NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 8, 2017
Latest on Dan Girardi, Marcus Johansson, Kevin Klein, Jussi Jokinen & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
SPORTING NEWS: Defenseman Dan Girardi admits he was surprised and disappointed by the New York Rangers buying out his contract last month, but said he has no hard feelings toward his former team.
After 11 seasons with the Blueshirts, he’s now looking forward to the next chapter in his career with the Tampa Bay Lightning, who signed him earlier this month to a two-year deal.
NJ.COM: Former Washington Capitals winger Marcus Johansson is looking forward to helping the underdog New Jersey Devils. The Caps dealt Johansson earlier in the week to the Devils in a cost-cutting move.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Back issues forced Rangers defenseman Kevin Klein to announce his retirement yesterday. He had one season remaining on his contract ($2.9 million AAV) which comes off the Rangers cap payroll for 2017-18. The 32-year-old rearguard played 12 years in the NHL, four with the Rangers and eight with the Nashville Predators.
THE BUFFALO NEWS: Blood clots compelled Buffalo Sabres forward Cody McCormick to retire after 11 seasons with the Sabres, Colorado Avalanche and Minnesota Wild, but he’s hoping to stay in the NHL in a player development role. McCormick’s condition forced him to miss the last two seasons, but he helped rehab sidelined Sabres players in the second half of the 2014-15 season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Klein and McCormick in their future endeavors.
EDMONTON SUN: The Oilers signed free-agent winger Jussi Jokinen to a one-year, $1.1 million contract. Jokinen’s versatility could help Edmonton, plus he can help mentor prospect winger Jesse Puljujarvi. Jokinen is part-owner of Karpat, the Finnish club where Puljujarvi played before joining the Oilers.
THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks signed forward Dennis Rasmussen to a one-year, $725K contract.
THE TENNESSEAN: Former Nashville Predators anthem signer Dennis K. Morgan said Friday he no longer wants to be associated with the club. He sang the anthem for the Predators more than 185 times until the club replaced him with famous country stars during their Stanley Cup run this spring. He also felt he “got played” by the media after saying he felt it was only going to be a one-time thing, expressing his displeasure over the situation during an interview in May. He believes his contract with the club (which has since expired) should’ve protected him from being replaced.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sure, it’s easy to bash Morgan for being overly sensitive about this, but put yourself in his shoes for a moment. You’ve sung the anthem for the Predators for years, including previous playoff appearances, only to be suddenly pushed aside throughout this year’s playoffs because the club wants to bring more star power to this year’s postseason run. I can understand why he’d be upset. His situation is also a good example about choosing your words carefully when speaking to the media, especially if you’re talking about an upsetting situation.