NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 16, 2019

William Nylander changes his jersey number, the Avalanche re-sign Andre Burakovsky, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

SPORTSNET: Toronto Maple Leafs winger William Nylander announced he’ll be changing his jersey number to 88. He wore that number when he played in Sweden. He’s hoping for a bounce-back season after a sub-par performance in 2018-19. 

William Nylander caused a stir among Toronto Maple Leafs fans by changing his number to 88 (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nylander’s decision caused a bit of a stir yesterday among some denizens of Leafs Nation. Hall of Famer and former Leafs Eric Lindros wore No. 88 and some Leafs fans felt Nylander was either being disrespectful of Lindros’ legacy or should’ve asked his permission. That’s just ridiculous. Patrick Kane, Brent Burns, David Pastrnak and Andrei Vasilevskiy didn’t need anyone’s permission to wear 88.  Besides, Lindros only played 33 games for the Leafs and he probably doesn’t give a crap who wears that number. 

THE DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche re-signed winger Andre Burakovsky to a one-year, $3.25-million contract. He’ll be a restricted free agent next summer with arbitration rights. He was acquired in a trade with the Washington Capitals on June 28. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is a “show-me” contract. Burakovsky has size, speed and offensive skills but he struggled to put forth a consistent performance during his years with the Capitals. Perhaps skating with new teammates will help him reach his full potential.

THE SCORE: Forward Sonny Milano has accepted the Columbus Blue Jackets’ qualifying offer. It’s a one-year contract worth over $874K. 

NEWSOBSERVER.COM: The Carolina Hurricanes re-signed forward Clark Bishop to a one-year, two-way contract. 

SPORTSDAY: Former Dallas Stars captain Brenden Morrow returns to the club as the director of business and hockey development. He spent 13 of his 15 NHL seasons with the Stars. 

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks hired Kevin Dineen as their new head coach of their AHL affiliate in San Diego. 

NEW YORK POST: Former NHL player Sean Avery “rejected a plea deal Monday in Manhattan Criminal Court for hitting a car with his scooter after it blocked a bike lane in Greenwich Village.”

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 15, 2019

A look at the Central Division, Tyler Seguin believes the Stars are “all-in” for the coming season, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NBC SPORTS: Scott Billeck believes the Dallas Stars and Colorado Avalanche are on the rise in the Central Division. He also believes the Nashville Predators and the Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues remain strong. It remains to be seen how the Winnipeg Jets and Chicago Blackhawks perform following their offseason move. The Minnesota Wild, meanwhile, are expected to struggle. 

SPORTSDAY: Speaking of the Stars, Tyler Seguin believes they’re all-in in 2019-20 following the additions of Joe Pavelski, Corey Perry, and Andrej Sekera.

Tyler Seguin is pleased with the Dallas Stars’ off-season acquisitions (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pavelski will certainly improve the Stars’ scoring depth. The jury’s out on an aging Corey Perry, who missed most of last season to a knee injury. If Sekera can rebound from the injuries that sidelined him for most of the past two seasons, he should be an effective addition to their blueline. 

THE BOSTON GLOBE: Thanks for friend and former Bruins teammate Cam Neely, Geoff Courtnall is celebrating nearly a decade of sobriety and wants to help others. Courtnall spent 17 seasons in the NHL with five teams – five with the Bruins – from 1983-84 to 1999-2000. 

YARDBARKER: Former Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov signed a one-year contract with the KHL’s Avangard Omsk. Voynov is under a one-year suspension by the NHL “as additional punishment from his domestic abuse incident back in 2014”. While that suspension was cut in half in May, the Kings have no intention of bringing him back and no other NHL club is interested in his rights. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Voynov is toxic in the NHL. No club wants the bad publicity they’ll get from signing him. 

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: The Golden Knights “sold player-worn gear and team-issued equipment at City National Arena.”  

NEW YORK POST: The New Jersey Devils mascot accidentally broke at window at a children’s birthday party on Sunday. 

A Bridge Contract Could Be the Solution for McAvoy and Bruins


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 14, 2019

The Blues re-sign Jordan Binnington plus updates on Jake Gardiner, Brock Boeser, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

STLTODAY.COM: The St. Louis Blues yesterday avoided salary arbitration with goaltender Jordan Binnington. The two sides agreed to a two-year contract with an annual average value of $4.4 million. 

The St. Louis Blues re-sign Jordan Binnington to a two-year deal (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s a very reasonable contract for Binnington. For the Blues, this doesn’t lock them in for too long with a player who has a  very short (albeit impressive) body of work in the NHL. It also doesn’t put a big dent into their salary-cap payroll. Cap Friendly indicates they have over $7.1 million in cap room, with Joel Edmundson, Ivan Barbashev, and Oskar Sundqvist to re-sign.

For Binnington, it’s a healthy payraise over last season’s $650K. It also gives him the opportunity to become a UFA in two year’s time. If he builds upon this year’s performance, he’ll be in line for a more lucrative deal. 

