NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 2, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 2, 2021

Marc-Andre Fleury will report to the Blackhawks, the Kraken’s contract with Philipp Grubauer rejected by the league, Evander Kane denies betting on NHL games, and 17 players file for salary arbitration. Get the details in today’s morning coffee headlines.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: Marc-Andre Fleury confirmed Sunday he will report to the Blackhawks this season. “Hey, Chicago, it’s Marc,” he said via the club’s social media account. “Just wanted to let you know: I’m in. Let’s get to work.”

Marc-Andre Fleury will report to the Chicago Blackhawks (NHL Images).

The Blackhawks acquired Fleury from the Vegas Golden Knights last Tuesday. However, he took several days to discuss his situation with his family and consider his future. The 36-year-old goaltender has a year remaining on his contract with a $7 million salary cap hit.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fleury won the Vezina Trophy for the first time last season with the Golden Knights. He won’t have a solid defense in front of him in Chicago as he did in Las Vegas. Nevertheless, the Blackhawks could have a shot at a playoff spot in the Central Division this season if Fleury maintains his Vezina form.

THE SEATTLE TIMES: The Kraken have rectified an accounting error that resulted in the league rejecting the club’s first attempt to finalize its contract with goaltender Philipp Grubauer. The front-loaded contract violated the CBA’s 25 percent cap above the amount in the initial contract year.

Grubauer’s annual average value is $5.9 million for six seasons. He will earn $5 million in actual salary this season. It was originally slated to rise to $6 million in 2022-23 and $7.5 million in 2023-24, an increase of 30 percent. The deal has been restructured by shifting $250K from the third year to the second year.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: When this was first reported some fans on social media wondered if the contract would be voided. Doesn’t work that way. The team gets the opportunity to fix the accounting error. In this case, it was an easily addressed minor detail.

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane denied allegations made by his estranged wife claiming he bet on NHL games. “I have NEVER gambled/bet on hockey, NEVER gambled/bet on Sharks games, NEVER gambled/bet on any of my games and NEVER thrown a hockey game,” he said in a statement released yesterday.

The NHL announced it would investigate Kane based on the allegation made on an unverified Instagram account attributed to Angela Kane. She responded to Kane’s statement via that account yesterday, accusing him of abandoning her and their daughter to party and gamble in Europe. She also claimed he had a gambling addiction and claimed he was trying to use the media to control the narrative.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kane’s personal life has been under growing media scrutiny since applying for bankruptcy in January. He was also the topic of trade speculation following a recent report claiming several of his teammates expressed frustration about him to management during their season-ending exit interviews. The Sharks released a statement on Saturday saying they supported the league’s intent to investigate the gambling allegations.

NHLPA: Seventeen NHL players applied for salary arbitration yesterday:

Zach Aston-Reese (Pittsburgh Penguins)
Ross Colton 
(Tampa Bay Lightning)
Andrew Copp 
(Winnipeg Jets)
Jason Dickinson 
(Vancouver Canucks)
Vince Dunn 
(Seattle Kraken)
Adam Erne 
(Detroit Red Wings)
Dante Fabbro 
(Nashville Predators)
Dennis Gilbert 
(Colorado Avalanche)
Adin Hill 
(San Jose Sharks)
Michael McNiven 
(Montreal Canadiens)
Victor Mete 
(Ottawa Senators)
Adam Pelech 
(New York Islanders)
Neal Pionk 
(Winnipeg Jets)
Zach Sanford 
(St. Louis Blues)
Juuse Saros 
(Nashville Predators)
Jakub Vrana 
(Detroit Red Wings)
Nikita Zadorov 
(Calgary Flames)

The deadline for club-elected arbitration is 5 pm ET on Monday, Aug. 2. The arbitration period is from Aug. 11 to Aug. 26.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Several notable names on this list include Dunn, Pelech, Pionk, Saros and Vrana. If history is anything to go by we can expect most, perhaps all of these players to reach agreements with their teams on new contracts before their scheduled arbitration hearings.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 2, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 2, 2020

The Hurricanes avoid arbitration with Warren Foegele, the Oilers sign Dominik Kahun, plus the updated arbitration list, the latest on Travis Green and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: The Carolina Hurricanes avoided arbitration with winger Warren Foegele, reaching an agreement on a one-year, $2.15 million contract.

Caroline Hurricanes forward Warren Foegele (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A reasonable short-term deal for Foegele, who tallied 13 goals and 30 points in 68 games last season. He’ll be a restricted free agent with arbitration rights next summer. Cap Friendly indicates the Hurricanes have over $80.5 million invested in 22 players for 2020-21.

