Latest on Patrick Kane, Auston Matthews, Henrik Zetterberg, Martin Brodeur and Slava Voynov in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane, Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews, Detroit Red Wings center Dylan Larkin and Minnesota Wild left wing Zach Parise were among dozens of American-born NHL players who gathered to honor the late USA Hockey executive Jim Johansson. The players gathered for a charity game on Sunday to raise funds for Johansson’s two-year-old daughter and for grassroots hockey.
Detroit Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg’s ailing back has hampered his training efforts this summer. (Photo via NHL Images)
MLIVE.COM: Detroit Red Wings head coach Jeff Blashill is doubtful team captain Henrik Zetterberg will be ready to play when the season opens in October. Zetterberg’s ailing back hasn’t allowed him to train properly this summer. He’s expected to report to training camp next month where he’ll undergo a medical to determine his status.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s sounds like Zetterberg won’t pass his training-camp medical. He’ll likely be placed on long-term injured reserve to start the season. If that happens, it’s doubtful he’ll be able to play this season.
THE ATHLETIC: Jeremy Rutherford reports sources say Martin Brodeur is preparing to leave the St. Louis Blues organization after four years. Brodeur served as an assistant general manager but his contract expired in June and he’s apparently decided to move on. It’s rumored he’s interested in rejoining the New Jersey Devils, though he’s said he’d like to spend more time with his son.
SPORTSNET: NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said former Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov has yet to be cleared to return to the league. He said Voynov’s return depends upon completing a review process with the league to determine if he meets the parameters to return. Voynov’s misdemeanor domestic abuse conviction was dismissed by a Los Angeles judge last month, a move that allows him to apply for reinstatement.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Until Voynov has his hearing with the league any speculation over which team he might join is baseless.
Thornton and Hertl re-signing with Sharks among latest notable signings. Details and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NBC SPORTS: The San Jose Sharks yesterday re-signed center Joe Thornton to a one-year, $5-million contract and forward Tomas Hertl to a four-year deal.
The Beard is back, as Joe Thornton signs a one-year deal with the San Jose Sharks (Photo via NHL Images)
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As per Cap Friendly, Thornton’s deal doesn’t contain any bonuses. It’s a straightforward $5 million. His salary is a significant drop from last season’s $8 million ($6.75 million base plus bonuses) but unsurprising given his age (39), recent knee surgeries and his willingness to stay in San Jose.
Cap Friendly indicates Hertl’s new deal is worth an annual average value of $5.625 million, a big raise over his previous salary of $3 million annually. It’s a shorter term than perhaps he would’ve preferred, but given his injury history, it’s understandable why the Sharks were reluctant to invest in a lengthier deal.
PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Joe Starkey scolds Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford for suggesting the reason the Columbus Blue Jackets, former team of new Penguins defenseman Jack Johnson, scratched the blueliner was for reasons other than on-ice performance.
Rutherford’s remarks, and those of Johnson expressing his happiness over joining a team with a winning culture, prompted angry rebuttals from Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella and GM Jarmo Kekalainen. Johnson claimed he meant no offense by his comments and apologized to the Jackets organization.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Starkey also chided Tortorella for not being the bigger man in this situation and ignoring those remarks. If anything, this back-and-forth will only stoke the ongoing rivalry between the two clubs.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Rangers owner James Dolan denied reports claiming he’s looking to sell the club and his other sports franchises.
LOS ANGELES TIMES: Former Kings defenseman Slava Voynov was granted a dismissal of his misdemeanor domestic abuse conviction, potentially paving the way for his return to the NHL. He can now request a reinstatement hearing with league commissioner Gary Bettman.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Even if Bettman grants Voynov’s reinstatement, the blueliner could have a difficult time landing with a new NHL club. While some general managers could be interested in his on-ice skills, the baggage from his domestic assault conviction could be a potential public-relations nightmare.
