NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 12, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 12, 2020

Training camps slated to open on July 10, CBA updates, and the latest on Patrick Kane, David Pastrnak, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: The NHL and NHL Players’ Association announced yesterday Phase 3 of the return-to-play plan will see training camps open on July 10. Both parties agree this will take place provided medical and safety conditions allow, and the two sides reach an agreement on resuming play (Phase 4).

NHL training camps could begin on July 1 (Photo via NHL.com).

Earlier this week, the league and PA implemented Phase 2, allowing small-group workouts at team facilities voluntarily.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks listed the outstanding issues that must be addressed before Phase 4 (24-team playoff tournament) begins. They include travel and quarantine restrictions when crossing the Canada-United States border, determining the location of two hub cities to stage the tournament, various health and safety issues, as well as escrow and salary cap issues.

TSN: Pierre LeBrun cautions the start date for Phase 3 could change if negotiations drag between the league and the PA. They’re also hoping for the Phase 4 start date to be around August 1.

Darren Dreger reports Las Vegas is considered a front-runner as one of the two hub cities. Toronto could have the inside track among the three Canadian cities because of its experience hosting the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. Vancouver and Edmonton also made pitches to be a host city.

SPORTSNET: Mark Spector reports those three Canadian cities could learn by today if the Canadian government’s quarantine restrictions will be loosened for NHL teams.

If those restrictions aren’t lifted entirely, they could consider extending the quarantine area to include the team employee’s home and arena, thus allowing them to practice while serving out their 14-day quarantine period.

If a Canadian city is chosen as a hub, teams from the United States participating in the tournament could quarantine inside an “NHL bubble” created between the team hotel, practice arena, and the NHL arena.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Blackhawks star Patrick Kane wants the league to take a cautious approach toward resuming play.

The NHL is putting out these dates and whatnot, and as players, we’re taking a step back and saying, ‘Why are these dates being put out when we haven’t really agreed to anything yet?’ ” Kane said. “We just want to be cautious.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The PA also agreed to those dates, but as the joint statement yesterday indicated, it’s based on whether medical and safety conditions are met and both sides have reached an agreement on resuming play.

This can still be derailed at any time by the pandemic. The players could also vote against it if they feel their health and safety cannot be assured.

Yesterday’s announcement of training camps opening on July 10 is a positive step, but significant hurdles remain between now and then.


TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports the two sides are believed discussing a four- or five-year CBA extension. A four-year one would push the CBA to the end of the 2025-26 season. Whatever news rules are agreed upon would be implemented right away.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports escrow and the salary cap are the key issues before a CBA extension can be reached before the playoff tournament begins in August.

NHL players could potentially face escrow deductions of 40 percent or more next season. The league and the PA are attempting to negotiate an escrow cap that would allow the players to make their payments over a longer period.

The two sides are also discussing keeping next season’s salary cap at a flat rate ($81.5 million). Without it, Brooks speculates the cap could drop by $10 million. That would produce chaos and instability around the league as teams shed salary, flooding the free-agent market and depressing salaries.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A CBA extension would ensure labor peace for the next six years. It would be the silver lining to the dark cloud of COVID-19 hanging over the league right now.


THE SCORE: Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak won the Golden Hockey Stick as the Czech Player of the Year for the fourth straight season, tying the record set by future Hall-of-Famer Jaromir Jagr.

TSN: Darren Dreger reports Peter Laviolette could be the front-runner for the role of New Jersey Devils head coach. Laviolette is among four candidates, including Devils interim bench boss Alain Nasreddine.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports sources claim NBC Sports broadcaster Ed Olczyk was among those interviewed for the Devils GM position. When asked, Olczyk said he speaks to a lot of people in the NHL. Interim GM Tom Fitzgerald remains a candidate.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Devils are leaving Nasreddine and Fitzgerald twisting in the wind. Those two should be commended for how well they’re handling this situation.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Blackhawks defenseman Calvin de Haan is expected to be fully recovered from shoulder surgery to participate in the playoff tournament in August.

