NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 10, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 10, 2017

Philadelphia Flyers re-sign defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere to a multi-year deal.

Flyers re-sign Gostisbehere, Sissons avoids suspension & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

PHILLY.COM: The Philadelphia Flyers yesterday announced the re-signing of defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere to a reported six-year, $27-million contract. The annual average value is $4.5 million. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As per Cap Friendly, Gostisbehere’s actual salary is front loaded. He’ll earn $6 million annually over the next two seasons, $5.25 million in season three, and $3.5 million annually over the final three seasons. Part of his salary in 2021-22 and 2022-23 will be paid out in signing bonuses. The latter ensures he receives a portion of his salary if there’s another lockout at the end of this CBA.

Gostisbehere is now the Flyers’ second-highest paid defenseman after Andrew MacDonald and his $5 million annual cap hit. Should the 24-year-old regain the form that made him a finalist for the Calder Trophy in 2015-16, this could prove a worthwhile long-term deal for the Flyers. They obviously see him as a key part of their rebuilding blueline corps. 

THE TENNESSEAN: Nashville Predators center Colton Sissons won’t face supplemental discipline for crosschecking Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta in the head during Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final. Sissons received a match penalty for the incident.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: The Blue Jackets yesterday re-signed backup goaltender Joonas Korpisalo to a two-year deal worth an average cap hit of $900K. They also hired recently retired forward Gregory Campbell as an assistant player development coach.

NHL.COM: The New York Islanders signed forward Steve Bernier to a two-year, two-way contract. 

LAS VEGAS REVIEW JOURNAL:  The Vegas Golden Knight have hired Ryan Craig as an assistant coach.

CALGARY SUN: Calgary city councillors claim talks regarding a new arena deal between the city and the Flames are going well and details could be revealed soon. Earlier in the week, Flames president of hockey operations Brian Burke raised eyebrows by suggesting the club would move if they don’t get a new rink. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If talks are going well and the two sides are in fact close to hammering out a new arena plan, Burke’s comments about relocation are quite puzzling. Maybe he thought his outspokenness might hasten the process. The club has distanced itself from Burke’s comments. 


Latest on the Stars, Jets and Avalanche – April 10, 2017

Latest on the Stars, Jets and Avalanche – April 10, 2017

Could the Dallas Stars pursue LA Kings goaltender Ben Bishop via free agency in July?

Possible coaching candidates for the Stars, latest on Jacob Trouba and Toby Enstrom and an update on the Avalanche in your NHL rumor mill. 

DALLAS MORNING NEWS: With the Dallas Stars’ announcing yesterday Lindy Ruff will not return as their head coach, Mike Heika list former Stars bench boss Ken Hitchcock, former Florida Panthers coach Gerard Gallant and Montreal Canadiens assistant coach Kirk Muller as three options to consider.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Heika is offering up suggestions and isn’t saying the Stars are pursuing those three. General manager Jim Nill undoubtedly has his own ideas over who will replace Ruff. It could be one of the guys on Heika’s list or somebody else. 

Heika also recently examined which players the Stars will part ways with this summer and those they could pursue via trade or free agency. He speculated pending free agent Patrick Sharp might want to finish his career with the Stars and thinks the Stars could be interested in bringing back winger Ales Hemsky. He doesn’t expect Jiri Hudler will be back.

Free agent targets could include LA Kings goaltender Ben Bishop, Washington Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner and Caps winger T.J. Oshie. Heika also recommended trying to pry promising goalie Joonas Korpisalo away from the Columbus Blue Jackets before the June expansion draft. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sharp is 35 and underwent hip surgery. If he wants to return, the Stars have to determine if he’s a good fit under their new head coach. Same goes for Hemsky.

Bishop will be an expensive free-agent target. A more affordable option could be Chicago’s Scott Darling. Other goalie trade options could include Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury, Washington’s Philipp Grubauer and the New York Ranger’s Antti Raanta. 

