NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 20, 2018
Updates on Wayne Simmonds, Niklas Kronwall, Scottie Upshall and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Having recovered from offseason pelvic surgery, Flyers winger Wayne Simmonds expects a strong bounce-back performance in 2018-19. He’s got additional motivation, as he’s heading into his contract year and will be eligible for unrestricted free agent status next July. The Flyers could take a wait-and-see approach this season before deciding if they’ll re-sign him.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Simmonds loves being a Flyer, the club wants to keep him and the Philadelphia fans love him. If he regains his physical 30-goal style in 2018-19, the Flyers will do all they can to keep him in the fold. A return to form will put Simmonds in line for a hefty raise over his current $3.975-million annual cap.
NHL.COM: Detroit Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall said the upcoming season could be his last in the NHL. The 37-year-old blueliner is feeling the effects of age and the physical toll of his 874 career NHL games, all spent in Detroit. Kronwall is in the final season of his seven-year contract and admits there’s been no extension talks thus far.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Barring a significant resurgence in Kronwall’s performance, this season is likely his last. He carries a modified no-trade clause listing 10 clubs he can be traded to, but he doesn’t sound as though he’s keen on the thought of playing elsewhere.
NBC SPORTS: New York Islanders goaltender Robin Lehner is facing a make-or-break campaign in 2018-19. He’s struggled to establish himself as a starter and is now on his third NHL club in five years. He signed a one-year contract with the Isles last month as an unrestricted free agent.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers signed forward Scottie Upshall to a professional tryout offer.
THE BOSTON GLOBE: Bruins forward Anders Bjork is ahead of schedule in his recovery from shoulder surgery. He’s expected to suit up in a rookie tournament early next month.