NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 9, 2021

by | Jul 9, 2021 | News, NHL | 26 comments

The latest on Nikita Kucherov and Brendan Gallagher, the 2021 draft order is complete, the Leafs sign Travis Dermott, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

SPORTSNET: cited The Athletic’s Joe Smith reporting Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov played through the 2021 Stanley Cup Final with a fractured rib that required multiple injections. He still managed to put up five points in the five-game series against the Montreal Canadiens.

Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov (NHL Images)

Kucherov had originally denied playing hurt after taking a cross-check from New York Islanders defenseman Scott Mayfield in Game 6 of their semifinal series. He left that game but returned to play in Game 7.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kucherov did seem off his game somewhat during the Cup Final. He tallied 27 points through the first three rounds.

CTV MONTREAL: Hours after losing in the Stanley Cup Final, Canadiens winger Brendan Gallagher discovered he’d been robbed after returning to his home.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: At least Gallagher was able to make light of the incident in a Tik Tok video. Still, that incident was insult to injury.

DAILY FACEOFF: According to numbers released by Sportsnet, this year’s Stanley Cup Final was the most-watched in the company’s history since taking over the NHL’s national broadcasting rights in 2014-15. Over 70 percent of Canadian viewers tuned in to that series.

NHL.COM: The order for the 2021 NHL Draft has been finalized. The Canadiens hold the 30th overall pick and the Lightning the 31st pick. The first round is scheduled for Friday, July 23, and rounds 2-7 on Saturday, July 24.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The reason there are 31 picks in the first round instead of 32 is that the Arizona Coyotes forfeited their pick as punishment for violating last year’s draft combine rules.

TORONTO STAR: The Toronto Maple Leafs signed defenseman Travis Dermott to a two-year, $3 million contract extension. The annual average value is $1.5 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dermott may be under contract with the Leafs but he could end up with the Seattle Kraken if left unprotected in the July 21 expansion draft. Perhaps general manager Kyle Dubas swung a side deal with the Kraken to ensure they select someone else. Teams must submit their protection lists to the league by 5 pm EST on July 17.

THE ATHLETIC’S Scott Powers reports the Chicago Blackhawks don’t intend to buy out any players. The buyout period began at 11 pm EST last night and runs to July 27.

ASSOCIATED PRESS: The Florida Panthers are the first NHL team, and perhaps the first U.S. Major sports team, to establish an opportunity for college athletes to align with them as part of recent rules changes allowing those athletes to profit off their name and celebrity.


  1. Chances are the low-lifes who broke into Gallagher’s home knew exactly who lived there. Nothing worse than a thief.

    • Reminds me of that winter night in 1971 when the Habs held a night in honor of the great Jean Beliveau. While that was going on, his house was robbed. A few years later, when Henri Richard was honored, he made sure to have security guards posted at his house.

  2. Reaching back to yesterday a bit with Habs talk, we spoke about Danault being the most important signing for the Habs this summer, but upon further consideration I now believe it is Nick Suzuki.

    Bergevin can resign Suzuki after the free agent season starts.

    Suzuki is on the final year of his ELC next season. Getting him wrapped up sooner rather than later would be an extremely smart move. That would also give you an idea of what you can spend this coming summer on contracts longer than one year.

    My guess is 8 years at 8 mill with the thought he is going to be their 31 center moving forward.

    • Getting suzuki wrapped up cheap with term would be the smart play but 8m seems to be a bit high right now as someone that hasnt seen him play often. Do you see him projecting into the 9+ million realm…meaning comparabke to the tavares, stamkos, kucherov plus realm. Draisatle chocks in at 8.5

      Suzuki is a good player but i would chance a bridge deal ( fair and respectable term and dollars not any sleazy lowball negotiation) and try to get a few more years under 6m which should be likely.

    • I don’t see any deal with Suzuki getting done at least until well into next season. It’s likely not yet a priority for the team or the player. Bergevin likely wants to see how well he starts out next season playing with Caufield. Suzuki will probably want to bet on himself. If he picks up his game even more next season, which I expect he will, he’ll be in for a bigger payday.

