NHL Top Candidates in 2019-20: Jack Adams Award
The salary arbitration hearing dates are released, the Sabres trade Alexander Nylander to the Blackhawks, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHLPA: The 2019 salary-arbitration schedule was released yesterday.
Malcolm Subban *
NOTE: * indicates a settlement
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Scratch Boston Bruins winger Danton Heinen and Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Malcolm Subban from this list. Heinen signed a two-year deal with the Bruins worth an annual average value of $2.8 million. The Golden Knights signed Subban to a one-year, $850K contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nylander, the eighth overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, had a disappointing tenure with the Sabres, netting just six points in 19 games. Perhaps a fresh start with the Blackhawks can get his once-promising career on track.
Jokiharju, selected 29th overall in the 2017 draft, had a promising start with the Blackhawks but was returned to the minors midway through last season. His addition to an increasingly crowded Sabres blueline will stoke speculation that they’re planning to move another defenseman for a forward.
THE DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche signed head coach Jared Bednar to a two-year contract extension.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: No surprise here. Bednar’s done a fine job helping turn the Avalanche from a bottom-feeder into a rising power in the Western Conference.
SPORTSDAY: The Dallas Stars re-signed defensemen Gavin Bayreuther and Dillon Heatherington to one-year, two-way contracts.
SPORTSNET: Former Edmonton Oilers forward Ty Rattie has signed a one-year contract with KHL team Lokomotiv.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: The NHL could shorten the free-agent interview period and move the start date for free agency up from July 1.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That will require approval by the league and the NHL Players Association. The two sides are believed engaged in discussions regarding a new collective bargaining agreement. Perhaps shortening the interview period and tying the free-agency start date to the draft, as suggested in the article, will be part of the next CBA.
THE TENNESSEAN: Former Nashville Predators captain Greg Johnson died Monday in his Michigan home. He was 48. An original member of the Predators, he played seven seasons in Nashville and was their captain from 2002-03 to 2005-06. Johnson also played with the Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Chicago Blackhawks, amassing 145 goals and 369 points in 785 career regular-season games.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Johnson’s family, friends, and former teammates. No cause of death was given. Johnson’s career ended in 2006 after an irregular heartbeat was detected during a physical examination.
Capitals eliminated the Blue Jackets, Leafs push Bruins to a seventh game, Wild fire GM Chuck Fletcher, Flames hire Bill Peters. Details and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Alex Ovechkin scored twice and Braden Holtby turned aside 35 shots as the Washington Capitals defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets 6-3 to win their opening-round series in six games. Nick Foligno scored two goals for the Jackets in a losing cause. For the third straight year and the fourth time since 2009, the Capitals will meet the Pittsburgh Penguins in the second round.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rallying from a 2-0 series deficit, the Capitals displayed plenty of character against the Jackets. Holtby’s performance was a big reason for the turnaround, overcoming a disappointing regular-season effort to regain the starter’s job. He finished the series by winning four of five games, sporting a 1.92 goals-against average and a .934 save percentage.
Speaking of overcoming a two-game series deficit, the Toronto Maple Leafs pushed the Boston Bruins to a seventh and deciding game with a 3-1 victory in Game 6. Frederik Andersen made 32 saves while William Nylander, Mitch Marner and Tomas Plekanec tallied for the Leafs.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: After lopsided victories in the first two games, the Bruins appeared poised to sweep the Leafs out of the opening round. Thanks to Andersen’s outstanding play and an improved defensive effort, the Leafs rallied from 2-0 and 3-1 deficits to seize the momentum heading back to Boston for Game 7 on Wednesday.
TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild will not renew the contract of general manager Chuck Fletcher. Team owner Craig Leipold said he doesn’t anticipate head coach Bruce Boudreau or his staff leaving.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: No word yet on Fletcher’s replacement. Whoever gets the job will be expected to shake up a Wild roster that reached the playoffs in six straight seasons but never advanced beyond the second round of the playoffs.
Fletcher’s record was a mixed bag. He got Devan Dubnyk and Eric Staal on the cheap, fleeced the New York Islanders for Nino Niederreiter and drafted Mikael Granlund. However, last year’s deal for Martin Hanzal was a bust, and signing Zach Parise and Ryan Suter to expensive long-term deals in 2012 are potential salary-cap millstones as age and injuries affect their performances.
CALGARY SUN: To the surprise of no one, the Flames hired former Carolina Hurricanes head coach Bill Peters as their new bench boss. On Friday, Peters exercised the out clause in his contract with the Hurricanes.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Peters might bring a different approach to the Flames, but they won’t significantly improve until they address their depth in goal and at right wing.
