NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 5, 2022

by | Aug 5, 2022 | News, NHL | 46 comments

The Flames sign Jonathan Huberdeau to the richest contract in franchise history, the Sharks re-sign Mario Ferraro, and the Devils avoid arbitration with Miles Wood. Details and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

CALGARY HOCKEY NOW: The Flames signed Jonathan Huberdeau to an eight-year, $84 million contract extension. The average annual value is $10.5 million and comes with a full no-movement clause in the first six seasons of the deal, followed by a modified no-trade in the final two years.

Calgary Flames winger Jonathan Huberdeau (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flames have given Huberdeau the exact same contract that they offered Johnny Gaudreau before his departure to Columbus as a free agent. Both are talented playmaking wingers coming off career-best 115-point performances.

Since 2017-18, Huberdeau’s been among the league’s highest-scoring left wingers. His 415 points during that period are just six behind league leader Brad Marchand of the Boston Bruins, three back of the New York Rangers’ Artemi Panarin and 10 up on Gaudreau.

The difference here is the Flames knew what they had in Gaudreau. He’d been with them for the past eight seasons. They understood his strengths and weaknesses. Huberdeau, on the other hand, is something of an unknown to them and that could make this contract more of a risk.

Huberdeau will be 30 when the deal kicks in for 2023-24 and turning 38 when it expires. That’s typically a period when a player’s production declines as age and the wear and tear of a long career begin to take its’ toll. There’s also the question of how his performance will be affected by skating with a new team after spending the past 10 seasons with the Panthers.

It will be money well spent for the Flames as long as Huberdeau adjusts well to his new teammates and maintains his high level of production throughout most of his contract. Otherwise, it’ll increasingly become a salary-cap nightmare that hampers their efforts to become a contender.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: The Sharks signed Mario Ferraro to a four-year contract. The 23-year-old defenseman will earn an annual average value of $3.25 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In just three years, Ferraro has become an invaluable member of the Sharks defense corps. He averaged 23 minutes of ice time per game in 2021-22 while his shorthanded ice time (2:38) ranked second on the club. Ferraro was also their leader in blocked shots (151) and among their leaders in hits.

Ferraro skated alongside Brent Burns on the Sharks’ top pairing last season. With Burns’ trade to Carolina, he’ll likely remain on the top pairing with Erik Karlsson as his defense partner.

DAILY FACEOFF: The New Jersey Devils avoided arbitration with winger Miles Wood as the two sides agreed to a one-year, $3.2 million contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wood missed all but three games last season due to hip surgery. He had 17 goals and 25 points in 55 games during the COVID-shortened 2020-21 campaign.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Carolina Hurricanes GM Don Waddell expects to have forward Martin Necas under contract before training camp opens next month. The two sides are believed closing in on a deal. Waddell didn’t elaborate but it could be a two-year bridge deal worth about $3 million per season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Necas, 23, is coming off his entry-level contract and lacks arbitration rights. He had a promising sophomore campaign in 2020-21 with 41 points in 53 games but managed 40 points in 78 games last season.

Rumors that he and head coach Rod Brind’Amour wasn’t on the same page prompted trade speculation. It appears the Hurricanes intend to retain him for the coming season.

THE SCORE: Michael Raffl has signed a two-year contract with Lausanne Hockey Club in Switzerland’s National League. The 33-year-old winger spent nine seasons in the NHL from 2013-14 to 2021-22 with the Philadelphia Flyers, Washington Capitals and Dallas Stars.

TORONTO SUN: Rich Clune has retired after 16 professional seasons to join the Maple Leafs’ training department. Clune spent most of his career in the AHL but played five NHL seasons with the Leafs, Los Angeles Kings and Nashville Predators. He spent the past six seasons exclusively with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Clune in his new job.







46 Comments

  1. Flames commitment is big to JH. Great hockey player but a slight over pay that will wash out as the cap starts to increase after next season.

