NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 19, 2021

by | Jul 19, 2021 | News, NHL | 50 comments

A look at the notable players available in the upcoming 2021 expansion draft and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The NHL released the player protection lists for the 30 teams participating in the upcoming NHL expansion draft. The Seattle Kraken will choose one player from each team on Wednesday, July 21 starting at 8 pm ET. The Vegas Golden Knights are exempt from this draft.

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (NHL Images).

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin, St. Lous Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko, Colorado Avalanche left wing Gabriel Landeskog and Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Dougie Hamilton are among the notable names available in the draft.

Others include former Stanley Cup-winning goaltenders Jonathan Quick of the Los Angeles Kings, Matt Murray of the Ottawa Senators and Braden Holtby of the Vancouver Canucks.

Among the notable defensemen are Canadiens captain Shea Weber, the New Jersey Devils’ P.K. Subban, the Calgary Flames’ Mark Giordano and the Anaheim Ducks’ Kevin Shattenkirk.

Other noteworthy forwards include Nashville Predators centers Ryan Johansen and Matt Duchene, Philadelphia Flyers wingers Jakub Voracek and James van Riemsdyk, New York Islanders forwards Jordan Eberle and Josh Bailey and Tampa Bay Lightning forwards Alex Killorn, Ondrej Palat and Yanni Gourde.

Some of the pending unrestricted free agents available are Boston Bruins forwards Taylor Hall and David Krejci, St. Louis Blues winger Jaden Schwartz, Avalanche winger Brandon Saad, Canadiens center Phillip Danault and Toronto Maple Leafs winger Zach Hyman.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: An interesting collection of talent for the Kraken to draw upon in the expansion draft. There’s a roster freeze in place until Thursday at 1 pm ET, allowing Kraken management exclusive negotiating rights with the free agents left exposed in the draft.

Signing those free agents, however, isn’t a certainty. Some clubs left them exposed in order to protect other players with the intention of signing those players before free agency begins on July 28. That’s why there’s little concern among Washington fans over Ovechkin’s exposure in the draft. Some NHL insiders believe Ovechkin and the Capitals already have a deal in place and are waiting until after the expansion draft to announce it.

DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli reports sources said there are concerns about Price’s health that could deter the Kraken from selecting him. His availability for next season could be in question.

An MRI following the playoffs revealed a hip injury that might require surgery. Price is traveling to the United States for further examination and the results aren’t expected until Friday, two days following the expansion draft. He’s also dealing with a lingering knee injury.

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports Price is scheduled to see a doctor in New York regarding his knee. “The hope is that it’s not too serious,” said LeBrun. He noted the Habs goalie is getting his hip checked out but it’s the knee that could require surgery.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the Kraken are seriously considering selecting Price. However, because they are supposed to get the full medical records of all exposed players, Price’s medical appointments following the expansion draft aren’t going over well. Other teams are upset, believing the Canadiens are using Price and Weber to make a mockery of the process.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The complaints about the health of Price and Weber are being raised because both played well during the 2021 Stanley Cup playoffs. Both players, however, have a long history of playing through injuries, as most NHL players do during the postseason.

Weber’s injury concerns were reportedly raised following his postseason exit medical. I daresay the same thing happened with Price.

I’m not saying critics aren’t justified in their concerns over the timing. I’m suggesting there simply wasn’t sufficient time between the end of the Stanley Cup Final and the due date for submission of the player protection lists for Price to receive a full evaluation of his hip and knee.

Price waived his no-movement clause to allow the Canadiens to protect backup goalie Jake Allen. He has five years remaining on his contract with an annual salary-cap hit of $10.5 million, a full no-movement clause that would follow him to Seattle, and an $11 million signing bonus due in September.

The Kraken could still select Price despite the injury concerns and his contract. It would be a big loss for the Canadiens but it would free up $10.5 million to pursue a younger, affordable replacement via trade or free agency. It would also provide additional cap space to find a potential replacement for Danault if he hits the open market next week.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: The Lightning opted to protect their blueline corps while making forwards such as Alex Killorn, Ondrej Palat, and Yanni Gourde available.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Lightning will lose a good forward to the Kraken. My guess is they choose Gourde. He’s a solid, versatile two-way player who can play all three forward positions.

