NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 11, 2020

by | Oct 11, 2020 | News, NHL | 31 comments

The latest on Tyler Johnson and Steven Stamkos, plus a look at yesterday’s notable free-agent signings in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


THE SCORE: Tampa Bay Lightning winger Tyler Johnson cleared waivers yesterday. The Lightning had hoped a rival club would claim Johnson and clear his $5 million annual average value from their books.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bolts hope to shed some salary to create cap space to re-sign restricted free agents Anthony Cirelli and Mikhail Sergachev. Trading Johnson is still possible but the Lightning will have to include a sweetener in the deal like a quality draft pick, prospect or young player. He has a full no-trade but has reportedly submitted a list of preferred trade destinations.

TSN: Lightning captain Steven Stamkos underwent surgery on Wednesday to repair an abdominal core muscle. He’s expected to make a full recovery before the start of the 2020-21 season.

Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stamkos will have plenty of time to recover. The NHL and NHLPA have targeted Jan. 1 for the start date of next season. I believe March 1 could be a more realistic start date, depending on the course of the second wave of COVID-19.


EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers signed defenseman Tyson Barrie to a one-year, $3.75-million contract and brought back goaltender Mike Smith on a one-year, $2-million deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Barrie addition is an affordable short-term acquisition to address Oscar Klefbom’s anticipated lengthy absence as he deals with a nagging shoulder injury. Bringing back Smith, however, doesn’t improve their goaltending, which is their biggest weakness. After failing to find an upgrade via free agency, GM Ken Holland seems unwilling to take a chance in the trade market.

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: The San Jose Sharks are reportedly close to bringing back winger Patrick Marleau for a third stint.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Marleau’s had a long, productive NHL career, most of it with the Sharks. However, the 41-year-old winger is well past his prime. This could be based more on sentimentality than what he can actually bring to their lineup.

SPORTSNET: The Columbus Blue Jackets signed former Minnesota Wild center Mikko Koivu to a one-year, $1.5-million contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wild opted not to re-sign their long-time captain after the 37-year-old Koivu dropped down their depth chart last season. His best days are behind him but he could still have one decent season left as a fourth-line center with the Jackets.

MLIVE.COM: The Detroit Red Wings signed goaltender Thomas Greiss to a two-year deal with an annual average value of $3.6 million and defenseman Troy Stecher to a two-year deal with an AAV of $1.7 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Two decent short-term deals bringing some much-needed goaltending and blueline depth to the rebuilding Wings.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: The Bruins signed winger Craig Smith to a three-year deal with a $3.1 million AAV.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: The Carolina Hurricanes signed winger Jesper Fast to a three-year deal ($2 million AAV).

SPORTSNET: The Buffalo Sabres signed center Cody Eakin to a two-year, $4.5-million contract.

The Toronto Maple Leafs signed defenseman Zach Bogosian to a one-year, $1-million contract.

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes signed forward Johan Larsson to a two-year, $2.8-million contract.

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: The Capitals signed defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk to a one-year, $800K contract.


NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: The Sharks re-signed winger Kevin Lebanc to a four-year deal worth an AAV of $4.725 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is Lebanc’s reward for only taking a one-year, $1-million contract last year when the Sharks were facing a salary-cap crunch. His production was down last season but that could be due to the Sharks’ overall poor performance last season. This could be a worthwhile contract for the Sharks if Lebanc regains his 56-point form from 2018-19.

THE DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche re-signed wingers Andre Burakovsky and Valeri Nichushkin to two-year contracts. Burakovsky’s AAV is $4.9 million while Nichushkin’s is $2.5 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No surprise here. Both forwards were key contributors to the Avalanche last season. Burakovsky enjoyed a career-best 20 goal, 45 point performance in 58 games last season while Nichushkin has turned into a versatile checking-line forward.

WGR 550: The Buffalo Sabres re-signed defenseman Brandon Montour to a one-year, $3.85-million contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Montour was the frequent topic of trade speculation last season. It’ll be interesting to see if he has a future in Buffalo beyond next season.

TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild re-signed winger Jordan Greenway to a two-year, $4.2-million contract.


