NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 5, 2020

by | Oct 5, 2020 | News, NHL | 22 comments

Henrik Lundqvist determined to continue his playing career, the Blackhawks trade Olli Maatta to the Kings, the Stars re-sign Andrej Sekera, and an update on Ryan Strome in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NEW YORK POST: Henrik Lundqvist took to Twitter Sunday expressing his determination to continue his playing career. “I still love to compete. I still love the game and I still want to WIN”, he tweeted. The 38-year-old goaltender was bought out of the final year of his contract last week by the Rangers.

Henrik Lundqvist remains determined to continue his NHL career (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Larry Brooks speculated the Washington Capitals could be a destination for Lundqvist, citing a report Saturday by Sportsnet. Brooks wondered if the former Vezina Trophy winner would accept a full-time backup role, though he might not have much choice given his play has regressed with age. He also suggested the Carolina Hurricanes and Vegas Golden Knights as options.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE/LOS ANGELES TIMES: The Chicago Blackhawks yesterday traded defenseman Olli Maatta to the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for minor-league forward Brad Morrison. The Blackhawks retained just over $750K of Maatta’s $4.088-million annual average value for the next two seasons.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This move frees up cap space for the Blackhawks. They now have $11.1 million available to put toward re-signing restricted free agents Dominik Kubalik, Dylan Strome, Drake Caggiula and Slater Koekkoek and re-sign or replace unrestricted free agent goalie Corey Crawford. The Times, meanwhile, indicates Maatta will fill the Kings’ need for an experienced left-side defenseman.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Stars yesterday re-signed defenseman Andrej Sekera to a two-year contract worth $1.5 million annually.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As the report indicates, this move means the Stars won’t have to go into the trade or free-agent market to find a cheap third-pairing, penalty-killing defenseman. Cap Friendly indicates the move leaves the Stars with $67.5 million invested in 17 players. Anton Khudobin, Corey Perry and Mattias Janmark are unrestricted free agents while Denis Gurianov, Roope Hintz and Radek Faksa are restricted free agents.

NEW YORK POST: The Rangers have not yet decided if they tender a qualifying offer to Ryan Strome. The 27-year-old center is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights. The deadline for qualifying offers is 5 pm ET on Tuesday. If Strome doesn’t receive one, he’ll become an unrestricted free agent.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Larry Brooks speculates it could cost $4.75 million to re-sign Strome, which could be too expensive for the Rangers. He’s a year away from UFA eligibility.







22 Comments

  1. I know a lot of people prefer to shrug off anything Simmonds of the Toronto Sun writes as inconsequential – along the lines of Brooks in New York – but it’s folly to disregard what he says in his most recent column yesterday

    “The pressure on general managers is at an all-time high with no real comprehension of when NHL games will next be played, no certainty about salary caps of the future and, for owners, most importantly, no target date for when fans will be allowed in the buildings for a league so dependent on ticket revenue … there are 263 unrestricted free agents about to enter this insecure market. Thirty-five of them are goaltenders … And who will be spending what on whom? With so many teams already in salary-cap difficulty. With so many teams prevented from spending to the $81.5-million cap because of fear from ownership. With so many teams having players on less-than-perfect contracts they would like to move to teams looking to make moves, who are juggling their own economic difficulties.”

    • Hi George

      Simmonds better than Brooksie …. notby much, but better

      I still say that with their extra picks and buckets o’ space (high flexibility) even though each have many to sign yet; that Stevie Y and Dorion are in a much much better spot than most of the other GMs

      I’m still hoping for Dorion to at least call Blake and ask him what it will take to flip 2nd for 3rd…. I’m uber pro on the advantages of Byfield over Stutzle

      I mentioned before that perhaps Dorion could offer up big boy Logan Brown to see if Blake bites

      • Pengy, I’m sure a chat with Blake was among the “lots of communication” Dorion has admitted to … but the consensus among the “experts” seems to be that, after Lafrenière, you can flip Byfield and Stuetzel as 2-3, while from 4 to 10 they are all inter-changeable. The differences, of course, rests with the various positions – with C and D seemingly the deciding factor. Why is why I think Blake is locked into Byfield who is already heads and shoulders above a Logan Brown.

