NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 13, 2018
Austin Watson receives 27-game suspension, Blue Jackets re-sign John Tortorella plus updates on Jake Allen, Marian Gaborik and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
THE TENNESSEAN: Nashville Predators forward Austin Watson received a 27-game suspension from the NHL following its investigation after he pleaded no contest in July to misdemeanor domestic assault.
SPORTSNET’s Chris Johnston reports the NHL Players Association will file an appeal on Watson’s behalf.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The appeal will likely be for a reduction in the length of Watson’s suspension rather than overturning the league’s decision. In the wake of domestic assault cases involving NHL players (Semyon Varlamov, Slava Voynov) in recent years, the league is sending a clear message it won’t tolerate such behavior. Because Watson’s not one of the Predators’ core players, his absence likely won’t adversely affect their on-ice performance.
STLTODAY.COM: Back spasms are expected to sideline St. Louis Blues goaltender Jake Allen for 10-to-14 days.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s a good opportunity for the Blues’ goalie prospects to catch the eye of the coaching staff in Allen’s absence.
Speaking of the Blues, they re-signed defenseman Jordan Schmaltz to a two-year contract. It’s a two-way deal for the upcoming season, paying him $700K at the NHL level.
SPORTSNET: The Columbus Blue Jackets re-signed head coach John Tortorella to a two-year contract extension.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tortorella’s done a good job turning the Blue Jackets from a bottom feeder into a perennial playoff team. This extension expresses the front office’s confidence in his ability to guide them into Stanley Cup contenders.
OTTAWA SUN: Senators winger Marian Gaborik still hasn’t been medically cleared to play and it’s uncertain if he’ll suit up this season. He had surgery earlier this year to repair a herniated disc.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Injuries have hampered Gaborik throughout his career. Cap Friendly indicates he’s signed through 2020-21 with an annual salary-cap hit of $4.875 million. The Senators will likely place him on long-term injured reserve to start the season.
TSN: The Humboldt Broncos played their first game since a bus accident last April killed 16 and injured 13. The Broncos lost 2-1 to the Nipawin Hawks, last year’s Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League champions. The Broncos were on route to meet the Hawks in a playoff game when the tragedy took place. “Brayden Camrud and Derek Patter are the only two players who were involved in the crash and are back on the Broncos this season.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: An emotional night for the Broncos, the families of the dead and the survivors, and the town of Humboldt. Best of luck to everyone this season.