NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 26, 2020

by | Nov 26, 2020 | News, NHL | 16 comments

An eye injury ends Johnny Boychuk’s playing career, the Lightning re-sign Mikhail Sergachev, the latest return-to-play news and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NEW YORK POST: A gruesome eye injury suffered during the 2019-20 season has prematurely ended the playing career of Johnny Boychuk. The 36-year-old New York Islanders defenseman suffered poor peripheral vision and optic nerve damage from two separate incidents that would make it unsafe to continue his 13-year career.

New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk (NHL Images).

The Islanders, however, have not announced Boychuk as retired, meaning he’ll likely go on long-term injury reserve. That will allow the Isles to exceed their accruable cap space limit by the $6 million annual average value on his contract, which expires at the end of 2021-22.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Boychuk in his future endeavors. He collected 206 points in 725 games with the Colorado Avalanche, Boston Bruins and the Islanders, winning the Stanley Cup with the Bruins in 2011.

According to Cap Friendly, the Isles have just $3.9 million in salary-cap space. Placing Boychuk on LTIR will free up sufficient space to sign restricted free agent center Mathew Barzal.

For those of you wondering why Boychuk hasn’t retired outright, it would mean forfeiting the remaining salary on his contract.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: The Lightning yesterday re-signed Mikhail Sergachev to a three-year contract worth an annual average value of $4.8 million. The 22-year-old defenseman was a restricted free agent coming off his entry-level contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sergachev has rapidly blossomed into one of the Lightning’s top defensemen whose best seasons are still ahead of him. He’ll become a restricted free agent with arbitration rights at the end of it.

The deal is also structured to pay him more in the final season when league revenue is expected to improve. Cap Friendly indicates he’ll get $2.4 million in actual salary this season, $4.8 million in 2021-22 and $7.2 million in 2022-23. It’ll cost the Lightning big bucks to qualify his rights and re-sign him at the end of this deal.

Sergachev’s new contract also pushes the Lightning above the $81.5 million salary cap by $1.9 million. They must also sign center Anthony Cirelli and blueliner Erik Cernak. I’ll have more about their possible moves to become cap compliant in today’s Rumor Mill.

TSN’s Pierre LeBrun tweeted NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman haven’t spoken since last Thursday. He believes that speaks to how the players feel about the league’s requests for increases to the salary deferral/escrow rates. LeBrun thinks there’s still time to salvage this but next week could be crucial.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: LeBrun could be referring to starting the season by the proposed date of Jan. 1. I think the time’s run out for that. However, there’s an ongoing belief among the punditry that the two sides will work something out to start up the season by late January or early February.

THE SCORE: Team Canada is halting its World Junior selection camp and entering a 14-day quarantine period after two players tested positive for COVID-19. Workouts and meetings will be conducted via video call while scrimmages for the weekend are canceled. The 2021 World Junior Championship is slated to begin on Christmas Day in a bubble environment in Edmonton similar to that used by the NHL for the 2020 playoffs.

SPORTSNET: A memorial fund for the late Joey Moss raised nearly $1 million through a 50/50 raffle. Moss, the long-time dressing room attendant for the Edmonton Oilers and the CFL’s Edmonton Eskimos, passed away in October at age 57.


  1. Lou: “hey Johnny, why not just go to Robidas Island for a nice long vacation …nudge, nudge, ..wink (ouch) wink (ouch) ?? !! “

    • and the doctors, insurance companies and teammates are all in on it. heck – i bet when Lou poked him he poked him in the eye. Lou also secretly blackmailed Anderson into letting in a softy here and there in the playoffs.

      • *when he ‘nudged’ him it was more like a poke in the eye

  2. As I mentioned before, if they are keeping Serg, first move for Brisboise for sure is TJ

    Yes his list is small but if he can be convinced that he will be a Kraken (he grew up [and played for] in nearby Spokane) come next fall; (note … no state tax also in Wash)….

    He’d play one reduced season and then go “home” so to speak, and have same tax advantages as in Bolts City

    So a team receiving him is going to get sweetener(s) and only have to pay max (if no more deferrals, escrow, or pro-ration) $3.75M * 72%….$2.7 M

    Say the sweetener is a first and Kachouk….

