NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 27, 2021

by | Jul 27, 2021 | News, NHL | 21 comments

The Panthers re-sign Sam Bennett and trade Anton Stralman to the Coyotes, the Jets re-sign Paul Stastny and acquire Brenden Dillion from the Capitals, the Golden Knights close to re-signing Alec Martinez and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: The Florida Panthers were busy on Monday. They signed forward Sam Bennett to a four-year deal worth an annual average value of $4.4 million. The club also traded defensemen Anton Stralman and Vladislav Kolyachonok plus a second-round pick in the 2024 NHL Draft in exchange for a seventh-round pick in 2023.

The Florida Panthers re-sign forward Sam Bennett to a four-year deal (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s not surprising the Panthers re-signed Bennett. Slated to become a restricted free agent on July 28, the 25-year-old netted 15 points in his first 10 regular-season games after being acquired at the trade deadline from Calgary. He also had five points in as many playoff games. Bennett should be a key part of their top-two forward lines.

The Stralman trade was a straightforward salary dump by the Panthers. He had a year remaining on his contract worth an annual average value of $5.5 million. The 35-year-old blueliner reportedly had to be convinced to waive his modified no-trade to go to Arizona. He’ll likely become a bargaining chip at next season’s trade deadline if the rebuilding Coyotes are out of playoff contention by then.

WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets also had a busy day, re-signing center Paul Stastny to a one-year, $3.75 million contract and acquiring defenseman Brenden Dillon from the Washington Capitals in exchange for a second-round pick in 2022 and a second-rounder in 2023.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stastny isn’t the offensive talent he once was. Nevertheless, the 35-year-old should be an affordable short-term answer to their need for a second-line center while management seeks a long-term solution. Dillon will help address a glaring need for reliable stay-at-home depth on their blueline, though the cost of two second-rounders seems a little high.

The Capitals, meanwhile, freed up $3.9 million in annual cap space for the next three seasons. They now have over $12 million in cap room if they call up Martin Fehervary as expected for next season. That gives them some additional wiggle room to re-sign Alex Ovechkin and goaltender Ilya Samsonov.

LAS VEGAS SUN: The Vegas Golden Knights are reportedly close to signing Alec Martinez to a three-year contract extension. The 35-year-old defenseman would receive an annual cap hit close to $5 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Martinez proved his worth to the Golden Knights this season, especially in the playoffs where he was their best all-around blueliner. The contract is a bit long for a shot-blocking rearguard of his age but that seems the price the Golden Knights are willing to pay to remain in Stanley Cup contention.

That signing could push them over the $81.5 million salary cap. They could make a cost-cutting trade before the start of next season involving Marc-Andre Fleury or Robin Lehner.

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes expected to sign forward Dmitrij Jaskin to a one-year, $3.2 million contract. The 29-year-old spent seven seasons with the St. Louis Blues and Washington Capitals before spending the past two seasons playing for the KHL’s Moscow Dynamo.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Coyotes have been everyone’s favorite dumping ground for unwanted contracts this summer. General manager Bill Armstrong has been clearing up long-term cap space while restocking with draft picks and prospects.

Most of the contracts he’s taken on have only a year or two remaining, with most belonging to still-serviceable players who could become trade bait to playoff contenders later next season. He also did a great job shedding Oliver Ekman-Larsson’s hefty contract by shipping that off to Vancouver during the recent NHL draft.

THE SCORE: Several notable restricted free agents didn’t receive qualifying offers at yesterday’s deadline. Among them were Boston’s Nick Ritchie, Chicago’s Pius Suter, Edmonton’s Dominik Kahun and Anaheim’s Danton Heinen. They are eligible to become unrestricted free agents on July 28.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Just because they didn’t get qualifying offers doesn’t mean they can’t re-sign with their now-former teams. Sometimes teams don’t offer a QO because they want to sign those players to a more affordable contract. That’s what the Blackhawks did with Adam Gaudette, inking him to a one-year deal worth just over $997K.

TORONTO STAR: Defenseman Zach Bogosian won’t be back with the Maple Leafs. He’s likely headed to an American market via free agency on July 28.

NEW YORK POST: The Rangers are expected to sign Patrik Nemeth when free agency opens tomorrow. The Colorado Avalanche allowed the pending UFA defenseman to speak with other teams.

TSN: The New Jersey Devils traded forward Nick Merkley to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for defenseman Christian Jaros. The Devils signed Jaros to a one-year, two-way contract.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: The Flyers re-signed defenseman Sam Morin to a one-year, $750K contract.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan is expected to be named head coach of the United States’ Men’s hockey team for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.


  1. no qualifying offer for Pius Suter , what’s up with that? he had a good first NHL season

    Kyle I believe Merkley was traded for Jaros .

    • Suter still a big question mark…like his defensive and face off ability. Is it at a level you need from a top 6 player?

      I hope but doubt it, the leafs sign Ritchie, you know, that player so many of our hockey experts here constantly bragged how the Leafs should of pick him over Nylander yet again time, reality showing us how little some people know about hockey and hockey players.

      • You must be thinking of a different site, or just making stuff up yet again.
        No one here ever said anything like you’re stating.
        How could anyone possibly brag about how the Leafs should have picked Ritchie over Nylander?
        That doesn’t even make any sense.
        You’re an odd fellow, Mr. Moore.

