NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 24, 2016

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 24, 2016

St. Louis Blues re-sign forward Alexander Steen.

St. Louis Blues re-sign forward Alexander Steen.

 Alexander Steen re-signs with Blues, plus updates on Rick Nash, P.K. Subban & more in your NHL morning headlines.

STLTODAY.COM: The St. Louis Blues re-signed forward Alexander Steen to a four-year, $23 million contract extension which begins in 2017-18. Steen will earn an annual average cap hit of $5.75 million, down slightly from the $5.8 million AAV of his current deal. He was eligible for unrestricted free agency next July.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Having lost veteran leadership and experience when David Backes and Troy Brouwer departed via free agency this summer, the Blues obviously didn’t want to face the same risk with Steen. When healthy, the 32-year-old winger is a reliable scoring forward for the Blues. Given his age and injury history, this deal is perhaps a year too long.  Still, if he can remain as productive as he’s been through most of his career, it could prove worthwhile. 

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: With the Rangers loading up on forwards in the offseason, winger Rick Nash isn’t taking his roster spot for granted in the upcoming season. Nash was linked to St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk in this summer’s rumor mill. He was hampered by injury last season but refused to use that as an excuse for his low production.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nash’s $7.8 million annual cap hit through 2017-18 is a significant sticking point in any attempt to move him. Teams could prefer waiting to see how he performs this season before pursuing a trade. 

THE TENNESSEAN: P.K. Subban will miss the opening days of Nashville Predators training camp to an upper-body injury. He’s currently listed as day-to-day. 

THE GLOBE AND MAIL/SPORTSNET: James Mirtle and Elliotte Friedman commented on Toronto Maple Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul failing his team physical. Lupul, who underwent sports hernia surgery last February, reportedly told teammates this summer he was ready to go for the upcoming season. Mirtle and Friedman compared this situation to that of Stephane Robidas last year, who missed all of last season to medical reasons despite claiming he felt great after coming off a broken leg.

Friedman wondered if Lupul might contest this, citing defenseman Jared Cowen’s upcoming grievance hearing. Judging by Lupul’s brief statement on Thursday, Mirtle suspects he might not challenge the decision. Both agree Lupul probably didn’t fit into the Leafs plans for the upcoming season. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given Lupul’s lengthy injury history, it’s not surprising that he failed his team medical. As Mirtle points out, the Leafs can free up two roster spots from having Lupul and Robidas sit out. 

NBC SPORTS: Calgary Flames center Mikael Backlund is listed as day-to-day after suffering a concussion playing for Team Sweden at the World Cup of Hockey. 

OTTAWA SUN: Senators forward Curtis Lazar is sidelined with mononucleosis. 

TWINCITIES.COM:  Tomas Fleischmann failed his physical with the Minnesota Wild. He’s attending Wild training camp on a tryout basis. 

NEWS 1130:  Unrestricted free agent winger David Jones signed a professional tryout offer with the Anaheim Ducks. 

MLIVE.COM:  Daniel Cleary signed a minor-league contract with the Detroit Red Wings AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids. The Wings also signed defenseman Ryan Sproul to a two-year deal

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 17, 2016

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 17, 2016

Claude Giroux a healthy scratch for Team Canada's opening game of the World Cup of Hockey.

Claude Giroux a healthy scratch for Team Canada’s opening game of the World Cup of Hockey.

 Updates on Claude Giroux, Mats Zuccarello, Nick Bonino & more in this morning’s NHL headlines. 

NBC SPORTS:  Philadelphia Flyers center Claude Giroux will be a healthy scratch for Team Canada in their opening game of the World Cup of Hockey tournament. Since 2010-11, Giroux’s 367 points makes him the NHL’s highest-scoring player over that period. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Such is the depth on Canada’s roster than a star like Giroux can be a healthy scratch. It’s also worth noting that Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby, winner of the 2016 Vezina Trophy as the league’s top goalie, is also a healthy scratch for Team Canada in their tournament opener.

NEW YORK POST: Rangers winger Mats Zuccarello didn’t like the fact two of his best friends (Carl Hagelin and Derick Brassard) were traded since last summer. While Zuccarello understands it’s the business of the game, he admits having his buddies traded away was a painful experience.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: When a player is traded, we rarely see or hear about the emotional effect. Zuccarello will suck it up and play his best, of course, and obviously doesn’t begrudge Rangers management for trading his friends. Still, his candor reveals that it’s tough for some players to see their close friends move on. 

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE:  Penguins center Nick Bonino is hopeful of remaining with the Penguins beyond this season. He’s eligible next July for unrestricted free agency. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Bonino maintains the same successful chemistry he had last season with linemates Phil Kessel and Carl Hagelin, Penguins management will do all they can to ensure he remains in Pittsburgh beyond this season. 

PHILLY.COM:  This season is a bittersweet one for the Philadelphia Flyers. It’s the club’s 50th anniversary, but they’re celebrating it without team founder Ed Snider, who passed away earlier this year. 

TSN.CA:  Stephane Robidas will no longer be skating with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Instead, the defenseman will work with the club as a consultant. He missed all of last season to a leg injury and didn’t pass his training-camp physical. He has a season left on his contract worth a cap hit of $3 million. 

MLIVE.COM: The Detroit Red Wings hired former NHL center Shawn Horcoff as their director of player development. He replaces Jiri Fischer, who moves into a player evaluation role with the club. The Wings also invited forward Daniel Cleary to training camp on a professional tryout offer. 

OTTAWA CITIZEN:  The Senators signed former Vancouver Canucks defenseman Matt Bartkowski to a professional tryout contract. 

GENERAL FANAGER: Former Edmonton Oilers blueliner Nikita Nikitin has signed a one-year deal with Avangard Omsk of the KHL.

WINNIPEG SUN:  Hall of Famer Bobby Hull will not be attending his induction into the Winnipeg Jets Hall of Fame for personal reasons.