WINNIPEG SUN: Ted Wyman reports defenseman Jacob Trouba has no problem with playing in Winnipeg. Finishing the first season of a two-year deal, his contract standoff last fall raises questions over the long-term future with the Jets. “The contract is a two-way street and both sides have to come to together and agree on something. It’s not completely me, it’s not completely them. It’s a mutual thing,” said Trouba. He adds he’ll speak with his agent and with management, but also said he’ll play out next year and see how things go. He’ll be a restricted free agent with arbitration rights next July.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Mike Sawatzky reports Jets defenseman Toby Enstrom has one season remaining on his contract. The 32-year-old could give the Jets more flexibility in the June expansion draft by agreeing to waive his no-movement clause, but he insists he’s happy with the Jets and hasn’t been asked by management to waive his clause. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Trouba was the subject of trade speculation throughout last summer and into the opening month of the season before agreeing to his two-year deal. I expect the trade chatter could resurface following the playoffs. Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff could approach the Trouba camp about a long-term deal in July, but I have a feeling they’ll be content to wait until next summer in hopes his value will rise. As for Enstrom, I doubt he’ll waive his NMC simply to be exposed in the expansion draft. 

THE DENVER POST: Terry Frei recently reported Colorado Avalanche GM Joe Sakic still considers Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen and Tyson Jost as untouchables. “They’re part of the rebuild because of their ages and the direction we want to go,” he said. “It’s like anything, I don’t know the calls you’re going to get, but those are building blocks.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Recent speculation suggested MacKinnon was no longer an untouchable. Sakic has publicly dismissed that idea. Of course, if a rival were to pitch an incredible offer to the Avs GM, maybe he’ll change his mind, but I’ll take Sakic at his word. MacKinnon is the closest to a franchise player the Avs have. Unless the offer is someone such as Toronto’s Auston Matthews or Winnipeg’s Patrik Laine as part of the return – and we all know those two aren’t going anywhere – I don’t see the Avs trading MacKinnon.

Latest on the Stars and Kings – April 5, 2017

Latest on the Stars and Kings – April 5, 2017

Should the Dallas Stars pursue Columbus Blue Jackets backup Joonas Korpisalo?

More speculation on the Stars goaltending and the Kings management and coaching in your NHL rumor mill. 

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: In a recent live chat, Mike Heika once again addressed the state of the Dallas Stars goaltending. He doesn’t expect the current tandem of Kari Lehtonen or Antti Niemi will remain intact, suggesting one or both could be bought out in late-June. 

Heika recommends the Stars attempt to acquire young goaltender Joonas Korpisalo from the Columbus Blue Jackets via trade, as the Jackets risk losing him to the Vegas Golden Knights in the expansion draft. Once Korpisalo is acquired, Heika suggests buying out Lehtonen and Niemi, which would cost a combined $3.5 million per season for the next two years against the Stars’ salary cap. It would free up cap room to pursue an unrestricted free agent goalie such as Scott Darling or Ben Bishop. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bear in mind Heika is merely making his own suggestion here. I agree with him that the Stars cannot return with the same goalie tandem next season. Whether they buy out one or both of their current netminders, I expect they’ll be busy in the trade and/or free agent markets this summer. They could also look at trying to pry Antti Raanta away from the New York Rangers or pursuing the Washington Capitals’ Philipp Grubauer. Like Korpisalo, they could be left exposed in the expansion draft so the Rangers and Capitals could instead try to trade them . The Stars were occasionally linked to Pittsburgh Penguins veteran goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, though he’s got two more years at an annual cap hit of $5.75 million left on his contract. 

FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Chris Nichols cites NHL insider Bob McKenzie telling Montreal’s TSN 690 he expects the Los Angeles Kings ownership will make a hard evaluation of the club in the offseason. With the Kings missing the playoffs twice in the last three seasons, McKenzie said he’d “be surprised if the Kings came back intact in terms of the management and the coach. But we’ll see what happens.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s been talk of the Kings moving general manager Dean Lombardi into a different role within the organization and putting Rob Blake into the GM’s chair. If that happens, Blake could consider a coaching change, though I don’t think Sutter should lose his job because Lombardi was unable to bolster the roster.

