NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 8, 2021
Bruins name Patrice Bergeron their new captain, Corey Crawford remains absent from training camp, the Devils bring back Sami Vatanen, an update on Kasperi Kapanen and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NBC SPORTS BOSTON: The Bruins named Patrice Bergeron as their new captain yesterday. He takes over from Zdeno Chara, who signed last month with the Washington Capitals.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bergeron was the natural choice to succeed Chara. He’s spent his entire 16-year NHL career with the Bruins and is among the greatest players in franchise history.
ELITE SPORTS NEW YORK: Corey Crawford has yet to suit up for practice with the New Jersey Devils. He missed every on-ice practice/scrimmages for maintenance days and personal days. The 36-year-old goaltender signed a two-year, $7.8 million contract with the Devils last fall.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Crawford has had well-documented issues related to head trauma during his final seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks. That could explain his absence thus far.
NORTHJERSEY.COM: Speaking of the Devils, they signed free-agent defenseman Sami Vatanen to a one-year, $2 million contract. Vatanen spent the past three seasons with the Devils until traded to the Carolina Hurricanes at the 2020 NHL trade deadline.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Vatanen will bring back some much-needed experience to the Devils’ defense corps. He’s taking a big pay cut from the $4.875 million annual average value of his previous contract. The 29-year-old blueliner will hope for a better payday this summer with the Devils or another club via the unrestricted free agent market.
PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Penguins winger Kasperi Kapanen is expected to be granted a visa today and fly to Pittsburgh from Finland on Saturday. Because of his immigration issues, he’ll miss the Penguins’ season-opener on Wednesday as he’ll have to self-quarantine for seven days upon his arrival in the United States per league rules.
CAP FRIENDLY: indicates the Colorado Avalanche placed defenseman Josh Anderson on unconditional waivers for the purpose of contract termination. He was set to enter the final season of his entry-level contract.
OTTAWA SUN: The province of Ontario has officially given the green light to the Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs to play their home games in their own arenas for the coming season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That leaves Manitoba to grant approval to the Jets to stage their home games in Winnipeg. NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly recently indicated that the province is expected to give its blessing soon.
TSN: The Montreal Canadiens will still be allowed to play their home games at the Bell Centre despite a curfew that went into effect on Wednesday for the province of Quebec.
NHL.COM: The league released its detailed arena restart health and safety protocols for the upcoming season.
TAMPA BAY TIMES: The Lightning named Dave Randorf as their new play-by-play announcer. He has over 30 years of broadcasting experience, including the past six seasons with Sportsnet.
NHL.COM: The Carolina Hurricanes have entered into a partnership agreement with the Nashville Predators to share AHL affiliation with the Chicago Wolves.