NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 8, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 8, 2017

Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis could be sidelined until the end of December.

Latest on Ryan Ellis, Nick Bonino, Cody Franson and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

THE TENNESSEAN: Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis could be sidelined for the first two or three months of the upcoming NHL season because of knee surgery he underwent back in June. General manager David Poile said the usual timeline for recovery is four to six months and it appears Ellis will be out for the full six months. He anticipates Ellis’ return could be late-December.

New Predators center Nick Bonino isn’t expected to play with his new club during preseason. He’s still recovering from a broken left tibia suffered during this year’s Stanley Cup Final. It’s believed he’ll be ready to play when the Predators open the season on Oct. 5. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Predators anticipated Ellis’ absence would be a lengthy one. That’s why they acquired defenseman Alexei Emelin from the Vegas Golden Knights on July 1. Still, the Preds will feel Ellis’ absence. He’s a key part of their defense corps. 

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES:  The Blackhawks signed free-agent defenseman Cody Franson to a professional tryout offer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Not a surprising development. It was reported in July that Franson could join the Hawks on a PTO contract. 

NJ.COM: The New Jersey Devils signed free-agent blueliner Tim Erixon to a PTO contract. 

EDMONTON JOURNAL: An ankle injury could prevent Oilers forward Anton Slepyshev from participating in training camp. 

NBC SPORTS: The NHL announced former enforcer George Parros as the new senior vice-president of its Department of Player Safety. Parros vows to crack down on slashing and will seek longer suspensions for non-hockey infractions. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With all due respect to Parros, I’ll believe it when I see it. The NHL Department of Player Safety is a joke. Few folks take its pronouncements seriously. 

TSN: The Toronto Maple Leafs have hired former defenseman Stephane Robidas as an assistant director of player development. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cynics will consider this Robidas’ reward for not kicking up a fuss when the Leafs buried him for salary-cap relief during the final two years of his contract. However, since 2016 he was in a consulting role for the Leafs, working with their AHL affiliate. 

Mark your calendars, folks. TVA Sports’ Renaud Lavoie yesterday reported the 2018 NHL trade deadline is 3 pm ET on Monday, February 26, 2018. 

OTTAWA SUN: After suffering the embarrassment of reduced attendance numbers and empty seats at Canadian Tire Centre last season, the Senators are reducing their seating capacity from 18,500 to 17,000. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If you can’t fill your building, reduce your seating. What a novel way to address the issue. You know, if an American Sun Belt team did that, some pundits and fans would be calling upon the league to relocate that club to a better hockey market.