NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 15, 2023
The league and the NHLPA will discuss the Mike Babcock photo investigation, the Bruins will name a captain before the season begins, plus the latest on Jake DeBrusk, Pavel Francouz and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the NHL and NHL Players Association will discuss the next steps in an investigation regarding Columbus Blue Jackets coach Mike Babcock requesting his players share personal photos from their cell phones.
The discussion will be taking place as part of a previously scheduled meeting between the two sides.
The league and the PA were initially satisfied with the explanations of Blue Jackets captain Boone Jenner and star winger Johnny Gaudreau regarding Babcock’s request. However, it subsequently came to light that several younger Jackets players were uncomfortable with what took place.
On Thursday, PA executive director Marty Walsh and assistant executive director Ron Hainsey traveled to Columbus to meet with Blue Jackets players. Sources said the meeting was “intense.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Babcock defended his actions in a statement earlier this week by claiming he merely wanted to get to know his players better, saying that he also shared his family photos with them. Jenner and Gaudreau said they had no problem with doing so. Nevertheless, it’s understandable why some players might consider it an invasion of privacy.
BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery confirmed that his club will name a new captain before the start of the upcoming season. Former captain Patrice Bergeron announced his retirement in July, sparking speculation over how the Bruins will choose his potential replacement and which players might be tapped to fill that role.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Montgomery’s remarks dispel recent speculation suggesting the Bruins could have a “captain by committee” consisting of four alternate captains with each taking a turn as captain for a month.
BOSTON HERALD: Speaking of the Bruins, Jake DeBrusk said he’s focusing on the coming season rather than on negotiations for the contract extension. The 26-year-old winger is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next July.
“When it comes to contract talks, it’s one of those things where you need two sides to tango and whenever that happens, it’s happens,” said DeBrusk.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It sounds like the Bruins haven’t opened contract extension discussions yet with the DeBrusk camp. They could prefer conducting those talks over the course of the season. DeBrusk signed his current contract in March 2022 following the 2021-22 trade deadline.
COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: cited Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli reporting Avalanche goaltender Pavel Francouz is unlikely to be ready for the start of training camp or the upcoming season. Francouz, 33, is still recovering from offseason adductor surgery.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Seravalli reported the Avalanche are examining the trade market for a potential replacement. I’ll have more in today’s Rumor Mill.
OTTAWA SUN: The Senators have brought in winger Josh Bailey to training camp on a professional tryout offer (PTO).
DAILY FACEOFF: Forward Zach Aston-Reese signed a PTO with the Carolina Hurricanes.
TSN: The St. Louis Blues signed winger Nick Ritchie to a PTO contract.
FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: The Panthers invited Nick’s brother Brett to a PTO.
DAILY FACEOFF: The Pittsburgh Penguins named Jon Elkin as their new director of goaltending. He’s the former head of goaltending development for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: The Flyers will induct Mark Recchi into their Hall of Fame during a pregame ceremony on Jan. 27 against the Boston Bruins. Recchi played for both clubs during his 22-year NHL career.