NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 20, 2019

by | Aug 20, 2019 | News, NHL | 8 comments

Updates on Nicklas Backstrom, Matthew Tkachuk, Brock Boeser plus the latest contract signings in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

THE ATHLETIC: Nicklas Backstrom hopes to remain with the Washington Capitals for the rest of his career. The 31-year-old center is entering his contract year and spent his entire NHL career to date with the Capitals. He and goaltender Braden Holtby are eligible for unrestricted free agent status next summer but the Capitals have limited salary-cap space for 2020-21.

Nicklas Backstrom hopes to finish his career with the Washington Capitals (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates the Capitals have over $62 million invested in 15 players for ’20-’21. Unless they shed salary they cannot afford to re-sign both players. It’s assumed they’ll retain Backstrom and let Holtby depart via free agency next July.

SPORTSNET: Player agent Don Meehan, who represents Matthew Tkachuk, said they made what they consider a fair offer to the Calgary Flames in early June. He said negotiations are ongoing and he doesn’t anticipate a contract standoff dragging on into the regular season. The Flames have around $7.7 million in salary-cap space.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It will likely cost more than $7.7 million annually to re-sign Tkachuk. Recent speculation suggests the Flames could attempt to trade winger Michael Frolik ($4.3 million) to free up sufficient cap room.

SPORTSNET’s Iain MacIntyre tweets Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning is expected to speak to the media today about his new three-year contract extension. He’ll have nothing new to report on the contract talks with Brock Boeser. “Everyone in NHL seems to be waiting for someone else’s RFA to set market,” writes MacIntyre.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s believed the Boeser camp seeks a multi-year deal worth $7 million annually.

THE ATHLETIC’s Scott Powers reports the Chicago Blackhawks and Brendan Perlini continue to discuss a new contract. Powers cites a source claiming both sides are hopeful of getting a deal done “over the next week or so.”

THE DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche signed winger Valeri Nichushkin to a one-year, one-way contract worth $850K. General manager Joe Sakic considers Nichushkin a big, young winger who will add depth to the Avs roster. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A former Dallas Stars first-round draft pick, Nichushkin struggled to reach expectations following a serious knee injury in his sophomore season. This could be his last chance to continue his NHL career.

NEW YORK POST: The Islanders re-signed forwards Josh Ho-Sang and Michael Dal Colle. Ho-Sang received a one-year, two-way contract while Dal Colle got a two-year, one-way deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Speaking of last chances, this is likely Ho-Sang’s final opportunity to establish himself as an NHL regular with the Islanders.


  1. There is one poster on here who looks “dimly” upon Benning’s extension with nothing new to report either.

  2. Nichuskin signing to me; prudent low risk contract

    If he doesn’t work out; it’s just a 1 year deal and costing just $150K over Min. which you have to pay anyway for a roster spot

    If he does work out and is productive … cheap deal

    Thumbs up Joe

    • worth a “dart” throw for $850k

  3. While we all know the list of unsigned RFAs this summer is filled with top-rated players – for a variety of reasons – that Dal Colle signing by NYI is a bit of a head-scratcher in that you’re left wondering why it took this long, given that, according to CapFriendly, he settled for the almost rock-bottom $700,000 per over 2 years.

    It’s not as if Lamoriello didn’t have plenty of cap space to re-sign him and Beauvillier (who remains unsigned), so you’re left to wonder what he and his agent were seeking.

    This guy – a big 6′ 3″ 205 lb LW, was taken 5th overall in 2014 and while his AHL stats weren’t bad (15g 26a 41 pts in 75 gp in 2016-17 and 18g 16a 34 pts in 38 gp last season. his NHL totals are dismal. Which stands out even more since just about every one else taken in that 1st round in 2014 have become established NHLers.

    Anyone follow the Islanders closely who can comment?

    • My son is an Islanders fan so I follow them kind of closely.
      The deal probably took this long because of quibbling over a second year.
      To say that he has been a disappointment would be a huge understatement. But his AHL play has kind of picked up a bit. So he certainly deserves one more chance. And if he’s just not an NHLer, he’ll be in the minors at no cap hit.
      One thing quite certain us that if by the end of the deal he has not established himself as an NHLer, this will be the last contract he signs with the Isles, or anywhere in the NHL.

      • Thanks Howard. Just judging by his co-draftees that year, and after being taken that high, with Ho-Sang going 28th overall, and in Round 3 taking goalie Ilya Sorokin (still in the KHL) 78th while Brayden Point went 79th to TB, I bet the scouting staff has undergone an overhaul after Lamoriello took over and reviewed their history! 🙂

    • Hi George

      I believe Dal Colle was holding out with Lou for the right to have facial hair.

      Lou has allowed him to wear a soul patch… LOL

      Methinks Howard is bang on with this; the hold out was to get 2 years. Worth the gamble for Lou as…. if Dal Colle takes off it is a steal; if he flat-lines or falls off further; it’s just a league min contract next year. Low risk, possible good return contract.

      Dal Colle wants time to prove himself. All he has to do is show better than a league minimum player and he will be extended in 2 years. If he shows better than that; he could get a good raise in an extension.

      A win win contract IMHO

      Not dissimilar to the Nichuskin low risk signing.

  4. If the granting of 2 years was. indeed, the reason for the delay, then it’s safe to assume that Lou thought long and hard before complying. Even at $700,000! This reminds me a bit of the Nick Paul situation in Ottawa, although in his case he’s had several kicks at the can and, last season in the AHL anyway, appears to have finally gotten into his skull what he needs to do with his 6′ 4″ 230 lb body. And he was a 101st pick overall (by the Stars) the year before!

    This, clearly, is his last chance to show he deserves to stick.