NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 2, 2021

by | Sep 2, 2021 | News, NHL | 34 comments

The Islanders sign five free agents, Colton Parayko inks a lengthy contract extension with the Blues, Jack Johnson gets a tryout with the Avalanche, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NEW YORK POST: After weeks of speculation, the New York Islanders yesterday officially announced the signings of unrestricted free agents Kyle Palmieri and Casey Cizikas and of restricted free agents Anthony Beauvillier.

Anthony Beauvillier was among four players signed to new contracts by the New York Islanders on Sep. 1. (NHL Images)

Palmieri received a four-year, $20 million contract, Beauvillier agreed to a three-year deal worth an annual average value of $4.15 million while Sorokin accepted a three-year, $12 million agreement. Details of Cizikas’ contract (six years, $15 million) were leaked to the media the day prior.

The Islanders haven’t officially announced a contract for Zach Parise but the former Minnesota Wild winger confirmed he agreed to terms earlier this summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly shows the Islanders sitting over $3.7 million above the $81.5 million salary cap. However, they’ll address that issue for the coming season by placing permanently sidelined defenseman Johnny Boychuk and his $6 million annual cap hit on long-term injury reserve.

The annual cap hits of these deals are reasonable. The term of Cizikas’ contract is unusually long for a 30-year-old checking-line center even if he is among the league’s best in that role. As I suggested yesterday, the longer term was probably what it took for the Isles to get him to accept a $2.5 million AAV.

It’ll be interesting to see what Parise’s contract will look like. There’s conjecture it’ll be a one-year deal for between $750K to $1.5 million because of the buyout dollars he’ll be getting from the Wild.

These signings will likely put the kibosh on rumors linking the Isles to St. Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko. However, there are other needs general manager Lou Lamoriello could still attempt to address before the season opens next month. I’ll have more on that in today’s Rumor Mill.

STLTODAY.COM: The Blues signed Colton Parayko to an eight-year, $52 million contract extension. The 28-year-old defenseman will receive an annual average value of $6.5 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s a major investment in Parayko though the annual cap hit is just $1 million more than his current one. A back injury affected his play last season but the 6’6, 230-pounder is a solid all-around blueliner when healthy. The report indicates he’s fully recovered and ready for the coming season.

Having lost Alex Pietrangelo to the Vegas Golden Knights via free agency last fall, the Blues didn’t want to run that risk with Parayko, who was eligible for UFA status next summer. GM Doug Armstrong said he saw what some defensemen were getting this summer and decided to get him under contract now. A wise decision on Armstrong’s part considering the big rearguard could’ve received offers worth around $9 million on the open market next July.

THE DENVER POST: Jack Johnson will attend the upcoming Colorado Avalanche training camp on a professional tryout offer. He played 13 games with the New York Rangers last season until sidelined by core muscle surgery. The 34-year-old defenseman was bought out last fall by the Pittsburgh Penguins.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The report suggests Johnson will be a long shot to crack the Avs defense corps. However, a solid training camp and preseason with the Avs could help him land a contract with another club.

TSN: The Seattle Kraken signed unrestricted free agent forward Riley Sheahan to a one-year, $850K contract.

Rick Westhead reports the Chicago Blackhawks have resolved a lawsuit by an Illinois man claiming the club inappropriately used facial recognition software to obtain and store his biometric data. The plaintiff has decided to withdraw the suit.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Adam Proteau remembers the victims of the Yaroslavl Lokomotiv plane crash that took place on Sep. 7, 2011. Among those who perished were coaches Brad McCrimmon, Igor Koralev and Alexander Karpovtsev and former NHL players Pavol Demitra, Karlis Skrastins, Ruslan Salei, Karel Rachunek and Josef Vasicek.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s hard to believe it’s been a decade since that tragic day. Writing out their names today, it’s still difficult to acknowledge they’re no longer with us.


  1. My Bromance (Parayko) gets an 8 year $6.5 M contract….. an absolute super bargain by Blues; on the same day that the worst player in NHL history gets a PTO(Avs) … what is this world coming too ???

    Iowa Prince…. You must be big time happy with that deal!!

