NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 18, 2021

by | Jul 18, 2021 | News, NHL | 45 comments

Carey Price, Vladimir Tarasenko, Gabriel Landeskog are among the notables to be left unprotected in the upcoming expansion draft, Miro Heiskanen among several players inking new contracts, and a roundup of yesterday’s notable trades in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NOTE: The NHL expansion draft roster freeze went into effect at 3 pm ET on Saturday. It will remain in effect until 1 pm EST on Thursday, July 22.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens goaltender Carey Price has agreed to waive his no-movement for the upcoming NHL expansion draft. He made that decision to enable the Canadiens to protect backup goalie Jake Allen.

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The gamble here for Price and the Canadiens is the Kraken could be put off by his contract, which has five years remaining at an annual average value of $10.5 million.

There are a couple of poison pills in this contract. If the Kraken select Price, they’ll have to pay him the $11 million signing bonus due in September. His no-movement clause would follow him to Seattle as he’s only waiving it in this instance for the expansion draft, not a trade. In other words, the Kraken would need his permission to trade or demote him.

THE DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche will expose Gabriel Landeskog in the expansion draft. The 28-year-old left-winger is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 28. This allows the Kraken to exclusively negotiate with Landeskog and perhaps sign him to a new contract before the draft on Wednesday night. If he does, he would become the Kraken’s expansion draft selection from the Avalanche.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s speculation Landeskog seeks a long-term deal worth between $9 million and $10 million annually. That would be a big contract for the Kraken to take on so early in their existence. They could, however, try to ink him to a multi-year deal worth around $7 million annually. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.

STLTODAY.COM: The St. Louis Blues are believed to have left winger Vladimir Tarasenko exposed in the expansion draft. They could also leave defenseman Vince Dunn unprotected.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blues have been shopping both players. The Athletic’s Jeremy Rutherford reports a source said Tarasenko can’t believe he hasn’t been traded yet. Blues GM Doug Armstrong has told the winger’s camp that no teams are interested in him.

The source also said several teams have an interest in Tarasenko but Armstrong hasn’t found a suitable return. Another source told Rutherford there’s limited interest in the winger, who’s coming off three shoulder surgeries and carries a $7.5 million annual cap hit for the next two seasons.

SPORTSNET: cites Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli reporting the Los Angeles Kings will expose goaltender Jonathan Quick in the expansion draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No surprise here. The Kings want to protect Quick’s heir apparent Cal Petersen. The 35-year-old netminder has two years remaining on his contract with an annual average value of $5.8 million.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: The Kraken are reportedly close to signing Chris Driedger. The 27-year-old goaltender is slated to become a UFA on July 28. His camp received permission from the Panthers to speak to other clubs. If the Kraken sign Driedger, he’ll count as their selection from the Panthers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’ll be a big win for the Panthers as they won’t have to worry about losing another player from their expansion list. They had to protect goalie Sergei Bobrovsky because of his no-movement clause. Promising netminder Spencer Knight is exempt from this draft.

THE ATHLETIC: The Columbus Blue Jackets will expose Max Domi in the expansion draft. They’re betting Domi’s injured shoulder will deter the Kraken. He’s recovering from shoulder surgery and could miss the opening month or two of 2021-22.

NHL.COM: The Dallas Stars signed defenseman Miro Heiskanen to an eight-year contract extension worth an annual average value of $8.45 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was a wise long-term investment by the Stars. Heiskanen, 21, is completing his entry-level contract but he’s earned this new deal.

Over the past three seasons, he’s become the Stars’ best all-around defenseman. He regularly leads them in ice time, plays in every situation, and was their leading scorer in the 2020 postseason during their run to the Stanley Cup Final. This kid is a future Norris Trophy contender. His new contract will look like a bargain in a few years.

In other signings yesterday, the New York Islanders re-signed defenseman Andy Greene to a one-year, $1 million contract, the Anaheim Ducks signed winger Alexander Volkov to a one-year, $925K contract extension, and the Tampa Bay Lightning inked defenseman Fredrik Claesson to a one-year, two-way contract.

