NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 2, 2021
The Predators trade Viktor Arvidsson to the Kings, the Sabres and Jack Eichel nearing a resolution on potential surgery, updates on the Lightning and Canadiens and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: The Nashville Predators yesterday traded winger Viktor Arvidsson to the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for a second-round pick in this year’s NHL draft and a third-round pick in 2022.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kings general manager Rob Blake was reportedly in the market for a couple of top-six forwards in their late twenties with two or three seasons on their contracts. Arvidsson fits that profile.
A former 30-goal scorer with good speed and a solid work ethic, he should provide a welcome boost to the Kings’ offense. He’s signed through 2023-24 with an annual cap hit of $4.25 million. The only concern is an injury history that hampered his performance over the past three seasons.
The Athletic’s Lisa Dillman believes the 28-year-old winger’s versatility could allow Kings coach Todd McLellan to employ him alongside first-line center Anze Kopitar or fellow Swede Adrian Kempe on the second line.
Dillman’s colleague Adam Vingan indicates the Predators now have over $23 million in projected cap room. General manager David Poile can put that toward re-signing key free agents this summer such as Dante Fabbro, Mikael Granlund, Juuse Saros and Eeli Tolvanen. It also frees up long-term cap room for new contracts for Filip Forsberg and Mattias Ekholm. That cap room could be used to find a replacement if necessary for Arvidsson via trade or free agency.
Blake could soon make another addition. Having acquired one top-six forward, the other could be coming via trade or free agency later this month.
For those of you wondering why this trade took place during the Stanley Cup Final, non-playoff clubs or those eliminated from postseason competition are allowed to make trades with each other during the playoffs.
ASSOCIATED PRESS: Joe Yerdon reported yesterday the Buffalo Sabres are nearing a resolution with captain Jack Eichel regarding treatment for the herniated disk in his neck. Both sides declined to elaborate as to what the outcome could be. GM Kevyn Adams said the team’s stance in denying the 24-year-old center’s request for surgery hasn’t changed as per the club’s medical staff recommendation as it has never been performed on an NHL player before.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Eichel has been the subject of trade speculation for weeks with his health being an ongoing concern. Reports indicate Adams is receiving calls from interested clubs but he’s said to have set a high asking price. The outcome of this upcoming resolution will have an effect on Eichel’s trade status.
SPORTSNET: Montreal Canadiens head coach Dominique Ducharme will return behind the bench for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final tonight in Montreal. A positive COVID-19 test forced Ducharme to miss the Canadiens’ final four games of their semifinal series with the Vegas Golden Knights and the first two games of this series with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning winger Alex Killorn traveled with his teammates to Montreal but his status for Game 3 remains questionable. He missed Game 2 with a leg injury and is considered day-to-day.
ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes officially introduced former Ottawa 67s coach Andre Tourigny as their new head coach during a press conference yesterday.
CAP FRIENDLY: provided a detailed breakdown of key dates regarding the upcoming NHL expansion draft, the 2021 NHL Draft, free agency and the first contract buyout period.