NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 1, 2018
Sharks re-sign Logan Couture, James van Riemsdyk heading to Philadelphia, Mike Green returns with the Red Wings. Details and more on the early news of the NHL’s opening day of free agency in your morning coffee headlines.
**Follow this link to check out the listing of today’s notables UFA signings**
NBC SPORTS: Reports indicated the San Jose Sharks and center Logan Couture have finalized an eight-year, $64-million contract extension that he’ll officially sign today. The annual average value is $8 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Couture has a year remaining on his current contract worth an AAV of $6 million. It’s a big pay bump for Couture, who’s exceeded 50 points in six of of his 10 NHL seasons. He’s among the Sharks core players but will also be 30-year-old when this new contract kicks in. That cap hit could become troublesome over the final four years of his deal as his performance begins to decline.
NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: James van Riemsdyk is reportedly returning to the Philadelphia Flyers, as sources claim he’s signed a five-year, $35-million contract. The annual salary-cap hit is $7 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: van Riemsdyk began his NHL career with the Flyers, playing three seasons with them before being deal to the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2012 for Luke Schenn. Cap Friendly indicates the Flyers have over $57 million invested in 17 players, so adding JvR pushes their cap payroll to over $64 million.
The Flyers still have plenty of room for other additions, but one wonders if this move suggests Wayne Simmonds, who has a year left on his contract and is recovering from offseason surgery, might get dealt this summer. The Flyers can afford to re-sign Simmonds but his name has surfaced in trade rumors in recent weeks.
THE DETROIT NEWS: Defenseman Mike Green is expected to forego unrestricted free agency and sign a two-year, $10.75-million ($5.375 million AAV) with the Red Wings. The Wings are also reportedly signing former Colorado Avalanche goaltender Jonathan Bernier to a three-year deal worth $3 million annually.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Green is accepting slightly less money than his previous annual cap hit ($6 million) to stay in Detroit. He was considered the best defenseman potentially available via free agency after John Carlson re-signed with the Washington Capitals last week. The depth in quality UFA defenseman has significantly thinned with Carlson and Green off the market.
TSN: Darren Dreger reports the Vegas Golden Knights have re-signed winger Ryan Reaves to a two-year deal worth $2.775 million annually.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Holy overpayment, Batman! That’s a big raise for a fourth-line grit player. Reaves definitely capitalized on his solid playoff performance this spring but it remains to be seen if he can maintain that form. At least it’s a short-term deal and the Golden Knights have the cap space to afford this.
The Montreal Canadiens yesterday placed goaltender Steve Mason on unconditional waivers for the purpose of a contract buyout. They acquired Mason from the Winnipeg Jets in a deal that also brought them forward Joel Armia and two draft picks.
TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild placed forward Tyler Ennis on unconditional waivers for buyout purposes.
DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Dallas Stars reportedly have an agreement with former Boston Bruins goaltender Anton Khudobin on a two-year deal. Meanwhile, former Stars forward Antoine Roussel is reportedly close to a four-year deal with the Vancouver Canucks worth just over $3 million annually while the Minnesota Wild are expected to sign former Stars defenseman Greg Pateryn.
NJ.COM: The New Jersey Devils re-signed goaltender Eddie Lack to a one-year, $650K contract.
Brandon Pirri signed a one year extension with the Golden Knights at $650 000 ($250 000 AHL)
— Renaud Lavoie (@renlavoietva) June 30, 2018