Several trades were made yesterday, the biggest being the Nashville Predators shipping Ryan Ellis to the Philadelphia Flyers in a three-team deal. You can read my take here. Other deals of note:

The New York Rangers acquired forward Barclay Goodrow from the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for their seventh-round pick in the 2022 draft. The Rangers also traded forward Brett Howden to the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for a fourth-round pick in the 2022 draft (originally belonging to the Winnipeg Jets) and impending free-agent defenseman Nick DeSimone.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The first piece of the Lightning’s 2021 Stanley Cup championship roster has departed. Expect more cost-cutting moves by the Bolts in the coming days/weeks as they attempt to become cap compliant for next season.

The Toronto Maple Leafs acquired forward Jared McCann from the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for prospect forward Filip Hallander and a seventh-round pick in 2023.

The Vancouver Canucks acquired forward Jason Dickinson from the Dallas Stars in exchange for their third-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft.

The Arizona Coyotes acquired winger Andrew Ladd, a second-round pick in the 2021 draft, a second-round pick in 2022 and a third-round pick in 2023 from the New York Islanders. The Coyotes also traded goaltender Adin Hill to the San Jose Sharks for goaltender Josef Korenar and a second-round pick in 2022.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This move comes on the heels of the Islanders shipping Nick Leddy to the Detroit Red Wings on Friday. They have been trying to move Ladd’s contract for some time. He spent all of this season with their AHL affiliate. He has two seasons remaining on his contract with an annual average value of $5.5 million, giving the Isles some much-needed cap space for other moves, such as re-signing restricted free agents Anthony Beauvillier, Adam Pelech and Ilya Sorokin.

It’s interesting that there was nothing listed in the Ladd trade report of the Coyotes sending anything the other way to the Isles. Perhaps they’re getting “future considerations.”


  1. Makar’s camp will be using (and adding to) Heiskenen’s deal , when negotiating

    Driedger a Krakken for sure

    I don’t see GMRF taking on Price (due to contract), Quick, or Vlad

    They might jump on Domi

    Winning GMs yesterday….

    GMLL got Stevie Y to overpay in Leddy deal….a second and a 4th should have gone Isles to Wings. He also offloaded Ladd…. cost him a few picks though…. Valuable LTIR space going the other way (will ‘Yotes re flip?)

    Didn’t see the Ellis deal coming …. Phi gets the DMan they were looking for

    I think Glass and Patrick just might gain from change of scenery

    Dubas got a MASSIVE win in trade (McC)… partial kudos as that fell into his lap (Hextall called him)… as a Leafs fan… love the deal

    Biggest loser on the day… Pens , due to Hextall…. Game plan for expansion draft should be to lose a 4th liner; or bottom pairing; or back-up goalie…. But Hextall brain farted… was not going to protect his extremely versatile top 9 W/C …. who had a 27 goal (82 game pace) season last year…. Was excellent on PP, moved up to 2C in a pinch when needed; did work on top 2 lines… no prob… all at extremely low Cap hit of $2.9 M… Hextall ends up trading him to Leafs…. For a 7th in the distant future and a player likely to end up as a reg in WBS, with possibly 20-30 lifetime call up games to the NHL….. Hextall blew this HUGE…. as I said…. As a Leafs fan I say 👍👏👍👏👍👏👍👏😀😀😀. As a Pens fan….💩🤮💩🤮😡🤬😡🤬😡💩🤮👎👎👎

    • Pengy,

      On Jonathan Quick, I’m not sure Ronnie Francis wouldn’t interested in grabbing him. Quick could easily split net time with Driedger & possibly be traded at some point with maybe some cap retention to a team looking to tighten their goaltending duo for a Cup run.