THE TENNESSEAN: The head district attorney handling a criminal charge of domestic assault leveled at Nashville Predators forward Austin Watson has recused herself because of her upcoming wedding to Gerry Helper, the team’s senior vice president and senior adviser.
ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks yesterday signed UFA winger Carter Rowney to a three-year deal worth $3.4 million.
NHL.COM: The Minnesota Wild signed forward J.T. Brown to a two-year, $1.375-million deal.
NHL.COM: The Tampa Bay Lightning re-signed defenseman Slater Koekkoek to a one-year, $865K contract.
NEWSDAY: The New York Islanders signed forward Tom Kuhnhackl to a one-year, $650K deal.
NHL.COM: The Nashville Predators signed forward Zac Rinaldo to a one-year, two-way contract worth $650K at the NHL level.
Updates on the Capitals, Golden Knights and Senators,the latest on Mike Green, the Lightning and Kings make a trade, and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NBC SPORTS: Washington Capitals forwards Nicklas Backstrom and Evgeny Kuznetsov will not require surgery for injuries suffered during the playoffs. Backstrom had two fractures in his right index finger while Kuznetsov suffered a left-shoulder injury.
Nicklas Backstrom was among four Capitals who played through injuries in the 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs (Photo via NHL Images).
Andre Burakovsky revealed he broke both thumbs during the season, one of them in the opening round of the playoffs. Defenseman Brooks Orpik needed surgery to reattach the tip of his left pinkie following a slash by Vegas Golden Knights center Erik Haula in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t think anyone’s surprised that Backstrom and Kuznetsov were nursing those respective injuries. Fortunately, they weren’t serious enough to significantly hamper their play in the Stanley Cup Final.
Meanwhile, the status of head coach Barry Trotz, whose contract expires at the end of this month, remains uncertain. Trotz once again said he’d like to return, while general manager Brian MacLellan said he spoke with the coach yesterday morning and intends to meet with ownership to discuss the matter further.
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: The Vegas Golden Knights held a fan appreciation rally yesterday on Fremont Street. Despite a heat advisory, around 7,500 fans turned out to cheer the team.
OTTAWA SUN: Don Brennan also weighs in on the Senators woes, suggesting things began to fall apart during an unusually lengthy stretch of road games last November. He believes the recent bad news will adversely affect efforts to trade Hoffman (or at least to get a reasonable return for him) and re-sign Karlsson.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given Hoffman’s $5.1-million annual cap hit and now the additional baggage of his fiancee facing harassment allegations, the Senators could find his value is plummeting in the trade market. As for Karlsson, I think he’s a goner now. I know management has stated they intend to offer him a contract extension, but with all that’s transpired since last fall, who could blame him if he rejects it? For that matter, who could fault him if he requests a trade?
MLIVE.COM: Pending free agent defenseman Mike Green has received contract offers of one and two-years from the Detroit Red Wings, who aren’t comfortable with giving him another three-year deal. Green could get lengthier offers on the open market but he likes playing in Detroit.
TAMPA BAY TIMES: The Lightning traded goaltender Peter Budaj to the Los Angeles Kings yesterday in exchange for forward Andy Andreoff.
LOS ANGELES TIMES: Former Kings defenseman Slava Voynov has filed a petition asking the Los Angeles Superior Court to dismiss his conviction on a misdemeanor charge of corporal injury to a spouse. He spent nearly two months in jail and received three years of probation. It’s believed this move could be the first step toward his possible return to the NHL.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens won’t be renewing the contracts for three of their amateur scouts.
SPORTSNET: Former NHL player Nick Boynton recently shared the emotional and physical toll of his 11-year playing career and its effects upon his life since leaving hockey.
The latest on Barry Trotz, Mike Hoffman, Slava Voynov, Samuel Girard and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: Tens of thousands of people turned out for the Washington Capitals’ Stanley Cup parade and rally yesterday. Meanwhile, Capitals head coach Barry Trotz strongly hinted he could be returning next season. Trotz’s contract expires at the end of this month. “We’ll talk,” Trotz said. “We’re going to enjoy this with the players. I love the players, I love D.C., my family loves it here. We’ll get something done.”
