NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 14, 2024

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 14, 2024

Oilers captain Connor McDavid has a six-assist performance, Bruins captain Brad Marchand reaches a career milestone, Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly is suspended for five games, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid collected a career-high six assists (including his 600th career NHL assist) in an 8-4 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had two goals and an assist while Evan Bouchard had a goal and two assists for the 31-17-1 Oilers, who sit third in the Pacific Division with 63 points. Patrick Kane, Alex DeBrincat and David Perron each had two points for the Red Wings (27-19-6) as they hold the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth with 60 points.

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: McDavid also extended his home points streak to 19 games. His six-assist performance vaulted him into a tie with Boston’s David Pastrnak for third place in the NHL scoring race with 77 points. Meanwhile, Red Wings goaltender Ville Husso left this game in the first period with a lower-body injury. It was his first game back with the Wings since suffering a lower-body injury on Dec. 18.

Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov scored a goal for his league-leading 90th point as his club nipped the Boston Bruins 3-2 on a shootout goal by Brayden Point. Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy made 36 saves as his club improved to 29-20-5 and sit third in the Atlantic Division with 63 points. Bruins captain Brad Marchand collected two assists in his 1,000th career NHL game. With a record of 32-11-10 for 74 points, the Bruins sit first in the Eastern Conference and second in the overall standings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins will honor Marchand’s milestone in a pregame ceremony on Feb. 19. Lightning forward Tanner Jeannot returned to action after missing 12 games with a lower-body injury.

After learning defenseman Morgan Rielly received a five-game suspension for cross-checking Ottawa Senators forward Ridly Grieg on Saturday, the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the St. Louis Blues 4-1. Bobby McMann tallied his first career NHL hat trick for the 27-16-8 Leafs as they sit in the first Eastern wild-card spot with 62 points. Jordan Binnington turned aside 28 shots for the Blues (28-22-2) as they hold the final Western Conference wild-card berth with 58 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs roster for this game was further depleted with John Tavares and Mitch Marner sidelined by an illness while Conor Timmins is out with mononucleosis.

The league-leading Vancouver Canucks doubled up the Chicago Blackhawks 4-2. Dakota Joshua lead the way with a Gordie Howe hat trick (including two assists) while Conor Garland tallied twice for the 36-12-6 Canucks (78 points). Petr Mrazek stopped 34 shots for the 14-36-3 Blackhawks as they sit in last place in the overall standings with 31 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Speaking of the Canucks, they’ve invited free agent forward Phil Kessel to work out for the team this week in Abbotsford, BC.

Colorado Avalanche forward Artturi Lehkonen scored twice and collected two assists in a 6-3 win over the Washington Capitals. Nathan MacKinnon collected two assists to move within three points of Nikita Kucherov in the NHL scoring race with 87 points. The Avalanche improved to 33-17-4 and sit in second place in the Central Division with 70 points. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin scored for the sixth straight game but his Capitals slipped to 23-21-8 on the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Capitals playoff hopes are fading, winning just twice in their last 10 games.

The Dallas Stars (33-14-6) maintained their two-point lead over the Avalanche in the Central Division by defeating the Carolina Hurricanes 4-2. Jason Robertson and Matt Duchene each had a goal and an assist for the Stars. Jordan Staal had a goal and an assist for the 30-17-5 Hurricanes as they sit in second place in the Metropolitan Division with 65 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier in the day, the Stars announced that winger Evgenii Dadonov will be sidelined for several weeks with a lower-body fracture. He suffered the injury during Saturday’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.

Ottawa Senators captain Brady Tkachuk’s hat trick powered his club to a 6-3 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Claude Giroux had a goal and two assists for the 22-25-2 Senators, who picked up their fourth straight win. Daniil Tarasov made 24 saves for the Blue Jackets (16-26-10) as they remain in last place in the Eastern Conference with 42 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Speaking of the Blue Jackets, a derogatory remark about Patrik Laine on a Jackets fan podcast is being used to rally support for the winger and raise charitable donations on his behalf for mental health awareness.

