NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 28, 2019

by | Jul 28, 2019 | News, NHL | 4 comments

Update on Mitch Marner plus the latest contract signings and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

TORONTO SUN: Steve Simmons believes the Toronto Maple Leafs will have Mitch Marner re-signed on the opening day of the 2019-20 season. He’ll miss all of training camp and perhaps the first few games of the regular season but it’ll be a better outcome than William Nylander’s contract standoff a year ago.

Could it take until the start of the regular season for the Toronto Maple Leafs to re-sign Mitch Marner? (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Can’t rule out that possibility. I doubt Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas wants another season where one of his best young players isn’t signed until December and I don’t think Marner’s keen on that possibility.

By reacquiring all-but-retired David Clarkson, Dubas can place his $5.25-million salary-cap hit and that of Nathan Horton ($5.3 million) on LTIR to start the season. That’ll provide sufficient cap space for Marner’s next contract. 

CALGARY SUN: The Flames avoided salary arbitration with David Rittich, re-signing the goaltender to a two-year contract with an annual average value of $2.75 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A reasonable bridge deal for Rittich, allowing the Flames sufficient time to evaluate his performance to determine if he’s ready to become a full-time starting goalie.

This signing also affects the Flames’ salary-cap space for 2019-20 and their efforts to re-sign power forward Matthew Tkachuk. I’ll have more on that in the Rumors section. 

DKPITTSBURGHSPORTS.COM: Defenseman Marcus Pettersson won’t be re-signing with the Pittsburgh Penguins until the club frees up sufficient salary-cap space. His agent, Peter Wallen, said the Penguins are currently up against the $81.5-million salary-cap ceiling and lack the money to re-sign his client. “I guess we’re waiting for them to make some room,” said Wallen. The Penguins currently sit just over $157K over the cap.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wallen said he’s had cordial negotiations with Penguins management and acknowledged there’s sufficient time to get a deal done. However, he’d like to have a new contract in place for Petterssen before training camp opens in September.

Depending on how much it’ll take to re-sign Petterssen, the Penguins could bury a couple of contracts in the minors or make a trade to free up cap room. Petterssen completed his entry-level contract last season so he doesn’t have much leverage. He also shouldn’t be too expensive to retain. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens re-signed forward Mike McCarron to a one-year, two-way contract.




  1. Again, I repeat…. GMJR…. get off ur butt and rid JJ; sign Pettersson …. team IMMEDIATELY and MASSIVELY better…. you could have bought him out in June; now you are going to have to make a deal with sweeteners

    If the only reported interest so far has been with Ducks….

    Rust + ZAR + JJ

    For Ritchie + 2nd + 5th

    Then 2nd + 5th to VGK for Gusev

    Waive Ruhweedel

    Sign Pettersson and Gusev

    Still have Cap space

    Sid Guentz McC

    Geno G-Chuck Gusev



    Bottom six and depth wingers (alpha order)


    Plus one of : Almeida/Angelo/Drogz

    Letang Dumo

    Shultz Pettersson

    Gudbranson Riikola


    De Smith

  2. that signing of Jack Johnson last offseason, simply because he is Sid’s BFF, looks worse and worse every day for the Pens

    one other thing, with so many teams close to the cap, and the NHLPA refusing to increase the cap too much do to escrow, I think we are definitely heading towards another lockout in 2020-21. With the cap barely increasing, yet all of the players coming out of their entry level deals demanding to be paid top dollar, instead of waiting until their unrestricted free agency years, I think the league is going to push back on this. Will they want a cap on 2nd contracts? or term limits on 2nd contracts? or maybe a compromise with how the escrow system works

  3. When will Marner’s cap hit start balloning because it was signed late (like how Nylander’s cap kit last year was over $11 mill, now counts as $6+) because that is the date he’ll be signed by. The Leaf’s cap situation is such that any increase to the expected cap hit for Marner would be disastrous. Beyond that date Dubas needs to think trade our no Marner for the year (yeah, I know how horrible that sounds/would be/to be avoided at all costs).

    Also all teams will get some form of cap relief from the expansion draft

  4. If I was Dubas , I would try to trade Marner to Calgary for Travis Hamonic and Matt Tkachuk.
    Tkachuk would bring toughness they need .