OTTAWA CITIZEN: Melinda Karlsson, wife of Senators captain Erik Karlsson, has filed an application for an order of protection against Monika Caryk, girlfriend of Karlsson’s teammate Mike Hoffman. Mrs. Karlsson alleges Caryk has harassed the couple since November 2017, much of it involving their still-born son. Hoffman and his representatives have denied the allegations.
The girlfriend of Ottawa Senators winger Mike Hoffman is accused of harassing teammate Erik Karlsson and his wife. (Photo via NHL Images)
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That might explain why the Senators have reportedly attempted to trade Hoffman since midseason.
TSN: Speaking of the Senators, assistant general manager Randy Lee is due in a Buffalo court on July 6 to face a harassment allegation.
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports several teams have interest in former Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov, who’s hoping to return to the NHL after spending the past three seasons in the KHL. Voynov departed for Russia in September 2015 rather than face deportation after spending two months in jail following his “no-contest” plea on a misdemeanor charge of corporal injury to a spouse.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Friedman notes Voynov will have to overcome several hurdles to return to the NHL, including getting a U.S. work visa and applying to the league for reinstatement. Any club interested in Voynov must first make a deal with the Kings, who still hold his NHL rights.
NBC SPORTS: Colorado Avalanche defenseman Samuel Girard escaped serious injury in a single-car accident after falling asleep behind the wheel on route to Montreal for offseason workouts.
ARIZONA SPORTS: The Arizona Coyotes will not exercise any contract buyouts this summer. Pending UFAs Brad Richardson, Luke Schenn, Kevin Connauton and Zac Rinaldo appear headed to free agency.
NEWSDAY: The New York Islanders have hired former New Jersey Devils executive Steve Pellegrini as an assistant GM. Pellegrini had previously worked with Isles general manager Lou Lamoriello during the latter’s tenure as Devils GM.
Notable Stanley Cup Final news plus updates on Radim Vrbata, Slava Voynov and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
Washington Capitals winger Tom Wilson won’t be suspended for his blindside hit on Vegas Golden Knights forward Jonathan Marchessault (Photo via NHL Images)
NBC SPORTS: Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson avoided supplemental discipline for his blindside hit on Vegas Golden Knights winger Jonathan Marchessault during Game 1 of the 2018 Stanley Cup Final.
LAS VEGAS SUN: The T-Mobile Arena crew are working to improve ice conditions for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final. Players on both clubs complained about the poor quality of the ice during Game 1.
ESPN.COM: NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said it’s too early for the league to comment on suspended former Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov’s efforts for reinstatement.
Voynov was suspended indefinitely by the league and the Kings terminated his contract after he returned to Russia in 2015 following a two-month jail sentence on a misdemeanor charge of corporal injury to a spouse. Daly said Voynov still has a couple of legal hurdles to clear before the league will comment on the matter.
ARIZONA SPORTS: After nearly two decades living in North America, now-retired NHL forward Radim Vrbata and his family head back to the Czech Republic today. He intends to take a year to spend time with his family before considering his next options.
TORONTO STAR: Maple Leafs forward Zach Hyman has published his third children’s book.
ARIZONA DAILY STAR: Tucson Roadrunners coach Mike Van Ryn is reportedly taking a coaching job with the St. Louis Blues. A former NHL defenseman, he spent several seasons as an OHL and AHL assistant coach before taking over as the Roadrunners bench boss this season.
TSN: A “a top NHL lawyer watered down a warning to players about the long-term dangers of repeated head trauma on a poster displayed in every NHL team dressing room.”
Rumored interest in suspended defenseman Slava Voynov plus updates on the Arizona Coyotes, Edmonton Oilers and Detroit Red Wings in your NHL rumor mill.
