NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 29, 2018
Rick Nash facing uncertain future, Capitals to re-sign Michal Kempny, an update on Auston Watson and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: The agent for Boston Bruins pending free agent winger Rick Nash said his client remains undecided over continuing his playing career. Five teams were reportedly interested in signing Nash but they’ve been made aware of his situation. He has decided to withdraw himself from the start of the UFA signing season to ponder his future. Health is his primary concern as he’s suffered several concussions during his player career.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It could take some time for Nash to decide if he’ll retire or continue his playing career. A final decision could come by late-August or early-September before the start of training camp.
NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: The Capitals are reportedly on the verge of re-signing defenseman Michal Kempny to a multi-year contract. Terms have yet to be disclosed.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks in February, Kempny went on to earn top-pairing minutes with the Capitals during the playoffs. His addition played a crucial role in their march to the Stanley Cup this spring. He is coming off a one-year, $900K contract.
THE TENNESSEAN: The domestic assault hearing for Nashville Predators forward Austin Watson has been postponed to July 24. He was arrested and charged on June 16.
OTTAWA CITIZEN: The NHL and the Senators are denying a report claiming the club’s owner, Eugene Melnyk, was attempting to sell the franchise. “Eugene has no interest in selling the Senators,” said league deputy commissioner Bill Daly. “Offers are made for NHL teams all the time. Doesn’t really mean anything.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The speculation was sparked by the Senators recently completing a $135-million refinancing of a six-year debt “with a syndicate of financial institutions.” Media consensus suggests this is proof Melnyk doesn’t intend on selling the club anytime soon.
SPORTNET: The Toronto Maple Leafs yesterday announced “Dave Morrison has been promoted to Director of Player Personnel, Troy Bodie has been promoted to Director of Pro Scouting and Wes Clark has been hired as Assistant Director of Player Personnel.”
THE ATHLETIC’S James Mirtle reports “Jacques Lemaire, Jacques Caron, Nikolai Ladygin, Evgeny Namestnikov and Tommy Albelin have all left the organization.”
ARIZONA SPORTS: To no one’s surprise, the Arizona Coyotes’ salary-cap payroll for next season will be near the $58.8-million cap minimum.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Steve Rosenbloom laments the fact former Blackhawks star Steve Larmer was once again passed over for selection to the Hockey Hall of Fame. In 15 NHL seasons (13 with the Blackhawks), he amassed 441 goals and 1,012 points in 1,006 games. He won the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year in 1982-83 and a Stanley Cup with the New York Rangers in 1994.