NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 23, 2018
Capitals and Lightning prepare for Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final, Sharks and Evander Kane reportedly close to a long-term contract, and much more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
WASHINGTON POST: Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin considers tonight’s Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning as “the biggest game in our life”. In 10 previous Game 7 scenarios during the Ovechkin era, the Capitals won just three of them.
TAMPA BAY TIMES: As the Lightning approach Game 7, they hope to rediscover the strong opening-period form of Game 5, where they scored twice and outshot the Capitals 13-4. “First period of Game 5, bottle that up and do it three times. We should be okay,” said head coach Jon Cooper.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s been a terrific series between these two clubs. With a trip to the Stanley Cup Final on the line, Game 7 could be the best of this series.
NBC SPORTS: Various reports indicate the San Jose Sharks and pending free-agent winger Evander Kane are close to agreement on a seven-year contract worth $49 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: While this deal reportedly isn’t finalized yet, it appears close to being completed. It’ll be a significant pay raise for the 26-year-old Kane, who’s completing a six-year, $31.5-million contract (stick tap to Cap Friendly). This deal would also ensure the draft pick the Sabres received in return will become a first-round selection.
Though Kane was plagued by personal issues in the past, he appears to have put that behind him. He meshed well with the Sharks following his trade from the Buffalo Sabres in late-February. Kane has four 20-goal seasons under his belt and his aggressive physical style made him a good fit in San Jose over the remainder of this season.
Kane’s reported cap hit would push the Sharks’ cap payroll for next season to over $67 million. That could have an effect upon other possible re-signings, such as veteran center Joe Thornton, as well as any intention they have of being active in this summer’s unrestricted free-agent market.
NEWSDAY: The New York Islanders formally introduced Lou Lamoriello as their president of hockey operations.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: No word from Lamoriello as to what’s in store for general manager Garth Snow or head coach Doug Weight. He also gave no indication as to his roster plans. Given he’s always been reticent, that shouldn’t come as a surprise. Islanders captain (and pending free agent) John Tavares is reportedly pleased by Lamoriello’s hiring. Whether the move convinces him to re-sign with the Isles remains to be seen.
TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs and assistant general manager Mark Hunter have mutually agreed to part ways.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens re-signed backup goaltender Antti Niemi to a one-year, $950K contract.
ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Anaheim Ducks goaltender Ryan Miller underwent surgery last Friday to remove a bone fragment from his left wrist. Recovery time is expected to be six weeks.
LAS VEGAS REVIEW JOURNAL: Tickets for the first Stanley Cup Final game in Las Vegas are reportedly selling for as much as $10 grand on Stubhub. The average sales price on the site is over $1,100.00.