NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 17, 2019
The NHLPA won’t opt out of the current collective bargaining agreement, the Canucks re-sign Brock Boeser, the Flyers re-up Travis Konecny, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
THE SCORE: The National Hockey League Players Association announced it won’t exercise its option to reopen the collective bargaining agreement. The decision means the CBA will remain in effect until Sept. 15, 2022.
In a statement, PA executive director Donald Fehr said the players still have concerns about the current agreement. However, they are engaged in discussions with the league to address those issues.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the league having already decided late last month not to exercise its own early opt-out, the PA obviously felt doing so would be counterproductive. Taking the early out would’ve given the PA some leverage as it would’ve set a target date of next September 15 to get a deal done. That tactic, however, risked derailing the current negotiations. It could’ve antagonized league commissioner Gary Bettman and the team owners into taking a more hardline approach.
The PA’s decision ensures labor peace for three more years but the two sides must still hammer out a new CBA or an extension of the current one. Given the positive tone and lack of rancor of the current discussions, perhaps a deal will be worked out by the end of this season.
VANCOUVER SUN: The Canucks last night re-signed Brock Boeser to a three-year contract with an annual average value of $5.875 million. The 22-year-old winger will make $4 million this season, US$6.125 million in 2020-21 and US$7.5 million in 2021-22.
The Canucks will have to tender a $7.5 million qualifying offer to Boeser at the end of his deal. However, they can avoid that by taking him to arbitration, meaning the qualifying offer would be reduced by 15 percent to $6.375 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates the Canucks sit above the $81.5-million salary cap by over $1.7 million. They could shed that by trading a salaried player or two or demoting them to the minors.
As for Boeser, he’s accepting less money now on a bridge deal but could be in line for a more lucrative long-term contract in three years. If he overcomes his early injury history and continues blossoming as a scoring winger, I doubt the Canucks will take him to arbitration at the end of this contract. Indeed, they could look at locking him up to an extension by the summer of 2021.
NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: The Flyers yesterday re-signed Travis Konecny to a six-year, $33-million contract. The annual average value is $5.5 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is a good deal for both sides. Konecny, 22, is coming off consecutive 24-goal campaign, earning himself the security of a profitable long-term deal. If he continues to improve, it’ll be a bargain for the Flyers.
NHL.COM: Jack Hughes scored twice in his first NHL preseason game, including the winner in overtime, to lead the New Jersey Devils to a 4-3 victory over the Boston Bruins. Hughes was the first-overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft.
TSN: Mitch Marner’s agent Darren Ferris claimed the Toronto Maple Leafs winger received two different offer sheets this summer. He declined both because he wanted to stay with the Leafs. Marner recently re-signed a six-year contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: One of those offers came from an Eastern Conference club. I’ll have more later this morning in the Rumors section.
TORONTO SUN: Leafs goaltender Michal Neuvirth has been slowed by what coach Mike Babcock called body soreness.
TWINCITIES.COM: Minnesota Wild captain Mikko Koivu scrimmaged with the club for the first time since tearing the ACL in his left knee in February. He’s hoping to return to action in a preseason game later this week.
THE DETROIT NEWS: An autopsy on former NHL forward Greg Johnson revealed he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head on July 7 at his home in Rochester, Michigan at age 47.
Interesting fact about the McAvoy contract in comparison to Werenski (CBJ) and Meier (SJS), two other RFAs who signed this off-season with a significant increase in the base salary of their final contract year pic.twitter.com/aYXumNzJAl
— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) September 15, 2019
Nikita Zadorov is day-to-day with a lower-body “tweak”, per Jared Bednar. #Avs
— Ryan S. Clark (@ryan_s_clark) September 16, 2019