NHLPA.COM: Five players have arbitration hearings slated for this month. New York Rangers center Ryan Strome’s hearing is on Nov. 5, Rangers winger Brendan Lemieux and New York Islanders defenseman Ryan Pulock are on Nov. 6, Ottawa Senators defenseman Christian Jaros is set for Nov. 7, and Florida Panthers blueliner MacKenzie Weegar is on Nov. 8.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers have come to terms with free-agent winger Dominik Kahun. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported it’s a one-year deal worth $975K and will be officially announced today.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kahun spent the last two seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks, Pittsburgh Penguins and Buffalo Sabres, netting a respectable 68 points in 138 games. The 25-year-old winger is a boyhood friend and former childhood teammate of Oilers star Leon Draisaitl. They were frequent linemates for Germany in several international tournaments, including the World Championships. It remains to be seen if they’ll get skating together with the Oilers.

THE PROVINCE: The effects of COVID-19 upon NHL revenue are affecting the Vancouver Canucks efforts to sign head coach Travis Green to a contract extension. Green has a year remaining on his current contract. “We’ll continue to work at it, but everybody is really in a holding pattern and we’re not the only team,” said GM Jim Benning.

EISHOCKEY NEWS: Korbinian Holzer has signed with KHL team Automobilist Yekaterinburg. He hasn’t ruled out returning to the NHL but would seek a role where he’d get plenty of ice time.

The 32-year-old defenseman said there are interested parties but everyone is being cautious.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Holzer spent eight seasons since 2010-11 in the NHL, most of those with the Anaheim Ducks. He has 27 points in 206 NHL contests.

THE ATHLETIC: Seattle Kraken GM Ron Francis believes a flat salary cap for 2021-22 could be beneficial for his club as they build their roster. He noted some cap-strapped teams used contract buyouts and trades to alleviate their situations during the current offseason. Francis also indicated his club will remain patient in naming their first head coach.

NHL.COM: The National Hockey League yesterday honored Val James, who became the first American-born black player to play in the NHL on Nov. 1, 1981. James, now 63, played 10 regular-season and playoff games with the Buffalo Sabres in 1981-82 and four games with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1986-87. He also scored the goal that gave the Rochester Americans the 1983 Calder Cup. James credited the late coach John Brophy and former NHL coach Mike Keenan for believing in him and helping him during his playing career.










Five NHL Salary Arbitration Hearings Worth Watching

Five NHL Salary Arbitration Hearings Worth Watching

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 10, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 10, 2019

The salary arbitration hearing dates are released, the Sabres trade Alexander Nylander to the Blackhawks, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHLPA: The 2019 salary-arbitration schedule was released yesterday. 

St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington’s salary-arbitration hearing is set for July 20 (Photo via NHL Images).

July 20

Joel Armia

Jordan Binnington

Jason Dickinson

Alex Iafallo

Brock McGinn

Malcolm Subban *

July 21

Andrew Copp

July 22

Zach Aston-Reese

Christian Djoos

Ville Husso

MacKenzie Weegar

July 23

Evan Rodrigues 

July 24

Neal Pionk

Oskar Sundqvist

July 25

Connor Carrick

Jacob Trouba

July 26

Colton Sissons 

July 27

Sam Bennett

Chase DeLeo

July 28

Mirco Mueller

July 29

Pavel Buchnevich

David Rittich

July 30

Scott Laughton 

July 31

J.T. Compher

August 1

Remi Elie

Ryan Lomberg

Chandler Stephenson

August 2

Will Butcher

Charles Hudon

Linus Ullmark

August 3

Danton Heinen

Artturi Lehkonen 

August 4

Sheldon Dries

Joel Edmundson

Anton Forsberg

Rocco Grimaldi

Jake McCabe

Rinat Valiev 

NOTE: * indicates a settlement

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Scratch Boston Bruins winger Danton Heinen and Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Malcolm Subban from this list. Heinen signed a two-year deal with the Bruins worth an annual average value of $2.8 million. The Golden Knights signed Subban to a one-year, $850K contract. 

WGR 550/CHICAGO TRIBUNE: The Buffalo Sabres yesterday traded forward Alexander Nylander to the Chicago Blackhawks for defenseman Henri Jokiharju.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nylander, the eighth overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, had a disappointing tenure with the Sabres, netting just six points in 19 games. Perhaps a fresh start with the Blackhawks can get his once-promising career on track.

Jokiharju, selected 29th overall in the 2017 draft, had a promising start with the Blackhawks but was returned to the minors midway through last season. His addition to an increasingly crowded Sabres blueline will stoke speculation that they’re planning to move another defenseman for a forward. 

THE DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche signed head coach Jared Bednar to a two-year contract extension. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No surprise here. Bednar’s done a fine job helping turn the Avalanche from a bottom-feeder into a rising power in the Western Conference.

