NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 15, 2021
NHLPA strongly encourages players to get vaccinated, Jack Roslovic out to prove he can be a top-six center, the latest contract signings and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
THE ATHLETIC: NHL players are being strongly encouraged by the NHL Players Association to get vaccinated for COVID-19, warning about the potential loss of pay if they don’t.
Unvaccinated players who contract the coronavirus during this season or cannot play due to local health regulations face hefty fines and could have their pay withheld by their teams. It’s also unlikely they’ll receive an exemption to travel to Canada for games.
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said over 85 percent of players are vaccinated. The league isn’t expected to mandate its players to receive the vaccine but will instead abide by government and public health guidelines. Daly indicated discussions with the PA over health protocols are ongoing.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The league and the PA want to prevent a repeat of last season when COVID outbreaks among several clubs. Those incidents resulted in rescheduling games as teams that were sidelined ended up playing through more compressed timetables once they were medically cleared to return to action.
Most players probably won’t need much encouragement to avoid face that again. The possible withholding of salary (which the teams are allowed to do) could provide sufficient enticement for the stragglers to get vaccinated.
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Jack Roslovic is out to prove himself as a top-six center with the Blues Jackets. While his offensive ability was solid last season, his defense and faceoff skills needed work. Roslovic is hopeful his work ethic, new assistant coach Paul Vincent (who worked with him during their tenures with the AHL’s Manitoba Moose) and new head coach Brad Larsen’s system will help him improve.
THE PROVINCE: The Canucks avoided arbitration with Jason Dickinson, signing him to a three-year deal worth an annual average value of $2.65 million. The 26-year-old forward was acquired last month from the Dallas Stars.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates the Canucks have over $10.6 million in cap space with Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes to re-sign. It’s speculated it could cost between $12 million and $14 million to sign those two. The Canucks could get $3.35 million in cap relief if Micheal Ferland (post-concussion symptoms) is placed on long-term injury reserve.
TSN: The New York Islanders signed Aatu Raty to a three-year, entry-level contract. The 18-year-old forward was the second-round pick (52nd overall ) by the Isles.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Raty was projected to be a first-round selection but his struggles last season sent his value tumbling. Some observers feel he could be the steal of this year’s draft. His performance in a recent summer tournament suggests he’s playing like he’s got something to prove.
WXYZ.COM: The Detroit Red Wings signed goaltender Sebastian Cossa to an entry-level contract. He was the 15th overall pick in this year’s draft.
TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning anthem singer Sonya Bryson-Kirksey has been released from hospital following a nearly month-long battle with COVID-19 that at one point landed her in intensive care.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Bryson-Kirksey in her ongoing recovery.