NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 27, 2018

by | Jun 27, 2018 | News, NHL | 9 comments

Hockey Hall of Fame class of 2018 revealed, latest notable contract signings and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Goaltender Martin Brodeur, forward Martin O’Ree, right wing Willie O’Ree. Russian forward Alexander Yakushev, women’s hockey forward Jayna Hefford and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman were selected for induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame. 

Goaltending great Martin Brodeur is among the Hockey Hall of Fame’s Class of 2018 (Photo via NHL.com)

Brodeur holds several NHL goaltending records, including most victories and shutouts, and won three Stanley Cups with the New Jersey Devils. St. Louis is a two-time winner of the Art Ross Trophy and won a Stanley Cup with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

O’Ree was the first black player in NHL history and became an inspiration for many aspiring black players. Yakushev was a high-scoring forward known to North American hockey fans for his play with the Soviet Union all-stars in the 1972 Summit Series. Hefford won four Olympic gold medals for Canada in women’s hockey.

Under Bettman’s watch, the NHL has broaden in popularity and become a more global sport. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to the class of 2018. No surprise to me that Brodeur and St. Louis were inducted this year. The elections of O’Ree and Yakushev were long overdue, especially for the trailblazing O’Ree, who also had a long and productive career at the minor league level. Hefford was a pioneer of women’s hockey and a key reason behind Canada’s success in international competition.

Bettman has significantly contributed to improving the NHL product, expanding its popularity and increasing its revenues. However, his constant labor battles with the NHLPA (including three lockouts) and his reluctance to acknowledge the link between head trauma and CTE tarnish his legacy. Former players Nick Boynton and Dan Carcillo, who are suing the league for what they claim was its failure to warn them of the long-term effects of head trauma, weren’t pleased with Bettman’s induction into the Hall. 

TAMPA BAY TIMES: The Lightning re-signed forward J.T. Miller to a five-year contract worth $26.25 million. The annual average value is $5.25 million and the deal also includes a modified no-trade clause that kicks in next July 1. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Miller’s production has steadily increased over the past three years, rising from 43 and 56 points in 2015-16 and 2016-17 to a career-high 58 points split between the Lightning and New York Rangers this season. This deal locks up the 25-year-old through his playing prime. 

TRIBLIVE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins re-signed winger Bryan Rust to a four-year, $14-million contract. The 26-year-old’s new contract counts as $3.5 million per season against the salary cap. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The length of this deal raised a few eyebrows, as Rust was considered among the Penguins’ potential trade candidates following their second-round playoff elimination by the Washington Capitals. This signing leaves the Penguins with about $4.25-million in cap space.

OTTAWA CITIZEN: The Senators yesterday placed forward Alex Burrows on unconditional waivers for the purpose of buying out the final year of his contract. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Because Burrows was over 35 when he signed this contract, the Senators won’t receive any cap relief from this buyout. 

TSN: The Vancouver Canucks re-signed defenseman Derrick Pouliot to a one-year, $1.1-million contract 

TVA SPORTS’ Renaud Lavoie reports the Winnipeg Jets re-signed defenseman Joe Morrow to a one-year, $1 million contract. 

TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild have hired Tom Kurvers as assistant general manager. 

LOS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: The Vegas Golden Knights are suing StubHub “alleging the resale ticketing site owes the team almost $1.5 million in playoff ticket sales profits.”



  1. Bettmans integrity should always be questioned after inventing an excuse for allowing the infamous ‘skate in the crease’ for the Star’s against the Sabres! It was a long time ago, but it showed how unethical he is.

  2. Congrats to Brodeur, Willy O’Ree, Martin St. Louis, Jayna Hefferd, and Alexander Yakushev.

    sorry but I just can’t bring myself to congratulate Bettman.

    I had see the announcement last night but they were listing the inductees this morning on the Radio (on my way to work) and from the tone of the reporter, you could hear that he was big time peeved that Bettman got acknowledged.

    This was a huge shocker to me.

    There is a very good reason that he is massively booed every single place he goes.

    The lock-outs are what turned my crank the most. Once bitten …. and all that

    another is his pigheaded style– refusing to admit his mistake at the expense of the entire league , players, fans etc …. He should have allowed a move from Phoenix, years ago. A move to any city that is currently on the “wait” list and the negative draw of league revenues would have been reversed and made into a contributor to League Rev sharing.

    From the announcement that he will be in the 2018 class, there is proof that there are others who do not see it the way I do– in fact it must have been a majority of the elections committee— I am just gobsmacked

    Life however, goes on

  3. I must have missed the announcement of Bettman’s retirement. Why wasn’t Sidney Crosby on the ballot? Or Alex Ovechkin? The entire process stinks to high heaven. Does Bettman have no pride or self-decency?

    • Yeah I actually googled to make sure I didn’t miss it sometime. Nope he’s just a jackass who thinks he should be in the HHOF despite not having retired.

      If he is so deserving wave the waiting period once he has retired but to indict him now is such a joke!

    • Yeah, it’s the Builder category. You don’t have to be retired to be elected. See Lamoriello, Fletcher, Sather, etc.

  4. Bettman is the third best commissioner in sports history after Rozelle and Stern. No idea why he gets the enmity he does.

    But its especially vulgar from Penguin’s fans (or Preds or Yotes or Sens, too actually). Bettman is the ONLY reason we still have a team.

    The ONLY reason.

    Yinzer hero worship rewrote the history in real time, but Mario tried to sell the team twice. Once to a man who he called a friend who later ended up (might still be there) in federal prison for fraud. The other was Jim Balsillie when EVERYONE on the planet knew what Balsillie would do with the team (move it to Ontario). Bettman stopped both sales.

    Yet our moron media (especially DK) makes Mario out to be Jesus and Bettman into Satan. Whatever.


    It’s hard to get me to lose my sympathy for people with brain injuries…Daniel Carcillo really really needs to shut up. He could not be hurting his cause more.

    WHAT information did Bettman (as if Bettman and the NHL had a monopoly on brain science that no one else knew or could know) withhold from them?

    That getting hit in the head was not good/bad for you?

    We knew that. Ask Muhammad Ali.

    *Wrong sport, but on topic…

    The news that a 21 year old college QB who killed himself had CTE is both the worst news for sports and the best news for sports leagues (specifically their owner’s wallets) themselves.

    The NFL, NHL, etc can now argue that players developed CTE long before joining their leagues and there is no way to disprove it.

  5. In 10 years when MLS is more popular than the NHL will anyone be crediting Bettman for the so called “growth” he oversaw?

  6. Congratulations Gary. For all the hate you get you turned a 400 million business into a 3 billion. Created 350 more jobs. Well done.

    • Wow, a 7.5X increase over how long? The NFL went from like 4.5 billion to 80+ billion over the same period.