NBC SPORTS: Adam Gretz examines why defenseman Jake Gardiner remains available in the unrestricted free agent market. Gardiner’s recent back injury could be a legitimate concern among interested clubs. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In recent years it seems there’s always one player considered among the top UFAs who ends up taking longer to sign a contract, usually for much less than projected. That’s free agency under a hard salary cap.

When the free-agent market opens there’s usually several teams with plenty of money pursuing the top talent. Within a couple of days, however, most of the best players are signed and there aren’t as many teams with the cap space to invest in the remaining UFA talent. It’s almost like musical chairs. Now that the music has stopped, Gardiner finds himself without a seat. 

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Jared Clinton looks at what it might take for the Vancouver Canucks to get Brock Boeser under contract. The restricted free agent winger could get around $7.5 million per season. 

SPORTSDAY: The Dallas Stars offseason moves have received high grades from many NHL observers. Their additions include Joe Pavelski, Corey Perry, and Andrej Sekera. 

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: Vegas Golden Knights owner Tom Foley hopes to build a new aircraft hangar “to upgrade the way the executives behind the franchise and other companies he’s tied to travel.”

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 13, 2019

The Hurricanes sign Ryan Dzingel, the Flyers re-sign Scott Laughton, and the Blues re-up Robby Fabbri. Details on these and other signings in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: The Carolina Hurricanes yesterday signed free-agent winger Ryan Dzingel to a two-year, $6.75-million contract. 

The Carolina Hurricanes signed winger Ryan Dzingel to a two-year contract (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The annual average value is $3.375 million, which is considerably less than the $5-million AAV Dzingel reportedly sought from the Ottawa Senators earlier this season. It’s a cost-effective short-term deal that could pay significant offenseive dividends for the Hurricanes. 

Dzingel had a career-high 56 points split between the Senators and Columbus Blue Jackets. However, his production and ice time declined following his trade to the Jackets. Dzingel said he’s looking forward to playing with the Hurricanes because coach Rod Brind’Amour plays an up-tempo system that favors his style of play.  

NBC SPORTS: The Philadelphia Flyers avoided arbitration with forward Scott Laughton by signing him to a two-year, $4.6-million deal. 

WGR 550: Center Johan Larsson signed his one-year qualifying offer ($1.55 million) with the Buffalo Sabres.

NHL.COM: The St. Louis Blues re-signed forward Robby Fabbri to a one-year, $900K contract. 

TRIBLIVE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins re-signed winger Adam Johnson to a one-year, two-way deal worth $700K at the NHL level. 

NHL.COM: The Columbus Blue Jackets has brought back Craig Hartsburg as an amateur scout and defense development coach. Former NHL goaltender Niklas Backstrom joins the Jackets as their European goaltending coach.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 12, 2019

Phil Kessel sparks a surge in Coyotes ticket sales, the latest contract signings, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

ARIZONA REPUBLIC: The Coyotes’ recent acquisition of Phil Kessel sparked a 600 percent surge in tickets sales for the week following the trade compared to the same week a year ago. That included a 550 percent spike in season-ticket sale. 

After acquiring Phil Kessel, the Arizona Coyotes saw a spike in ticket sales (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s been years since the Coyotes had an established sniper like Kessel. They’re hoping he’ll provide a much-needed scoring boost that propels them into the playoffs for the first time since 2012. If he does, the Coyotes can expect a healthier surge in season-ticket sales next summer. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens yesterday avoided salary arbitration with forwards Joel Armia and Artturi Lehkonen, signing each to two-year contracts. Armia’s deal is worth $5.2 million ($2.6-million annual average value) while Lehkonen’s is worth $4.8 million ($2.4 million AAV). The Habs now have over $4.84 million in cap space. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Habs still have plenty of wiggle room if they want to bolster their left-side defense or bring in another scoring forward via trade. They could also make another depth signing via free agency. 

SPORTSDAY: The Dallas Stars re-signed center Jason Dickinson to a two-year, $3-million contract. 

NBC SPORTS: The San Jose Sharks re-signed centers Dylan Gambrell and Antti Suomela. Gambrell got a two-year deal and Suomela one year. Each have an annual average value of $700K. Gambrell’s deal is a two-way in the first year and one-way in the second. 

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks signed defenseman Michael Del Zotto to a one-year, $750K contract. 

VANCOUVER SUN: Alex Burrows will join the Canucks’ Ring of Honour on December 3. He spent 12 seasons in Vancouver. 

NBC SPORTS: Paul Holmgren is no longer the team president of the Philadelphia Flyers. He’s now a senior advisor to Comcast Spectacor chairman and CEO Dave Scott. General manager Chuck Fletcher takes over from Holmgren as president. 

EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers hired Tyler Wright as their new director of amateur scouting. Wright held the same position with the Detroit Red Wings. Archie Henderson was also hired to be their new director of pro scouting.