NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 16, 2019

by | Jul 16, 2019 | News, NHL | 25 comments

William Nylander changes his jersey number, the Avalanche re-sign Andre Burakovsky, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

SPORTSNET: Toronto Maple Leafs winger William Nylander announced he’ll be changing his jersey number to 88. He wore that number when he played in Sweden. He’s hoping for a bounce-back season after a sub-par performance in 2018-19. 

William Nylander caused a stir among Toronto Maple Leafs fans by changing his number to 88 (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nylander’s decision caused a bit of a stir yesterday among some denizens of Leafs Nation. Hall of Famer and former Leafs Eric Lindros wore No. 88 and some Leafs fans felt Nylander was either being disrespectful of Lindros’ legacy or should’ve asked his permission. That’s just ridiculous. Patrick Kane, Brent Burns, David Pastrnak and Andrei Vasilevskiy didn’t need anyone’s permission to wear 88.  Besides, Lindros only played 33 games for the Leafs and he probably doesn’t give a crap who wears that number. 

THE DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche re-signed winger Andre Burakovsky to a one-year, $3.25-million contract. He’ll be a restricted free agent next summer with arbitration rights. He was acquired in a trade with the Washington Capitals on June 28. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is a “show-me” contract. Burakovsky has size, speed and offensive skills but he struggled to put forth a consistent performance during his years with the Capitals. Perhaps skating with new teammates will help him reach his full potential.

THE SCORE: Forward Sonny Milano has accepted the Columbus Blue Jackets’ qualifying offer. It’s a one-year contract worth over $874K. 

NEWSOBSERVER.COM: The Carolina Hurricanes re-signed forward Clark Bishop to a one-year, two-way contract. 

SPORTSDAY: Former Dallas Stars captain Brenden Morrow returns to the club as the director of business and hockey development. He spent 13 of his 15 NHL seasons with the Stars. 

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks hired Kevin Dineen as their new head coach of their AHL affiliate in San Diego. 

NEW YORK POST: Former NHL player Sean Avery “rejected a plea deal Monday in Manhattan Criminal Court for hitting a car with his scooter after it blocked a bike lane in Greenwich Village.”


  1. Lindros probably can’t even remember any of those 33 games.

    • Oof

      • Probably can’t remember what number he wore…

  2. The real problem with Nylander is, he thinks changing his number is the way to turn things around…

    • Well, in his defense, there is no more superstitious collection of pro athletes than in hockey. Guess we can file that under “it can’t hurt.”

      And with Nylander, the absolute worst scenario for Dubas would be to deal him away when his trade value is rock bottom due to his relatively poor performance last season combined with a long-term $7 mil deal and, his solemn promise not to aside, then see him flourish in a new location. Dubas is in a classic damned if he does – damned if he doesn’t situation that only this coming season will resolve.

      • While true, Dubas put himself in that situation.

        But he decided he knew better, so…we’ll see.

      • Hi George

        Sorry to disagree here.

        WW’s value to me is at its absolute Apex.

        Receiving team only has to pay him $700 K this year AND only an AAV cash of less than $5M per for balance of contract.

        Plus he had an excellent World’s (showing his ability most recently and perhaps showing his marked “improvement” while not wearing a Leafs jersey)

        I’ve advocated for months re moving him.

        He would certainly IMO ; bring in a blossoming mid 20’s top 4 D (in the making) at less than his current Cap (thus improving the team D wise AND freeing up valuable Cap space)

        His offensive loss (using last year as a Leaf as a discussion point) is basically Nil… but he would be turned into an upgrade on D and needed Cap space

        The extra Cap space; plus current Cap space; plus LTIR… enough to sign MM

        I’m a Doubting Thomas wrt likelihood of GMKD actually considering this let alone pulling it off

        I heard one caller on the radio this morning opining that change of sweater # move was to personally position himself (that’s WW) more entrenched in the lineup and less likely “trade bait “

        Now this was just a caller and just his personal thought …. but it did stimulate the little cogs in this cavernous noggin

      • Pengy, the “Worlds” is a more wide-spread version of the NHL all-star game, where hitting or any other sort of body contact is purely accidental. That and the larger European ice surfaces make it an ideal showcase for players who avoid the physical aspect of the game in the NHL. There is also the aspect of a healthy % of the participants being considerably below NHL caliber. A lot of players “look good” in that shinny tournament.