TSN: The Ottawa Senators acquired forward Austin Watson from the Nashville Predators in exchange for a 2021 fourth-round pick.

NHLPA: 26 NHL players filed yesterday for salary arbitration. The arbitration period begins Oct. 20 and concludes Nov. 8.

Boston Bruins

Matt Grzelcyk

Buffalo Sabres

Victor Olofsson

Sam Reinhart

Linus Ullmark

Calgary Flames

Andrew Mangiapane

Carolina Hurricanes

Clark Bishop

Haydn Fleury

Warren Foegele

Gustav Forsling

Colorado Avalanche

Ryan Graves

Detroit Red Wings

Tyler Bertuzzi

Florida Panthers

MacKenzie Weegar

Minnesota Wild

Kaapo Kahkonen

New York Islanders

Joshua Ho-Sang

Ryan Pulock

Devon Toews

New York Rangers

Tony DeAngelo

Alexandar Georgiev

Brendan Lemieux

Ryan Strome

Ottawa Senators

Connor Brown

Christian Jaros

Nick Paul

Chris Tierney

Toronto Maple Leafs

Ilya Mikheyev

Vancouver Canucks

Jake Virtanen


  1. Sens are loading up on muscle to protect their kids, but sacrificing skating & speed which is also needed to help them develop.

    Matt Martin is still available on the market, the Habs may require to take a run at him to keep pace with the Sens.

    • Hi Uwey

      I like the moves that Dorion is taking

      They know they are not playoff bound next year… all moves are towards a move up the standings in 21/22, and even better surge 22/23….. possible cups in the 23/24….. 26/27 years

      The short term “big boys” contracts, including hometown GudB … are good moves IMHO

      This team is shaping up very well

      • Pengy, as of today CapFriendly shows Dorion with $27,787,501 in cap space to sign 7, 4 of which are RFAs Connor Brown, Tierney, Balcers and Paul who, collectively, accounted for $6,446,666 off the cap this past season. When all is settled there it will likely be in the $10 mil area, still leaving close to $18 mil to sign 3.

        There will be other moves and I believe he’s among those GMs with cap who are sitting back waiting for either the cap-strapped like TB, Arizona, Vegas, Anaheim, St. Louis, Washington, Toronto to offer up a good, established player with term and a decent cap hit because they HAVE to in order clear space, or for UFAs running out of options begin lowering their demands – which is going to happen.

        This kind of move can actually wait until the new season draws near – whether Jan 1, Feb 1 or, as Lyle indicates, perhaps even March 1. as teams can sit 10% over until then. There is no rush – patience is the key.

      • Hi George

        With you on that line of thinking

        I’m sure at least a call by MacKrimmon (sp?) to Dorion re Schmidt and Martinez

        Perhaps even a to-through request on the Flower (to at least re-unite the cup winning duo for a couple of hours until the final paperwork dries)

        The 50 % retention to-through would cost Melnyk $6.25 M to buy say Elvenes or Lechysyn and a second from Knights and about the same type of return from the eventual receiving team

        I know you hate that scenario… but I would think that Stevie Y would be getting a similar call

        If the end result is Oil getting MAF (50% retained by mid trade team) and Knights getting Koska ($1M retained by Oil)

        Oil… no change in Cap… MAF in Koska out

        Knights …. Koska backing up Lehner…. $3.5 M cap cleared up

        Middle team gets Elvenes Or Lechyshyn AND someone like Lavoie; AND 2 2nds … for $6.25 M

        These kinds of trades are rare and difficult to maneuver… but not out of the realm of possibilities

      • Pengy, yesterday you asked if there was anything new on Duclair … here’s an excerpt from Garrioch’s column today

        “A league executive suggested Saturday that the Senators offered Duclair a two-year deal worth in excess of $3 million per season. He had a career-high 23 goals and 40 points with the Senators last season and made $1.65 million in 2019-20, so the belief is the club was willing to nearly double his salary ”

        Would you be willing to see Pitt offer him in excess of $3 mil and 2 years?

      • Hi George

        If there was space… yep I would

        McC Dulclair Poulin

        Instead of. McC, Sceviour , Laffy ….

