NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 25, 2023
Brandon Hagel’s contract with the Lightning could lead to a big raise for the Bruins’ Jake DeBrusk, the Oilers officially announce Evan Bouchard’s new contract and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
PUCKS WITH HAGGS: Joe Haggerty believes Bradon Hagel’s eight-year, $52 million contract extension with the Tampa Bay Lightning could have ramifications for the Boston Bruins and their negotiations with winger Jake DeBrusk.
Eligible next July for unrestricted free-agent status, the 26-year-old DeBrusk is in the second season of a two-year, $8 million contract. He’s endured inconsistency earlier in his career but reached a career-high 50 points (including 27 goals) in 64 games last season.
NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Nick Goss believes the Bruins should sign DeBrusk to a comparable extension as soon as possible. He opines that the $6.25 million (or close to it) average annual cap hit will be more team-friendly in 2026 than it is right now.
Goss noted the depletion of the Bruins’ veteran core in recent years. He points out that Brad Marchand can’t keep playing forever and there’s not a lot of depth on the Bruins’ left wing. He warns that waiting to evaluate his performance this season could make DeBrusk more expensive to sign if he scores at the same pace as he did last season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The good news for the Bruins is they’ve got a projected $23.8 million in cap space with 12 active roster players under contract. That’s plenty of room to sign DeBrusk to a contract comparable to Hagel’s.
The bad news is they must also shell out big bucks if they hope to acquire or sign a first-line center next summer. Goaltender Jeremy Swayman could be in line for a big raise provided they don’t trade him. That could force them to make a cost-cutting trade or two that could deplete their depth elsewhere in the lineup.
NEW YORK POST: The Rangers hired Hockey Hall of Famer Angela Ruggiero as a hockey operations advisor. One of the most decorated women’s hockey players of all time, Ruggiero trained with Rangers general manager Chris Drury during their playing days. Both were inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 2015.
DAILY FACEOFF: Former NHL player Sven Baertschi officially announced his retirement. In a statement, the 30-year-old forward cited a number of injuries that have taken a toll. He played 10 seasons in the NHL with the Calgary Flames, Vancouver Canucks and Vegas Golden Knights, scoring 66 goals and 138 points in 292 games.
Quincey, 34, experienced emotional instability following his retirement in 2019, citing 20 concussions and massive mood swings. In 2020, his youngest son was diagnosed with brain cancer. The youngster is now in remission following a year of treatment but that ordeal also took its toll on Quincey’s mental health.
Introduced to “magic mushrooms” by former NHL enforcer and psychedelics advocate Daniel Carcillo, Quincey found they had a profound effect on him. He’s building the retreat where he hopes to provide psilocybin therapy for individuals suffering from traumatic brain injury, addictions, anxiety and depression.