NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 23, 2019

by | Sep 23, 2019 | News, NHL | 3 comments

The latest on Dustin Byfuglien, Kris Russell, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Jets head coach Paul Maurice said Dustin Byfuglien understands the club suspended him for not reporting to training camp was “absolutely procedural” and he was fully aware of it. The club made the move to protect their roster and salary-cap flexibility while Byfuglien’s on his leave of absence pondering his future.

Dustin Byfuglien was aware the Winnipeg Jets would suspend him and the reasons why (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bang goes the theory that this move would drive a wedge between Byfuglien and the Jets.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers defenseman Kris Russell has been cleared to participate in training camp after spending the last two weeks in concussion protocol. He was injured following an accidental collision with a teammate during a pre-camp skate.

TSN: The Dallas Stars released Scottie Upshall from his professional tryout offer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Upshall reportedly had a good training camp but the Stars are tight on contracts. Perhaps he’ll land with another club seeking forward depth before the start of the season.

CALGARY SUN: Tobias Rieder is looking for a fresh start with the Flames. He’s currently on a professional tryout offer.

THE SCORE: Former NHL defenseman Eric Gryba has announced his retirement after 289 games over seven seasons with the Ottawa Senators, Edmonton Oilers, and New Jersey Devils.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Gryba in his future endeavors.

THE TENNESSEAN: The Nashville Predators demoted Eeli Tolvanen to their AHL affiliate yesterday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tolvanen was considered among the Predators’ top prospects, but the 20-year-old winger has had difficulty cracking their roster.



  1. With the suspension of Byfuglien CapFriendly is now showing Winnipeg with 19 at the ML level and cap space of $23,050,836. Which is illusory, of course, because, as Lyle pointed out yesterday, his salary-cap hit won’t count against their payroll only for as long as he’s not on the roster. If they attempt to dip into that to sign Connor and Laine and he suddenly changes his mind and reports, Cheveldayov is instantly back in Cap Hell.

    Right now, of the 19 at the ML level, just 6 are D-men –
    Kulikov, Morrissey, Pionk, Beaulieu, Niku & Poolman. And there isn’t anything in their minor league list that will instill confidence in going into the season with that collection augmented by 2 from the minors.

    I think Jets fans are in for a long, painful season if they don’t get their two RFAs signed soon … and even then …

    • good work as usual on the numbers George, thanks for the detail.

      Fans are still hopeful in Winnipeg because the core of the team is still there – even without Buff. Sheifele, Wheeler, Morrissey and Hellebyck. Ehlers, Lowry, Copp and Little are also solid pieces to have around.

      Its not a rebuild – its a reload!!

  2. I, for one, wouldn’t mind if Upshall finds his way to TML on a PTO. A look couldn’t hurt but there are salary and contract limit concerns as well so hard to say if chance finds him there.