NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 30, 2020

by | Sep 30, 2020 | News, NHL | 36 comments

The New York Rangers will buy out Henrik Lundqvist, Sabres GM Kevyn Adams addresses Jack Eichel trade rumors, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NEW YORK POST: The Rangers are expected to announce the contract buyout of Henrik Lundqvist later today. The 38-year-old goaltender spent his entire 15 NHL seasons with the Rangers. He won the Vezina Trophy in 2011-12, backstopped the Blueshirts to the 2014 Stanley Cup Final, three Eastern Conference Final appearances in four years, and set franchise records with 459 wins, 64 shutouts and 61 playoff victories.

The New York Rangers are expected to buy out Henrik Lundqvist (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The buyout will mark the end of an era for the Rangers. Lundqvist was the face of the Blueshirts through most of his tenure and the greatest goalie in franchise history. All that’s missing from his resume is a Stanley Cup, though it certainly wasn’t due to lack of effort on his part.

Lundqvist’s performance declined over the last couple of seasons, losing the starter’s job in 2019-20 as the Rangers gave more playing time to Igor Shesterkin and Alexandar Georgiev. He has only a year left on his contract (with a hefty annual value of $8.5 million) but it’s clear the Rangers aren’t willing to carry three goalies next season.

We all knew the buyout was coming but it’s still a sad end to Lundqvist’s long career with the Rangers. There could be interest from other clubs but I daresay they’ll want him in a backup/mentor role.

WGR 550: Buffalo Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams shot down recent trade speculation swirling around team captain Jack Eichel. Adams acknowledged receiving phone calls from other GMs but indicated they were just asking questions. “It’s something that I want to make very clear that we have no intention, and we’re not shopping Jack or talking to teams looking to do anything with Jack,” said Adams.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Adams is new on the job so rival general managers are going to inquire about his plans, especially for his top players. It’s always possible a GM could call with an offer for Eichel too good to pass up, but I don’t think that offer exists for Adams. Unless Eichel asks to be traded (and his agent recently said that hasn’t happened), the Sabres aren’t trading him.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: The Tampa Bay Lightning arrived home yesterday and celebrated their Stanley Cup championship with family, some sponsors and select fans at Amelie Arena. The Lightning won the Cup on Monday night with a 2-0 win over the Dallas Stars in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final.

NHL.COM: The order of selection for the 2020 NHL Draft has been released. The draft will be held on Oct. 6 and 7.

THE TENNESSEAN: Nashville Predators GM David Poile said unrestricted free agents Craig Smith and Mikael Granlund won’t be coming back.

NEWSDAY: New York Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello said the club will play its home games next season at Nassau Coliseum. They are expected to move into their new arena at Belmont Park for the 2021-22 season.

SPORTSNET: The 2020 Spengler Cup has been canceled because of COVID-19 concerns. The invitational tournament is held during the December holidays and is made up of mostly Europe-based players.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Many of those players are former NHLers now playing for European teams. The Christmas holidays won’t be the same for me without the Spengler Cup.


  1. So, add one more veteran goalie to a long list now available as UFAs … if, that is, Lundqvist is willing to continue his career as a $2 mil per back-up/mentor who could take over for longer stretches as and when necessary. I doubt, however, that he’d be willing to do that anywhere but with a contender so the pickings might be slim.

    • @George, so you’re saying he’s going to Colorado then.. haha If Sakic tries to get into the Hall sweepstakes, getting someone like Lundqvist at a discount vs a longer term, more expensive signing like Markstrom could help round out that lineup

      • Hey, why not Harry? I think the Avs just experienced what TB experienced last year against Columbus and won’t be denied like that again next playoffs. Could be Ray Bourque Part Deux!

    • This is just a guess, but Henrik seems to really like living in NY. And has 2 kids that I am guessing are school age as he is 38.
      My guess is, if he decides to play again, is something close to home. No idea which team makes sense. The Isles don’t need him and NJ isn’t winning anything.
      I think what happens with Covid play a role. They don’y know yet but multiple bubbles is being thrown around. Does he want to do that for weeks at a time?

  2. Lyle, why the heck are we getting video links to spots about the NFL? I could not possibly care less if the Cowboys are in trouble.

    • Because I have bills to pay…;)

      • OK … but I draw the line at Darts and Poker!!

      • Now that was priceless … and it’s always a better day when the Cowboys are in trouble …

  3. Definitely sad to see the King leaving New York. In the same way that Brodeur in a Blues jersey felt wrong, Henrik won’t be able to wear a jersey that doesn’t feel scandalous.

    A stark reminder that no matter what you’ve done for a team, it is a “what have you done for me lately” business.

    Todd Cordell (Flames beat writer at ‘Buzz — analytics heavy but has some well written pieces) had a note looking at Lundqvist showing that his overall performance (especially High Danger Save %) are still competitive. With a more solid defense on a not $8M contract, he could be a very good short term option.

    • It’s always sad for fans when a long-term mainstay leaves to play elsewhere – happened a lot over the years with great players: Doug Harvey, Boom Boom Geoffrion, Dickie Moore from Montreal, Bobby Orr and Ray Bourque from Boston, Gretzky and Messier from Edmonton, Frank Mahovlich, Matts Sundin and Borje Salming from Toronto, Daniel Alfredsson from Ottawa, Martin Brodeau from NJ …

      • Iginla from the Flames killed me.

