NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 10, 2020

by | Oct 10, 2020 | News, NHL | 50 comments

The Devils sign Corey Crawford, the Flames land Chris Tanev, the Lightning place Tyler Johnson on waivers, and much more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NORTHJERSEY.COM: The New Jersey Devils last night signed goaltender Corey Crawford to a two-year contract worth an annual average value of $3.9 million. The move came a day after the Devils bought out netminder Cory Schneider.

Corey Crawford signs with the New Jersey Devils (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: An affordable move by the Devils to boost their goaltending depth by providing an experienced mentor for Mackenzie Blackwood. I’m surprised that Crawford’s former club, the Chicago Blackhawks, didn’t sign him to a similar deal. Perhaps their offer was less than what he ultimately got on the open market from the Devils.

CALGARY SUN: The Flames signed defenseman Chris Tanev to a four-year, $18-million contract. Cap Friendly indicates the annual average value is $4.5 million. The deal also includes a modified no-trade clause in which Tanev submits a 10-team no-trade list.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s the second former Canuck the Flames added via free agency, having signed goaltender Jacob Markstrom yesterday. This deal is one year less than Tanev’s previous contract and slightly higher than his previous AAV ($4.45 million). He’ll replace T.J. Brodie, who signed yesterday with the Toronto Maple Leafs. However, the decline in Tanev’s performance and his injury history could be cause for concern among Flames fans.

Note: My list of yesterday’s notable unrestricted free agent signings can be found here.

TSN: The Tampa Bay Lightning yesterday placed winger Tyler Johnson on waivers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A surprising move by the Lightning that suggests a whiff of desperation to shed salary. We’ll learn at noon ET today if any club claims him.

Johnson has a full no-trade clause but it doesn’t prevent him from being placed on waivers. He has four years remaining on his contract worth an annual average value of $5 million. TSN’s Frank Seravalli wondered if the Detroit Red Wings might claim him, given general manager Steve Yzerman’s ties to Johnson when he was GM of the Lightning.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: The Blackhawks re-signed restricted free agent winger Dominik Kubalik to a two-year contract with a $3.7 million AAV and goaltender Malcolm Subban to a two-year extension with an $850K cap hit.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kubalik, a Calder Trophy finalist, was coming off his entry-level contract, giving Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman leverage to ink him to an affordable bridge contract. The Blackhawks still need a reliable starting goaltender as Subban is strictly a backup. I expect they’ll address that need via free agency or trade.

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets center Bryan Little won’t play next season on the recommendation of the team’s doctors. He suffered serious head trauma after being struck in the head by a puck during a game last November and hasn’t played since.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jets are expected to place Little on long-term injury reserve for 2020-21. That will provide them some wiggle room to exceed the salary cap if necessary by the equivalent of his $5.291 million cap hit. However, the greater concern is for Little’s future as an NHL player. This injury could cut short his playing career.

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: Joe Thornton confirmed he’ll return for his 23rd NHL season. However, he’s in no rush to sign with the San Jose Sharks or another club at the moment. He also indicated he might play in the Swiss League prior to the scheduled Jan. 1 start of the 2020-21 season.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Stars are uncertain about the future of defenseman Stephen Johns, who missed the final 23 games of the club’s playoff run. Johns was sidelined for nearly two years by post-traumatic headaches before returning to action for 17 games last season.

NEWSDAY: New York Islanders prospect Kieffer Bellows violated terms of the AHL/Professional Hockey Players’ Association performance-enhancing substances program. The matter has been dealt with and he will be allowed to play whenever the NHL or AHL are able to start their seasons.


  1. Haven’t posted since early yesterday so this has likely already been covered

    Good signing of TJ Brodie and Simmonds on Leafs

    I hope this puts to bed the idea of Petro on Leafs while the big 4 remain

    That is impossible

    Petro, top 4, plus goalies, Reilly, Muzzin , Brodie

    Would leave between $9 M -$10 M for 13 spots (that’s not only moving out quite a few already signed…. but basically all 13 at League min)

    …. and JT & MM are not moving; and basically there is no team that can and would take on MM

    So its WW out; or no Petro

    Even as is…. Leafs already over with Dermott and Mikheyev to sign

    Leafs are not set up to contend for cup yet… but Brodie (a Lefty playing RHD) has certainly strengthened a gap; and Simmonds certainly brings missing grit/size

    I like it…. but still needs some moves

    Krug on StL nixes Petro back ti Blues…. I think Knights will try all to make this work

    Pens got some good league min signings; still need 3RD…. hoping for Stetcher it Bowey or Psyk

    • Good signing for sure with Brodie. What other moves do you see coming Pengy?