      • Media was giving Kucherov alot of credit and loved his interview.

        Personally I thought it was a drunken buffoon talking.

        How did Tampa media allow this guy to go up there no shirt.

        To disrespect MAF and another team fans base.

        I get it colorful but clearly the guy, chugged a few.

        No respect when you disrespect.

      • Naw Kucherov was great from the way he looked, his attitude, and everything he said. It was spot on and perfect!

      • I can appreciate a colorful honest interview. I wouldn’t have said what he said, but we often criticize hockey players for being bland and keeping it close to the vest. Here is what the opposite looks like.

        I have drank with 3 Russian guys, and don’t want to stereotype, but will any way, and it was years ago. They didn’t seem as drunk as Kucherov after 3 hours, which included shots. Those boys could go, and basically explained it away as because they were Russian, and they had plenty of practice.
        All Kucherov did was chug a few Bud lights, I was surprised he seemed as “happy” as he did.

        Then above I saw the pain killer news. That might explain it. I hear mixing those with the booze is a bad idea.

      • Not sure too many hockey players these days are building up
        Much of a tolerance mid season.

        Not like back in the day when Mario would sneak in a smoke between periods

      • Fair enough Chrisms but it was Bud Light.
        Have to guzzle quite a few to cut off the frontal lobe.

    • Uwey,

      That’s a discussion for next year, will a frozen cap lead to a bridge deal or long term.

      Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, a proven player , signed a long term 8 year deal at $5.125.

      I like Suzuki but I don’t know if he’s the #1 or #2 in the future. He’s developing faster than KK but I think KK has more upside.

      Poehling had a very good year under the tutelage of Joel Bouchard, the centre position might be crowded.

      He has to decide what to do with Tatar, Oilers and Penguins might be interested, perhaps the Wings too.

      He has to decide something about Drouin

      He has to decide to leave Weber exposed or not.

      He has to look at a pengy style deal and get McDonagh as the #1LD for example.

      Then he has to sign Danault for $4 million

      Montreal is a cap strapped team now, Bergevin loaded up and has to manage his finances.

      • No decision on Tatar. He’s a UFA. Had a solid 3 years in Montreal, but will not be back.

        They’ll probably work out a way to move Drouin somehow.

        Weber will not be exposed.

        McDonagh will not be coming to Montreal. I can see Bergevin trying to swing a deal to pick up an LD who can contribute more offensively, but it won’t be him.

        The Habs may certainly have come right to the cap this year, but the issues are solvable. Allen’s cap hit decreases next year. So does the Alzner dead money hit. Tatar’s salary will be off the books. Someone will be going to Seattle. There will be room to make some moves.

      • Howard,

        Tatar being a UFA doesn’t preclude him from being a sign and trade to one of the teams I mentioned, mainly Edmonton and Pittsburgh who would better off trading cap than cash for a UFA . Holland drafted Tatar, maybe the Habs could get Archibald for him

        The way McDonagh could end up in Montreal is if the Kraken draft him and move him over for a piece if Bergevin can deal with Francis, perhaps Drouin +, who has a lower and shorter cap hit.

        Weber has an onerous contract so not protecting him isn’t dangerous and will keep the top 4 intact.

        If Seattle wants a big name vet to be the face of the team and for short term, Giordano and Subban fit the bill.

        The Habs are at the cap and yes some players will leave, others will be signed and some will be getting raises as they are RFA and UFA, solvable means moving pieces.

        The decisions mentioned are part of moving pieces and potentially getting a return on players.