        The extra $2M in Cap differentials for the 2 compare lines 👍👍👍👍👍👍

        That flip and say Bowey in CR down… all fits in the Cap…. and that roster certainly vies for winning Metro

      • @pengy… I think codi ceci is the only right handed affordable defenseman left. No a great puck mover but a stat at home dman good partner for Matheson..

        I would love Tyler Johnson as our third line center..may e Tampa retains 50% making it $2.5. Then move desmith and rudwhedel third line Johnson jankowski tanev..sweet

      • BlacknGold – be careful what you wish for – Cody Ceci is only a “stay-at-home-D” in the sense that he spends a lot of time handling the puck like a live grenade in the “at-home” area. His “strength” coming out of Major Junior with the ’67s was his offense and when that withered and died on the vine with the Sens, they couldn’t wait for a sucker to take him in a deal.

        All in all, Ottawa is far happier with Zaitsev and Connor Brown.

      • Pengy, I seriously doubt ANY team is going to be offering Duclair in excess of $3 mil per and 2 year term, let alone Rutherford.

  2. I like the addition of Bogo to Leafs

    TJ, Bogo, Simmons added the needed grit

    The team is “stronger” and “grittier” than last year but “weaker” offensively… bottom 6 much weaker; D offence down a bit

    However this balancing of moving from all offence with weak back end towards a more balanced attack is a very good sign

    The team at year-end didn’t make the playoffs and was setting up for same next year

    This “new” Leafs should make the playoffs… not cup contenders yet but step in right direction

    The many short term contracts gets maneuverability for next year to try and be cup contenders in 21/22

    Still up against the Cap now and a small move or two likely to happen

    Unfortunately it looks like Dermott will be the one squeezed out… maybe they move Holl?

    Bogo at $1M was a big surprise… I was thinking he’d be 1 year @ $2M ish

    The weird thing is… because of the fact that players got their final paycheques last year and with lower escrow (last year) , and of course lower taxes in Florida; setting aside the playoffs…. Bogo’s take home pay for 8 reg season games played with TBay was about $1.1 M… EIGHT games

    With higher escrow, and deferral and of course higher taxes…. IF (huge IF) there is a full 20/21 season… he could play 82 games and take home only about $370 K in Toronto

    82 games is stretching it… agree with Lyle.. Jan 1 is unlikely start… and they have to finish before Tokyo Olympics start (if a go)… so a 60 or 70 game schedule not out of the Question

    With a shortened season … the NHL will almost certainly invoke the pro-ration (of Sals) clause… so those 60-70 games could have Bogo with take home of $270K – $310 K


    • The key was, they got him for a paltry $1 mil … and he is marginally better than Marincin who has to be resigned to becoming an AHLer from her on.

    • Pengy, have I missed something re Brodie’s time with Calgary – when you include him with Simmonds and Bogosian as “adding grit?”

      • Hi George

        He certainly is adding grit when you compare to the two key defensive exits (for Leafs) from last year

        I am not talking Radko grit… just comparably grittier than who he is replacing

        Bogo is gritty

    • Hi NY4Life

      Absolutely no misconceptions on his abilities from me

      But at $1M…. for the grit alone…. good deal

      Compare the similar contract Gorton gave JJ… Bogo at $1M…. a steal

    • I thought the Leafs would try an offer to TVR…he signed a 1 yr $800K deal with WSH.

      Surprised about the Bogosian deal too but at a good number. Decent 3rd pair/7th D

      Also surprised at the Johnsson deal. Obviously a cap dump but thought he could be used in a package for something else? Leafs will need another LW to take his place…Kerfoot could move to 2LW but I’d love to see them add some size here…Killorn would look good with Tavares and Nylander.

      Any thoughts on what the Leafs would have to give up for Killorn? 1st round pick?

      It will be interesting to see what happens with Pietrangelo…if he signs in Vegas they’re going to have to move a lot of salary to fit…likely one of Schmidt or Theodore and MAF.

      How about MAF (50%) and Schmidt to CHI for Connor Murphy? CHI can’t start the season with Subban/Delia

      • Agree that Vegas has to move out salary but any deal including Theodore would have to include 4 1st round picks which would be the price of a Theodore in an offer sheet (in RFA year). Non-starter, but wouldn’t it be great to see another Theodore in Habs jersey!!

