NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 14, 2018
Latest on Erik Karlsson, Auston Matthews, Justin Williams, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Patrice Bergeron and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: Erik Karlsson is staying mum on the subject of re-signing with the San Jose Sharks, who acquired him yesterday in a blockbuster trade with the Ottawa Senators. Karlsson is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next July. “As of right now, that’s a private discussion, and that’s [not] something I’m going to elaborate on,” he said.
Sharks general manager Doug Wilson remains hopeful of getting Karlsson re-signed. “Yes, it’s a long-term approach and we think Erik fits for us for now, and for a long time,” said Wilson.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Re-signing Karlsson will take a big bite out of the Sharks’ cap payroll. He could command well over $11 million per season on his next contract. Cap Friendly indicates the Sharks have over $53 million invested in 10 players for 2019-20, with Joe Pavelski, Joe Thornton, Joonas Donskoi and Timo Meier also due for new contracts.
TSN: Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews won’t be an alternate captain this season. Leafs coach Mike Babcock indicated John Tavares, Patrick Marleau and Morgan Rielly will be alternates. The club intends to open the season without naming a captain.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some Matthews fans might consider this a sign of disrespect by the Leafs but I doubt he’s very concerned about it. Matthews’ day will come.
THE NEWS & OBSERVER: The Carolina Hurricanes yesterday names Justin Williams as their new team captain. They also revealed forward Victor Rask is sidelined indefinitely after undergoing surgery on his right hand to repair cuts to the fourth and fifth fingers on his right hand while slicing food in his kitchen.
ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes named defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson as their new captain. He’s their first since Shane Doan retired in 2017 and the 16th in franchise history.
OTTAWA SUN: Senators center Jean-Gabriel Pageau could be sidelined for a lengthy period after suffering a suspected Achille’s heel injury during physical testing yesterday. The club intends to reveal more details today.
BOSTON HERALD: Bruins center Patrice Bergeron has been sidelined by back spasm. He’s expected to be back in time to play a couple of preseason contests before the regular season opens next month.
VANCOUVER SUN: The Canucks and right wing Brock Boeser have decided to put off contract talks until the end of the season. Boeser is entering the final season of his entry-level contract and will be a restricted free agent in July.
NEWSDAY: In an essay with The Athletic: New York Islanders goaltender Robin Lehner revealed he was diagnosed earlier this year with bipolar disorder and also underwent treatment for alcohol and pill addiction. “It was extremely hard,” he said of his decision to go public. “The main reason I did it was, hopefully, I will help someone else, maybe someone in the league, maybe someone out there. It has been an emotional couple of days, but I feel good to have it out, ready to move forward and prepare for a fun season.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was brave of Lehner to publicly reveal his condition. I have a family member who is also bipolar and struggled with alcohol abuse as a result of their condition so I understand what Lehner has gone through and the difficulty he faced in acknowledging his situation and seek help. I’m pleased to see that his condition was properly diagnosed and he’s receiving the necessary treatment. Best wishes to Lehner going forward with his playing career and his life.
CBS SPORTS: Speaking of the Islanders, they’re bringing forward Stephen Gionta to training camp on a professional tryout offer.
CALGARY SUN: With most of the Flames roster headed to China for two preseason games against the Boston Bruins, they have invited 10 players to training camp on professional tryout offers. They included goaltender Jeff Glass, defencemen Philip Samuelsson, Viktor Svedberg, Ryan Sproul, Duncan Siemens, Justin Falk and forwards Logan Shaw, Scott Sabourin, Justin Auger and Gilbert Brule.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s doubtful any of these players will be signed by the Flames but their performances could entice other clubs.
Scottie Upshall (knee) fails medical in EDM today.
It does not automatically end his PTO with Oilers. But unable to participate for a few weeks, his opportunity is, for all intents and purposes, expired this fall in EDM.
— Mark Spector (@SportsnetSpec) September 14, 2018