NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 27, 2019
An update on Connor McDavid, Jesse Puljujarvi signs with Finnish club, Mikko Rantanen trains with Norwegian team, Senators talk contract with Thomas Chabot, and much more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
TSN: Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid said his recovery from a late-season knee injury is progressing well. “Just working hard to get to camp and focus on that. [This off-season] has been different, just focusing on that [rehab]. It’s taking a lot of time, but it’s been good.”
McDavid also said he recently had dinner with new Oilers coach Dave Tippett and claimed his initial reaction was excitement over the club hiring Ken Holland as general manager. However, he was disappointed to see his friend, Milan Lucic, traded to Calgary for James Neal.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Speaking of Holland, he’s unconcerned over McDavid’s decision not to skate in this summer’s BioSteel camp. “McDavid is skating every day since early August with his rehab people,” he said. “I think he wants to stick to his rehab protocol.” Holland also indicated his captain’s recovery is progressing well.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: With training camp opening in just over two weeks, we’ll find out soon enough how long it’ll take McDavid to participate in training camp and get up to full speed for the season. The Oilers need him at his best to have a realistic shot at reaching the playoffs.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: cites a report out of Finland indicating Oilers winger Jesse Puljujarvi has signed a one-year contract with Finnish club Karpat Oulu. “The agreement includes an option for Puljujärvi to qualify for the NHL until December 1.” A restricted free agent lacking arbitration rights, Puljujarvi has requested a trade after struggling to reach expectations with the Oilers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers could still shopo Puljujarvi but his low trade value right now means they won’t get anything worthwhile in return. Puljujarvi could also return to the Oilers before Dec. 1 but I think he’ll be spending this season in Finland. Holland won’t be pressured into trading him and seems content to let the struggling winger try to regain his form in his home country.
THE SCORE: Colorado Avalanche winger Mikko Rantanen “is skating with the Storhamar Dragons in Norway as he awaits a new NHL contract, the Norwegian team confirmed Monday.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unlike Puljujarvi’s situation in Edmonton, Rantanen isn’t demanding a trade or threatening to play the entire season overseas. This looks more like an insurance option for the young winger in case his contract talks drag into the start of training camp. The Avs remain hopeful of getting Rantanen under contract before then.
OTTAWA SUN: The Senators are working on a contract extension with Thomas Chabot. GM Pierre Dorion remains tightlipped over the status of the talks, though they’re ongoing and believed to be going well. The 22-year-old defenseman is in the final season of his entry-level contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Looks like the Sens want to lock up Chabot to a long-term deal. Cap Friendly indicates they have over $33 million invested in just nine players for 2020-21, giving them plenty of cap space to ink the blueliner to a hefty raise.
PHILLY.COM: Flyers RFAs Ivan Provorov and Travis Konecny remain unsigned but GM Chuck Fletcher expects contract discussions to heat up as training camp approaches next month. Fletcher’s open to either a bridge deal or a long-term contract for one or both players.
The Flyers GM also said center Tyler Pitlick underwent surgery last week to repair a tendon in his left wrist. It’s hoped Pitlick will be ready for the start of the Flyers’ regular-season schedule on Oct. 4.
WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets signed forward Gabriel Bourque to a “one-year, two-way deal worth an annual average value of $700,000 in the NHL.”
NEWSOBSERVER.COM: Carolina Hurricanes prospect Stelio Mattheos “is completing treatments for testicular cancer, the team said Monday, and will not participate in the Canes’ 2019 training camp.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s hoping Mattheos makes a full recovery and resumes his playing career soon.
The Iowa Wild signed NHL veteran Cody McLeod to an AHL contract.
THE ATHLETIC’s Sean Shapiro reports Scottie Upshall will attend Dallas Stars training camp on a professional tryout offer.
TSN: Former NHL enforcer Donald Brashear will appear in a Quebec City courtroom on Sept.4 facing a charge of cocaine possession. He was arrested on June 5 “after allegedly breaking an apartment window and was found to have the drug in his possession.”
STLTODAY.COM: The Blues and the NHL unveiled the logo for the 2020 NHL All-Star Game.