NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 13, 2020

by | Oct 13, 2020 | News, NHL | 23 comments

The latest on Marc-Andre Fleury and Robin Lehner, Canucks acquire Nate Schmidt, the Islanders sign Cory Schneider and trade Devon Toews to the Avalanche, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

SPORTSNET: Vegas Golden Knights general manager Kelly McCrimmon said he will be keeping his goaltending tandem intact for next season and won’t be trading Marc-Andre Fleury. He also indicated Robin Lehner will undergo shoulder surgery but will recover in time for training camp.

Marc-Andre Fleury is staying with the Vegas Golden Knights (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fleury was the subject of trade speculation after Lehner got the bulk of the starts in the playoffs and signed a contract extension earlier this month. There was talk they were trying to move Fleury by getting a third team involved who would absorb part of his $7 million salary-cap hit. It was assumed he’d be moved to clear salary-cap space to sign Alex Pietrangelo, but the Golden Knights made another move (see below) to address that issue.

The coming season could be Fleury’s last in Vegas. He lacks a full no-movement clause and will likely be left unprotected in next year’s expansion draft.

THE PROVINCE: The Golden Knights found another way to shed some cap payroll after signing Pietrangelo yesterday, trading Nate Schmidt to the Vancouver Canucks for a third-round pick in 2022.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Golden Knights shed Schmidt’s $5.95 million cap hit. They’re still above the $81.5 million salary cap by over $974K but that’s within the 10 percent allowable offseason cap overage.

The Canucks, meanwhile, find a suitable replacement for Chris Tanev, who signed with Calgary as a free agent. Schmidt is a good puck-moving defenseman who can log over 21 minutes per game and skate on the left or right side of the blueline. He’s got five years remaining on his contract, which could become a cap headache in the latter years, but he should be a welcome addition to the Canucks defense corps in the short term.

TSN: The New York Islanders signed goaltender Cory Schneider to a one-year, $700K contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Isles are expected to go with Semyon Varlamov and promising Ilya Sorokin as their goalie tandem next season. Schneider is an affordable insurance move in case Sorokin struggles to adjust at the NHL level.

THE DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche acquired defenseman Devon Toews from the Islanders in exchange for a second-round pick in 2021 and a second-rounder in 2022. They also re-signed defenseman Ryan Graves to a three-year, $9.5 million contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avs were looking for a defenseman after shipping Nikita Zadorov to Chicago for Brandon Saad over the weekend. Toews, 26, is a fine replacement. Colorado GM Joe Sakic sang his praises as “a smart, two-way puck-moving defenseman” who logs over 20 minutes per game and is “excellent in transition”.

Graves’ new contract is worth an annual average value of $3.16 million. That’s a considerable raise over the $735K of his previous deal. He earned it with a career-best 26-point performance and a league-leading plus-minus of plus-40.

Speaking of the Avalanche, The Athletic’s Ryan S. Clark took to Twitter reporting preliminary contract talks have begun with captain Gabriel Landeskog. He’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: The Flyers signed defenseman Erik Gustafsson to a one-year, $3-million contract.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: The Blackhawks signed center Mattias Janmark to a one-year, $2.25-million contract and center Lucas Wallmark to a one-year deal worth $950K.

TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild re-signed goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen to a two-year, $1.45-million contract.

NEW YORK POST: Alexis Lafreniere signed a three-year entry-level contract with the New York Rangers. The 19-year-old left-winger was the first-overall pick in this year’s NHL Draft.

THE ATHLETIC: Bill Shea reports talks are ongoing to extend the NHL’s 10-year, $2-billion broadcast rights contract with NBC Sports that expires at the end of next season. While the league’s playoff ratings were down due to the pandemic, it still helped NBCSN have one of its best-ever third quarters. ESPN, Fox Sports and Turner Sports are also interested in the NHL’s TV and streaming business.


  1. Fans in Boston growing IRATE over GM Don Sweeney’s lack of signings/ trades.
    They are calling for him and Neely to be fired!

    • Maybe OEL changes his mind. He had a Friday deadline but, that can’t be a good situation to go back to.
      Vancouver bounces back nicely. They let 3 guys walk. Getting Schmidt for a late 3rd round pick was a steal. He’s an upgrade over Tanev. Only making 1.4 mil more than Tanev got. Holtby on a short deal for less than Markstrom got. Really thought they’d keep Toffoli but, mayn’t Virtanen could turn into the player they expect. Could be a better team than they were this season. As far as Vegas, they’re still over the cap and don’t have a full roster. Not sure if they’re better. Right now Pietrangelo is better player than Schmidt but, he’s costing nearly 3mil more in cap space and will be 37 when deal ends. Schmidt has 5 years left on his deal and will be 33 when his ends. I think they still need to move someone.

      • Hi Slick62

        Setting aside that Vegas still has a move to make (Likely Martinez)… as at right now… they are a much better team than last year…. and they were one Anton Khudobin away from another SC appearance !!

        Petro over Schmidt is a tremendous boost (especially if we’re looking at the Schmidt who played in the ‘Nucks and Stars series)

        Glass in for Statsny… bigger, faster, 14 years younger

        Dalhstrom in for Merril….. in the words of Erik Idle …. say nah moh , say nah moh …. nudge nudge wink wink

    • Hi Tony

      Yes strange

      See below… I think Schmidt would have been a good piece for them

  2. For those calling out van it’s shaping up to be a nice off season for them so far.

    • Chrisms. I must’ve been writing at same time.

