NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 25, 2019

by | Aug 25, 2019 | News, NHL | 26 comments

Patrick Maroon signs with the Lightning, plus updates on Taylor Hall, Bruce Boudreau, and Lars Eller in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

TAMPA BAY TIMES/STLTODAY.COM: The Tampa Bay Lightning signed former St. Louis Blues winger Patrick Maroon to a one-year, $900K contract. Maroon, 31, joined the Blues last summer on a one-year contract, helping his hometown club win its first Stanley Cup.

Former St. Louis Blues winger Pat Maroon signs with the Tampa Bay Lightning (Photo via NHL Images).

“He brings size and physicality to our group as well as significant playoff experience,” Lightning vice president and general manager Julien BriseBois said. “We expect Pat to be a great addition to the roster.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There was speculation earlier this summer suggesting it could cost over $2 million annually on a two-year deal to sign Maroon. The Lightning got him for considerably less. With no state tax in Florida, that $900K will go further for Maroon than it would’ve in St. Louis.

Maroon also joins a Cup contender in the Lightning. Despite their early playoff exit following a dominant performance last season, the Bolts lead the pack for this season’s Cup favorites. Maroon’s size and experience could help them win the big mug next spring.

THE SCORE: New Jersey Devils winger Taylor Hall expects to be fully recovered from last February’s arthroscopic knee surgery when training camp opens next month.

“I haven’t had any issues with the knee so far since I’ve been skating, and it’s been a really good process, so hopefully that can continue into (training) camp,” said Hall. He only skated in 33 games last season after winning the Hart Trophy in 2017-18.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A healthy Hall will be crucial to the Devils’ playoff hopes this season. If he returns to form and new additions P.K. Subban, Wayne Simmonds, Nikita Gusev, and Jack Hughes also play well, the Devils could be a serious playoff contender.

NHL.COM: Don’t expect Bill Guerin, the Minnesota Wild’s new general manager, to make a coaching change before the upcoming season. Guerin said he has “full confidence” in current Wild head coach Bruce Boudreau.

“I talked to (coach) Bruce (Boudreau) for a while (Thursday) morning, and he’s got training camp under control, so next week we’re just going to dive in and just go over and see what everybody’s got,” said Guerin. He claimed he and Boudreau had a “great conversation”, assuring the Wild bench boss that he was behind him 100 percent.

NBC SPORTS: Despite aggravating a lower-body injury at this spring’s World Championships, Washington Capitals center Lars Eller claims he’s good to go for training camp next month. “I’m over that,” Eller told NBC Sports Washington. “Taken good care of that and it’s not an issue right now.”


  1. Maroon is a great affordable signing by the Bolts who should add valuable experience and grit come playoff time.

    • Excellent addition by TB, Joey. Now we watch and see how they get Point’s signature on the dotted line with the $8,476,669 they have left in cap space. CapFriendly shows them with a 22-man complement at the major league level but if that isn’t enough to sign Point then it would appear some sort of trade to free up enough cap money may be in the cards.

      • Hi George

        See my post below

        Ruta and Witowski (Ds) replaces by Verhaeghe and Barre-Boulet gives Bolts just North of $9M in space … Media has repeatedly pegged a possibility of Point at $9M …. so doable

        …. and remember that $9M in Bolts land nets (takes home) more than $11M does in Ontario and Quebec

        ….so doable

        I reiterate here the risk to Point if he signs at $9M …. which is to me below his comparable NHL value …. up side …. relative take home pay is North of $11 M gross in some other cities AND he is on steam that is favoured to win the cup….. risk is that he CAN be traded in the first few years of his contract …. to a non competitive team (or at least to a much less competitive team) and at substantially less take home pay

        Regardless …. EXCELLENT move Bolts in getting Maroon

      • That scenario may indeed be doable Pengy … but leaves them with zero wiggle room to deal with short-term injuries over a long season because they will be unable to bring anyone up from the AHL as a replacement since it would put them over the cap.

        And if Point and his agent are amenable to signing at $9 mil due to living in Florida, why hasn’t it happened already?

