NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 6, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 6, 2019

The latest on Mikko Rantanen, Milan Lucic, Vladimir Tarasenko, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

TSN: Colorado Avalanche winger Mikko Rantanen is currently skating in Norway awaiting a new contract. His focus, however, is returning to the Avs. “For me, the only option is the NHL. And how the future will turn out, you never know.”

Colorado Avalanche free agent Mikko Rantanen considers playing in the NHL his only option (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some will seize upon that last sentence to suggest Rantanen might prefer playing for another NHL club or might be traded if he and the Avs fail to agree to a new deal. Don’t bother, he’s going to be re-signed by the Avalanche.

With over $15 million in cap space (stick tap to Cap Friendly), they can easily afford him. Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic said he’s hoping to get Rantanen under contract before training camp opens next week.

SPORTSNET: Calgary Flames GM Brad Treliving downplayed remarks made by Milan Lucic in which some Edmonton Oilers fans considered a direct swipe at Oilers captain Connor McDavid.

Lucic said he felt pressure to overachieve in Edmonton. He believes he’ll be more successful playing alongside an older captain (Mark Giordano) in Calgary as he did playing with Zdeno Chara in Boston.

“Totally ridiculous”, said Treliving of the supposed “swipe”, pointing out Lucic’s friendship with McDavid.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Much ado about nothing. Lucic was probably feeling the pressure of being a team leader for a mediocre Oilers club while struggling with his own declining performance. Surrounded by a deeper roster in Calgary, he won’t have to shoulder that burden. 

THE SCORE: St. Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko said he’ll be ready for training camp after off-season shoulder surgery and a knee scope following the Stanley Cup playoffs.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers signed center Riley Sheahan to a one-year, $900k contract. This move was made in part because center Kyle Brodziak (back issues) isn’t expected to pass his training-camp physical next week.

LAS VEGAS SUN: The Vegas Golden Knights signed Jimmy Schuldt to a one-year, one-way contract worth $800K.

NBC SPORTS: U.S. women’s hockey star Kendell Coyne Schofield will be a color commentator for select San Jose Sharks games this season.

ESPN.COM: The NHL “dropped Jogmo World Corp. as a primary technology partner in its player and puck tracking plans.” They’re in the process of finding a replacement, vowing the technology will be up and running in time for the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs. “A league source said that technology company SMT is the league’s new partner.”

TSN: The NHL and NHL Players Association are set to meet on Friday to renew collective bargaining agreement talks. The PA has until Sept. 15 to decide whether it’ll terminate the current CBA effective a year from now.

League commissioner Gary Bettman said he’s willing to work with the PA to address its concerns. “Whatever (players) want in their period of having to decide what to do, we’ll try to be as accommodating as possible,” said Bettman.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given the contentious labor history between the league and the PA, it’s easy to look at Bettman’s comments with a jaundiced eye. This time, however, the league appears keen to avoid another lockout. CBA extension talks have been ongoing for nearly a year now, lacking the tension and rancour of previous years.