NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 28, 2019
The latest on Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor, Travis Hamonic, Jason Pominville, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
THE SCORE: Winnipeg Jets head coach Paul Maurice believes the pressure surrounding the contract negotiations of Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor will increase for those players and management as training camp approaches. Jets camp opens on Sept. 13.
Acknowledging the unusually high number of restricted free agent stars still unsigned around the league, Maurice believes once one or two sign the others could quickly follow.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Most of those RFAs are waiting to see who signs first. I anticipate a flurry of last-minute signings before mid-September.
CALGARY SUN: Flames defenseman Travis Hamonic was unconcerned over his name popping up in this summer’s trade rumors. He spent his time preparing for the upcoming season and embracing family life.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hamonic rumors – and those surrounding T.J. Brodie – quieted after Juuso Valimaki suffered a serious knee injury during off-season training. Most of that speculation has less to do with Hamonic and more with Brodie. Regardless, it appears both blueliners will be staying in Calgary for the upcoming season.
NHL.COM: Unrestricted free agent winger Jason Pominville, 36, hopes to continue his NHL career but said he’s prepared that it could be over after 16 seasons.
THE ATHLETIC: Washington Capitals defenseman Michal Kempny is progressing in his recovery from April’s season-ending hamstring surgery. He’s hoping to be ready for training camp but a return date remains uncertain.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Former Philadelphia Flyers Andrew MacDonald, Matt Read, and Michal Neuvirth are among several players heading to training camps on professional tryout offers.
NEWSDAY: Scott Gomez has stepped down as an assistant coach with the New York Islanders.
TWINCITIES.COM: Minnesota Wild prospect Alexander Khovanov had surgery last Friday to remove a benign bone tumor from his leg.
DETROIT FREE PRESS: Former NHL winger Darren McCarty credits medical marijuana with helping to save him from alcohol and drug addiction. He quit drinking four years ago, lost 60 pounds, is off most of his prescription medication and recently quit smoking cigarettes.
SPORTSNET: Journeyman goaltender Mike McKenna has retired after stints with 15 NHL organizations and 22 professional teams.