        As for Simmonds, generally speaking I agree he and Brooks seem to lead the field in rubbing readers the wrong way … BUT is there anything in the above quote where you think he is off base?

      • Hi George

        Very few experts are now saying Stutzle = Byfield and almost all seem to prognosticate that LA will take Byfield

        IMHO… Stutzles speed and acuity are possibly better than Byfied’s now; but as early as next year Byfield could be the better player; and IMHO for sure 2 tears from now

        Add t that Byfield definitely a C and Stuzle “can” play C but per TSN SN etc… they are seeing him as a W

        and most importantly …. if Byfield doesn’t get any taller (Note in summer of 2018 before his 17th Bday… they had him listed at 6’ 4 1/4”…. and it is still showing that…. most guys grow at least a very small amount after their 17 Bdays)… he will be playing his prime at 225-235 (last summer at 16 he was listed at 212)… and that gain will all be in muscle

        So all above…. to me…. Byfield is the much better pick and IMHO so much so that he equals at least Stutzle + Logan Brown

        Re Simmonds words/statement… in general valid… Hank on Knights or Caps… yep I can certainly see that.

        On Canes…. I see their interest; I don’t see him signing there though

      • George, Pengy there was a reporter from the Athletic late last week as a guest on Montreal 690 that when asked about Alexis Lafrenière, he chuckled & said, the Rangers pick could be the beginning of night of surprises if they draft Byfield instead of Lafrenière.

        His reasoning being Lafrenière being the safe pick, but Byfield is the big man down the middle every GM salivate, Jeff Gorton being no different than the rest. He also pointed out they could add Byfield, play him behind Mika & Ryan for a couple of seasons as he matures into the prize of this years draft.

        It really doesn’t sound that far fetched when you look at the Rangersforward group.

      • Uwey, I posted in here weeks ago that, according to a close friend in Nova Scotia who has seen a lot of Lafrenière in the Q – and my own observations whenever his team was featured against the Olympiques on the Quebec side of the river, he is going to be a very good NHLer – but don’t make the mistake of putting him in the same class as a Crosby, Lemieux, or McDavid.

        Having said that, with all the hype that has gone into this year’s rankings, it would take a GM with gonads the size of basketballs to not name him # 1. And I don’t see Gorton being THAT daring. This is his shot at the second Jean Ratelle for that franchise.

      • I agree George,

        The ONLY way NY passes is if that puck is included in something much bobber than a draft pick.

        I’m sure that was on the table as part of the Eichel discussion (had it gone anywhere) . Or at least NY would have been willing to part with #1.

        I’d say zero chance NY goes off the board on this one.

      • Jean Ratelle ????

        I was thinking more of Rod Gilbert!!

        Byfield could easily become Ryan Getzlaf, as opposed to Lafrenière becoming a Taylor Hall???

        Just sayin’ that big, talented centers are worth far more a big talented winger.

        The consensus is Lafrenière is NOT a generational talent, just the safest selection at this time.

        So the consensus here is, Gorton doesn’t have the balls to swing at the fence in fear of striking out, rather he will bunt down the third base line to advance the runner.

      • There isn’t really talk about Lafreniere slipping below #1. But there is a LOT of talk Byfield slips to #3.

        Zero chance NY passes on Lafreniere for another draftee this year. Zero.

        They will take the immediate impact player over Byfield.

        A trade is the only way NY passes.

      • Uwey – Jean Ratelle was among the best, classiest C I have ever seen in all my years of watching the NHL – always likened him to Jean Beliveau. At 6′ 1′ he played 1281 games scored 491g and 776a for 1267 pts – a career of almost a point a game.

        Now, I’m not saying Rod Gilbert wasn’t also a great player of his era, but at 5′ 9″ 175 lbs he got bounced around a lot – although still managed 1065gp 406g 615a 1021 pts for damned near a point a game career too.

        Both were fantastic to watch – just that Lafrenière puts me more in mind of Ratelle with his size and moves on the ice.

        He will become a favourite with fans in MSG.

    • Dubas has no bad contracts and the Leafs are a financial powerhouse who are poised to outperform the league in this uncertain time.

      • Why is boy wonder talking about getting harder to play against and adding grit ?
        I thought you said that’s the last thing the leafs need or Dubas would consider ?

