NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 16, 2017
Sabres hire Phil Housley as head coach, latest contract signings and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
THE BUFFALO NEWS: The Buffalo Sabres announced yesterday their hiring of Phil Housley as their new head coach. A Hall of Fame defenseman who began his NHL career with the Sabres (playing eight seasons in Buffalo), Housley was an assistant coach with the Nashville Predators from 2013 to 2017.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Housley faces the daunting challenge of succeeding with a rebuilding team that frustrated established, respected coaches such as Dan Bylsma and Ted Nolan. His first big task could be establishing a good rapport with rising young star Jack Eichel, who’s now perceived as a “coach killer” by his critics. Eichel reportedly claimed he wouldn’t sign a contract extension if Bylsma remained as head coach. He subsequently denied the report.
The Sabres also received good news yesterday regarding winger Kyle Okposo, who missed the end of the season due to a medical scare. He’s expected to be ready for training camp in September.
TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Matt Murray revealed a torn hamstring kept him out of the first two rounds of the 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs. Winger Carl Hagelin said the broken fibula he suffered in early March took longer to heal than expected.
Brian Dumoulin suffered a hand injury in the opening round, Justin Schultz was sidelined by a broken rib for four games of the Eastern Conference Final and Ian Cole played with a broken hand and broken ribs.
THE TENNESSEAN: After 17 NHL seasons, Nashville Predators captain Mike Fisher is considering retirement.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Predators general manager David Poile reportedly hopes to re-sign Fisher, who’s an unrestricted free agent on July 1. We’ll find out soon enough if he can tempt Fisher into one more season.
BSN DENVER: The Colorado Avalanche announced they’ve bought out the final season of defenseman Francois Beauchemin’s contract. The Avs won’t get cap relief as Beauchemin was on an over-35 contract.
VANCOUVER SUN: The Canucks re-signed defenseman Erik Gudbranson to a one-year, $3.5 million contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gudbranson struggled through an injury-shortened season in 2016-17, his first in Vancouver. If he bounces back next season, he’ll likely earn a long-term deal with the Canucks.
THE NEWS & OBSERVER: The Carolina Hurricanes re-signed forward Teuvo Teravainen to a two-year deal with an average annual salary of $2.86 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: An affordable bridge deal for Teravainen, who had 42 points last season with the Hurricanes and could be poised for a breakout performance in 2016-17.
SPORTSNET: The Montreal Canadiens re-signed forward Charles Hudon to a two-year deal worth $650K per season.
STLTODAY.COM: Craig Berube and Daniel Tkaczuk have joined the St. Louis Blues coaching staff.
CSNPHILLY.COM: Former NHL star Daniel Briere will run the Flyers ECHL affiliate in Portland, Maine.