A report out of Russia claims defenseman Slava Voynov hopes to return to the NHL.
COULD VOYNOV RETURN TO THE NHL?
SPORT-EXPRESS.RU: A source claims defenseman Slava Voynov won’t be re-signing with SKA St. Petersburg and he’s hoping to return to the NHL. He returned to Russia in 2015 rather than face deportation after serving a 90-day jail sentence for domestic violence and receiving three years of probation.
Five teams – Florida Panthers, Montreal Canadiens, New York Islanders, New York Rangers and Winnipeg Jets – are rumored to be interested in Voynov. The Los Angeles Kings, Voynov’s former team, still hold his NHL rights but reportedly aren’t interested in bringing him back. They terminated his contract following his departure to Russia. He was also suspended indefinitely by the NHL.
Now I can confirm: #Isles have not reached out to anyone connected to Slavs Voynov. Zero interest.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Though the Kings terminated Voynov’s contract, they hold his rights until July 1, 2019. Before he can return the NHL must first lift his suspension. That will require a hearing with league commissioner Gary Bettman. Any NHL club interested in Voynov must trade for his rights.
No word from the Panthers on this, though we shouldn’t assume their silence as confirmation that they’re looking at acquiring his rights. Judging by the denials of the other clubs linked to Voynov, it doesn’t sound as though anyone’s really keen to bring him back.
COYOTES COULD BE BUSY AT THE DRAFT
AZCENTRAL.COM: Richard Morin reports Arizona Coyotes general manager John Chayka said he’ll “definitely be active” attempting to make trades during the NHL Draft weekend (June 22-23) in Dallas. ” I think that’s an opportunity to make some moves and it’s an opportunity for us to improve our group. … Ultimately, you need someone to say ‘yes.” He said he and his staff will be busy preparing for possible scenarios. “We know we’re going to be picking in the top 10 — but at the same time, you can move up, you can move down. … It becomes my job to make sure we’re getting the best player we can and moving up or down and making sure that we zero in on that guy.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I can’t help but wonder if any of those scenarios involve moving an active player on his roster. It won’t be Oliver Ekman-Larsson, who has expressed a willingness to sign a contract extension. Maybe he’ll consider packaging one of his young players (other than Calder Trophy nominee Clayton Keller) with his own first-round pick in hopes of landing the first-overall pick.
POSSIBLE BACKUP OPTIONS FOR THE OILERS
THE ATHLETIC: Allan Mitchell recently examined possible backup goaltending options for the Edmonton Oilers. Though they acquired Al Montoya late in the season, he might be unable to handle the workload expected of the Oilers’ No. 2 next season. Carter Hutton, Anton Khudobin and Jonathan Bernier are possible free-agent options, but the Oilers could look toward European goaltenders such as SKA St. Petersburg’s Mikko Koskinen or former NHL goalie Jhonas Enroth. They could also look toward the AHL for someone such as Michael Hutchinson of the Manitoba Moose.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Whoever the Oilers bring in must be able to spell off overworked starter Cam Talbot on a regular basis. Perhaps they’ll also look at someone capable of pushing Talbot a little.
UPDATE ON THE RED WINGS
MLIVE.COM: In a recent mailbag segment, Ansar Khan was asked if the Detroit Red Wings might sign some useful veterans to one-year contracts and then flip them at the 2019 trade deadline for draft picks. Though the Wings did so with Thomas Vanek and Steve Ott in 2016, Khan doesn’t see them going that route again this year. He also expects they’ll sign a free-agent goaltender to either compete with starter Jimmy Howard or serve as their backup next season. They would also like to re-sign defenseman Mike Green.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Free-agent goalie options include St. Louis’ Carter Hutton, Boston’s Anton Khudobin or Colorado’s Jonathan Bernier. As for Green, they could have a difficult time re-signing him as he could get interest from playoff contenders (Toronto, perhaps?) seeking an experienced top-four blueliner.