NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 27, 2022
Jonathan Toews doesn’t seem keen on being part of a Blackhawks rebuild, the Kings intend to honor Dustin Brown and the Sharks hire David Quinn as head coach. Details and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
THE ATHLETIC: Mark Lazerus reports Jonathan Toews said a lengthy rebuild of the Chicago Blackhawks roster “doesn’t sound appealing to me at all.” The 34-year-old center and Blackhawks captain describe the turnover of players on the roster over the past three-four years as “really, really draining” and “exhausting.”
Toews and fellow franchise player Patrick Kane are slated to become unrestricted free agents next summer. They each carry an average annual value of $10.5 million and full no-movement clauses on their respective contracts.
Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson told Toews and Kane of his commitment to rebuilding the roster and has expressed his hope that both players will be part of it. Toews said he’s learned to be more patient but still finds the potential five-plus year rebuild timeline as “pretty daunting” and “pretty exhausting” to think about. He indicated that he’s uncertain about what he’s going to do or what his future holds.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Toews said he wasn’t speaking for Kane but it wouldn’t be surprising if his long-time teammate feels the same way. Kane has frequently surfaced in trade rumors this offseason as there’s anticipation he’ll seek a trade to a playoff contender at some point in the coming season.
Toews struggled last season after missing the COVID-shortened 2020-21 campaign with chronic immune response syndrome. Nevertheless, he could draw interest in the trade market if his performance improves in 2022-23.
NHL.COM: The Los Angeles Kings will honor Dustin Brown by retiring his No. 23 on Feb. 11, 2023, before their game with the Pittsburgh Penguins at Crypto.com Arena. The club will also unveil a statue in his honor.
Brown, 37, retired last season after spending his entire 18-season career with the Kings, tallying 712 points in 1, 296 career games. He captained the Kings to their two Stanley Cups in 2012 and 2014.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A well-deserved honor for Brown, who is also the club’s all-time leader in games played. However, it’s curious that the Kings haven’t honored Marcel Dionne with a statue. The Hall-of-Famer remains their all-time leader with 757 assists and 1,307 points.
TSN: The San Jose Sharks officially announced their hiring of David Quinn as their new head coach. Quinn coached the New York Rangers from 2018 to 2021. Before that, he spent five seasons as Boston University’s head coach.
PEI SPORTS HALL OF FAME: Former NHL star Brad Richards will be inducted into the PEI Sports Hall of Fame. A native of Murray Harbour, Richards was the most successful hockey player in Prince Edward Island history, going on to win two Stanley Cups plus the Conn Smythe Trophy and Lady Byng Memorial Trophy while netting 932 points in 1,126 career NHL games.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to Richards, who will be inducted in a special ceremony at his hometown rink (Northumberland Arena) on Aug. 8.
DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Former NHL forward Bobby Ryan was arrested for public intoxication on Monday at Nashville Airport after taking several items from an airport store without paying. The store opted not to press charges and Ryan was released following an eight-hour public intoxication hold.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ryan, 35, won the Bill Masterton Trophy in 2020 for perseverance after receiving treatment for alcohol abuse in the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program. He last played in the NHL in 2020-21. Hopefully, he will receive treatment for his relapse and the help he needs to adjust to life after hockey.
THE PROVINCE: Former Vancouver Canucks forward Brandon Sutter continues to feel the effects of long COVID over a year after he first contracted the virus. Now an unrestricted free agent, he missed the entirety of last season due to COVID-related symptoms that affect his breathing.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s hoping Sutter can eventually recover to where his quality of life improves if he’s unable to continue his playing career. One wonders how many other NHL players are affected by long COVID symptoms.
TSN: The New Jersey Devils signed Jonas Siegenthaler to a five-year, $17 million contract extension. The 25-year-old defenseman will earn an average annual value is $3.4 million.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers avoided arbitration with Jesse Puljujarvi as they reached an agreement on a one-year, $3 million contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Puljujarvi’s new contract prompted some observers to suggest this could be a “sign-and-trade” situation. I believe the Oilers intend to keep him in the hope that he achieves his long-awaited breakout. If he doesn’t, they could peddle him at some point during the coming season.
PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: Promising Flyers forward Bobby Brink will miss about five months recovering from recent hip surgery. The 21-year-old winger suffered a torn labrum in his left hip.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: A jury in the British Columbia Supreme Court found former NHL player Jake Virtanen not guilty of sexual assault on Tuesday.
ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes have hired John Madden as an assistant coach. A former NHL player and three-time Stanley Cup champion, Madden’s last NHL coaching role was as an assistant with the Florida Panthers from 2013 to 2016. He also spent three seasons as head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets AHL affiliate in Cleveland until 2019.
TSN: Former NHL defenseman Mark Stuart was named to the Edmonton Oilers coaching staff.