NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 20, 2023
The Blues name their new captain, the latest on Flyers forwards Sean Couturier and Cam Atkinson, the Canadiens and Canucks make a trade on the eve of the start of training camps, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
STLTODAY.COM: Brayden Schenn was named as the 24th captain in St. Louis Blues history. The club made the announcement yesterday. Schenn, 32, spent the past six seasons with the Blues and was an alternate captain for the past three campaigns. He’s under contract for five more seasons.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I doubt that anyone was surprised that Schenn got the nod for the captaincy. A durable, versatile and reliable forward, he’s reached or exceeded 50 points five times over the past six seasons. Schenn’s been in a leadership role with the Blues for several seasons so this was probably an easy choice for the club.
PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: Flyers general manager Daniel Briere said Sean Couturier and Cam Atkinson are good to go when training camp opens on Thursday. The two veteran forwards missed all of last season due to injuries. Both players were scrimmaging with teammates prior to the start of camp.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s good news for the Flyers’ forward depth as they approach this season. It will also provide Briere with an opportunity to evaluate the performances of Couturier and Atkinson to determine their place and role in the club’s rebuilding process.
Pearson is a veteran middle-six winger who’s in the final season of his contract and is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. He could become a bargaining chip for the rebuilding Habs by the March 8 trade deadline if he’s fully recovered from the hand injury that ended his 2022-23 campaign and plays well this season.
The Canucks, meanwhile, get a reliable backup for starting goalie Thatcher Demko while freeing up much-needed cap space. This move should also make them salary-cap compliant to start the season. Like Pearson, DeSmith is slated to become a UFA next July. Perhaps a solid performance will earn him a contract extension with the Canucks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Coming off his entry-level contract and an inconsistent rookie season, Addison had no leverage with the cap-strapped Wild. The 23-year-old defenseman will need a better effort in his sophomore campaign to garner a better contract next summer when he’ll have arbitration rights.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators are reportedly no closer to signing restricted free-agent center Shane Pinto as they report for training camp today. It’ll be interesting to see how long these negotiations go on. The 22-year-old Pinto has also surfaced in recent trade rumors but reports out of Ottawa claim the two sides are still working toward a new contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The report noted that Seth Jones was keen to become the next Blackhawks captain. His performance this season could determine if he lands the role next season.
DAILY FACEOFF: The Detroit Red Wings have invited forward Artem Anisimov and goaltender Michael Hutchinson to training camp on professional tryout offers. Anisimov, 35, last played in the NHL in 2020-21 with the Ottawa Senators while the 33-year-old Hutchinson played 16 games last season with the Columbus Blue Jackets.