NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 29, 2021

by | Jul 29, 2021 | News, NHL | 27 comments

Catching up on some notable late trades and free-agent signings, including the Avalanche acquiring Darcy Kuemper, plus a look at the notable free-agents still available in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes traded goaltender Darcy Kuemper to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for defenseman Conor Timmins, a first-round pick in 2022 and a conditional third-round pick in 2024.

Arizona Coyotes trade goaltender Darcy Kuemper to the Colorado Avalanche (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avalanche needed a suitable replacement for Philipp Grubauer after he signed with the Seattle Kraken yesterday. They had to move quickly as several teams had some interest in Kuemper. That’s why Avs general manager Joe Sakic paid such a steep price to get him.

In the short term, the 31-year-old Kuemper should offset Grubauer’s absence provided he can stay healthy. He’s been sidelined in recent seasons by a variety of injuries and is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

Coyotes GM Bill Armstrong, meanwhile, is doing a superb job trimming payroll while laying the groundwork to restock his prospect pipeline. Timmins is a promising young defenseman who could be a good fit on this rebuilding team. The Coyotes now have two first-round picks and five second-rounders in next year’s draft. They could get more when Armstrong starts shopping some of his pending unrestricted free agents at next year’s trade deadline.

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: The Capitals reacquired goaltender Vitek Vanecek from the Seattle Kraken in exchange for a second-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft. The Kraken selected Vanecek during last week’s expansion draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Getting back Vanecek maintains the Capitals’ goalie tandem from last season. His reacquisition spares them from shopping for a backup goalie that would’ve cost more than Vanecek’s $716, 667 salary-cap hit.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: The Bruins traded goaltender Dan Vladar to the Calgary Flames for a 2022 third-round pick.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The signing of Linus Ullmark and the emergence of Jeremy Swayman made Vladar the odd man out among the Bruins goaltenders, especially if they bring back Tuukka Rask next year following his recovery from hip surgery.

WGR 550: The Buffalo Sabres signed veteran goaltenders Craig Anderson and Aaron Dell to one-year contracts.

SPORTSNET: The Sabres also acquired defenseman Will Butcher and a 2022 fifth-round pick from the New Jersey Devils in exchange for future considerations.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I published a list yesterday of most of the notable free-agent signings and trades. You can read my take on yesterday’s top-10 signings here.

SI.COM/THE HOCKEY NEWS: David Krejci, Kyle Palmieri and Brandon Saad are among the best players still available in the free-agent market. Others include Tomas Tatar and Zach Parise.

THE SCORE: Josh Wegman ranks the winners and losers from the opening day of free agency.

TSN: Goaltender Henrik Lundqvist is hopeful of returning to action in 2021-22 once he receives medical clearance to do so. The 39-year-old goaltender signed last season with the Washington Capitals but heart surgery sidelined him for the entire campaign.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There will be interest in Lundqvist if he’s cleared to resume playing. It’ll be interesting to see if he gets a contract with a playoff contender.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators signed head coach D.J. Smith to a two-year contract extension.


  1. Lyle, Ottawa also signed UFA D-man Michael Del Zotto to a 2-year $4 mil deal (aav $2 mil), something which slipped through the cracks in your announcements yesterday, and although certainly not earth-shaking news by any stretch, it is WAY more significant than some of the announcements.

    • George, I see you guys also added Holden. Seem kind of set on D, but only showing 10 forwards on Cap Friendly. Rangers traded Buchnevich and top 6 took a hit. Have no idea what they plan going forward, but Strome rumors still persist. I think Ottawa might be a landing spot?. If Eichel isn’t happening, I could see them talking to Krejci about a short term deal

      • Slick62, yeah, right now there’s a bit of a log-jam on D with Holden and Del Zotto joining Chabot, Zaitsev, Zub, Brannstrom, Mete. Josh Brown and Bernard-Docker, with Lassi Thompson in the AHL and Jake Sanderson in the wings.

        Looks like Bernard-Docker is going to get some AHL seasoning along with Thompson – but even with that move, 8 is one too many. Another move has to be brewing – probably involving Josh Brown.

        At F CapFriendly actually shows 11 (White, Connor Brown, Tierney, Watson, Paul, Norris, Stutzle, Pinto, Formenton, Batherson and Tkachuk. If Strome is indeed headed their way, that’s the 12th – but what goes the other way?

        One way or another, there’s at least one more trade brewing – and possibly two if Logan Brown is also on the way out of Ottawa

      • I was just thinking about what it would take to convince Krejci to come to Ottawa for a couple of years……Dorion should also kick tires on Copp in Wpg.

        you want to talk about a log jam on defense , what about the Jets ?
        Morrissey , Schmidt, Dillon, DeMelo, Beaullieu, Heinola, Niku all under contract with Pionk and Stanley still to sign. Thinking they will move someone out.