Laine is undergoing treatment through the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program. One of the podcast hosts said the Blue Jackets winger was away because he was contemplating a “Remington retirement”, which is a slang term for suicide by gunshot. If you’d like to donate to Laine’s charitable fund you can do so at this link.

The Buffalo Sabres thumped the Los Angeles Kings 7-0 as Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 33 saves for the shutout. Jordan Greenway scored twice and collected an assist for the 23-25-4 Sabres. With 58 points, the 24-16-10 Kings are clinging to a wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kings forward Carl Grundstrom left the game in the second period with an undisclosed injury. Earlier in the day, the Sabres announced defenseman Owen Power will be sidelined for the next two weeks with an upper-body injury.

New Jersey Devils captain Nico Hischier tallied two third-period goals in a 4-2 victory over the Nashville Predators. Nico Daws stopped 30 shots for the Devils (27-21-4) as they sit two points out of the final Eastern wild-card berth with 58 points. Juuse Saros kicked out 43 shots for the 27-24-2 Predators (56 points) as they remain two points out of the final Western wild-card spot.

A 26-save performance by Philipp Grubauer carried the Seattle Kraken over the New York Islanders by a score of 2-1. Tomas Tatar netted the winning goal in a shootout for the 22-21-10 Kraken (54 points) as they sit four points out of the final Western wild-card berth. Ilya Sorokin turned aside 29 shots for the Islanders (22-18-13) as they sit three points out of the final Eastern wild-card berth with 57 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kraken winger Pierre-Edouard Bellemare returned to action after missing 19 games with a fractured bone in his leg.

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Cayden Primeau made 13 saves for his first NHL shutout to blank the Anaheim Ducks 5-0. Juraj Slafkovsky had a goal and two assists for his first NHL three-point game while Nick Suzuki had two goals and an assist to extend his points streak to eight games for the 22-23-8 Canadiens. Lukas Dostal stopped 33 shots for the 18-32-2 Ducks, who welcomed back defenseman Pavel Mintyukov after being sidelined since Jan. 9 with a separated shoulder.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 21, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 21, 2023

The Bruins name their new captain, Steve Stamkos hasn’t had any contract extension talks yet with the Lightning, plus updates on William Nylander, Mattias Ekholm, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: The Bruins named Brad Marchand as the new captain, replacing Patrice Bergeron who retired in July. Bruins CEO Charlie Jacobs praised Marchand’s development over his 15 seasons with the club, noting that he had the opportunity to learn from former Bruins captains such as Bergeron and Zdeno Chara.

Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Marchand’s pesky style of play and his lengthy list of fines and suspensions from earlier in this career had some fans questioning this decision by the Bruins. However, the evolution of his game into an elite scoring winger combined with his lead-by-example performances made him an obvious choice as Bergeron’s successor.

For those who believed defenseman Charlie McAvoy would’ve been a better choice as Bruins captain, his day will come within the next several years. The 35-year-old Marchand will likely retire within the next five years. Marchand is also slated to become an unrestricted free agent in 2025 if he and Bruins management fail to reach an agreement on a contract extension before then.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning captain Steven Stamkos told reporters yesterday that he was disappointed in the lack of contract extension talks with management. “It was something that I expressed at the end of last year that I wanted to get something done before training camp started,” said Stamkos. “There haven’t been any discussions.

Lightning general manager Julien BriseBois said having Stamkos finish his playing career with the Lightning was in everyone’s best interest. However, his captain will have to wait until the end of this season before negotiations begin. “Steven and I share the common goal of bringing the (Stanley) Cup back to Tampa,” said BriseBois. “That’s our objective. In order for us to do that in future years, we’re going to need to spend our cap dollars as wisely as possible.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Re-signing Stamkos won’t be easy for the Lightning. They’ve been pressed for cap space in recent years due to the high cost of retaining their best players, resulting in a steady erosion of their overall roster depth.

With the cap projected to rise by $4 million next season, the Lightning have just over $12 million in cap space with 16 players under contract. I’ll have more on Stamkos in today’s Rumors update.