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: The Vegas Golden Knights re-signed goaltender Oscar Dansk to a one-year, two-way contract extension worth $700K at the NHL level.

TSN: Kim Pegula will be staying on as president of the Buffalo Sabres.

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: Former San Jose Sharks forward Tommy Wingels announced his retirement. Wingels spent 337 of his 448 career NHL games with the Sharks from 2010-11 to 2016-17, as well as stops with the Ottawa Senators, Chicago Blackhawks, and Boston Bruins from 2016-17 to 2017-18. He had 62 goals and 143 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Wingels in his future endeavors.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 16, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 16, 2018

Update on Max Pacioretty, Ducks re-sign Ondrej Kase, latest on Brock Boeser and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens recently confirmed team owner Geoff Molson, general manager Marc Bergevin and head coach Claude Julien confirmed they will attend captain Max Pacioretty’s charity golf tournament. This comes in the wake of social media speculation suggesting the team brass would skip the tournament because of their rumored attempts to trade Pacioretty.

Anaheim Ducks re-sign forward Ondrej Kase to a three-year contract. (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: You know we’re mired in the dog days of the NHL offseason when you see rumors like that floating around. Even if the Habs are trying to trade Pacioretty, they’re not going to be douchebags and snub his charity event while he’s still on the roster.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: The Anaheim Ducks yesterday announced the re-signing of forward Ondrej Kase to a three-year contract worth an annual average value of $2.6 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s a fair raise for Kase, who completed his entry-level deal and showed potential last season with his first 20-goal performance. A skilled young two-way forward, Kase could be poised for better things over the next three years. 

NHL.COM: Tampa Bay Lightning winger Ryan Callahan has begun on-ice rehab with training camp a month away. He underwent shoulder surgery on May 31 and isn’t expected to return to action until early-November.

THE PROVINCE: Vancouver Canucks GM Jim Benning intends to meet with agent Ben Hankinson next week to discuss a contract extension for winger Brock Boeser, who has a year remaining on his entry-level contract. 

TSN: Former Winnipeg Jets defenseman Paul Postma has signed with AK Bars Kazan of the KHL. Former Boston Bruins forward Tommy Wingels and former Calgary Flames winger Lance Bouma have joined Swiss League’s Genève-Servette HC.


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 22, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 22, 2017

Detroit Red Wings re-sign winger Tomas Tatar to a four-year contract.

Tatar & Dzingel re-signed, Wingels injured & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines

 THE DETROIT NEWS: Forward Tomas Tatar re-signed a four-year, $21.2 million contract on Friday with the Detroit Red Wings. The two sides had gone to arbitration on July 20 and an arbiter’s decision would’ve come down today.

The annual average cap hit is $5.3 million. “Tatar will earn $6 million this season, $5.5 million the next two seasons, and $4.2 million in the 2020-21 season — with a full no-trade the second year, and partial no-trade in the final two years.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was a reasonable compromise between the two sides, as Tatar reportedly sought a six-year deal worth around $6 million while the Wings countered with a four-year deal worth around $5 million annually.

 While the Wings are rebuilding, Tatar expressed his desire to stay in Detroit. Over the past four seasons, the 26-year-old was one of the Wings most consistent players. He’s exceeded 20 goals and 40 points three times. Tatar underwent offseason shoulder surgery but is expected to be fully recovered for training camp. 

This signing leaves the Wings sitting over the $75 million salary-cap ceiling by $3 million, though they’re expected to put all-but-retired winger Johan Franzen on long-term injured reserve. I’ll have more on this later this morning in the Rumors section.

OTTAWA CITIZEN: The Ottawa Senators avoided salary arbitration with forward Ryan Dzingel, re-signing him to a two-year, $3.6 million contract.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Blackhawks forward Tommy Wingels fractured his left foot during offseason training. He’ll require six-to-eight weeks of recovery but is expected to be ready for training camp in September. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens season ticket holders who want printed tickets must now fork over an additional $150.00 (plus taxes) per seat. They’ll also have to pay a $100.00 administration fee plus taxes. “In the letter to season-ticket holders, Canadiens management cites security, ease of use and environmental sustainability as reasons for the change. Some fans, however, are calling the new fees a cash grab.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Those season-ticket holders who receive their tickets via smartphone won’t incur these additional fees. Still, not everyone prefers that option. I can certainly understand why some Habs season ticket holders are upset about this. However, it’ll take a significant backlash from those folks to sway the Habs into reversing this new policy. 

