NHL Morning Coffee Headllines – August 14, 2021
Auston Matthews undergoes wrist surgery, Joe Thornton signs with the Panthers, start times for the 2021-22 season revealed, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews could miss the early part of training camp next month after undergoing wrist surgery on Friday. The procedure was deemed necessary after Matthews experienced discomfort from increasing his on-ice training schedule this week. The club didn’t reveal which wrist was operated on. Leafs training camp opens on Sep. 22.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Matthews was plagued by wrist and hand ailments throughout last season.
FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: Joe Thornton signed a one-year, $750K contract with the Florida Panthers. He had 20 points in 44 games last season with the Maple Leafs.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: After 1,680 games, the 42-year-old Thornton is still chasing his first Stanley Cup. This could be his last opportunity. The Panthers are a very good team that has a legitimate shot at Cup contention this season. Thornton will bring a wealth of experience and leadership to their roster but it will be interesting to see where he fits into their regular lineup.
NHL.COM: The league has announced the start times for the 2021-22 season. It begins on Oct 12 with the Tampa Bay Lightning raising their Stanley Cup banner at Amelie Arena before facing off against the Pittsburgh Penguins at 7:30 pm ET. At 10 PM ET, the Seattle Kraken will play their first-ever NHL contest when they visit the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
SPORTSNET’s Elliotte Friedman tweeted the NHL sent a memo updating its vaccination requirements to its 32 teams. “Any person whose job, role, position, or access entails them to have personal interactions (within 12 feet) with Club Hockey Operations personnel (including Players) are required to be Fully Vaccinated.” He also indicated the NHL/NHLPA protocols for the players are not yet completed.
TSN: The Columbus Blue Jackets signed Zac Rinaldo to a one-year, two-way contract.
THE SEATTLE TIMES: The Kraken signed defenseman Cale Fleury and winger Carsen Twarynski to a pair of one-year, two-way contracts each worth $750K at the NHL level.
NHL.COM: The Anaheim Ducks signed Mason McTavish to an entry-level contract. The 18-year-old center was the third-overall pick in the 2021 NHL Draft.
MLIVE.COM: The New York Rangers have hired former Detroit Red Wings assistant general manager Ryan Martin as their assistant general manager and GM of their AHL affiliate in Hartford.
WINNIPEG SUN: On the 40th anniversary of the day they first signed Dale Hawerchuk, the Jets announced they will honor the late hockey legend with a statue. A section of a downtown street and an annual pond-hockey tournament will be named after Hawerchuk.