    Reply
    • how is it an overpay? he had the same points as Gaudreau and has more points than him over the last few years. I think Treveling has done a nice job rebounding from losing JG/MT to get Huberdeau and Mangiapane resigned. Not sure how Weeger will fit in on the Flames D but he could always be flipped at the deadline

      Reply
      • Mike P
        10.5 year for 8. Is more than Johnny Hockey both in $$ and length. JH will be 38. At contract end. I like the deal for flames as they could not really let him walk at year end Brad did a great job in the trade. In my opinion he won it easily vs Panthers. As is life of GM the moves you make are for the now and current future. Not 6-8 years from now. That will likely be a headache for the next GM of flames

      • It’s an “overpay” only in terms of its length – one can hope that the cap is back to normal annual adjustments by the final 3 years of that deal – but one way or another the odds say Huberdeau won’t be putting up the big numbers from 35 to 38, when it expires.

        Even so, it sends a strong message to the fans that the book has been closed on Gaudreau and Tkachuk – and that a new regime is about to start.

        Can’t really criticize the terms too harshly – even with the built-in risks.

    • The Flames obviously had no choice but to extend Huberdeau. All in all, it’s the necessary thing to do. The Flames are in win now mode. Huberdeau still has many good seasons ahead of him. It is likely going to be a burdensome contract 7 years from now but a Treveling obviously has to worry first about the present.

      Reply
      • Yep. And one thing is for certain – he likely would not have gotten that amount and that term in too many other locations (if any) – Montreal included – and most certainly not in Florida.

        Losing both Gaudreau and Tkachuk simply made the deal possible in Calgary. Now we see how it’ll age.

      • Habs signed Carey Price to the exact same money and term as this Huberdeau deal. I don’t have a crystal ball but I am hoping it works out better than Carey’s or Bobrovsky’s has.

  2. Good for Calgary, tired of this ongoing mantra that players have to leave Canada because of financial, quality of life, etc. Some players don’t mind playing and living there. After all, it is their game. We all enjoy it here, I have for 50 plus years but it is their game that they brought to us. GO AVS!!!!

    Reply
    • Hasn’t been their game in a long time. Just like how golf isn’t Scotland’s game nor baseball Americas game.

      Reply
      • It isn’t even our s-called “national sport” – lacrosse is.

      • Lacrosse is the national summer sport and Hockey is the official winter sport. The change was made in ’94.

      • OK – I stand corrected.

      • Right, Chris, same as a Canadian invented basketball. And gave it to the world.

      • Basketball sucks so bad is probably keep that fact to yourself

      • SLAM-DUNK! Oooooh. Last shot wins. Give me the college game any time. Or the WNBA.

  3. Good work by Calgary

    Do they finish their offseason by moving a D for a top 6 forward or finding a UFA deal for a vet?

    They still have the best goalie+Dcore in the Pacific.

    Reply
    • Ds.

      I agree still a top team in west no doubt

      Reply
  4. 8yrs! As Mentioned Huberdeau will be 30yrs old when the contract starts!

    To put in context presently 41 players in the NHL 35yrs or older.

    Only one skater is 38yrs or older ( Mark Giordano), unless someone is taking Chara.

    Of the 41 players over 35yrs old; 11 are goalies, 15 are dman. Leaving 15 forwards 35yrs old or older.

    forwards who are 37yrs old:

    Corey Perry
    Joe Pavelski
    Jeff Carter
    Pierre-Edouard Bellemare
    Zach Parise

    This contract is way to long by 4yrs. Almost seem like Treliving is saying “we can get a star to sign long term in Calgary.”

    Yes the cap will be rising, but this will be an unmovable contract; unless salary retained and sweetners added.

    Reply
    • Exactly but the blind faithful will love it then curse it I a few years as it becomes an albatross they have to move to a team with a sweetener to get it off the books. Gms and owners can’t help themselves

      Reply
  5. Huberdeau and Gaudreau are from the same draft year…both born in 1993.

    The contracts are similar and if you like one you like the other.

    Good on Calgary

    Reply
    • Habfan30 agree. Johnny hockey contract is 4yrs too long.

      Terrible by both teams

      Reply
      • As long as it ends the Huberdeau to Habs chatter, I am happy. I agree with Caper 4 years too long. Maybe at some point in the future GM’s (and the owners who are actually paying the salaries) will understand that once most athletes get to 35 yrs+, their performance starts to significantly decline and the contract becomes a handicap for any future improvement.

      • Ya, both are too long Caper. Will aslo add that most GM’s in Treliving’s position would have done the same thing.