    One of those they give to Kraken for taking TJ (while protecting all other potentially exposable players); they keep the other asset

    So… protect all current players, gain an asset , get a mid 9 forward for 1 year…. for $2.7 M

    Bolts ….. give up Kachouk and first, and bring up Raddysh (replacing Johnson) and Foote for D (more than enough replacing Bogo)

    That’s 20 players… with $1.4 M in space…. still needing to sign Cernak and Cerelli….. at a cost of a first and Kachouk

    That’s waaaaaay better than being at current status….19 players; over by $1.9 M, still having to sign Cernak and Cerelli and still having to bring up Foote and Raddysh

    The next target would be an LTIR

    They also have the unlikely option of moving TJ AND Serg to same team…. since this is more than the sweeteners above; probably a *2nd coming back

    Foote and Kachouk up….. after all that…. $6M left …. for 4 spots

    Bridge Cerelli, Cernak, sign Vats 1 year, one more depth forward at League min

    Then prob just about at the same (possibly $500 K more) Cap situation as Leafs… if Dubas has a plan (still doubting it works) for sending down his ELCs between games to fully eat up the overage; then BrisBoise can do the same with Foote and Raddysh (and with that final depth forward, if coming from within Bolts org)

    *could use that 2nd received and Kachouk to “buy” an LTIR and gain a bucket more in space

    Call Stevie Y…. a 2nd and Kachouk for just signing the paperwork… Wings won’t need the Cap space this year, and Zetterberg only on for this year; then officially retires

    • One stop trade

      Serg, TJ, Kachouk for Zetterberg and 2nd (Oil or NYR)

      Stevie Y then (pre expansion draft) gives other 2nd (Oil or NYR) and Katchouk to Kraken next year, to protect all his other players and Kraken takes TJ

      Stevie Y effectively paying TJ $2.5 M (72% of his Sal less 20% of Zett’s Sal , that Wings would have paid) to play top 9 for 1 year; and get a top Pair DMan (Serg) for next year for only 650 K (72% of $900 K Sal); and have him locked for two more years at a $4.8 M Cap…. all for Oil’s 2nd and Ranger’s 2nd

      Bolts effectively would have ~$8M in space (with the Zetterberg LTIR) …. and be at 17…

      Raddysh up (replaces TJ); Foote up (replacing Bogo); sign Vats (replacing Serg); bridge Cerelli and Cernak; bring up or sign Depth league min forward (replacing Verhague)

      That roster fits; gained a 2nd; and that Roster is still at very good odds for a repeat

      • It’s a risk, not only for whichever team would trade for Johnson, but to Johnson, himself. He might alter his clause to go to, say, Detroit and, come the expansion draft, find that Seattle doesn’t pick him. If anybody cries, “We bad a deal,” the league takes punitive action against him. Do you think that any team would want to risk being caught cheating? I doubt there will be deals with the Kraken until the Kraken is paid for. And that will be after teams need to be cap compliant.

  3. when did this become pengy’s page?

    • A lot of it regurgitated … I mentioned Zetterberg (or Gaborok from Ottawa) weeks ago as options for BriseBois as both have 1 year to go as LTIRs, as a way of freeing up enough space to re-sign his RFAs. Neither Detroit nor Ottawa will have any need for LTIR money this year.

    • Been this way since Striker left. For such a smart guy not sure why he has to use short form for everything .

    • Piggy, Peggy or what ever his name is should get out of his mommy’s basement and start his own website

      • Post what ever you want Pengy, folks don’t have to read it.
        Pengy keep being Pengy.

        As individuals we can’t control much of what happens around us these days, but we can control our attitude and how we treat others.

        Cheer up folks.

  4. To all South of the Border

    Happy Thanksgiving

  5. What am I missing?

    I fail to grasp the reasoning behind proposed cap-compliance solutions that involve deals with the Kraken. Teams have to be compliant by season’s start. The start is scheduled for January, but may not come until February. The Kraken can’t talk deals until after its owners pay the last installment of the expansion fee to the NHL. The payment is due in March. To me, that means the Kraken can’t be a means for teams to become cap-compliant before the season begins.

    • Additionally, I would think that a deal between established teams that assumes that the Kraken will select an acquired player in the expansion draft is too risky to be realized..

      • Hi Francis

        Sorry if I inferred that Kraken was taking on any players and/or agreeing to a move (now) for the expansion draft.

        Yes my suggestion comes with a risk; but it is a measured risk…. Krakken has to take someone from every team ; and getting a side deal with assets on top of a “home” state player for the new team; is somewhat attractive

        All banter and supposition right now; but they must get under the ceiling (already $1.9 M over) and I believe they must have at least 20 on the roster

        At least one player has to go; and setting aside Point and Vasilevskiy; the only players over $4 M in Cap that can be moved are Killorn (14 teams); the newly signed Sergechev ; and TJ (who has waived his full NTC for 5? Or 6? teams)

        Killorn easier to move but value to contract much higher than TJ

        BrisBoise seems overtly confident in getting there so perhaps back burner deals are just about ready to finalize