NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 10, 2021

by | Jul 10, 2021 | News, NHL | 32 comments

The latest on the Canadiens, Charlie Coyle undergoes surgery, key offseason dates, latest contract signings and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Stu Cowan reported Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin admitted the past year was difficult for him mentally as he thanked his players for pulling through a tough season to reach the Stanley Cup Final.

Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin (NHL Images).

Bergevin has one year remaining on his contract. He indicated his intention to honor that but declined to say if he would sign an extension if presented to him. That’s generated speculation over whether he wanted to continue in the job after nine seasons.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bergevin may simply be exhausted after a trying year in which he made several notable roster additions, replaced most of his coaching staff midway through the season, saw his club sidelined for 10 days by a COVID-19 outbreak, watched them struggle to clinch a playoff berth and overcome long odds to reach the Cup Final.

Perhaps his comment was a subtle way of angling for better terms on an extension. Or maybe he’s truly burned out after nearly a decade in one of hockey’s highest-pressure markets and intends to move on after next season.

Whatever the reason, his future with the Canadiens will become a hot topic for conjecture in Montreal throughout this offseason.

Speaking of uncertain futures, pending unrestricted free agent Phillip Danault expressed his wish to remain with the Canadiens. He also admitted he rejected a six-year, $30-million contract offer last fall, adding it affected his game during the regular season when the story was leaked to the press. He also said he was worried about losing ice time to younger centers Nick Suzuki and Jesperi Kotkaniemi.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Danault should be commended for his honesty. Most players in his situation would just mumble cliches to dodge the question. His strong defensive play throughout the postseason earned him the most ice time among Habs forwards. He garnered praise for shutting down his opponents’ top offensive players. He’s in line for a big raise, either with the Habs or another club via free agency.

Defenseman Jeff Petry revealed the reason behind his bloodshot eyes during Game 2 of the semifinal series against the Vegsa Golden Knights. It was tied to the broken pinky finger suffered during Game 3 of the previous series with the Winnipeg Jets. Petry said he passed out when his finger was being set in place before putting it in a cast, causing the blood vessels in his eyes to burst.

Petry jammed the finger into a photographer’s hole in the glass in a freak accident, which turned his finger sideways. He played the remainder of the playoffs with two fingers taped together. He hopes to avoid offseason surgery but will learn more when he revisits the doctor.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Petry faced surgery that would’ve sidelined him six to eight weeks. He instead opted to immobilize the finger and rest for one-to-two weeks and return to action.

Canadiens captain Shea Weber could require surgery on his left thumb to repair damaged ligaments. If he goes under the knife it’s expected he’ll be ready for the start of next season.

Corey Perry hopes to return to the Canadiens next season. He joined them on a one-year, $750K contract and was placed on waivers earlier in the season to be placed on the taxi squad. There were three teams hoping to put in a claim for Perry but his agent advised them against it because he wanted to stay in Montreal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Perry isn’t the superstar he was a decade ago but he was an invaluable and respected part of the Canadiens’ lineup this season. He had 21 points in 49 regular-season games and finished fourth among their postseason scorers with 10 points in 22 contests. He should be an affordable re-signing for the Habs. If they don’t bring him back he’ll draw plenty of interest from other playoff contenders.

NBC SPORTS: It’s still unclear if the Canadiens will lift the interim tag off Dominique Ducharme and make him the full-time head coach next season. Bergevin indicated it’s one of the first things he intends to sort out.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ducharme was criticized by many observers (including me) for the Canadiens’ struggles over the second half after he replaced Claude Julien. That tune changed with the Habs’ march to the Final.

I expect Ducharme will return as the Canadiens’ full-time bench boss. Still, there are legitimate questions about whether he belongs in that role. Much of their playoff success was due to Carey Price returning to his dominant form. Ducharme also seemed reluctant to give more ice time to his younger players, especially promising defenseman Alexander Romanov. The Habs also played well under assistant coach Luke Richardson when Ducharme was sidelined for two weeks by COVID-19.

