NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 28, 2019

by | Aug 28, 2019 | News, NHL | 20 comments

The latest on Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor, Travis Hamonic, Jason Pominville, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

THE SCORE: Winnipeg Jets head coach Paul Maurice believes the pressure surrounding the contract negotiations of Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor will increase for those players and management as training camp approaches. Jets camp opens on Sept. 13. 

Winnipeg Jets wingers Patrik Laine (above) and Kyle Connor remain unsigned (Photo via NHL Images).

Acknowledging the unusually high number of restricted free agent stars still unsigned around the league, Maurice believes once one or two sign the others could quickly follow. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Most of those RFAs are waiting to see who signs first. I anticipate a flurry of last-minute signings before mid-September. 

CALGARY SUN: Flames defenseman Travis Hamonic was unconcerned over his name popping up in this summer’s trade rumors. He spent his time preparing for the upcoming season and embracing family life. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hamonic rumors – and those surrounding T.J. Brodie – quieted after Juuso Valimaki suffered a serious knee injury during off-season training. Most of that speculation has less to do with Hamonic and more with Brodie. Regardless, it appears both blueliners will be staying in Calgary for the upcoming season. 

NHL.COM: Unrestricted free agent winger Jason Pominville, 36,  hopes to continue his NHL career but said he’s prepared that it could be over after 16 seasons. 

THE ATHLETIC: Washington Capitals defenseman Michal Kempny is progressing in his recovery from April’s season-ending hamstring surgery. He’s hoping to be ready for training camp but a return date remains uncertain. 

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Former Philadelphia Flyers Andrew MacDonald, Matt Read, and Michal Neuvirth are among several players heading to training camps on professional tryout offers. 

NEWSDAY: Scott Gomez has stepped down as an assistant coach with the New York Islanders. 

TWINCITIES.COM: Minnesota Wild prospect Alexander Khovanov had surgery last Friday to remove a benign bone tumor from his leg.

DETROIT FREE PRESS: Former NHL winger Darren McCarty credits medical marijuana with helping to save him from alcohol and drug addiction. He quit drinking four years ago, lost 60 pounds, is off most of his prescription medication and recently quit smoking cigarettes. 

SPORTSNET: Journeyman goaltender Mike McKenna has retired after stints with 15 NHL organizations and 22 professional teams. 


  1. I’m going to have to put Chevy at the top of the pressure list

    2 key RFAs (3 total RFAs) yet to sign… most in league

    Currently only has 19 on roster (lowest in league)

    Currently only has 40 (of 50 potential) contracts signed (lowest in league)

    Has only 57 (of a potential 90) on reserve list …. again , lowest in the league

    He’s going to have either writers cramp or ulcers (or maybe both) approaching training camp

    The “Captain Obvious” list of what’s here or soon to happen:

    1)The “big” RFAs are waiting for one benchmark signing and then things pick up rapidly

    2) More PTOs coming

    3) some big surprises coming (term and $’s) and not in a good way; for some RFAs

    4) Scrambling agents to get their UFAs slotted into the few remaining spots; at much less than they expected to get

    5) Disappointing relatively early retirements for some UFAs (no slots left or not worth signing at/near league minimum)

    6) Frantic last minute trades to maneuver the cap (common GMJR…. please!!!)

    7) A scarce few giddy fans

    8) A plethora of anxious, angry, and disappointed fans

    9) Every fan claims their team fav for cup

    10) confused, irritated, belligerent , anxious Pengy because of GMKD and GMJR

    • @ Pengy: Well I know you want JR to dump JJ on anybody for near anything but what do want Dubas to do?

      I’m sure TML has offered a 3,6 7 & 8 year deal to Marner and yet nothing has been agreed upon and likely nothing can be done until Clarkson and Horton’s contract go on the LTIR. What more do you think he should do?

      • Hi Joey

        Sorry, had a meeting; just reading your response now.

        I’m not saying at all that GMKD has done a bad job; just some frustrating moves and/or non moves

        It’s not the Marner sit per se ; it’s how we got here

        I have posted before my concerns over KD capitulating to WW ; he should have sat him. That is NOT in retrospect; I believed this and posted this many many many times last fall

        If he had sat him; WW eventually contract then would less; AM IMHO signs for a bit less and MM under contract now and at less than what the contract will end up being

        I agree with you ; this happens likely immediately after the infusion of the two big LTIRs go on the list

        What’s in the past is in the past

        However, I’ve also posted many times that Leafs chance at a cup (perhaps even 2) is between ‘21 – ‘25 and this year’s needs are not as paramount (no chance at 🏆 in June ‘20) as long term (D, period , stop)

        As at right now; only 1 NHL roster D under contract for fall of ‘20; Reilly

        Prime opportunity all summer for moving WW for up and coming early to mid 20’s D that is trending towards top 4 (if not top 3) status. At a much lower cap than WW’s $7M

