NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 16, 2020

by | Oct 16, 2020 | News, NHL | 35 comments

The Senators sign Evgenii Dadonov, the Rangers avoid arbitration with Tony DeAngelo and Alexandar Georgiev, Joe Thornton will play in Switzerland during the NHL offseason and more in today’s morning coffee headlines.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators yesterday signed Evgenii Dadonov to a three-year, $15 million contract. The annual average value is $5 million. The 31-year-old winger is coming off his third straight 20-goal season.

Ottawa Senators sign winger Evgenii Dadonov (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A significant signing by the rebuilding Senators. Dadonov should bolster their anemic offense.

While it was surprising that the Sens landed one of the notable remaining unrestricted free agents, the signing also raised eyebrows over Dadonov getting less than market value. The Hockey News’ Matt Larkin observed it’s an indication of how much the flat salary cap is affecting mid-tier free-agent talent.

NEW YORK POST: The Rangers avoided arbitration with defenseman Tony DeAngelo and goaltender Alexandar Georgiev. DeAngelo signed a two-year contract with an AAV of $4.8 million while Georgiev inked a two-year deal worth $2.425 million annually.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates the Rangers have $70.6 million committed to 21 players with Ryan Strome and Brendan Lemieux to re-sign. Both have arbitration hearings coming up but the Blueshirts have enough cap space to avoid that route.

TSN: Free-agent center Joe Thornton will play for Switzerland’s HC Davos during the NHL offseason. He previously played for Davos during the 2004-05 and 2012-13 NHL lockouts.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The last time Thornton played an NHL game was on March 11 before the regular season was derailed by COVID-19. It’s a good way for him to get into game shape for whenever the NHL returns to action in the new year.

THE ATHLETIC: Aaron Portzline reported Columbus Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella hopes the recent additions of centers Max Domi and Mikko Koivu will allow him to open up his offense.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A lack of depth at center last season forced the Jackets to play a more defensive-oriented system. Koivu will likely see fourth-line duty while Domi is expected to fill the second-line center role.

TORONTO STAR: Damien Cox reports the effects of COVID-19 upon NHL revenue could be generating concern among the team owners. He points to Vegas Golden Knights’ owner Bill Foley’s recent remarks contradicting the league’s official position of returning next season on Jan. 1 with a full 82-games schedule. Foley noted his peers are getting nervous. “We all thought we’d be out of COVID by now”, he told an interviewer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Foley believes the NHL will return on Feb. 1 at the earliest and play a reduced schedule to be completed by the end of June because NBC (which holds the league’s US broadcasting rights) will be televising the Summer Olympics in July. No reaction yet from Commissioner Gary Bettman regarding Foley’s remarks, but the Golden Knights’ owner seems to be saying out loud what’s been discussed quietly behind the scenes.


  1. I’m fully on board with Foley’s sentiments ; but maybe not the specifics

    I don’t see a 1/1 start and for sure the layout of planned season and playoffs must be done by end of third week in July… leading credence to a high likelihood of a shortened season

    But pegging it on “Feb 1 st or later” or specificity on number of reg season games… up in the air IMHO

    A shortened season will just get owners to open up the pro-rate sal clause of the CBA to mitigate their losses (escrow capped at 20%)

    I can’t possibly fathom a season <48 games and/or another “play-in” round

    I can’t see season start past mid March

    I do like the “hybrid bubble” scenario

    I do think there is a possibility of either a schedule that has a Canadian division (less likely but possible) or a schedule tat sees the early part of the season with no cross-border travel

    In a nutshell… 82 game schedule , starting 1/1; with playins; and full cross-border travel throughout the season… just ain’t happenin’

    Unrestricted head-counts for all arenas for the entire season… forgeddaboudit

    • Who says there will be an Olympics?

      • My thoughts exactly. Yes, Japan is desperate given how much they’ve sunk into infrastructure/facilities, but there’s NO way countries are going to be sending large contingencies of their best athletes to be living/competing cheek-by-jowl with the pandemic still unchecked – never mind Japan recouping financial losses with packed stadiums

      • Hi FD

        Very valid point… however any decision to cancel and/or have another postponement of the Tokyo Olympics …. won’t come until Spring … NHL season will have needed to be started well before then.. so the schedule (NHL) would need to reflect their knowledge of any potential competing conflicts (like the Olympics) as at day one of NHL season… they’d need to plan to be all done by 3rd week in July

        I still don’t see 1/1 as at start

      • Or as caper might say the covyimpics

  2. That was below market value. A 31 year old 25-30 goal scorer?
    It was what I expected him to get. Thought Ottawa paid more than market value for Murray.

    Due to the flattening cap the market value is the same as it was last summer. I would of thought anyways.

    Seemed reasonable.

    T has been reported Dadonov had other offers. Perhaps he turned down more money for a top line roll.

  3. ” … the signing also raised eyebrows over Dadonov getting less than market value. The Hockey News’ Matt Larkin observed it’s an indication of how much the flat salary cap is affecting mid-tier free-agent talent. ”

    What absolutely baffles me is, why some are so surprised! A few of us have been trying to hammer home the fact that simple math would dictate this as soon as the financially debilitating effects of the pandemic began to be felt, compounded by the flat cap.

