NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 14, 2022
The Hurricanes plan to start the season without Max Pacioretty, Sharks defenseman Nikolai Knyzhov sidelined for six months, making the case for Logan Thompson to replace Golden Knights starter Robin Lehner, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Carolina Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell won’t make any immediate moves to replace Max Pacioretty. Recently acquired in a trade from the Vegas Golden Knights, the 33-year-old winger is sidelined for six months after suffering a torn Achilles’ tendon during training.
Waddell admitted it’s an unexpected setback but believes the Hurricanes have sufficient depth to offset Pacioretty’s absence until his return later in the upcoming season. The winger is expected to be placed on long-term injury reserve.
The Hurricanes GM said he’s received calls from clubs looking to dump salary. He didn’t rule out such a move if it made sense for his team but he also pointed out that they will need that space when Pacioretty returns.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There was some speculation that Waddell might attempt to buy out Jake Gardiner but he indicated that’s not going to happen. The blueliner missed 2021-22 recovering from hip surgery but he’s resumed training in hope of playing this coming season.
SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Speaking of players suffering a torn Achilles’ tendon, Sharks defenseman Nikolai Knyzhov will be sidelined for approximately six months after undergoing surgery on Aug. 10.
The 24-year-old defenseman was the Sharks’ rookie of the year in 2020-21 by earning a top-four spot alongside Erik Karlsson. However, he missed all of last season to groin injuries and a post-surgery infection.
DAILY FACEOFF: Mike McKenna makes the case for Logan Thompson to fill in for Vegas Golden Knights starter Robin Lehner, who is out for the coming season due to hip surgery.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lehner’s injury prompted speculation that the Golden Knights would attempt to find a short-term replacement via trade or free agency. However, the pickings are slim in both markets. Potential trade partners could also squeeze them to part with a promising young asset as part of the return. My guess is they’ll start the season with Thompson as their starter and see how things unfold.
VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: Speaking of the Golden Knights, they signed depth forward Jake Leschyshyn and Paul Cotter to three-year contracts. Leschyshyn’s deal is a one-way contract worth an annual average value of $766K while Cotter’s is a two-way deal in the first year and one-way in the second year earning $775K at the NHL level.
NEW YORK POST: Islanders prospect Aatu Raty is hoping to earn a roster spot with the parent club this season. He spent most of last season in Finland and briefly played for the Isles AHL affiliate.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The 19-year-old forward is among the leading scorers at the ongoing 2022 World Junior Championship in Alberta.