        So easy to forget with some of those guys that they ever played for a different team. Orr will always be a Bruin to me

      • The other side was how bad the Rangers were when Leetch was still in his prime and he did not want to be traded. It was a waste of his talent

  4. Another casualty of the salary cap world. It’s a shame really.
    I could see Lundquist taking a year off and re-joining the Rangers in a managerial capacity.

    • Yes, I think he’ll join the Rangers front office in some capacity. BTW with this buyout, the Rangers will carry $13m. in dead space for the 20-21 season. Quite a hit with a flat cap. Having Lafreniere on an entry level deal is a true godsend for that team.

  5. Huge Henrik fan(the consistent reason the team made 3 ECF and 1 Cup finals)

    Dare say Toronto

    Cannot see him in Edmonton but what do I know

  6. So does the king take the prize as best ever for the rangers or does richter duke it out with him?

    • Nah. That was Gump Worsley! Once, when with the Rangers, he was interviewed between periods by Ward Cornell on Hockey Night In Canada and was asked what team gave him the most trouble as a goalie … without a pause Gump answered “the Rangers.” The coach, Phil Watson, apparently went ballistic, and it wasn’t too long after that that Gump was dealt to Montreal.

      • That’s funny!

      • But seriously does the cup put richter over the top? Does the cap era factor in as the rangers couldn’t try to buy their championships anymore?

      • What about Eddie Giacomin????

    • Punny guy 🤓😂

    • Richter’s Stanley Cup ring may want to weigh in on that…

      But I would side with Lundqvist in terms of who the better ‘tender is.

      • I would too SCJ, but it is close.
        It’s a team game so winning a cup doesn’t move the needle that much for me.
        Different era’s too, so the #’s game doesn’tr really work.
        During their primes Henrik looks to be consistently in the hunt for Vezina and in the top 5-10 tenders in the league. Richter not as consistently good.

  7. Tough decision and move by Gorton (I expect) on Hank

    I had posted before re King and VGK (He’d be King to the Knights— tee Hee — that was for you Chrisms)

    Setting my pun aside… Moving the Flower will be difficult; buying him out and re-upping Lehner; and then getting a back up— that is in the $10 M – $11 M showing on Cap for goalies for 20-21 and then Dead Cap in out years

    Hank is out $1.5 M gross. Offer him a reasonable contract to duel 1A / 1B with the Flower. He gets opportunity for a cup and opportunity to fight for and win the starter position

    Wherever he goes— he will be gladly welcomed and appreciated.

    Gorton was in a corner with this decision; tough; but had to be made

    Best to you Han k, wherever you end up

    • I give it a 7.3 out of 10.

  8. I remember when it was announce by the talking heads that Kevyn Adams was the new GM of Buffalo; and they stated that rival GM would be calling to try and take advantage of him and see if they could get Eichel.

    My thought was they didn’t hire an idiot, sure he is new but, still knows talent.

    It’s not like he’s a new GM heading into the draft with 3 consecutive mid 1st round draft picks and not knowing who to draft.

    • Doesn’t seem like an idiot to me Caper.
      Also played more than 500 games in the NHL, so not like he doesn’t know the game.

      You really had to pull off that scab didn’t ya?

      • Ray every time i watch the Islanders and Jets, i think what could’ve been.

        The first line of the next foreseeable future could’ve been:

        Kyle Connor Mathew Barzal David Pastrnak

        But it’s NOT

      • Yep, we would be having a different conversation about the B’s if that was the case.
        Could sure use Zboril to mature, now or never for him in Boston I think.
        Has the physical tools.

        Will be interesting to see if they offer him a 1 way deal. Methinks he would get plucked on waivers by a team like OTT or somebody else willing to take a flyer on him.

      • Wouldn’t have had any issues with letting go of Krug having Chabot on the PP either

  9. Ya, it’s not like Lundqvist doesn’t know he is the 3rd best goal tender on the Rangers. Plus the cap math is pretty simple.
    These guys are proud and want to play, but he isn’t stupid either.
    This is just a guess, but if I had to bet $20 on whether he plays next season or not, I bet he doesn’t.

    • Agree Ray. Bobby Ryan saw it the same way. Not comparing Ryan’s contributions to the Sens in the same vein as Lundqvist’s, nor did the Sens need to clear cap space, but it did catch a few by surprise with 2 years to go at $7.5 mil per. In this case it was simply a realization that his slowness would have bumped him down to 3rd or even 4th line duty and that was too much to fork over for that role. Like Lundqvist, maybe someone now offers Ryan a short-term deal at $1m or a bit over if he want to continue playing.

  10. Exactly. Any GM who lets sentimentality get in the way of running a major sports franchise won’t be a GM very long. One reason why I loved having Sammy Pollock run the Habs back when I was a Habs fanatic. Punch Imlach had the same approach.

  11. If Lundqvist doesn’t choose to play for someone else…. and wants to do the 1day contract thing to sign with rangers to retire…. can he do that if bought out?

  12. Nice too see cooler heads are prevailing today.

    • What do you mean cooler heads!?!?!? Just what in the h-e-double hockey sticks do you mean!?!?