NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 22, 2020

by | Oct 22, 2020 | News, NHL | 28 comments

An update on the Blackhawks, the latest notable contract signings, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Ben Pope reports Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman spoke with his veteran core of Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook to ease their concerns about the club’s rebuild.

Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman (NHL.com).

Bowman said the direction won’t be that much different from the past two years, where they’re investing in younger players such as Alex DeBrincat, Kirby Dach and Adam Boqvist to a larger degree than in the past. He also took the blame for the club’s lack of transparency over their intentions following the departures of Corey Crawford and Brandon Saad.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Those departures reportedly upset the veteran core, forcing Bowman to speak to them directly in a group call to clear the air and clarify the club’s position. Promoting younger talent instead of making quick-fix moves will take time but the Blackhawks have little choice. Salary-cap constraints mean they can’t spend their way out of their current situation.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers signed Kris Russell to a one-year contract extension worth $1.25 million. The 33-year-old defenseman is entering the final season of his current deal worth an annual average value of $4 million but with an actual salary of $2.5 million. Signing Russell will also fulfill the requirement for the Oilers to leave at least one defenseman unprotected in next summer’s NHL expansion draft.

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: The Capitals re-signed defenseman Jonas Siegenthaler to a one-year, $800K contract.

NHL.COM: The Carolina Hurricanes signed center Drew Shore to a one-year, two-way contract.

Former NHL forward Gary Roberts has been hired as the Seattle Kraken’s sports science and performance consultant.

TORONTO SUN: Former Leafs captain Wendel Clark’s luxury Toronto condo is on the market for $6.8 million.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Quebec MNA and former NHL enforcer Enrico Ciccone has tabled a bill in the Quebec National Assembly that would prohibit fighting in sports for athletes under the age of 18.

Of course some people will say “look at this guy, he’s a hypocrite. He made a bunch of money and now he wants to change things.’ Of course, I do. And I’m probably the best guy to do it,” said Ciccone. “I want to make sure, here in Quebec, we protect our kids.”

SI.COM/THE HOCKEY NEWS: Matt Larkin examines how NHL players’ training was affected before, during and after participating in the 2020 playoffs under quarantine conditions.


  1. Just broke. C.Brown settled on a 3yr $3.6/m a year deal with Ottaws this morning! I did not expect to call that accurately!

    Also, wish I got the Wendall Clarke listing haha

    • Good call JJB. Glad that’s done … and 3 years is perfect.

      • Apparently it calls for $2.8M this season followed by $4 mil for each of the last two seasons

      • Just a tad North of your over-under estimate George 👍👍

        Good for both sides

        That said….

        I can’t understand why these players (not saying Brown necessarily, but these eligible players in general) are settling instead of trying out arbitration

        Settling out of Arb … gets them a contract that is competitive now (economically … Covid times, and flat Cap times)

        If they go to Arb… as was announced… the Arbitrator can NOT take into account the economic downturn or the flat cap situation….. even if it was a full blown depression… they must only look at raw comparable(s) in place last year…. those comparable(s) will not have been deflated due to the economic circumstances and flat cap as all newly signed contracts have been

        Arb always a gamble… but the card deck favours players this year because the arbitrator can’t take the here and now into account

        Next year… the reverse…. those Arbs can take into account comparable(s) for contracts signed in last 2 weeks and in next few weeks

      • Part of the reason so many are settled before arbitration is that no one – hockey players included – likes to hear their faults and deficiencies trotted out. Egos can be shattered.

      • Hi George

        No argument there

        That is what the agent gets paid for…. prepping the player for the Arb

        I’m just saying that this year is different in a big way…. Arbitrators can’t use current market situation in a ruling… totally favouring the player

        Put up with the tough verbal onslaught for a couple of hours…. and it is worth it financially

        In any other year… I get it

        This year ONLY … a unique Arb situation that artificially favours the players and owners can’t do squat about

        I own my own company…. I’d do everything in my power to settle pre arb

        Players should be holding out

        exception…. players who would normally get in the $800 K … $1.2M…. not worth the agrivation

        The higher the value of the player… the more important it is for them to go to Arb

        Stellar performer… go to Arb

        If I’m Pulock …. I’m spending every night with my agent prepping; and no intention of settling outside if Arb

      • What about non-arbitration rights RFAs like Dermott? Not a bad season with 4g 7a 11 pts and a +14 in 56gp coming off an $863,333 ELC.

        What do think he and his agent would be seeking – and for how long – and, more importantly, what do you see him getting?

      • Pengy, I think it is is because of what you said, it will be the reverse next year.
        And the cap ain’t going up then either.
        I think Brown, and his agent, made the right call.
        Whether a player goes to arbitration next year or is a UFA, the same crunch will be in place.
        OTT wanted to keep him, he wanted to stay, they worked out a fair deal for today’s economics.
        I think same thing happened with Grezlyk in Boston.
        With some other guys not so much, so ya go to arb.
        I wonder how many teams walk from an award they don’t like?

      • If the length of the contract received in arbitration is either one or two years, and the party who did not elect arbitration gets to choose it, might not that affect a player’s decision on arbitration? Brown’s deal is for three years. Is it possible that he didn’t want to risk the team offering him a one-year contract after arbitration, then having to go through a disconcerting contract renegotiation process in an unfavorable economic climate next season?

      • Francis S. – all that, you can bet, was carefully considered

      • Dermott will take what he is told just like Micheyev when Dubas shaved a little more off what they had agreed to so their cap wizard could fit Dermott in too. That shows a very precise number they have for Dermott and he isnt gonna sit and ruin his career. He’ll just sign what is put in front of him and say thank you.