    Sackic needs his head examined. The only thing I believe might be the rationale is for Avs to be able to show the real D-men, how never to play D

    They just can’t possibly be considering hiring him. It would be so detrimental to the team if he actually played (even if he played for their AHL team)

    Did Sackic not watch a single Pens game in 18/19 and 19/20?

    Marlon Brando’s ghost whispers “The Horror”

    • >>SPECTOR’S NOTE: The report suggests Johnson will be a long shot to crack the Avs defense corps. However, a solid training camp and preseason with the Avs could help him land a contract with another club.

      Penguins, maybe?

      (time to up the dosage, Pengy)

      • Has there ever been a player bought out… then eventually resigned by the original buy out team a year or two later and paid both a salary and the buyout money?

      • Chris, didnt Calgary do that with Stone a few years back?

      • Sounds familiar!

      • I think I might need to go to the same Opium Den that De Niro frequented in Once Upon a Time in America

    • Relax, Pengy. It’s just a PTO. The Avs probably just want to have an extra body around for training camp. No commitment.

      • Hi Howard

        You just may be right…. But they could have had anybody as an extra body in camp. Anybody.

        i have trouble just understanding why Avs would even sign him to a PTO. Or even discuss it after his agent called re s potential PTO

        PTOs are meant for a player to show what they have and maybe the team gives him a contract

        Unless Sackic and all of his scouting staff; somehow missed EVERY single Pens game in 18/19 and EVERY game in 19/20 (completely unfathomable that not one of them saw him play); he should not even have been given a PTO for Avs ECHL affiliate

        Avs are a top notch team…. It would be absolutely cruel to see the same guy cripple another team

        Hyperbole aside, personal bias aside….

        He was bought out,

        somehow got a contract with Rangers( got injured and played 13 games last year;

        he’s 34; and

        finally every team has access to the stats that show that EVERY single Pen (EVERY) who played at least 7 games in total between 18/19 and 19/20; had significantly worse stats when on the ice with him vs when JJ was on the bench

        This scary objective information alone should have prevented any team in the NHL or the AHL; giving him a PTO

        Yet Sackic signed him to one

        To me ; mndboggling

  2. Either Jack Johnson has some “quality” not visible to the average fan watcher or he has something on a host of GMs. The guy gets more chances than Evander Kane.

    • or Derrick Brassard …

    • Hi George

      Perhaps you are right…. Comprising pics of Rutherford, Gorton, Sackic???

      Again, zero logic that he even gets to be near an NHL dressing room; let alone a PTO

      Very strange indeed

      • Pengy…What do you think of Ryan Donato who is only 25 as our third line center. He is young, solid defensively, and can chip in offensively maybe 10 to 12 goals… ???

        Gusev remains out there and he is only 29 but he reminds me of the sluggish Malkin…LOL

        Stahl maybe in a pinch he is reliable, responsible and brings some size and grit to the line -up…

  3. George, Pengy’s an influencer. Otherwise we wouldn’t spend time analyzing Jack Johnson’s career.

    • Good one – 8 teams for Brassard … and counting?

      One even better than him by one team who will be playing right under my nose here in Ottawa is Del Zotto as the Senators will be his 9th stop.

      Another is Galchenyuk who, if he catches on anywhere but Mtl, Ariz, Pitt, Minn, Ottawa or Toronto will be playing for his 7th.

      They each have a ways to go before catching the all-time leadere, Mike Sillinger, who donned 12 different NHL jerseys.

      Back of him at 10 each are J.J. Daigneault, Jim Dows, Oli Jokinen, Dominic Moore, Michel Petit, Mathieu Schneider, Lee Stempniak, followed by 12 who have played for 9: Jim Cummins, Bobby Dollas, Tony Hrkak, Jaromir Jagr, Jussi Jokinen, Grant Ledyard, Bryan Marchmant, Dean McAmmond, Kevin Miller, Randy Robitaille, Reid Simpson and Nate Thompson.

      • Jim Dowd … not Dows

      • Remember George, Galchenyuk was property of the Hurricanes for a very brief time but didn’t actually play for them. That ought to count for something.

      • True, Howard. That also applies to Hoffman who was property of SJ for a brief time as well, which would put him on his 5th team – and counting?