NBC SPORTS: The decision by NBA Houston Rockets owner Leslie Alexander to sell the franchise could open the door to Houston one day getting an NHL franchise. He owns Houston’s Toyota Center and is considered the biggest reason why the city never got an NHL team. Hisham-handed efforts to purchase the Edmonton Oilers in the late-1990s apparently didn’t sit well with NHL headquarters and a feud with the owner of the AHL’s Houston Aeros, forcing the club to relocate to Des Moines, Iowa. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The NHL won’t be putting a team in Houston anytime soon, but it is a major sports and media market and could be an attractive destination one day for an expansion or relocated franchise. Of course, that’ll also depend on suitable ownership and ensure Alexander won’t block an NHL franchise in his arena for as long as he continues to control the Toyota Center. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 2, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 2, 2017

The Florida Panthers part ways with right wing Jaromir Jagr.

Latest on Jaromir Jagr, Alexei Emelin, Ilya Kovalchuk, Daniel Alfredsson & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

MIAMI HERALD: The Florida Panthers yesterday confirmed they were parting ways with right wing Jaromir Jagr, who became an unrestricted free agent at noon ET on July 1. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Panthers GM Dale Tallon yesterday thanked Jagr for his contributions to the club over the past two seasons. Tthe 45-year-old will land likely with another NHL team at some point this summer on a one-year, bonus-laden contract. 

THE TENNESSEAN: The Nashville Predators yesterday acquired defenseman Alexei Emelin from the Vegas Golden Knights in exchanged for a 2009 third-round pick. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some observers wondered if this trade meant the Preds were preparing to ship a top-four defenseman to acquire center Matt Duchene from the Colorado Avalanche. It appears, however, this move was made simply to load up on the blueline for another run at the Stanley Cup next season. 

THE DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche yesterday acquired forward Colin Wilson from the Nashville Predators in exchange for a 2019 fourth-round pick. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Avs fans were likely expecting a more significant move from GM Joe Sakic yesterday involving Matt Duchene. There’s speculation the Predators and Columbus Blue Jackets are interested in the 26-year-old center. Sakic declined to comment on the rumors. Most pundits still expect Duchene will be dealt at some point soon. 

OTTAWA SUN: Former Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson stepped down as the club’s senior adviser of hockey operations, a role he held for the past two seasons. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No explanation was offered by Alfredsson or the club for his decision.

Russian sports writer Slava Malumud reports Ilya Kovalchuk’s Russian agent claims his client won’t make a decision about his plans for 2017-18 until Monday at the earliest. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kovalchuk spent the past four seasons with the KHL’s SKA St. Petersburg. It’s expected he’ll return to the NHL if the New Jersey Devils (who still own his NHL rights) can arrange a sign-and-trade deal.

Here’s a collection of several NHL free-agent signings that weren’t included among yesterday’s collection of notable free-agent moves.

Ottawa Senators signed center Nate Thompson to a two-year, $3.3 million contract.

Washington Capitals signed winger Brett Connolly to a two-year contract ($1.5 million annual average value).

Minnesota Wild signed defenseman Kyle Quincey to a one-year, $1.25 million contract. 

Toronto Maple Leafs inked center Dominic Moore to a one-year, $1 million deal.  

Chicago Blackhawks signed forwards Tommy Wingels and Lance Bouwma to one-year contracts. 

Carolina Hurricanes signed forward Josh Jooris to a one-year, $775K contract. 

Boston Bruins signed defenseman Paul Postma to a one-year, $725K contract. 

Los Angeles Kings signed goaltender Darcy Kuemper to a one-year, $650K deal. 

Arizona Coyotes signed defenseman Adam Clendening to a one-year, $650K contract. 