        The nhl landscape is a-changin’ and Dubas a WAY ahead of the curve.

      • Brown’s a $2m player tops. Another GM not reading the new landscape.

      • So surprised by posts regarding Brown’s new contract. No one has mentioned this new deal is more than the Leafs gave to Kappy and Johnson.
        When those contracts where handed out by the Leafs there was a lot of disparaging comments and opinions for that…I don’t think brownie is a bad player but I’d rather have either of those “dumbass” contracted players over Brown any day of the week. Another over pay for a grinder. Here’s a reason why legit stars ask and make stooopid money.

  2. This one (early in the morn) for Chrisms…. Roberts to crack the Kraken into shape….. yes very very bad one… not had my Tim’s yet

  3. Re Chi and Toews and Kane

    I posted yesterday responding to a post that said they’d be very tough to move

    They do have full NMCs…. but if you convince them to…. they are not as hard as you think to move

    They have identical contracts…. after their signing bonus is paid next year…. they can be had for their 33rd and 34th year old years…

    50% retention…. only AAV CASH—$2.45 M , Cap $5.25 M

    40% ret… $2.95; 6.3M

    30%… $3.43; 7.35

    20% … $3.92; $8.4

    Kane is still well North of a PPG; Toews was a PPG with 35 Gs , 2 seasons ago, and last year was at .86 PPG

    Again… all in their hands… but if they want to win another cup… just might agree to go to a contender

    Keith … yes 37… also NMC…. Cap hit $5.5 but Cash AAV remains now only about $2.1 M

    Seabrook … 4 more years… and due to contract design…. much tougher to move

  4. Good morning to all …

    SENS / Brown

    I think the settlement between sides is ok and fair ..I think the 4 million is more accurate to how production and ice time than the lesser amount ..If I am Brown though the term is an issue ..he needed to het a 5 year deal here…I don’t see him getting a raise after this contract especially on the Sens ..and if he hits open market he will get the same 4 million AAV in 3 years time if that ..depending on how things go ..he and his agent need to get some more security here IMO !
    BUT ..I understand that is the market today…
    I just fear for him not being able to sign a new deal on an NHL team in 3 years in the current climate !..as team will most likely go younger at that point ..we will see.

    TOEWS / Hawks

    Yes I agree with Pengy tough to move out Toews in the current climate ..but in my search …a team that could really benefit from him the most and may have the GM to make this deal is Bergevin and the Habs …

    Toews to centre Toffoli and or Anderson with Weber & Price right now to win would be a very very high quality move add structure to the team and really turn them into a solid foe and contender for the next 3 years …IMO

    If Black Hawks were to retain some $$$ in a deal that would make it interesting …

    Thx for reading take care …


    • As things stand right now, Kal El – where the Sens future at F is concerned – until they actually demonstrate their projected capability at the NHL level, players like Stuetzle, Batherson, Logan Brown, Norris, Formenton, Balcers are still just prospects.

      Given the law of averages – and plenty of recent examples around the league of monumental flops – some among the above will be found wanting, so a proven veteran like Connor Brown could see his value increase in 3 years when he will still be under 30.

      • Thx George

        Iam not so sure with a player like Brown ..he is a middle role player …I don’t see him getting much more than this in 3 years down the road …unless he keeps pace.

        I just don’t like the term by him and his agent

        Money is fine at $4 million but he needed to get 5 years on a deal …IMO !

        Most likely the sticking point for Hoffman as well is term …but he is another story as all that guy dies is produce ..regardless of any shenanigans around him in the past which are the past …he is a legit scorer in this league and will command more in cash and AAV if he is smart !

        Teams need to clear space for him which is the issue ….sorry about my tangent / Segway into Hoffman LOL

      • With Hoffman it’s the underlying “unknown” – as I say yesterday, there’s a reason this guy can’t seem to find a long-term home despite his obvious offensive talents. Bounced from Ottawa under a cloud involving the Karlssons to San Jose – who didn’t keep him for more than 3 hours before flipping him to Tallon in Florida – where, it seems, his name has constantly popped up in trade rumors and, although not actually acknowledged by Florida that they’d like to get rid of him, here he is a UFA and the team that most recently had him doesn’t appear to be making any great effort to re-sign him even though they now have a need for scoring and have almost $12 mil in cap space to acquire same.

        Hoffman just doesn’t pass the smell test. If he’s thinking he’s going to even get a 1 year deal at Hall money, he’s dreaming in technicolour.

    • Bruins could use a guy like Toews after next season.
      If CHI would eat a couple million.

      • Ray, Toews actual salary after next season is $6.9 and if you wait until the signing bonus of $4m is paid out then his salary is $2.9 that is a sweet deal except for the $10.5m cap hit.

      • Call Sweeney Caper.

    • Kal El,

      Habs are ALREADY over the Cap.

      That won’t happen.
      Thanks goodness.


      • Caper 2.9M is all Toews is worth now as a total salary and cap hit and it will drop sharply with each future season.

        Montreal’s roster is a bag of slugs paid 5 x their value in many cases. They are dropping in standings not improving. They want to be like the Vegas misfits but more like the golden seals. Hey maybe they will all wear white skates too. Also cooperates. They are the biggest mess in hockey concrete shows. The other bottom feeders don’t have to unload all the garbage the habs do and are on the way even at a snails pace. Habs r heading down with a bullet and I love it.

  5. Arbitrator generally go down the middle, of the player and team submission.

    It’s been reported the reason we are seeing cases resolved before the hearing is because of one major difference in the rulings.

    In the pass player an team could still negotiate and come to agreement while waiting for the arbitrator decision.

    Now once the Arbitrator hearing starts there is no more negotiating between player and team and the arbitrator decision is final.