NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 21, 2018
Wild avoid arbitration with Matt Dumba, updates on Jacob Trouba and Dylan Larkin plus the latest notable contract signings in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
THE ATHLETIC’s Michael Russo cites Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reporting the Minnesota Wild have avoided salary arbitration with defenseman Matt Dumba, signing him to a five-year, $30-million contract. The annual average value is $6 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As per Cap Friendly, Dumba is completing a two-year contract worth $5.1 million. His new deal is worth more in its first season that the entirety of his previous one.
This was Wild general manager Paul Fenton’s first major contract signing since taking over the job in May. Based on Dumba’s breakout performance last season (50 points in 82 games), Fenton apparently believes the 23-year-old has arrived as a productive offensive blueliner.
Despite Dumba’s obvious offensive skills, his defensive play has raised concern in the past. That explains the early criticism of this deal. If he improves over time in his own zone, however, those critics could find his new contract worthwhile.
Dumba’s new contract will push the Wild’s projected cap payroll to over $75.5 million for 2018-19. That won’t leave much for free-agent winger Jason Zucker, whose arbitration hearing is July 28.
WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: The arbitration hearing for Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba was held on Friday. He and the club now await the arbiter’s decision on a one-year contract, which is expected on Sunday. The Jets reportedly sought $4 million while the Trouba camp wanted $7 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s still possible for the two sides to reach an agreement on a contract before the arbiter’s ruling. In this case, however, that might not happen. I’ll have more on Trouba’s status later this morning in the Rumors section.
MLIVE.COM: The Detroit Red Wings are working toward a new, long-term contract with forward Dylan Larkin. The Wings reportedly seek a five-year deal while Larkin wants six years. It’s expected the annual average value will be in the $6-million range.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Doesn’t sound like the two sides are very apart here. Larkin’s new contract could be announced within the next several weeks.
TSN: The Vancouver Canucks avoided arbitration with defenseman Troy Stecher, inking him to a two-year contract worth an annual average value of $2.325 million.
CALGARY SUN: The Flames appear headed to arbitration Monday with defenseman Brett Kulak after he passed unclaimed through waivers on Friday.