        Leafs loaded with offence …. WW loss not a big effect on overall production

        As of Jul 2nd WW was only owed $700 K for this year; less than $5M per year, Cash for the balance of his contract; and his most recent performance (world’s) was very good

        Hence he had a great trade value to bring back the D type I listed above; at a (currently) much smaller cap…. win win

        Much too much has been made regarding the Dubas “promise” to WW

        KD quite possibly made a promise privately to WW ; but his public statements have always been carefully worded ; akin to (I’m paraphrasing) … William is in our future plans ; nebulous at best

        Even if somehow this was more assertive or more directly worded; GMKD’s (like all GMs) main job is to make the team better. Hard short term decisions directed towards an eventual cup

        He still has an opportunity to move WW for the aforementioned type of D; but prospects are now much less

        Again certainly not dumping on him as he’s made some positive moves but the WW situation (since last Dec) has stuck in my craw

        🙏🤞for a 🏆 (or 🏆🏆) somewhere ‘21- 25


    • Pengy, you forgot one more obvious happening. JJ will be on the Pens opening roster come the first day of the season.

      • Dov Dov Dov


        I think I’ll swallow a box of Tums

    • Pengy

      The WW contract is what it is and I agree he should have let him sit but that dog won’t hunt.

      Unless its in writing, which it isn’t, WW can be traded anytime the right offer finds its way to Dubas.

      The issue with Marner, money aside, is he wants a 5 year deal so that both he and Matthews can both become UFA’s at the same time and no doubt TML wants no part of that nightmare.

      It could become quite interesting if WW outperforms Marner as the season progresses which could prove that the WW signing was indeed a smarter idea than either of us saw coming for the money paid.

      • Hi Joey

        Like ur “that dog won’t hunt” line

        Walter Matthau has that line in JFK 😀

        Re WW outperforming MM:

        I will be equally surprised (read “gobsmacked”) at (1) WW outperforming MM this year as (2) JJ performing as a positive contributor (to any team)

    • Penguins signed John Marino to an ELC. That’s 3 good young dmen that they have under contract with Addison and Joseph too. That’s huge considering their absolute lack of quality prospects because they traded all their picks away. 5 years from now those 3 and Dumoulin and Pettersson will make up a pretty good for a rebuilding team. Throw Bellerive, Poulin, and Legare in there and the future actually looks pretty bright. They have the longest active playoffs made streak and they may be able to chase after that Detroit record. Crosby will play till he’s 45, and he will be a useful player even in older age.

    • Chevy progressing slowly and wisely!

  2. Congrats to Darren McCarty for quitting smoking. It took me 8 tries before I got it right and have been smoke free since Sept 22/1996. If you can beat smoking, you can pretty much beat anything.

    • Heh. I started smoking when I was 15 – that was 1953 – and it cost around 25 cents a pack. In those days it was mostly cigarette from one end to the other – no filter tips and only a few brands had cork tips (my choice was British Consols). I quit in 1961 because they had become “too expensive” – close to $1.00 a pack, along with something my grandfather said to me one day – he asked “do you know what the definition of a cigarette is? … it’s a fire at one end and a damned fool at the other.”

      Other than puffing on the odd cigar, never looked back. Now I choke when I see what a pack costs.

      • George

        You’ve been a non smoker all my life just like me. 👍

        All the credit in the world for anybody that can kick an addiction

        My brother says quitting 🚬 is very easy ; he must have done it 25 + times over the last 30 years 🤓

      • BTW George

        I responded (late last night) yesterday to your BR for JJ trade offer

      • I started smoking at 17, after watching several of the old black-and-white movies on TV that implied that the male and female stars had just made love by showing them sitting on a bed and smoking. My reasoning was that people who smoked had more fun.

  3. Started smoking at 15. Did so off and on until I kicked it for good at 43. I was never a heavy smoker, maybe six or eight a day. I didn’t enjoy it all that much except for my first cigarette of the day with my morning coffee. I loved that early-morning jolt of caffeine and nicotine. Rest of the day, not so much.

    • @Lyle: Only 3 good smokes in a day. Morning Coffee, After Supper, After Sex…all the rest were habit.

      Glad I’m smoke free ! Good job to anybody who quit and has stayed smoke free !

    • I was close to a pack a day at one time – thing that bugged me the most was the yellow-orange colour between the first knuckles of the index-second finger.

      • After realizing that that was probably also the colour of the inside of my lungs was an added incentive to quit.

    • I have never been a smoker, I always looked at smokers like they were idiot slaves until I got addicted to pain killers and realized that I’m the biggest idiot in the room. Any room.

      • @ Dee: and that takes a big man to say that about himself