        On a positive note the odds of legit LTIR goes up as players get to the mid 30’s. They have lot’s of hard miles mile on them and parts wear out.

      • People are waiting on gms to learn? I’m waiting on you people to learn. The last years of contracts don’t matter anymore. The player if play de compensates simply gets hurt and goes on ltir. He gets his money teams get outta cap. The gms arnt stupid. They just know it doesn’t matter.

      • Chrisms. I believe (and I may be wrong on this) that the player actually has to be hurt. Contracts of this size are insured so the Insurance company will do its due diligence and make sure that it isn’t paying out millions of dollars to players who are not hurt. LTIR may not be an option. In this case, Treliving really had no choice but that contract won’t age well.

      • There is no evidence to suggest the player doesn’t have to be hurt habman67. Just theories by some. Now what hurt/injured means as far as degree goes, I dunno.

        Look at Smith in EDM, was hurt on and off most of last season, then again in the playoffs.

        He played in constant pain, even when he was able. So you could call that chronic. Could he do that again if he had to or even wanted to? Sure, I suppose he could, but that doesn’t mean he can’t go on LTIR. What that line is? No idea.

        So is there a reasonable chance that a 37 yr Huber could have some physical problems after18 years of playing in the NHL? Absolutely, would be kind of surprised if he didn’t have some kind of issue(s).

      • Ray, I don’t disagree but in the example you used, Smith was actually hurt. All I am saying is that the team can’t just put a older player on LTIR just because he isn’t performing to his contract. You mention Huberdeau at 37 but what about when is 35 and 36? For those 2 years he eats up over 10% of their cap and if he’s on the 2nd/3rd line— yikes! As an aside I would love to know what the insurance premium is on this contract. Insurance companies are not in the business of losing money.

      • Of course they can’t put someone on ltir unless they are…
        OUCH!!

        Gosh darned it. Got ptcs just now. (Persistent thumb cramp syndrome). Guess I’m just gonna have to collect my millions by not doing my job.

      • Absolutely habman67, we agree just saying it differently.
        Not sure if Smith’s would be insured, but Huber’s will be for sure, too big not to.

        What I should have said is Huber will more than likely have an injury or a few in the next 8 years, kind of the way it is. Or he could simply have issues from playing that long like wear and tear on a knee, cartilage or tendon issue, hip problems, whatever. Does that qualify?

        My hip and knee hurt every day, not sure what caused it as the worst thing that happened to my hip was a broken bursa sac, and a cortisone shot to make it stop swelling faster. That isn’t too serious. Maybe that was it, I dunno. But play lots of sports, you’re gonna have issues when you get older. I will need a new hip eventually. Playing a pro sport like hockey speeds that up considerably I would think.

  6. This Huberdeau signing will be a nightmare
    You cannot balance out a team with these type of ridiculous signings
    How is he entitled to make more than Matthew Thackuk , being 5 years younger ..
    Matthews , Either Tkachuk , Mcdavid , McKinnon , Makar etc are exceptions , young elite players .
    Huberdeau is not in that class or is he that young .

    Reply
    • You know Ken, I watched Tkachuk every game for the 6 years he was here in Calgary. I can tell you right now, his speed is about average, he does not carry the puck & by no means a puck possession players. He has exceptional hockey IQ that allows him to be a tenacious forechecker & his eye hand coordination is elite & makes him lethal around the net. Some of his dirty tactics are cut out of the Brad Marchand cloth. But he was always the last one back when we lost possession & I can guarantee you will see at least one fancy between the legs giveaway in our end to the opposition. When he focuses on trying to antagonize, he takes away a lot of that hockey IQ he showed he had when he was able to focus on the top line with Gaudreau & Lindholm. The reason he was able to do that was we added some monsters that terrorized the opponents & Tkachuk didnt have to do any that & picked his spots. When he got hung up with the rhetoric with Klingberg in the playoffs, he injured his hand & then literally was a non factor in the Oiler series, with perhaps the exception of game 1. He wont get a whiff at 100 points in Florida. I will take Huberdeau all day long. It will be interesting to watch next year.

      Reply
      • If he plays with Barkov he has a shot at 100 pts.

      • I watched Tkachuk just as long, I agree with this assessment. That roster and coach last year, is what directly led to Tkachuk and Gaudreau’s success.