THE TENNESSEAN: The Predators were the only club to protect five defenseman: Roman Josi, Mattias Ekholm, Dante Fabbro, Philippe Myers and Alexandre Carrier.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s one reason why centers Ryan Johansen and Matt Duchene are available. The other is Predators general manager David Poile hopes the Kraken selects one of them to get their $8 million annual cap hit off his books.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Bruins goaltender Jaroslav Halak intends to test the free-agent market on July 28.

CBC SPORTS: Dolores Claman, who wrote the Hockey Night in Canada theme music in 1968, recently passed away at age 94.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: For decades, that tune was like Canada’s second national anthem. My condolences to Claman’s family and friends.


  1. Don’t really accept the timing on price. Unless it’s a by product of the universal health care system there should be no way that a team as wealthy as the Canadians wouldn’t get results back in time. Hell a bunch of docs in Montreal would probably rush it for free.

    So this is a nice finger back at the league. They successfully used the rules to game the system just like Tampa. Good for them.

    • Less than ten days elapsed between the end of the finals and the submission of the protected lists. Not a lot of time. As Lyle reports, the extent of Price’s injury was discovered in his postseason exit medical. Records were sent to Seattle. In other words, the Habs got results and sent them to Seattle. But now more examination and results are needed. Diagnosing, evaluating and treating sports injuries is no simple matter. Price is going to NYC to be checked by a specialist, which is the prudent thing to do. If you’ve ever tried to get an appointment with a medical specialist, you’ll know that you can’t schedule at the drop of a hat – those guys are quite busy. And no, this is certainly not a medical emergency. It often takes a while to determine the full extent of an injury. The Habs and Price have no obligation to bend over backwards for Seattle. They acted quite appropriately within the NHL rules. It’s not as if Weber or Price requested to suffer serious injuries just to screw over the Kraken. These things happen in sports, especially to veterans over 30 with lots of mileage. Enough with the whining and the crazy conspiracy theories.

      • I work in health care and at least in the states of a sports team, who advertise these healthcare systems wanted their players expedited it would happen. I don’t blame the habs for dragging it out but it’s not innocent.

      • Nothing nefarious going on here. Price is going to the states as that is where the specialist he/team wants to see is.
        To Howard’s point, not like this person is sitting around waiting for Price to call.
        I don’t care where you are if you don’t need surgery fast, there is a delay.
        Could they expedite it, maybe, we have no idea actually unless someone knows this Dr. and their schedule.
        But to your point Chrisms, why would you? This is a some folks getting pissy for no logical reason other than they just want to be pissy.

        Yes you would wait in Canada, and yes you can go faster if you want to pay if you are an ordinary guy.

        My Canadian experience with injuries and healthcare: I tore my Achilles tendon at approx 7:30 PM. I had surgery to sew it back together the next day at 11:00 AM as it is not something you want to wait to do.

      • Two things I’ll add: 1) Usually swelling needs to resolve before surgery or a proper diagnoses can be done. I can only imagine how playing through such injuries in a Cup final must look. 2) Both with Weber and Price their injuries were previewed; Montreal media was publishing about both guys. Stephane Waite spoke about Price’s health extensively. Sure it was not a polished detailed report but more than enough to be a legit buyer beware sign on both.

  2. Signing Landeskog & Hamilton and picking Giordano, Gourde and a healthy Carey Price would be a great way to kick start your franchise …

    and I agree, good for the Habs using the system to their advantage.

  3. So if Price is injured doesnt that mean that the Habs need to expose Allen?

    I really thought McDonagh would be exposed for cap reasons and that he would be the first Krakken captaino

    • Tells you how valuable quality D is.

      • Tampa gets to return with their top 4 D and that keeper…. +Point+Kuch+Cirelli+Stamkos…. they still there

  4. As some wag said, if Seattle takes Price, who’s Montreal’s next GM?

  5. Does he stay or does he go.
    If Price is picked up by Seattle it will open up cap room for either signing a younger goalie and a top line center. Driedger in Florida would be a good signing with Allan backing him up for 2 years and then go for a top center.
    Hopeing that Seattle goes the other way and doesn’t take price.

    • So Nashville trades Ellis only to protect Myers and 4 other D?

  6. The playoffs ended a couple of weeks ago and both Weber and Price played at a level they didn’t show all year.

    Both are known to play through injuries, Stephane Waite mentioned Price’s hip and knee issues when he was fired, so what’s new?