TSN: The Colorado Avalanche signed head coach Jared Bednar to a one-year contract extension, taking him to the end of the 2019-20 season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A well-deserved reward for Bednar, who coached the Avs from a dead-last performance last season to a playoff berth this year.
ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks won’t be renewing the contract of assistant coach Trent Yawney.
NHL.COM: The league announced the 31-team nominees for the 2018 King Clancy Trophy.
Anaheim Ducks: Ryan Getzlaf
Arizona Coyotes: Oliver Ekman-Larsson
Boston Bruins: Zdeno Chara
Buffalo Sabres: Zach Bogosian
Calgary Flames: Travis Hamonic
Carolina Hurricanes: Justin Faulk
Chicago Blackhawks: Duncan Keith
Colorado Avalanche: Gabriel Landeskog
Columbus Blue Jackets: Sergei Bobrovsky
Dallas Stars: Tyler Seguin
Detroit Red Wings: Justin Abdelkader
Edmonton Oilers: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
Florida Panthers: Mike Matheson
Los Angeles Kings: Drew Doughty
Minnesota Wild: Jason Zucker
Montreal Canadiens: Brendan Gallagher
Nashville Predators: P.K. Subban
New Jersey Devils: Cory Schneider
New York Islanders: Anders Lee
New York Rangers: Henrik Lundqvist
Ottawa Senators: Mark Borowiecki
Philadelphia Flyers: Shayne Gostisbehere
Pittsburgh Penguins: Matt Murray
San Jose Sharks: Chris Tierney
St. Louis Blues: Alex Pietrangelo
Tampa Bay Lightning: Ryan Callahan
Toronto Maple Leafs: Matt Martin
Vegas Golden Knights: Deryk Engelland
Washington Capitals: Brooks Orpik
Winnipeg Jets: Matt Hendricks
Updates on recent trades, free-agent signings & more in this morning’s collection of NHL headlines.
ARIZONA REPUBLIC/MIAMI HERALD: The Arizona Coyotes acquired center David Bolland and prospect forward Lawson Crouse from the Florida Panthers in exchange for conditional third-round pick in 2017 and a conditional second-round pick in 2018.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This move allows the Panthers to dump Bolland’s contract, which pays him $5.5 million annually through 2018-19. He had a modified no-trade clause, but it obviously wasn’t an issue here.
Injuries hampered Bolland over the past three seasons. The Panthers were unable to buy him out this summer because he’s still hurt. While they could’ve place him on LTIR to start this season, they were obviously keen to get his contract off their books.
It came at a high price, as Crouse was one of the Panthers’ top prospects. He could have a better chance cracking the Coyotes lineup than the Panthers this season or next. This move could turn into a significant payoff for the Coyotes if Crouse blossoms into a star in Arizona. They also have no issue with placing Bolland on LTIR.
SPORTSNET: The New York Rangers have reportedly signed UFA forward Brandon Pirri to a one-year, $1.1 million contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: An affordable gamble by the Rangers. Pirri netted 22 goals with the Florida Panthers in 2014-15. He has a decent scoring touch and can play center or on the wing. While his defensive game needs work, he could provide a nice little boost to the Blueshirts’ offense this season.
THE DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche announced Jared Bednar will be their new head coach. Bednar guided the AHL’s Lake Erie Monsters to the 2016 Calder Cup title.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avs were seeking a coach who could work well with their young players. Bednar should fit the bill.
NBC SPORTS: The Avalanche are also reportedly bringing UFA winger Rene Bourque to training camp on a tryout basis.
STARTRIBUNE.COM: Minnesota Wild winger Zach Parise claims he’s made a full recovery from last season’s nagging back injury and is ready to go for the upcoming season.
NHL.COM: Sidney Crosby was named captain of Team Canada for the upcoming World Cup of Hockey. Jonathan Toews and Shea Weber are the alternate captains.
EDMONTON SUN: Former Oilers forward and unrestricted free agent Shawn Horcoff isn’t interested in professional tryout offers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: In that case, his NHL playing days are probably over.
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: The NHL’s Las Vegas expansion franchise could be named the Desert Knights.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: At this point, I don’t care what they call them. Just give them a name so I can stop calling them “the NHL’s Las Vegas expansion franchise”.
NORTHJERSEY.COM: New Jersey Devils single-game tickets for 2016-17 go on sale today.