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks hired Joel Bouchard as the new coach of their AHL affiliate in San Diego. Bouchard spent the past three seasons as head coach of the Canadiens AHL club in Laval.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens received some criticism for not retaining Bouchard, who did a fine job developing their promising players. They offered him the opportunity to remain in Laval or become one of their assistant coaches. But he opted to go to San Diego.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Charlie Coyle recently underwent two surgeries on his left knee. His agent said the 29-year-old Bruins center is recovering well and expects to be ready in time for training camp in September.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That explains why Coyle struggled throughout this season.

SPORTSNET: The key dates for the NHL offseason are as follows:

July 8: NHL buyout window opens (24 hours after Stanley Cup is awarded). Window closes July 27.
July 17: Deadline for teams to submit protected lists for Seattle Expansion Draft (5 p.m. ET).
July 18-20: Seattle’s exclusive window to interview teams’ unprotected pending free agents.
July 21: Seattle Expansion Draft (8 p.m. ET).
July 23: 2021 NHL Draft, Round 1.
July 24: 2021 NHL Draft, Rounds 2-7.
July 28: NHL free agency opens. RFA & UFA signing period begins (noon ET).

NEW YORK POST: The New Jersey Devils signed defenseman Jonas Siegenthaler to a two-year, $2.25 million contract.

The Rangers signed restricted free agent forward Brett Howden to a one-year contract worth $885K.

SPORTSNET: The Seattle Kraken will play six preseason games against the Vancouver Canucks, Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames. The three home games will be played in Spokane, Everett, and Kent.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s a good way for the expansion club to make itself known throughout the state of Washington. It will also be the first games they’ll play against their regional NHL rivals.

SI.COM/THE HOCKEY NEWS: Former NHL defenseman Bryan “Bugsy” Watson passed away on Thursday at age 78. He played 1,009 NHL games from 1963 to 1978 with the Montreal Canadiens, Detroit Red Wings, Oakland Seals, Pittsburgh Penguins, St. Louis Blues, and Washington Capitals.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Watson’s family, friends and former teammates and associates.


  1. good memories of watching Bryan Watson play when I was a kid. I always liked the hard working, solid, tough not flashy d men back then. Watson , Magnuson, Awrey, Gerry Hart, Curt Giles. RIP Bugsy

  2. Although the buyout period opened 2 days ago, the reason we have yet to hear of one is no doubt do to some wheeling and dealing going on with Seattle (or some other teams) to take on one of those coupled with some other commodities like prospects/picks.

    This could be the case right up close to the July 17 date for protected lists.

    • Ya this is where key decisions get made George.
      Not sure Seattle can get as good as fast as Vegas, but they should at very least set themselves up for the long term and be “competitive” right away.
      Interesting to see what the strategy will be.

      Luv to be a fly on the wall in Francis’ office.

      • You bet Ray. I’m sure Francis will be spending the next week playing one against the other if and when it comes to taking on a buyout candidate as they grow more desperate to unload cap constraints. That could also be the case with the few other teams with a bundle of cap space (like Detroit and Ottawa). Offers and counter-offers will be flying back and forth you can be sure. Once the first one goes down, look for a flurry of action almost at once – both deals and buyout announcements.

      • I’m not it sure if it was mentioned by someone else but Francis and hi so team would be and probably looking into helping teams not buyout a player by selecting them if they provide an incentive such as a prospect, roster player, pick or futures…remember all teams can have 50 contracted players so I’m guessing they aren’t waiting on when someone is bought out but who and what else can they get from that team wanting him bought out. This also applies to players with scorpion contracts. Some RFAs such as tkachuck’s where he’ll be paid $9m in his final year (his cap hit is $7m) so if a team wishes to keep him it will be over $9m or he walks ( they could at that time come to an agreement but that doesn’t look good). There are a few players like that where the krac can also “help teams” they could even pick up spare players and trade them to someone who’ll offer them something worth while for.

