NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 1, 2017
The NHL’s free-agent period begins at noon ET today. Check out the latest signings & more in your morning coffee headlines.
CSN MID-ATLANTIC: The Washington Capitals re-signed defenseman Dmitry Orlov on Friday to a six-year, $30.6 million contract. The annual cap hit is $5.1 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Over the last two seasons, Orlov established himself as a reliable, all-around top-four blueliner. This signing is also a clear indicator that long-time Capitals rearguard and pending free agent Karl Alzner won’t be back.
CALGARY SUN: The Flames re-signed defenseman Michael Stone to a three-year deal worth $3.5 million per season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Calgary’s defense corps now consists of Stone, Mark Giordano, Travis Hamonic, Dougie Hamilton and T.J. Brodie. That deep blueline should give them an edge as they attempt to move up among the top teams in the Western Conference.
WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets are reportedly on the verge of signing former Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Steve Mason to a two-year deal worth around $4 million annually.
THE ORANGE COUNTRY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks are reportedly closing in on a new contract for defenseman Cam Fowler, who is a year away from unrestricted free agency. They’re also believed to have an interest in signing UFA goaltender Ryan Miller.
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: The Blackhawks will reportedly bring back winger Patrick Sharp to what’s expected to be a low-cost, bonus-laden contract.
BSN DENVER: Sources say the Colorado Avalanche will sign a free-agent contract with former Anaheim Ducks goalie Jonathan Bernier.
SUNSENTINEL.COM: The Florida Panthers have reportedly signed Russian forward Evgeni Dadanov to a three-year deal worth $4 million per season. They also placed veteran forward Jussi Jokinen on waivers yesterday for the purpose of buying him out, and agreed to a one-year, $1.8 million contract with defenseman Alex Petrovic.
Jokinen joins New Jersey’s Mike Cammalleri and Devante Smith-Pelly, Calgary’s Lance Bouma and Ryan Murphy, Boston’s Jimmy Hayes and Winnipeg’s Mark Stuart among those who were placed on waivers for buyout purposed.
TSN’s Bob McKenzie reminds us that none of these reported signings can be considered official until noon ET today. “So it’s all well and good to say VAN will give Sam Gagner three years or Michael Del Zotto two years and sign G Anders Nilsson, too…”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A few words on some of these apparent signings. Mason appears to be an interim measure for the Jets until promising Connor Hellebuyck fully establishes himself as a reliable NHL starter. No surprise the Ducks will re-sign Fowler and it’ll likely be a long-term extension worth up to $6 million annually. Miller’s wife is a Hollywood actress so he could take a significant pay cut to go to Anaheim.
A few days ago, there were reports the Blackhawks weren’t keen on a reunion with Sharp. Evidently, he’s willing to accept a very affordable deal to make it happen. Bernier could address the Avs need for a backup to replace Calvin Pickard, who was lost to Vegas in the expansion draft.
TSN: Andrei Markov’s long tenure with the Montreal Canadiens could end today. The 38-year-old defenseman is still reportedly seeking a two-year, $12 million contract.
ARIZONA SPORTS: Four teams have reportedly expressed interest in former Arizona Coyotes right wing Shane Doan. Meanwhile, Dallas Eakins and Sheldon Keefe are under consideration (along with Todd Nelson) for the Coyotes vacant head coach position.
THE TENNESSEAN: The Nashville Predators are still awaiting word from team captain and UFA center Mike Fisher regarding his future plans. Predators general manager David Poile is prepared to give Fisher all the time he needs to reach a decision. Meanwhile, defenseman Ryan Ellis recently underwent knee surgery and is expected to be ready for training camp in September.