NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 2, 2019
John Tavares could start the season with new linemates, the Blues re-sign Ivan Barbashev, and Evander Kane and Ryan Reaves continue their war of words. Details and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
TORONTO STAR: Maple Leafs center John Tavares could be without regular linemates Mitch Marner and Zach Hyman when the season opens next month. Marner has yet to re-sign with the Leafs while Hyman is rehabbing his right knee following surgery in April. While Marner could be under contract once the season opens, Hyman is expected to be placed on the injury list.
Andreas Johnsson could be among the options as a short-term replacement for Hyman. William Nylander and Kasperi Kapanen are the likely candidates to replace Marner.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: We’ll find out in a month who Tavares’ linemates will be. If Marner and Hyman aren’t available, Johnsson and Nylander could be skating alongside the Leafs’ first-line center when the season opens.
STLTODAY.COM: The Blues re-signed forward Ivan Barbashev to a two-year contract worth $1.475 million per season. His signing means the Blues championship roster returns almost intact. The exception is Patrick Maroon as he recently signed with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates the Blues have roughly $495K in salary-cap space for 2019-20 with 24 players under contract. If necessary, they can demote one of their lower-paid players to the minors to free up more room.
THE SCORE: San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane and Vegas Golden Knights forward Ryan Reaves continued their verbal jousting over the weekend. Reaves renewed the spat on Twitter by calling himself Kane’s “worst nightmare” while Kane dismissed the broadside as a great example “of trying to be relevant when you’re not.”
THE ATHLETIC: Los Angeles Kings head coach Todd McLellan told a gathering of Kings season-ticket holders it’ll take some time before they notice changes in the club’s performance, particularly on the forecheck, neutral-zone play, and special teams. McLellan was hired as their coach in April. Part of the reason is to break habits and time needed for things to evolve.
SPORTSNET: Dante Fabbro hopes to become the next great young Nashville Predators defenseman. With P.K. Subban traded to New Jersey in June, Fabbro could have an opportunity to become a regular this season on the Predators blueline.