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.
The latest on the Bruins, Blackhawks, Leafs and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
THE SCORE: Boston Bruins GM Don Sweeney is willing to let Zdeno Chara take his time to reach a decision for the 2020-21 season. He said he’s been in regular contact with the 43-year-old defenseman and his agent. Chara is an unrestricted free agent who’s spent the past 14 seasons with the Bruins.
Zdeno Chara has yet to reach a decision on next season (NHL Images).
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Chara’s agent recently said his client is drawing interest from multiple teams. For now, there’s no indication the long-time Bruins captain is planning to leave Boston. The uncertainty over what next season will look like could be a factor in his decision not to rush into signing a new contract.
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Uncertainty over the status of Brent Seabrook, Andrew Shaw and Zack Smith is affecting the Blackhawks’ salary-cap flexibility. The trio missed the 2020 playoffs because of injuries and there’s some question whether they’ll be medically cleared to play next season. They could be placed on long-term injury reserve to start the season, which would allow the Blackhawks to address their goaltending and other roster issues.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blackhawks have around $5 million in cap space with center Dylan Strome to re-sign. Seabrook, Shaw and Smith take up roughly $14 million.
TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas doesn’t anticipate making any more significant offseason moves for the 2020-21 season. Dubas has added Joe Thornton, TJ Brodie, Wayne Simmonds, Aaron Dell, Zach Bogosian, Jimmy Vesey, Travis Boyd and Joey Anderson. He also brought back Jason Spezza. He doesn’t anticipate having to move out salary to re-sign restricted free agents Ilya Mikheyev, Travis Dermott and Anderson.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates the Leafs have $1.469 million in salary-cap space. Dubas could bury some salary in the minors.
COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: Avalanche forward Tyson Jost elected to sign his one-year qualifying offer worth over $874K.
Pending league call, it will be a two-year, one-way deal for Christian Fischer, per league source. https://t.co/pXmNLc6XtZ
Game recaps plus the latest on Braden Holtby, Brock Boeser, Nino Niederreiter and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Sidney Crosby opened the scoring in the first period and ended it with a dazzling overtime goal as the Pittsburgh Penguins nipped the Edmonton Oilers 6-5 in the night’s most-hyped matchup. Patric Hornqvist and Jamie Oleksiak also scored twice for the Penguins, as did Leon Draisaitl and Alex Chiasson for the Oilers. Edmonton captain Connor McDavid added a goal and an assist.
Sidney Crosby’s dazzling overtime goal gave the Pittsburgh Penguins a 6-5 win over the Edmonton Oilers. (Photo via NHL Images)
Mika Zibanejad matched a career high with four points and Mats Zuccarello scored twice to give the New York Rangers a 5-2 victory over the Florida Panthers.
Christian Fischer tallied his first career hat trick while Darcy Kuemper made 35 saves as the Arizona Coyotes picked up their third win of the season with a 4-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Derek Stepan also collected three assists.
David Pastrnak enjoyed a four-point performance and Tuukka Rask kicked out 38 shots in the Boston Bruins’ 4-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators. Bruins center Patrice Bergeron picked up three points in this contest. Bruins defenseman Urho Vaakanainen left the game in the first period after he “took a hit to the head in front of the Sens’ net from Mark Borowiecki” and didn’t return.
Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price made 21 saves to pick up his 289th career win as his club edged the Calgary Flames 3-2. Price is tied with Patrick Roy for second on the Canadiens’ all-time wins list.
Three unanswered third-period goals powered the San Jose Sharks to a 5-4 win over the Nashville Predators, snapping the latter’s five-game winning streak. Brent Burns had a goal and two assists for the Sharks.
The Dallas Stars snapped a three-game losing skid by doubling up the Los Angeles Kings 4-2, handing the latter their fifth straight defeat. Jason Spezza and John Klingberg each collected a goal and an assist for the Stars, who were playing without Alexander Radulov as he remains sidelined by a lower-body injury.
Brandon Saad tallied his first two goals of the season and Corey Crawford turned aside 24 shots as the Chicago Blackhawks downed the Anaheim Ducks 3-1.
NBC SPORTS: Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby believes his struggles last season through February and March were tied to the NHL’s changing culture and its focus on offense over physical play. Taking time to evaluate his performance helped him regain his form in the 2018 playoffs.
CBS SPORTS: Philadelphia Flyers forward Michael Raffl will be sidelined four-to-six weeks with a lower-body injury.
THE SCORE: Minnesota Wild coach Bruce Boudreau believes Nino Niederreiter has lost a bit of confidence in the early going this season but believes the winger will soon regain his scoring touch. Niederreiter usually gets off to a slow start but rounds into scoring form in November.
THE PROVINCE: Vancouver Canucks winger Brock Boeser is listed as day-to-day with a groin problem.
NJ.COM: The New Jersey Devils placed Ben Lovejoy (lower body) and Drew Stafford (upper body) on injured reserve.
CBC.CA: Former NHL goaltender Curtis Joseph reveals he was neglected as a child in his upcoming autobiography “Cujo — The Untold Story Of My Life On And Off The Ice.” “I had a weird life,” he writes. “Two moms, three dads and I grew up in a home full of mentally ill patients run by a crazy person. The last thing anybody expected was that I would someday make a living playing hockey.”
If you think scoring is up early in the NHL season, you’re correct, but barely.
Per NHL Stats, the average goals per game (including shootout deciding goals) so far this season is 6.21 (751 in 121 GP).
The average goals per game during October 2017 was 6.19 (1,115 in 180 GP).