NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 3, 2019

by | Jul 3, 2019 | News, NHL | 25 comments

Hurricanes to match the Canadiens offer sheet to Sebastian Aho, Darryl Sutter joining the Ducks coaching staff, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Carolina Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon said his club intends to match the five-year, $42.27-million offer sheet Sebastian Aho signed with the Montreal Canadiens. Dundon called the offer a “waste of time”, shrugging off paying out over $21 million in signing bonuses over the next 12 months as “no big deal.”

Dundon insinuated Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin was manipulated by Aho’s agent Gerry Johansson. He also dismissed talk that Aho wanted to leave the Hurricanes. “I have not heard Sebastian say that. If he said that it would be different but he didn’t. So the fact that an agent said it means that there’s no credibility to it.”

The Hurricanes have until July 8 to match the offer. General manager Don Waddell indicated that would come “in the time frame allotted by the CBA.”

LE JOURNAL DE MONTREAL: Johansson denied manipulating or misleading Bergevin into making that offer sheet to his client. “I do not think I’m so smart and Marc Bergevin is a very bright man.”

The Carolina Hurricanes intend to match the offer sheet Sebastian Aho signed with the Montreal Canadiens (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  Bergevin is drawing criticism from fans and pundits for not being more aggressive in his offer. The Canadiens offer was a calculated gamble that failed. However, it leaves them no worse off than before they signed Aho. 

Cap Friendly indicates the Canadiens still have over $11 million in salary-cap room and 12 picks in next year’s draft, including two-second rounders and four fourth rounders. Perhaps their “Plan B” is targetting teams with limited cap space looking to shed salary.

Dundon and Waddell are putting a positive spin on this situation. But if reports are true they were playing hardball with the Aho camp prior to July 1, they’re the reason the 21-year-old center became a tempting target for an offer sheet.

It was rumored the Canes offered eight-years between $6 to $7.5 million per season. They must now pay Aho over $8.4 million annually for three fewer years, making him eligible for UFA status at 26. Dundon might brush off paying over $21 million in signing bonuses but I’ll wager that wasn’t part of his original plan. 

ANAHEIM CALLING: Former Los Angeles Kings coach Darryl Sutter is joining the Anaheim Ducks’ coaching staff. Meanwhile, CBS Sports reports the Ducks signed goaltender Anthony Stolarz to a two-year, $1.5-million contract. 

AZCENTRAL.COM/THE ATHLETIC: The Arizona Coyotes signed forward Lawson Crouse to a three-year contract worth an annual average salary of $1.53 million. Meanwhile, assistant coach Scott Allen won’t be returning with the club. 

WGR550: The Buffalo Sabres re-signed defenseman C.J. Smith to a two-year, $1.4-million contract. 

NHL.COM: The Vancouver Canucks signed Tyler Motte to a one-year, $975K contract. 

TSN: The NHL alleges in a recent court filing they are not to blame for the injuries and health problems of former player Steve Montador. He was “posthumously diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) after his death in 2015.”


    • Aho signed the offer sheet. The Hurricanes state they intend to match. They have until July 8 to do so. This could ‘go sideways’ but Cap Friendly is taking the Hurricanes at their word. As am I.

  1. This doesn’t pass the smell test. Tom Dundon has braggadocio tendencies and he will spin this in the 11th hour.

    Over $30MM payable in the first 3 years and an astonishing record breaking $22.570MM in the first calendar year alone.

    • Actually deep diving into the situation, Carolina Hurricanes will have to negotiate; Teuvo Teravainen , Brett Pesce and Sebastian Aho’s UFA deals! Jacob Slavin the following year..

      • To paraphrase an old Elvis tune “That’s When Your Headaches Begin”

    • Antoni, you keep harping on this like somehow the Hurricanes have set the bar high. Firstly, this was the Canadiens doing, as is their right. Secondly, at the end of the day it’s a 5yr $8.4M contract, which one can argue is slightly below market rate. The fact that it is heavily front-loaded is a) not the Hurricanes fault, and b) irrelevant for cap purposes.

      Assuming the Hurricanes DIDN’T match, would you then be blaming the Canadiens for setting the bar high?

      Now, if you want to argue that it was the Hurricanes fault for letting the negotiations get to this point, I’m with you, but that doesn’t seem to be what you’re saying.

      • Yes Whalercane I’m elaborating on the situation and if Don Waddell/Dundon negotiated in good faith, this should not have made the current news cycle.

        Hurricanes are to blame.

        But somehow Aho’s agent is taking the brunt of criticism.

