NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 26, 2017
Latest on Rick Nash, Drew Stafford, Jay McClement and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
THE ATHLETIC: Aaron Portzline wonders if New York Rangers winger Rick Nash might one day finish his NHL playing career with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Nash was drafted by the Jackets first overall in the 2002 NHL Draft and played nine seasons with them from 2002-03 to 2011-12. He was dealt to the Rangers in a multi-player trade in July 2012.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I suppose you can never say never. Portzline doubts it’ll happen next summer, when Nash is eligible for unrestricted free agency, as he’ll still be too expensive to sign. More likely, it could be toward the end of his career, when he’d be more affordable to acquire via trade or free agency.
NJ.COM: The New Jersey Devils signed right wing Drew Stafford to a one-year, one-way contract worth $800K..
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m not surprised the Devils signed Stafford, as they need experienced depth at forward. I did expect Stafford to get around $1.5 million on a one-year deal, so this is certainly a bargain for New Jersey.
TRIBLIVE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins signed veteran center Jay McClement to a professional tryout offer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If McClement earns a contract with the Penguins it’ll certainly help bolster their checking line depth, which suffered the twin departures of Nick Bonino and Matt Cullen via free agency. He’s best suited for the fourth-line spot, though Pens GM Jim Rutherford recently said he was comfortable with Carter Rowney filling that role. Rutherford’s also said he’d look to the trade market to fill his third-line center position Perhaps McClement goes into the third-line spot until the Pens GM finds a more suitable option via trade.
NBC SPORTS: Former NHL coach Bob Hartley signed a five-year contract with the Latvian national team.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I find it odd that someone who was the NHL’s coach of the year just two years ago ends up coaching in Europe. Hard to imagine the NHL’s most valuable player skating for a European team just two years later because he couldn’t find an NHL club willing to hire him.
AZCENTRAL.COM: The Gila River Arena is reducing its losses but what happens if the Arizona Coyotes leave?
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Without an anchor tenant, I’m guessing those losses could increase.