NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 29, 2019
Cam Ward retires with the Hurricanes, the Islanders re-sign Anthony Beauvillier, plus the latest on Zach Werenski, Andrei Markov, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NEWSOBSERVER.COM: Cam Ward yesterday signed a one-day contract with the Carolina Hurricanes and officially announced his retirement.
The 35-year-old goaltender spent all but one of his 14 NHL seasons with the Hurricanes, backstopping them to the Stanley Cup in 2006 and earning the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP. “He holds franchise records for career regular-season games (668), wins (318) winning percentage (.557), shutouts (27) and saves (17,261).”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ward was the Hurricanes’ franchise goalie for most of his tenure in Carolina. From 2006-07 to 2011-12 he won 30-or-more games five times.
Unfortunately, he spent the bulk of his time playing on some bad Hurricanes clubs. Mounting injuries also affected his performance as his career went on. Had he been healthier and played on better teams throughout his career, perhaps he would’ve received more serious consideration as a Vezina Trophy candidate.
SPORTSNET: The New York Islanders signed forward Anthony Beauvillier to a two-year contract. Financial terms weren’t disclosed but Cap Friendly reports the contract is worth $4.2 million with an annual average value of $2.1 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Beauvillier is coming off an entry-level contract. After netting 21 goals and 36 points in 71 games in 2017-18, his production slid last season to 18 goals and 28 points in 82 contests last season. The versatile forward also saw a drop in his penalty-killing time. That decline likely accounts for the modest raise.
NBC SPORTS: San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane called out racism in hockey after a fan told him to “stick to basketball” in a recent Instagram comment. Kane claims another fan shouts a similar remark during a playoff game in Colorado last spring.
THE SCORE: Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen expressed concern over the possibility Zach Werenski’s contract negotiations could carry over into training camp. “When it goes to training camp time, it takes away from that preparation. It takes away from the team. That’s what I’m concerned about.”
TSN: Andrei Markov has hired player agent Allan Walsh as he eyes a return to the NHL. The 40-year-old defenseman played his entire NHL career with the Montreal Canadiens but spent the past two seasons in the KHL. Markov would prefer returning to the Canadiens.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It remains to be seen if the Habs share his interest in a reunion. I’ll have more on Markov in the Rumors section.
WGR550.COM: A neck injury will sidelined Buffalo Sabres defenseman Matt Hunwick for the entire 2019-20 season. He will be placed on long-term injury reserve.
TORONTO SUN: Hockey analysts Nick Kypreos and Doug MacLean are leaving Sportsnet.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I didn’t always agree with Kypreos and MacLean but they are well-connected and respected within the broadcasting community. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them landing with other networks in Canada or the United States.
BARRIE TODAY: Former Montreal Canadiens forward Paul Meger passed away at age 90. Meger won a Stanley Cup with the Canadiens in 1953. His NHL career was cut short by a head injury after just five seasons.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Meger family and friends.