    • Can’t believe he was taken for a 3rd (in ‘22 I might add)

      Hello Bruins? McFly?

      Something is up in Bruins land… we’re they just told “no more spending”???

      Our ‘Nucks fans on here… what say you on this move?

      • Pengy……Bruins with $11 million in cap space left I don’t believe they will spend it all ….need a LD a scoring winger with size and some bottom 6 toughness ….

        Although not a LD Mackenzie Weegar Looks like he’ll be leaving Fla which might intrest the Bruins, the bottom 6 toughness might come from within with Trent Fredric …. Bruins do seem confused

      • Hi Joe

        LD…. Martinez from Knights??

      • Well, Joe, they are going to have to spend some on RFAs DeBrusk and Grzelcyk – how much they’ll settle for I don’t know, but combined it will take a bite out of that $11 mil

      • No one says “Nucks”…besides Dutch on TSN. File it with “Yotes”…

      • My first impression is that it seems like a big positive. Certainly better than the last few days, after Tanev and Stecher signed elsewhere, where it looked like we’d go into the season with only Myers on the right side. Dollars and term are on the high side but not unreasonable for Schmidt’s abilities.

        Should pair nicely with Hughes in the top four. One possible issue is that Green hates playing D on their off side. We’ll see how that plays out.

        Not sure how the contract will age. To me, the four-year term to Tanev was a non-starter due to his injury history and declining play. That’s obvious to many Canucks fans but perhaps not so obvious to Flames fans who remember him as a more consistent defender (which he once was). I wonder if there’s similar downside to Schmidt?

      • Pete, along with “Spos” and “Stros” back in the days when the Expos and Astros were both in the NL

  3. Re Vegas and the Flower

    This makes more sense now with the pending Lehner surgery…. anything can happen

    Obvious move now is Martinez… that would then leave them with $3M space and a D and two depth wingers to sign

    Perhaps they bring up Hague , Elvenes and Lechyshyn ?

    The trade of Schmidt and only getting a 3rd really really surprised me…. I know he had a tough playoffs but that seems ridiculous… Bruins couldn’t beat a 3rd?

    I was thinking Lauzon for Schmidt????

    Re Martinez… in light of the low return for Schmidt…

    Martinez and NJs 2nd back to NJ for McCleod ?

    NJ only has 5 Dmen signed

    The added bonus With the 2nd back… NJ could (unlikely but could) make an offer sheet if they wanted to (to make an offer sheet a team must have their own compensatory picks … w/0 that 2nd … limited number of OS types they could give out

    Again unlikely to do OS… just an added bonus

    McCleod becomes low cost depth forward on Knights

  4. Penguins want to get younger , and have a need for 3RD

    “Don, it’s Jimbo. How about Rusty and Chad for DeBrusk and Lauzon?”

  5. And George O was ready to give up Brannstrom and a sweetener for Nate Schmidt … and he garnered a rather pedestrian 3rd rounder … savvy … bwa ha ha ha

    • LOL. Don’t rub it in Denis. That really floored me that Benning could get a decent D-man for a 3rd. Holy beejeezus. Shows you that all our speculations from the comfort of our PCs/phones amount to squat in the final analysis.

      In my defense, when I said Brannstrom and a pick – the pick I was thinking of was no better than a 4th. And even now, as I pointed out their anticipated roster (barring one more move), Brannstrom is no guarantee to make the 7 man corps.

    • I say “squat” because, if anyone in here tries to tell us that they thought Schmidt would garner no better than a 3rd … well, that’s bordering on BS extreme.

    • As a Sens fan reading that idea made me cry a bit. Schmidt was never going to get his value unless a lot of teams go into a war over him because Vegas literally had no leverage. I am a bit surprised they didn’t try and move him out of Conference … but in the West next year I think on paper anyway Vegas & Colorado are all that matter.

  6. I think this is the time for the bruins to trade Krecji to land a decent defenseman, bump Coyle up to 2nd line, and start using some of the younger kids to fill out the bottom 2 lines. He is a free agent next year, so you might as well move him now and get something.

    • With Krecji’s contract, Sweeney would be lucky to get a box of 124 Crayola’s with a built in sharpener for him!!!!

      • Yeah, with the way this flat cap is shaping up and the record number of RFAs not qualified – so far – trading a Krejci at his age, cap hit and M-NTC is a non-starter – unless a huge chunk was held back and he agreed to go to the teams that showed interest.

        Ottawa could afford 1 season of Krejci easily enough and having a veteran like that at C on the 1st line would certainly help the youngsters like Norris, Brown, Tierney … but that just isn’t going to happen for a variety of reasons.

  7. Sakic has been shrewd in building the Avs D and adding more scoring without paying much for it. They got better and have balance to rival any team in the league. Some might point to G as a weak point but Grubauer puts up #1 numbers and with a better defense, I think he has a better chance at staying healthy.

    I was a bit surprised at both the term and price for Graves but my gut tells me he is the bait for Seattle. EJ will have to waive his NTC in order for that to happen but I can’t imagine Seattle wanting to take EJ over Graves.

    Have to say, as a fan, I can’t be happier with what Sakic has accomplished and he did it without signing a single UFA.