NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 9, 2018

by | Aug 9, 2018 | News, NHL | 14 comments

The 30th anniversary of the Gretzky Trade, plus updates on Ryan Suter, Brock Boeser, Dylan Larkin and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Today marks the 30th anniversary of the trade that sent Wayne Gretzky from the Edmonton Oilers to the Los Angeles Kings. The move left a long-lasting impact upon the NHL and the sport. The most notable effects included a growth of interest in the game in the United States and the expansion into Sun Belt markets such as Anaheim, San Jose, Phoenix (Glendale), Tampa Bay, Miami (Sunrise) and (most recently) Las Vegas. 

On Aug. 9, 1988, the Edmonton Oilers traded Wayne Gretzky to the Los Angeles Kings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The trade also accelerated the decline of the Oilers’ dynasty. Nearly three decades later, the club still hasn’t recovered from it. 

EDMONTON SUN: Speaking of Gretzky, “he’s been named an ambassador the Kunlun Star hockey team in Beijing which plays in the KHL.” He remains a partner and vice chair of Oilers Entertainment Group (OEG).

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: A public visitation for the late Stan Mikita will be held from Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the United Center atrium. The Blackhawks legend passed away earlier this week at age 78.

NHL.COM: Minnesota Wild defenseman Ryan Suter believes he’ll be fully recovered from a fractured ankle in time for training camp next month. Suter suffered the season-ending injury on March 31. 

SPORTSNET:  Detroit Red Wings center Dylan Larkin said he and the club are getting closer to an agreement on a new contract. “I’ve told everyone I think it’ll be before training camp. It’s right there. I’m just waiting to iron out the details.” 

Forward Brock Boeser said there’s no firm deadline yet on a contract extension with the Vancouver Canucks but he stressed he has a good relationship with management and the two sides are taking their time.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given Larkin’s status as a restricted free agent the questions over when he’ll be re-signed are understandable. Boeser, on the other hand, is entering the final season of his entry-level contract and will be a restricted free agent next summer. He and the Canucks don’t have to rush into contract talks right now. By the sound of things, Boeser doesn’t appear very concerned about the situation. 

ARIZONA SPORTS’ Craig Morgan reports Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun has been cleared to skate. The blueliner underwent knee surgery 17 weeks ago.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Carolina Hurricanes fans are being asked to vote on the club’s new goal song. 



  1. Edmonton will never again be a powerhouse. Nobody wants to live there, and that’s a bigger issue than anyone will admit. Maybe the team will relocate to Houston one day, at least they won’t have to change their name…

  2. Everyone always seems to forget that the Oilers went on to win the cup without Gretzky. Did Gretzky make the Oilers or did the Oilers make Gretzky? The answer is far from clear.

    • Nobody’s forgotten that, but that one was the last hurrah of a declining Oilers club that would lose the remainder of the best players soon afterward. While the 1980s Oilers were a great team, it’s obvious to everyone that Gretzky was the straw that stirred the drink.

      • Gretzky for me was the greatest player to ever play the game to date but Edm’s decline was assured as continued success leads to late draft picks & going back to the Gretzky era the chances of a later pick becoming an NHL player were even less than today & today they aren’t good.

        Edm went on to win the cup the year after Gretzky left & lost the next 2 playoff appearances in the conference finals. They then were forced to restock, rebuild, retool whatever you wish to call it & following such were a middling success making the playoffs 7 of the 9 next seasons.

        The inept mess still working to be cleaned up is the result of Katz faith in Kevin Lowe. His vision & management of the Oilers made them the laughing stock they were till Chiarelli took over. How Kevin Lowe has retained a position with the Oilers is shocking as the demise you speak to is all his doing.

      • Sorry, a whole portion of a sentence was missed, after, “whatever you wish to the call it,” should read, not making the playoffs 4 years in a row.

        For me, Gretzky’s trade had little to do with the demise of the Oilers. Mismanagement lead to the demise of Oilers as we know it & again that’s all on Lowe for me.

      • Even after Gretzky left they still had a powerhouse for a while with the likes of Messier, Kurri, Anderson, Tikkanen, Simpson, Klima, McTavish, Lowe, Fuhr, Ranford, Smith, Gregg, Muni etc. The current Oilers have nothing to match that after McDavid and Draisaitl and, unlike that era which didn’t have to deal with cap issues, this team finds itself in a classic Catch-22 with just over $55 mil in cap space taken up by 9 players for the next several seasons – with the exception of Talbot ($4.2 mil) who’s a UFA next year, when 2 other players (Rieder and Puljujarvi – currently accounting for 3 mil in cap space) become RFAs.

        Some monumental juggling needs to be done to balance out that roster which, if everyone remains in place, would see them forking over in excess of $60 mil for 11 players, meaning they have to find 12 to fit within $20-24 mil in cap space. While it’s easy to say “trade a Lucic” to free up a chunk, you have to find someone dumb enough to take on that contract. Do they extend Talbot and, if so, how much does he get? If not, they have to find someone capable of handling the full load and he won’t come cheap. How long can Sekera ($5.5 mil) last with his injury history and even with him, Klefbom, Larsson and Russel in the line-up ($17.9 mil combined) their D has not done the job.

      • Striker, I’ll take Orr

      • If Mario Lemieux played his first 5-6 years on a team with 12 future hall of famers instead of playing with the scrubs he had to play with he would have destroyed every record and put them so far out of reach no one could fathom ever reaching those heights. If Mario played against those awful early 80s defenders and those midget goaltenders with guys like Kurri, Messier, and Anderson instead of Errey, Loney and Caufield it would be a slaughter every game. Mario was THE unstoppable force that has ever played the game. Yes he had great teams by the early 90s but by then he was dealing with degenerative discs in his back and hodgekins disease. He was less 50% and he was still head and shoulders above the next best player in the league. Looking at raw stats you’ll say Gretzky every time but factoring in context Mario is the best player to ever play, period. Just ask Gretzky.

      • Mario never saw the ice and the players around him like Gretzky, all around Gretzky was a better player

  3. Whatever goal song the Canes choose, sure hope they don’t pay a lot in royalties for it

    because it sure doesn’t seem like they’ll need to use it all that much this coming season


    • I have Carolina scoring 30 to 35 more goals this season than last putting them in the top 1/2 of the league. For me, Peter’s pigheadedness & system had a ton to do with Carolina’s inability to score. His refusal to play certain players together particularly Skinner & Williams & give Skinner the ice time & PP he deserved were a serious problem.

      Carolina will ice the best deepest roster they have in almost a decade. It will be young but far more dynamic.

      Aho, Rask, Teravainen.
      Zykov, Necas, Williams.
      McGinn, Staal, Svechnikov.
      Martinook, Wallmark, Ferland.
      Spare Di Giuseppe.

      Slavin, Hamilton.
      de Haan, Faulk.
      TvR, Pesce.
      ?, ?.

      & when they finally move Faulk, not a question of if for me but when no later than the start of the 2019-20 season they will add a solid scoring forward & futures to replace him.

      Carolina was right on the cusp of being a playoff team last season. If not for the goaltending & Peter’s they would have made it.

    • Hey George, maybe Chia gives him 10.5….doh!

      • If you’re talking about Talbot, that would be Chiarelli’s ticket out of town. Which would be fitting after his uncle and ex-mayor of Ottawa Bob Chiarelli and, as a member of the turfed Liberal government in Ontario, the architect of the Hydro disaster, is also looking for a job. Hopefully, his cousin Rick Chiarelli, an Ottawa Councillor, follows his relatives to the job line this November!

      • Maybe he’ll give a 60 some odd point avg point guy 11 million like dubas did! Doh