NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 28, 2023
The Senators sign Vladimir Tarasenko, the Bruins intend to retire Patrice Bergeron’s number, the Coyotes sign top prospect Logan Cooley and the Panthers prepare to celebrate their 30th anniversary season in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tarasenko was the biggest name remaining in this summer’s unrestricted free-agent market. He’s a six-time 30-goal scorer who should provide a boost to the Senators’ offense this season.
Tarasenko reportedly rejected an earlier bid from the Senators along with others from several other clubs before replacing his agent with new representation in early July. This season’s flattened salary cap hampered his chances of landing a lucrative long-term deal after coming off an eight-year contract worth an average annual value of $7.5 million.
Forced to accept a shorter term for less money, Tarasenko is betting that he’ll have a productive season with the Senators. Another 30-goal campaign could help him land a better contract via next summer’s free-agent market when the salary cap is projected to rise by at least $4 million.
As for the Senators, this move leaves them with around $784K in cap space with restricted free agents Shane Pinto, Egor Sokolov and Alex Formenton to re-sign. A cost-cutting trade could be in the works.
BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Bruins team president Cam Neely confirmed the club will retire Patrice Bergeron’s No. 37 at some point in the near future. Bergeron announced his retirement earlier this week after 19 NHL seasons, all of them with the Bruins.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Proper thing. Bergeron is one of the greatest players in Bruins history. Whether that happens this season or perhaps when he’s officially inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in three years’ time remains to be seen.
ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes signed top prospect Logan Cooley on Thursday to a three-year entry-level contract. Cooley, 19, was chosen third overall in the 2022 NHL Draft.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cooley had originally planned to return to the University of Minnesota this season. However, the lure of playing in the NHL proved too strong.
Cooley is perhaps the most highly-touted prospect in Coyotes’ history. He’ll face considerable pressure to play up to lofty expectations. How well he does will affect the rebuilding Coyotes’ plans of becoming a playoff contender in the near future.
FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: The Panthers will be celebrating their 30th anniversary in 2023-24. The club unveiled its anniversary logo and there are plans to bring back former players, coaches and personalities who were part of the franchise during those three decades.