NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 23, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 23, 2020

The Oilers and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins put off contract discussion, Mikael Granlund returns to the Predators, the Lightning sign Erik Cernak and Jan Rutta, the Capitals sign Conor Sheary, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

THE SCORE: The Edmonton Oilers and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins have agreed to put contract talks on the back-burner. The 27-year-old forward is slated to become an unrestricted free agent in July. There were reports in October that the two sides were making progress on a contract extension.

Edmonton Oilers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The two sides could resume negotiations at some point during the season. The flattened salary cap for the foreseeable future will affect the value of Nugent-Hopkins and his peers in next summer’s UFA market. He’s earning $6 million per season on his current contract. The longer he goes unsigned, however, the more likely his name could pop up in trade rumors.

TSN: The Nashville Predators signed winger Mikael Granlund to a one-year, $3.75 million contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m surprised by this signing because of Granlund’s offensive struggles during his previous season and a half with the Predators and reports he was seeking a long-term deal. It was rumored the Preds were interested in winger Mike Hoffman to boost their scoring punch. Both sides evidently decided it would be worthwhile to give it another go.

It’s an affordable deal for the Predators that would leave them with $9 million in cap space (stick tap to Cap Friendly) for the coming season. That will provide general manager David Poile with considerable flexibility to put toward another UFA signing or to make trades as needed over the course of the season.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: The Lightning signed restricted free agent defenseman Erik Cernak to a three-year contract worth an annual average value of $2.95 million. They also signed unrestricted free agent defenseman Jan Rutta to a two-year deal worth $1.3 million annually.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: These signings push the Lightning above the $81.5 million salary cap by over $6.15 million with RFA center Anthony Cirelli still to be signed. The Bolts have until Jan. 13 to become cap compliant. They’re expected to make a cost-cutting trade or two but could get some flexibility if winger Nikita Kucherov ($9.5 million AAV) ends up on long-term injury reserve because of a nagging hip ailment.

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: The Capitals signed UFA winger Conor Sheary to a one-year, $735K contract. He’s expected to skate on their third line. The signing leaves the Capitals with $2.2 million in cap space.

LAS VEGAS SUN: Golden Knights defenseman Deryk Engelland announced his NHL retirement yesterday. He was one of the original Golden Knights selected in the 2017 expansion draft and the club’s unofficial leader. The 38-year-old blueliner also played with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Calgary Flames during his 11 NHL seasons, tallying 127 points in 671 regular-season games. He won the Mark Messier Leadership Award in 2018 as the Golden Knights reached the Stanley Cup Final.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Engelland in his future endeavors.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports former Toronto Maple Leafs center Frederik Gauthier is considering a professional tryout offer with the Arizona Coyotes. He spent parts of the last five seasons with the Leafs.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: The Penguins signed UFA forward Jordan Nolan to an AHL contract earlier this month. He could have a shot at cracking the roster in training camp next month. Nolan spent six seasons with the Los Angeles Kings, winning two Stanley Cups. He also played for the Buffalo Sabres and St. Louis Blues. He spent last season with the AHL’s San Antonio Rampage.

DETROIT FREE PRESS: The Red Wings intend to name their first captain in three years. Dylan Larkin is considered the front-runner for the captaincy. The role has been vacant since former captain Henrik Zetterberg’s playing career was ended by nagging back injuries in 2018.

NHL.COM: The league and the NHLPA announced its medical protocols and critical dates for the coming season. They also revealed a change to the offside rule (stick tap to Kukla’s Korner) indicating a player’s skate will not have to be in contact with the blue line in order to be on-side.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The only change to the previously reported critical dates is the last possible date for awarding the Stanley Cup was changed to July 9 from July 15, though it comes with a note indicating that date could change. The same goes for the May 11th start of the playoffs.

SPORTSNET: The Nashville Predators, New Jersey Devils and Washington Capitals are the first teams to unveil helmet ads on Tuesday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The ads are on the side of the helmets where the team logos used to be. They’re not garish or create an unnecessary distraction. Based on the photos provided in the link, I daresay the other NHL clubs will follow their lead.

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 24, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 24, 2019

The Golden Knights to re-sign William Karlsson, the NHL and NHLPA to stage another World Cup of Hockey, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

TSN: The Vegas Golden Knights will re-sign William Karlsson to a new contract this week. It’s expected the 26-year-old center’s new contract will be eight years with an annual average value of $5.9 million. Karlsson is slated to become a restricted free agent on July 1. 

The Vegas Golden Knights re-sign William Karlsson to an eight-year contract extension (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reports it was the contract term – eight years – that meant more to Karlsson than the money. He loves living and playing in Las Vegas and didn’t want to leave.