  3. Isn’t Vegas FORCED to either:
    1) Trade one of their goaltenders or
    2) Make a deal with the Kraken to avoid having the Kraken pick a goaltender in the expansion draft?

    If Vegas allows the Kraken to pick one, Vegas gets nothing back and they can’t allow that to happen, can they?

    I think the most important part of the Kraken will be the player between the pipes.

    • Vegas is excluded from the Kraken expansion draft.

    • Vegas is exempt from the exp daft

    • Vegas is exempt from the expansion draft. But yes, you’d think they still have to move one of them.

  4. Let Danault walk, checking centre’s who can’t score are a dime a dozen …

    RIP Bugsy …

    • Disagree Ed.
      Take the last 3 years, Danault is 46th in scoring for C’s and plus 44. There were 31 teams over that span. He score at a rate of a good 2C.

      Against the NHL’s best night in and night out. Starting most of his shifts in his own end.
      He wins the battle more often than not against the best. Would that not make him a really good player?

      He is exactly the type of player you win with. Not a dime a dozen, but extremely valuable.

      Players who cheat for offense are a dime a dozen.

      MTL may decide they can’t afford all 3 C’s, will be interesting to see what they do. I would think they keep him and KK becomes a 3C or a W.

      • Or KK becomes trade-bait…

        He’ll probably get a 2-year bridge contract, but he better start showing consistency

      • Agree and disagree Ray, he isnt a scorer. Most he has is 13.

        No goal scorer are not a dime per dozen.

        Teams pay for offense, they don’t pay for defense.

        Danault turn down $5m per season. How much more does he get in the open market?

        Or is he more concerned about ice time? Seeing himself passed over by the two young guys.

        Is he more valued then Josh Anderson? I say not.

        I don’t see him getting much more then $5m per.

      • Never said he was a 1C or a big money player Caper.
        I have said $5M as well. But if he tests the market he could get more.
        As recently as yesterday.
        Which is a discount for a 2C, especially for how well he can shut guys down.
        I said he is really valuable.
        Especially come playoff time.
        He generates offence as a set up guy. Thornton and Oates didn’t score much and were valuable. Both elite offensive guys. Danault isn’t at that level offensively, but they aren’t his level defensively. And no, he won’t get Thornton $.

        If he stays he gets less, if he tests he gets more IMO. I think he knows that too and I think he stays because he wants to be there.

        We’ll see what happens soon enough.

        B’s and Oil don’t need him, but a team like the Rangers?

      • Bergevin and Danault both referred to a contract offer during the off season last year.

        Danault referred to a loss in ice time and referenced that the team rolling 4 lines made that concern moot.

        Neither referenced the term or value of the contract.

        Bergevin has always valued Danault and overpaid his last contract, (based on stats) .
        I’d be shocked if they didn’t come to an agreement soon and it will be less than 6x5mill.

      • IMHO, it would do Kotkaniemi good to go back to Finland for a year or two to grow into his body & work on mastering his position at center.

        At barely 21 years of age, it would be a bad move to give up on this kid.

        It certainly didn’t hurt Puljujavi.

        Suzuki & Danault will be 1 & 2 (I believe Danault feels he has unfinished business here with the Habs), Jake Evans looks poised to take over the 3rd line, health permitting. Poehling is waiting in the wings for his chance.

        But they could look at the UFA market for a 4th line center. Maybe Perry could convince his buddy Getzlaf to sign for a season or two ???

        There veterans like Tyler Bozak & Travis Zajac looking to extend their careers.

      • Ray he is 145th among C in goal scoring. Just saying.

  5. I remember when Detroit would send Bugsy out to shadow Bobby Hull. He would stick to Hull like glue and drive him crazy!

