NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – Thursday, August 22, 2013.

Updates on Eric Staal and Stephen Weiss, picking new NHL captains, Predators coach calls for a rivalry with the Wild, the salary cap could reach $80 million in four years, the CMA slams NHL owners over hockey violence and more.

Hurricanes captain Eric Staal has recovered from last spring's knee injury.

Hurricanes captain Eric Staal has recovered from last spring’s knee injury.

NEWSOBSERVER.COM: Carolina Hurricanes captain Eric Staal said his right knee (injured during this spring’s World Championships) feels fine. He suffered a third-degree sprain of his right medial collateral ligament (MCL). Staal didn’t require surgery but underwent several month of rehab. He won’t require a knee brace to skate.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Staal was very fortunate to avoid surgery for that injury. Hurricanes fans are undoubtedly breathing a sigh of relief.

NATIONAL POST: Michael Traikos wonders which Stephen Weiss the Detroit Red Wings will be getting.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Prior to last season, Weiss averaged over 74 games per season, was a four-time 20-plus goal-scorer and never went below 42 points during that period. And he accomplished that with Florida Panthers teams which weren’t very good. On a deeper Red Wings team, he could flirt with 30 goals and 65 points.

SPORTING NEWS: Eight NHL teams – Buffalo Sabres, Calgary Flames, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, Edmonton Oilers, NY Islanders, Ottawa Senators and Tampa Bay Lightning – must name new captains before the upcoming season begins.

NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: Nashville Predators coach Barry Trotz wants to start a rivalry with the Minnesota Wild for “stealing” Ryan Suter. The former Predators defenseman signed a lucrative long-term contract with the Wild last summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll take more than that to get the Predators players developing a hatred for the Wild.

THE SCORE: CBC’s Elliotte Friedman recently speculated the NHL salary cap could rise to $80 million in four years.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s not surprising. I anticipate the cap will rebound to $70 million for 2014-15, and if league revenue increases on the average it did during the last CBA (between $5-$6 million per season), it could reach $80 million in three years.  

THE GLOBE AND MAIL: The Canadian Medical Association slammed NHL owners for being too accepting of violence in the sport.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That may be true, but don’t expect the NHL to do anything about it.


  1. It won’t take Nashville too long to hate on Minny considering they now have Matt Cooke.

  2. Oli Jokinen regressed after leaving Florida; so did J-Bo. RL improved. IMO, forwards are most productive when younger, so I’d expect Weiss to regress a bit.

    • David Booth came from there as well. He’s done nothing but suck it up in Vancouver

    • Nathan Horton got better(or at least stayed the same) with the Bruins.

  3. 1. Cap rises
    2. UFAs demand higher salaries due to cap rising
    3. Players under contract become UFAs, compare their contract/skills against recently signed players
    4. These players say, “Well, if Player A is worth $X, then I must be worth $Y”
    5. Salary caps are maxed out

    This is a fine cycle provided that the cap always rises! But if it doesn’t, then everyone is up against the cap for having signed marginal talent for too much money. And then bring on the lockout again.

    Players and owners both too greedy/win-now oriented to think about the long game…

  4. Oh I am sorry, you are acting like fans contribute absolutely nothing to management getting a win now attitude. Canadian teams can’t suck it up for more than a week before fan’s start clamoring for change so what do you think they demand during the offseason. Management for some teams will sign a player for a ridiculous amount of money just to hold that player up and say “hey we did something” then a few years later, everyone realizes what a mistake it was to spend 50 million dollars on a player that never cracked the 50 pt mark in any previous season and vow to never do it again except they always do it again. That’s how you get the Scott Gomez’s and Wade Redden’s and in these guys defense, they were offered that much money on a contract, what are they going to say “Hey I don’t think I am worth that much”. Yea right. Then they are vilified for “living up to their contracts” when in reality they never had a chance.

    • Can’t say I disagree with you, realtalk. Unfortunately. (3/4 of all superstars have had the fans demanding they’re traded at some point before they hit superstar status. The fans are equally ridiculous. Sigh.)

  5. My guesses for new captains

    Buffalo Sabres – Steve Ott
    Calgary Flames – Mark Giordano
    Columbus Blue Jackets – Jack Johnson
    Dallas Stars – Jamie Benn
    Edmonton Oilers – Taylor Hall
    NY Islanders – John Tavares
    Ottawa Senators – Jason Spezza
    Tampa Bay Lightning – Steven Stamkos

    • Some solid picks there. For me, I’d say:

      Buffalo: Maybe Ott? He’d be a decent captain, but he’s a little undisciplined and I don’t think teams like picking guys who will be UFAs at season’s end. But they have so few other guys to choose from!

      Calgary: Glencross.
      CBJ: Dubinsky (though maybe Johnson)
      Dallas: Benn (agreed)
      Edmonton: Eberle
      Islanders: Tavares (argeed)
      Ottawa: Spezza (agreed)
      Tampa Bay: Stamkos (agreed. But if St. Louis weren’t ancient, I’d think it would be him)

  6. Habs sign Doug Murray!!! Boom! Habs seem quite a bit tougher.