  2. If indeed Canes offered between 6-7.50, there’s no way Aho and agent would feel like that’s what they would settle for. As owners said, Montreal saved them from a long negotiation. I would think Carolina should be thrilled with 8.5 for 5 years. It’s a joke to try to say Bergevin was “manipulated”. Really? The GM of one of the most iconic franchises in sports had his arm twisted into offer sheeting? Saying they’re no worse off is hard to judge, not knowing if they had planned on targeting anyone else. They traded Shaw to free up cap space

  3. Can spin however you want. This was a weak attempt by MB. How many millions did Dundon walk away from in the failed AAF yes he is trying to recoup $70m, point is money isn’t an issue. This offer was never good enough to have Carolina walk away from their best player.
    MB is being criticize for the weak effort it was, maybe he’s just showing faith to his loyal fans as trying to do something.
    If he made that same offer to Kyle Connor of the Jets he may get his man, if he upped it to the second tier say of $9m compensation would be 2 1st, a 2nd and 3rd round pick. Is $9m an overpayment for Kyle Connor, yes, but if your going to offer sheet either has to be to a team up against the cap or over pay to get the player.
    The bigger question is would MB offer sheet a player on his old buddy team (Chicago) really should have no barring but in reality it probably does.

  4. We’ll besides egg on his face, this failed offer does hamper the Habs and was a foolish short sighted move. The canes will match it on July 8th as per the CBA. The Habs are handcuffed in the meantime when they should be making deals than waiting on the 8th to swing by to get back to making moves.

    If any other RFAs still not signed by the 8th, I would love to see MB fail again.

    • Wow, talk about short sighted. MB is the one with the long view but he is getting flack from people who get on teams like the Leafs and Vegas for their cap crunch situation.
      First, the player MUST sign the offer sheet. The fact the offer was a good salary AND ends with him being a UFA must have been really enticing, not to mention the bonuses.
      Second, Mtl is an Aho from being a shoe in for the playoffs be would they be a Stanley Cup favourite? The Habs still have a major hole down the left side of the D, which Aho does not address.
      Third, Mtl has Max Domi to resign next year and Mete, Galagher, Juulsen, Poehling, Kotkineimi and Tatar the year after. Do you really see the players not doing what they did this year and keep the cap lower? If MB had maxed out his offer what would Mtl’s cap looked like not to mention the roster? Keep in mind, MB like a cap about 2 mill under the max for flexibility at the trade deadline.
      Handcuffing? Mtl has been handcuffed by taxes and the perception of a language issue. Who else do you really think would be the one player to put the Habs over the top? Do you think they would be a lock to sign with Mtl? Offer sheets need to be signed, not just offered.

      Bottom line is MB made an offer the team could handle if he was able to land the player. He went the offer sheet route because Mtl would not be giving up any hard assets.

      • Well said habsfan! When you look at the Habs prospect pool it is one of if not the best in the league, getting aho really didn’t matter to the Habs and their rebuilding. The leafs have screwed their rebuild up big time, haven’t won a round yet go out and sign Tavares for way too much when they desperately need defence!

      • Habsfan1, Do you honestly think Aho signs a OS and intends to go to Montreal for a 40% pay cut?..He goes to the Habs it will likely be for the difference he would pay in taxes so exactly how stupid do you think he is.?

        Johansson will be lucky if there is not a collusion investigation as his income with the Habs players are directly related so in a perfect world he gets a Aho caliber player to go to the Habs which makes them a legit playoff team and the price for resigning his other Hab clients goes up and so does his income…VERY easy to prove!

      • Lol rob get out of the conspiracy theories, you don’t think as soon as you’re allowed to talk to free agents the week before July 1st contracts aren’t discussed? Contracts aren’t supposed to be discussed isn’t that collusion? Why would aho take the risk of signing if he didn’t want to be there? I bet he is traded next summer

      • @Rob: My point is putting MB’s thinking in perspective with no comment on Aho’s thinking. My guess the OS is more than the Canes were offering and he is anUFA at the end. Don’t forget, Aho,like Wadell, does not have to spend the summer in negotiations. Furthermore, he is a Fin. Finland has crazy taxes so Quebec’s are not all that daunting. Yes other places are better but who else could make the offer? Who did? This was a no risk gamble by MB.

        @BBB: Getting a knod from a Bruin fan carries weight with a Habs fan!

  5. Shakespeare did not know much about hockey….probably less than Don Cherry says he knows…..but Shakespeare did know people…

    And he said somewhere ” Methinks he dost protest too much”…..he could have been talking about Bergevin who said 3 or 4 times in his presser …Aho wanted to come here….he wanted to play in Montreal….he said that precisely because it isn’t true…. he was played like a fiddle by the agent….who the contract he wanted in the city he wanted…..and he got it fast enough to save Don Wadell’s summer

    This not an anti-Montreal Canadien rant as I think in general players don’t want to play in Canadian cities….until Tavares & Gardiner Toronto (my team) was not high on many lists either…..

