NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 26, 2022
Jonathan Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar are open to long-term deals with the Flames while John Tavares is working on improving his quickness. Details plus the latest contract signings in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
CALGARY SUN: Jonathan Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar indicated they’re open to signing long-term contracts with the Flames. The pair made those remarks during their introductory Zoom press conferences as the club’s newest members. Both were acquired as part of the return in last Friday’s trade that sent Matthew Tkachuk to the Florida Panthers.
Huberdeau and Weegar are both slated to become unrestricted free agents next summer. Huberdeau indicated his agent has already begun talking about a new contract with general manager Brad Treliving. Weegar said he’s looking forward to his agent speaking with Treliving and seeing what’s going on.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Flames fans may be cautious about believing those comments. After all, Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk professed their love of living and playing in Calgary. The former departed for Columbus via free agency while the latter forced a trade to Florida when he declined to discuss a long-term deal with the Flames.
Huberdeau and Weegar are trying to say the right thing here but they’re still dealing with how quickly their own fortunes have changed. On Friday, they were members of the Panthers and three days later they’re fielding questions from the Calgary media over whether they’re open to signing with their new team.
A lot will depend on how well they adapt to playing with the Flames in the coming season and how much the club is willing to pay to keep them in the fold. If they aren’t a good fit it’s doubtful management will offer up big-money extensions. In that case, the talk will be about where they could be shipped at the February trade deadline and what kind of a return they’ll fetch.
TORONTO STAR: Maple Leafs captain John Tavares is hoping to be leaner and quicker when he reports to training camp in September. He’s been working with the team’s development staff on a new program designed to make him quicker and lighter on his skates.
Tavares said he’s feeling good physically this year. His offseason training last year was hindered by his recovery from a concussion suffered in the 2021 playoffs.
MLIVE.COM: The Detroit Red Wings announced defenseman Mark Pysyk recently underwent surgery to report a torn Achilles tendon. He’s expected to miss four-to-six months. As a result, the Wings signed free-agent defenseman Robert Hagg to a one-year, $800K contract.
NHL.COM: Speaking of the Wings, they signed a five-year extension of their affiliation agreement with the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: The Anaheim Ducks avoided salary arbitration with Isac Lundestrom, signing the 22-year-old forward to a two-year contract with an average annual value of $1.4 million.
DAILY FACEOFF: The Carolina Hurricanes signed free-agent winger Ryan Dzingel to a one-year, two-way contract worth $750K at the NHL level.