      As of this writing CapFriendly shows them $1,093,533 over and still with 2 to sign. Liljegren $863,333) and Rosen ($750,000) will likely be sent to the Marlies so their combined hit will leave them under the cap by $519,800. But now their roster is down to 19 with 4 to sign, And they still must deal with RFAs Mikheyev (coming off a $925,000 cap hit) and Dermott (coming off $863,333). That’s $1,788,333 combined and you have to think that re-signing both will cost in the area of $3 mil.

      Obviously someone else has to be cleared out – maybe even two.

      • Hi George

        Dermott alone deserves $2M + (to me he is far superior to Holl… and Holl got $2M)

        Yep… still moves afoot

        Any movement on Duclair?

        Would love him on Pens

        Heading shopping now will readresponse later

      • Nope. But then Duclair is one of many UFAs who, as I predicted before it all got under way, will still be looking for jobs well after “frenzy” day and whose expectations – both in relation to cap hit and term – will be constantly lowered.

        When I say “predicted” I’m not trying to claim Kreskin-like prescience. In fact, it wasn’t so much me “predicting” but simple mathematics.

        And there are still 8 teams that must make moves, and with a plethora of UFAs still out there and the number of teams with significant cap space dwindled considerably, it won’t be easy:

        Toronto – over the cap – 2 to sign
        Anaheim – over the cap – 1 to sign
        St. Louis – over the cap – 1 to sign
        Arizona – just $329,716 in space – 4 to sign!
        Washington – just $575,123 in space – 4 to sign!
        Vegas – $1,875,896 in space – 2 sign
        Winnipeg – $2,477,144 in space 5 to sign!
        Tampa Bay – $2,895,834 in space – 5 to sign!

      • Hi George

        Vegas will move Schmidt and Martinez to sign Petro

        Whatever they get for Schmidt and Martinez can be used as the sweeteners for a team to take the Flower at full whack… as a middle team ; and then the middle team flips MAF retaining 50 % , and getting more in return from final receiving Team

        Re Duclair… representing himself is certainly not helping him…. agents would already have comm. channels already set in place…, and be experts at negotiating

        Would absolutrly love

        McC – Duclair- Poulin as the third line in Pittsburgh👍👍👍👍👍

      • So snap, just like that, Vegas will move Schmidt ($5,950,000) and Martinez ($4 mil) to sign Pietrangelo. Move them where?

    • Great points about the structure of the Leafs cap situation.

      I was expecting the Leafs to pursue Brodie as they wanted him in the Kadri deal that didn’t work out. I thought they’d try for Jankowski too? He might have been a better fit than Simmonds and at a lower cap hit?

      I hope they’re out on Pietrangelo…

      Now the Leafs have

      Reilly and Brodie on top pair…

      Muzzin and Holl on 2nd pair

      Dermott and Lehtonen on 3rd pair?

      Seem that CHI needs a goalie…is there a fit for Andersen there?

      • Chicago has other issues to deal with without adding a $5 mil goalie who’s a UFA after 1 season.

        Right now CapFriendly shows them with $6,613,687 in cap space … but they need to sign 5 to get to 23. They have RFA Dylan Strome to sign, who’s coming off an ELC of $863,333 so there goes at least $2.5 to $3 mil.

        with UFA goalies still out there – Greiss for example – and so far just Delia and Subban signed, they’re going to have to move out some cap hits. Taking Andersen is a non-starter for both teams as ChIcago couldn’t do it unless Toronto took about the same in cap back – and Toronto simply can’t do that either.

      • would be nice . Add holl and get onnor Murphy in return

  2. Lot of teams seem to be going 1a 1b goalie this year. Interesting

    Pens will still need another d and another third goalie. Both will have to be on league minimum. Be interesting to see who Jr scavenges.

    • I think everyone is expecting a condensed schedules with more back-to-backs than normal, which is really forcing people to carry the 1A1B strategy. I’m sure the expansion draft is lending itself a bit to that as well, but I largely think that most teams are realizing that having a guy who can play 30-35 games as your 1B is far better come playoff time than having an exhausted starter who played 70 games in the season and has nothing left.

      • Excellent point SCJ on the condensed sched… more B2Bs.., need for 1A 1B set up

    • Hi Chrisms

      For 3RD I’m hoping for one of Stetcher ; Psyk ; Bowey… but 23 on now with $2.6 M… so one of them replacing a current Pen (to be sent down to WBS…. should be #2)…. adding $700 K… means max they can spend is about $3M… with only $300 K buffer on Roster

      There will be some LTIR space to start (ZAR)

      Would love to have Duclair…3rd line of McC ; Duclair; Poulin would be nice…. but space again the issue

      Re 3rd Goalie… if they could get a stronger back up than DeSmith for about $2M… DeSmith down plus the extra $1M does it

      In order of priority… 3RD; then better back up

      Going shopping now will read your response later

      • Desmith is perfectly capable of being the backup. I have confidence in him playing back up or even starting for a period of time due to injury.