    That that combination would blew out of the water any contention of there being “business as usual” – never mind the hoary old theory “where there’s a will there’s a way” – was evident with just a rudimentary scanning of the cap situation of each team combined with the numbers of RFAs and UFAs. The numbers just didn’t add up.

    Does anyone – other than maybe Duclair himself since he’s his own agent – think any GM with an ounce of brains is going to offer him in excess of $3 mil and 2 years? Does anyone – other than Hoffman and his agent – think he’s going to get significantly more than his last contract and for any significant term?

  4. I don’t see a season without fans in the seats or cross-border travel. Most teams can’t live without stadium revenue.
    There needs to be a sea-change in what is expected and accepted behavior before there will be a season.
    The US today is a dangerous country that flouts scientific norms like a blood sport.
    Is there really a willingness to have herd immunity dictate a full opening and have millions of deaths?
    A Canadian division is possible in the sense that at least this country takes covid seriously,

    • Stay 6 feet from one another and where the f*****g mask for Chrisms sake!

      • When did Chrisms get that promotion? I like the guy … but I ain’t genuflecting to him 🙂

      • There is room in my eternal kingdom for the believers and unbelievers alike.

    • It has been reported Ottawa has a seating plan for 6000 fans. Many teams probably have Th e same. Social distancing hockey. Should be interesting how this rolls out. People are not taking the pandemic seriously. IHere in Manitoba we just got hit with the same total we had all of the first wave in just the past two days.

      Society is either going to have to operate with covid or shutdown hard in the hopes of eliminating it.

      I’m banking on the first option because, well money.

      So my bet is on fans at games in small groups wearing mask separated by rolls and empty seats.

      • If they all go to 6,000 only, at least the Sens, Florida and Arizona would all be on an even gate playing field with the rest

  5. Note, too, that the NYR’s deals with RFAs DeAngelo and Georgiev are both for 2 years. Where Dadonov is concerned, while the AAV is $5 mil, the payouts are $3.5 mil this coming season, $5 mil in 2021-22 and $6.5 mil in 2022-23 – when several options are possible.

  6. Way too much $ for D’Angelo and Domi is a much better winger than center.

    • You got it. Ignore the twits.

    • It’s a good deal. Slightly expensive but a good risk. Two years I’d perfect term. Probably cost rangers an extra mil to keep term down but that beats risking more years on a possible 1 year wonder. And they retain control.

    • Bit of an overpayment for a very one dimensional dman, off ice he’s also a moron that will be the big thing to keep his head on straight

    • Ba-boom!

  7. JD needs to submit an offer sheet for Barzal. It will force the Islanders to match on our terms hurt or lose their best player. Rangers would give up 4 first round picks but it would be worth it. Also, it would severely damage their chances on resigning Pulock. Barzal as a 2nd line center with Lefre and Paranin would be unstoppable.


    Awesome top 9

  8. The Ottawa signing of Dadonov…. just makes me wonder why?

    Ottawa isn’t a threat to make the playoffs

    The time the players develop and are ready to compete, Dadonov will be 34yrs old and a ufa.

    I didn’t look at cap friendly to see if was to get to the cap floor?

    Ottawa should offer sheet one of the two dman in Tampa. They have the capspace and picks to do so.

    • Hold that thought Caper.

      • Thanks for that Article George. Looking forward to Dadonov playing in a Sens Uni even more. However that article explains why Ottawa wanted him. Why he chose Ottawa over 10 other teams is still unknown.

      • I mentioned somewhere else that players are generally quite astute at sizing up the directions of an organization and in this instance perhaps he just looked at what they have in the pipeline, combined with the better players already on the top team, and saw in them a team poised to surprise. It’s one theory anyway.

  9. I don’t agree that Dadonov contract is below market value.
    I realize I am wrong as the tv experts state it you all support it.

    However I am surprised Dadonov has more value than 5/year. What was believed to be his market value? Would he not fall in with the Hoffman types who I also think should fall in the 5 something range.

    He isn’t a centre.

    • I thought it was bad move getting him for a bit too much and his numbers won’t be as good without the center man he had in Florida

      • What if, on the other hand, the stats of his center man fall?

      • Come on Bigbear … be fair … what top notch C does Anderson have in Montreal? And they gave him $500,000 more than Ottawa gave Dadonov and for 4 years longer … after 1 season over 20 goals. That’s fair while Dadonov, with 3 straight years of 25 or over, is an over-payment?

  10. DeAngelo’s deal was pretty much under projections on what most have written. I’m sure any team looking for an offensive RD would gladly take him at that price. Also worth noting that both DeAngelo and Gorgiev will still be rfa in 2 years.

  11. If anything good can come out of this terrible pandemic, it would be the substantial collapse of the NHL to reduce it to maybe a dozen deserving franchises so the hockey will be hugely better without all the bottom 6 slugs.

    • Deserving… so the teams that have won cups in the past several decades or so?

      • The deserving franchises are:

        The original 6 +

        Las Vegas

      • Hey Wendel, can you explain the criteria for deserving vs undeserving?

      • Hope you haven’t been holding your breath, Ray!