NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 11, 2019
The latest on Johnny Gaudreau, Robin Lehner, Kevin Labanc, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
THE SCORE: Calgary Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau believes his club’s recent acquisition of Milan Lucic brings a much-needed physical element to the lineup that can “push us over the edge here.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: By over the edge, Gaudreau is suggesting toward Stanley Cup contention. If we were talking about Lucic from four or five years ago, I’d agree with that assessment.
Unfortunately, Lucic’s performance declined over the last two seasons, so much so that most analysts panned the Flames for acquiring him. Maybe Lucic can regain some of his once-dominant form in Calgary but most observers doubt it.
NEW YORK POST: Former New York Islanders goaltender Robin Lehner received his replica Masterton Trophy, which indicated he played for the New York Rangers last season. Lehner, 28, signed a one-year contract with the Chicago Blackhawks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: An unfortunate engraving mistake that I’m sure the league will be happy to correct. At least Lehner was able to get a bit of a laugh out of it…
You had one job…🤔 pic.twitter.com/fmzYQWKuFf
— Robin Lehner (@RobinLehner) August 10, 2019
NHL.COM: Kevin Labanc admitted putting his team first when he signed a one-year contract with the San Jose Sharks well below market value. By playing an enhanced role this season, he expects to play well enough to earn a more lucrative contract next summer. He’ll become a restricted free agent with arbitration rights at the end of this season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Labanc’s contract raise eyebrows and even some accusations of collusion.Some even criticized the winger, suggesting he risked hurting his value if he should become sidelined or his play unexpectedly declines.
Labanc is taking the long view here. If he has a career-best performance in 2019-20, he’ll be in line for a significant raise on a long-term deal with the hammer of arbitration backing him up.
THE SCORE: NHL broadcaster Mike “Doc” Emrick will be enshrined into the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame. “Emrick has called NHL games for nearly 40 years, including 14 Stanley Cup Finals as lead announcer for NBC, Versus, FOX, and ESPN.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations, Doc! Well deserved.