NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 1, 2014

Updates on P.K. Subban, the Senators re-sign Robin Lehner, the Penguins re-up Nick Spaling, plus the latest on Steve Mason, Shawn Thornton and more. 

It's decision day for P.K. Subban & the Canadiens.

It’s decision day for P.K. Subban & the Canadiens.

SPORTSNET: Chris Johnston reported last night the Montreal Canadiens may have a contract in place for superstar P.K. Subban. The two sides are slated for an arbitration hearing this morning in Toronto.

TSN.CA: Subban spoke with TSN radio yesterday, who said the tone and communication of the negotiations have been good, citing the mutual respect of both sides.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I expect there will be an announcement of a new long-term deal later this morning. 

**UPDATE** So much for that expectation. The Canadiens and Subban have officially gone to arbitration, though they can still negotiate a deal before the arbiter hands down their decision in 48 hours.

OTTAWA SUN/OTTAWA CITIZEN: The Ottawa Senators yesterday announced the re-signing of backup goaltender Robin Lehner to a three-year, $6.675 million contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s worth $2.275 million per season, though it is broken down to pay him $1.5 million this season, $2.025 million next season and  $3.15 million in 2016-17. It is an affordable deal for a goalie who could become their starter if the Senators fail to re-sign Craig Anderson before next summer. 

TRIBLIVE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins avoided salary arbitration with forward Nick Spaling, signing him to a two-year, $4.4 million contract. The Penguins still have RFA forward Brandon Sutter to re-sign and $4.2 million in cap space, though GM Jim Rutherford remains confident of re-signing Sutter soon.

PHILLY.COM: Flyers goaltender Steve Mason will miss two weeks of on-ice training to a broken right finger.

SUN-SENTINEL.COM: Harvey Fialkov profiles new Florida Panthers enforcer Shawn Thornton.

THE BUFFALO NEWS: The Sabres have announced their preseason schedule.


  1. I dont understand how this goes, to me MB is maybe starting to lose a bit of his shine. If the Habs only get a 1 or 2 year deal out of this, what happens if he wins or is in the running for another Norris? Think his contract demands next time would not be significantly more than 8.5? Its not saving anything by nickel and dimming this guy now. Also with the rest of the off season moves which some seem kinda questionable following a run to the ECF, if the Canadians dont have a very good season and playoff, I think its a fair question to ask do you keep MB or find someone else with a different approach to handle Subban now that it looks like it will be done via arbitration. Just questions, not meant as stabs at the Habs it seems like a strangeway of doing things after having some success.

  2. I just don’t get it! Are the Habs dealing with cap space issues? If Les Canadiens’ management haven’t realized it yet, Subban is now the “face of the franchise”, and according to many, its top player. As such he should be paid accordingly. Can you imagine the Hawks going to arbitration with Jonathan Toews? Or the Lightning with Stamkos? How about Pittsburgh and Crosby? I’m betting dollars to doughnuts that a lot of opposing GM’s would jump at the chance to have PK for 8.5!

  3. I love PK as a public persona. He’s a consumate professional and I’ve never heard him say anything that wasn’t “I’m here for the team”. But watching his 30-second interview on TSN after the arbitration, boy, does he not seem happy. Can’t believe it’s gotten to this point…

  4. Marc Bergevin played hard on him back in 2012. Now again in 2014, PK and the Habs need an arbitrator to have a deal in place. I don’t catch it… PK isn’t the best D in the NHL right, but he has the tools to be the best for years to come. Also, for a market like Montreal, having such a personality like him, it’s priceless. Like it or not, he’s a franchise player. Give him the C for captain and 9 M$ a year for the next six years and please with french lessons too. If he speaks just little more french than Koivu, he will be next to a god in Quebec province.

  5. I think the Habs are playing with fire here with all this going to an arbitrator. Never thought it would get this far. Sure, I guess a deal could be be struck before the decision comes down, but I’m thinking here PK has stopped listening to anything else being said and will instead go with the arbitrator’s decision.