NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 3, 2023
David Krejci is expected to retire, Ryan Ellis’ career is likely over, Troy Terry agrees to a seven-year contract with the Ducks, and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: David Krejci could follow Patrice Bergeron into retirement. A source told Jimmy Murphy that the 37-year-old Boston Bruins center could soon hang up his skates, though he could play for the Czechia National Team in 2024.
Murphy’s source claims Krejci will announce his NHL retirement very soon but is keeping it low-key as he left the Bruins in 2021-22 to play in his native country. He was coaxed into returning to Boston last season, finishing with 56 points in 70 games.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Krejci may also be giving the Bruins organization an opportunity to catch its breath after dealing with Bergeron’s recent decision to call it a career. Management probably already knows what he has in mind as their offseason roster moves have been made as though Krejci and Bergeron wouldn’t be back.
THE SCORE: Vegas Golden Knights head coach Bruce Cassidy believes Brad Marchand has what it takes to replace Bergeron as Boston’s captain. Cassidy, who coached Marchand and the Bruins for six seasons until his firing in June 2022, told “The Cam & Strick Podcast” that he thinks the 35-year-old winger would be “a great leader in terms of leading by example, will to win, been there done it.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cassidy also thinks that Marchand’s biggest challenge if named the Bruins captain will be learning how to deal with younger players given the high expectations he sets for himself and his teammates.
We still don’t know who the Bruins will tap as Bergeron’s successor. They could go with Marchand or perhaps opt for someone younger such as David Pastrnak or Charlie McAvoy.
NHL.COM: Keith Jones, the Philadelphia Flyers president of hockey operations, said defenseman Ryan Ellis’ playing career could be over due to a torn psoas muscle. “It’s a tough time. It’s a very, really difficult time. I’m very sympathetic to what he’s gone through,” said Jones, whose own NHL career was ended by a knee injury in 2000.
Jones had some good news regarding forwards Sean Couturier and Cam Atkinson. Both players missed last season due to injuries but are expected to join their teammates when training camp opens next month.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ellis’ ongoing absence leaves a gaping hole on the Flyers’ blueline that could take years to adequately address. However, the potential returns of Couturier and Atkinson to their forward lines should make them a more competitive club this season.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: The Anaheim Ducks avoided salary arbitration with Troy Terry as the two sides agreed to a seven-year, $49 million contract with an average annual value of $7 million. The contract also comes with a 10-team no-trade clause starting in 2025-26.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Terry led the Ducks in scoring (67 points) during his 2021-22 breakout season and was second in scoring last season with 61 points despite missing 12 games to injury and the birth of his first child. With the NHL salary cap projected to significantly rise in the coming years, Terry’s contract could prove to be an affordable investment for the Ducks if he maintains his current level of production.
The Ducks’ focus now shifts to re-signing Terry’s linemate Trevor Zegras. He’s coming off his entry-level contract and could seek a more lucrative long-term deal.
THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Ducks also got some bad news yesterday as center Isac Lundestrom is expected to be sidelined for six months with a torn Achilles suffered during training in Sweden.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This could send the Ducks into the free-agent market in search of an experienced penalty-killing center on an affordable one-year contract.
PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: The Penguins avoided arbitration with Drew O’Connor, signing the winger to a two-year contract with a $925K AAV.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: And with that, the 2023 NHL arbitration cases are completed. The settlement of O’Connor’s case will open up a 48-hour window for the Penguins to buy out a contract. I’ll have more about that in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.
WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets signed Rasmus Kupari to a two-year, $2 million contract worth an AAV of $1 million. The 23-year-old forward was among the three players that the Jets received from the Los Angeles Kings in the Pierre-Luc Dubois trade in June.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Former NHL winger Josh Ho-Sang is reportedly considering retirement. A first-round pick of the New York Islanders (28th overall) in the 2014 Draft, Ho-Sang spent parts of three seasons with the Islanders between 2016-17 and 2018-19.
Ho-Sang, 27, played one game last season with KHL team Ufa Salavat Yulayev before being sidelined by a significant injury, returning for four playoff games. In 2021-22, he had 35 points in 47 games for the AHL’s Toronto Marlies and played for Canada’s 2022 Olympic Team with three points in five games.