NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 19, 2022
The Flames take Matthew Tkachuk to arbitration, the latest noteworthy contract signings, the Ducks aren’t done making off-season moves, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
CALGARY HOCKEY NOW: The Flames are taking winger Matthew Tkachuk to arbitration after the 24-year-old winger opted not to file for player-elected arbitration by Sunday’s deadline.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The move sets a deadline for the two sides to hammer out an agreement on a new contract. It also prevents Tkachuk from receiving offer sheets from rival clubs.
This decision by the Flames will likely raise concerns among the fanbase that he could end up with just a one-year deal taking him up to unrestricted free agent status next summer. It could also lead to his name popping up in trade rumors.
The arbitration period begins on July 27 and ends on Aug. 11. The schedule for those hearings has yet to be released.
MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: The Canadiens signed restricted free agent goaltender Samuel Montembeault to a two-year, one-way contract worth an average annual value of $1 million. The signing leaves the Canadiens with $1.2 million in cap space with 22 roster players signed for 2022-23.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is likely an insurance move by the Canadiens given the ongoing uncertainty over the status of starting goalie Carey Price as he continues to deal with the effects of last summer’s knee surgery. Center Kirby Dach is their sole remaining free agent among their roster players.
NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: The San Jose Sharks re-signed restricted free agent forward Luke Kunin and goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen to two-year contracts with an average annual value of $2.75 million.
THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Anaheim Ducks general manager Pat Verbeek continues to work on his off-season roster makeover. He’d like to sign a free-agent forward and a defenseman but didn’t indicate which players he’s targeted in the UFA market.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Verbeek made two notable free-agent additions last week, bringing in forwards Ryan Strome and Frank Vatrano.
TSN: Arizona Coyotes defenseman Conor Timmins released a statement on Monday indicating he was not involved in an alleged sexual assault involving members of Canada’s 2018 world junior team. His statement comes a week after Hockey Canada announced it was reopening its investigation into the alleged assault.
Timmins joins Toronto Maple Leafs blueliner Victor Mete in publicly declaring their innocence. The agent for Colorado Avalanche rearguard Cale Makar said his client wasn’t involved in the incident and had cooperated in the initial investigation.
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Ed Olczyk is leaving the Blackhawks broadcast teams after the two sides failed to reach an agreement on a new contract. He’ll be joining the Seattle Kraken broadcast booth and continuing as a hockey analyst for TNT.
TSN: Jake Virtanen’s sexual assault trial is underway in British Columbus. The alleged incident took place in Sept. 2017 when he was a member of the Vancouver Canucks.
NHL.COM: Defenseman Andrej Sekera has retired after 16 NHL seasons. He had 253 points in 842 regular-season games with the Dallas Stars, Edmonton Oilers, Los Angeles Kings, Carolina Hurricanes and Buffalo Sabres between 2006-07 to 2021-22.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Sekera and his family in their future endeavors.
PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: The Flyers are reportedly replacing their trainers as well as long-time equipment manager Harry Bricker.
THE PROVINCE: Former Canucks general manager Jack Gordon passed away last month in Minnesota at age 94. He was GM of the clubs from 1985 to 1987, during which he’s remembered for trading a young Cam Neely to the Boston Bruins.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Gordon’s family, friends and the Canucks organization.