NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 27, 2021

by | Jun 27, 2021 | News, NHL | 23 comments

Marc-Andre Fleury hopes to remain with the Vegas Golden Knights, Alec Martinez played through injury, Canadiens coach Ducharme should return during Stanley Cup Final and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

Marc-Andre Fleury wants to end his playing career with the Vegas Golden Knights and hopes Robin Lehner does too. He said he’s developed a good relationship with Lehner and is proud of what they accomplished this season. The duo combined to win the William M. Jennings Trophy for the fewest goals allowed (124) during this season.

Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (NHL Images).

Lehner also said he and Fleury have grown closer, adding it’s been a privilege to play alongside him. Fleury is entering the final season of his three-year contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fleury surfaced again as a cost-cutting trade candidate following the Golden Knights’ playoff elimination. He has a 10-team no-trade clause, giving the club some flexibility if they wish to shed his $7 million cap hit. Lehner, meanwhile, just completed the first season of a five-year contract.

SPORTSNET: Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez said he played through a broken foot for over a month. He still averaged over 22 minutes per game and has a playoffs-leading 72 shots.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Martinez, 33, is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 28. That performance will boost his stock in the free-agent market. It could also earn him a new contract with the Golden Knights if they can free up sufficient cap room to re-sign him.

SPORTSNET: Montreal Canadiens head coach Dominique Ducharme expected to return for Game 3 of his club’s Stanley Cup Final series with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Ducharme’s been in self-isolation following a positive COVID-19 test before Game 3 of the semifinal against the Vegas Golden Knights.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some wonder if Ducharme’s return behind the bench could upset the coaching dynamic since the Canadiens advanced to the Final under assistant coach Luke Richardson. They forget it was his coaching that got the Habs to the semifinal in the first place. He’s been in regular contact with his coaching staff and players through videoconferencing between games.

THE ATHLETIC: Minnesota Wild general manager Bill Guerin denied a report claiming contract talks with winger Kirill Kaprizov have gone cold. He said both sides continue working toward a new deal.

TSN: Former Chicago Blackhawks associate coach John Torchetti confirmed a meeting took place during the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs to discuss the alleged sexual assault of two of their players. One of those players recently filed a lawsuit against the team alleging he and a team were sexually assaulted by then-video coach Bradley Aldrich.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning owner Jeff Vinik could miss Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final if it goes that far. He’ll be in Rhode Island as his son is getting married the following day.

CBS PITTSBURGH: Former Penguins forward Beau Bennett announced his retirement. A first-round pick of the Penguins in 2010 (20th overall), he spent four seasons (2012-13 to 2015-16) with the organization followed by one with the New Jersey Devils and another with the St. Louis Blues. In 200 NHL games, Bennett tallied 20 goals and 64 points and won a Stanley Cup with the Penguins in 2016.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Bennett in his future endeavors.


  1. Do the two nit-wits Fleury & Lehner realize that tying up 12 million in goaltending doesn’t work in the long run?

    sorry, but Beau Bennett retiring is hardly a footnote in the great big scheme of things …

    I would not give Martinez a long term deal, his skills will start eroding soon and he was never that great to begin with … a good solid d-man but nothing earth shattering …

    • Good Morning Ed!

    • Looks like tying up $13+ million is working pretty good for the Montreal Canadiens.

      So why couldn’t $12 million work for Vegas???

      Why is it that people with hindsight seem to think they always know better?

      • Yep. How many times did we see comments in here to the effect that “paying 2 goalies in excess of $10 mil is the ultimate in cap stupidity and ensures overall failure … bwaaa haa haa ….”

        Well, one made it to game 7 OT in the semi-finals and the other is there. So, who’s laughing now?

        There were also often disparaging comments about 5′ 7″ 160 lb Cole Caufield ( I was guilty of similar comments when he was drafted) who’d get bounced around like a ping-pong ball at the NHL level – but especially the repeated sarcastic comment from one in particular about penciling him in for the hall of fame.

