Zdeno Chara and P.K. Subban Announce Their Retirements

Zdeno Chara and P.K. Subban Announce Their Retirements

SPORTSNET: Zdeno Chara has signed a one-day contract with the Boston Bruins and has announced his retirement from the NHL after 24 seasons. P.K. Subban also announced he is retiring after 13 NHL seasons.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This may be the first time that two former winners of the James Norris Memorial Trophy announced their retirements not just on the same day but within minutes of each other.

Zdeno Chara (right) and P.K. Subban (NHL.com).

Chara became one of the best defensemen of his era. Debuting with the New York Islanders in 1997-98, the 6’9”, 250-pounder blossomed into a star after being traded to the Ottawa Senators in 2001, spending four seasons with them. He was a First-Team All-Star and a Norris Finalist in 2003-04 and was named to the Second Team in 2005-06.

It’s fitting that Chara is retiring as a Bruins. Joining them in 2006-07, Chara truly came into his own as a great all-around defenseman and a respected leader during his 14 seasons in Boston. He led them to three Stanley Cup Finals and one championship (2011), won the Norris in 2008-09 and become a finalist four times. He was also named to the First All-Star Team twice and was a three-time member of the Second All-Star Team.

Chara spent the final two seasons with the Washington Capitals and the Islanders. He holds the record for most games played by an NHL defenseman with 1,680, finishing with 680 career points and 2,085 PIMs, along with 70 points in 200 career playoff games. Don’t be surprised if he’s elected into the Hockey Hall of Fame on the first ballot.

Subban made his NHL debut in 2009-10 with the Montreal Canadiens. He quickly established himself as a gifted puck-moving defenseman with a hard shot from the point and was named to the All-Rookie Team in 2010-11. He netted 115 goals and 467 points in 834 career games and 62 points in 96 playoff contests.

A flashy, entertaining player personable with reporters and popular with fans, Subban’s seven seasons with the Canadiens were his best. He won the Norris Trophy in 2012-13 and earned a place on the First All-Star Team. He was named again to the First Team two years later and was also a Norris finalist that season.

Traded to the Nashville Predators in 2016, Subban helped them reach the 2017 Stanley Cup Final. He was named to the Second All-Star Team in 2017-18 and was again a finalist for the Norris. In 2019, he was traded to the New Jersey Devils where he spent the remainder of his career. He was honored with the King Clancy Memorial Trophy last season for his charitable work.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 15, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 15, 2022

Nazem Kadri spurned a more lucrative deal to sign with the Flames, the Senators signed Tyler Motte, the Blackhawks announced the date for Marian Hossa’s jersey retirement and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun reports Nazem Kadri is believed to have turned down an offer from a club earlier in this summer’s free-agent period that would’ve paid him $8.5 million per season. Kadri, 31, signed a seven-year deal last month with the Calgary Flames worth an average annual value of $7 million.

Calgary Flames center Nazem Kadri (NHL Images).

At the time, Kadri’s agent, Darren Ferris, told Flames general manager Brad Treliving that his client’s decision came down to three teams. LeBrun claims the New York Islanders were definitely interested in the former Colorado Avalanche center.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: According to LeBrun, Kadri’s decision not to sign with the team making the bigger offer was because the fit “obviously wasn’t right for him.” He didn’t indicate which team made that offer.

LeBrun also believes that Kadri likely waited to see if Isles GM Lou Lamoriello could free up the necessary cap space to sign him.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators signed Tyler Motte to a one-year, $1.35 million contract. The 27-year-old checking-line forward split last season with the Vancouver Canucks and New York Rangers, helping the latter reach the 2022 Eastern Conference Finals.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A low-cost signing that provides more experienced depth to the Senators’ checking lines.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: The Blackhawks announced they’ll retire Marian Hossa’s No. 81 during a ceremony on Nov. 20 prior to their game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the United Center.

Hossa will become the eighth player in franchise history to have his number retired. The Hall-of-Famer spent eight of his 19 NHL seasons with the Blackhawks, winning three Stanley Cups between 2010 and 2015.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hossa also briefly played for the Penguins in 2018, helping them reach that year’s Stanley Cup Final.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: It appears goaltender Andrew Hammond won’t be joining the Panthers on a professional tryout offer. He’s reportedly going to sign with KHL club Traktor Chelyabinsk though it hasn’t been confirmed yet. Hammond, 34, split last season with the Montreal Canadiens and New Jersey Devils.

