NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 20, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 20, 2020

Long-time NHL broadcaster Doc Emrick retires, the latest notable contract signings and more in today’s morning coffee headlines.

NBC SPORTS: Mike “Doc” Emrick yesterday announced his retirement after 47 years as an NHL broadcaster. He was the lead play-by-play man for NBC Sports’ NHL coverage for the past 15 years.

Mike “Doc” Emrick announced his retirement (NHL.com).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Emrick was the voice of NHL hockey in the United States for many years. He belongs among the all-time greats with Foster Hewitt, Danny Gallivan, Bob Cole and Dan Kelly.

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes signed forward Christian Fischer to a two-year, one-way contract worth an annual average value of $1 million.

THE PROVINCE: The Vancouver Canucks signed center Adam Gaudette to a one-year, $950K contract and free-agent Jayce Hawryluk to a one-year, two-way deal worth $800K at the NHL level.

CALGARY SUN: The Flames signed former Boston Bruins winger Joakim Nordstrom to a one-year, $700K contract.

TORONTO STAR: The Maple Leafs and Ilya Mikheyev have submitted their paperwork in the latter’s upcoming arbitration case. Mikheyev seeks a one-year, $2.7 million contract while the Leafs countered with a two-year, $2 million offer. His hearing is slated for Wednesday but the two sides can continue to negotiate.

ICETHETICS.COM: Photos of what appears to be the “reverse retro” alternate sweaters for the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins have apparently been leaked.

IIHF.COM: The schedule for the 2021 World Junior Championships has been announced, with the tournament starting on Christmas Day 2020.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: TSN’s Bob McKenzie has a lengthy Twitter thread regarding which junior players (including those selected in the 2020 NHL Draft) might be eligible or allowed to play for Team Canada by their respective NHL clubs.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 11, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 11, 2019

The latest on Johnny Gaudreau, Robin Lehner, Kevin Labanc, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

THE SCORE: Calgary Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau believes his club’s recent acquisition of Milan Lucic brings a much-needed physical element to the lineup that can “push us over the edge here.”

Johnny Gaudreau believes the acquisition of Milan Lucic will improve the Calgary Flames (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: By over the edge, Gaudreau is suggesting toward Stanley Cup contention. If we were talking about Lucic from four or five years ago, I’d agree with that assessment.

Unfortunately, Lucic’s performance declined over the last two seasons, so much so that most analysts panned the Flames for acquiring him. Maybe Lucic can regain some of his once-dominant form in Calgary but most observers doubt it. 

NEW YORK POST: Former New York Islanders goaltender Robin Lehner received his replica Masterton Trophy, which indicated he played for the New York Rangers last season. Lehner, 28, signed a one-year contract with the Chicago Blackhawks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: An unfortunate engraving mistake that I’m sure the league will be happy to correct. At least Lehner was able to get a bit of a laugh out of it…


NHL.COM: Kevin Labanc admitted putting his team first when he signed a one-year contract with the San Jose Sharks well below market value. By playing an enhanced role this season, he expects to play well enough to earn a more lucrative contract next summer. He’ll become a restricted free agent with arbitration rights at the end of this season. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Labanc’s contract raise eyebrows and even some accusations of collusion.Some even criticized the winger, suggesting he risked hurting his value if he should become sidelined or his play unexpectedly declines.

Labanc is taking the long view here. If he has a career-best performance in 2019-20, he’ll be in line for a significant raise on a long-term deal with the hammer of arbitration backing him up. 

THE SCORE: NHL broadcaster Mike “Doc” Emrick will be enshrined into the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame. “Emrick has called NHL games for nearly 40 years, including 14 Stanley Cup Finals as lead announcer for NBC, Versus, FOX, and ESPN.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations, Doc! Well deserved.