TSN: The Toronto Maple Leafs intend to try William Nylander at center for the coming season. The club also announced that goaltender Matt Murray will soon undergo a “significant surgery” while defenseman Jake Muzzin will remain on long-term injury reserve with a cervical spine injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs experimenting with moving Nylander from the wing is to see if they can add more scoring to their third line while moving David Kampf down to the fourth-line center role. The move also comes with Nylander in a contract year as he’s slated to become a UFA next summer.

Murray will be joining Muzzin on long-term injury reserve with a combined $10.3 million.

DAILY FACEOFF: Edmonton Oilers defenseman Mattias Ekholm will miss the start of training camp with his hip flexor injury. There’s no timeline for his return.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Subsequent reports suggest Ekholm won’t be sidelined for long. He regularly skated with Evan Bouchard last season on the Oilers’ second defense pairing.

OTTAWA SUN: Senators general manager Pierre Dorion claimed he and Shane Pinto’s camp are inching toward a new contract for the 22-year-old center. The two sides have reportedly closed the gap in their negotiations but work remains to get a deal done.

Meanwhile, center Josh Norris will be skating with a non-contact yellow jersey as the Senators hit the ice for training camp. Norris tweaked his shoulder during a recent captain’s skate in Ottawa but it isn’t considered a serious injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators aren’t taking any chances with Norris. An injured shoulder requiring season-ending surgery limited him to just eight games in 2022-23.

TSN: Montreal Canadiens center Christian Dvorak will miss the opening month of the regular season as he continues to rehab from his March 15 knee surgery.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That explains in part why the Canadiens brought back Sean Monahan for another series.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Speaking of the Canadiens, Paul Byron announced his retirement as a player and has joined the franchise as a player development consultant. In 521 games over 12 seasons, the 34-year-old two-way winger had 98 goals and 110 assists for 208 points with the Canadiens, Buffalo Sabres and Calgary Flames. He also had 11 points in 36 playoff games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hip injuries force Byron’s retirement after missing the entirety of last season. His energetic play and leadership made him popular with his teammates and a fan favorite in Montreal, especially during the Canadiens run to the 2021 Stanley Cup Final.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: And speaking of players moving on to front-office roles, Patric Hornqvist joined the Panthers’ hockey operations department as a development coach and scout. Hornqvist, 36, announced his retirement in July due to season-ending concussions suffered in December.

NASHVILLE HOCKEY NOW: A DUI criminal charge against Predators head coach Andrew Brunette has been dropped. Brunette was accused of driving his golf cart under the influence in Florida earlier this year.

THE PROVINCE: The Vancouver Canucks confirmed defenseman Tucker Poolman will not play this season due to ongoing migraine symptoms plaguing him since 2021-22.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: Saku Maenalanen has been released by the Avalanche from his professional tryout offer after failing his training camp medical.

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes signed forward Jan Jenik to a one-year, two-way contract.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 6, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 6, 2023

Check out the latest on the Bruins’ Brad Marchand, Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad and Brandon Montour, Canucks blueliner Tyler Myers, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Brad Marchand is considered among the candidates to replace retired center Patrice Bergeron as the Bruins’ captain. However, the 35-year-old winger believes the club has plenty of leadership regardless of who wears the captaincy.

Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand (NHL Images).

You know we have always done it collectively as a group, so regardless of who wears it, it’s a collective thing,” said Marchand. “Even guys without letters step up”.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Marchand is the longest-serving active member of the Bruins, having been with the club since 2009-10. Charlie McAvoy, David Pastrnak, Brandon Carlo and Hampus Lindholm have also been mentioned as candidates to succeed Bergeron as Bruins captain.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Florida Panthers general manager Bill Zito provided an update on sidelined defenseman Aaron Ekblad and Brandon Montour. Both players are recovering from offseason shoulder surgeries.

Zito anticipates Ekblad and Montour will be back before the 2024 All-Star break in early February but he didn’t provide more specific timelines. “I think you are safe to say November to January is the range as long as they continue to progress in September and October.”

