A couple of Coyotes rookies — defensemen Connor Murphy and Brandon Gormley — are earning praise from head coach Dave Tippett.
“I like the way both of them play,” Tippett said, per azcentral. “They’ve come up, and they defend quick. They play the game quick and defend quick. They think the game well. Young or old or whatever, I like the quickness they play with.”
Murphy, 21, and Gormley, 22, were both first-round picks, so relatively big things were always expected of them. Still, their emergence leaves the Phoenix blue line — which also features Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Keith Yandle — looking pretty good for the future.
Just glancing over the Coyotes’ roster situation, per CapGeek…
…and one would have to wager pending UFA Derek Morris won’t be back next season.
Michael Stone, 23, is another young d-man with a bright future. Chris Summers, 26, also seems to have made progress after a good amount of development time in the AHL.
For a budget-conscious club like Phoenix, getting contributions from young players on affordable contracts is extremely important.
Related: Gormley to make NHL debut for Coyotes
Joe Pavelski is the new captain of the San Jose Sharks. The club made the announcement today via Twitter.
The former captain, Joe Thornton, will be an alternate captain, along with Logan Couture.
Pavelski, 31, was the Sharks’ leading scorer last season, finishing with 37 goals and 33 assists. He’s also signed through 2018-19, so giving him the ‘C’ makes sense from a long-term stability perspective.
Couture, 26, is also signed through 2018-19, while Thornton, 36, only has two years left on his contract.
The Sharks had four alternate captains (Thornton, Pavelski, Patrick Marleau and Marc-Edouard Vlasic) in 2014-15, but no captain.
Related: DeBoer says Sharks will have a captain next season
Scottie Upshall has parlayed his training camp tryout into a contract with St. Louis.
On Monday, the Blues agreed to a one-year, two-way deal with the veteran forward, worth $700,000 at the NHL level. The deal comes after Upshall spent all of training camp and the preseason impressing the Blues his speed and skating ability, no small feat for a 31-year-old veteran with over 500 NHL games on his odometer.
But where Upshall fits in the Blues lineup — and within the organization — remains to be seen.
The club has plenty of depth up front and Upshall isn’t coming off a terrific campaign, having scored just eight goals and 15 points in 63 games with Florida last season. That said, he showed enough to be just one of a handful of veterans on PTOs to score a contract.