DAILY FACEOFF: The Arizona Coyotes signed winger Alex Chiasson to a professional tryout offer. Former Boston Bruins forward Zach Senyshyn has accepted a PTO with the New Jersey Devils. The Columbus Blue Jackets signed Victor Rask to a PTO. The 29-year-old center split last season between the Minnesota Wild and Seattle Kraken.

Speaking of the Blue Jackets, THE ATHLETIC’s Aaron Portzline reported they’ve hired former NHL defenseman Roman Polak as a European-based scout.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets head equipment manager Tim Leroy is no longer with the club. He’d been in that role since their inaugural season in 2000.

TSN: Nathan Gerbe has retired as an NHL player after 11 seasons to join the Nashville Predators as their forward development coach. One of the NHL’s smallest players at 5’4”, Gerbe played 435 games with the Buffalo Sabres, Carolina Hurricanes and Columbus Blue Jackets, scoring 63 goals and 151 points.

Speaking of the Predators, they’ve hired Ronda Engelhardt as a North American scout based out of Minnesota. She becomes their first female scout.

CALGARY SUN: Reports indicate the roof of the Saddledome is showing signs of deterioration with netting put up as a precaution. Meanwhile, a committee tasked with finding a replacement for the aging arena has reportedly made some progress.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A crumbling Saddledome could spur along negotiations to hammer out an agreement for a new arena.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 14, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 14, 2022

The Blues sign Jordan Kyrou to an eight-year contract extension, the Stars re-sign general manager Jim Nill, an update on Tom Wilson and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

STLTODAY.COM: The St. Louis Blues yesterday signed Jordan Kyrou to an eight-year, $65 million contract extension. The average annual value is $8.125 million. Kyrou is a 24-year-old right wing who is in the second season of his two-year deal with an AAV of $2.8 million.

St. Louis Blues forward Jordan Kyrou (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kyrou followed up a promising 35-point performance in 56 games during the COVID-shortened 2020-21 season with 75 points in 74 games. His contract extension is similar to the one signed by teammate Robert Thomas in July.

It’s clear that Blues management sees those two as important long-term members of their roster core. Given how salaries for top players continue to rise, their identical AAVs could look like bargains in a few years if they continue to maintain or exceed last season’s point-per-game average.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Stars inked general manager Jim Nill to a contract extension that keeps him signed through 2023-24. He indicated the length of the deal was his idea. “Let’s do two years and let’s see where things are at after two years and just go from there,” he said, indicating he remains hopeful of staying in the role beyond ’23-’24.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nill, 64, is entering his 10th season as the Stars GM. Over the past nine seasons, they’ve reached the playoffs five times with the highlight being their run to the 2020 Stanley Cup Final.

THE ATHLETIC: Washington Capitals winger Tom Wilson is believed to be ahead of schedule in his recovery from surgery on his left knee. The club is hopeful he’ll return to action sometime in early December.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: Blackhawks defenseman Jake McCabe underwent cervical spine surgery and is expected to miss 10-12 weeks. His timeline to return is sometime in late November.

NEWSDAY’s Andrew Gross took to Twitter on Tuesday to report New York Islanders defenseman Scott Mayfield and forward Cal Clutterbuck are expected to be ready for training camp next week. Both players missed the end of last season with injuries.

TSN: Chris Tanev is expected to be ready for the start of Calgary Flames’ training camp on Sept. 22. The 32-year-old defenseman underwent offseason surgery to repair a dislocated shoulder suffered during the 2022 playoffs against the Dalla Stars.

The New Jersey Devils signed Thomas Hickey to a professional tryout offer. The 33-year-old defenseman spent the past nine seasons with the New York Islanders.

DAILY FACEOFF: The Seattle Kraken signed Daniel Sprong to a PTO. He split last season between the Washington Capitals and the Kraken.

THE SEATTLE TIMES: Speaking of the Kraken, they promoted analytics director Alexandra Mandrycky to assistant general manager. She’s the first woman to hold that title while specializing primarily in analytics.

