NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 30, 2018
Latest on Martin Brodeur, Wayne Simmonds, Jack Johnson, Brett Connolly and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NJ.COM: The New Jersey Devils yesterday announced Martin Brodeur was returning to the club as their new executive vice president of business development. Brodeur spent all but one of his 22 NHL seasons with the Devils during his Hall of Fame career. He recently left the St. Louis Blues after spending several seasons as their assistant general manager.
NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Flyers winger Wayne Simmonds believes his agent and Flyers GM Ron Hextall have had preliminary discussions regarding a new contract. For now, he’s focusing on returning healthy for the upcoming season after recovering from offseason pelvic surgery. Hextall has said several times he’d like to re-sign Simmonds, who’s eligible to become an unrestricted free agent next summer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers could take a “wait-and-see” approach with Simmonds to assess his performance in the coming season before getting down to serious contract talks.
THE ATHLETIC (Subscription required): Defenseman Jack Johnson is keeping mum over his final days with the Columbus Blue Jackets but he’s very happy to be a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins, who signed him as an unrestricted free agent earlier this summer. Johnson was a healthy scratch during the Blue Jackets first-round playoff series last spring against the Washington Capitals.
WASHINGTON POST: Capitals winger Brett Connolly said he won’t be joining his teammates during their visit to the White House commemorating their Stanley Cup championship. Connolly said it had nothing to do with politics, adding he wouldn’t be surprised if several other teammates also didn’t go. Connolly joins Devante Smith-Pelly in skipping the event. The Capitals have yet to receive a formal invitation from the White House. “Everyone is entitled to their opinion,” said Connolly, who added his decision was “about what’s right and what’s wrong and we’ll leave it at that.”
CALGARY SUN: Former Flames forward Matt Stajan has signed with Red Bull Munchen of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga. Stajan spent 15 NHL seasons with the Flames and Toronto Maple Leafs.
THE SCORE: Former San Jose Sharks winger Joel Ward remains hopeful of landing with another NHL club when training camp opens in two weeks time. Heading to Europe isn’t something he’s put at the top of his minds.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Age and injuries took a toll on the 37-year-old Ward last season. He could end up on a professional tryout offer if he hopes to secure an NHL job for 2018-19.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Tod Leiweke, the president and CEO of the group heading up Seattle’s NHL bid, said they will be meeting with league executives in early-October to begin the process of getting approval to become the NHL’s 32nd franchise. If all goes well, the y could make their pitch before the league board of governors in December.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If approved, the first season for a Seattle franchise would be 2020-21.
SPORTSNET: NHL teams apparently take a dim view of players spending too much of their free time playing video games, especially the game Fortnite. Excessive gaming is considered an unnecessary addictive distraction that hampers a player’s development.