    Weber’s foot and ankle issues were widely reported, so was his broken thumb and he was visibly out of sorts till the playoffs rolled around.

    GMRF is aware of this, nothing new here as these types of injuries are career ending if they don’t respond to treatment/surgery.

    Ulmark, Bishop, Demko, Backstrom are a small sampling of goalies who have had hip surgery, the byproduct of the butterfly.

    JS Giguere played 10 years after hip surgery.

    Neither Price or Weber have been medically certified as having career ending injuries so GMMB has no statement to make.

  7. Hey All!

    So, the rule states that you’re not allowed to expose a player with a potential career ending injury, unless NHL approves. How was MTL able to expose Weber? His injury has been reported to be potentially career ending. I also read a report claiming that Price may need hip surgery and could miss all of next season – how are they able to expose those 2 and therefore protect 2 others? I know all medical records have to be submitted to Seattle but, before It gets to that point, specifically with Weber… I assume the NHL proved that it’s not career ending?

    From nhl.com:

    * Players with potential career-ending injuries who have missed more than the previous 60 consecutive games (or who otherwise have been confirmed to have a career-threatening injury) may not be used to satisfy a team’s player exposure requirements unless approval is received from the NHL. Such players also may be deemed exempt from selection.

    • The answer to your question is in your post, it was never confirmed that Webber and Price injuries are career ending injuries at this stage it’s purely speculative and neither have missed the last 60 games.

    • Silky Mitts,

      Read the rule you quoted- ” Players with potential career-ending injuries who have missed more than the previous 60 consecutive games “- Neither Price or Weber MISSED 60 consecutive games.

      “or who otherwise have been confirmed to have a career-threatening injury” – neither Price or Weber has been CONFIRMED to have career threatening injury.

      GMMB has left a number of D and G to meet the expansion draft criteria.

      • Hey guys!

        Totally makes sense, but my concern is… shouldn’t it be confirmed before they can expose? Isn’t that the point?

        The key word is ‘potentially’. So is Weber’s injury ‘potentially’ career ending? Indications would say yes.

        This seems to be another grey nhl rule with potential loopholes.

    • Hi SM

      As non Habs fans; we may be upset

      But…. IMVHO , They didn’t do anything contrary to the requirements


      “ Players with potential career-ending injuries who have missed more than the previous 60 consecutive games (or who otherwise have been confirmed to have a career-threatening injury) ”

      Neither Price OR Weber missed the last 60 games AND neither have been confirmed by the League to have a Career ending injury

      If the NHL had ruled on Weber…. I.e. YES….Re LTIR… then by the rule…. He couldn’t count as an exposure requirement

      Re timing of Price’s new injury information…. Habs provided (per rules) the information they had at the time

      Price has gone South to get further tests; analysis; opinion

      It is what it is

      As a Leafs/Pens fan I may not like the situation; but I can’t in good conscience argue that they (Habs) have broken any rules / contravened any requirements

      Habs could lose a great goalie

      I think the point is moot ; as I don’t think GMRF picks Price

      It is what it is

      • I agree with you. The question is, did the NHL rule on it?

        If the nhl answer is ‘we don’t know yet, Seattle proceed at your own risk’… then that’s an interesting wrinkle in the rule.

      • Pengy,

        You and others are missing the point, I’ll admit I thought you would see through the conspiracy theories.

        Price waived his NMC, that’s why he is unprotected (with a few other goalies).
        Nothing to do with injury, GMMB chose to protect Allen.

        Weber has no NMC and he was left unprotected with a few other D.
        GMMB chose to protect the other 3.

        The Habs are under no obligation to protect either of them, (injured or not) and GMRF has a decision to make.

      • Hey Habfan,

        Is Weber’s injury potentially career threatening? Reports say yes, it IS potentially… career threatening. So by the rule you can’t expose him.

        If the NHL says it’s NOT career threatening then we move on and Seattle assumes the risk. But Has the NHL weighed in?

        It’s actually a simple rule if you define career threatening properly.