        That, of course, is just my opinion. As for Nylander bringing back a top 4 D-man, point to one team that a) has the necessary cap space to take on close to $7 mil cap hit, b) has a D considered good enough that anyone in their top 4 would be attractive to the Leafs, and c) needs his (potential) offense at the expense of their back end.

        That just isn’t going to happen.

      • George, I did a quick look at teams with RD depth and cap space and would benefit from more scoring. Obviously other factors like term and prospect depth, but possible targets for the beginning of a deal.
        CLB – Savard
        PHI – Sanheim
        ANA – Manson
        CAR – Hamilton
        Is Nylander an overpay or underpay for any of these. Sure, but a start.
        Bottom line is I agree the Leafs would be selling low on Nylander. If he gets 75 pts and plays well, he is definitely worth more than he is today.
        They keep him this season at minimum IMO.

      • Ray, of that list the best bet would be Manson from Anaheim. They have cap space of $8,500,242 with no RFAs to sign. He has a cap hit of $4,100,000 so the increase of $2,862,366 by taking Nylander would be easily absorbed,

        The others it’s a lot more cloudy. Columbus has cap space of $15,765,918 and need to sign RFAs Werenski and Sedlak, both coming off relatively low ELCs so both should be no problem, even after taking on the extra $2,712,366 of Nylander’s cap hit (Savard’s is $4,250,000).

        But is the reason for dealing Nylander more to do with getting another D or freeing up cap space to sign Marner? Because, if it;s the latter, that doesn’t give them much. The same applies to Sanheim and Hamilton.

        In Philadelphia’s case, by giving up Sanheim (cap hit of $3,250,000) and taking on Nylander, their cap space drops to $9,705,055 and they still have to re-sign Konecny (23g 25a 49 pts) and Provorov (7g 19a 26 pts). Hamilton’s cap hit of $5,750,000 is just $1.2 lower than Nylander. I don’t see the Flyers relinquishing him for someone who has to prove he wasn’t a flash-in-the-pan.

      • I don’t see the Hurricanes ……

      • Getting Sanheim may be a pipe dream, I’d say he is destined to be a top pairing guy.
        Manson would be a nice add and at risk of sounding somewhat biased, I believe Anaheim would win this deal in the long run

      • Hi George

        sorry was in meetings until now.

        Valid point w.r.t. World’s being larger ice and more space. The fact that he doesn’t hit there (as there is less hitting in the World’s as you have rightfully pointed out) should not play a big deal in evaluation of him, when other NHL managers are reviewing that performance. He didn’t hit there, he doesn’t hit in the NHL; no change.

        what it showed was (1) that he still has the offensive talent; and did very very well relative to everybody else there; and (2) he outperformed what he has done under the Blue and White most recently.

        So yes, can’t take his performance as a direct comparable to recent performances by others in the NHL playoffs 2019; but it does show that he has the talent and is worth much more than he showed this past year with Leafs. Much much more.

        I do stick with my viewpoint that he is a trade chip that could bring back an up and coming mid 20’s D (that as I said , is on their way to becoming top 4Dman). Some from below are there or close to that level already; some will be in next 2 years IMO. Some will be a longshot to acquire (that’s all in negotiation) and some might require a sweetner in the trade. A couple from below might come with a pick sweetner. All would free up some space; all teams listed would benefit from more offence. Certainly not saying that these players could be gotten from their team; but they certainly are options; and should be at least discussed and explored.

        A quick list from my feeble mind:

        Werienski (sorry sp???)



        Dumba (huge long shot , definitely needs more going, only frees up $1M Cap…. but boy would he be great in blue and white)

        Nurse (would love him— would need a bit of maneouvering by Ed, but can be done)





        but the one that I would be absolutely super aggressive in trading for would be Polluck.

        They have space, they certainly could use Offense (would Lou be OK with a more offensive style vs. the slow paced low scoring wins he’s been after; I’m not sure on that? ). would Lou actually trade with the Leafs?

        Pullock at $2.0M would be fantastic on the Leafs and the net in trade frees up $5.0M in Cap

        Reilly Barrie/Pullock
        Muzzin Barrie/Pullock

        Now that is a very nice top 4 IMO

        Leafs can deal with his extension next year when one of Muzzin or Ceci is going to come off of the books.