It’s a bit of a gamble by the Golden Knights, as Karlsson will be 34 when this deal expires and his performance could significantly decline in the final years of this contract. Nevertheless, it’s a decent cap hit, one that could be worthwhile if he keeps putting up the numbers (24 goals, 56 points) he did this season.

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: David Schoen reports Golden Knights general manager Kelly McCrimmon isn’t concerned about his club sitting approximately $7.9 million over the $81.5-million salary cap for 2019-20.

While they failed to find any takers for all-but-retired David Clarkson’s contract ($5.25-million cap hit), defenseman Colin Miller ($3.875 million) reportedly remains on the trade block. Forwards Curtis McKenzie ($750,000) and Valentin Zykov ($675,000) could be placed on waivers. 

“We’ve talked to teams all along,” McCrimmon said of potential trades. “I think all 31 teams have done that, and we’ll continue to do that. That’s just part of our business.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Golden Knights can sit over the cap by 10 percent during the off-season. They can also place Clarkson on long-term injury reserve if they can’t find any takers for that contract. Trading another player, however, appears more likely and could go down this week. 

CBC.CA: The NHL and NHL Players Association are in favor of rebooting the World Cup of Hockey and staging it every four years. The PA would also like to participate in the Winter Olympics but the league remains non-committal. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Olympic participation issue could become a stumbling block during the next round of formal collective bargaining between the two sides. However, I don’t consider this as a hill the PA wants to die on. They’re more concerned over escrow payments. 

NHL.COM: The St. Louis Blues re-signed Jordan Nolan to a one-year, two-way contract worth $700K at the NHL level. 

SPORTSNET: Ryan Dixon caught up with Patrik Stefan, the first overall pick in the 1999 NHL Draft. 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 6, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 6, 2018

Forty-four players elect arbitration, Shea Weber sidelined by knee injury, latest contract signings, the date for next season’s trade deadline and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHLPA: Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck and defenseman Jacob Trouba, Vegas Golden Knights center William Karlsson, Ottawa Senators forward Mark Stone and Minnesota Wild winger Jason Zucker and blueliner Matt Dumba were among the forty-four players who elected salary arbitration yesterday.  The deadline for club-elected arbitration is 5 pm ET today. The arbitration period runs from July 20 to August 4 in Toronto. The complete list is below:

Vegas Golden Knights center William Karlsson was among 44 NHL players to file for salary arbitration (Photo via NHL Images)

Anaheim Ducks

Brandon Montour

Calgary Flames

Garnet Hathaway

Mark Jankowski

Brett Kulak

Elias Lindholm

David Rittich

Carolina Hurricanes

*Trevor van Riemsdyk

Player/Club settled on a contract 07/05/18

Colorado Avalanche

Patrik Nemeth

Matt Nieto

Dallas Stars

Mattias Janmark

Devin Shore

Gemel Smith

Florida Panthers

MacKenzie Weegar

Minnesota Wild

Mathew Dumba

Jason Zucker

Montreal Canadiens

Joel Armia

Phillip Danault

Nashville Predators

Miikka Salomaki

New Jersey Devils

Blake Coleman

Stefan Noesen

New York Islanders

Brock Nelson

New York Rangers

Kevin Hayes

Brady Skjei

Ryan Spooner

Jimmy Vesey

Ottawa Senators

Cody Ceci

Mark Stone

Philadelphia Flyers

Taylor Leier

Alex Lyon

Pittsburgh Penguins

Jamie Oleksiak

San Jose Sharks

Chris Tierney

St. Louis Blues

Joel Edmundson

Dmitrij Jaskin

Oskar Sundqvist

Vancouver Canucks

Troy Stecher

Vegas Golden Knights

William Karlsson

Colin Miller

Tomas Nosek

Washington Capitals

Liam O’Brien

Winnipeg Jets

Marko Dano

Connor Hellebuyck

Adam Lowry

Brandon Tanev

Jacob Trouba

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bear in mind that players who file for arbitration usually end up re-signing with their respective clubs before their hearings. Case in point….

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Shortly after filing for salary arbitration, Trevor van Riemsdyk agreed to a two-year, $4.6-million contract with the Carolina Hurricanes.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens received bad news yesterday, as defenseman Shea Weber underwent surgery to repair a meniscal tear in his right knee. He’ll be sidelined five-to-six months.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: And with that, the Canadiens odds for reaching the 2019 playoffs just got longer. Weber is their top defenseman and missed half of last season to injuries, which contributed to the Habs missing the postseason for the second time in three years. 

COLUMBUS DISPATCH: The Blue Jackets yesterday re-signed forward Boone Jenner to a four-year, $15-million contract. They also signed unrestricted free agent winger Anthony Duclair to a one-year, $650k deal and named former NHL goaltender Manny Legace as their new goalie coach.