      • For sure there has to be a move in the ‘Peg Fergy22.

        As for Krejci, if that Strome rumour doesn’t pan out I wouldn’t mind seeing him come in as the 2C back of Norris for a couple of seasons. You do have to wonder, though, as to how many years he and his agent are seeking, and at what cost (he certainly can’t command a $7,250,000 deal again).

  2. Not happy with any of the bruins acquisitions with the exception of one Ullmark, good goalie, I don’t how good, cause the sabres were awful. They signed Ully to a bit of a outlandish contract. Where’s your rushing d Sweeney!?!? I think the bruins just got worse!

    • Kind of agree with Obe’s comment yesterday Rick, you may want to consider another team to cheer for.
      The B’s seem to make you angry everyday.

      • Ray, please pass this along as well to the many Leaf fans who figure all is lost in JULY for crying out loud!

  3. with BRC in hand can’t help but think that its possible Krejci wont be centering that 2nd Bruin line & I wonder if this was brought up when they signed Hall ……I mean who would you rather have as a center Coyle/Foligno or Krejci……with 1 million left in the bank Sweeney is going to have to move someone to fit #46 in if hes interested in playing with the Bruins, I thought this was all about rolling out 2 lines ……. Sweeney FA signings yesterday a C+

    • Moore is due back in August or September. That puts Boston over the cap.

      Now , capfriendly is showing 15 forwards on the roster. So they can probably be cap compliant if you take 2 forwards off. But they also have to sign another goaltender.

      Fitting Krejci would take some cap gymnastics. Fitting Eichel as someone was suggesting is more along the lines of pipe dream.

  4. Joe I get the feeling Krech is upset and won’t be returning but I could be wrong just seems to me he always got the short end of the stick. Not sure at his age how many productive years he has left and supposedly he wants to finish his career at home.

    • Obe I was thinking the same thing.

      I would imagine that Sweeney and Krejci had several conversations.

      Feeling is Krejci didn’t like the numbers Sweeney was thrown at him and said he’ll need to think on it.

      I have no idea what the numbers are but we know these conversations took place.

      As far as yesterday moves and resigning of Hall.

      To much money for Foligno

      To much money for Ullman and tern.

      Foligno his interview said he liked the idea of moving up to the second line while Krejci is not there. Interesting

      The big need for me is still a #1 LD and no money to get one.

      Even with the Debrusk trade to come not getting a #1 LD

      Bottom 6 improved but now missing a #2 C; unless Studnicka who has reportedly put on 15lbs of muscles can take the job.

      Overall the team is better then last year.

      • Just for sh1ts and giggles, what about trading Debrusk and picks\prospects, for Rielly on the Leafs who has a final year $5m cap hit?

    • Perhaps Krecji comes in at the deadline after playing at home for a while. Not sure when the season ends over there.
      No cap in the playoffs.

      I wonder if DeBrusk was trade bait for a guy like Kuemper, and ARI didn’t bite?

      Fine with him on the 3rd line, not sure he is though.

  5. Obe……if the Bruins knew this going in just maybe they should’ve addressed it….

    a plan like getting a 2nd line center,Dmen, goalie & depth in that order

    if no Krejci its going to be hard to get a 2nd line center now without overpaying when teams know your looking



  6. Ron Hextall was a big loser yesterday, all you have heard around here is the need for another goalie and for the Pens to get bigger and tougher to play against … well, after yesterday, the Pens got smaller and softer and still need another veteran goalie … and a right shot d-man to make up for Ceci … I would have gutted this team following another first round loss, the window is closed …

  7. If you can recall I mentioned Krecji wasn’t coming back. They lowballed him. I get kick out his comments “it’s not about the money” Don’t kid yourself it is about the money. Unless they secure a 2nd line centre. A Good one the bruins unless Swayman comes out and steals the show won’t make the playoffs.

    • Someone get Rick a Snickers.

      • best line I have seen on here in a long time

  8. Not sure the Avs are better with Kuemper

    • No ds they are not and Bill Armstrong should be kissing Ron Francis’ ass

    • advance stats show darcy better than grubs

      • Stats are fine to a point but largely for losers. Kuemper is not Grubauer but Avs will have to make the best of the cards they were dealt. Kuemper also gets hurt more

  9. The Bruins problems in the playoffs was depth on the D… they resigned Reilly who they already had and replaced Lauzon with Forbart …… where’s the depth they were suppose to add

  10. If the Bruins low balled Krejci and plan on playing Foligno at 2nd line center that’s a huge mistake

  11. So the race is for the Shane Wright sweepstakes is ON!!!

    At this moment I have Buffalo edging out Arizona in a photo finish, but will be ahead considerable if they dump Eichel.

    The Yotes need to dump more of their young talent. Half-assing it just just isn’t good enough.

    • Ya, got BUF early in that derby as well Uwey.
      That is a franchise changing win from what I hear about Wright.