      • Hi Chrisms

        I’m a little less confident in DeSmith tgsn you.

        He can do it, I’m just a little more concerned than you are

        …..I was speaking more about the problem if Jarry gets injured… Larmi (with poor stats, no NHL, and more ECHL games than AHL) becomes back -up… dangerous

        But Jimbo came through by signing Legace

        So now the danger there is mitigated somewhat

        Jimbo missed out in Stetcher… 2 @ $1.7 M…. would have been perfect at 3RD…. CR down; Stetcher in …. diff is $1M👍👍👍👍

        Lets hope Jimbo gets Bowey

      • Missed legace signing. Desmith was a legit starter two seasons ago. Kept the pens in the playoff hunt when Murray went down.

        He has been so so at ahl level but a good bit of good nhl goalies also wernt tips in the ahl. Maybe it’s the poor quality of d in front of them? I’m confident in desmith.

    • George O—-I don’t think Subban is ready to be a starter…Crawford just signed in NJ and Greiss in DET.
      They’re likely going to have to trade for somebody as the quality UFA goalies are nearly all signed.

      CHI may not have the cap space to start the season but they can go over by 10% in the offseason.

      • Yeah, there’s always that 10% option every off-season Daryl. Except this is an off-season like no other with multiple examples of teams unable to do what they’d REALLY like to do (don’t think for a New York minute that Toronto wouldn’t have rather landed Pietrangelo instead of Brodie – that’s a helluva reduced alternative). Consequently there are multiple players that simply cannot be moved because there are no takers that can (or want to) do so under the flat cap. Imagine having the start of the season a few days away and finding yourself still 10% over with NO takers left for what you’d LIKE to dump. At that point the team would be forced to offer up someone who they never intended to get rid of.

      • Chicago could sign the other Anderson, Craig, on a 1 year low cost deal. Not much left in the way of experienced NHL goalies. Howard maybe ?

  3. Was so excited when the Flames got Markstrom. “Finally Tre has a smart FA signing” I thought.

    Then Brodie signs in Toronto (and Toronto finds a video of him as a kid wearing a Maple Leafs jersey for good measure) and I think “ok, he must have something up his sleeve for a defenseman.”

    And then he signs Tanev…

    I’m about as happy as Pengy would be if JJ somehow magically managed to resign with the Penguins for more money.

  4. Calgary signs Tanev and lets T,J. Brodie walk
    Toronto picks up Brodie for 5 million / year.
    Tanev ,4.5 mil ….
    What’s everyone thoughts on this
    Obviously , Calgary thinks Tanev is an upgrade ?

    • Per my above. Hate the signing.

      Tanev is basically just Hamonic. Big defensive guy who doesn’t contribute much with the puck. He is likely to slot in next to Hanifin on the second pair; and Hanifin’s numbers with Hamonic were terrible whereas with Andersson they were actually pretty decent.

      So that either means you are playing a mediocre d-man already on the downturn on the top pair with Giordano; OR, trying again to pair Hanifin with a partner that doesn’t work.

      Should have just brought Brodie back for the extra 500K. Or looked into Barrie if they really wanted a RH defender.

      • Not much of a difference between Brodie and Tanev, both overpayments for what they bring

      • Doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Could Burke still have some influence on Treveling? If you watched the early part of yesterday he was gushing repeatedly over Tanev.

      • I don’t think 5 for Brodie is an overpayment, though time will tell how he does away from Giordano. Great skater, prone to the odd gaffe but mainly reliable. Game will age well.

        Tanev’s game meanwhile already hasn’t aged well. Same number of points as Petrovic and they signed him for 700K on a 2-way.

        @George – Truculance. Burkie was definitely whispering to Tre for this one haha.

      • From what I can see, Brodie struggled when he was not paired with Giordano the past couple of seasons.

        I suspect the Leaf are hoping he can find that same kind of success with Reilly.

      • Except Rielly isn’t Giordano

      • You’re right Reilly is better now.