DETROIT FREE PRESS: The Red Wings re-signed winger Andreas Athanasiou to a two-year, $6-million deal.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: The Anaheim Ducks signed unrestricted free agent defenseman Andrej Sustr to a one-year contract worth $1.3 million.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: The Lightning agreed to a one-year, $1-million contract with forward Cedric Paquette.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens re-signed forward Jacob de la Rose to a two-year, $1.8-million deal.

NHL.COM: The St. Louis Blues inked UFA forward Jordan Nolan to a one-year, two-way contract. Cap Friendly indicates he’ll receive $650K at the NHL level.

NEWSDAY: The New York Islanders hired Lane Lambert as their top assistant coach.

 

 











NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 28, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 28, 2017

Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan defended his team’s decision to accept an invitation to the White House.

Latest on the Penguins plus updates on P.K. Subban, Wayne Simmonds, Robby Fabbri & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan yesterday defended his team’s decision to visit the White House on Oct. 10 to commemorate their 2017 Stanley Cup championship.

Sullivan said the decision was not made to make a political statement. He also defended captain Sidney Crosby from criticism on this issue, calling it unfair that he should bear the brunt of responsibility for the team’s decision.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins made their intentions clear months ago but nobody voiced a word of opposition until President Trump’s critical comments against NFL players taking a knee during the anthem and his rescinding his invitation to the NBA’s Golden State Warriors.

 On June 13, Penguins president and CEO David Morehouse said the club would never turn down that invitation and would go as a team. A month later, co-owner Ron Burkle said he didn’t share many policy positions with President Trump, but felt the annual visit by a Stanley Cup champion was a tradition that should be honored regardless of the occupant of the White House. 

In the team’s recent statement announcing the event, they said the visit was in no way supportive of the president’s views or policies. 

THE TENNESSEAN: Nashville Predators defenseman P.K. Subban said he would “never kneel” during the playing of the national anthem. He reportedly made the comments onstage during a fundraiser at a Nashville comedy club. Subban subsequently said he and his teammates believe people are allowed to voice their opinions, but as a team they’ve decided not to take a knee during the anthem.

“I realize that being a black hockey player, people are going to recognize that. That’s fine,” Subban said. “But I want to be recognized as one of the best players in the league and the best player in the league. And that’s what I work for every day.

“At the end of the day, whether you’re born purple, black, white or brown, you don’t control that. All you can control is what you do. That’s how you’re judged in this world, by what you do and your work ethic and your character. That’s how I’ve been judged. … I’d like to hope that people aren’t being judged by the color of their skin and their ethnic background.”

PHILLY.COM: Philadelphia Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds and San Jose Sharks winger Joel Ward are undecided about taking a knee during the national anthem, but both say they’re considering it. Should they do so, both players have the support of their respective teams.

SPORTSNET: The NHLPA issued a statement in support of players’ peaceful protests.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Athletes taking a knee have repeatedly said they are protesting police brutality against the black community in America. They’re not doing it to be disrespectful to the anthem or the flag. 

TSN: Ottawa Senators captain Erik Karlsson said doctors removed half of his ankle bone in his left foot during surgery in June to repair torn tendons in that foot. He started skating again last week. Karlsson hasn’t played any preseason game but is eyeing a return for the club’s season opener on Oct. 5. 

STLTODAY.COM: St. Louis Blues forward Robby Fabbri will miss the entire 2017-18 season after re-injuring his surgically repaired left knee. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is an unfortunate blow for Fabbri, who was hoping to get back on track after missing the final weeks of the regular season and playoffs last season. Here’s hoping this doesn’t finish his playing career. His absence will also put a serious dent into the Blues’ forward lines. 

NBC SPORTS: Defenseman Jared Cowen was released from his professional tryout offer with the Colorado Avalanche. The Dallas Stars also released winger R.J. Umberger from his PTO. Meanwhile, former first-round picks Emerson Etem, Beau Bennett and Stefan Matteau were among several players placed on waivers yesterday. 

THE BUFFALO NEWS: The Sabres claimed forward Jordan Nolan off waivers from the Los Angeles Kings. Nolan is the son of former Sabres coach Ted Nolan. 

TSN: Michael Farber interviewed former NHL star Paul Kariya, who has largely dropped out of sight from the hockey community after concussions forced his retirement. Kariya, who will be inducted this fall into the Hockey Hall of Fame, explains what he’s been doing  and the toll his injuries took upon his life. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The eye-opening moment of this interview was when Kariya said he had no memory of getting knocked out in Game Six of the Stanley Cup Final or anything else that happened until two days after the series was over. Kariya returned to that game and scored a key goal that forced that series to a seventh and deciding game. 

 











NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 27, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 27, 2017

San Jose Sharks winger Joel Ward could consider taking a knee during the national anthem.

Latest on Joel Ward, Kyle Okposo, Jaromir Jagr and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

THE MERCURY NEWS: San Jose Sharks winger Joel Ward isn’t ruling out the possibility of taking a knee during the national anthem in an upcoming Sharks game.