      • George O,

        Fun fact,
        Claude Provost was #14

        The next shadow to Bobby Hull on the Habs was Rejean Houle, also #14 (and pretty successful)

  6. I am peeing into the wind in complaining about the draft rules for the Kraken but I cannot understand the fairness of allowing an expansion team the right to select a roster player from every NHL team.

    Selection should be limited to the 16 teams that make the playoffs. The expansion team gets 16 NHL players, and can flesh out their roster with UFAs.

    Yes, it makes sense to have a new team be at least decent. But teams that don’t make the playoffs have to work to improve themselves. Even the worst team in the league isn’t guaranteed the # 1 overall draft pick. Losing a roster player makes their task all the harder.

    The expansion draft is kind of like getting 30 first round picks to start. Seattle won’t get a guaranteed generational player like McDavid or Matthews but the get guaranteed NHL players. Teams that go through the entry draft don’t get that guarantee, and often have to wait for draft picks to finish college, complete seasons in the AHL, etc.

    I also don’t agree that Vegas should be exempted from the draft. Yes, they got an exemption as part of the original expansion deal but they have been a Cup contender every season since their inception.

    There are so many league rules that prevent existing teams from getting an unfair advantage, from limiting the chance to get the #1 overall pick to trade deadline acquisitions. Expansion teams should be helped, but they also should be expected to have to earn their way.

  7. “I am peeing into the wind in complaining about the draft rules for the Kraken but I cannot understand the fairness of allowing an expansion team the right to select a roster player from every NHL team.”


    Where are expansion teams supposed to get players if not the rosters of existing clubs.

    SHL? (Sweden)
    Liiga? (Finland)

    Only the undrafted players in those leagues?

    1972 draft, teams lost 3 roster players each
    1992 draft, teams lost 2 roster players each and San Jose was exempt

    The actual drafted team of the LVK was rather pedestrian and it will probably be the same for Seattle.

    The LVK and the Kraken now are choosing 1 player from the bottom half of each team.

    • As I clearly said, Habfan30, the selection should be from teams that made the playoffs only. That would be 15 NHL players to begin with. As I also said, the Kraken can sign UFAs. So my premise answered your question about where they get their players at the outset.

      Yes, they could get teams from other leagues, as NHL teams currently do. Or, as Vegas did, they can get additional roster players from NHL teams by agreeing not to select other ones.

      As for Vegas’ first team, it won first place in the division and made the Cup final. Hardly pedestrian.

      Like my ideal, object to my idea, I have no skin in this. But have the courtesy to respond to what I said when you do.

      • LJ,
        Your premise calls for the Kraken to draft 1 player from each playoff team (16) and then bid and sign UFAs to fill the other half of the team.

        That is hardly a realistic answer to where the Kraken get their players at the outset. They didn’t pay for half a team.

        It appears that you never bothered to look at the team the LVK drafted and the consensus at the time.

        Here’s a glance at the Golden Knights’ actual picks in 2017.

        * Waived no-movement clause
        ** One season away from unrestricted free agency
        *** UFA who pre-negotiated a new contract

        The picks:

        1. Calvin Pickard
        2. Luca Sbisa **
        3. Teemu Pulkkinen
        4. Jon Merrill
        5. William Carrier
        6. Tomas Nosek
        7. Cody Eakin
        8. Jonathan Marchessault **
        9. Brayden McNabb **
        10. Connor Brickley **
        11. Chris Thorburn
        12. Pierre-Edouard Bellemare
        13. Jason Garrison **
        14. Jean-Francois Berube
        15. James Neal **
        16. Deryk Engelland ***
        17. Brendan Leipsic
        18. Colin Miller
        19. Marc Methot
        20. David Schlemko
        21. David Perron **
        22. Oscar Lindberg
        23. Griffin Reinhart
        24. Alexei Emelin **
        25. Clayton Stoner **
        26. Erik Haula
        27. William Karlsson
        28. Trevor van Riemsdyk
        29. Marc-Andre Fleury *
        30. Nate Schmidt

        8 of them weren’t with the team to start the season.

