NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 3, 2023
The Ducks finally re-sign Trevor Zegras, notable injury and waiver updates, and recaps of Monday’s preseason action in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The contract standoff between the Anaheim Ducks and center Trevor Zegras ended Monday with an agreement on a three-year contract worth an average annual value of $5.75 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The dollars were the sticking point in negotiations resulting in Zegras missing nearly two weeks of training camp and preseason play. It was reported the Ducks offered between $3 million and $4 million annually.
Ducks general manager Pat Verbeek ended up paying more but it’s still a team-friendly amount. This deal also sets an artificial cap ceiling for Verbeek to wield when he goes into contract talks with promising youngsters such as Mason McTavish and Leo Carlsson.
As The Athletic’s Eric Stephens and Pierre LeBrun observed, this contract gives Zegras a runway to elevate his game and establish himself as a true franchise player for the Ducks. If he does, he’ll be poised to command a much more lucrative deal as he’ll have arbitration rights when this contract expires in 2026.
Verbeek’s next order of business is signing restricted free agent Jamie Drysdale. With Zegras under contract, perhaps a new deal for the 21-year-old defenseman will be announced before the end of this week.
THE MERCURY NEWS: San Jose Sharks head coach David Quinn said Logan Couture (lower-body injury) is improving but he remains questionable for the club’s season opener next week. The 34-year-old center isn’t expected to resume skating until the end of this week at the earliest.
NEW YORK POST: Rangers center Filip Chytil remains sidelined with an upper-body injury. He remains day-to-day but head coach Peter Laviolette isn’t sure if Chytil will be ready for their season opener.
NHL.COM: Colorado Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar said defenseman Josh Manson (oblique) is expected to be ready for opening night. However, goaltender Pavel Francouz remains sidelined and won’t be in the lineup for the start of the season.
PRESEASON GAMES RECAP
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Krug was returning from a foot injury suffered before the start of training camp.
The Montreal Canadiens overcame a 4-2 deficit to nip the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-4. Josh Anderson sent the game into overtime where Nick Suzuki netted the game winner. John Tavares scored twice for the Leafs.
IN OTHER NEWS…
THE SCORE: The Senators placed defensemen Jacob Bernard-Docker and Jacob Larsson along with forwards Egor Sokolov and Matthew Highmore on waivers. Bernard-Docker was chosen 26th overall by the Senators in the 2018 draft.
MLIVE.COM: The Detroit Red Wings could start the season with three goaltenders to avoid the risk of losing Alex Lyon to waivers. Ville Husso and free-agent signing James Reimer are expected to be the Wings’ goalie tandem.