NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 14, 2018

by | Sep 14, 2018 | News, NHL | 15 comments

Latest on Erik Karlsson, Auston Matthews, Justin Williams, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Patrice Bergeron and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA:  Erik Karlsson is staying mum on the subject of re-signing with the San Jose Sharks, who acquired him yesterday in a blockbuster trade with the Ottawa Senators. Karlsson is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next July. “As of right now, that’s a private discussion, and that’s [not] something I’m going to elaborate on,” he said.

Sharks general manager Doug Wilson remains hopeful of getting Karlsson re-signed. “Yes, it’s a long-term approach and we think Erik fits for us for now, and for a long time,” said Wilson.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Re-signing Karlsson will take a big bite out of the Sharks’ cap payroll. He could command well over $11 million per season on his next contract. Cap Friendly indicates the Sharks have over $53 million invested in 10 players for 2019-20, with Joe Pavelski, Joe Thornton, Joonas Donskoi and Timo Meier also due for new contracts. 

TSN: Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews won’t be an alternate captain this season. Leafs coach Mike Babcock indicated John Tavares, Patrick Marleau and Morgan Rielly will be alternates. The club intends to open the season without naming a captain.

Auston Matthews won’t be an alternate captain with the Toronto Maple Leafs this season. (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some Matthews fans might consider this a sign of disrespect by the Leafs but I doubt he’s very concerned about it. Matthews’ day will come.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: The Carolina Hurricanes yesterday names Justin Williams as their new team captain. They also revealed forward Victor Rask is sidelined indefinitely after undergoing surgery on his right hand to repair cuts to the fourth and fifth fingers on his right hand while slicing food in his kitchen.

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes named defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson as their new captain. He’s their first since Shane Doan retired in 2017 and the 16th in franchise history. 

OTTAWA SUN: Senators center Jean-Gabriel Pageau could be sidelined for a lengthy period after suffering a suspected Achille’s heel injury during physical testing yesterday. The club intends to reveal more details today.

BOSTON HERALD: Bruins center Patrice Bergeron has been sidelined by back spasm. He’s expected to be back in time to play a couple of preseason contests before the regular season opens next month.

VANCOUVER SUN: The Canucks and right wing Brock Boeser have decided to put off contract talks until the end of the season. Boeser is entering the final season of his entry-level contract and will be a restricted free agent in July.

NEWSDAY: In an essay with The Athletic: New York Islanders goaltender Robin Lehner revealed he was diagnosed  earlier this year with bipolar disorder and also underwent treatment for alcohol and pill addiction. “It was extremely hard,” he said of his decision to go public. “The main reason I did it was, hopefully, I will help someone else, maybe someone in the league, maybe someone out there. It has been an emotional couple of days, but I feel good to have it out, ready to move forward and prepare for a fun season.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was brave of Lehner to publicly reveal his condition. I have a family member who is also bipolar and struggled with alcohol abuse as a result of their condition so I understand what Lehner has gone through and the difficulty he faced in acknowledging his situation and seek help. I’m pleased to see that his condition was properly diagnosed and he’s receiving the necessary treatment.  Best wishes to Lehner going forward with his playing career and his life. 

CBS SPORTS: Speaking of the Islanders, they’re bringing forward Stephen Gionta to training camp on a professional tryout offer.

CALGARY SUN: With most of the Flames roster headed to China for two preseason games against the Boston Bruins, they have invited 10 players to training camp on professional tryout offers. They included goaltender Jeff Glass, defencemen Philip Samuelsson, Viktor Svedberg, Ryan Sproul, Duncan Siemens, Justin Falk and forwards Logan Shaw, Scott Sabourin, Justin Auger and Gilbert Brule.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s doubtful any of these players will be signed by the Flames but their performances could entice other clubs. 




  1. Pageau’s injury likely means Tierney moves into the # 2 slot with Colin White finally getting a chance to plat his natural position as the # 3 C.

  2. Good for Lehner. I too have had close friends and partnerssuffer from similar mental health issues. It’s a difficult path in left for everyone involved and getting treatment in coming out publically is an enormous step. I’m sure it will help relieve the stigma for such a public figure to do so also. All the best to Lehner, his new team and his family. I look forward to seeing him succeed now hopefully.

  3. Love Lehner. Hope he has an awesome season. If he can put it all together he could be top tier stuff. That’s an encouraging step.

  4. NOW Karlsson chooses to remain mum when it comes to a contract extension. That should have been his position last November when asked about his UFA status, then still over a year and a half away.

    The ultimate irony in all this would be to see Melnyk sell the team to new owners over the next 9 months and Karlsson re-sign with the team as a UFA in July. 🙂

    • George, I firmly believe that when EK came out and openly said he wouldn’t take a hometown discount (which WAS a mistake) it was an absolute dig at Melnyk entirely! That man is single handedly destroying that franchise over money and ego.

  5. Cap Friendly tweeted last night, Ottawa been involved in 7 trades since February 2018 and in 6 of the 7 trades Ottawa saved money and the other they took on an additional $10,000.
    The combined savings is $11,652,500 there seem to be a trend in Ottawa

    • It goes back further than that. Derrick Brassard July 2016. How about letting Alfredsson sign with Det in 2013. The only real odd deal was extending Ryan for to much money & term.

      • No, extending Anderson to 2 years was, in many ways, worse, given his age.

    • I vaguely remember the Ryan deal. It was an overpayment, everyone knew that, but they had to do it because the team was becoming a doormat. Spezza requested a trade and would’ve walked as a UFA if they didn’t and they got nothing for him. Then Ryan comes up and they dealt a high pick and whats his name for him. He was going to walk as a UFA they had to overpay him. Similar to the Weber offersheet, Nashville didn’t want to sign it but they had to, they would be a doormat, Poile said so himself. I don’t blame Ottawa for that deal.

  6. That trend in Ottawa is a rebuild, and its overdue.

    • problem is they may be the worst team in the league, and won’t have their own 1st and 3rd round picks next June. So the biggest return from being terrible won’t even help them come draft time

  7. Jake Dotchin just got put on waivers for breach of contract. Now there’s a right handed Dman for the Leafs who comes cheap and is physical like Roman Polak was…but…there are issues!

  8. Dotchin was told he was fat. The PA will all be all over that one.

    The Ryan deal wouldn’t be terrible if he was still a 30 goal guy. Hindsight.
    The Anderson deal is a bit of an overpay.

    Spezza was run out of town – demanding a trade ONLY after the Team 1200 started handing out torches and pitchforks. The guy had been a whipping boy for years and was still building a 7 million dollar house in Ottawa. And his trade “demand” was phrased thusly “if you want to move me move me”

    Karlson never had a problem with the term or the money of the deal. Just the structure. He wanted it in bonuses up front because of a potential lock out. Don’t blame him.

    Melnyk has to go. Or just take over the GM’ing and let Dorion go back to scouting and drafting (Karlson at 15th)

  9. i heard brent burns wants out now and wants to come to toronto ha ha that would be so sweet

    • Ha ha ha ha yea BB wants to play in Tor just like the rest of the league