      • Hi George

        That’s the question; I don’t know why the wait unless he (like most of the major RFAs) doesn’t want to be the first to sign as it just might possibly be a tad more if he waits… who knows

        Things SHOULD heat up after labour day

  2. Bruins Krug is entering a UFA year probably will be looking for a 8-9 million per & doubt the B’s will give him that, Carlo and McAvoy need to be signed …now is the time to trade Krug for a winger with size who can score for that 2nd line

    • Teams like Toronto fail to see the value of a player like Patrick Maroon. The Leafs just might have gotten by the Bruins last spring with a beast like Maroon gunning the net and corners. Tampa Bay just solidified their position to represent the East in the next cup final. Skill, grit, speed and goaltending=Lightning in a bottle.

  3. Bolts …. EXCELLENT signing

    Getting a player with his skill set ; size and Pedigree for $200 Kmore than league min 👍👍👍

    Maroon has an excellent shot of back-to-back Cups

    Bolts now have increased (their, IMO, already highest in NHL) probability of a cup

    Other teams in the East need to rationalize any thought of moves geared towards a cup in ‘20; no need to IMHO blow budgets and Cap space now unless they are looking at ‘21 and beyond

    Bolts now have 11 Fwds and 9 D signed …Point will make it 12 and 9 so at least I (and likely 2 ) D will be moved/waived to allow for 13 or 14 Fwds on the 23 man roster.

    I would think it’s (in order of likliehood) : Witowski , Schenn ; Ruta

    Bolts have great depth prospects at Fwd…. Verhaeghe , Barre-Boulet , Raddysh; Katchouk

    Verhaeghe lead the AHL…. will he finally make it ? He’s almost exclusively used at C in the AHL ….. can Bolts successfully make him a winger?

    GMJR …. see how things are done

    • Gmjr should watch and learn how to build a number 1 seed that gets swept?

      • He did just fine getting swept out of the playoffs right where he was seeded.

      • Whammy!

      • Certainly not the GM’s fault that the Bolts lost first round. The team was sound; just a fluke

        Was it coaching ? Injuries ? An underdog playing well beyond their capabilities? A hugely favoured team taking a massive underdog for granted? All if the above?

        Whatever it was ; that first round exit is not on the GM

        I stick with my assertion … Bolts huge fav to be Eastern rep in SC

  4. Gmjr has Stanley Cups the other fella doesn’t.
    Hard to criticize success like Rutherford has had

    • Hi Vinnie

      I have no challenge to what has gone on in the past ; though the two recent cups came with an already pretty dang solid team!!

      It’s a shame to say this but I truly believe he is blindly biding his time to retirement w/o a true care to the team; owners; players and fans

      He signed JJ as s reclamation project and I will accept that (who knows) in retrospect ; there just may have been a sense that it could have worked out ….IT DID NOT AT ALL

      However ….. letting JJ completely cripple any shot at a cup and then NOT buying him out in June (when 19/20 Cap hit would have been on $270 K … yep JUST $270 K) was lunacy

      Having still not traded him plus other questionable moves in the last couple of months …. he has , at least to me; lost a tremendous amount of his well earned respect

      It’s just my opinion (that’s what we’re all here about) and I am a bitter late 50’s and overtly persnickety SOB; but I can’t in good conscience give GMJR any respect again unless he waives/buries or trades JJ.

      One of those 2 he is FULLY in control of.

      Burying JJ frees up $1.08 M and IMMEDIATELY makes the team better.

      As at now ; if Pens play JJ as a regular ; I truly believe they have equal probability of (1) out in the first round ; and (2) just missing the play-offs

      If JJ doesn’t play for Pens this year AND Pettersson is in replacing him …. Pens IMO, win their Div…. that is all in Jimbo’s control

      Out and about in 5 minutes will check back in this aft


      • “He signed JJ as s reclamation project ”

        For 5 years? If that’s the case, he may just be the dumbest GM on the planet.