NHL.COM: Former NHL goaltender Scott Darling is trying his hand at standup comedy. He played five seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks and Carolina Hurricanes from 2014-15 to 2018-19, winning a Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks in 2015.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 11, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 11, 2022

Jack Campbell is looking forward to his role as the Oilers’ starting goalie, Jonathan Drouin hopes to change his luck this season, the Kings re-sign Mikey Anderson, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

THE ATHLETIC: Jack Campbell is excited about the opportunity to help the Edmonton Oilers become a Stanley Cup champion. The 30-year-old goaltender signed a five-year, $25 million contract with the club in July following 2 1/2 seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Edmonton Oilers goaltender Jack Campbell (NHL Images).

I just can’t wait to do my part to try to help out and to get to the next step of being a champion,” said Campbell. He acknowledged the Oilers have a lot of work ahead of them but he’s ready to help them out as best he can as their starting netminder.

For Edmonton to believe in me and allow me to be here for five years and get to work with this group every single day and try to accomplish some amazing things, I’m just so excited.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Campbell is getting the opportunity in Edmonton that he thought he’d earned with the Maple Leafs over the past two seasons. This will provide him the chance to silence the critics who point to his inconsistent play over the second half of last season as justification for questioning his abilities as a starting goalie.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Canadiens winger Jonathan Drouin is seeking a fresh start in the coming season by changing his sweater number from 92 to 27. He wore the latter number during his junior years with the QMJHL’s Halifax Mooseheads and his tenure with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Drouin, 27, has been sidelined by injuries and a mental health break over the past several seasons. He’s in his contract year and eligible to become an unrestricted free agent next July.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hockey players are a superstitious bunch. Most will look for anything to change their puck luck, including a number change.

Drouin needs something to help him have a healthy and productive season. It will determine if he has a future with the Canadiens and if not, will bolster his stock in the free-agent market.

TSN: The Los Angeles Kings signed defenseman Mikey Anderson to a one-year, $1 million contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Anderson, 23, is coming off his entry-level contract and has become a key part of their blueline corps over the past two seasons. His lack of arbitration rights gave Kings general manager Rob Blake the hammer in contract talks but that will change next season when the young blueliner becomes arbitration-eligible.

The Kings have one restricted free agent left in defenseman Sean Durzi, who is also coming off an ELC. With less than $1.4 million remaining in cap space, he’ll probably get a deal similar to Anderson’s.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Dominik Simon has rejected an offer from the Penguins to attend training camp to sign with Czech Elite League club Sparta Praha. The 28-year-old forward spent most of his seven NHL seasons with the Penguins along with stops with the Calgary Flames and Anaheim Ducks, amassing 77 points in 256 career games.

NJ.COM: Jonathan Bernier won’t be ready to start the upcoming season with the Devils. The 34-year-old goaltender underwent hip surgery in January and it isn’t clear when he’ll return to the lineup.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bernier’s in the final season of his two-year contract with the Devils. They’re pressed against the $82.5 million salary cap but could place him on long-term injury reserve if necessary to garner some cap relief.

ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH’s Jim Thomas recently reported via Twitter that all 32 NHL teams were informed they will be returning to normal, pre-pandemic media access regulations.










NHL Rumor Mill – August 29, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – August 29, 2022

What’s the latest on J.T. Miller’s contract extension talks with the Canucks? Could a couple of Metro Division teams become his potential trade destinations? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.

THE ATHLETIC: Rick Dhaliwal and Thomas Drance recently provided an update on contract extension talks between the Vancouver Canucks and J.T. Miller. The 29-year-old center is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next July.

The two sides discussed a contract extension earlier in the offseason but a big gap remains. Miller’s agent said there’s a good chance contract talks could be cut off if a deal isn’t in place by the start of the regular season.

Vancouver Canucks forward J.T. Miller (NHL Images).

Canucks management wants to retain Miller but they have to maintain salary-cap discipline. It appears both sides are in “wait-and-see” mode for the time being.

VANCOUVER HOCKEY NOW: Rob Simpson reported the New York Islanders were among a handful of clubs reportedly interested in Miller during the 2022 NHL Draft last month in Montreal. Simpson cited four NHL general managers claiming at least two Metropolitan Division teams are interested in the Canucks center.

Simpson subsequently suggested the New Jersey Devils and Carolina Hurricanes as potential trade destinations for Miller.

Miller could skate on the wing for the Devils alongside Jack Hughes or Nico Hischier but still take faceoffs. He also suggested Devils defenseman Damon Severson as part of the return to bolster the Canucks right-side blueline depth.

As for the Hurricanes, Simpson suggested a return of a first-rounder, 23-year-old forward Martin Necas and potentially defenseman Brett Pesce or Ethan Bear.

