NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 16, 2018
Canadiens trade Galchenyuk to Coyotes for Domi, plus the latest on Mike Hoffman, the Sabres’ buyout plans and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Montreal Canadiens last night traded forward Alex Galchenyuk to the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for forward Max Domi.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: After two years as a permanent fixture in the trade rumor mill, Galchenyuk is finally traded. Most observers believe the Canadiens blew it, trading a former 30-goal scorer for a winger who’s managed just 36 goals in his three NHL seasons.
This opinion also seems largely colored by previous notable moves by Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin. Two years ago, he traded away the popular P.K. Subban for Shea Weber and last year shipped Mikhail Sergachev to Tampa Bay for Jonathan Drouin. The consensus is Bergervin got hosed on those deals (though Weber, when healthy, played very well for the Habs while the Drouin deal could still work out for them) so this one’s also a loser for the Canadiens.
Perhaps this one will blow up in Bergevin’s face and hasten his own departure, but I’m with Sportsnet’s Eric Engels that it’s too soon to assess this deal one way or the other. This is a swap of two players who needed a change and it could work out well for both sides.
Galchenyuk could flourish away from the Montreal hothouse, struggling at times with consistency and seeming to chafe under the demands of coaches pushing him to improve his defensive game. Domi’s critics, meanwhile, point to the decline in his production since his 52-point rookie campaign. However, they neglect to mention he missed 23 games in 2016-17 and improved over the second half of last season after he and his Coyotes’ teammates struggled through a lousy opening half.
This move also sheds Galchenyuk’s $4.9 million cap hit from the Canadiens payroll, which could work to their advantage if they re-sign Domi (a restricted free agent) to a reasonable contract that leaves some cap room for additional moves.
My biggest complaint is this deal did nothing to address the Canadiens’ lack of depth at center. Perhaps it sets the stage for a trade of left wing Max Pacioretty for a scoring center. Time will tell.
OTTAWA CITIZEN: Senators winger Mike Hoffman and his fiancee Monika Caryk are denying allegations of cyberbullying by Caryk of Melinka Karlsson, wife of Senators captain Erik Karlsson. They’ve hired a lawyer tor reach out to the Karlssons’ representatives to conduct a third-party investigation, insisting they want to help find the person responsible. No charges have been filed against Caryk and the allegations have yet to be proven. Hoffman said he also recently reached out to Karlsson but has yet to receive a response.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Regardless of the outcome of this situation it’s unlikely Hoffman will be returning with the Senators next season. This story has stoked anticipation that he’ll be traded very soon, perhaps before the upcoming NHL Draft next weekend in Dallas.
NHL.COM: The Senators yesterday announced assistant general manager Randy Lee has been suspended. Lee is awaiting trial in Buffalo on July 6 facing a charge of second-degree harassment of a hotel shuttle driver.
WGR 550: Buffalo Sabres GM Jason Botterill said his club is unlikely to buy out any contracts this summer.
BOSTON HERALD: The Bruins yesterday re-signed defenseman Matt Grzelcyk to a two-year contract with an annual salary-cap hit of $1.4 million.
TSN: The Chicago Blackhawks yesterday re-signed forwards Vinnie Hinostroza and John Hayden to two-year contracts. Cap Friendly reports Hinostroza’s will earn $1.5 million per season while Hayden will earn $750K annually.