Whether it’s Lombardi, Blake or somebody else as the Kings’ GM, they must find a way to clear some salary-cap space to re-sign restricted free agent forwards Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson, who both have arbitration rights and are in line for significant raises. It could force them to make a difficult decision, such as costly buyouts of expensive, fading forwards such as Dustin Brown and Marian Gaborik, or perhaps dealing winger Jeff Carter while his trade value remains high. 

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 7, 2016

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 7, 2016

President Barack Obama honored the 2016 Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins.

President Barack Obama honored the 2016 Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins.

Penguins honored at White House, Lightning to honor Martin St. Louis, injury updates & more in your NHL morning headlines.

Check out NHL.com for last night’s preseason scores.

TRIBLIVE.COM:  President Barack Obama hosted the 2016 Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins at the White House yesterday. “We are here to celebrate an extraordinary achievement. Phil Kessel is a Stanley Cup champion,’ joked Obama, who also hosted the Penguins back in 2009 for their previous Cup championship.

TAMPA BAY TIMES:  The Tampa Bay Lightning will honor former captain Martin St. Louis by retiring his No. 26 at a ceremony on Jan. 13. St. Louis spent 13 of his 17 seasons with the Lightning, helping them win the Stanley Cup in 2004. During his tenure with the Bolts, he also won two scoring titles and the Hart Memorial Trophy (2004). He’s the franchise’s “all-time leading scorer with 953 points and he ranks second in Lightning history in games (972) and goals (365).”

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  There’s talk some Lightning fans are still upset over St. Louis demanding a trade to the New York Rangers following the 2014 Winter Olympics. While I can understand that bitterness, it’s best to remember what he did for the franchise during his long tenure with them. St. Louis played an important role in turning the Lightning from a laughingstock into a champion, helping them remain a competitive team. Without him, the Lightning’s history over the past fifteen years might be completely different, and perhaps not for the better.

THE BUFFALO NEWS:  Sabres forwards Ryan O’Reilly (back and midsection spasms) and Kyle Okposo (bruised knee), and defensemen Zach Bogosian (groin) and Dmitry Kulikov (butt bruise) are currently sidelined by injuries. 

ESPN.COM:  The Los Angeles Kings placed winger Marian Gaborik (broken foot) on injured reserve. 

MIAMI HERALD: Florida Panthers center Nick Bjugstad will miss the next four weeks with a broken bone in one of his hands. 

CSNNE.COM:  Boston Bruins defenseman Kevan Miller is listed as day-to-day with a bruised knee. 

COURIER POST:  Philadelphia Flyers forward Scott Laughton is out three-four weeks with a lower-body injury. Defenseman Brandon Manning (upper body) is listed as week-to-week. 

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets goalie Joonas Korpisalo will miss the next four weeks with a groin injury. 

STARTRIBUNE.COM’s Michael Russo reports the Dallas Stars signed forward Justin Fontaine to a professional tryout offer. 

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks placed defenseman Clayton Stoner on waivers, demoted blueliners Shea Theodore and Brandon Montour and ended the PTO contract of forward Sean Bergenheim. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stoner is earning $3.25 million this season and next. It’s unlikely a rival club will pick up that salary via waivers. 

NEW YORK POST: A New York judge has spared former minor league player Jordan Hart, who was accused of providing painkillers to the late Derek Boogaard. She found no basis that he supplied the drugs that killed Boogaard. Hart instead received a one-year probation. Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald said Hart and Boogaard “were victims of organized sports, which did not consider the consequences of supplying large quantities of addictive pain medication to their players.”

MLIVE.COM:  NHL Hall of Fame defenseman and Detroit Red Wings director of pro scouting is one of the winners of the 2016 Lester Patrick Trophy.