NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 31, 2021

by | Jul 31, 2021 | News, NHL | 32 comments

Jack Eichel’s agents issue a statement critical of Sabres management, David Krejci will finish his playing career in the Czech Republic, and surgeries for Alex Tuch and Paul Byron top today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

WGR 550: The agents for Jack Eichel released a statement yesterday expressing their displeasure over the Buffalo Sabres’ handling of their client’s medical treatment for a herniated disc in his neck. Eichel prefers surgery but his representatives accused the Sabres medical staff of preventing him from undergoing the procedure. “This process is stopping Jack from playing in the NHL and is not working,” they conclude.

Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This statement was released in response to a recent press conference by Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams where he said he’s not feeling pressure to trade Eichel. It’s apparent they intend to turn up the heat on Adams to speed up the “process”. Time will tell if it has the desired effect but it’s apparent the pending divorce between Eichel and the Sabres is growing acrimonious.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: David Krejci brought his 15-season NHL career to a close yesterday. The long-time Bruins center issued a statement indicating he was finishing his playing career back home in the Czech Republic.

Krejci, 35, spent his entire NHL career with the Bruins, playing in 962 career games and scoring 215 goals, 515 assists and 730 points. He helped them win the Stanley Cup in 2011 and reach the Cup Final in 2013 and 2019.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Krejci was sometimes overshadowed by teammates Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand but was an invaluable part of their success during most of his tenure in Boston. He ranks among their all-time leaders in games played, assists and points.

His departure leaves a big hole in their second-line center position that could prove difficult to fill in the short term. Best wishes to Krejci over the remainder of his playing career and beyond.

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: Golden Knights winger Alex Tuch will be sidelined for six months after undergoing shoulder surgery last week.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The earliest he could return to the lineup is late January. This could explain their acquisition of Evgeni Dadonov from the Ottawa Senators this week.

TVA SPORTS: Montreal Canadiens forward Paul Byron underwent hip surgery this week and is expected to be out for five months. He could be out until January.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That could explain their signing of Mathieu Perreault this week to a one-year, $950K contract.

STLTODAY.COM: The Blues re-signed forward Ivan Barbashev to a two-year, $4.5 million contract.

THE DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche re-signed forward Tyson Jost to a two-year, $4 million contract.

NHL NETWORK‘s Kevin Weekes reports the New York Rangers signed recently acquired winger Ryan Reaves to a one-year, $1.75 million contract extension.

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs signed winger Ondrej Kase to a one-year, $1.25 million contract.

THE DETROIT NEWS: The Red Wings acquired forward Mitchell Stephens from the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for a sixth-round pick in 2022.

TSN: The Montreal Canadiens hired Eric Raymond as their new goalie coach.


  1. The bruins just shot themselves in the foot loading up with retreads and losing Krecji. Unless Sweeney pulls another Taylor Hall I won’t be watching this team next season. They finally land Hall and they hook him up with a dud centre. ( either 3rd liner Coyle or even worse Retread Foligno.)Yuck almost at the cap get ready to free fall .

    • If you quit watching the Bruins, does that mean we won’t have to read your maniacal pronouncements about how Sweeney screwed up, again?

      • We can only dream.

      • And pray.

  2. came across a interesting article about the Bruins and DeBrusk

    Did Sweeney and the Bruins make the right move by not protecting Lauzon and putting DeBrusk and his $$$$ on the unprotected list instead , would’ve Seattle picked him leaving the Bruins with about a extra 4 million in hand to pickup a #2 center . I guess it all comes down to at what point did Sweeney know Krejci wasnt coming back I cant believe he wouldnt tell them before FA pickups …

    Now reading some chatter trading DeBrusk in a package for a legit #2 center ….Good luck with that

    • That would have to be one helluva “package” if they’re expecting to get a legitimate # 2 C with DeBrusk as the centerpiece.

      • agree……. its not going to happen

    • I think we Bruin fans need to accept reality.
      We are nearing the end of the competitive window.
      Some on here, including myself, have been saying it for a while.
      Last year we all looked at the age of Bergy and Krecji and said our top 2 C’s have a year or 2 left, go for it.
      We had hoped Krecji would re up for a year or 2, he decided he wanted to go home, which he had said was a goal at the end.

      As we know you can’t just snap your fingers and find top 2 C’s, so Sweeney grabbed available players, who want to come to BOS, to fill in holes for another run. Hopefully 2.

      Rick will cheer for somebody else (I don’t believe him), I will cheer on the retool/rebuild.

      I predict we finish in the top 3 in GAA, if healthy, mid pack in goals for. Add at deadline and hope to ride a hot tender in playoffs.

      Don’t bet your lunch money on a cup, but hey it will fun watching them try.

      He owes it to the vets on this team

    • Joe the only way you could be Debrusk instead of Lauzon was if the Bruins went with 8 skaters and that wasn’t happening.

      I would’ve put Grzelcyk instead of Lauzon.

      I think then Seattle selects Zboril and not Grzelcyk. But we’ll never know.

  3. David Krejci is the most underrated playoff performer of the last decade+

    • Not the most but definitely up there in the top 3. Good player.
      Kase and Ritchie joining the Leafs for $1.5m and $2.5m per capping out now. I guess some player dumps coming next month unless something becomes available. Another impressive offseason.

