NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 26, 2014

Latest on Logan Couture and Josh Gorges, Stars enjoying increase in season ticket sales, the latest signings and more.

Logan Couture still recovering from Sharks playoff collapse against the LA Kings.

Logan Couture still recovering from Sharks playoff collapse against the LA Kings.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: San Jose Sharks forward Logan Couture’s recovery from hand surgery has been slow, as has his recovery from the Sharks first-round collapse in the 2014 NHL playoffs against the Los Angeles Kings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fortunately Couture has plenty of time to recover from his injury. How well he and his Sharks teammates recover from their epic collapse against the Kings remains to be seen. 

KELOWNA DAILY COURIER: Former Montreal Canadiens defenseman Josh Gorges is still trying to understand why the club first tried to trade him to the Toronto Maple Leafs before he ultimately agreed to be dealt to the Buffalo Sabres.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: He’s not the only one still trying to understand this move. Some believe it was done for cap reasons. Others to add more speed to the defense, or to improve the Habs’ puck-possession numbers. It’s also been suggested the move was made because a stay-at-home defender like Gorges tends to wear down more quickly. Whatever the reason, it remains a puzzling move, which hasn’t been adequately explained by Canadiens management. 

DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars president Jim Lites claims his club has sold more new season tickets than any other NHL team this summer. Though the club is raising ticket prices, Lites points out the Stars prices remain among the lowest in the league.

THE WASHINGTON POST: Australian Nathan Walker’s NHL dream is one step closer to reality, as the Capitals signed him to a three-year entry-level contract.

NEWSOBSERVER.COM: The Carolina Hurricanes have re-signed defenseman Brett Bellemore to a one-year, two-way contract worth $600K at the NHL level.

NHLPA.COM: The second annual Smashfest charity ping-pong tournament involving NHL players raised over $100K.

CBC.CA: The NHL has released an official line of ugly Christmas sweaters.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nothing like an ugly Christmas sweater, just like grandma used to make. These sweaters are so ugly they’re bound to be a hit among hockey fans.

 

3 Comments

  1. I believe Gorges was traded mainly for cap reasons. What is really puzzling is that both Gorges and Gionta are gone. What a huge hole in leadership when the GM has spoken repeatedly about how important character and the room is/was to the Habs success. No question Gorges and Gio were huge parts of that. I think it means Buffalo will punch above their weight and will not be the last place team…not in the playoffs, but not in the basement either. Luckily for them they have NYI first pick so they may still end up winning the McDavid sweeps.

  2. I would suggest that the Habs have explained why they traded Gorges: they’ve said they have improved their backend.

    Gorges laudable second efforts and heart in the D zone are well recognized by most people but the fact of the matter is it was often Gorges inadequate play that necessitated his heroics. Gorges is not a top four D man on a fast skating puck possession team, and he makes too much money to be a 5/6.

    His value to a rebuilding team is far great than his value to a team that is trying to legitimately make it to the SCF and while you might not think Montreal is ready for that, and L.A. would have killed them this year, the Habs are retooling the team to not get killed. Gorges, who is terrible with the puck when forechecked, had to go. And the Habs are not going to say that.

  3. From what I’ve been able to gather, one of, if not the reason behind Josh Gorge’s trade was to settle the Canadien’s imbalance of left-right defencemen as most of last season’s d-men, along with the youngsters Beaulieu and Tinordi operate from the left side. Both Tom Gilbert and the returning Weaver play right defense.

    As well, it was noted that Emelin was playing on his wrong side and can now move to his natural left side position.

    As we saw in the Olympics, we cannot underestimate having this balance.

    Having said that, the way that the situation unfolded was unfortunate as the Toronto-based media trumpeted the attempted trade to the Leafs without mentioning, until the damage to Gorges phyche was long done, who the Leafs were willing to give up. Had that not leaked, the story would have evolved differently.

    As a Habs fan, I will miss Gorges dedication to the Habs and wish him well in Buffalo as he, with Gionta will help develop the Sabres’ young core of players. At the same time, however, if the moves that Bergevin made pan out, the Habs will be improved defensively.