        NHL.com who had over 15 members of their staff make preseason playoff predictions in October. They went division by division and included their likely wild card teams as well, and not one selected the Vegas Golden Knights to even sniff the eighth seed.

      • Now we’re getting somewhere, Habfan30. Good research, a lot of work.

        So we have established that 16 players would come from the draft. The maximum for an NHL roster is 23. That leaves 7 more players max out their roster.

        Am I incorrect in understanding that Seattle has an exclusive window to negotiate with UFAs right now? That is a pretty easy way to attain seven more players for roster, particularly now with a flat cap and some teams unable to do much at all with UFAs. A clear advantage for Seattle.

        I appreciate your work in participating in this exchange I also see no problem with restricting Seattle to drafting from the top 16 playoff teams and filling in the rest with their exclusive UFA access.

        And we haven’t factored in any players the Kraken might add via this year’s entry level draft. The Kraken draft at # 2.

      • “So we have established that 16 players would come from the draft. ”

        No, you propose that the Kraken get only 16 players from the draft. I propose that expansion teams don’t buy partial teams.

        “Am I incorrect in understanding that Seattle has an exclusive window to negotiate with UFAs right now?”

        Yes. apparently you are unaware that any UFA signed is considered to be the draft selection from that team.

        Ergo, if they sign 16 UFAs from the 16 playoff teams in your scenario they wouldn’t have your draft.

        I suppose they could sign 15 UFAs from the non playoff teams and still have your draft.

        After looking at the LVK draft and what a poor team it was, had they finished last as expected I think the rules wouldn’t bother you at all.

        Management dumped 8 players onto GMs and improved through prospects, draft picks and a coach Gallant stolen from Florida with 2 players.

        LVK success after the draft is making you want to handcuff the Kraken in advance.

        You’re hanging your hat on non playoff teams being hurt by losing their 4th best D OR 8th best F OR 2nd G.

        They could sign a UFA to replace the lost player 🙂

      • LJ, don’t you think that Seattle should get something decent for $650,000,000.

  8. Back in the 1960’s got seated alone in a carriage in Oakville on a Sunday AM. The Habs had played the night before and were playing the Blackhawks Sunday nitght.

    The whole Canadien team had to walk through my carriage to get to the breakfast carriage. Many of the Habs greats walked by me. One was Provost. What a chest displacement on that guy. Boy did he look strong.

    The year would have been 62 or 63. Hab fans can you imagine the greats that walked by this Leaf fan. It really was humbling. I decided not to talk just nod to them.

    • I understand what you are saying OBD. The Rocket used to “referee” a period or two of Old Timer hockey games and then retire to the team bus. I went to the parking lot to see if I could get an autograph and saw him on the bus. I gestured to him with a pen, and he waved me on.

      Unlike you, I didn’t behave with decorum. I became the overexcited fan and began talking to him in rapid fire fashion. When he began to look nervous I quickly shut up and got off the bus. Still have the jacket he autographed, along with Beliveau’s, other Hab greats – and Bobby Hull.

    • I used to coach bantam 3A in CGY. The Flames but on a 3 on 3 pond hockey tourney to raise $ for minor hockey. I was given a opportunity to work as out team received some of the $. My job was to load the gear onto a van and shuttle players to and from airport.

      After at the hotel I saw Glenn Hall who is from my home town of Humboldt and was still connected to the Flames and was hanging around the event. I introduced my self and he new my family including my grandfather who coached him in minor hockey, and I told him about when I met him as kid at the opening of the old Leo Parker after some reno’s and we sat down for a beer.

      I ran the D for our team but other than the associations goaltender drills we didn’t have a clue what to do with them in practice. He drew some up on some napkins for me. In detail.

      After 2 beer his wife came down and got him. Super nice guy. No different than talking hockey with anybody.

      • good story Ray Bark

    • !962, 1963, now you’re talking, OBD, loved those teams. Who won by the way?