NHL Injury Outlook Week 12: From Malkin to Kucherov
Updates on Nicklas Backstrom, Matthew Tkachuk, Brock Boeser plus the latest contract signings in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
THE ATHLETIC: Nicklas Backstrom hopes to remain with the Washington Capitals for the rest of his career. The 31-year-old center is entering his contract year and spent his entire NHL career to date with the Capitals. He and goaltender Braden Holtby are eligible for unrestricted free agent status next summer but the Capitals have limited salary-cap space for 2020-21.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates the Capitals have over $62 million invested in 15 players for ’20-’21. Unless they shed salary they cannot afford to re-sign both players. It’s assumed they’ll retain Backstrom and let Holtby depart via free agency next July.
SPORTSNET: Player agent Don Meehan, who represents Matthew Tkachuk, said they made what they consider a fair offer to the Calgary Flames in early June. He said negotiations are ongoing and he doesn’t anticipate a contract standoff dragging on into the regular season. The Flames have around $7.7 million in salary-cap space.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It will likely cost more than $7.7 million annually to re-sign Tkachuk. Recent speculation suggests the Flames could attempt to trade winger Michael Frolik ($4.3 million) to free up sufficient cap room.
SPORTSNET’s Iain MacIntyre tweets Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning is expected to speak to the media today about his new three-year contract extension. He’ll have nothing new to report on the contract talks with Brock Boeser. “Everyone in NHL seems to be waiting for someone else’s RFA to set market,” writes MacIntyre.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s believed the Boeser camp seeks a multi-year deal worth $7 million annually.
THE ATHLETIC’s Scott Powers reports the Chicago Blackhawks and Brendan Perlini continue to discuss a new contract. Powers cites a source claiming both sides are hopeful of getting a deal done “over the next week or so.”
THE DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche signed winger Valeri Nichushkin to a one-year, one-way contract worth $850K. General manager Joe Sakic considers Nichushkin a big, young winger who will add depth to the Avs roster.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A former Dallas Stars first-round draft pick, Nichushkin struggled to reach expectations following a serious knee injury in his sophomore season. This could be his last chance to continue his NHL career.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Speaking of last chances, this is likely Ho-Sang’s final opportunity to establish himself as an NHL regular with the Islanders.
Blues take 2-1 series lead over the Stars, injury updates, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Patrick Maroon’s tie-breaker late in the third period gave the St. Louis Blues a 4-3 victory over the Dallas Stars in Game 3 of their opening-round series. The Blues lead the series two games to one. The Stars rallied three times to tie the game before Maroon’s game-winner, which had a bit of controversy as Stars goalie Ben Bishop was bumped seconds before the Blues winger scored. Jaden Schwartz and Tyler Bozak each had a goal and an assist for St. Louis.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Things got a bit wild offensively in the third period, with four goals (two by each team) being scored in just over five minutes in the latter half of the third period.
NEWSOBSERVER.COM: Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Petr Mrazek is listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury suffered in Game 2 of their series against the New York Islanders. The Hurricanes have recalled goalie Alex Nedeljkovic from their AHL affiliate in Charlotte.
Defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk (shoulder injury) is sidelined indefinitely while right winger Saku Maenalanen (hand injury) is out for the remainder of this series. They join forwards Jordan Martinook, Micheal Ferland and rookie Andrei Svechnikov (all listed as day-to-day) on the sidelines.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes hold a 2-0 series lead over the Islanders but their depleted depth will take its toll unless some of those injured players return soon.
NEW YORK POST: Speaking of the Islanders, they could turn to Michael Dal Colle if Cal Clutterbuck (lower-body injury) is unable to play Game 3 against the Hurricanes tomorrow night.
THE MERCURY NEWS: Sidelined San Jose Sharks captain Joe Pavelski has been helped coach Pete DeBoer “by giving a player’s perspective on games and also with line combinations for their series against the Colorado Avalanche.” Pavelski (head injury) has been out since Game 7 of their first-round series with the Vegas Golden Knights and there’s no timetable for his return.
NBC SPORTS: Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak was skating with Charlie Coyle and Marcus Johansson at practice yesterday.
VANCOUVER SUN: Player agent Sergey Isakov denied reports out of Russia claiming client Nikolay Goldobin has signed with a KHL team. Isakov claims Goldobin, a restricted free agent, intends to re-sign with the Vancouver Canucks.