NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 8, 2022
The Canadiens will place Carey Price on LTIR after announcing the signing of Kirby Dach, the Senators ink Tim Stutzle to an eight-year extension, Disney and Turner announce their 2022-23 NHL schedules and more in today’s Morning Coffee Headlines.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens will garner salary cap relief for the coming season by placing Carey Price on long-term injury reserve. The 35-year-old goaltender has four years remaining on his contract with an average annual value of $10.5 million.
Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes said he’d have more news about Price after the netminder meets with team doctors prior to training camp later this month. He continues to be plagued by a nagging knee injury that shows no sign of improvement.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hughes signaled last month that he would likely place Price on LTIR. I wouldn’t be surprised if the long-time Canadiens starter has played his final NHL game.
The Canadiens can exceed the $82.5 million salary cap by 10 percent during the offseason but must be cap compliant when the season starts next month. Putting Price on LTIR now means they can exceed the cap by the equivalent of his $10.5 million AAV. Cap Friendly shows them at $10.24 million. It also allowed them to sign Kirby Dach to a new contract.
Hughes also indicated that forward Paul Byron might also start the season on LTIR as he returns from hip surgery. There are also questions over whether Sean Monahan (hip surgery) and Jonathan Drouin (wrist) will be ready to start the season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Monahan and Drouin probably won’t be sidelined for much longer as they seem close to being cleared to play. It sounds like Byron could require more time.
MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: The Canadiens also announced they reached an agreement with Kirby Dach on a four-year, $13.5 million contract. The 21-year-old center was acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks in July and was the Habs’ final remaining free agent of the summer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dach’s average annual value is just over $3.36 million. It’s a reasonable amount that could benefit the Canadiens’ cap payroll if he can play up to expectations.
The third-overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, Dach is looking forward to a fresh start in Montreal after struggling through injuries and inconsistent play during his brief tenure with the Blackhawks. He could start the season as their third-line center or shift to right wing depending on Monahan’s status.
OTTAWA SUN: The Senators announced they’d signed Tim Stutzle to an eight-year, $66.8 million contract extension. Stutzle, 20, is in the final season of his entry-level contract. His annual cap hit starting in 2023-24 will be $8.35 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: We shouldn’t be shocked by this signing. Senators GM Pierre Dorion had already locked up young core players such as Brady Tkachuk, Josh Norris, Drake Batherson and Thomas Chabot so it’s fitting that he followed suit with Stutzle.
The third-overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft, Stutzle has the makings of a superstar. He followed up a promising rookie performance of 29 points in 53 games during the COVID-shortened 2020-21 season with a 22-goal, 58-point effort in 79 games in 2021-22.
Stutzle, Tkachuk, Norris, Chabot and Batherson are all 25-or-younger. Locking up that core on long-term deals should provide roster stability as Dorion continues to build around them. Those expensive contracts could become bargains over the long term if they play up to their potential.
NHL.COM: Disney and Turner Sports announced their 2022-23 NHL broadcast schedules. ESPN will open the season on Oct. 11 with a doubleheader featuring the New York Rangers hosting the Tampa Bay Lightning before the Vegas Golden Knights meet the Kings in Los Angeles. TNT will host the 2023 NHL Winter Classic on Jan. 2 in Boston at Fenway Park between the Bruins and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
ESPN.COM: The Arizona Coyotes expect to sell out every home game this season at Arizona State University’s Mullett Arena. They indicated their season-ticket sales have surpassed what they were making in their former arena in Glendale.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Coyotes had better sell out every home game at the 5,000-seat Mullett Arena. Failure to do so would be the latest embarrassment for a franchise that has had more than its share of them.
NHL.COM: The Edmonton Oilers announced the establishment of its Hall of Fame yesterday. It may include former players, coaches, trainers, staff, executives “or any other person whose role or service in the organization since its founding in 1972 is recognized as extraordinary.”
DAILY FACEOFF: Speaking of the Oilers, they signed former Vancouver Canucks forward Justin Bailey to a professional tryout offer.