 “I’ve experienced a lot of racism myself in hockey and on a day-to-day occurrence. I haven’t really sat down to think about it too much yet, but I definitely wouldn’t say no to it.”

Ward points out such protests aren’t disrespecting the flag but simply to raise awareness of police brutality toward the black community. Sharks head coach Pete DeBoer said he would support Ward if he decides to take a knee during the anthem this season.

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Sabres winger Kyle Okposo said he won’t kneel for the anthem but supports those athletes exercising their First Amendment rights. He also wishes people would spend more time listening to each other and less time yelling. 

“To be honest with you, I think every little thing is getting so magnified now and people are starting to talk about every little bit and piece that we’re kind of forgetting what brings us together as Americans: That’s togetherness and being together and working to help out one another.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ward and Okposo are among the 30 black players in the NHL. I believe Ward has the right to take a knee during the anthem if he wants. His team obviously supports him if that’s what he wants to do. I also agree with Okposo that folks should listen more instead of shouting at each other. 

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Free agent winger Jaromir Jagr will play for Kladno (his hometown team) in the Czech second division this weekend. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jagr is still angling for a National Hockey League contract. As the NHL regular season hasn’t started yet, playing for Kladno during the upcoming weekend won’t affect those efforts. 

THE ATHLETIC:  Los Angeles Kings forward Jordan Nolan, Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Frankie Corrado and Dallas Stars center Brian Flynn were among the notables hitting the NHL waiver wire yesterday. Others included Calgary Flames forward Hunter Shinkaruk and Kings goalie Jeff Zatkoff. 

NBC SPORTS: There’s a chance that an early breakthrough in CTE testing can be conducted on living athletes. The condition is currently identified only by studying the brains of deceased athletes. Should such testing be available to active NHL players, however, they could be reluctant to undergo the process as it could threaten their playing careers.

 











NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 13, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 13, 2017

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby wins his eighty ESPY Award as the NHL’s top player.

Latest on Sidney Crosby, Jaccob Slavin, Mark Streit and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

TSN: Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby won the ESPY Award as the top NHL player, beating out Edmonton’s Connor McDavid, Toronto’s Auston Matthews, Winnipeg’s Patrik Laine, Chicago’s Patrick Kane and Columbus’ Sergei Bobrovsky. It’s the eighth time Crosby’s won the award. 

NBC SPORTS: Speaking of Crosby, he said he wasn’t paying attention to those in the media questioning his health after he suffered a concussion during the second round of the 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs. The Penguins captain said he was focusing on helping his team win the Cup. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t doubt Crosby wasn’t following the media during the playoffs. But given how he was constantly questioned by reporters about his health after his return to action, he wasn’t oblivious to it. His concussion history ensures his physical well-being will remain a topic of interest among fans and pundits. 

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: And speaking of the Penguins, they re-signed Derrick Pouliot to a one-year, one-way contract worth $800K and Josh Archibald to a one-year, one-way deal worth $675K.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: The Carolina Hurricanes announced they re-signed defenseman Jaccob Slavin to a seven-year, $37.1 million contract extension. The annual average value is $5.3 million and begins in 2018-19. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I love this signing by the Hurricanes. In just two seasons, the 23-year-old Slavin became an elite NHL defenseman and an invaluable core player for the Canes. They now have him under contract throughout his playing prime at a reasonable price. At his current rate of development, this new contract could turn into a bargain for Carolina. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens have offered unrestricted free agent defenseman Mark Streit a one-year, $1.5 million contract. The 39-year-old began his NHL career in Montreal, playing three season with the Habs. He split last season between the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Looks like Habs GM Marc Bergevin’s getting a little desperate in his search for an experienced defenseman. This could also cast further doubt upon the possibility of Andrei Markov returning to Montreal. 

WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets re-signed versatile forward Andrew Copp to a two-year deal worth $1 million per season.  

OTTAWA SUN: Former Senators forward Viktor Stalberg signed a two-year deal with EV Zug in Switzerland. 

TSN: Toronto Maple Leafs GM Lou Lamoriello said his club are using the offseason long-term injured reserve. That will give them sufficient salary-cap space to re-sign Connor Brown. 

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes named Steve Patterson as their new president, CEO and alternate governor. General manager John Chayka was also named their president of hockey operations. 

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Former Sabres coach Ted Nolan was named coach of Poland’s national team. 

TORONTO SUN: Former Maple Leaf Tod Sloan passed away at age 89. He played 13 seasons in the NHL, 10 of those with the Leafs. He was a member of two Stanley Cup champions, one in Toronto in 1951 and the other with Chicago a decade later. He had 482 points in 765 games, including two 30-goal seasons in 1951 and 1956. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Sloan’s family, friends and former teammates.