SPORTSDAY: The Dallas Stars re-signed defensemen Gavin Bayreuther and Dillon Heatherington to one-year, two-way contracts.

SPORTSNET: Former Edmonton Oilers forward Ty Rattie has signed a one-year contract with KHL team Lokomotiv. 

THE HOCKEY NEWS: The NHL could shorten the free-agent interview period and move the start date for free agency up from July 1. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That will require approval by the league and the NHL Players Association. The two sides are believed engaged in discussions regarding a new collective bargaining agreement. Perhaps shortening the interview period and tying the free-agency start date to the draft, as suggested in the article, will be part of the next CBA. 

THE TENNESSEAN: Former Nashville Predators captain Greg Johnson died Monday in his Michigan home. He was 48. An original member of the Predators, he played seven seasons in Nashville and was their captain from 2002-03 to 2005-06. Johnson also played with the Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Chicago Blackhawks, amassing 145 goals and 369 points in 785 career regular-season games. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Johnson’s family, friends, and former teammates. No cause of death was given. Johnson’s career ended in 2006 after an irregular heartbeat was detected during a physical examination. 










Potential NHL Salary-Arbitration Candidates

Potential NHL Salary-Arbitration Candidates

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 6, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 6, 2019

Forty players filed for salary arbitration, the latest free-agent signings, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHLPA: St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington and New York Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba were among the 40 players selected salary arbitration by the 5 pm ET deadline yesterday.  Arbitrations hearings will be held in Toronto between July 20 to August 4.

New York Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba was among 40 player filing for salary arbitration on Friday. (Photo via NHL Images)

Anaheim Ducks

Chase De Leo

Boston Bruins

Danton Heinen

Buffalo Sabres

Remi Elie

Jake McCabe

Evan Rodrigues

Linus Ullmark

Calgary Flames

Sam Bennett

Ryan Lomberg

David Rittich

Rinat Valiev 

Carolina Hurricanes

Anton Forsberg

Brock McGinn

Colorado Avalanche

J.T. Compher

Sheldon Dries

Ryan Graves

Dallas Stars

Jason Dickinson

Florida Panthers

MacKenzie Weegar

Los Angeles Kings

Alex Iafallo

Montreal Canadiens

Joel Armia

Charles Hudon

Artturi Lehkonen

Nashville Predators

Rocco Grimaldi

Colton Sissons

New Jersey Devils

Will Butcher

Connor Carrick

Mirco Mueller

New York Rangers

Pavel Buchnevich

Jacob Trouba

Philadelphia Flyers

Scott Laughton

Pittsburgh Penguins

Zach Aston-Reese

St. Louis Blues

Jordan Binnington

Joel Edmundson

Zach Sanford

Oskar Sundqvist

Tampa Bay Lightning

Cedric Paquette

Vegas Golden Knights

Malcolm Subban

Washington Capitals

Christian Djoos

Chandler Stephenson

Winnipeg Jets

Andrew Copp

Neal Pionk

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The dates for each hearing will be released before July 20. As soon as it is, I’ll post it up. Paquette yesterday re-signed with the Lightning to a two-year, $3.3-million contract.

TRIBLIVE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins yesterday re-signed head coach Mike Sullivan to a four-year contract extension. 

TSN: The Columbus Blue Jackets re-signed defenseman Scott Harrington to a three-year, $4.9-million contract. 

THE DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche re-signed defenseman Nikita Zadorov to a one-year contract. Cap Friendly indicates it’s for $3.2 million. 

VANCOUVER SUN: The Canucks re-signed winger Josh Leivo to a one-year, $1.5-million contract.

WGR 550: Forward Zemgus Girgensons signed his one-year, $1.6-million qualifying offer with the Buffalo Sabres. Speaking of the Sabres, 2019 first-round pick Dylan Cozens underwent surgery on his left thumb and will require two-three months to recover. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens signed UFA forward Nick Cousins to a one-year, $1-million contract. 

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks signed winger Andreas Martinsen to a one-year, two-way contract worth $750K at the NHL level. 

SPORTSNET: Ontario sports minister Lisa MacLeod has apologized for harsh comments aimed at Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk at a recent Rolling Stones concert. MacLeod said she was giving Melnyk some “feedback”. According to Melnyk, she said, “I am your minister and you’re a f—ing piece of s–t and you’re a f—ing loser,”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: And that, ladies and gentlemen, was Friday’s most bizarre sports story. On the one hand, some Senators fans will probably applaud MacLeod for ripping into the cantankerous Melnyk. On the other hand, she’s among the most despised members of Premier Doug Ford’s cabinet.