Of the two, Zito alluded to Montour returning to action before Ekblad.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Panthers will find it challenging to remain a playoff contender this season without their top two defensemen during the opening weeks of the schedule.

SPORTSNET: Vancouver Canucks defenseman Tyler Myers and his family were forced to evacuate their lakefront home in British Columbus last month when embers from the West Kelowna wildfires jump Okanagan Lake.

Myers said the fire jumped close to his house on the east side of Okanagan Lake. He and his family spent a week in Vancouver before they were allowed to return home. “House is all good,” said Myers. “We got back and, you know, a lot of debris and ash everywhere as I’m sure there was around the whole city. But it was scary for sure.”

THE PROVINCE: Speaking of the Canucks, defenseman Tucker Poolman is not expected to attend training camp in Victoria later this month. The 30-year-old blueliner has been suffering from migraines since 2021-22 and played just three games last season. He could be sidelined for the entirety of the upcoming campaign.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Poolman is in the third season of a four-year contract with an average annual value of $2.5 million. He will likely be placed on long-term injury reserve if unable to play this season.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: The Bruins signed winger Danton Heinen to a professional tryout offer (PTO).

DAILY FACEOFF: Forward Stefan Matteau is attending Columbus Blue Jackets training camp on a PTO.

Goaltender Jean-Francois Berube has signed a PTO with the Los Angeles Kings.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 21, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 21, 2023

A look at players who could reach significant milestones this season, the favorites to win the Selke Trophy following Patrice Bergeron’s retirement, the highest-scoring UFAs still available, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Ian Kennedy looked at several NHL players who could reach significant career milestones in 2023-24. Among the notables:

Free agent Phil Kessel (992 points) and Toronto Maple Leafs captain John Tavares (975 points) are within reach of 1,000 career regular-season points.

Minnesota Wild goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (NHL Images).

Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand could achieve 500 career regular-season assists, 1,000 career regular-season PIMs and 1,000 career regular-season games.

Marc-Andre Fleury of the Minnesota Wild needs just 15 more games to become the fourth goaltender in NHL history to play 1,000 career regular-season contests.

Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin can reach the 500-goal plateau. He currently has 471.

THE SCORE: Kayla Douglas recently sized up the favorites to win the Selke Trophy this season in the wake of Patrice Bergeron’s retirement. Among them are Vegas Golden Knights winger Mark Stone, Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar, Toronto Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner, Florida Panthers center Aleksander Barkov and New Jersey Devils center Nico Hischier.

DAILY FACEOFF: The pickings are slim for scorers in what’s left of this summer’s unrestricted free-agent class. Nevertheless, a few familiar names remain, including Patrick Kane, Tomas Tatar, Phil Kessel, Zach Parise and Eric Staal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kane is the biggest name on this list. If he wasn’t rehabbing from a hip resurfacing procedure in early June he would’ve been signed within hours of the free-agent market opening on July 1. The 34-year-old winger is expected to be ready to return to action in December and intends to sign with a team that gives him the best chance to win the Stanley Cup.

Tatar is coming off a respectable 20-goal, 48-point performance with the New Jersey Devils last season. He has been linked to the Penguins in the rumor mill. Parise tallied 21 goals last season at age 38. The New York Islanders are waiting to find out if Parise, who turned 39 on July 28, intends to return or retire.

Kessel said he has no plans for retirement but there’s no word if he’s any closer to landing with a new team. The same goes for the 38-year-old Staal.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Hall of Fame defenseman Slava Fetisov is auctioning some of his memorabilia with the proceeds going directly to a special fund to assist in the care of former Detroit Red Wings teammate Vladimir Konstantinov’s ongoing non-medical care.

Konstantinov’s career was ended by a debilitating brain injury suffered in 1997. The state of Michigan is still covering his health insurance but he and his family need help with his other therapy costs.