      • Hi HF30

        Yes , I knew he waived his NMC

        I don’t see anything done by Price or Habs as contravening the rules

        Hi SM

        As far as I’ve read… no LTIR ruling on Weber yet

        So if no ruling… can’t/isn’t formally recognized as career threatening/possible career ending…. so Weber exposed , to me; perfectly within the rules of expansion

      • Hey Pengy,

        And I assume we see the issue with that right?

        It’s useless to confirm or deny career ending injuries after the draft.

        Let’s not be naive here fellas. This is the game within the game. What’s stopping any team saying their injured player is career threatening? What happens if Weber never plays again and it IS deemed career threatening?

        Due diligence after the fact in this case is pointless.

      • A player with a career ending injury can be exposed. The rule is the player can not be used too meet the player requirements needed.

      • Bill, what do you mean?

        Weber IS being used to satisfy the requirement needs.

        Is Weber’s injury career threatening? Seems to be.

        Every team is able to fulfill the requirements but the rule is about the individuals you can use ie. one with a potentially career ending injury can not be used.

    • Silky, you are misunderstanding the rule. Aside from the fact that neither Price nor Weber have been confirmed to have career ending injuries, the rule does not say that players confirmed to have career threatening injuries must be protected. It says that they cannot be used to satisfy exposure requirements. Each team must expose a goalie, a defenseman and a forward who have played a certain amount of games over the past two years. Even aside from Weber, Brett Kulak satisfies that requirement for the Habs on D.

      • Hi Howard,

        I get that interpretation.

        I think the rule states that you can’t use a player who has missed 60 games OR who has sustained a career threatening injury as a player to satisfy a teams exposure requirements. How is Weber not in that category? I

        The intent is so teams expose healthy players for which Seattle to choose from, instead of a list of injured and broken players.

      • I see it this way , Weber does not have a career threatening injury , he has multiple injuries that combined could threaten his ability to play again. If for instance he needs knee surgery it is unlikely that other surgeries such as ankle, thumb, wrist will be done until his knee has healed, unless they are minor procedures. People are not taking into consideration the recovery and rehab time required to get back to playing professional sports, not to mention he is closing in on 36 yrs old and not as quick to heal as say 10 years ago.

      • Hi SM

        Habs more than satisfied their D exposure requirements w/o using Weber

        They also exposed:

        Cale Fleury
        Erik Gustafsson
        Brett Kulak
        Jon Merrill
        Gustav Olofsson
        Xavier Ouellet

      • This seems pretty simple IMO.
        We don’t know if it career threatening yet. That’s all that needs to be understood.

        If Seattle wants to roll the dice they can.

      • Pengy,

        I appreciate that and understand that they are compliant with regards to the team exposure criteria.

        But again, if you can’t expose someone who has a career threatening injury and you are therefore have to protect him or there’s another facet of the rule. If Weber was healthy do they expose him?

        You can’t expose a player who has missed the previous 60 games then you shouldn’t be able to expose a player who is expected to miss the NEXT 60 games.

      • Disagree Silky, you should be able to expose a player who will miss the next 60 games.

        Here is a different but same issue example:
        Oscar Klefbom in EDM. Chronic arthritis in his shoulder. Can’t even pick up his kids. Played in pain all season prior to this one. Surgery has never worked on this issue, but he is having a new one. You won’t find a person in EDM who thinks he will play again, although you hope he does as he is really good.

        Seattle can draft him if they want to and he is exposed.

        If you knew he would miss the next 6 months only, you absolutely draft him as he is a top pair guy on most teams and signed to a great deal.

        Thing is we don’t know, same as Weber and Price.

        Nothing to see here.

      • Silky Mitts i uderstand the point you are making and it is a valid question.

        It has been reported by some media that Weber made have career ending injuries and more to do with the ankle.

        The only issues is if it was determine to be a career ending issue, Weber wouldn’t be able to be selected by Seattle nor would he need to be protected.

        Would Seattle select a healthy Weber? is the real question, if no then no concern.

        If yes and they do select Weber there needs to be some protection for Seattle of compensation from Montreal if Weber isn’t able to play any more.

        If Seattle select Weber and misses a year and plays the following, well you have the cap relief which is always good.

