NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 5, 2021

by | Jul 5, 2021 | News, NHL | 22 comments

The latest on the Lightning and Canadiens on the eve of Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final, the latest on the Leafs and Blue Jackets, and an update on Stephen Johns in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Poised to win their second straight Stanley Cup, the Lightning realizes this could be the end of the current roster. Head coach Jon Cooper reminisced following Game 3 about the contributions of wingers Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn during their tenures with the Bolts. Salary cap issues are expected to bring about a restructuring of the roster following this season.

Alex Killorn could be among several players who won’t be with the Tampa Bay Lightning next season (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly shows the Lightning sitting $5.066 million over the $81.5 million salary cap for 2021-22 with 19 players under contract. Pending UFAs Blake Coleman, Barclay Goodrow, David Savard and Curtis McElhinney aren’t expected to be re-signed. Management could attempt to shed $10 million to become cap compliant and have enough wiggle room for affordable depth signings.

Lightning general manager Julien BriseBois has a well-deserved reputation as a shrewd cap manager. This summer will be his biggest test since taking over as GM in 2018.

Johnson and Killorn were expected to be moved in cost-cutting moves during the last offseason. Nikita Kucherov’s hip surgery last December sidelined him for the regular season, allowing the Lightning to put him on long-term injury reserve. That bought the club a reprieve as they were able to keep almost all of their roster intact.

As the article pointed out, the Lightning cannot expect the same situation next season. Johnson is expected to be left unprotected in the expansion draft and could be selected by the Seattle Kraken. If not, he and Killorn could hit this summer’s trade block.

THE SCORE: Tampa Bay Mayor Jane Castor would like to see the Lightning lose Game 4 in Montreal so they can win the Stanley Cup back home in Tampa Bay in Game 5.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Lightning would love to win the Cup back home in front of their fans, but they’re focused on wrapping this up tonight in Montreal.

The odds are against the Canadiens rallying back to win the Cup. Nevertheless, they could pin the mayor’s remarks to their dressing room bulletin board as motivation for tonight’s game.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens, meanwhile, are saying all the right things about being a close-knit group who’ve stayed positive and overcame long odds to get to the Final.

TSN: The Canadiens spent their formal practice yesterday focusing on special teams’ play, particularly their power play.

THE ATHLETIC: Columbus Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen could bring in adding a veteran coach to act as an advisor and mentor to their new coaching staff. Brad Larsen and his staff have a combined 15 years as assistant coaches at the NHL level but none as a head coach. Jacques Martin has surfaced as a possible candidate.

Former NHL defenseman Stephen Johns has completed his coast-to-coast rollerblading journey across America to raise awareness for mental health in his #MentalMiles mission. Johns recently retired and revealed he battled depression while recovering from head trauma that ended his career. He was joined at one point in his journey by Detroit Red Wings forward Bobby Ryan.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to Johns on his accomplishment for a worthy cause.



  1. 19,786 days without a cup … now there’s a record no one wants to break.

    • And we’re not done yet, George….. Great to be a Leaf fan.
      I guess that’s why Pengy cheers for the Penguins – just an impatient guy.

      • BCLeaffan lol, maybe the same reason i started to cheer for the jets. Always good to have a fall back plan.

        The Mayor comments are silly. Lose on purpose. Yea ok. Then Val and Hedman get injured.

  2. You meant DELUSIONAL Tampa Bay Mayor Jane Castor …. lose on purpose so we can win at home … I’ll stop here before my comment gets rejected …

    • Dangerous talk from the Mayor. She should be careful what she wishes for. Obviously, the odds that the Habs come back to take the series and win the Cup are not very good, but won’t she look like a huge fool if it does happen.
      Sort of reminds me of something from back around Christmas time, 1990. I was at La Guardia Airport for a flight to Montreal. I spotted a young US soldier in uniform and went over to speak with him. Of course, I thanked him for his service, and we talked awhile. He had just arrived from his base in Europe and was headed home to Buffalo to spend the holidays with his family. He expected that he would be sent to action in the Middle East, as the Gulf War was a mere weeks away at the time. I wished him well and then asked if he thought the Bills would win the Super Bowl. He replied that he hoped not, as he would not be in Buffalo to experience it.
      I never again encountered the young soldier. I hope he made it through okay and has had a nice life. But all these years and 4 Bills Super Bowl losses later, I imagine he may have some regret about his feelings at the time.

