NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 12, 2023
Pierre-Luc Dubois believes he’s been misunderstood, Ed Belfour and Ken Hitchcock named to the Dallas Stars Hall of Fame, the Rangers re-sign K’Andre Miller, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines
NHL.COM: Pierre-Luc Dubois said he’s looking forward to the opportunity to fully be himself with the Los Angeles Kings. He was traded to the Kings on June 27 and signed an eight-year, $68 million contract with the club.
Dubois felt he’s been misunderstood at times stemming from his trade requests from the Jets and the Columbus Blue Jackets. He said he had “three unbelievable years in Columbus” and “three great years in Winnipeg,” the 25-year-old forward felt he was ready to move on and do what was right for him and his career. He believes he’ll get that opportunity with the Kings.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dubois’ departure from Columbus and Winnipeg stoked the opinion among fans and pundits that he puts himself above his team. Nevertheless, he has the right to do what he believes is best for himself over the remainder of his playing career.
This move to the Kings could work out quite well for Dubois and his new teammates, so his tenures in his last two NHL cities will become footnotes to his career. On the other hand, if things go sideways and he requests a trade it will only feed the perception of Dubois as a selfish player.
THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Ed Belfour and Ken Hitchcock will be enshrined this season into the Dallas Stars Hall of Fame. Belfour backstopped the Stars to the 1999 Stanley Cup with Hitchcock as their head coach. Belfour was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2011 while Hitchcock will be inducted as a builder among the Class of 2023 in November.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s fair to say that the Stars wouldn’t have won the Stanley Cup without Belfour in goal and Hitchcock behind the bench.
NEW YORK POST: The Rangers signed defenseman K’Andre Miller to a two-year contract with an average annual value of $3.872 million. Miller, 23, is completing his entry-level contract and coming off a career-best 43-point season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers’ limited cap space for 2023-24 combined with Miller’s lack of arbitration rights made this bridge deal possible. It’s an affordable contract for Miller, who is quickly becoming a key part of the Blueshirts’ defense corps.
Miller will be in line for a more substantial raise on his next contract when the salary cap will be significantly higher. By that point, the Rangers should be able to pay him a more lucrative salary.
MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: The Canadiens signed forward Alex Newhook to a four-contract contract with an AAV of $2.9 million. Newhook, 22, was acquired from the Colorado Avalanche where he tallied 33 points in his rookie season (2021-22) and 30 points last season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A speedy forward who can play center or wing, Newhook saw checking-line minutes on a deep Avalanche roster. He could be skating on the second line with the rebuilding Canadiens. It’s an equitable contract that could become a real bargain if Newhook exceeds expectations.
THE NEWS & OBSERVER: The Carolina Hurricanes signed Brendan Lemieux to a one-year, $800K contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes are adding more grit to their lineup after getting swept from the Eastern Conference Finals by the Florida Panthers. They signed winger Michael Bunting on July 1 to a three-year deal.
NASHVILLE HOCKEY NOW: The Predators signed winger Denis Gurianov to a one-year, $850K contract.
DAILY FACEOFF: The Arizona Coyotes signed defenseman Travis Dermott to a one-year, two-way contract worth $800K at the NHL level.
THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks hired Brent Thompson and David Rook as assistant coaches to head coach Greg Cronin. Thompson is the former head coach of the New York Islanders AHL affiliate in Bridgeport. Rook spent five years as the goaltending development coach with the Nashville Predators.
TSN: The Ottawa Senators have parted ways with assistant general manager Trent Mann. The move comes a day after Anthony LeBlanc resigned as president of business operations. These changes come as the club completes an ownership change led by billionaire Michael Andlauer.
NEW YORK POST: The Philadelphia Flyers have issued an apology after members of their social media team were heard making disparaging remarks about a reporter’s question to new Flyers forward Garnet Hathaway during a live stream on Twitter.