        All he’s done in 15 games so far is pot 4g 5a 9 pts, several of those points in key situations, proving that you can’t bounce what you can’t make contact with. Then there’s that other “misguided” draft pick, Kotkeniami. who’s added 9g 2a 11 pts in 16 games, again several of them key points.

        Then, compare their two long-in-tooth veterans to some others who will go unnamed, and at which quote a few in here shrugged off as essentially useless additions – Perry and his 3g 6a 9pts and Staal with his 2g 6a 8 pts from the 4th line.

        A lot of use are eating crow right now, and at least 3 who were among the most disparaging haven’t even been seen in here since you-know-who blew a 3-1 series lead in the opening round.

      • Well, George, I hope no one puts me in Ed’s category (at least the section of his shallow, repeated sarcasm, as he has occasionally made an insightful comment), but one more of my many blown calls this year was underestimating Caulfield.

        I thought he was too small, wouldn’t be able to skate at an NHL level, and would be another Habs first round bust. Is it any wonder my gig is assistant water bottle boy for the Dog River Destroyers? Move over and pass that crow’s leg.

        As for Martinez, he scored a series deciding goal against Chicago, the Cup winning goal against the Rangers, had 32 points in the regular season, and was a factor in every game in the Habs series. He’s got a few more miles in the tank and I’d take him for the Habs.

      • LJ, I’d gladly take Martinez for the Senators as well. Quantum leap over Cobourn and Gudbranson in terms of quality veteran presence, if Dorion and Smith are still thinking along those lines for next season.

  2. Had Knights made the SCF there would have been no talk of moving Fleury and Knights then faced only losing Martinez due to Cap space…. that would have been a Stanley Cup finalist (perhaps winner) with 22 of 23 players returning ; and fitting a 23rd under the cap…. that would have put the Knights ahead of all teams for next year as (1) they were Stanley Cup finalists; (2) lost but one player from roster; (3) still had a bit of space; (4) all but one other team were not Cup finalists; will lose at least one player to Krakken; and most of top end teams still struggling with cap and re-signing players; (5) Knights still have their own first rounder AND the 4th pick of the 2nd round (34th overall) from NJ; and have some fair players in the pipelines ; while other top teams have traded picks and/or prospects

    ….. instead…. too much blame is being laid on the Flower for one mistake late in one game

    That mistake IMHO; did NOT cst them the game; NOR the series…. if his teammates had put just one more goal in past Price in that game; then the Flower’s mistake is irrelevant … Knights would have won that game in reg by one; instead of an OT loss

    3 games went to OT

    Price was…. priceless (sorry had to)

    Habs D outplayed Knights D

    Knights PP … 0 for….. eternity

    Top Knights failed to score ANYWHERE near what they did reg season

    The Flower (with Lehner) won the Jennings; and a Vezina finalist

    Knights missing the SCF is NOT on the Flower

    I’d like to see him stay

    My 2 cents (Canadian… so not even used anymore) worth

    • Ya wasn’t just MAF Pengy. The players know that too IMO. Have to admit, it was a key moment though. Not sure if was more bad bounce or a brain fart, doesn’t matter players make mistakes all the time.
      Some people always want simple answers and someone to blame. Even when the opposite is true.

      Should Vegas keep him? I dunno, but you can only play 1 tender at a time. So a bit of a luxury having 2 like that. Until you need him of course, then not a luxury at all. I would guess they keep him unless EDM offers something with VEG retaining $?

      Martinez would be a good pickup for a team like my Bruins IMO. Solid vet, term and $ should be reasonable. Fits their window.

    • Sorry Pengy, that one goal absolutely cost the Knights that game.

      The team played excellent in front of him, limited all scoring chances to nothing.

      If MAF doesn’t make that gaff then Vegas wins.

      It’s as simple as that.

      They didn’t need to score anymore goals they had the game in hand.

      MAF lost the game.

      Kelly Hrudey said that play should not happen in the NHL.