      • The Leafs are desperate signing EX Bruins retreds Ritchie and Kase.Why don t they sign Lucic also?

    • Ya, gotta luv Krecji, not that big, kind of slow, wasn’t big on the gym, didn’t shoot much.
      But, if you wanted to show what hockey sense and vision looks like, show a video of him.
      At both ends.

  4. Krejci one of the most unappreciated Bruin of all time.

    Boston up 3-0 to Philly in 2010 it was no coincidence losing Krejci lead directly to Philly come back.

    David Krejci elevated his game in the playoffs twice being the leading scorer in the playoffs.

    I believe December 1st is the deadline that Boston can resign him, after that he has to clear waivers.

    Best of Luck Krejci one of the Bruins all time greats.

    Been reported Jack Studnicka put on 15lbs of muscle, he will be auditioning for the 2nd line center role.

    Krejci being 35 career was coming to an end; I thought he might take one more kick at the can.

    Bruins needs top pairing LD and a #2 c with no money left.

  5. So the two players Boston didn’t qualify are now leafs


    Your two difference makers.

    Really we don’t know what Kase is other then injured. 9 games in two seasons.

    • Kase was some bad luck…. he seemed like was gonna be a 20 goal guy….

    • Caper,
      think of it as a trade, Kase and Ritchie for Foligno

      • If I may… how about they have a do over with FA signing day …this one was just practice

    • Kase couldn’t score on my grandma’s knitting club, Ritchie would have trouble keeping up with a seniors rec league no big loss.

      • Still a fan, eh, Rick?

      • Funniest line I’ve seen re Ritchie’s “speed” is on a Leafs site where one commented “he makes Jumbo Joe look like Secretariat …”

  6. Growing acrimonious? It’s been there for some time. Eichel won’t play till his herniated disc is dealt with. Buffalo won’t get the return they want if Eichel doesn’t show he can play and the issue is behind him.

    I still think Buffalo should roll the dice and agree to let Eichel replace the disc on the condition he plays for Buffalo in the up coming season with the understanding Buffalo will continue to shop him and trade him.

    Eichel may agree with this as there is no gaurantee the new team he joins will allow the replacement surgery’ as well.

    • Makes the most sense now, Jeff.

      • Sorry. Just don’t see Eichel playing in Buffalo under any circumstances. I read that statement yesterday and Eichels camp has legit complaint. They did what was asked and a decision was supposed to be made in June. Buffalo doing Buffalo things here.

      • Well if that’s indeed the case Slick62, it begs the question” “where will he play?”

        Because, as matters now stand with all the medical uncertainty, any GM who gives up useful commodities for a $10 mil ? has, in every sense of the term, “s*&t for brains.”

    • Jeff Noel,

      What’s the point?
      The Sabres don’t need his agreement for that.
      They will assume all the risk and expense whether the surgery works or not.

      Shouldn’t Eichel be the one to roll the dice and mitigate the Sabres expense and risk in some way?

      • No, habfan30, Eichel should not. It’s his career and his off ice life.

        For the Sabres as a franchise, they can put Eichel on LTIR, and may have to eat some money if his contract is not insured.

        They are such a mess that not having Eichel play again and getting nothing in return doesn’t affect their future much.

        Who comes off worse if Eichel’s choice of surgery fails? Pretty apparent it is him. So he should choose.

      • LJ

        Eichel doesn’t exist in a vacuum. while its his career and off ice life he collects $10 million a year to perform for the Sabres.

        By contract they are the ones to decide how to handle health, injury, rehab.

        Eichel has no say in the matter or he would have had the surgery, if he really wants it.

        He’s the one that has to roll the dice and give the Sabres something tangible if he wants that control.

      • Habfan30: Players are not chattel. You dismiss his off ice health as if money makes it all better. And you presume to tell Eichel what he must and must not do regarding his surgery and his body.

        Well, we know something of your life values – at least as it applies to others. And it isn’t pretty.

        I’m done with you on this issue.

      • Both sides have a ton of risk, that’s obvious. Agree with LJ that Eichel has more for the reasons he gave.
        It’s his body after all, that ain’t no small thing.
        Not a surgeon, so have no idea what the best approach is.
        But both sides want the same thing, a healthy Eichel, whether to play or trade, so I think the disagreement is just that. They disagree.

        Would like to see the language in the contract, as this is interesting to me.

        What happens if he has the surgery anyway? I assume contract is void? Can BUF seek compensation if it doesn’t work? What if it does?

        Just because the technique is new, doesn’t mean it won’t work well. Tommy John was new until Tommy had it, now it is common and they come back better than ever more often than not.

        The fact that Eichel is willing to have tells you how serious the injury is.

    • If Eichel has surgery to repair a herniated disc, he may not be medically approved to play this coming season. The expected healing period is 6-7 months–if the surgery is successful. Eichel is said to prefer an unconventional surgery, possibly one too unconventional to allow a prediction of its probability of success, let alone its healing-time.

      • I’ve actually had a doctor recommend the disc replacement surgery he is looking for. It sounded too good to be true, it was outpatient, they make an incision pop out the old pop in the new, you go home in a matter of hours. I didn’t do it, I couldn’t wrap my brain around how it doesn’t mess with your nervous system doing that, but with a really good surgeon who knows..