NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 19, 2019
An update on the Wild’s GM search, the latest on Joe Thornton, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
THE ATHLETIC: In a recent mailbag segment, Michael Russo was asked if it’s down to Bill Guerin or Tom Fitzgerald as general manager of the Minnesota Wild. Guerin is an assistant general manager with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Fitzgerald an assistant GM with the New Jersey Devils.
Fitzgerald interviewed for the job last year before the Wild hired Paul Fenton. Since Fenton’s firing, Russo reports Fitzgerald had just a brief conversation with Wild owner Craig Leipold.
Russo considers Guerin the front-runner for the job. However, he doesn’t rule out Montreal Canadiens assistant GM Scott Mellanby and former Philadelphia Flyers GM Ron Hextall as potential contenders.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s no indication as to when the Wild will hire Fenton’s replacement, though I suspect it could come by early September at the latest. They’ll want the new GM in place to fully assess the roster throughout training camp and preseason play.
NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: San Jose Sharks star Logan Couture believes long-time teammate Joe Thornton will return for another season. “I talked to Joe a month ago and asked him what was going on and he said, ‘Oh don’t worry about it,’ so I took that as he’ll be back,” Couture told NHL.com.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Thornton will be back with the Sharks this season, likely on a one-year, bonus-laden contract.
NBC SPORTS: New Jersey Devils center Nico Hischier could face pressure to improve entering the final season of his three-year entry-level contract. After a promising 52-point debut in 82 games in 2017-18, injury limited Hischier to 47 points in 69 games last season. The good news was his points-per-game rose in ’18-’19 compared to his rookie year.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think Hischier will have his best season yet. Had he not missed 13 games last season he would’ve exceeded his rookie numbers. A healthier campaign will lead to healthier numbers.
THE BUFFALO NEWS: Sabres legends Gilbert Perreault and Rene Robert approve of the club returning to its primary color of royal blue for their 50th anniversary. That was the color the Sabres sported from 1970 to 1996.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Boston Bruins signed former Oilers defenseman Alex Petrovic to a professional tryout offer.