NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 28, 2014

The results of the opening round of the 2014 NHL Draft, the new salary cap figures are released, reaction to the James Neal trade, the Coyotes buy out Mike Ribeiro and more.

The Florida Panthers select Aaron Ekblad with the first overall pick.

The Florida Panthers select Aaron Ekblad with the first overall pick.

NHL.COM: The Florida Panthers ultimately retained the first-overall pick, using it to select highly-touted defenseman Aaron Ekblad. Full results of the first round can be found here.

NBC SPORTS: The salary cap limits for 2014-15 have been released. The salary cap ceiling is set at $69 million, while the cap floor rises to $51 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s $2 million lower than the mid-season projection of $71 million. Several teams will be pressed for cap space, especially the Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers, who find themselves over the cap ceiling, though they’re allowed during the offseason to be over the cap by 10 percent. That’ll result in some salary-dumping deals in the coming weeks. 

THE TENNESSEAN/TRIBLIVE.COM: Reaction to the Nashville Predators acquiring sniper James Neal from the Pittsburgh Penguins during the opening round of the draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My reaction to the deal can be found here

TBO.COM: Reaction out of Tampa Bay to the Lightning’s acquisition prior to the draft of defenseman Jason Garrison from the Vancouver Canucks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My reaction can be found here.

ARIZONA REPUBLIC: Citing behavioral issues, the Arizona Coyotes have bought out the remainder of center Mike Ribeiro’s contract. Because Ribeiro signed his deal last summer, it’s doesn’t quality as a compliance buyout. The payout to Ribeiro will be roughly $1.94 million annually for the next six years.

CSNBAYAREA.COM: To the surprise of no one, the San Jose Sharks will use a compliance buyout on Martin Havlat.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: The Blackhawks have re-signed Antti Raanta, Ben Smith and Jeremy Morin.

BUFFALO NEWS: Sabres GM Tim Murray appears unhappy the draft lottery rules will change starting in 2015.  If his club does poorly in the standings next season, these changes could adversely affect the Sabres chances of winning the draft lottery and the right to select Connor McDavid.