    • Hi BCLeafsFan


      Wish that anybody could have influenced Rutherford

      Unfortunately zero people had any influence on Rutherford for two years

      He fired three assistant coaches who repeatedly queried why JJ was continuing to play with the team; and two of which begged Sully to have JJ sit all playoff games in 19/20

      As long as he never plays a single game for Leafs or Pens (again) ; I guess it shouldn’t matter

      It would in fact be nice if any of the Metro or Atl teams (not named Pens or Leafs) would sign him

  4. Rumours are floating that the TML are looking at Jack Johnson for some veteran depth D.

    • Oh, that’s good. That’s real good! 🙂

    • Hi HF30

      I’m not a drug taker… but a move like that could have me (and MANY Leafs fans) looking in dark alleys for some “street powder”

  5. Apparently, according to McKenzie Friedman, Sakic believes if Jack and Erik both suit up then his team is protected from COVID

    • Haha….
      It took me a minute to get that one, well done.

    • Clever – heh

    • Nice one Chrisms 👍👍👍

      Thank God there are no Zeneca twins trying out for a team either

  6. poi for the folks posting about a melt down in the Habs fanbase regarding the Kotkaniemi offer sheet.
    Poll was taken in Montreal asking if the Habs should match it.

    85.3% said No

    • Don’t confuse fans being unhappy with the offer sheet drama and fans who recognize that regardless of how it went down or how unhappy they may be about it that at this point they believe (the ones who took the poll) it is not in the best interest of Montreal to match it.

    • It’s just one of those, “Well I was gonna break up with her anyways” scenarios.
      Like I said before, it’s a very poor look.
      The part to look forward to is whether Carolinas owner is done or not. If the Habs sign KK, he might strike again next year with the Suzuki kid. He might even do it regardless if they match KK’s sheet or not.
      He’s a different guy and I do believe he’s enjoying bullying ol big arms.
      Being incredibly wealthy must be both a curse and a blessing……

      • Definitely a different guy SOP.
        Made most of his $$ in the sub prime loan game, autos vs mortgages.
        Not the most “respected” of industries to say the least.
        I think he’s done, but who knows for sure.
        To take a page from Sun Tzu regarding strategy – fighting represents the failure to inflict enough uncertainty in the mind of a rival to deter his aggression against the peace.

        I think peace is at hand regarding offer sheets.

      • Is he done?
        Waddell has to pick up the pieces of being over the cap before the start of the season.

        Next year he has to find the room to pay these guys and pray he doesn’t get an offer sheet

        Niederreiter UFA $5.25 million
        Trocheck UFA $4.25 million
        Necas RFA $863,333
        Lorentz RFA $750,000

      • HF30, regarding the cap, I don’t think they will have an issue to start the year.
        Reportedly Gardiner’s back is an issue again, which started his decline in TOR. Not sure he will be ready in time, or if he will ever be back to 100%. So maybe impacts next year too, don’t know.
        The list below the big raise is coming for Necas from where they are today, and don’t think Trochek is expected to play the same role he is in past the upcoming season, or if he is coming back. Not the best 2 way guy.
        Also, I have made my theory known that KK won’t be earning $6.1 after this season on an extension.
        Nothing they can’t overcome with regards to the cap.

      • Ray Bark,

        Putting Gardiner on LTIR isn’t so easy considering he played last year including the playoffs. They signed him with a “bad back” to a $4 million UFA contract.
        The league may see it as cap circumvention if they don’t approve it, quite the risk of penalty.

        So, yes they are at the cap.

        Trocheck is their #2 centre, you think they let him go? maybe. I doubt it unless they can’t match other offers.

        Niederreiter is #2 LW it will cost to keep him.

        Necas will cost a lot, he sees that $6.1 and has double the production- might get an offer sheet.

        I know you think Kotkaniemi will sign an extension for less than $6.1 after January.

        You have yet to say why he would toss away the coveted UFA status or another year at $6.1million

        I get it if they go long term for big money, not for something “affordable” that’s good for Dundon not Kotkaniemi or his agent.

        Ego caused an unnecessary self-inflicted cap problem they need to address.

    • Where did you see the poll? Sounds like it was one of those online polls where readers just click the yes or no option. Those type of “polls” are useless.

    • Probably the same % who accompanied the duo in the stands who were shown with incredulous looks on their face saying “WHO?” when he was drafted just ahead of Brady Tkachuk in 2018