      • Hi Uwey

        That’s a possibility, but he only takes Quick, IMHO, IF and only IF he knows for sure he can move him at TDL , AND that he’s willing to retain 1/2 for next year as well

        …. Retaining 50% at TDL means a total cash outlay of $3.75 M, and best case scenario…. finding a team WITH space, AND in need of a goalie at TDL , who is still willing to keep the then 36 year old for another year; for MAYBE a late first rounder

        To me…. GMRF will have many more viable/available/better opportunities to pick his other two (after Driedger) mandated Goalie picks

        He may pick up 4 or more; but must (I believe) under the expansion rules; pick up at least 3

    • Did you watch Penguin playoff hockey by any chance? When the play turned physical did you notice McCann shrivel up and become non-existent? Apparently not … he won’t move the needle at all for the Loaves … great move by Hextall …

      • Hi Ed

        As usual, You and I see massively differently. Massively differently

        All good… that’s what this site is for… opinions, and voicing them

        To me….

        This was a brutal move by Hextall. B R U T A L. Nothing less

        $2.9 M cap hit for a versatile 27 Goal (82 game pace) scorer; who plays W & C and was and who was easily able to move in and out and up and down lines as injuries dictated…. That value …for a 7th in ‘23 and a likely (if he returns to NA) lifetime AHLer

        Hextall lost big. HUGE!

        He should have protected him…. Instead apparently he is protecting 2 fourth liners !!!

        If he was somehow OK with losing McC…. He in no way should have waited until the 11th hour, bent over, with his pants on the floor…. desperately calling any GM and letting the Boy Wonder perhaps save his own hide with a scoop

        Hextall also had a Golden opportunity if he was concluding to move on from McC…. Negotiate with GMRF

        I must have read at least 10 in then media stating that McC would be gone to Kraken for sure if left unprotected….I fully agree; and so must have Hextall…. Hence him moving McC to Leafs…. For “something”… however little that may be… and oh boy was that little

        But Hextall refused to do a side deal

        He could have said to GMRF…. “Your asking for a 1st and 3rd or equivalent from teams to select a player of their choice…. Select Zucker, you get McC and say Laffy”… that’s a 3fer…. AND frees up $8.4 M + in space for Pens

        Now…. Pens lose a great asset for basically nothing; will still be burdened with the inept Zucker and his $5.5 M; AND will lose another Roster player to Krakken

        Hextall blew it; plain and simple

        For Leafs… I’m ecstatic

        Either Leafs protect 7-3-1 ; and have McC replace Hyman and save at least $2 M in room (over a Hyman re-sign); but lose Holl (but result with $4M + in Cap [Holl loss AND Hyman/McC differential ] to replace him and more….OR

        If their goal is to protect Holl…. go 4-4-1…. Francis picks up McC…. Leafs then lose in expansion draft…. 7th in ‘23 AND a (MAYBE) career AHLer….

        How many other teams (not named Knights) are getting away with losing but a 7th in ‘23 AND a possible career AHLer to the Krakken…..mmmmm…. Me thinks… me positive…..none…. So…..

        Huge win by Leafs 👍👍👍👍

        Huge loss and complete bombastic move by Hextall

        If Burkie “forced” him to do this move…. Even worse

        This better be Hextall’s last bad move as the Pens GM

        Next thing we’ll find out is him Protecting Zucker, Ruhweedel and DeSmith


    • McCann – ZERO GOALS in 12 Career Playoff Games

      McCann will fit right in with the Maple Leafs , a team who hasn’t won a playoff series since 2004.

      Yesterday , Ray Bark stated Ehlers first 21 playoff games ZERO goals. Next 10 games , 4 goals – players being young – I researched Ehlers 4 goals – the opponents were against the Flames & Oilers – not the toughest of playoff competition. A few years ago both Guenzel & Rust were young & how many playoff goals have each scored ??

      Back to McCann – the Penguins can use the cap savings towards another direction which easily may help the Penguins.

      • Hi speed kills

        This playoffs…. McC had 8 (EIGHT) posts/crossbars and was ABSOLUTELY robbed 3 other times by the spectacular Isle’s duo…. If but 3 of those 11 go in…McC would be 2nd in Pens goal scoring in this playoffs

      • If if if – Pengy, you know that fans of EVERY team can go through an endless list of “ifs” – if your uncle had different equipment he’d be your aunt.

      • Besides, if Francis thinks he’s as good as you paint him up to be, they can pluck him off the unprotected list.

      • Jared McCann has never scored more than 14 goals in a season. He probably never will.