  8. everyone is giving Price and the Habs grief. But if you look at the 5 years remaining at a $10.5M AAV, and recent medial issues that caused Price to miss games in recent seaons, as well as his uneven play due to those injuries at the time, should give enough pause to pass on Price. Before this season, people were questioning Price if he was done, due to this uneven play and injuries
    Whatever happens with his Friday medical appointments are just additional info

    It’s a nice story but Price is just too much of a risk for his age and contract to take for Seattle.
    Ron Francis is a smart man and won’t want to saddle the franchise with a bad long term contract right from the start

    • Price is also due $11 mill bonus payment on September 1.

  9. Even with Price concerns there would be a lot of Krakken #31 jerseys sold right away

  10. In any case, will it be so bad if Seattle picked either one of those players? I mean if worse comes to worst and in a couple of years they go on LTIR, even with those monstrous contracts, I’m sure there will be a cap strapped team which they can easily flip for pics or prospects in the future until they fix that loophole in the CBA.
    The reason they, and I hope they pass, is that the Habs cap situation is terrible and it will be fun to watch them get out of their self inflicted hell especially because of how they are built so far.
    If they don’t get helped out, it will be interesting and fun to watch what might be a tire fire in Montreal.

  11. With teams becoming well practiced in the rapidly developing discipline of skirting the rules, I wonder why none of them have tested the league’s rules for expansion draft positional quotas. For example, could the Islanders have played Bailey on defense for a few games, and then claimed he was a defenseman for the purpose of expansion draft protection?

    • Hi Francis

      I must be having a “nutty” day

      When I read ur post… oddly enough the thing that popped into my head was the scene from Life of Brian when the Centurions were calling out for “a Brian” who had been granted clemency from Crucifixion….

      “I’m Brian”

      “I’m Brian”

      “No, I’m Brian”

      “I’m Brian, and my Wife’s Brian too!”


      • Or The Bob Newhart classic, “Hi, I’m Darryl, this is my brother Darryl. You need more sugar for your coffee?” and he reaches into the pocket of his jeans and grabs a handful of sugar. “There you go.”
        Must be Monday.

      • Loved the Bob Newhart show 👍👍

        Series finale apropos 😂😂

      • It must be contagious! You’ve caused me to have a similar vision, but with Spartacus playing Brian.

      • Pengy and BC, let’s be clear here. It was Larry, who had two brothers named Darryl. That was not from the earlier Bob Newhart Show, which ran in the 70s. It was from the 80s show simply called Newhart. I loved that show, was too young to have watched the earlier one.

      • Yup. And didn’t the actor who played Larry also play the poor schmuck in Blade Runner?

      • Hi Howard

        Yep… knew it was … “Hi, I’m Larry. This is my brother Daryl… and this is my other brother Daryl”

        I loved both The Bob Newhart Show AND Newhart

        The series finale merged the two series when he wakes up not beside Mary Fran, but Suzanne Pleshette…. alluring that the whole series was a bizarre dream 🧐😂

        Bob Newhart is a very funny guy 👍👍

      • Alluding

      • Right you are, Howard, and if Bob Newhart is in a show, I’m watching.

  12. If Price or Weber are to miss a significant portion (or all) of this coming season the Kraken can just put them on LTIR and use the salary to find another player. At worst then they forfeit the benefit of 1 of their 30 draft picks, even if either never play for them. And the Kraken don’t have to be cap compliant until the season starts, I believe, so they will have time to fill that spot.

    As for a benefit for the Habs, it won’t be a benefit to them if either Price or Weber stay and miss anything beyond a handful of games. They aren’t as deep as the Bolts were with Kucherov. Competition for playoff spots are always intense, and who knows right now who the Habs will lose, or sign anew during the summer?

    A lot of noise over SFA, IMO.

    • Price is owed an $11 million bonus payment on September 1. His base salary for next season is $2 million .

      • Yes, but it is not the bonus that is the issue, Uwey (though that may be a disincentive). Per Eric Engels:

        “Price is less than a month away from celebrating his 34th birthday, he’s locked into a contract that comes with a $10.5-million cap hit for each of the next five years…”

        As much a warrior as Price has been, and as good as he played in the playoffs I would rather lose Price now and gain the cap space than have to carry a $10 million cap hit for 5 more years. I’d rather the Habs deal with losing him now than at 38 when he is surely playing at a much reduced capacity.

        Frankly, if Francis selects him he’s making a huge mistake. His only get out of jail free card would be if Price went on LTIR after this coming season and he can’t control that. But gee, Ron, go ahead.