NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 5, 2022
The Flames sign Jonathan Huberdeau to the richest contract in franchise history, the Sharks re-sign Mario Ferraro, and the Devils avoid arbitration with Miles Wood. Details and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
CALGARY HOCKEY NOW: The Flames signed Jonathan Huberdeau to an eight-year, $84 million contract extension. The average annual value is $10.5 million and comes with a full no-movement clause in the first six seasons of the deal, followed by a modified no-trade in the final two years.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flames have given Huberdeau the exact same contract that they offered Johnny Gaudreau before his departure to Columbus as a free agent. Both are talented playmaking wingers coming off career-best 115-point performances.
Since 2017-18, Huberdeau’s been among the league’s highest-scoring left wingers. His 415 points during that period are just six behind league leader Brad Marchand of the Boston Bruins, three back of the New York Rangers’ Artemi Panarin and 10 up on Gaudreau.
The difference here is the Flames knew what they had in Gaudreau. He’d been with them for the past eight seasons. They understood his strengths and weaknesses. Huberdeau, on the other hand, is something of an unknown to them and that could make this contract more of a risk.
Huberdeau will be 30 when the deal kicks in for 2023-24 and turning 38 when it expires. That’s typically a period when a player’s production declines as age and the wear and tear of a long career begin to take its’ toll. There’s also the question of how his performance will be affected by skating with a new team after spending the past 10 seasons with the Panthers.
It will be money well spent for the Flames as long as Huberdeau adjusts well to his new teammates and maintains his high level of production throughout most of his contract. Otherwise, it’ll increasingly become a salary-cap nightmare that hampers their efforts to become a contender.
SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: The Sharks signed Mario Ferraro to a four-year contract. The 23-year-old defenseman will earn an annual average value of $3.25 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: In just three years, Ferraro has become an invaluable member of the Sharks defense corps. He averaged 23 minutes of ice time per game in 2021-22 while his shorthanded ice time (2:38) ranked second on the club. Ferraro was also their leader in blocked shots (151) and among their leaders in hits.
Ferraro skated alongside Brent Burns on the Sharks’ top pairing last season. With Burns’ trade to Carolina, he’ll likely remain on the top pairing with Erik Karlsson as his defense partner.
DAILY FACEOFF: The New Jersey Devils avoided arbitration with winger Miles Wood as the two sides agreed to a one-year, $3.2 million contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wood missed all but three games last season due to hip surgery. He had 17 goals and 25 points in 55 games during the COVID-shortened 2020-21 campaign.
THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Carolina Hurricanes GM Don Waddell expects to have forward Martin Necas under contract before training camp opens next month. The two sides are believed closing in on a deal. Waddell didn’t elaborate but it could be a two-year bridge deal worth about $3 million per season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Necas, 23, is coming off his entry-level contract and lacks arbitration rights. He had a promising sophomore campaign in 2020-21 with 41 points in 53 games but managed 40 points in 78 games last season.
Rumors that he and head coach Rod Brind’Amour wasn’t on the same page prompted trade speculation. It appears the Hurricanes intend to retain him for the coming season.
THE SCORE: Michael Raffl has signed a two-year contract with Lausanne Hockey Club in Switzerland’s National League. The 33-year-old winger spent nine seasons in the NHL from 2013-14 to 2021-22 with the Philadelphia Flyers, Washington Capitals and Dallas Stars.
TORONTO SUN: Rich Clune has retired after 16 professional seasons to join the Maple Leafs’ training department. Clune spent most of his career in the AHL but played five NHL seasons with the Leafs, Los Angeles Kings and Nashville Predators. He spent the past six seasons exclusively with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Clune in his new job.