The Jets suspend Dustin Byfuglien, Martin St. Louis leaves the Blue Jackets, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
TSN: The Winnipeg Jets suspended defenseman Dustin Byfuglien for failing to report to training camp. The move was made to protect their roster and provide salary-cap flexibility. If Byfuglien doesn’t report by the opening day of the regular season next month, his salary-cap hit won’t count against their payroll for as long as he’s not on the roster.
The Winnipeg Jets suspend defenseman Dustin Byfuglien for failing to report to training camp (Photo via NHL Images).
Byfuglien is on a leave of absence and is believed to be mulling his future. Bob McKenzie reports this isn’t as ominous as it sounds as the Jets still want the blueliner back back. He said the decision can be reversed at any time and doubts this comes as a surprise to Byfuglien.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I daresay Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff informed Byfuglien of this decision and the reasons behind it before it was officially announced. It’s a business decision and not intended to punish him.
THE ATHLETIC: Martin St. Louis won’t be returning to the Columbus Blue Jackets this season. The Hall-of-Famer spent half of last season with the club in an advisory role. He cited family reasons behind the decision.
STARTRIBUNE.COM: Winger Kevin Fiala finally joined the Minnesota Wild after missing the first nine days of training camp while waiting for a work visa.
TAMPA BAY TIMES: The Lightning demoted goaltenders Louis Domingue and Mike Condon to their AHL affiliate in Syracuse.
SPORTSNET: The Vegas Golden Knights placed goaltenders Garret Sparks and Oscar Dansk on waivers.
Shea Theodore reveals cancer diagnosis, Logan Couture named Sharks captain, the latest contract signings, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
REVIEWJOURNAL.COM: Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Shea Theodore revealed he was diagnosed with testicular cancer over three months ago. General manager Kelly McCrimmon said Theodore has fully recovered following treatment and will participate in training camp on the first day of practice today.
Speaking of the Golden Knights, winger Ryan Reaves is listed as day-to-day with an undisclosed injury.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Theodore in his ongoing recovery. Check out this link for information on diagnosing and treating testicular cancer.
Logan Couture is the new captain of the San Jose Sharks (Photo via NHL Images).
NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: The San Jose Sharks named center Logan Couture as their new captain. He replaced Joe Pavelski, who signed with the Dallas Stars this summer. Brent Burns, Joe Thornton, Erik Karlsson and Tomas Hertl were named alternate captains.
WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets yesterday announced defenseman Josh Morrissey signed an eight-year, $50-million contract extension. The annual average value is $6.25 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates the deal comes with a full no-movement clause from 2022-23 to 2024-25 and a modified no-trade for the remaining years. He’ll also earn $8 million annually in real salary in three of the first four years of the deal.
A terrific signing by the Jets. Morrissey, 24, has developed into a solid top-pairing defenseman. As Dustin Byfuglien ages, Morrissey will take over as the linchpin of Winnipeg’s blueline. Given his youth and ongoing development, this contract will be considered a steal for the Jets in a few years.
NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: The Flyers have reportedly reached an agreement with defenseman Ivan Provorov on a six-year contract. The annual average value is said to be $6.75 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The deal is expected to be officially announced today. It’s less than the $8 million per season his side was reportedly seeking. I don’t doubt the three-year, $15-million contract inked by Columbus Blue Jackets rearguard Zach Werenski affected these negotiations.
It’s still a solid deal for Provorov, though he might’ve been better served inking a bridge contract similar to Werenski’s. Should Provorov continue to improve, he’ll be locked into a deal that could potentially pay him less than his true value over the next six years. The Blue Jackets’ blueliner, meanwhile, can pursue a more lucrative deal in three years time.
TRIBLIVE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins re-signed defenseman Marcus Pettersson to a one-year contract worth just over $874K.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins would’ve preferred paying Pettersson more on a long-term deal but their limited salary-cap space handcuffed them. They’ll reward him next season for agreeing to this affordable contract. The signing pushes the Penguins above the $81.5-million cap ceiling by just over $1 million but they could get cap compliant by demoting one or two of their nine defensemen.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: A degenerative back disc has brought Oilers center Kyle Brodziak’s playing career has come to an end after 15 seasons. With one year remaining on his contract at an annual average value of $1.15 million, he’ll be placed on long-term injury reserve by the Oilers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Brodziak in his future endeavors. He finishes his career with 129 goals and 296 points in 917 career games. Not bad for a gritty checking-line forward who was a seventh-round pick by the Oilers in 2003.
OTTAWA SUN: Senators defenseman Christian Wolanin suffered a torn labrum earlier this week. He will undergo surgery and is expected to be sidelined for four months.
THE DETROIT NEWS: The Red Wings won’t name a captain this season. Jusitn Abdelkader, Dylan Larkin, Frans Nielsen and Luke Glendening will be the four alternates.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is just postponing the inevitable. Give Larkin the “C” already!
BriseBois on Domingue/Condon situation, “We’re having them practice in a controlled environment to minimize risk for injury. We need them to be healthy by September 21st so we can assign them to the minors and minimize their cap hit.”
The Leafs re-sign Cody Ceci and Alex Kerfoot, the Canadiens ink Ben Chiarot, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs yesterday re-signed restricted free agents Cody Ceci and Alex Kerfoot. Ceci inked a one-year, $4.5-million contract while Kerfoot agreed to a four-year, $14-million deal.
The Toronto Maple Leafs re-signed defenseman Cody Ceci to a one-year contract (Photo via NHL Images).
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Good cost-effective moves by the Leafs, who acquired Ceci and Kerfoot via trades on Monday. Cap Friendly indicates they have over $3.76 million in salary-cap space, with Mitch Marner still to be re-signed.
The Leafs are allowed to exceed the $81.5-million salary cap by 10 percent during the off-season. If necessary, they can place permanently sidelined Nathan Horton ($5.3 million) on long-term injury reserve. They can do the same with sidelined players Zach Hyman and Travis Dermott until they’re ready to return to the lineup later in the fall. The Leafs could also bury a couple of contracts in the minors for the start of the season.
Bear in mind the Leafs must be cap compliant when Hyman and Dermott return to the roster. It could also complicate efforts to call up players during the season. They could be forced to make another cost-cutting deal before the end of the year.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens yesterday signed unrestricted free agent Ben Chiarot to a three-year, $10.5-million contract. The annual average value is $3.5 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A solid addition to the Canadiens blueline. Chiarot is a big-bodied defenseman who was among the Winnipeg Jets’ leaders in hits and blocked shots last season while averaging over 18 minutes of ice time per game. He’ll bolster their depth on the left side. With over $8.4 million in cap space, the Habs have room to add a forward or another defenseman.
OTTAWA SUN: The Senators signed defenseman Christian Wolanin to a two-year, $1.8-million contract extension.
SPORTSNET: The Carolina Hurricanes inked forward Brian Gibbons to a one-year, two-way contract worth $725K at the NHL level
NHL.COM: The Vancouver Canucks signed right wing Justin Bailey to a one-year, two-way deal
VANCOUVER SUN: The Canucks also shuffled their amateur scouting department.