NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 14, 2023
Matthew Tkachuk is ready to start the season, Josh Bailey bids farewell to the Islanders and their fans, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: Panthers winger Matthew Tkachuk has recovered from the fractured sternum suffered during the 2023 Stanley Cup Final and is looking forward to the start of training camp. “I am feeling great,” said Tkachuk.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s good news for the Panthers, who will be starting the season with top two defensemen Aaron Ekblad and Brandon Montour sidelined by offseason shoulder surgeries. Tkachuk can’t help them defensively but the two-time 100-point winger and 2023 playoff hero will be a key cog in their offensive attack.
NYI HOCKEY NOW: Former long-time Islanders winger Josh Bailey bid farewell to the club and its fans in a letter posted on The Players’ Tribune.
“I want to thank not just this great fan base, but the people of Long Island as a whole,” wrote Bailey. He indicated that Long Island will always be home for himself and his family.
A first-round pick (ninth overall) by the Islanders in the 2008 NHL Draft, the 33-year-old Bailey spent 15 seasons with the club. He was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks in June, who bought out the final season of his contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The recent decline in Bailey’s production led to his trade and contract buyout. The unrestricted free agent faces an uncertain future as he’s yet to land with another NHL club as training camp approaches.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: The paint job on Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Ilya Samsonov’s new mask resembles that of former Leafs netminder Curtis Joseph.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Samsonov can channel prime “CuJo” the Leafs will be in good shape between the pipes this season.
NEW JERSEY HOCKEY NOW: Speaking of goaltending, the Devils brought back Keith Kinkaid on a one-year, two-way contract worth $775K at the NHL level.
ESPN.COM: The NHL is considering making changes to their digital ad boards following complaints from fans regarding technical glitches and other issues that were found distracting to ongoing play. The league considers the criticism as coming from a “vocal minority”.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The ads haven’t bothered me but I have noticed some glitches at times. That’s to be expected from this type of technology and will likely be corrected over time. Some critics on social media want the ads to be removed. Judging by the league’s tone, that’s not going to happen.
ARIZONA SPORTS: Coyotes majority owner Alex Meruelo is looking to buy out the minority stake in the club from Andrew Barroway, who owns five percent of the club. Barroway took over majority ownership of the club in 2014 until Meruelo acquired the controlling interest in the club in 2019.