NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 17, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 17, 2023

Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin talks about teammate Evgeny Kuznetsov, Flyers forward Joel Farabee is looking forward to a better season, the Oilers sign Brandon Sutter to a PTO contract, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: recently cited an interview given by Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin to a Russian news outlet addressing the trade rumors swirling around teammate and friend Evgeny Kuznetsov.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin (NHL Images).

How would I react to a trade? This is the business of hockey,” said Ovechkin. “Today you’re here, tomorrow there, the day after tomorrow on another team. I hope it doesn’t happen.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ovechkin acknowledged that the decision isn’t up to him. However, he could get his wish. Kuznetsov’s inconsistent play in recent years and his $7.8 million annual salary cap hit through 2024-25 have hurt his value in this summer’s trade market.

NHL.COM: Joel Farabee hopes a full offseason will lead to a better performance this season. The Philadelphia Flyers forward spent part of last summer recovering from artificial disk replacement surgery in his neck.

Farabee, 23, enjoyed a career-best 39-point effort in 2022-23. He believes he’ll be able to contribute more in 2023-24 following a full offseason of training.

CAP FRIENDLY: indicates the Edmonton Oilers have signed free-agent forward Brandon Sutter to a professional tryout offer. The 34-year-old center’s last NHL season was 2020-21 with the Vancouver Canucks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sutter is hoping to stage an NHL comeback after being sidelined for two seasons by long-COVID.

DAILY FACEOFF: recently published an updated list of the top remaining unrestricted free agents. Patrick Kane, Max Comtois and Tomas Tatar hold the top-three spots, followed by Jonathan Toews, Noah Gregor, Jaroslav Halak, Paul Stastny and Phil Kessel.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kane isn’t expected to sign with a team until December when he’s fully recovered from an offseason hip surfacing procedure. Tatar has been linked to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Toews is believed to be mulling retirement. Kessel said he intended to continue his long NHL career after winning his third Stanley Cup with the Vegas Golden Knights.

THE ATHLETIC: Former NHL defenseman Jamie Rivers has been named as the St. Louis Blues’ new TV color analyst on Bally Sports Midwest. He previously worked with Fox Sports Midwest and ESPN.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rivers acknowledged he’s got big shoes to fill. He replaces the popular Darren Pang, who has moved on to become the top color commentator for the Chicago Blackhawks and the No. 2 color commentator on TNT.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: The Bruins have unveiled their centennial plans for the coming season. Among the highlights will be the Heritage Homecoming Week on Oct. 10-13 as the club welcomes over 50 alumni as honored guests.