NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 20, 2017
Latest on Kyle Okposo, Colton Parayko and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
STLTODAY.COM: Blues defenseman Colton Parayko has his arbitration hearing today. Parayko seeks a one-year, $4.85 million contract while the Blues countered with two-year proposals of $3.4 million and $3.6 million annually.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given Parayko’s value to the Blues defense corps, I’ll be surprised if they gets settled by an arbiter. I can see the two sides settling on a multi-year deal worth around $4 million annually. Parayko isn’t the only player slated for arbitration today. Also on the docket are the Detroit Red Wings and forward Tomas Tatar.
**UPDATE** The Blues avoided arbitration this morning with Parayko, re-signing him to a five-year, $27.5 million contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Told you Parayko wouldn’t go before arbitration. His annual cap hit is higher ($5.5 million) than I expected but this is still a worthwhile contract for the Blues, locking up a rising young blueline star to a reasonable long-term deal. In just two seasons, the 24-year-old emerged as an invaluable part of the Blues’ defense corps. He finished last season with 35 points and logged over 21 minutes of ice time per game.
WGR 550: Buffalo Sabres winger Kyle Okposo is returning to the ice for the first time since a health scare on March 27. He’ll be skating with several current and former NHL players in a four-on-four summer league in Minnesota.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This bodes well for Okposo’s anticipated return to NHL action in 2017-18.
SPORTSNET’s Elliotte Friedman reported the Ottawa Senators are pitching a one-year, $1-million contract proposal to forward Ryan Dzingel, who’s seeking a one-year, $1.95 million deal. His arbitration hearing is slated for July 21.
SUN SENTINEL: The Florida Panthers signed 2017 first-round pick (tenth overall) Owen Tippett to a three-year entry-level contract.
NBC SPORTS: Tampa Bay Lightning hired former NHL defenseman Ken Klee as an assistant coach with their AHL affiliate in Syracuse.
SPORTSNET: The AHL is allowing players on minor league contracts to participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the NHL remains firm in its decision not to take part in the ’18 Winter Games ( and I don’t see suggesting otherwise), I’m assuming players in the AHL on two-way NHL contracts will be considered ineligible.
THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Financial news website Wall St. 24/7 published a report claiming the Carolina Hurricanes saw a 32 percent drop in attendance over the past 10 years.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Missing the playoffs nine times in that decade undoubtedly contributed to that decline. With rare exceptions (hello there, Edmonton and Toronto), fans will not turn out to support a perennial loser. And no, that’s not a shot at fans of those two markets. Merely pointing out the obvious.
That’s also not a knock against Carolina hockey supporters. In most markets, fans will stop coming if the team shows no sign of improvement over a prolonged period of time. You’ve gotta give your fans something worth coming out for. For the past decade, Hurricanes followers have had little to cheer about.