      • Hi ShoreOrrPark

        McC was on pace (82 games) for 27 goals , this ast season

  2. Halak history so is Ritchie, Halak was alright but Ritchie slow and ponderous. I will be interested to see Boston’s protected list. After this Weds Sweeney better get off his lazy keester and start signing and trading. No pugs or character players needed.

  3. Kraken being fed bad contracts. Unless there are side deal sweeteners, taking on older players on inflated long term contracts where declining production is almost guaranteed , Kraken will pass on most. Like the 30 teams did this year when Gostbiere was put on waivers by Philadelphia.

  4. It’s a great gamble for Montreal. A 10.5 million jackpot. If Seattle does take him it’s a huge win. Allen is capable and it frees up 10.5 off the cap.

    I’m not buying that Montreal is keeping their fingers crossed that Seattle passes up on him. Although I believe they do. The contract is awful.

  5. It looks like teams decided to unload to each other and move picks, players rather than load up Seattle with side deals like they did with LVK.

    The Kraken have to choose between mid to bottom players and bad expensive contracts.

    GMRF may have been overplaying is hand giving teams reason to look for milder sweeteners with each other.

    Hextall and Burke…..there has to be a plan in that deal with TML
    Did they expect to lose him?
    Did they intend to tie up 3 million of TML cap?

    We’ll see in a few days.

    • Hi HF30

      Leafs went 4-4-1 to protect Holl

      Francis will take McC… Leafs will lose but a 7th (‘23) and at best a career AHLer…. So Leafs will lose less than any other team (besides Knights) to Krakken

      I am ecstatic as a Leafs fan

      • Pengy,

        As a TML fan wouldn’t you prefer to go 7-3-1 and protect McCan, Kerfoot and Engvall instead of Brodie I would.?

      • Hi HF30

        Yes I would likely have gone 7-3-1

        But now with McC… and going 4-4-1….

        It almost begs Francis to grab McC

        If so… Leafs lose , in the expansion, a measly 7th (‘23) and perhaps at best, a career AHLer… no other team (except Knights) will get close to that small a loss

        If somehow they take Kerfoot … I don’t know why; but say they do…

        McC… younger , a tad bigger, faster, better numbers… replaces Kerfoot… and Leafs gain $500 K in space

        It’s a win win for Leafs no matter what

  6. I wonder if the rumors of the Kraken signing Driedger impacted Montreal’s decision to leave Price unprotected. I didn’t expect Francis to sign Driedger considering his past failures with Lack and Darling.

    • Habfan30

      Why would the Leafs protect Engvall over Brodie? One guy plays top line D minutes and the other guy is a 6’5” low hockey IQ, afraid of his own shadow 4th liner…
      That would be like MTL exposing Chiarot to protect Lehkonen

  7. For Senators fans it will be interesting to see which way the Kraken go when their turn comes to be plucked. Some weeks back I listed who I thought would be protected and their list – according to Garrioch this morning – is expected to be Fs Batherson, Connor Brown, Logan Brown, Paul, Tkachuk, Watson and White – D-men Chabot, Zaitsev and Mete, and goal Gustafsson.

    That’s close to the way I saw it, although I figured Dadonov in place of White for much the same reason they’ve decided to expose Murray – that $4,750,000 per which has 4 years to run – a lot to pay for a low-production 3rd liner. Yeah, I know, Dadonov costs $5 mil per – but that has just 2 years to go, and he did start to produce the way they expected as their season turned around after the 15-game mark.

    I suppose, in the end, it doesn’t really matter since it’s better than even that Francis takes Tierney for his experience at C and he only has 1 year left at $3.5 before becoming a UFA. And there’s still an outside chance that they take goalie Daccord, now that one of the projected selections – Aden Hill – has been dealt and will no doubt be protected by his new team.

  8. It’s crazy times in Habsland.

    Can’t wait to see how Tony Marinaro reacts to this news. He is annoyingly entertaining to listen too.

  9. Regarding the Kraken signing Dreidger: is there anything to prevent them from negotiating a “handshake deal,” slipping it into a drawer until the 29th, and taking another Panther in the expansion draft? There’s been plenty of rumor of other teams working the rules to their own benefit (i.e. Ovechkin).