      • Yes and no. Two more home games wouldn’t be too bad for local economy

  3. Cup half empty or half full….

    Wendel/Mike might say…. “ the greatest team in the NHL just got another record , surpassing the lowly Rangers”

    Real Leafs fans say “🤬😡💩”

    The record will continue until Leafs no longer spend 1/2 cap on 4 Fwds

    BTW …Leafs “current cup window” ends in 1,092 days (1/7/24) if I’ve calculated correctly

    • Yeah, Pengy, but those Penguins are looking great.

      • They are

        Or is it

        They are?

        “I’m Ron Burgundy” …. or

        “I’m Ron Burgundy?”

    • Pengy, someone once said that all records are made to be broken. The sobering thought is, as you point out, it’s one that keeps growing and no matter what number it reaches when it ends, there could be a franchise on Mars and ain’t none of us in here are likely to be around to witness it.

      • Not witness the Leafs end it, mind you, but rather some team breaking whatever record they establish.

      • George,
        I figure that in the future some of the oldest people to have ever lived will be TML fans, as they cling to the delusional hope of seeing the buds win a Stanley Cup…and I plan to be one of them

      • To George and Wawman93


        Yep , and


        But I do have some vague memories of ‘67 (I was 6)

  4. The reality is that SN tweet is irrelevant and meaningless….aka troll bait.

    When was the last time Ottawa won it? Vancouver? Is it not fair to group in those two?

    There are so much more interesting subjects to talk about than past teams that played in a different time with different players and management throughout those years have any relevance to the current teams, unless that’s exactly what floats your boat.

    I’m surprised that no one mentioned how no other team came back from being down 3-0 in the finals to win it all other than the sh1tty Leafs. I mean if they did, superteam like Montreal aka built for the playoffs, should have no sweat repeating that feat, no?

    If the Habs go down tonight I wonder what that will mean for them? Would the same changes happen regardless if they get swept or not? Everyone here seems to think they are toast but it’s been a strange year.

    • For sure Ron. Currently for Vancouver and Buffalo it’s been 51 years and counting and if the Leafs win one in the foreseeable future, either could continue on to break whatever the record becomes. In Ottawa’s case, since there was no team from 1934 to when a new franchise was awarded, it’s “only” been 28 years 🙂

      Even so, the city still boasts, in the history of the game, 11 Stanley Cups which still places them up near the top of the heap

    • RM,

      I happen to agree that its a meaningless number or record of futility and serves no purpose than trolling with click bait……and I’m not a TML fan.

      As for all records are meant to be broken, I don’t see Henri Richard’s record of winning the Stanley Cup 11 times as a player ever being broken.

      Regarding changes to the Habs, they will be made regardless of the outcome of the SCF for cap reasons.

      • Look at it from the point of view of a NY Rangers fan – I imagine it’s one record they’re happy to relinquish. And I agree, while some of Gretzky’s records may be challenged one day, it will take one helluva dynasty before anyone catches Henri’s 11 cup record. Most player’s careers don’t even last that long.

  5. Not sure how long the Leafs streak will last but it will get broken . Just to many teams now . odds say you will win one every 32 years now if know one repeats crazy it can be a long wait for a lot of us .

  6. Aaah to be trolled by the guy who runs the site and then he hopes Leaf fans continue to come back so he can make a living off of them. You`re one of a kind Lyle

    • Fans should never have fun trash talking or trolling their rivals. Got it.

    • Hey, take your complaint to Sportsnet Stats, Bob, they’re the ones who reported it.

  7. Ms. Castor is delusional about many things. We in Tampa have FAR too much experience with fur game playoff losing streaks thank you very much.
    Vasy shutout, Conn Smyth, come home, wait out the storm, and have a fun skate for the fans on home ice.