      • If Staal doesn’t make a bonehead gaffe to put the puck on Roy’s stick, VGK don’t go up 1-0.

        Habs responded 30-40 seconds later to tie it up.

        VGK had two minutes after MAF gaffe to score in the 3rd and 12 min in OT, and failed.

        That’s why VGK lost!

      • The Habs were the better team your right staal cough up was just as bad fleury gaff

      • The game went into OT, Caper. The guys who cost Vegas were the players on the ice when the OT goal was scored. Even then, allow for the fact that the opposition sometimes make great plays.

      • HiCaper

        Agree to disagree on this

        No question he cost them a goal

        If the brain fart; guffaw; weird bounce ; whatever; happens 2 minutes in ; instead of 2 minutes left…. No one blames him for the loss

        Price was spectacular; Habs D stoic ; reserved; strong; and the Knights (heavily favoured at the time) could only muster 2 goals in 3 1/2 periods

        The timing of the tying goal was bad; but as HF30 said…. Knights had 14 minutes before Habs potted the winner; that they could have scored

        Knights also can’t blame the series loss on Lehner (as he didn’t stop that final shot in OT)

        That series had 3 OTs…. Knights pot a goal in just 1 of those …. It goes back to the desert for game 7

        They pot 2 OT winners; and they win the series

        Knights couldn’t geta PP goal

        This was a team series loss; and each game lost was by the team; not on one player

        Series and game Losses on one player only happen to one guy; one team; that one team STILL has to pay that one player $4.6 M even though he hasn’t been on their roster for a year; and is UFA (should retire) 💩🤬😡

    • I agree…MAF – not Lehner – cost the Knights the series. Vegas couldn’t score when they needed to……wait, isn’t that the same reason they were ousted last season too ? Hmmmm….so Vegas can’t score enough when it counts, and shells out big money for a defenseman ? Kind of like the TML’s, who had not trouble scoring, but couldn’t keep the puck out of their own net, spending big bucks on a scoring forward ? Maybe a JT for AP trade would benefit both teams ? ( I know….I know…NMC’s).

      • I meant to say MAF, nor Lehner, cost Vegas the series….sorry for the typo.

    • I think people are interpreting, moving out 1 of the goalies in Vegas, as criticism of them. That is not the case. The point is, Vegas needs to make room, to have cap flexibility, and moving on from 1 of the goalies, is a way to gain that.
      Saving some of that money, may help during up the centre depth for Vegas.

  3. Martinez is going to have a great summer.
    He might love the West and resign too.
    Coming off 4mil deal though will someone offer more than 4?
    Rangers 3×3 I would be happy

    • Why would NY sign Martinez? Lindren, Hajek, Miller , Robertson, Schneider and Jones are all left side d-men.

      Bit of a log jam already on d as is, no?

      • @CaptO

        Left side Lindren+Miller yes.

        Robertson not ready and Schneider is on the right.
        Jones you are correct but adding another vet is needed imho.
        hajek i am far from sold on.

        Drury will probably swap some our D prospects for some centers of similar promise.

        I am not saying it has to be Martinez…they might just keep Smith around as the 7th D.
        and Nils is coming

  4. Finally, nine years after he became Marc Bergevin’s first draft pick as Habs GM, Alex Galchenyuk made a big play which set the Habs on course to the Stanley Cup Finals.

    • LOL. Oh, cruel! Two-bits says he’s in the KHL next season. If he’s back in Toronto then Dubas is brain-dead.

      • Doing your Ed imitation, George? You’re better than that.

      • No, not at all. When it comes to Galchenyuk I’ve seen enough of his game with 5 different teams to think he could possibly be of any use in the NHL if played on a regular basis. And if a team isn’t going to use him on a regular basis, then why bring him on board?

        Dorion realized his mistake very early on, thank God, and Carolina didn’t even want to take a peek.

        As for Howard’s comment, you gotta admit that, although cruel in a sense, was still funny.