NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 17, 2018
Jets re-sign Josh Morrissey plus the latest on Victor Rask, Brent Seabrook, Mika Zibanejad and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
SPORTSNET: The Winnipeg Jets re-signed Josh Morrissey to a two-year contract worth $6.3 million. The annual average value is $3.15 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A reasonable contract for Morrissey coming off his entry-level contract. He quickly blossomed into a reliable top-four defenseman in just two NHL seasons. If he continues to develop as projected he’ll be in line for a considerable raise on his next deal.
Morrissey’s new contract could also affect restricted free agent blueliners such as Edmonton’s Darnell Nurse and Vegas’ Shea Theodore. More on that later this morning in the Rumors section.
THE NEWS & OBSERVER’s Chip Alexander reports Carolina Hurricanes forward Victor Rask could be sidelined for months. He accidentally sliced tendons and fingers on his right hand last week preparing food at home.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A tough break for Rask, who was hoping to bounce back from a 31-point performance last season.
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook returned to the ice Sunday after missing the opening two days of training camp with an abdominal injury.
NEW YORK POST: Rangers center Mika Zibanejad avoided serious injury following a collision with a teammate during a training-camp practice yesterday. He left practice but cleared all concussion testing. Rangers coach David Quinn said Zibanejad had the wind knocked out of him but was otherwise fine.
LA PRESSE: The Montreal Canadiens re-signed assistant coach Kirk Muller to a two-year contract extension.
TSN: Calgary Flames co-owner Clay Riddell passed away on Sunday. He was 81. “Riddell joined Flames ownership in 2003 after spending much of his life building oil and gas companies, including Paramount Resources.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Riddell’s family, friends and the Flames organization.
CALGARY SUN: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said the league’s efforts to grow the game in China doesn’t necessarily mean it will participate in the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. Though Bettman didn’t say the league has slammed the door on the possibility, he said 2022 “is a long ways off and lots of things can happen between now and then.” The NHL declined to participate in the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games, citing the disruption to their regular-season schedule.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The fact Bettman is playing coy about the 2022 Games suggests the folks at NHL headquarters could be willing to take part provided certain conditions are met. While the league made a lot of noise about team owners unhappiness over shuttering the schedule for two-three weeks in midseason for the Olympics, I believe the real reason is they weren’t getting a bigger slice of the Olympic revenue pie. If the International Olympic Committee dangles more cash in front of the NHL, the owners could be more likely to go along.