NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 21, 2019
More fallout from the Milan Lucic-for-James Neal trade plus the latest contract signings in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
THE SCORE: James Neal is ready for a fresh start with the Edmonton Oilers following last season’s career-worst performance with the Calgary Flames. On Friday, the Flames traded the 31-year-old right-winger to the Oilers for left winger Milan Lucic.
Neal acknowledged he had a “tough go” in 2018-19. He feels he plays his best hockey when he’s around other players who can move the puck. “For me, I’m a shooter and I do my best hockey when I’m getting open and finding fresh ice.”
Speaking of Lucic, he said former Flames captain Jarome Iginla helped convince him to waive his no-movement clause to accept the trade to Calgary. They’re also former teammates, having played together with the Boston Bruins in 2013-14.
Lucic said he and Iginla had a good talk before he accepted the trade. “He told me what a great hockey town Calgary is, how much the people are behind the Flames. It’s a fan base that loves seeing effort. They obviously want to win, but regardless, they love the heart-and-soul guys, the guys who give their all, who don’t compromise, which I like to think speaks to the way I play.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As I noted in the aftermath of the trade, it’ll be interesting to see which player benefits most from this change of scenery. At least this deal provided a bit of excitement as we enter the dog days of the NHL offseason.
THE NEWS & OBSERVER: The Carolina Hurricanes avoided salary arbitration with forward Brock McGinn, re-signing him to a two-year, $4.2-million contract. “McGinn, 25, will be paid $1.9 million in 2019-20 and $2.3 million in 2020-21.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The annual average value is $2.1 million. That’s around the going rate for a fourth-line NHL forward these days. Cap Friendly indicates the Hurricanes have over $2.4 million in salary-cap space.
DKPITTSBURGHSPORTS.COM: A source claims the Toronto Maple Leafs signed UFA forward Garrett Wilson. He played 50 games with the Penguins last season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Terms of this deal have yet to be disclosed. Given the Leafs’ cap crunch, it’s likely a two-way contract or a league minimum one-way deal that can be easily buried in the minors.
YARDBARKER: Former Minnesota Wild center Eric Fehr signed with Switzerland’s Geneve-Servette HC.
SPORTSNET: The St. Louis Blues re-signed goaltender Ville Husso to a one-year, two-way deal.