NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 19, 2021

by | Sep 19, 2021 | News, NHL | 18 comments

Jack Eichel to travel to Buffalo for Sabres’ pre-training camp medical, Vladimir Tarasenko expected on Blues’ opening-day roster, Zdeno Chara signs with the Islanders, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

THE SCORE: cites an Associated Press report indicating Jack Eichel is expected to travel to Buffalo for the Sabres’ pre-training camp medicals on Wednesday. The 24-year-old center has been sidelined since March with a herniated disk in his neck.

Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (NHL Images).

Treatment of the injury has created an impasse between Eichel and the Sabres’ front office. He prefers artificial disk replacement while management is against that procedure because it’s never been done on an NHL player before.

If Eichel fails his medical, the Sabres have the option of placing him on injured reserve or long-term injury reserve as his condition is hockey-related. They’ve been trying to trade him this summer but haven’t found any takers yet.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ll be surprised if Eichel passes his medical. If he fails as expected it will prevent the awkward situation of having an unhappy player in camp while management is trying to trade him. However, this won’t be the end of the saga. There’s no indication which procedure Eichel will undergo let alone when it will take place.

STLTODAY.COM: Blues general manager Doug Armstrong believes there’s a good chance Vladimir Tarasenko will be on the club’s opening-day roster. The 29-year-old winger requested a trade early in the offseason because he was reportedly unhappy over how the club’s medical staff handled his surgically repaired right shoulder.

Armstrong said he spoke with Tarasenko about his trade status and the winger understands the situation. He mentioned the flattened salary cap and the limited amount of playing time Tarasenko saw over the last two years as a result of his shoulder surgeries.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The best opportunity to move Tarasenko was before the free-agent market opened on July 28. There weren’t many teams with the cap space to take on his $7.5 million annual salary cap hit once the dust settled from the usual frenzy of free-agent signings.

A trade could still materialize before the start of the season but a move around the March trade deadline seems more likely. Interested parties would prefer letting Tarasenko burn off most of this season’s cap hit while taking the time to evaluate his performance.

NEW YORK POST: Zdeno Chara’s NHL career has come full circle as he signed a one-year contract with the New York Islanders. Financial terms weren’t disclosed but it’s presumably a plus-35 deal with bonuses.

Chara began his big-league career with the Islanders in 1997-98, spending four seasons with them until traded to the Ottawa Senators in 2001.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The 44-year-old Chara will become the first player in NHL history to go 20-plus years between games with one franchise.

TSN: The Edmonton Oilers signed restricted free agent winger Kailer Yamamoto to a one-year, $1.175 million contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Very affordable signing by the cap-strapped Oilers but Yamamoto will be in line for a more lucrative deal next summer if he has a good performance this season. We’ll take a look at the implications in today’s Sunday rumor roundup.

SPORTSNET: The Ottawa Senators signed center Logan Brown to a one-year, two-way contract worth $750K at the NHL level.


  1. The isles have to be the oldest team ever iced in the nhl. I predict they are competitive to start the season but get gassed real quick.

      • That article is about last year.

      • Oops. Well, if they did “vault” to # 1 it can’t be by much considering the difference between 13th and 1st last season. Do you have any similar list showing all teams by average age entering this season which says the NYI are “the oldest team ever iced in the NHL?”

        According to CapFriendly, right now – including Chara – they show their average age as 28.6 which is still 1.1 below Washington last season.
        Why would they be any more “gassed” than a team at, say, 27.9?

      • Actually, you got me curious, so I went through all the teams at CapFriendly and have listed the average ages from youngest to oldest based on their calculations for the rosters, which is as up to date as we’ll get right now. The differences are, when comparing, largely negligible

        NJ 25.1
        Ott 25.4
        Clb 25.5
        NYR 25.7
        Chic 26.4
        Col 26.6
        Nash 26.7
        Buff 26.8
        LA 27.0
        Det 27.0
        Wpg 27.0
        Fla 27.2
        Tor 27.3
        Ana 27.5
        Van 27.5
        Car 27.6
        SJ 27.7
        Bos 27.8
        Veg 27.9
        Mtl 27.9
        Cgy 28.0
        Pha 28.2
        St.L 28.2
        Pitt 28.3
        Ariz 28.4
        NYI 28.6
        Tampa 28.7
        Edm 28.7
        Minn 28.8
        Dal 29.9
        Wash 30.0

      • Judging by that list, it appears it’s better to be older than younger.

        Most of the teams on the young side didn’t make the playoffs. Most of the teams on the older end did.

      • Experience is indeed everything. Those younger teams will be much better once those kids get a couple of more seasons under their belts. Of course, the flipside then becomes, can they afford to keep them all?

  2. I predict Chara wil become a human pylon on the ice.

    • Which me makes up for with a 10-foot reach

  3. I’m surprised Uncle Lou didn’t give him a multi-year deal.

    • Lou!!! He just continues his genius work!

      Genius I tell you! First he signs a bunch of players he was so secretive about , that everyone reported they were signing a month or 2 before. What a trickster on that cap space secret!

      Maybe he can sign Stevens and Brodeur and get the 2002 all star team back?

  4. NYI have a couple of LD prospects that might make it soon, meanwhile Chara did average 18 minutes of ice-time with Washington last year.

    As a third pairing mentor seems like a good 1 yr signing.

    • Could be. On the other hand, sooner or later, his age will make him press box material. But Chara would be a good candidate to be a development coach.

  5. Good thing for the Bruins they are going back to their regular schedule……losing Sean Kuraly, Nick Ritchie, Jeremy Lauzon and Kevan Miller and not replacing them with much beef and snarl would’ve been a problem for them with this past seasons schedule

  6. My guess is that the averages presented here were calculated to show the arithmetic mean age of teams’ players. The mean average takes a set, adds together all its elements, then divides the received value by the number of elements.

    The arithmetic mean is deceptive when used to consider the effect of age on a team, because it can be greatly affected by extreme values in the averaged set.

    The median age of teams would be more useful as a performance determinant. You get the median of a set by arranging all the elements of it from smallest to greatest, then taking the middle value as the average.

    • Why hasn’t someone done that, I wonder?

      • I’m eqqually bewilderd by the primitivism of player profiling in hockey. In football, for example, we can research a player’s jump, reach, speed, and maybe even which shoe he puts on first. In hockey, however, the usual Chara comments tell us that we place significant importance on skating speed, even though none of us can prove exactly hoe much slower or faster Chara is than any other player.

  7. When the additions to your team are :
    a 37 y/o forward who was bought out
    a 44y/o D taking one year minimum deals
    a 38 y/0 D last year

    Your team just got old and I think that’s the point chrisms was trying to make at the outset.

    A 44 y/o Chara and a 21y/0 Dobson don’t make for a pair of 32.5 y/o D with a ton of experience.

    I happen to disagree about older guys getting gassed as I think they have been around, they know their bodies and know how to pace themselves.