    • Hi PTG

      Nothing at all prevents this from happening

      It’s actually what I posted as a suggestion

      The risk to Francis is that Driedger takes a better deal… but with the tax advantages only equaled by Bolts, Predz, Stars, Knights…. and none of those able to or likely to sign him…. That would leave Panthers…. and they have the youngster who will be the future for the Panthers

      Add to that… Francis likely hinting to Driedger that he’d be #1…. what are the odds that any other team betters that handshake agreement?

      All Francis has to publicly state… “we were unable to finalize an agreement in time”…. Credibility in tact… take another Panther; sign Driedger to handshake deal in 28/6… a 2Fer!!!

      • i saw a good sampling of driedger and he seemed more consistent than Bob.knight is the goalie of the future for the panthers, but like every other young goalie phenom, he will eperience a bump or two along the road. bob is a wild card.

      • Thanks Pengy. I appreciate your insight. I read daily your comments and you’ve usually got a more in-depth take than most.

      • Anything to stop SEA from picking a player and trading him back to his original team while retaining salary?
        That would be a good way for a team like TB, TOR, etc from “buying” cap relief while keeping their roster intact.

  10. Pretty sure Jay Leach will make Seattle selection with regards to Boston pick.

    The former Providence Bruins coach and now Seattle assistant coach has direct knowledge of the Bruin players.

    If Lauzon is left unprotected it’s an automatic.

    Can Seattle say to Montreal, we’re calling your bluff offer us something tangible or we’re taking Price.

    • Francis can only do that if he hasn’t used up significant cap space on Driedger. Probably why Montreal felt safe doing it. Francis wouldn’t of had a problem (cap wise) taking both Jake Allen and Driedger.

  11. I hope Seattle calls Montreal’s bluff and takes Price … good luck with Jake Allen taking you anywhere close to where you got to last season …

    • Jake Allen has a Stanley Cup and even a cursory watching of Habs games would have shown you how well he played last year. His record on “paper” is mediocre only because of the Habs poor scoring and general lousy play during the regular season.

      • Allen is a capable guy, but his cup is a bench cup. I’m not sure that’s valued as a guy that actually won a cup playing.

  12. When do these damned lists get published?

  13. Whenever a trade happens, I typically check the news sources from cities of the traded players’ teams for opinions of the trade. I was surprised to find that none of four reporters who cover the Penguins for Pittsburgh’s digital newspapers predicted that McCann would be on the Penguins’ expansion draft protected list.

    It’s more than likely that Hextall accepted the best offer he received for McCann, a player entering the final year of a two-year contract, and one expected to be exposed for the expansion draft–in which, those pundits agreed, he would have gone to the Kraken.

    The fact is that the closest of Penguins observers felt that McCann wasn’t among the team’s seven best forwards. Perhaps Hextall became disenchanted with McCann after watching him fizzle in the playoffs, or he may have made his decision upon noting that Ted Bleuger could well be the Penguins’ best defensive forward. But he also might have taken into account that trading McCann would net more than just a prospect and a draft selection. That trade would dilute the pool of players he will expose in the expansion draft such that, if the Kraken were to grab a potential starter from the Penguins, they may be forced into selecting one of the Penguin’s high-cap-hit contracts, like Matheson’s (whose NMC kicks in next season) or Zucker’s. If that happens, the Penguins could suddenly find themselves with around $9 million+ in cap space for next season.

    Perhaps, Hextall was planning for the future when he decided to trade McCann. That’s said to be characteristic of him.

