NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 30, 2019

by | Jun 30, 2019 | News, NHL | 19 comments

Some fallout from the Penguins trading Phil Kessel to the Coyotes, Ryan Spooner, and Valeri Nichushkin to be bought out, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

THE SCORE: cites reports indicating Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford and Phil Kessel disagree over the latter’s trade demands. After shipping Kessel last night to the Arizona Coyotes, Rutherford claimed the winger asked to be traded several times. Kessel claims Rutherford is mistaken, adding Rutherford met with him once and told him he would never be a Penguin again.

Phil Kessel disagrees with Pittsburgh Penguins GM Jim Rutherford over his trade requests (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Regardless of who said what, the fact remains Kessel is now with the Coyotes and the Penguins got a decent return and freed up some valuable salary-cap space. 

VANCOUVER SUN: The Canucks yesterday placed forward Ryan Spooner on unconditional waivers to buy out his contract. “By buying Spooner out, the Canucks reduce his cap hit to $1.033 million for each of the next two seasons. The Rangers, who had retained 22.5 percent of his salary when they traded him to the Oilers, will have their cap hit reduced to $300,000.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Looks like the Canucks are freeing up salary-cap room to make a significant signing when the unrestricted free agent market opens at noon ET tomorrow. It’s assumed they’re pursuing a defenseman like Tyler Myers or Jake Gardiner. 

SPORTSDAY: The Dallas Stars placed winger Valeri Nichushkin on unconditional waivers to buy out his contract. The move “allows the Stars to clear $2.25 million in cap space next season while adding $450,000 against the cap in 2020-21.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  The once-promising Nichushkin was never the same after suffering a knee injury in his sophomore season in 2014-15. This move will be seen as freeing up cap room to either re-sign pending UFA winger Mats Zuccarello or pursue Joe Pavelski in the free-agent market. 

TSN: The Toronto Maple Leafs hired former Philadelphia Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol as an assistant coach. They also re-signed defenseman Martin Marincin to a one-year, $700K contract.

CALGARY SUN: The Flames re-signed forward Alan Quine to a one-year, two-way deal worth $735K at the NHL level.




  1. Arizona is a good place to open a hot dog stand too

    • He’s heard about Teds and will become a spokesman

  2. Pens got fair return relative to the negative publicity that was hanging over Kessel lately

    I’ve advocated for a long time to trade Phil as IMO his performance will steadily decline and Pens could ill afford to have to protect him (over younger and better athletes at the time ) in expansion draft when he’ll start that year at 34. Add to that the recent negativity over him and it was Phil’s time to go.

    I think a change of scenery will improve G-chucks production (maybe he gets 55-60 points) and as I stated above I believe Phil is in the decline (70 pts max)

    So for the production loss of 15 to as much as 20 points; plus getting younger; plus avoiding the negativity ; plus saving that much in Cap; and gaining a young asset (albeit very very thin).,., good deal Jimmy boy

    Now sign Pettersson ; buyout JJ; and with that extra Cap space make some moves tommorrow …. Pens then a cup contender again

    Key is ridding JJ ; or make him sit ALL 82 games and playoffs

    Who is going to take a chance on a cheap contract on Nichushkin ?


    Would you take Spooner at an $800 K show me contract?

    • This is galchenyuk’s second change of scenery in in a yr, has skills but very lazy

      • BBB

        It’s early on a Sunday morning and I was starting out in a good mood ….. now you bring that news 😢 LOL

        All joking aside; I do think he’ll have a big uptick

        Perhaps Gino can take him under his wing 😁🤓

        I just need news of JJ buyout and you will hear the cheer from where you are

      • I’m sure Crosby or malkin will boost his points, but not as offensive as Phil but won’t backcheck. sorry about killing your morning buzz pengy lol

      • Spooner sucks….a bust nice drafting by the Bruins..Benning is another idiot..gonna hire Peter Train Wreck C…..terriblr GM, lousy contract….

      • Isnt that kessel…

    • Gonna be gallys first time really playing for a good team with skilled players pengy. If he doesn’t settle down into a reasonable top 6 option I’ll be surprised.

      • Yep

        Put him in Geno’s wing and I do think he’ll prosper

      • Indeed Chrisms, he hasn’t had the quality of wingers he will have in Pittsburgh opposed to the Coyotes and Habs. I see him having a nice season with the Pens and elevating his game to the next level.

      • “ quality of wingers “? He will not be a centerman on the pens lol he couldn’t be a Center on the Habs or yotes!

      • He did have 30 goals in 2015-2016 playing with Pacioretty who also had 30 goals that season.
        Also scored 19 this season in 72 games, so 25-30 goals next season is realistic.

    • Last season what was Phil Kessel’s +- rating? How many goals did Phil score in February – April? How was Phil’s defensive play? The writing was on the wall. Like the trade for the Penguins, better team next season without Phil.

  3. George

    Heard on the radio today that Dorion and Dubas have agreed to a deal that will formally transpire on Tuesday (after signing bonus paid tomorrow )…. principals are Zaitsev and Ceci…. I think you said that you would rather have Zaitsev than Ceci. For me it’s the reverse.

    For sure there would have to be a kicker by Leafs…. Connor Brown???

    Question to Lyle

    If this is a go and Ceci has already been qualified (has to have been offered at least what he just made…$4.6M); does that responsibility then transfer to Leafs?

    And , since I’m not clear on the qualifying issue …. does the offer to qualify (in this case $4.6M) mean that if there is no Arbitration opted by either Leafs or Ceci that Leafs then must give him 1yr at $4.6M (higher than Zaitzev’s)??

    I think if Ceci opts for Arb and the term/price is not amenable ; Leafs can walk away and Ceci is then UFA.

    What is the ramifications if Dubas is the one opting for Arb and Leafs don’t like the decision?

    Thanks in advance for your response


    • Regarding Ceci, yes, the responsibility transfers to the Leafs. He’s already been qualified.

  4. He said he said, i’m more inclined to believe Kessel; furthermore why would JR need to come out and say anything, other then we wanted to go in a different direction.

  5. The Sens want to get rid of Ceci because he’s arbitration eligible and is seeking a 5-6 year deal at $5-6M a season. Zaitsev is cost controlled for the next 5 seasons and only due $1.5M this year after his signing bonus is paid.
    The Leafs don’t need to add a sweetener…the Sens are owned by a cheapskate that is interested in saving money at all costs. That is why they’re making this deal after July 1 and not now

    • Uh-huh. A more magnanimous owner with more money than brains would simply say “what the hell’s a few million – let’s make the deal now and I’ll gladly fork it over.” Sure. And while Zaitsev may be owed just $1.5 mil this coming season, his cap hit is still $4.5.