  2. The Sekera re-up shows a case where buyouts can turn to having more $ when re-signed

    He lost $3M total in the buyout from Ed and if I understand Elliott Friedman correctly; there are no claw backs or escrow on buyouts… they get it all (less taxes of course)

    Last year (19/20) with Bonuses he got $1.8 M … even with the smaller (Than 20/21) escrow in 19/20…he gets $1.7. His Sal in 20/21 of $1.5 with “new” cba escrow…$1.2M… that’s $2.9 M of the lost $3M…. but had he stayed in Ed for next year… escrow on his $4.5 M would have been over $800 K….thus putting him already ahead in gross…. then adding to that the tax advantages of Dallas over Ed.. further ahead.. and that’s just after 20/21; he also rec’d a 2nd year

    Hank would have rec’d $3.7 M (after escrow) more this year had he stayed with Rangers. He’s getting $3M total (no escrow) in buyout …..so true loss from buyout to Hank is $700 K gross

    If he signs anywhere for $800 K or more ..l even with 20/21 Escrow… he is ahead

    …. he sounds as if he wants to play… and for sure no one is going to offer him less than $1.5 M… he has choice of where he goes AND will be financially ahead

    Some people had put out here re Hank signing with NJ… and I had originally dismissed this idea

    Re-thinking.. he could sign in NJ with an NMC (giving him full control) with their verbal promise that they will go out of their way at TDL to move him to a contender (again with NMC he controls where)

    Starting the year in NJ… he doesn’t have to move; still with fam… and if he absolutely can’t stand the situation in NJ can always retire…. and basically be in the exact situation he is in today… home with fam. Best case he’s moved to a contender and wins Cup… being away from fam only TDL onward

    Washington is a possibility but if Knights move MAF… to me.. much better shot (than Caps) of getting to SC; and therefore… better chance of winning the Cup

    Hank is in the driver’s seat on this one

    • Lundquist could stay at home (in NY) The only drawback for NJ is they still have to give Cory Schneider a shot at goal. (they’re paying him 6 mil next 2 years) I doubt Hank will want to be part of that situation. I think Devils likely go with another UFA for this season.

      • Concur on that likelihood Vincois

  3. If 4.75 is too much for Strome, I’d love to see the alternative for less. Haula? Yikes!

    • Maybe they can get Strome for less than that Nyr4Life. Just may require some patience.
      If Strome is willing to take a short term deal and pursue the $$ on his next one, when the economics should improve, he may be open to staying in NY. Would be nice to go into UFA after playing with Panarin for another year.
      The reality George is talking about will hit the players and their agents eventually, and probably already has, they just don’t want to give up the only leverage they have which is withholding their services. Eventually they will have no choice and the list of chairs left before the music stops gets short. I don’t think the GM’s/Owner’s blink first this time. (I said that last year too)
      That reality should start to hit the market over the next couple weeks.

  4. I’d rather see Dorion make a pitch for him than make any sort of deal with Arizona involving Stepan!

  5. Strome is who he is. Soft in the corners; bad at face-offs and has had a career with top 5 player in the league (Paranin). Was a ghost against Carolina. He is a good regular season player not built for the playoffs. Trade him if you can or non-tender him. Not worth more than 3 million in my book.

    • Panarin also enjoyed a career year with Strome.

      He had 2 assists in 3 games against Carolina… not exactly sure how much more is realistically expected…. Panarin had a goal and assist in that same series and made a lot more $$$$.

      3 million? So he is worth less than he made previously for putting up 18 goals , 41 assists in 70 games? +21

      I’d like to see a comparable center making 3 million or under(not on an elc).

      It’s probably not in NYs best interest to let their 3rd leading scorer walk, or insult him by offering him less than a qualifying offer would even allow.

  6. The Rangers should offer Strome 4M 1 or 2 years years and let Strome prove he is worthy of a 5 year deal. Strome didn’t play well for Islanders or the Oilers the main reason he did so well is due to the Breadman! This is a smart move. The Rangers should also send offer sheet to Tampa for Cirelli they are screwed and Johnson is NOT going to waive his no trade clause nor will anyone else since since they just won the cup!!!