NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – Tuesday, July 30, 2013.

Seven players hoping to avoid “one-hit wonder” tag, the Wild reportedly lost $30 million last season, Steve Sullivan ponders his future, several notable RFAs still unsigned, and more.

NHL.COM: Chicago Bryan Bickell, Columbus’ Sergei Bobrovsky, Montreal’s Lars Eller, Anaheim’s Viktor Fasth, NY Islanders Thomas Hickey, Toronto’s Nazem Kadri and Carolina’s Jiri Tlusty head into 2013-14 hoping to avoid the “one-hit wonder” tag.

Did signing bonuses for Ryan Suter (L) & Zach Parise lead to the Wild losing $30 million last season?

Did signing bonuses for Ryan Suter (L) & Zach Parise lead to the Wild losing $30 million last season?

PUCK DADDY: Greg Wyshysnki cites reports from the Pioneer Press claiming the Minnesota Wild lost $30 million last season, wondering if the $20 million in signing bonuses handed to Zach Parise and Ryan Suter contributed to those losses.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If these reports are true, the Wild front office has no one to blame but itself. Handing out $20 million in signings bonuses to two players heading into a lockout year is never a good idea, especially for a team whose owner okayed the signing of two players to the kind of heavily front-loaded “cheat” contracts he was supposedly against only three months prior to those signings. 

SAULTSTAR.COM: Veteran NHL forward Steve Sullivan is training for the upcoming season as he has for every one in his career, but is “99.9% certain” retirement is in the cards.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If so, the 39-year-old had a good run. He made the NHL during the clutch-and-grab “Dead Puck Era”, when small (5-9, 165lbs), speedy forwards were at a disadvantage, overcame a career-threatening back injury which cost him an entire season (winning the Masterton Trophy for perseverance in 2009), and still went on to play 16 NHL seasons with six NHL seasons, amassing 747 points in 1011 NHL games. 

DENVER POST: Francois Allaire, the Colorado Avalanche’s new goalie coach, sets his sights on revamping Avs netminder Sergei Varlamov.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Too bad Allaire can’t do anything to revamp the Avalanche’s blueline.

NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: Jason Brough provides links to the wrongful death lawsuit paperwork filed by the family of the late Derek Boogaard against the NHL, provides the full list of odds of winning the Stanley Cup next season for every NHL team, and noted a number of notable restricted free agents lacking arbitration rights (including Alex Pietrangelo, Derek Stepan and Adam Henrique) remain unsigned.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: One reason those players remain unsigned is their respective teams believe the lowered salary cap could prevent rivals from trying to poach them with offer sheets.


  1. Lol nice with the revamp the Avs bluline bit…

    • ouch, lol. Dropping Sacco-favorite Zanon like it’s hot was a great move, as was moving out O’Brien for someone with some self-respect. Addition by subtraction. I think you’ll see a middle-of-the-pack D next season.

  2. While the wild did lose money last season overall those contracts will make them money. Less money will be paid to these guys going forward now in addition to having a full season of home games will help recoup the costs so they will be alright.

    • Kind of funny seeing they lost 30 mill and then the words wonders if the 20 mill in signing bonuses had anything to do with it….now I am no forensic accountant but I would say if your company hands out 20million bucks in signing bonuses to its employees closes its doors for 4 months of the year, takes in little to no revenue for a half of the year then it turns out you’re 30 million in the hole after the season, Id say yes 20 mill in bonuses to the employees that only had to work half the year had something to do with it.
      The good news for the Wild is with those bonuses paid out and a full season with possibly some playoff revenue, they are a profitable team.

  3. Honestly I think the Avs Blueline is not in that rough shape, Tyson Barrie is poised for a breakout season while Stephan Elliott also looks like he will be a very capable NHLer, not to mention Duncan Siemens whos points have droped the past 2 years but remains a very tough penilty killing D-man who could also earn a spot. I also feel the Avs will trade for Liles but the are just waiting to see if the leafs will hold back some salary. My prediction is he gets traded to the Avs in the next week for Andre Benoit and a 4rd with the leafs holding back 1m or so of his salary.

  4. what the avs really needs is a giant stud blueliner. someone who can hit, skate, shoot, pass, do all the important things…. oh…. yeah……

    i’m sure mckinnon will be great but when you have a chance to grab a near sure-fire norris candidate you have to grab him no matter who else is available. they just don’t come along that often.