Czech hockey greats of the past and present gathered in Litvinov on Saturday for a charity hockey game honoring the memory of Petr Klima, who passed away in May at age 58. Boston’s David Pastrnak and Carolina’s Martin Necas were among the current NHL players who took part along with former stars such as Patrik Elias, Ziggy Palffy, and Robert Reichel.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Former Sharks defenseman Ryan Merkley has signed with KHL club Kunlun Red Star.










NHL Rumor Mill – August 5, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – August 5, 2023

Is it possible for the Sharks to terminate Erik Karlsson’s contract? What’s the latest on the Bruins? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

COULD THE SHARKS TERMINATE KARLSSON’S CONTRACT?

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: Sheng Peng wondered if it would be feasible for the San Jose Sharks and Erik Karlsson to mutually terminate his contract. With an $11.5 million average annual value over the next four seasons, it is difficult for interested clubs to acquire the 33-year-old with the salary cap flattened for 2023-24.

Under that scenario, the Sharks would be completely off the hook from Karlsson’s contract. Meanwhile, the three-time Norris Trophy winner would become an unrestricted free agent and able to pick wherever he wants to play.

San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson (NHL Images).

Peng acknowledged it sounds ludicrous that Karlsson would walk away from the remainder of his current contract. Even if he did, he wouldn’t accept a cut in pay. However, Peng pointed out that Karlsson’s contract is front-loaded, meaning he’s already received the bulk of his $92 million contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Peng admits this is a wild hypothetical. He spoke with two agents about it who considered it possible but also unlikely.

Sure, it’s possible. However, I don’t believe the Sharks are entertaining that notion nor do I believe Karlsson would agree to it.

The Sharks are trying to trade Karlsson. They’re reportedly willing to retain part of his average annual value to make it happen though they’re said to be unwilling to go too far past 20 percent.

There is some speculation suggesting the Pittsburgh Penguins might attempt to finalize a trade for Karlsson should they use their current 48-hour buyout window to shed a contract. That would make it possible to acquire the blueliner and remain cap compliant.

We’ll find out by Sunday evening if that’s the case.

LATEST ON THE BRUINS

THE ATHLETIC: In his latest mailbag segment, Fluto Shinzawa was asked where the Boston Bruins can find a suitable replacement for retired captain Patrice Bergeron. He believes it’ll be up to Charlie Coyle and Pavel Zacha for the time being or maybe Matthew Poitras becomes a top-two center.

One reader took note of the rumors linking the Bruins to Elias Lindholm. However, Shinzawa points to a lack of a 2024 first-round pick, the shallowness of their prospect pool and limited salary-cap space hampers any efforts to pry the 28-year-old center away from the Calgary Flames. However, he believes Lindholm would be high on the Bruins’ list if he becomes an unrestricted free agent next summer.

Asked why the Bruins kept their goaltending tandem of Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman, Shinzawa said they believe it will be their position of strength to remain competitive this season. Regarding the possibility of trading Brad Marchand, he also sees that move as making the Bruins less competitive this season.

Shinzawa doesn’t believe a full roster rebuild is imminent. He points to their two high-end goalies in Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman plus foundational players such as David Pastrnak, Charlie McAvoy and Hampus Lindholm.

Asked about whether Jake DeBrusk will be re-signed or traded, Shinzawa suggests that could depend on the club’s performance this season. He thinks it would be hard to see DeBrusk getting moved if they’re in playoff contention by the trade deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins could surprise us by making a dollar-in, dollar-out deal to boost their depth at center. However, based on the factors cited by Shinzawa, it seems likely that their current roster is the one we’ll see from them on opening night in October.

We won’t see the same level of dominance from the Bruins this season that we saw in 2022-23. They should remain a competitive playoff contender if their core players remain healthy this season. Management will probably look toward next summer to bolster their roster when they have more cap space to work with.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 3, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 3, 2023

David Krejci is expected to retire, Ryan Ellis’ career is likely over, Troy Terry agrees to a seven-year contract with the Ducks, and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines. 