        Reclamation project players get 1-2 years. 5 years means he truly believed that this player helped his team now and in the future.

      • NY4Life

        You are absolutely right … reclamation projects are usually 1-2 years

        I was trying to give Jimbo the benefit of the doubt

        JJ had no history at all that showed he was worth 5 @ $3.25 M

        Then he went “in for a penny in for a pound” when this spring he defended his acquisition and refused to buyout JJ

        …. and don’t forget GMJR insisted on one of his first signings (done in May) was to extend (2 friggin years BTW) Ruhweedel…

        First …. WTF with actually signing him

        2nd… WTF …. 2 years?????

        3rd…. WTF with rushing to sign him …. absolutely no other team would have offered him 2 years …

        Jimmy Jimmy Jimmy ?????

  5. Smart move by Maroon. Got another chance to win another cup. Time for greedy agents to wake up and realize the long term over priced contracts they are locking their clients into restricts their chances greatly of ever winning

    • well said Mr. AZ-it’s not just the agents who r greedy-

    • Don’t know that I’d call them greedy AZHockeyNut. Their job is to get their clients the best possible deal. Kinda like lawyers who. despite knowing a client is a murdering sleazeball, still make every effort to get their sentence reduced on technicalities.

    • I’ll never understand the greedy thing. Someone is getting the money, the players or the owners. And I don’t recall ever hearing of someone buying tickets to get a close up look at James Dolan?

      Nor do I recall ever seeing a James Dolan Jersey in the stands.

      A few “sell the team signs “ and a boatload of hecklers…. but….

      • Great points Nyr4life. The players and their agents didn’t dream up the cap structure – they went along with it in the interest of overall jobs, knowing that, without it, a number of franchises would fold.

        All they can do now is use what pressure they can apply in order to get the deal best suited for them and their families.

      • Nyr4life & George: Yes they are greedy players & if they dont understand the Cap system & “Revenue Sharing” then they’re not too intelligent either. I hope all these greedy RFA’s get their team cap crippling bridge deals so they think they can cash in big again burns them. Because they will be setting the precedent for the next year top RFA’s & the year after that & then there wont be any teams that can afford the 2nd lottery windfalls of these guys & they’ll wind up signing value discounted deals at less than if they signed reasonable long term deals. They may just realize that they’re are taking a way bigger risk trying to double down on these paydays with injury & performance regression. Teams may just have to rebuild every couple years because Cap will be king & short term deals will be the answer. Probably save them a lot of buyout money would be a silver lining.

      • Well, that’s one viewpoint and, from purely a fan’s perspective, I see where you’re coming from. Maybe they evolve towards the NFL system of no guaranteed contracts. Produce or goodbye every March.

        In the meantime, are you saying McDavid, Matthews, Tavares, Karlsson are all greedy?

  6. George: Matthews yes. McDavid, borderline but Tavares & Karlsson were UFA’s so between, tenure & performance Tavares & Karlsson earned their right to go for as much as a full competitive market would pay for them.
    McDavid to me is only the closest true generational player to Gretz, Crosby,Lemiux, Malkin as he clearly carries a team & the stats & eye test prove that. Matthews has not in my opinion & was not worth more than Tavares. His highest point total was 73pts & 2 of his 3 ELC years were with injuries. How does that warrant 11.5/year. It burdens the team on the cap & the team takes all the risk on how chronic his injuries will be. Rantanen, Tkachuk, Marner, Point, Lianne, Connor all are great important players & pieces of a “teams” puzzle to succeed, but I dont see anyone of them putting a team on their backs & willing the team to success like Crosby & Gretzky Lemiux did.
    Where they get off trying to demand 12-14% of the Cap for themselves when there are over 22 other team mates that need to eat is in my view greedy. No ifs or buts about it.

    • Good points about UFA vis-a-vis RFA demands. Another I should have added was Eichel in Buffalo.

  7. Thank you Pat Maroon for helping us win the cup. Your contribution will NEVER be forgotten by St. Louis fans. Wishing you much success in TB (unless of course you are playing the Blues).