NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 23, 2014

The Rangers avoid arbitration with Mats Zuccarello, the Ducks re-sign Sami Vatanen, the Blues can overcome Vladimir Sobotka’s departure and more. 

Rangers avoid arbitration with Mats Zuccarello.

Rangers avoid arbitration with Mats Zuccarello.

NEW YORK POST: The Rangers avoided arbitration with Mats Zuccarello, reaching agreement on a one-year, $3.5 million contract. They’re still scheduled for an arbitration hearing today in Toronto with Chris Kreider.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Zuccarello will be eligible for UFA status next summer. If he has another performance like last season (59 points), he’ll seek a more lucrative long-term deal from the Rangers. If they won’t pony up, other clubs will. As for Kreider, there were reports yesterday he and the Rangers were close to a compromise, so it wouldn’t surprise me if he re-signs before his arbitration hearing. 

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks re-signed defenseman Sami Vatanen to a two-year contract, paying him $1.250 million for 2014-15 and $1.275 million for 2015-16.

STLTODAY.COM: Dan O’Neill believes the Blues have the depth to overcome the departure of center Vladimir Sobotka to the KHL.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Agreed. Sobotka was a valuable depth player, but he’s not the linchpin for the Blues success. If they fall short again next season in their quest for the Stanley Cup, it won’t be because Sobotka wasn’t in the lineup. 

ARIZONA REPUBLIC: Glendale mayor Jerry Weiers has asked the Arizona attorney general to investigate a previously undisclosed meeting of city council members and a Arizona Coyotes lawyer days before council approved a $225 million arena deal with the team. “Violations of the Open Meeting Law can rescind actions taken by elected officials, which could potentially void Glendale’s deal with the team, which was then called the Phoenix Coyotes.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It can’t be summer without more uncertainty over the Coyotes’ future in Glendale. I think it’s an unwritten law now. 

NHL.COM: NBC Sports Group released their NHL schedule for 2014-15.