NYI HOCKEY NOW: Stefen Rosner believes now is the time for the Islanders to acquire Miller. He thinks it’s risky for the Canucks to hang onto him during the season and risk losing him to injury. If he struggles this season, it would hurt his trade value.

The Islanders failed to bring in a scoring forward this summer to bolster their offense. Adding Miller now would give him time to adjust to his new teammates, providing the Isles with the scorer they need to contend for the Stanley Cup.

Rosner believes a deal for Miller will cost the Islanders a first-round pick and a right-side, right-shot defenseman. He suggested including Scott Mayfield but he wouldn’t fit the Canucks need for a young defenseman. They would have to include a sweetener such as Samuel Bolduc.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks could surprise us by moving Miller before training camp opens if they know there’s no way they can afford to re-sign him. Nevertheless, they don’t appear to be in any hurry to make that move. I doubt we’ll see Miller heading to a new club before training camp unless a rival club makes an offer along the lines of Simpson’s suggested return from the Hurricanes.

Speaking of the Hurricanes, I don’t see them pitching that offer of a first, Necas and Pesce or Bear. They made two significant additions already in Brent Burns and Max Pacioretty and recently signed Paul Stastny in part to offset Pacioretty’s absence with a torn Achilles.

The Devils added Ondrej Palat and Erik Haula to their forward lines this summer and I don’t believe they’ll part with Severson despite his UFA status next July. They’ll likely stick with their current roster and see how the season unfolds. Their biggest weakness remains between the pipes. Unless Vitek Vanecek or Mackenzie Blackwood steps up this season, they’ll likely be in the market for a goalie later this season.

As for the Islanders, I don’t think they can afford Miller now unless they’re willing to part with Noah Dobson, who would perfectly fit the Canucks need for a young right-shot defenseman. Indeed, I wouldn’t be surprised if the rumored deal the two clubs were discussing at the draft fell apart because the Canucks wanted Dobson.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 24, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 24, 2022

The Hurricanes sign Paul Stastny, the Islanders make some depth signings, the Coyotes’ new arena gets a name and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: The Carolina Hurricanes signed Paul Stastny to a one-year, $1.5 million contract. The 36-year-old forward scored 21 goals and 45 points in 71 games last season with the Winnipeg Jets. He also gets a $500K performance bonus if the Hurricanes win the Stanley Cup.

Carolina Hurricanes sign free agent Paul Stastny (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Stastny signing is meant to offset the absence of Max Pacioretty, who is sidelined until February recovering from a torn Achilles tendon. The signing raised some questions over whether Jesperi Kotkaniemi will be knocked out of the second-line center position.

Stastny can play center or left wing. With Pacioretty on the shelf, he could be projected to fill the left wing spot on the second or third line. He can also slide into the second-line center position if Kotkaniemi struggles in that role in the coming season.

DAILY FACEOFF: One day after re-signing Noah Dobson, Alexander Romanov and Kieffer Bellows, the New York Islanders made four depth signings on Tuesday. Defensemen Dennis Cholowski and Paul LaDue and forward Arnaud Durandeau each signed two-year, two-way contracts while forward Hudson Fasching signed a one-year, two-way deal.

ARIZONA SPORTS: Arizona State University announced its new 5,000-seat arena will be called Mullett Arena. The venue is also the temporary home of the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The venue is named in honor of the Mullett family, who have been long-time supporters of ASU’s hockey program. Nevertheless, this news drew plenty of jokes on social media referencing early-90’s style hockey hair.

NJ.COM: Tampa Bay Lightning forward and New Jersey native Ross Colton recently said it would be cool to one day play for the Devils. He loves being in Tampa Bay and playing for the Lightning but said he grew up as a die-hard Devils fan.

I understand it’s a business and whatnot. But down the road if I could throw on the (Devils) jersey one day, that would be awesome,” said Colton.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Colton could get that opportunity in two years’ time. That’s when he’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent unless he signs an extension with the Lightning. His current contract expires next summer when he’ll be a restricted free agent with arbitration rights and a year away from UFA eligibility.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: The Sharks signed restricted forward Noah Gregor to a one-year, one-way contract worth $950K. He will be eligible for arbitration next summer.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Tickets for the 2023 Winter Classic between the Penguins and Boston Bruins at Fenway Park on Jan. 2 go on sale today.