NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 25, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 25, 2017

Evgeni Malkin hopes to speak with Pittsburgh Penguins ownership regarding Olympic participation.

Olympic participation update, roundup of latest contract signings & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

THE HOCKEY NEWS: NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly poured cold water on talk of an alternative schedule that gave rise to the slim hope of the league’s possible participation in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. 

“There is not an alternative schedule. Having NHL Players participate in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games is not an available option,” said Daly. “All of the international federations are planning appropriately for constructing teams that will not include NHL players. I anticipate there will be federation announcements in the coming days that should eliminate any and all continuing doubt or skepticism about the issue.”

TVA SPORTS: Pittsburgh Penguins star Evgeni Malkin told Russia’s Soviet Sport he intends to meet with team owner Mario Lemieux to discuss the 2018 Olympics. “It will be difficult to go if the league refuses. Mario may not be able to influence their decision. But I want to talk to the owners,” said Malkin.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The league has already indicated it would take a dim view of players under NHL contracts taking part in the 2018 Games. This situation could worsen the reportedly deteriorating relationship between the league and the NHL Players Association. It also raises the possibility of a star player prematurely retiring from the NHL in order to play for their country in Pyeongchang. 

WGR 550: Buffalo Sabres winger Kyle Okposo wrote a thank you letter to the hockey community for its support during his recovery from an undisclosed illness tied to medication to treat a concussion that ended his season in March 2017. He expects to be ready to go for training camp in September. 

TSN: Free agent winger Jaromir Jagr remains hopeful of signing with an NHL team for 2017-18. 

TRIBLIVE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins avoided arbitration with defenseman Brian Dumoulin, re-signing him to a six-year contract worth an annual average value of $4.1 million. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Over the past two seasons, Dumoulin came into his own as a reliable top-four defenseman, playing a significant role in helping the Penguins win back-to-back Stanley Cup championships. He also played through the 2017 postseason with a broken hand. Fortunately, he doesn’t require surgery. 

THE TENNESSEAN: The Nashville Predators and forward Austin Watson also avoid arbitration, reaching agreement on a three-year, $3.3 million contract. He earned $575K annually at the NHL level on his previous contract. 

 OTTAWA SUN: The Senators signed veteran defenseman Johnny Oduya to a bonus-laden one-year deal. He’ll earn $1 million in base salary and could earn an additional $1.25 million. 

WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets re-signed goaltender Connor Hellebuyck to a one-year, $2.25 million contract. He was slated to have an arbitration hearing on August 1. 

NEWSDAY: The New York Islanders re-signed defenseman Adam Pelech to a four-year deal worth an average annual value of $1.6 million.

THE PROVINCE: The Vancouver Canucks avoided arbitration with winger Reid Boucher by signing him to a one-year deal worth over $687K at the NHL level. 

BOSTON HERALD: Bruins forward Ryan Spooner seeks a one-year, $3.85 million contract. The club is offering $2 million. His arbitration hearing is slated for July 26.