NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 10, 2019
An update on CBA negotiations plus the latest on Patrice Bergeron, Max Domi, Pavel Zacha, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NBC SPORTS: The quiet nature of recent labor negotiations between the NHL and NHL Players Association is breeding cautious optimism another work stoppage can be avoided. The NHLPA has until Sept. 15 to opt out of the current agreement effective next September.
The two sides met twice in the past five days and discussions are expected to continue this week. Several players, including Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews and St. Louis Blues center Ryan O’Reilly, are hopeful those discussions could lead to a positive outcome.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s a sense the league and the PA are trying to reach some sort of agreement before Sept. 15. Publicly, both sides claim talks remain cordial and productive. We’ll find out soon enough if anything comes out of these ongoing negotiations. Should the PA pass on the early opt-out, the current CBA will expire on Sept. 2022.
NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Bruins center Patrice Bergeron still feels the effects of a nagging groin injury but expects to be ready when training camp opens this week. He’s not concerned about his readiness for the start of the season. Defenseman John Moore, meanwhile, is still recovering from off-season shoulder surgery and will miss the start of camp.
TVA SPORTS: Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin said he’s had discussions with Max Domi’s representatives regarding a contract extension. The 24-year-old forward will be a restricted free agent next summer with arbitration rights.
In other Canadiens news, they won’t be inviting unrestricted free agent winger Jason Pominville to training camp. Management wants their young players to have a fair chance to crack the roster.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pominville was open to joining the Habs and he’s also hopeful of returning to the Buffalo Sabres. If they’re not interested, he’ll have to consider other options, provided any remain available to him.
NORTHJERSEY.COM: Reports indicate New Jersey Devils center Pavel Zacha signed a one-year contract with KHL team Avangard Omsk but neither club confirmed the signing. The KHL doesn’t include an opt-out clause in their contracts, meaning Zacha would have to play the entire season in Russia.
Devils GM Ray Shero said he didn’t care where Zacha signs as his club still holds the center’s NHL rights. Shero said playing in the KHL isn’t the path he advocates for the restricted free agent, adding it’s a long road back to the NHL.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Shero apparently wasn’t happy with that news, reportedly peppering his response with expletives. Zacha’s representatives could believe signing a KHL contract will pressure Shero into meeting their NHL contract demands. Judging by Shero’s remarks, that tactic may have backfired. He could be losing patience with the 22-year-old Zacha, who has averaged 25 points a year during his three seasons with the Devils.
NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: Former Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik was named to the club’s player development department.
TAMPA BAY TIMES: Long-time Lightning play-by-play broadcaster Rick Peckham will retire at the end of this season.