NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 6, 2023
NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 6, 2023
Bo Horvat signed a contract extension with the Islanders, the regular-season schedule resumes on Monday, the Kraken acquired Jaycob Megna from the Sharks, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
NYI HOCKEY NOW: Bo Horvat signed an eight-year contract extension with the New York Islanders on Sunday. The move comes roughly a week after he was acquired in a trade with the Vancouver Canucks. Horvat will be earning an average annual value of $8.5 million starting in 2023-24.
Horvat cited the Islanders’ organization, culture and his belief that they’re in a position to win now as the reasons why he signed so quickly with his new club. He expressed his relief at having his contract situation put to rest after months of speculation and uncertainty with the Canucks.
Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello is no fan of long-term contracts. When asked about Horvat’s new deal, he replied that it was “too long, and too much money.” He stressed that he was not a jab at the 27-year-old center but rather a complaint over the trend of signing talent to maximum-length contracts under the current salary-cap system. Lamoriello believes Horvat and his two-way game makes him an asset for the Islanders.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicated Horvat will have a full no-trade clause in the first four years of his contract followed by a 16-team no-trade list for the final four years. He’s also not receiving any payments in the form of signing bonuses, something most players of his caliber now tend to insist on to ensure full salary payment at the start of each season.
It’s also not a front-loaded contract. Horvat is getting $8.5 million per season rather than earning most of the actual salary in the early years of the deal.
I thought that Horvat would receive over $9 million annually based on his performance this season. He gets a little less than that but ensures himself the security of a maximum-length deal with full no-trade protection in the first half and a measure of control over possible trade destinations in the second half.
Some Canucks fans look at Horvat’s new contract and believe they could’ve kept their captain for that rate if management hadn’t re-signed J.T. Miller to an eight-year, $56 million extension last September. Time will tell if the Canucks end up regretting that decision.
Lamoriello may not be a fan of eight-year contracts but he evidently has no problem paying it for a player that he thinks can improve the Islanders’ anemic offense. Horvat’s acquisition and signing received a mixed reaction in the media. Some believe the Isles GM made the right move while others believe he overpaid in trade and contract.
NHL.COM: Speaking of Horvat, he’s expected to make his debut with the Islanders when they face off tonight against the Flyers in Philadelphia as the regular-season schedule resumes following the All-Star break.
The Tampa Bay Lightning will tangle with the Florida Panthers, the Calgary Flames face off against the New York Rangers, the Canucks journey to New Jersey to meet the Devils, the Anaheim Ducks square off against the Dallas Stars, and the Minnesota Wild will face the Arizona Coyotes.
SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: The San Jose Sharks traded defenseman Jaycob Megna to the Seattle Kraken in exchange for a conditional 2023 fourth-round pick.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is the Sharks’ third trade since Jan. 18 as GM Mike Grier continues to retool (rebuild?) his struggling roster. He’s expected to make a much bigger move leading up to March 3. Rumors persist that he could trade winger Timo Meier.
Kraken GM Ron Francis was in the market for a defenseman to shore up his second pairing. Megna averaged the third-highest ice time per game (19:03) on the Sharks and was also relied on to kill penalties.
It’s an affordable move for Francis and he might not be done adding to his blueline. The Kraken have $3.6 million in projected trade deadline cap space.
THE ATHLETIC’s Peter Baugh reports Bowen Byram and Valeri Nichushkin are ready to return to action for the Colorado Avalanche.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Byram’s been sidelined since Nov. 4 while Nichushkin’s last game was on Jan. 24.
DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: The Detroit Red Wings sent forward Adam Erne to their AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids after he cleared waivers over the weekend and recalled winger Filip Zadina.
ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes have assigned forward Dylan Guenther to the WHL’s Seattle Thunderbirds for the rest of the season. Guenther had been on the active roster for 39 games with the Coyotes this season. Had he been on the roster for 40 games, it would’ve counted as a year on his contract toward unrestricted free agency.