NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 14, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 14, 2022

The Hurricanes plan to start the season without Max Pacioretty, Sharks defenseman Nikolai Knyzhov sidelined for six months, making the case for Logan Thompson to replace Golden Knights starter Robin Lehner, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Carolina Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell won’t make any immediate moves to replace Max Pacioretty. Recently acquired in a trade from the Vegas Golden Knights, the 33-year-old winger is sidelined for six months after suffering a torn Achilles’ tendon during training.

Carolina Hurricanes winger Max Pacioretty (NHL Images).

Waddell admitted it’s an unexpected setback but believes the Hurricanes have sufficient depth to offset Pacioretty’s absence until his return later in the upcoming season. The winger is expected to be placed on long-term injury reserve.

The Hurricanes GM said he’s received calls from clubs looking to dump salary. He didn’t rule out such a move if it made sense for his team but he also pointed out that they will need that space when Pacioretty returns.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There was some speculation that Waddell might attempt to buy out Jake Gardiner but he indicated that’s not going to happen. The blueliner missed 2021-22 recovering from hip surgery but he’s resumed training in hope of playing this coming season.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Speaking of players suffering a torn Achilles’ tendon, Sharks defenseman Nikolai Knyzhov will be sidelined for approximately six months after undergoing surgery on Aug. 10.

The 24-year-old defenseman was the Sharks’ rookie of the year in 2020-21 by earning a top-four spot alongside Erik Karlsson. However, he missed all of last season to groin injuries and a post-surgery infection.

DAILY FACEOFF: Mike McKenna makes the case for Logan Thompson to fill in for Vegas Golden Knights starter Robin Lehner, who is out for the coming season due to hip surgery.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lehner’s injury prompted speculation that the Golden Knights would attempt to find a short-term replacement via trade or free agency. However, the pickings are slim in both markets. Potential trade partners could also squeeze them to part with a promising young asset as part of the return. My guess is they’ll start the season with Thompson as their starter and see how things unfold.

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: Speaking of the Golden Knights, they signed depth forward Jake Leschyshyn and Paul Cotter to three-year contracts. Leschyshyn’s deal is a one-way contract worth an annual average value of $766K while Cotter’s is a two-way deal in the first year and one-way in the second year earning $775K at the NHL level.

NEW YORK POST: Islanders prospect Aatu Raty is hoping to earn a roster spot with the parent club this season. He spent most of last season in Finland and briefly played for the Isles AHL affiliate.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The 19-year-old forward is among the leading scorers at the ongoing 2022 World Junior Championship in Alberta.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 15, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 15, 2021

NHLPA strongly encourages players to get vaccinated, Jack Roslovic out to prove he can be a top-six center, the latest contract signings and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

THE ATHLETIC: NHL players are being strongly encouraged by the NHL Players Association to get vaccinated for COVID-19, warning about the potential loss of pay if they don’t.

Unvaccinated players who contract the coronavirus during this season or cannot play due to local health regulations face hefty fines and could have their pay withheld by their teams. It’s also unlikely they’ll receive an exemption to travel to Canada for games.

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said over 85 percent of players are vaccinated. The league isn’t expected to mandate its players to receive the vaccine but will instead abide by government and public health guidelines. Daly indicated discussions with the PA over health protocols are ongoing.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The league and the PA want to prevent a repeat of last season when COVID outbreaks among several clubs. Those incidents resulted in rescheduling games as teams that were sidelined ended up playing through more compressed timetables once they were medically cleared to return to action.

Most players probably won’t need much encouragement to avoid face that again. The possible withholding of salary (which the teams are allowed to do) could provide sufficient enticement for the stragglers to get vaccinated.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Jack Roslovic is out to prove himself as a top-six center with the Blues Jackets. While his offensive ability was solid last season, his defense and faceoff skills needed work. Roslovic is hopeful his work ethic, new assistant coach Paul Vincent (who worked with him during their tenures with the AHL’s Manitoba Moose) and new head coach Brad Larsen’s system will help him improve.

THE PROVINCE: The Canucks avoided arbitration with Jason Dickinson, signing him to a three-year deal worth an annual average value of $2.65 million. The 26-year-old forward was acquired last month from the Dallas Stars.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates the Canucks have over $10.6 million in cap space with Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes to re-sign. It’s speculated it could cost between $12 million and $14 million to sign those two. The Canucks could get $3.35 million in cap relief if Micheal Ferland (post-concussion symptoms) is placed on long-term injury reserve.

TSN: The New York Islanders signed Aatu Raty to a three-year, entry-level contract. The 18-year-old forward was the second-round pick (52nd overall ) by the Isles.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Raty was projected to be a first-round selection but his struggles last season sent his value tumbling. Some observers feel he could be the steal of this year’s draft. His performance in a recent summer tournament suggests he’s playing like he’s got something to prove.

WXYZ.COM: The Detroit Red Wings signed goaltender Sebastian Cossa to an entry-level contract. He was the 15th overall pick in this year’s draft.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning anthem singer Sonya Bryson-Kirksey has been released from hospital following a nearly month-long battle with COVID-19 that at one point landed her in intensive care.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Bryson-Kirksey in her ongoing recovery.