NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 10, 2018
Ducks to honor Paul Kariya and Scott Niedermayer, plus the latest on Auston Matthews, Scott Darling, Rasmus Dahlin and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks will retire the jersey numbers of former captains Paul Kariya (9) and Scott Niedermayer (27) in 2018-19. Kariya’s number will be hoisted to the rafters of the Honda Center on Oct. 21 and Niedermayer’s on Feb. 17, 2019.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A fitting honor for Kariya, the Ducks’ first franchise player, and Niedermayer, who led them to their first Stanley Cup championship. Both players have also been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
TSN: Bobby Orr, whose agency represents Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews, dismissed speculation his client was unhappy over the possibility that recently acquired center John Tavares could be selected as team captain over him.
“That’s bull about [Matthews] being upset about the captaincy,” said Orr. “That’s so wrong. They’re a good team and they’re going to be a very good team, John puts them closer to their goal. That’s what Auston is concerned about.” Orr added that Matthews is thrilled about Tavares joining the Leafs.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Welcome to Toronto, John Tavares, where the local media will take any hypothetical scenario and hype it up so much it’ll take on a life of its own.
THE NEWS & OBSERVER: After a disappointing first season as the Carolina Hurricanes’ starting goaltender, Scott Darling is working hard to be better prepared for 2018-19. Darling’s poor conditioning hampered his performance through 2017-18.
Speaking of the Hurricanes, assistant coach Steve Smith resigned yesterday.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Darling, who was acquired in May 2017 from the Chicago Blackhawks, never looked comfortable between the pipes last season for the Hurricanes. With better preparation, however, he should regain the solid form he displayed in Chicago.
THE BUFFALO NEWS: The Sabres signed 2018 first-overall draft pick Rasmus Dahlin to a three-year entry-level contract.
NEWSDAY: The New York Islanders signed former KHL center Jan Kovar to a one-year, $2-million contract and gritty left wing Ross Johnston to a four-year, $4-million deal.
CBS SPORTS: Free-agent defenseman Patrick Wiercioch has signed with the KHL’s Dinamo Minsk. He spent six seasons with the Ottawa Senators and Colorado Avalanche. Signed last year by the Vancouver Canucks, he spent 2017-18 with their AHL farm team in Utica.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens have hired Luke Richardson as their assistant coach in charge of the defense corps. The former NHL defenseman spent the past several years working as an assistant coach with the Ottawa Senators and New York Islanders and head coach of the Senators’ AHL franchise in Binghamton for four years.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens haven’t done much to bolster their roster for 2018-19 but they’ve made a number of organizational moves that should improve the franchise over time. Richardson replaces J.J. Daigneault, who was fired at the end of last season.