  7. I have a curious question. Seeing the contracts for both Huberdeau and Gaudreau. What would be a successful next year for both of them?

    What i am asking, are the teams or fans truly expecting either of these two players to put up similar performances to last season?

    Or will 25-30g, 75-80pts or in that area (career avs)be adequate or acceptable considering the contracts? Only looking at individual performance not team.

    Reply
  8. I don’t know where it started but somehow contracts (and their terms) got turned around IMO. It seems that if a team is offering long term and big bucks then why should that team also give a NTC/NMC and handicap themselves in future dealings involving that player. The reward for the player is the money and the length of security provided by the long term. If you’re going to give a NTC/NMC give it to the player who’s willing to take a hometown discount because he really wants to stay in that city and on that team. I know this is not how things work in the “real” world but maybe it should be.

    Reply
    • Great article HarryO

      Reply
  9. @Kevin
    This is interesting info …
    It’s just these long contacts , they become a real burden when the player begins to be less effective , and you can’t fill out your roster , as per a contender category
    Giordano is the best signing and effective player , but you wouldn’t want him at 10.2 mil / year , Lol

    Reply
    • Ken, Gio’s last contract took him to age 37 and he was the second highest player on the Flames and top paid prior to Tkachuk’s deal.

      As expected he has regressed as he got older but he is still an effective player at 38.

      I agree the Huberdeau deal is too long in term but that is what it takes to sign elite players. I would love to know what team would have been able to sign him for 4 or 5 year term. Not likely he would leave that much money on the table for any team.

      Reply
  10. I have to repeat my point that Calgary still has the strongest foundation in the Pacific. Their top 4 D all day over Vegas, Edmonton, LA or Vancouver with Markstrom back there.
    If Lindholm+Huber have any chemistry and the Flames can get a 3rd line going they have a good chance to take 1st place again.
    So to me with all that they are in WIN NOW mode. Huber contract is what it is and he should still pot 80+ points for 5 more seasons.

    Reply
    • I have to disagree ds. Oilers have the strongest foundation in the Pacific. Top 4 D all day? It ain’t all that, they don’t have a single D-man as good as Nurse. Ceci is as good in a shut down role as Tanev. They have nobody as good a Barrie on the PP (or Bouchard for that matter).

      Their top 6 up front isn’t in the same league as the Oil. The Oilers have 2 of the top 5 C’s in the NHL. and too many quality wingers.

      In net, give you that for last season, but the year before Markstrom was brutal, we will see this year vs Campbell. Plus he got out played by Smith in the playoffs. Heck the entire time got smoked by the Oil. Wasn’t all that close actually and there is a reason for that.

      Better prospects up north as well.

      Flames still have a good team and should be a lock for the playoffs, but the Oil are a really good team and on the rise. If I had to bet and say teams are healthy, Oil face the Avs again in conference finals. That’s where it gets really hard.

      Reply
      • Ray, last season you said the Oilers would finish one or two and the flames would struggle to make the playoffs. Your predictions are just that, predictable.

        Talk about albatross contracts, Nurse is a prime example. He is nowhere close to being a number one defenseman and certainly not worth the $9.5 million aav either now or in the future.

        I’m truly happy you like him!

      • My bad, $9.25 million aav

      • I really enjoy when Oilers and Flames fans disagree on just about anything.

        Great signing by Tre.
        Huby will age gracefully. He plays a different game. More passing and finesse distribution by him. He’ll fulfill that contract by being over or near a ppg for the duration.

      • True that SOP, the good news is the battle of Alberta will go on for a while, good thing.

        You’re right Sparky, and I was wrong about the Flames. But I was right about the Oil, so call it a wash. Also called the Oil to to make a run come playoff time, on this site. And you gotta admit, the Oil spanked the Flames in the playoffs, wasn’t even close. And that was with their top D on one leg, and Draisaitl on one leg.

        And yes, I like Nurse, and yes, better than any D the Flames have.

        The Oil will beat the Flames again if they meet in playoffs. I will take that bet right now if you would like?

  11. Ray, since my last comment appears to be in purgatory, let me just say Nurse would have trouble making the Flames top 4 Dmen.

    As for the bet it would depend on whether the refs call playoff calls or the tighter than regular season calls that assisted the Oilers again.

    Reply

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