    • Hi Francis

      As I mentioned to Ed above

      I wholeheartedly disagree

      All good, as this site is all about differences of opinions

      Hextall blew this huge

      McC… 27Goal scorer (82 game pace) C/W who is unbelievably versatile in flitting between lines and positions as requested…. All for only a $2.9 M cap hit….. that type of player is EXTREMELY rare

      Ed questioned his playoff output this year… but I believe he didn’t take into account McC hitting 8 (EIGHT) posts/crossbars AND completely stoned by 3 ten bell (let’s call it 20 bell) saves by Varly/Sorokin …. 11… if but 3 of those 11 go in…. He then jumps to second on Pens in playoff scoring

      Hextall got Jack Squat in the deal… Leafs gained huge…. and now have gone 4-4-1 to protect Holl…. So will end up having Francis pick up McC…. And in effect losing only a 7th (‘23) and at most a lifetime AHLer in the expansion draft …. No other team (not named Knights) will lose that little

      Hextall could have offered McC and say Laffy for Hextall to take Zucker… now Pens are still stuck with Zucker; have lost an extremely valuable low cost asset; and will lose another roster player

      This was nothing short of a disaster for Pens; and a fantastic boon for Leafs

      So this Leafs’ fan is ecstatic

      But this Pens’ fan is completely frazzled and distraught

      • The game is hockey & not horseshoes or hand grenades , hitting the post or crossbars aren’t GOALS !!

        According to Lyle , the Maple Leafs DIDN’T protect McCann. What does this say about the trade & McCann as a player ??

      • You make him sound like he’s a can’t miss star player when he’s about not better than the Leafs Kerfoot. The Leafs are exposing both players so you have to wonder if Seattle does select McC over Kerfoot, maybe paying the pens a b prospect and a 7th round pick was cheaper than the price to protect kerfoot or whoever else Seattle was planning on selecting. Think of that one? The best hope any fan would have from this draft is like any draft, hope your team improves and that I hope Seattle loads up on some players looking to trade them after the expansion draft…cheaper than it would of from the originating team.

      • Hi SpeedKills

        Like the metaphors 👍😂

        Dubas did a very smart move… wanted to protect Holl… went 4-4-1

        Now Francis will take McC… Leafs will only lose a 7th in ‘23 and a possible career AHLer in the expansion draft

        No other team (outside of Knights) is going to get off that light

        Fantastic for Leafs 👍👍👍👍

        I can’t truly give the full credit to Dubas on this…. Hextall called him… Hextall bent over… the move was easy for Dubas

        Winner winner chicken dinner for Leafs

        Krakken get a good young versatile C/W for a low Cap hit

        Pens get kicked in the knackers …. And still have Zucker 💩🤬😡

      • Opinions are certainly the substance of this blog, but only Captain Jean-Luc Picard can make an opinion a reality by saying “Make it so.” For anybody else, an opinion stays an opinion, no matter how often or how feverishly it is repeated. After several iterations in the face of contradicting evidence, an opinion begins to resemble ranting.

  14. Doesn’t happen often but I’ll admit I was wrong. Nhl gms apparently did learn from vegas.

  15. Penguins Protective List

    Forwards – Crosby , Malkin , Guentzel , Rust , Kapanan , Blueger , Carter

    Defensemen – Letang , Dumoulin , Matheson

    Goalie – Jarry

    • Hi SK

      Matheson protection is unwarranted IMVHO… can’t see GMRF taking that contract

      Hextall should have protected McC instead of losing him for nothing

      Instead he protected a 4th liner; who if list; could have been replaced by Gaudreau

      Puzzling to say the least

  16. The situation surrounding Tarasenko is quite strange. Notwithstanding that Armstrong reportedly told Tarasenko’s agent that no teams were interested in him, a prominent hockey writer, I believe it was Frank Seravelli, tweeted that several teams were prepared to trade for him without the Blues retaining salary. They may not have been offering much, but anything is better than losing him for nothing. The only thing I can think of is that the Blues hope Seattle takes him rather than Vince Dunn,

    • Definitely something strange here. The GM’s ‘position’ that no one is interested in him smells more like someone who is upset with a player who called out a sub par medical team and embarrassed them publicly for how they handled it.

  17. As a Leafs fan I’m hopeful that SEA takes neither one of Kerfoot or McCann and takes the big marshmallow Engvall.

    McCann would be a fine 2LW or a fine 3C with Kerfoot on LW.

    I still think Holl is better suited as 3RD as opposed to 2RD. There are UFA RD available as upgrades on Holl like Savard or Larsson.