      • Sure, so when the Leafs picked Nylander, you’re saying no one commented on how they should of picked Ritchie? It’s the same think group that also chimed in when the Leafs picked little Marner over Strome. What good times.
        Let me guess, stillness doesn’t ring any bells, eh?

      • Also I may not have used the right word in “bragging”, but isn’t that what you say when someone who claiming to be better at something or one but ultimately is proven they are not evenness close?

      • Pretty baseless comment there, fella. You have any proof to back those statements up?
        You should probably stick to the pro Leaf sites, as it’s painfully obvious your skin is too thin to be around here.
        I’ve come to the conclusion that either you are delusional, or Brendan Shanahan, but I suppose in essence, that would make you both.

      • I’m happy you could come to a conclusion. I appreciate you calling me odd and then thin skinned. Great conclusion buddy.

  2. I’m not too sure I want Suter in Boston #1 he wants between 2-4 years he is 36 and I think he’s wants a little more than a lot of teams want to give him. The fall off in ability after mid 30’s is evident. Sweeney no re treads or Hal gill’s (Forbort)….ohhhhhhhh Forbort please don’t come to Boston.

  3. As a Pens fan I won’t miss cheap shot artist Brendon Dillon whacking, hacking and punching any Penguin players while they aren’t looking … nice pick up by the Jets, he’s perfect for the rough and tough West and finally replaces Ben Chiarot on the Jets blueline …

  4. Brenden Dillon 30yrs old (31 Nov) 6’4 225lbs cap hit $3.9 3yrs left on his contract. Yes yes and yes.

    Good player good size, good contract the price of 2 seconds have them, this is a good trade for Winnipeg.

    Dillon was the player i was hoping Seattle would’ve selected and flipped him to Boston he is exactly what both Boston and Winnipeg needed.

    Kase, Ritchie, Donato and Heinen all bruins at one point not qualified.

    Interesting that Heinen and Ritchie were traded for each other. I guess both GM were right in their assessment.

    • Agree with Dillon would’ve been a nice 3rd pairing Dman slide right into Miller’s spot

    • Was thinking the same thing about Dillon Caper, but he likely wasn’t getting traded to BOS, or at least without making them pay more.

      I can see them wanting Ritchie back, just at a lower #. Not sure where he wants to go.

      • Yeah, I agree Ray. If Ritchie is asking for a reasonable deal the Bruins may sign him. Otherwise he may become another team’s Matt Belesky, one good year, big contract and soon out of the league.
        I also could see Kase signed for 1mil. He’s been in Boston for 1+ years and barely gets on the ice due to concussons. He’s young and still has potential but not at his qualifying 2.6mil. If he doesn’t come back his salary can be shifted to minors.

      • So what is the scoop on Ritchie, lack of hockey sense, slow, indiscipline,,,,????

        There has to be something ???

      • Uwey, Ritchie is a decent player. Hands are good around the net and for the odd scrap.
        Big tough fella.
        Played on the PP for a while early on with some guys out and did well in front of the net. That is where some of his goals came.
        Neal, but younger and fights.
        Slow feet, so an issue defending and playing as a unit.
        The only problem is he makes too much $ for that skill set. Not way too much, but can likely be had for less.
        He will play somewhere and do what he does.

      • From one Ray to another,

        Thanks for the insight, it was suppose to read undisciplined not indiscipline.

  5. With Stralman sent to Yotes… after sending a couple of depth players below the line … Zito will have $13 M to sign Reinhardt, Wennerberg; Montour… completing the full 23… certainly doable

    If Bobo plays even at 75% of his Cap value… IMVHO Panthers have great shot of winning the Div

    Martinez re-signing not as surprising as the Cap Hit…. $5M …. which forces another move. Very good player , but at $5M and having to do another move; to me it may have been the number ($5M) that required a parting of the ways

    They have still been (in media) tied to looking for a top 6 C…. I can’t believe Reinhardt was snagged by Zito for a first (next year) and Levi…. Knights could have beaten that bid

    I’d love MAF on Pens… but it will require a to-through team retaining 1/2

    IF (big IF) Knights move the Flower out and bring in say Ulmark… the net Cap savings gets them room for finalizing roster including Martinez

    Maybe Knights swing a deal with ‘Yotes… MAF (25% retained) for Keumper (50% retained)… Knights free up $2M in cap. Then Yotes retain 50% (of the remaining 75%) of MAF (thus now Cap hit of $2.6 M) and move him to Pens for Zucker and DeSmith

    As a side story….with Ritchie not being qualified… if Panthers picked him up… they’d have 4 of the top 10 picks from the ‘14 draft…. They already have 1st, 2nd, 4th (Ekblad, Reinhardt, Bennett)…. and no…. I can’t see Zito picking up the phone to call Virtanen’s agent (6th in ‘14)

    • Pengy what is PITTS sending AZ to take on Zucker?? DeSmith is no sweetner. MAF has more trade Value by far than DeSmith to a contender so pony up buddy lol.

      What extra will Pitts give AZ to take Zucker?

      • Point noted…. Zucker is a big problem

      • Now is ya said Zucker & DeSmith & a 2022 2nd & a 2023 3rd to AZ for Kessel for 25% retained….maybe something there

        then go sign one of the UFA vets for 2m$

  6. Price for Brendan Dillon WAS overpay. 2nd & 3rd would’ve been more palatable.

    Then again, seeing what Dorion did with his 2 second-rounders takes the edge off.