      • Brodie lost confidence while playing with Hamonic and Stone on left side (better on the rt. side. Hamilton sucked without Gio in Cgy both under Gulutzan. Gio had his best years including his Norris trophy season. After regaining his confidence under Ward TJ was solid. Arguably better than Gio in the playoffs. Wish they kept him. I am ok with Tanev but am worried about him staying healthy over the life of his deal

      • Brodie lost confidence while playing with Hamonic and Stone on left side (better on the rt. side. Hamilton sucked without Gio in Cgy both under Gulutzan. Gio had his best years including his Norris trophy season playing with Brodie. After regaining his confidence under Ward TJ was solid. Arguably better than Gio in the playoffs. Wish they kept him. I am ok with Tanev but am worried about him staying healthy over the life of his deal

      • Gio best yrs were with Brodie including his Norris yr

  5. I feel Pengy’s pain already with the JJ signing

    • I was absolutely gob-struck that he was signed ANYWHERE

      Signed by Gorton… a smart cookie… WTF

      When I first saw the signing I thought it was JJ paying Rangers $1M to be the stick boy

      That is a massive investment by Rangers for a Black Ace just to be at practices to show the rest of the team what not to do

      What the hell was Gorton thinking ???

      • Just depth Pengy. If they send him down, he doesn’t cost much vs the cap.
        Doesn’t hurt to have experience on the farm if you can afford it and the young guys prove reliable.
        Or play him 12 minutes a night when not in press box.
        He is earning 7th dman money.

      • The new Alzner?

      • Hi NY4Life

        For Rangers sake … you better hope that JJ plays only 1 of those combined 20

        If Gorton wanted the depth just in case… why didn’t he offer him league min

        If at all possible … can you please arrange JJ’s 1 game to be against Pens

        Many thanks in advance

      • Cross your heart and hope to die.

        That looks much more grim in print…

  6. 2 years , $4 mill per for Schultz seems a bit high in this economic climate??

    Has the Laine trade talk completely died????

    • Looks like it for now Uwey.
      Chevvy didn’t get his ask, now has more space with Little going on LTIR for sure.
      Maybe he just rolls with what he has.
      Still needs to sign a couple guys for cheap to squeeze under the cap.

  7. As a Bruins fan im glad it was St. Louis signing Krug to that contract and not Boston. That 7yr deal won’t age well; not to mention how it is structured $4m this and next, then 3yrs of 8 and 8.5 follow by 6 and 6.5 almost quarantee them 3yrs at the 8’s noway that is a movable contract.

    Simmons signing much to do about nothing
    Brodie a decent pickup, dont believe either player moves the needle much.

    Holtby nice signing by the Canucks.

    Calgary got better by getting Markstrom

    Winnipeg would’ve been better having Wheeler as their second line center; instead they helped Vegas by giving them capspace.

  8. If we’ve learned anything, it’s that there is no such thing as a “market value” for any player. It’s always about what someone is willing to pay them for how they believe they fit in with their team. We’re seeing a few guys get “overpaid” according to what their stats say but their value to the team they sign with is obviously “worth it” to them. It also has to do with where the team is located – not every player wants to be in a place like Winnipeg or Buffalo even if they’re offering good money and when you start talking about escrow plus taxes, the money gets elasticized.

    Interested to see what happens the rest of the weekend.

  9. something to consider about Brodie is that the Flames have been trying to trade him and had no takers. As for Tanev, he seems to one of those guys who’s intangibles are worth more than his on ice attributes….yet they let him go. i think both the Leafs and the Flames picked up other teams headaches.

    • Players all suck until they go to the Habs, then they are magically stars. Byron, Kulak lol

  10. Stevie Y lands Griess, yet another goalie off the market.

    $3.6 mill per @ 2 yrs.

    • Another good move by Yzerman – there goes that idea for Chicago – unless they’ve decided to go with the tandem of Delia and Subban, since what’s left is either career minor-leaguers or old crocs like Smith, Craig Anderson, Howard, Ryan Miller, Cory Schneider or expensive alternatives like Fleury.

      Edmonton is another with a big hole at that position with only Koskinen signed – no way they can afford Fleury – unless Vegas holds 50% – and you wonder of Fleury would even go there?

      Maybe someone can pry Kuemper out of Arizona because Lord knows, they have to move someone – more likely two someones – with big cap hits.

      • We will see what greiss is made of playing in Detroit! Big difference playing in Detroit compared to Playing the defensive style the islanders play

      • Hoo ya – shooting gallery jumps to mind. But you never know – some goalies have been known to thrive on lots of shots. Craig Anderson can attest to that.

      • George, good point. What will Arizona do?
        There must be so many players today wondering where the next pay cheque is coming from.
        European hockey could see lots of NHĹ players arriving in the next few weeks.

  11. 1 year and $1M too much for Brodie but thats free agency I guess.

    I have read ARZ owner has told his GM to make cuts of several million and they failed to move OEL.I hope Dubas can deal Andersen for Kuemper. That would save leaks 750k on cap and 2 years of him. ARZ would save $3.25m real money and have Freddy and raanta to platoon for next season.

    Get it done Dubas, new goalie is critical.

  12. would be nice . Add holl and get onnor Murphy in return