  3. Good on ya Wilson for paying Leblanc properly

    Covid economics could have certainly dropped this quite a bit down… but Leblanc seriously did Wilson a favour last year on the 1 year ridiculously low contract

    So congrats out KL and good on ya Wilson 👍👍👍👍👍👍

  4. Re Arb this year

    GMs better do their absolute best to negotiate a deal before Arb

    It was mentioned at the draft broadcast that Arbitrators can’t take any current Covid economics into account when deciding on Sal (not in the CBA)

    Sure enough I checked with my in-house Lawyer who is best budz with one of the arbitrators … and he confirmed… they can only look at last year comparible player’s contracts… not new UFA ones from the last 3 days; AND cannot parse a Sal decision downwards to reflect an economic down turn. In his words… even if we were in a full depression , it’s comparables from last year only that can be used

    So interesting times ahead

    • this will also be a record year for ard walk aways. For example leafs could offer Mikeyev 1.5M and he asked 2.25M and gets awarded 1.85M and Leafs say seeya and he ends up signing somewhere for a $1m show me again contract. The bulk of these arb players are nameless faceless interchangeable slugs, they just don’t know it yet.

      • They can’t walk from any arbitration award that is less than 4.8 and change . What’s your next suggestion Wendell ?
        Brilliant .
        Where is the goalie and rhd coming in now ?

  5. Day Before Free Agency

    Lazy media, LTC and other haters:

    “Dubas knows Leafs need to improve their defence, particularly the right side and make the team bigger and tougher, but how can he when wonder boy has put his team in cap hell?”

    48 Hours later:

    Dubas has:

    -Replaced Barrie with Brodie
    -Replaced Ceci with Bogo
    -Replaced Johnsson with Wayne (I’m gonna punch some heads off) Simmonds
    -All while saving saving $3m against the cap.

    Lazy media, LTC, and other haters: “But, but, but …..?”



    • Days before free agency :

      Wendell : we need a top d , petro WILL sign in Toronto , trade options should include Ellis and ekblad. NEED to get rid of Fred for any pulse . Need difference makers not size and grit .
      Dubas adds Brodie (not 1 mention of this ufa by Wendell or James even though he was a known target in Kadri trade) simmonds (for skill?) bogosian (for skill?) , says he is happy with the goaltending .
      Great Job Dubas !


      • His opinions may change but what NEVER changes is that he thinks he is always right. More or less “well, I never saw that coming but since Dubas did it it therefore follows that it has to be the best option.”

      • LTC chair: I didn’t say I liked the moves. I dont think they made much difference aside from the addition by subtraction of a 2nd tier AHL defencman in Ceci. That was an astute move by Dubas as he took 1 yr of that bum to jetison several years of Zietsev to OTT to clean up another Lou mess.

        What my point is the haters still wouldnt give Dubas credit even if he did what y’all were saying he couldn’t do. You have proven this correct with your thoughtless post.

        I maintain they need a top pair RHD and a new goalie as I have said all along.

      • There you go with the “haters” tag again …. I don’t “hate” Dubas – why the hell would I? – I’ve never met the man … I don’t think much of him as a GM based upon his so-called accomplishments, nor do I think much of his preferred analytics approach to managing

    • What about losing Kapanen?
      I don’t see the leafs being tougher to play against.
      Brodie/Barrie is a sideways move.
      Brodie was insulated to some extent playing with Gio in calgary.

      I think leafs lost a lot of depth and Wayne summons’s isn’t the player he used to be.

      I like the passion though.

    • LTC Vice-chair weighs in to further confirm my point. Lol

    • Hi Wendel, are you Dubas? That would explain everything.

  6. this will also be a record year for ard walk aways. For example leafs could offer Mikeyev 1.5M and he asked 2.25M and gets awarded 1.85M and Leafs say seeya and he ends up signing somewhere for a $1m show me again contract. The bulk of these arb players are nameless faceless interchangeable slugs, they just don’t know it yet.

    • Arrr, and another thing … damn, the cooking sherry is all gone …. where was I? Oh, right: arrr

  7. Leafs can’t say see ya at that number genius