NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 14, 2022
Mikko Rantanen hopes to maintain his scoring streak entering the Stanley Cup Final, an update on Brayden Point, the latest Rangers news, Mikko Koskinen heads to Switzerland and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
THE DENVER POST: Colorado Avalanche winger Mikko Rantanen hopes to extend his four-game goal-scoring streak when the Stanley Cup Final begins on Wednesday.
TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lighting center Brayden Point (lower-body injury) was a full participant in practice on Monday for the first time since the first round of the playoffs. He’s hoping to play in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.
NEW YORK POST: Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant explained his decision to make winger Kaapo Kakko a healthy scratch in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals. “He’s a good young player, but we just thought that was the best lineup for trying to win that game,” said Gallant, who replaced Kakko with Dryden Hunt.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There was speculation Gallant’s decision to sit Kakko might spur the 21-year-old winger to sign an offer sheet with a rival club as a restricted free agent this summer. However, he doesn’t believe that will affect his contract negotiations with the Rangers. “I don’t think so,” he said. “I like to play here, so I don’t think so.”
Gallant also dressed Ryan Strome for Game 6 but he played less than nine minutes before leaving the game with a pelvis injury. The 28-year-old center is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 13 but prefers to remain a Ranger. “My heart is here,” he said. However, he’s rumored to have rejected an initial offer from the Blueshirts worth between $5.25 million and $5.5 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers have limited cap space for next season. Strome seems interested in the length of his next contract, pointing out that his three-year deal with the New York Islanders earlier in his career was the longest to date.
Strome also indicated he could require surgery for the pelvis injury that hampered him during the postseason. Meanwhile, Barclay Goodrow confirmed he fractured his ankle during Game 1 of the opening-round series with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Defenseman Ryan Lindgren suffered an ankle injury during the Rangers’ final regular-season game.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers goaltender Mikko Koskinen is leaving the NHL for Switzerland, signing a two-year contract with HC Lugano. He spent four seasons with the Oilers, sporting a record of 83-59-13 with a .907 save percentage and a 2.98 goals-against average.
TSN: The Oilers re-signed depth forward Brad Malone to a two-year, two-way contract paying him $762,500 at the NHL level.
THE TENNESSEAN: The Nashville Predators signed Jeremy Lauzon to a four-year, $8 million contract. Acquired from the Seattle Kraken at the trade deadline, the 25-year-old defenseman was slated to become a restricted free agent.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates the Predators have $21.5 million in cap space with 19 players under contract for 2022-23. Left winger Filip Forsberg is the biggest name among their notable free agents.
SPORTSNET: A Winnipeg brewery is offering Barry Trotz free beer for life if he signs with the Jets. Little Brown Jug Brewing Company and a local sports show launched the campaign on Monday.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I can’t speak for Trotz but I know what my reaction would be to that offer.