        Standing still isn’t an option

      • HabFan,

        I don’t see any trading of Tatar’s rights happening. Even if it does, the most they’d get is a 3rd. He’s not coming back to the Habs.
        McDonagh. is not coming to Montreal. According to CapFriendly, he has a full no trade. It’s not a no movement, so he can be left exposed, but even if Seattle takes him, he can veto any trade. I don’t see him coming to Montreal given that they traded him away before he played a game with them
        Weber will be protected. Bergevin does not want to risk losing him and will not want to not protect the captain. Would cause a stir in Montreal.
        I agree, standing still is not an option. If they do pick up a puck moving LD, as they should, the top 4 will not be intact. Someone, likely Chiarot, will go. As much as I don’t like losing him, their lack of an LD who could drive the offense was a big factor in their loss to TB.

  3. Gallagher robbed the Habs by forgetting how to score goals so it evened out …

    • Gallagher was playing through multiple injuries.

      Sorry Ed, but knowing what type of player he is means to suggest that he gave less than his all is the sheer buffoonery of your basic troll.

      I’m sure you didn’t mean it that way, but still.


  4. LJ…a response to your question….

    Did I not consider Petry and Chiarot to be mobile D men.

    I think I overgeneralized when I said Habs D was immobile. I certainly do consider Petry to be mobile and he has a good to great shot and is tough. I was hoping the Habs would not resign so the Leafs could. Chiarot can skate though he has a less pronounced sense of where he should skate to, than is desirable.

    Weber and Edmunson I have seen “turned” at the defensive blue line thereafter have to chase the forward from behind. This occurs to these relatively immobile D men more often than it should and by some forwards that I consider to be journeymen..

    Overall I think the combo of the 4 D men and Price to be a really strong grouping. It comes down to does the window of Weber and Price overlaps with the potential growth of the forward group. I think the windows will not match for the Habs….nor do I think it will for the Leafs.

    IMO both teams need a restructuring, I think the Habs GM has the cohenes to do it….I fear the Leaf GM does not have the life or hockey experience to do what is necessary.

    • Thoughtful response, OBD. And I agree with your comment about the window of Price and Weber. One could say that the aging of those two with the youth of Suzuki, Caulfield, et.al. create an imbalance.

  5. $8 mil a year for Suzuki??? Not even close. Suzuki is good but he’s not that good.

    • That’s probably what it’s going to cost Dorion to sign Tkachuk. And I wouldn’t deal him straight up for Suzuki.

    • Suzuki at 21 years of age led a team that made the SC finals with points, PP points & tied with Phillip for the lead in most minutes played per game for forwards, second on the team in faceoff %. Plays against the opponents top lines, plays the PP, plays the PK. 5’11” 210 lbs, already bigger than Crosby & still growing for those complaining about his size.

      I will argue this kid is far from his prime yet!!! They now pay kids for the future rather than the past. He will be a steal at $8 mill in the second year of that contract, IMHO.

      & yes, they need to sign him this off season, so you what you can spend moving forward when adding contracts.

  6. Suzuki is NOT getting $8 million at this stage in his career, in a flat Cap world.

    This isn’t Toronto, why repeat the Leaf mistakes when Montréal has their own issues to deal with?

    Danault, on the other hand, is a really good player (and the only pur laine left on the team) and will NOT get $4 million.
    This is absurd, imo.

    He will get $5-5.5 million, depending on term.


    • I see Suzuki as a solid, 2-way center who will normally contribute 60-70 points per season. He and Kotkaniemi will likely be 1A and 1B. Once again, both sides will wait to see how the season turns out. If he suddenly explodes to an 80 point season, obviously all bets are off. But if, as I expect, he winds up with 60-70 points, he’ll probably get a 3-year bridge deal at $5.5-6m.

      As for Danualt, I agree that it’ll be in the $5m. range. If the Habs give him 5 or 6 years, I can see AAV at $5m. – probably front-loaded.

  7. FYI,

    Joel Bouchard has left the Habs organization & has signed with the Ducks as their AHL affiliate’s head coach.


    • Ouch indeed. Perhaps he sees more of a path in Anaheim’s system to an NHL coaching job given Ducharme is a lock to get a new contract.

    • Uwey,

      Wow, and they just solved development with him the past few years.

      Benoît Groulx would be great in Laval if Bergevin can get him away from Syracuse.