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: David Krejci could follow Patrice Bergeron into retirement. A source told Jimmy Murphy that the 37-year-old Boston Bruins center could soon hang up his skates, though he could play for the Czechia National Team in 2024.

Boston Bruins center David Krejci (NHL Images).

Murphy’s source claims Krejci will announce his NHL retirement very soon but is keeping it low-key as he left the Bruins in 2021-22 to play in his native country. He was coaxed into returning to Boston last season, finishing with 56 points in 70 games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Krejci may also be giving the Bruins organization an opportunity to catch its breath after dealing with Bergeron’s recent decision to call it a career. Management probably already knows what he has in mind as their offseason roster moves have been made as though Krejci and Bergeron wouldn’t be back.

THE SCORE: Vegas Golden Knights head coach Bruce Cassidy believes Brad Marchand has what it takes to replace Bergeron as Boston’s captain. Cassidy, who coached Marchand and the Bruins for six seasons until his firing in June 2022, told “The Cam & Strick Podcast” that he thinks the 35-year-old winger would be “a great leader in terms of leading by example, will to win, been there done it.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cassidy also thinks that Marchand’s biggest challenge if named the Bruins captain will be learning how to deal with younger players given the high expectations he sets for himself and his teammates.

We still don’t know who the Bruins will tap as Bergeron’s successor. They could go with Marchand or perhaps opt for someone younger such as David Pastrnak or Charlie McAvoy.

NHL.COM: Keith Jones, the Philadelphia Flyers president of hockey operations, said defenseman Ryan Ellis’ playing career could be over due to a torn psoas muscle. “It’s a tough time. It’s a very, really difficult time. I’m very sympathetic to what he’s gone through,” said Jones, whose own NHL career was ended by a knee injury in 2000.

Jones had some good news regarding forwards Sean Couturier and Cam Atkinson. Both players missed last season due to injuries but are expected to join their teammates when training camp opens next month.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ellis’ ongoing absence leaves a gaping hole on the Flyers’ blueline that could take years to adequately address. However, the potential returns of Couturier and Atkinson to their forward lines should make them a more competitive club this season.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: The Anaheim Ducks avoided salary arbitration with Troy Terry as the two sides agreed to a seven-year, $49 million contract with an average annual value of $7 million. The contract also comes with a 10-team no-trade clause starting in 2025-26.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Terry led the Ducks in scoring (67 points) during his 2021-22 breakout season and was second in scoring last season with 61 points despite missing 12 games to injury and the birth of his first child. With the NHL salary cap projected to significantly rise in the coming years, Terry’s contract could prove to be an affordable investment for the Ducks if he maintains his current level of production.

The Ducks’ focus now shifts to re-signing Terry’s linemate Trevor Zegras. He’s coming off his entry-level contract and could seek a more lucrative long-term deal.

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Ducks also got some bad news yesterday as center Isac Lundestrom is expected to be sidelined for six months with a torn Achilles suffered during training in Sweden. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This could send the Ducks into the free-agent market in search of an experienced penalty-killing center on an affordable one-year contract.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: The Penguins avoided arbitration with Drew O’Connor, signing the winger to a two-year contract with a $925K AAV.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: And with that, the 2023 NHL arbitration cases are completed. The settlement of O’Connor’s case will open up a 48-hour window for the Penguins to buy out a contract. I’ll have more about that in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets signed Rasmus Kupari to a two-year, $2 million contract worth an AAV of $1 million. The 23-year-old forward was among the three players that the Jets received from the Los Angeles Kings in the Pierre-Luc Dubois trade in June.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Former NHL winger Josh Ho-Sang is reportedly considering retirement. A first-round pick of the New York Islanders (28th overall) in the 2014 Draft, Ho-Sang spent parts of three seasons with the Islanders between 2016-17 and 2018-19.

Ho-Sang, 27, played one game last season with KHL team Ufa Salavat Yulayev before being sidelined by a significant injury, returning for four playoff games. In 2021-22, he had 35 points in 47 games for the AHL’s Toronto Marlies and played for Canada’s 2022 Olympic Team with three points in five games.