NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 27, 2021
The Philadelphia Flyers sign Sean Couturier to an eight-year extension, the Carolina Hurricanes ink Andrei Svechnikov to an eight-year deal, Canadiens expect Carey Price and Jonathan Drouin to attend training camp, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: The Philadelphia Flyers signed center Sean Couturier yesterday to an eight-year, $62 million contract extension.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Couturier will earn an annual average value of $7.75 million starting in 2022-23 through 2029-30. He’ll be 29 when that contract begins.
Winner of the Selke Trophy in 2019-20 as the NHL’s top defensive forward, Couturier is considered among the best two-way players in the league. He’s also the Flyers’ best player and one of their team leaders.
This deal could work out well for the Flyers as long as he maintains that Selke form. That shouldn’t be a concern through the first half of this new deal but could become burdensome if his performance declines over the second half.
THE NEWS & OBSERVER: The Carolina Hurricanes signed winger Andrei Svechnikov to an eight-year, $62 million contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Svechnikov is getting a big pay raise coming off his entry-level contract. Unlike Couturier who is an established star at the peak of his playing career, the 21-year-old Hurricanes winger is a rising star who has displayed considerable potential as a first-line winger.
The Canes are banking on Svechnikov reaching or exceeding expectations. If he does, they’ll have a high-scoring top-line forward under contract during most of his best seasons at a price well below those of his peers.
SPORTSNET: Montreal Canadiens head coach Dominique Ducharme said Carey Price is expected to be ready for the start of training camp next month. The 34-year-old goaltender is currently recovering from offseason knee surgery.
Jonathan Drouin is also expected to be at camp. The 26-year-old winger took a leave of absence in April for personal reasons and missed the remainder of the regular season and the Canadiens march to the 2021 Stanley Cup Final.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Despite last season’s surprising playoff success, the Canadiens could be in a tough fight to clinch a playoff berth in 2021-22 in the competitive Atlantic Division. A healthy Price and Drouin could be crucial to their postseason hopes this season.
BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Joe Haggerty reports Bruins center Charlie Coyle is recovering well from offseason surgery to repair a fracture in his left kneecap and a small tear in his patellar tendon. He’s expected to be ready for the start of training camp in mid-September.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Haggerty indicates those injuries accounted for Coyle’s struggles last season as he managed only 16 points in 51 games. He’s expected to take over the second-line center position left vacant by David Krejci’s decision to return to the Czech Republic.
TSN: The Calgary Flames signed winger Dillon Dube to a three-year, $6.9 million deal.
OTTAWA SUN: The Senators are expected to name a team captain before the end of training camp. Thomas Chabot and Brady Tkachuk could be the leading candidates.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators haven’t had a captain since trading Erik Karlsson to the San Jose Sharks three years ago.
Wouldn’t surprise me to see Tkachuk and Chabot named as alternating co-captains. It’s rare but has been done before – Ray Bourque and Rick Middleton in 1985 and, more recently, Jordan Staal and Justin Faulk in Carolina.
The Canes are obviously making a big bet on Svechnikov. His numbers so far have been impressive for a player his age, but not yet high enough to justify such a contract. Obviously if he develops into the consistent high level goal scorer that many expect him to be, the deal will be a bargain.
Couturier will be two months shy of 30 when the first season of his new contract begins. He’ll be nearly 38 when it ends. The AAV is very reasonable for a player like him and they certainly needed to re-sign him, but that contract could look bad in five years or so.
Now you know what Tkachuk’s contract is going to look like if Melnyk lets Dorion do his job.
Sens are about to hand out $7-8 million contracts to their core?
It will be interesting to see how much the owner is willing to spend.
He’s never been reluctant to pay for value. Show me one instance where someone opted to leave because the money offered wasn’t what they were seeking.
When Ottawa was in contention under Murray – and later Dorion – they always preferred to eave a cushion of anywhere from $4 to $5.5 mil – not because Melnyk was being “cheap” but rather because it was always their policy to have cap in reserve around trade deadline day so as to be able to add a player (or two) they might not have been able to acquire had they been smack up against the limit.
Melnyk has claimed since at least 2013 that he operates by his own internal salary cap which is near the cap floor.
Are you saying it isn’t the case and Sens have been close to the cap limit for the past decade?
Trading Mark Stone certainly wasn’t the paltry return……or did he not have value?
Like I said, the Sens are about to hand out $7-8 million to the core, you should be happy 🙂
A few short seasons back, when they took Pittsburgh to double-OT in game 7, they were close to the cap but with enough space to bring in a couple of pieces.
what I’m saying is, show me where Melnyk ever said that. A Direct link. Otherwise quit pontificating on crap you heard second-hand.
Chuck Coyle is not a second line centre ..what a frigging mess you got Foligno who’s best years are behind him, Studnicka couldn’t be a centre for the Hatsfields girls hockey club, Huala pass, then you’ve got lurch on defence. Sweeney has destroyed the bruins
Surprised you feel that way Rick?
I like the Svechnikov signing, not so much the Couturier … I thought Chuck Fletcher stepped out of character and had a really good off season but this 8 year deal just isn’t smart in the long run … he obviously didn’t learn anything from Suter & Parise …