NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 5, 2018
Ducks re-sign John Gibson, Golden Knights avoid arbitration with William Karlsson. Details and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
LOS ANGELES TIMES: The Anaheim Ducks had a lovely wedding gift for goaltender John Gibson on Saturday as he signed an eight-year contract, $51.2-million contract extension. The deal, which begins in 2019-20, carries an annual average value of $6.4 million. Cap Friendly indicates it also comes with a modified no-trade clause from 2021-22 through 2026-27. This deal will also make him the league’s fifth-highest paid goalie.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ducks general manager Bob Murray said he and everyone in the Ducks’ organization believes in Gibson, who has a career record of 99 wins, 55 losses and 20 overtime losses, with a 2.29 goals-against average, a .923 save percentage with 16 shutouts.
While Murray points out the 25-year-old netminder is entering his prime, he’s also been hampered by injuries and his playoff stats (11-13 in 26 playoff appearances, a 2.80 GAA and .912 SP) aren’t as impressive as his regular-season numbers. If Gibson can avoid serious injury and can improve his postseason numbers over the course of his deal, it’ll be considered a wise investment by Murray.
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: The Vegas Golden Knights avoided salary arbitration with center William Karlsson by signing him to a one-year, $5.25-million contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A worthwhile agreement for both sides. Karlsson, the final player slated for an arbitration hearing this summer, gets a hefty pay raise over last season’s $1 million salary after tallying a career-best 43 goals. Meanwhile, the Golden Knights aren’t on the hook for very long if he fails to replicate that remarkable performance.
Basically, this is a “show-me” contract. Karlsson will once again be a restricted free agent with arbitration rights next summer. If he proves he’s no one-year wonder in 2018-19, he’ll be in line for a lucrative long-term deal.
LIGHTHOUSE HOCKEY: Former New York Islanders forward Shane Prince has signed with HC Davos in Switzerland.
THE STAR: Hockey analytics guru Rob Vollman says NHL teams still aren’t as invested in advanced stats. “I have had many, many discussions with many teams trying to persuade them to build an analytics department,” Vollman said. “It’s a tough battle.” The Toronto Maple Leafs are among the few clubs to have one. Vollman has published a book titled “Stat Shot: A Fan’s Guide to Hockey Analytics.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Overall, the NHL tends to approach new ideas with skepticism. It has a conservative mindset that is largely resistant to change. It’ll likely take a couple of teams with analytic departments like those suggested by Vollman to achieve significant on-ice success before other clubs begin emulating them.