NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 1, 2023
The Wild avoid arbitration with Filip Gustavsson, the Ducks and Troy Terry are far apart in their arbitration filings, and the Kraken’s Alex Wennberg calls out vile social media comments made against himself and his family. Details and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
STARTRIBUNE.COM: The Minnesota Wild avoided arbitration with goaltender Filip Gustavsson as the two sides reached an agreement on a three-year, $11.25 million contract. The average annual value is $3.75 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gustavsson’s arbitration hearing was scheduled for Aug. 4. The 25-year-old goalie is getting over $3 million per season more than what he was making on his previous contract. He earned it with a career-best performance in 2022-23, outplaying veteran Marc-Andre Fleury with a record of 22-9-7 in 39 games played with a 2.10 goals-against average, a .931 save percentage and three shutouts.
The Wild will likely start the season with Gustavsson as their 1-A netminder and Fleury as their 1-B. If the former carries over his strong 2022-23 play into this season, it won’t be surprising if the latter ends up getting fewer starts as he’s shifted into a backup role. Fleury turns 39 in November and is in the final season of his contract.
THE SCORE: The Anaheim Ducks and Troy Terry are far apart in their arbitration filings. The Ducks are seeking $4.5 million on a one-year contract while the winger seeks $8 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Terry enjoyed a breakout performance in 2021-22, leading the rebuilding Ducks with 37 goals and 67 points. His production dipped a bit last season with 23 goals and 61 points but he missed 12 games to injury and the birth of his first child.
Terry’s earned a raise over the $1.45 million annual cap hit of his last contract but it’s doubtful he’ll get $8 million. His agent probably filed that amount knowing that arbiters tend to settle on a middle-ground total.
CAP FRIENDLY: Terry’s arbitration hearing is scheduled for Aug. 2.
Boston Bruins forward Trent Frederic’s hearing is slated for today.
Edmonton Oilers center Ryan McLeod, Pittsburgh Penguins winger Drew O’Connor and New York Rangers defenseman Brandon Scanlin’s hearings are scheduled for Aug. 4.
YAHOO! SPORTS: Seattle Kraken forward Alex Wennberg and his wife have called out the “BookTok” TikTok community over vile comments that have sexualized and harassed the player and his family for months.
Wennberg issued a statement noting that he’s been media trained to “bite my tongue and leave it”. However, he felt he had to speak up after people posted what he called “vile comments” on his wife’s Instagram account and on photos of the couple’s child.
He expressed his support of the BookTok community writing books and fiction about hockey but felt the aggressive language about real-life players crossed the line.
Felicia Weeren, Wennberg’s wife, recently called out the community for comments toward her husband that were sexually predatory and harassing. Wennberg and Weeren pointed out that some fans went so far as to direct message players with crass remarks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A player and his family should not be subject to harassment by so-called “fans” on social media. It remains to be seen if Wennberg’s statement will put a stop to the comments directed toward him and his family. The Kraken hasn’t publicly indicated what they intend to do regarding this issue.
NEW JERSEY HOCKEY NOW: The Devils signed defenseman Kevin Bahl to a two-year contract extension worth an AAV of $1.05 million.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens agreed to a one-year, two-way contract with forward Jesse Ylonen. The 23-year-old will earn $750K at the NHL level.
TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs inked winger Nick Abruzzese to a one-year, two-way contract worth $775K at the NHL level.
TRIBLIVE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins have promoted Amanda Kessel to the role of special assistant to president of hockey operations and general manager. Kessel is the younger sister of former Penguins winger Phil Kessel. She is also one of the most prolific players in the history of the U.S. Women’s National Team.
NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: The Blackhawks will honor team owner Rocky Wirtz with two public ceremonies on Aug. 9 at the United Center. Wirtz passed away last week at age 70 following a brief illness. A private ceremony will be held on Aug. 8.
THE ATHLETIC: The Wirtz Corporation is purchasing the Chicago Steel of the United States Hockey League.