Montreal Canadiens signed defenseman Joe Morrow to a one-year, $575K contract. 


Senators Acquire Wingels from the Sharks

San Jose Sharks trade forward Tommy Wingels to the Ottawa Senators.

TSN reports the Ottawa Senators acquired winger Tommy Wingels from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for minor league forwards Buddy Robinson and Zack Stortini plus a seventh-round pick in 2017. The Sharks will also retain 30 percent of Wingels’ salary-cap hit ($2.475 million) for this season. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Senators general manager Pierre Dorion was in the market for several weeks for depth at forward. With left wing Clarke MacArthur out for the season with concussion symptoms, he obviously felt some urgency to bolster his forward lines.

Wingels, 28, is a versatile forward who can skate at all three forward positions. He’s solely a checking-line forward and doesn’t put up big numbers, though he tallied 38 points in 2013-14 and 36 points the following season. He has only eight points in 37 games this season with the Sharks and was a healthy scratch for several games.

Perhaps the move to a new club will re-energize Wingels. He is also eligible for unrestricted free agency, so he’s likely a rental player unless he picks up his performance with the Sens.

It’s an affordable depth move for the Senators. The Sharks, meanwhile, free up some cap space by shedding a player who had fallen down their depth chart and wasn’t going to be re-signed after this season. 

NHL Rumor Mill – September 23, 2016

NHL Rumor Mill – September 23, 2016

Columbus Blue Jackets winger Scott Hartnell no longer willing to waive his no-movement clause.

Columbus Blue Jackets winger Scott Hartnell no longer willing to waive his no-movement clause.

 Latest on Scott Hartnell plus updates on the Ducks and Sharks in your NHL rumor mill. 

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Aaron Portzline reports Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Scott Hartnell has rescinded his previous agreement to waive his no-movement clause. Earlier this summer, Hartnell agreed to waive the clause and provided Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen with a list of acceptable trade destinations. But after two months of waiting for a trade, Hartnell’s now decided he doesn’t want this uncertainty hanging over him for the upcoming season.

Portzline reports the Jackets never stated why they wanted to trade Hartnell. pointing out no one on the Jackets has scored more over the last two season and only Nick Foligno tallied more points. He wonders if it was for salary-cap purposes. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hartnell’s contract runs through 2018-19 and his no-movement covers the remaining tenure. He was a fixture in the rumor mill leading up to last season’s trade deadline and earlier this summer. Everything I read and heard about Hartnell’s trade status was tied to cap purposes, needing to clear space to re-sign key players, but they addressed that issue this summer by buying out Fedor Tyutin and Jared Boll. Hartnell’s decision should bring an end to any lingering trade chatter for now. However, if he or the Jackets struggle this season, perhaps management will ask him again to waive his clause before the Feb. 28 trade deadline. 

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Eric Stephens wonders how long defenseman Cam Fowler will remain with the Anaheim Ducks, noting trade speculation dogged the 24-year-old blueliner this summer. Instead of being dealt for a scoring forward or to free up cap space to re-sign rearguard Hampus Lindholm, Fowler remains with the Ducks. If promising defenseman Shea Theodore makes the lineup, Stephen speculates the Ducks could be forced to make some kind of move. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Awaiting Theodore’s performance (and that of promising Brandon Montour) in training camp and preseason could be one reason why the Ducks haven’t made a move yet. The cost of re-signing Lindholm and winger Rickard Rakell is also another likely factor. The Ducks could use another skilled scoring winger and Fowler is the best trade bait to land that type of player. 

CSN BAY AREA: Kevin Kurz speculates San Jose Sharks forwards Tommy Wingels and Matt Nieto could become trade candidates this season. If promising Timo Meier or any other rookie cracks the roster, the Sharks will have to trade or waive someone. Kurz considers Wingels “the likeliest choice”.

Nieto, meanwhile, hasn’t been able to consistently produce and also risks losing his roster spot to a rookie. Kurz suggests Nieto might benefit from a change of scenery. “There should be another team out there willing to part with a mid-to-low round draft pick in exchange for his services, and his light salary would make him an easy player to move,” he writes.