NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 30, 2022
John Klingberg signs with the Ducks, an update on Jesper Bratt’s contract negotiations, and the Sharks will honor Doug Wilson this season. Details and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: John Klingberg is off the free-agent market. The 29-year-old defenseman signed a one-year, $7 million contract on Friday with the Anaheim Ducks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some observers expressed puzzlement on social media regarding this move. Why did Klingberg accept just a one-year deal? Why sign with the rebuilding Ducks? For that matter, why did the Ducks make a short-term investment in a veteran player?
Klingberg may have overestimated his value on this summer’s free-agent market. While he reached the 40-point mark last season for the sixth time in his eight-year NHL career, the puck-moving blueliner struggled with consistency during his final season with the Dallas Stars. Interested clubs may have been reluctant to sign to a long-term deal at this point in his career.
This deal gives Klingberg an opportunity to prove that he still has value as a top-pairing blueliner. A strong season in Anaheim will improve his chances for a more lucrative deal, either with the Ducks or another club in next summer’s free-agent market.
The Ducks, meanwhile, had to spend money to reach this season’s $61 million salary-cap minimum. Signing Klingberg achieve that goal, putting them at $63.6 million invested in 22 players.
It also addressed their need to bolster their blueline while adding a veteran presence to their rebuilding roster. If Klingberg plays well this season, the Ducks can peddle him at next year’s trade deadline for a solid return if they’re out of playoff contention by then.
NJ.COM’s Ryan Novozinsky took to Twitter on Friday regarding Jesper Bratt’s contract negotiations with the New Jersey Devils. He cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman saying there hasn’t been much discussion between the two sides so it’s hard to figure out what’s going on.
Novozinsky acknowledged it’s been “pretty silent” from Bratt’s camp for weeks regarding updates on contract talks. He believes it’s been another tough negotiation like his last deal.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bratt’s arbitration hearing is set for Aug. 3.
DAILY FACEOFF: The San Jose Sharks intend to raise a banner for former player, captain and general manager Doug Wilson in the coming season. He’ll be honored in a pregame ceremony by the club before their game against the Chicago Blackhawks.
Wilson spent 14 of his 16 NHL seasons with the Blackhawks before joining the Sharks. He become their general manager in 2003 and held that position until stepping down for health reasons in April 2022. Wilson was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame as a player in 2020.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wilson built the Sharks into a Western Conference powerhouse during most of his tenure as their general manager. They finished atop the Pacific Divison five times under his watch, won the Presidents’ Trophy in 2009 and reached the Stanley Cup Final in 2016.
PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: The Philadelphia Flyers signed Owen Tippett to a two-year contract with an average annual value of $1.5 million. The 23-year-old right wing was part of the return the Flyers received from the Florida Panthers in the Claude Giroux trade last March.
The Flyers also named Rocky Thompson as an assistant coach.
YARDBARKER: The Seattle Kraken recently announced the Kansas City Mavericks as their ECHL affiliate.