NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 5, 2019

by | Jul 5, 2019 | News, NHL | 10 comments

The Leafs re-sign Cody Ceci and Alex Kerfoot, the Canadiens ink Ben Chiarot, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs yesterday re-signed restricted free agents Cody Ceci and Alex Kerfoot. Ceci inked a one-year, $4.5-million contract while Kerfoot agreed to a four-year, $14-million deal. 

The Toronto Maple Leafs re-signed defenseman Cody Ceci to a one-year contract (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Good cost-effective moves by the Leafs, who acquired Ceci and Kerfoot via trades on Monday. Cap Friendly indicates they have over $3.76 million in salary-cap space, with Mitch Marner still to be re-signed.

The Leafs are allowed to exceed the $81.5-million salary cap by 10 percent during the off-season. If necessary, they can place permanently sidelined Nathan Horton ($5.3 million) on long-term injury reserve. They can do the same with sidelined players Zach Hyman and Travis Dermott until they’re ready to return to the lineup later in the fall. The Leafs could also bury a couple of contracts in the minors for the start of the season.

Bear in mind the Leafs must be cap compliant when Hyman and Dermott return to the roster. It could also complicate efforts to call up players during the season. They could be forced to make another cost-cutting deal before the end of the year.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens yesterday signed unrestricted free agent Ben Chiarot to a three-year, $10.5-million contract. The annual average value is $3.5 million. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A solid addition to the Canadiens blueline. Chiarot is a big-bodied defenseman who was among the Winnipeg Jets’ leaders in hits and blocked shots last season while averaging over 18 minutes of ice time per game. He’ll bolster their depth on the left side. With over $8.4 million in cap space, the Habs have room to add a forward or another defenseman. 

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators signed defenseman Christian Wolanin to a two-year, $1.8-million contract extension. 

SPORTSNET: The Carolina Hurricanes inked forward Brian Gibbons to a one-year, two-way contract worth $725K at the NHL level 

NHL.COM: The Vancouver Canucks signed right wing Justin Bailey to a one-year, two-way deal 

VANCOUVER SUN: The Canucks also shuffled their amateur scouting department. 


    • Wow..definitely not a fan of Melnyk

      • Few are I guess. She’s certainly entitled to her opinion (and no doubt it’s shared by many among Ottawa fans) but for a Minister in a provincial government to act like that in public is nothing short of a disgrace.

        Definitely someone one sandwich shy of a picnic.

    • Apparently she’s no fan of civilized behaviour either.

    • It goes without saying that this is unacceptable behaviour from a Cabinet Minister (or any elected official for that matter). That she was apparently loaded at the time does not help her. Just a terrible look, even worse as she was there in an official capacity.

      Melnyk and MacLeod at the Stones, wow, not many people I’d enjoy rocking out with less than those two.

  1. I have to feel for the Jets. As my team wasn’t in the playoffs I wanted the Jets to win the Cup this past season.

    Now the Jets are going through cap crunch blues and like the ‘Hawks, and Kings before them, and the Leafs now, they find themselves with too little salary left to retain a competitive roster.

    I commented the other day about the dangers of teams committing big bucks to players who inevitably don’t make for a Cup winning team; it necessitating inexpensive and mediocre players to fill out their roster.

    Sorry, Leaf fans. For all Dubas’ efforts of late once Marner is signed the Leafs will be where they were last year: heavy in their top 6 and light on D. Now same for the poor Jets.

    • Spot on @Lj. It is why I am so miffed at critics of MB for not making a ‘richer’ OS to Aho. Note that MB still has just enough salary room that if the Canes suddenly change gears and do not sign Aho (unlikely but possible until it is confirmed on paper) he can safely be absorbed.

      • I would like to share your enthusiasm Habsfan1, but that ship has surely sailed. I see no way the ‘Canes can now back away from Aho having promised they will sign him. It would be a PR disaster even Melnyk – or Lisa McLeod – is incapable of.

        The Habs need a gritty forward with some scoring touch (who doesn’t), and I see no UFAs who match. Bergevin will have to acquire one via trade – either from a cap strapped team, or during the regular season when teams know what issues they have to sort out.

  2. LJ,

    Two UFAs who would be a good match for the Habs are Dzingel and Ferland. I sure hope Bergevin reels in one of them. At this point, it would probably be 2-3 years at a hit of around $4m. Or less.