    Bergevin….. IMO…was acting in his own false play ….that players want to go there…….. Bergivin saying look Aho signed an offer sheet doesn’t prove that…..it proves that Aho can get what he wants following an indirect route…..

    • Lol you have no clue where he wanted to sign, Bergevin really didn’t care either way if aho came he had the cap and used the rules as they are written! Obviously people don’t look at the teams prospect pool and young players because the Habs are stacked! If aho signed great but you look at the Tavares signing who totally ruined the leafs rebuild and they still can’t make it out of the first round, leafs ownership is happy just making the playoffs and the fans have bought into it

      • The post is about the habs yet you drag the Leafs into every comment. These sweeping generalizations about Leafs fans add nothing.

        Here are some things to consider:
        1. Tavares allowed them to trade Kadri for Barrie, how is that not improving D?
        2. If Marner is traded, how is the return on Marner plus JT looking?
        (I asked you a few days ago when you stated that Marner should make less than McDavid but more than Matthews: what should the return on Marner be in a trade, you never answered)

        When Gardiner was on the Leafs he is terrible.
        When Barrie rumors came up, you thought Barrie is a pipedream (I paraphrase of course)
        Now that Barrie is a Leaf, he is no better than Gardiner.
        Barrie is a RD, Gardiner is a LD – best roster balance at the very least. The cost is under 3M while Gardiner was expecting 7M, which he wont get now.

        For the sake of argument only, if the return on Marner is 2 1sts and a second. Which side do you take?
        A. Marner
        B. Tavares, 2 1sts and one second

        I’m sure you make some decent points but cut down n dragging the Leafs into everything and having such a skewed point of view.
        We are all up for discussions here, I don’t understand your insane bias towards everything Leafs, how bitter are you dude?

      • Lol have you seen the leaf fan comments on here they’re ridiculous! How bitter are you towards me don’t respond if you don’t like it, and I guarantee Tavares doesn’t have near the year he had without marner! I take marner in a second younger,defensively responsible and creates more offense in general. Barrie is gardiner so how is that an upgrade?

      • It says in my opinion…..not that I know….but that I have an opinion…..if this were a site where various hockey fans wrote what they knew about the NHL….there would be no entries at all, because as fans we know nothing about what is actually happening….

        Enjoy writing your own opinions based on your affection for what team is your favourite….I will read them…but you and I have one thing in common….neither one of us knows anything….one of us seems to realize this

      • JT had 4 more points playing with Marner as compared to the year before. Will he regress a bit without an elite forward playing with him, obviously any one would expect him to. That guarantee is pretty weak.

        Still looking for your trade value for Marner. Or is it that since its a return the Leafs would be receiving you don’t want to say it?

        Just so we know, you are stating that in the options below you would take B? Correct?
        A. Taveres Plus return on Marner
        B. Marner

  6. You are a wise old blue dog.
    This just reinforces why most GM’s don’t use offer sheets.
    The only way you get the player is to significantly over spend, which creates a cap issue when trying to address other parts of your roster.
    Or the other team matches as they are not going to walk from their best young players.
    Seems simple on it’s face, and turns out it is actually that simple in reality as well.
    MB hurt Carolina a little bit but accomplished nothing when it comes to making MTL better. Perhaps even set them back for this season as they no longer have Shaw.
    It may be a while before we see another one.

    • Not sure it would have been overspending for Montreal to go to the next level with Aho. Haven’t heard anyone say anything about this kid other than he is the real deal. Might have been worth an offer at the two 1st’s, a 2nd and a 3rd level.
      BBB, you need to face it – you do harp on the Leafs day in and day out. Talk about your guys for a change. We get the point about Toronto – they’re doomed. What else is new?

      • BCLeafFan, not sure how high MTL would have had to go to get him. I don’t think just the extra 1st would have done it.
        IMO it would have to be a obvious decision not one they had to chew on, which means pushing it over $10.

  7. Tavares is a 2nd line center now. You cannot compare his point totals on the Island (when he was getting top minutes in all situations) to his 2nd line role now. You can’t play Mathews and Tavares at the same time 5 on 5. Unless you move one of them to the wing. They are both studs, but one/both of them will see diminished point totals going forward due to sharing the minutes. Need to find young, inexpensive, blossoming talent wingers to ride shotgun on both lines. Don’t see how the leafs keep Marner with what they are paying their 1st and 2nd line centers. Simply because you still need defense and goaltending as well. I think Barrie is a good get. Fills a need. Sucks you lose Naz, but Mathews and Tavares need his minutes anyway.