers long before his impressive run in this year’s playoffs. He happily embraced the role of the club’s most recognizable star, actively promoting the club in the local community.

No contract extension talks yet between the Tampa Bay Lightning and winger Nikita Kucherov (Photo via NHL Images).

  THE ATHLETIC: Joe Smith reports Nikita Kucherov’s agent, Dan Milstein, said there’s been no contract extension talks yet with the Tampa Bay Lightning. He doesn’t anticipate any discussions until after next season begins. Kucherov becomes a restricted free agent next July.

There’s no acrimony between the two sides. ““He wants to stay in Tampa — he doesn’t want to go anywhere,” Milstein told The Athletic. “Worst-case, it’s arbitration, they’re not going to lose him. Both sides want him to be in Tampa.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It appears Lightning management want to see Kucherov’s performance next season before opening talks on a new contract. He’s been their leading scorer in each of the past three years and steadily improved with each campaign.

Smith indicates there was some concern over his playoff performance this year, especially in the Conference Final. It could also depend upon what the Lightning’s roster looks like at the end of next season, when their free agents also include Brayden Point, Yanni Gourde, Ryan McDonagh, Anton Stralman, Dan Girardi and Braydon Coburn. 

NEW YORK POST: Why was Lou Lamoriello allowed to speak with New York Islanders center John Tavares when Lamoriello was still under contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs? According to Larry Brooks, it was apparently “orchestrated by ownership,” Also, Islanders president/general manager Garth Snow or Leafs president Brendan Shanahan was aware of the agreement. It appears Isles ownership didn’t keep Snow or coach Doug Weight in the loop about their talks with Lamoriello. 

WASHINGTON POST: Brooks Orpik, the only member of the Washington Capitals with Stanley Cup Finals experience, is a big role model for his teammates. 

NBC SPORTS: The success of the Golden Knights in their inaugural season raises the stakes for the NHL’s next expansion franchise. The city of Seattle could be awarded a franchise during a vote next month by the league board of governors.