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. 










NHL Rumor Mill – July 5, 2019

NHL Rumor Mill – July 5, 2019

Five candidates for player-elected salary arbitration plus updates on the Rangers and Canucks in today’s NHL rumor mill. 

POTENTIAL SALARY-ARBITRATION CANDIDATES

THE HOCKEY NEWS: St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington and defenseman Joel Edmundson top Steven Ellis’ list of the top-five potential salary-arbitration candidates. Calgary Flames goaltender David Rittich, Montreal Canadiens winger Joel Armia, and Minnesota Wild forward Ryan Donato round out his list. 

Could St. Louis Blues goalie Jordan Binnington file for salary arbitration? (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The deadline for player-elected arbitration is 5 pm ET today. The NHL Players Association usually publishes the complete list soon afterward. Hopefully, it’ll be available for tomorrow’s NHL morning coffee headlines. It’ll be interesting to see if any of the players on Ellis’ list file for arbitration.

The deadline for team-elected arbitration is 5 pm ET on Saturday, July 6. The arbitration period starts on July 20 and ends on August 4. 

POSSIBLE COST-CUTTING MOVES BY THE RANGERS. 

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks observes the Rangers have around $8.9 million in salary-cap room. Their restricted free agents include Jacob Trouba, Tony DeAngelo, Pavel Buchnevich and Brendan Lemieux.

Looking at possible cost-cutting moves, Brooks notes buying out Kevin Shattenkirk would free up over $5.166 million this season but only over $567K in 2020-21. It would also “add $1,433,333 in dead space for both 2021-22 and 2022-23.” If they bought out Brendan Smith it ” would save $2,304,167 this year and $129,167 next year, but would add $1,145,833 in dead space for both 2021-22 and 2022-23. Smith’s NHL cap hit is $4,350,000.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers could also try trading Shattenkirk or Smith. However, they’ll likely have to include a significant sweetener, such as a good young player, a high draft pick, or a top prospect. They could also shop winger Chris Kreider. He’s a year away from unrestricted free agent status and could prove too expensive to re-sign. Kreider would garner more attention in the trade market. 

UPDATE ON THE CANUCKS

VANCOUVER SUN: Ben Kuzma observes the Canucks have just over $6.8 million in salary-cap space following their recent UFA acquisitions. Their restricted free agents include Brock Boeser, Josh Leivo, Nikolay Goldobin, Josh Teves and Brogan Rafferty. They also need to add a winger for Bo Horvat’s line.

General manager Jim Benning has attempted to move expensive, aging veteran winger Loui Erikkson but found no takers. He speculates Benning could try to move center Brandon Sutter. He has two years left on his contract with an annual average value of $4.375 million and a modified no-trade clause. 

Kuzma believes moving Sutter will be difficult. The 30-year-old has battled injuries and is no longer a second-line center. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates Vancouver has just over $7 million, but it’s still not enough to re-sign everyone. They face the same problem with Sutter that the Rangers face with Shattenkirk and Smith. The Canucks will have to include a sweetener to make him enticing. That still might not be enough. Boeser’s new contract will take all of that remaining cap room. 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 29, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 29, 2018

Rangers re-sign Brady Skjei, list of remaining arbitration hearings, reviewing the Islanders offseason moves and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NEW YORK POST: The Rangers avoided salary arbitration with defenseman Brady Skjei as the two sides agreed to a six-year, $31.5-million contract. The annual average value is $5.25 million.

New York Rangers re-sign defenseman Brady Skjei to a six-year deal (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This signing reflects the faith Rangers management have in the 24-year-old Skjei, who has blossomed in just two seasons into a mobile top-four defenseman. He’s expected to start the coming season on the top pairing alongside Kevin Shattenkirk. If Skjei continues his anticipated development, this contract could turn into a bargain for the Rangers. 

NHLPA.COM: Only nine players remain scheduled for hearings entering the final week of the 2018 NHL salary-arbitration period.

Calgary Flames winger Garnet Hathaway’s hearing is slated for July 30, Ottawa Senators defenseman Cody Ceci and Dallas Stars center Gemel Smith have theirs on August 1, New York Rangers center Kevin Hayes and Nashville Predators winger Miikka Salomaki are slated for Aug. 2, Senators winger Matt Stone for Aug. 3 and Vegas Golden Knights’ center William Karlsson, Colorado Avalanche blueliner Patrik Nemeth and Rangers forward Ryan Spooner on Aug. 4.

NEWSDAY: New York Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello is getting mixed reviews for his offseason moves since taking over the role on June 5. He’s earned praise for overhauling the front office and coaching staff (including his hires of Barry Trotz as head coach and Mitch Korn as goaltending director) as well as his selections in the 2018 NHL Draft. However, his roster moves have drawn criticism, especially his free-agent signings of bottom-six forwards such as Leo Komarov and Valtteri Filppula, and his inability to bolster the blueline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I understand the unhappiness over Lamoriello’s roster moves but he had little choice. John Tavares, the club’s franchise player, opted to sign with Toronto and there really wasn’t any viable options via the trade or free agent markets to replace him. The loss of Tavares means the Isles are now forced into a transitional period as Lamoriello evaluates the roster in 2018-19.

He‘s opted to bring in checking-line depth while promoting Mathew Barzal and Brock Nelson into larger roles. The pickings were slim for decent free-agent defensemen and the cost of a top-four rearguard in the trade market was likely more than he was willing to pay right now. Bringing in goaltender Robin Lehner could improve the Isles between the pipes, especially under Korn’s tutelage.

The Islanders appear to be a long shot to reach the 2019 playoffs. Under Trotz’s coaching, however, they should be competitive in the coming season.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Carolina Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour is seeking $3 million for his North Raleigh home. 

 











NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 27, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 27, 2018

Update on Auston Matthews, Islanders hire goalie guru Mitch Korn, latest notable contract signings and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

SPORTSNET: Auston Matthews said contract discussion between himself and the Toronto Maple Leafs are underway. Matthews, 20, is entering the final season of his entry-level contract and will become a restricted free agent without arbitration rights next summer.

Contract talks are reportedly underway between Auston Matthews and the Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Matthews scored a Leafs rookie record 40 goals and 69 points in 2016-17 on route to becoming the first Leaf since Brit Selby in 1966 to the Calder Memorial Trophy. He followed up with 34 goals and 63 points in 62 games and would’ve easily exceeded his rookie numbers had he not missed 20 games to injury.

Don’t expect Matthews to get an affordable bridge deal. Getting his signature on a new contract could cost at least $10 million annually for seven-or-eight years.

NEWSDAY: The New York Islanders have hired Mitch Korn as their director of goaltending. Korn, 60, held the same position with the Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In recent year, goaltending was a significant weakness for the Islanders. The addition of Korn, who worked with Islanders head coach Barry Trotz in Washington and Nashville, should go a long way toward addressing that issue. 

TRIBLIVE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins yesterday re-signed goaltender Tristan Jarry to a two-year contract worth an annual average value of $675K. The first year of the contract is a two-way deal and the second year is one way. 

CALGARY SUN: The Flames avoided salary arbitration with goaltender David Rittich as the two sides agreed to a one-year, one-way contract worth $800K.