NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 11, 2018

by | Sep 11, 2019 | News, NHL | 3 comments

The latest on Evgeni Malkin, Phil Kessel, Taylor Hall, Pavel Zacha, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

THE SCORE: cites The Athletic’s Rob Rossi reporting multiple sources claim Evgeni Malkin asked the Pittsburgh Penguins to trade him if the club kept Phil Kessel. On June 30, the Penguins shipped Kessel to the Arizona Coyotes.

Malkin denied this, insisting his friendship with Kessel was real. Rossi’s sources, however, say the Russian center was tired of being caught in the ongoing conflict between his former linemate and Penguins coach Mike Sullivan.

Was Evgeni Malkin the reason behind the Pittsburgh Penguins trading Phil Kessel? (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Whatever the reason behind Kessel’s trade, it’s now up to Malkin to bounce-back from a sub-par performance last season. If he doesn’t, Kessel isn’t around to be the scapegoat.

NHL.COM: New Jersey Devils general manager Ray Shero said he’ll continue to discuss a contract extension with Taylor Hall and his agent. The 27-year-old left-winger is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next July.

NJ.COM: Shero also re-signed Pavel Zacha to a three-year contract worth $6.75 million. The annual average value is $2.25 million. The signing comes just a day after reports claimed Zacha inked a one-year contract with the KHL’s Avangard Omsk.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Zacha got the contract he wanted, now he’ll have to earn it. Thus far, he’s struggled with his consistency but showed some improvement last season.

SPORTSNET’S Rick Dhaliwal reports the Vancouver Canucks and winger Brock Boeser remain far apart on a new contract. Boeser won’t report to training camp unless there’s a deal in place.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly reports the Canucks have only $4.1 million in salary-cap space. The Boeser camp could be seeking around $7 million annually on a new deal.

THE ATHLETIC: Minnesota Wild GM Bill Guerin said he’s made a “fair offer” to Kevin Fiala. The restricted free agent winger is reportedly mulling it over. Guerin hopes to have Fiala under contract before training camp opens later this week.

SPORTSNET: Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta still hopes to bring an NHL franchise to Houston one day. “There’s not a month that goes by that we don’t have some type of talks about the NHL,” he said in a recent interview.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the league soon to reach 32 franchise with an expansion club in Seattle starting in 2021-22, Fertitta could be waiting a while for a franchise of his own. If an existing club has to relocate, Houston could be a preferred destination. So far, there’s no indication of that happening anytime soon.



  1. Beleskey going down gives them another million+ in cap space. Lemieux and DeAngelo have both been skating with team and could be signed soon. They don’t have any leverage and might have to just accept qualifying offers. Maybe a little bit more.Still, doesn’t leave much wiggle room. Trade coming?

    • Right now they’re carrying 13 forwards and 6 dmen. I’d imagine smith is going down and Lindgren or Rykov will come up. Signing Deangelo makes 7 dmen.

      I’d also imagine they plan on bringing Kravtsov up. So one or more of Mckegg, Nieves and Andersson will need to be sent down to sign Lemieux.

      It will be tight, but I don’t think they need to make a trade to fit them in.

  2. I truly believe Geno will have a bounce back year (as long as healthy).

    We kept hearing of some rift (Sully / Phil ; Phil/Geno ; Sully/Phil/Geno)

    Phil has great talent but I had advocated all last summer (‘18) for Pens to trade Phil as I thought his 90+ points (‘17/‘18) left him at max value for a trade and I fully believed that his performance was on a decline and that there was no way Pens should keep him until the expansion draft where they would have to protect him over a much younger and better player in a year where he’d start at 34 and it may be a stretch for him to get 50-55 points

    In any deal it is often said that the team who gets the best player wins the deal

    I think the deal was reasonable ; time will tell

    Re Geno …… outside of his (per media) feeling pressure of being between the Sully Phil rift he was also playing in the worst situations. His defensive game , Corsi and XGF -XGA (5-5) suffered big time

    Let’s not forget who played more 5-5 minutes on D with Geno than any other player by far. By mega far

    Why couldn’t Geno have added a codicil to his demand of “trade Phil or I’ll ask for a trade”

    He could have said “Trade Phil and trade or waive JJ, or I’ll ask for a trade”

    Pens could have had a massive bounce back from Geno and at the same time all other Pens players benefit 🙂

    Geno, I know you’ll have a better year

    GMJR, I’m still begging you to give this team a shot at a deep playoff run; if you can’t find a trade partner (note I still think there are moves you can make) at least waive (bury) JJ and save $1.08 M in cap room … and with that move make Pens a strong fav to win the div. Play him as a reg and it’s possible Pens playoff streak ends