NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 22, 2018

by | Jun 22, 2018 | News, NHL | 11 comments

Islanders hire Trotz as head coach, NHL releases schedule and salary-cap limits for 2018-19. Details and more in your morning coffee headlines.

NEWSDAY: The New York Islanders yesterday named former Washington Capitals head coach Barry Trotz as their new bench boss.  Trotz recently stepped down as the Capitals head coach just over a week after guiding them to their first Stanley Cup title. 

New York Islanders name Barry Trotz as their new general manager (Photo via NHL.com)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Terrific hire by the Islanders, as new president of hockey operations/general manager Lou Lamoriello continues to overhaul the staff. Trotz’s hiring should significantly improve the Islanders, as well as serving as yet another incentive for pending free agent star John Tavares to re-sign.

WASHINGTON POST: Speaking of the Capitals, they’ll be interviewing associate coach Todd Reirden as Trotz’s replacement. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: They could interview other potential candidates but Reirden appears the front-runner for this job. He’s been on the staff for four years and has a good relationship with the players. 

NHL.COM: Start marking your calendars, NHL fans. The league released its full schedule for 2018-19

The league also revealed next season’s salary-cap limits. The upper limit is set at $79.5 million, up $4.5 million from $75 million. The lower limit is $58.8 million. The league also announced the final escrow taken from players’ salaries is eight percent, down from 11.5 percent.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The NHLPA likely voted to keep maintain the salary-cap inflator at the same rate (1.35 percent) as last season to ensure a lower rate of escrow claw backs next season. That would explain why the cap ceiling didn’t reach $80 million or more. Still, the new rate is the largest in four years and will provide cap-strapped teams with much-need wiggle room for signings or additions via trades. 

WGR 550: cites TSN’s Bob McKenzie reporting the Buffalo Sabres are not expected to tender a qualifying offer to restricted free agent goaltender Robin Lehner. The due date for qualifying offers is June 25, making Lehner an unrestricted free agent after that date. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is a surprising development, indicating the Sabres will be in the market for someone to share the goaltending duties with promising Linus Ullmark. Lehner posted decent numbers in three seasons playing for lousy Sabres’ rosters, but he has an injury history and his performance tends to be streaky. There are several other NHL clubs in need of goaltending help (including the Carolina Hurricanes and New York Islanders) who could pursue Lehner via free agency on July 1. 

TSN: The Edmonton Oilers yesterday placed defenseman Eric Gryba on waivers for the purpose of buying out his contract. He had a year remaining on his deal worth $900K.



  1. Wow. Ida think Lehner had some trade value as a rfa. At least a mid round pick.

    • LOL. Maybe Dorion signs him as a replacement for Condon.

  2. Flushing another Murray mistake. obvious t want to qualify Lehner at the risk of possibly getting stuck with him if they cannot deal his rights.

  3. “SPECTOR’S NOTE: The NHLPA likely voted to keep maintain the salary-cap inflator at the same rate (1.35 percent) as last season to ensure a lower rate of escrow claw backs next season.”

    Hockey players are well spoken so you forget that the equivalent of a GED is their level of education…until it comes to escrow.

    The players would be well served to inflate the cap to the max each year and eat the escrow but it’s hard to communicate that to guys who are frustrated by seeing it on their paychecks each week.

    It’s not entirely dissimilar to when Don King would sign boxers by offering a suitcase with $100,000 even if someone else was offering a $200,000 check.


    I was skeptical about Tavares resigning, but now I’d say it’s more likely than not that he stays on the Island. Great hire.

    • “Hockey players are well spoken so you forget that the equivalent of a GED is (often) their level of education…until it comes to escrow.”

      Forgot the word “often”. Obviously many players are highly educated.

      But the collective economic knowledge of whoever is voting on the inflator is clearly lacking.

  4. Good on ya Trotzy

  5. Good on ya Trotsy

  6. I like Lehner, always have. He played 53 games for Buf last season, 59 the season prior. His SV% this year was .908. That’s solid playing behind a team this bad, the season prior it was .920.

    He’s just entering his peak years as a goalie turning 27 in July. Having 219 regular season games played at 26 is impressive.

    Not qualifying Lehner is a mistake & terrible asset management. Someone is getting a young well above average NHL goalie this summer for nothing more than Cash. This is a business decision Buffalo is going to regret.

    • There was talk earlier this month the Sabres were attempting to trade Lehner. This move could indicate perhaps there simply isn’t a market for him. Not saying he won’t get signed as a UFA, just noting teams probably weren’t willing to give up an asset to get him.

  7. so will the Sabres sign Carter Hutton and go with an Ullstrom/Hutton duo this coming season?

    and everyone thinks hiring Trotz will convince JT to stay. But unless LL brings in a #1 goalie and acquires a top 4 dman beforr 7/1, what will convince JT to stay. He is looking at, at least two seasons of going between the Brooklyn arena and (former) Nassua Coliseum, no idea when Belmont arena will open, and still questions on if they can play defense

    • I think Grubauer is on his way to NYI. I would be surprised if that doesn’t happen tonight