        Is it possible for GMKD to get one of the above players; yes it is doable. I’m certainly not saying it would be easy; but it is doable. Dumba would be the “almost” impossible acquisition.

        However, it has to start with (1) GMKD deciding that trading WW for one of those players would benefit the team; and (2) a phone call.

        Fingers crossed on him actually considering it /exploring the option.

      • Well, good luck. If wishes were fishes. Oh, by the way, when I referenced the lack of hitting in the Worlds, it wasn’t so much with Nylander DOING the hitting as it was AVOIDING the hitting. I never expected him to suddenly become a physical force – but he does have to show that he can be effective once the game shifts to the tighter checking from about mid-December on and, of course, playoff hockey which is a whole different animal.

        If he does that with Toronto, why would they bother consider dealing him?

      • Thanks for the good luck…. we’ll need it

        Yes I knew you meant the avoidance thing (RW hitting)…. but maybe he’s putting his Phil Jessel hat on …. there is hardly a player in the league that avoids contact as much as Phil … the Ironman streak has been so long partially due to his avoiding contact and hence mitigating any potential injuries

        …. but Phil was not expected to get hit or deliver hits … points are all that counts I would figure; when they evaluate Phil…. so why not with WW; and if he’s shown production very recently …. then I would expect some interest

        I truly believe the hold up is GMKD not exploring this readily ; much much more than any interest in WW

        I’d love at least a call (GMKD to Lou) re Pulock

        I know my UBER dream of Parayko as a Leaf is never happening ; and Nurse as a Leaf is also a dream

        Oh well

        Another game 7 at TD Gardens?

  3. I rarely use this term but…when it fits…Sean Avery is such a little pud.

    Nylander can wear 88, 29 should be reserved for French Canadian goalies, but buying back jerseys with the league’s largest fan base sounds expensive.

    • Well must be a slow day. I wonder who will wear # 12 for the Leafs this year. Conner Brown did and gave it up to Patrick Marleau because of seniority and respect. Now neither of them are there. Maybe Spezza. Maybe Marleau will sign with the Leafs and this dilemma will be resolved. I sure hope this is resolved before October 2nd

      • Hi Vinnie,

        Both Errol Thompson and Mark Osborne are out getting in shape … they plan to arm wrestle to see who gets # 12 when they re-sign

  4. When nylander first got his deal everyone myself included thought it was a over payment 6.9 is a lot. Look at the kevin hayes deal if nylander get back to form and get 70+ pts his deal look pretty damn good in my eyes.

  5. Pengy,you got me excited now I can hardly wait. If Clark comes too , we will be in great shape.
    I also heard Tavaras is planning on wearing his number upside down. One of the hockey insiders are speculating that signals the end of Marner. And they also speculated that maybe Marner would wear his number upside down.
    Mathews said he is sticking with 34 even if 43 is available . Everyone should remember that it looked like Mathews was wearing 43 the night Trouba rocked him. It sure looked like the 4 was on the left side.
    And sticking with 29 being reserved for French goaltenders, the Leafs are thinking about bringing back Felix ‘ The Cat ‘ Potvin.
    Gotta go somebody said BEER

    • You got it Vinnie. LOL

      I wasn’t sure if I was throwing out names that many wouldn’t recognize because they were so long ago.

      Errol Thompson had a nice doo going as well. I’m not sure if he had more hair on his head than Lanny had on his upper lip; but it was a dooooooo sey

      If I remember correctly , there was a season in the mid 70’s where he (Thomplson) got over 40 goals and very close to 80 points.

      As Doug MacLean would say … a good boy from the Island

      • Awe, the old days. Maybe because no helmets and the money wasn’t as big. The players seemed more personable. Maybe more skill now but out of touch with the average. Use to talk about hockey , not about how you can fit the player under the cap .It’s an accountant’s game now.Just look at the posts, the nerds have taken over. I know nerds are richer. lol . Sorry Chrisms. That means laugh out loud

      • Yep Vinnie

        I’m from an era where I spent many a full recess trading hockey cards …..

        “got’m, got’m, got’m, got’m, got’m
        …. need’m”

        I remember 1 year where there was an absolute flood of Rick Kehoe cards …. everybody had his card LOL

  6. When he was in Pittsburgh . Baby blue uniforms and him with the handle bar mustache and crooked grin.