The NY Islanders traded Travis Hamonic to the Calgary Flames during Day 2 of the 2017 NHL Draft.
My brief take on the 2017 NHL Draft plus a couple of contract signings & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Rounds two through seven of the 2017 NHL Draft were completed yesterday. The notable trade saw the New York Islanders trade defenseman Travis Hamonic and a fourth-round pick to the Calgary Flames for a 2018 first-round pick and two conditional second-round picks in 2019 or 2020.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Following the above link for the complete list of players selected in this year’s draft. Follow this link for full details and my analysis of the Hamonic trade.
For me, the biggest takeaway was the lack of significant trade activity involving veteran players. There was so much hype anticipating major deals involving notable stars such as Matt Duchene, Alex Galchenyuk, Dion Phaneuf and Evander Kane that it overshadowed the draft weekend.
The Hamonic deal is noteworthy and there were three blockbuster moves leading up to the opening round involving Jordan Eberle, Brandon Saad, Artemi Panarin and Derek Stepan. But the other big moves failed to materialize, probably because the asking prices were ridiculously high.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: The New York Rangers are reportedly set to hire former Dallas Stars head coach Lindy Ruff as an assistant coach.
WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets re-signed defenseman Ben Chiarot to a two-year, $2.8 million contract.
The Los Angeles Kings re-signed forward Andy Andreoff to a two-year deal worth an average annual value worth over $677K.
The New Jersey Devils select Nico Hischier as the first overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft.
Results of opening round of the 2017 draft, latest contract signings and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: The New Jersey Devils selected Halifax Mooseheads center Nico Hischier with first overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft. Brandon Wheat Kings center Nolan Patrick was taken second overall by the Philadelphia Flyers, while the Dallas Stars selected HIFK defenseman Miro Heiskanen third overall.
With the 29th overall selection, host team Chicago Blackhawks picked Portland Winterhawks blueliner Henri Jokiharju.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: You can see the full list and analysis of all the opening-round picks at the link above. Unlike recent drafts, there were no obvious can’t-miss NHL superstars such as Connor McDavid or Auston Matthews in this round. However, some of these kids could go on to NHL stardom in their own right.
CSN MID-ATLANTIC: The Washington Capitals re-signed right wing T.J. Oshie to an eight-year, $46-million contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m not surprised that the Capitals retained Oshie. Since coming to Washington in a trade from St. Louis in 2015, he quickly become an invaluable part of their roster core. His new annual cap hit of $5.75 million is a reasonable rate, as he likely could’ve received more on the open market. However, handing a winger who turns 31 in December an eight-year deal is a gamble. His game will inevitably decline over that period.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s a $3.15 million annual average salary for the 33-year-old Eaves, up from $1 million last season. He’s coming off a career-best 32-goal, 51-point campaign split between the Ducks and the Dallas Stars, with 11 of those goals and 14 of those points coming in Anaheim.
Eaves proved to be a good addition after joining the Ducks before last season’s trade deadline. At this stage in his career it remains to be seen if he’ll come close to those numbers again. Still, it’s a justifiable term and salary for the Ducks.
EDMONTON SUN: The Oilers yesterday re-signed defenseman Kris Russell to a four-year, $16-million contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Analytics followers will hate Russell’s deal. Those who believe in human intangibles feel he’s worth retaining, though perhaps not for four years. What’s notable about the 30-year-old blueliner is he’s among the NHL’s best shot blockers. Oilers management obviously liked what he brought to their defense core. I’m sure his value to the Oilers will be debated by their fans for the next four years.
LOS ANGELES TIMES: The Kings yesterday officially bought out the final season of defenseman Matt Greene’s contract. He was slated to earn $2.5 million.
ARIZONA SPORTS: Craig Morgan believes the Coyotes are unlikely to re-sign restricted free agent center Alex Burmistrov.
The Arizona Coyotes mutually part ways with head coach Dave Tippett.
On the eve of the 2017 NHL Draft, the Arizona Coyotes part ways with Dave Tippett. Details and more notable news in your morning coffee headlines.
ARIZONA SPORTS: The Arizona Coyotes announced it has mutually parted ways with long-time head coach Dave Tippett regarding some philosophical differences over the running of the team.
Tippett reportedly wasn’t happy with trading away goaltender Mike Smith and how the club handled its decision not to re-sign captain Shane Doan. None of the other members of the coaching staff were let go.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s no coincidence these recent changes took place after Andrew Barroway became the Coyotes’ sole owner earlier this month. The timing of Tippett’s departure, however, could cause some difficulty for the Coyotes on the eve of the 2017 NHL Draft, as he had considerable input regarding player management decisions.
NHL.COM: With the first overall selection in the 2017 NHL Draft, the New Jersey Devils could end up choosing either Nolan Patrick or Nico Hischier. Both are considered the top-two prospects in this year’s draft.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: The Chicago Blackhawks are expected to place winger Marian Hossa ($5.25 million annual cap hit) on long-term injury reserve for next season. Hossa will sit out the 2017-18 season because of a serious skin allergy related to his hockey equipment.
“A source said the most likely route the Hawks will take to replace Hossa is the “in-season” injured reserve approach. The means the Hawks will carry Hossa and his cap hit on the roster to start the season, then place him on injured reserve after the season begins.” That move would give the Blackhawks more flexibility with their roster during the season.
They could also attempt to trade Hossa’s rights to a club in need of reaching the $55.4 million salary cap minimum, but the Blackhawks could be reluctant to do that because it’s uncertain if his playing career is over.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some consider the timing of Hossa’s decision to skip next season suspicious because it could provide the cap-strapped Blackhawks with salary-cap relief. However, I doubt there’s anything fishy about this. Hossa’s suffered with this rare skin condition for some time and the medication he was taking to address the problem carried potential long-term health concerns. It remains to be seen if this brings about the end of his long playing career.
THE PROVINCE: The Vancouver Canucks are considering a one-year, bonus-laden contract offer for goaltender Ryan Miller.
SPORTSNET’s Chris Johnston reports the Edmonton Oilers will match any offer sheet for restricted free agent forward Leon Draisaitl.
NBC SPORTS: The Vegas Golden Knights reportedly aren’t interested in trading defensemen Shea Theodore and Nate Schmidt.
MIAMI HERALD: The Florida Panthers hired Chris Pronger as an adviser to general manager Dale Tallon.
TRIBLIVE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins re-signed defenseman Chad Ruhwedel to a two-year contract worth $650K annually.
NHL.COM: The league released its schedule for 2017-18. The curtain rises on October 4, 2017.