NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 23, 2021

by | Sep 23, 2021 | News, NHL | 33 comments

The NHL finds no evidence Evander Kane bet on games, several players remain unvaccinated or partially vaccinated as training camps open plus the latest contract signings, injury updates & more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: The NHL announced Wednesday it found no evidence San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane bet on league games. The accusation was leveled by Kane’s estranged wife Anna several weeks ago, prompting the league’s investigation.

San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane (NHL Images).

However, the NHL is now investigating “additional unrelated allegations involving potential wrongdoing by Mr. Kane” linked to a domestic violence restraining order filed by Anna on Tuesday. The Sharks released a statement yesterday indicating the 30-year-old winger has agreed not to participate in training camp until further notice.


EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers defenseman Duncan Keith will miss the opening week of training camp. He’ll be in quarantine until Oct. 1 after traveling to the United States to get a Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccination.

Meanwhile, Oilers general manager Ken Holland said winger Josh Archibald is the only unvaccinated player in training camp. If he remains that way for the coming season, he’ll need a 14-day quarantine to participate in road games in the United States. He will be suspended without pay during that period which won’t count against the club’s salary cap. Archibald could miss 30-plus games and forfeit $600k in wages.

Oilers goaltender Alex Stalock is expected to be sidelined for the entire season due to a heart condition (myocarditis) related to his bout with COVID-19 last November. Holland said there are no plans at this time to seek another veteran goalie.

DETROIT FREE PRESS: Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman said winger Tyler Bertuzzi is the only player on his team to refuse the COVID-19 vaccine. He’ll be unable to travel to Canada under current border restrictions which require a 14-day quarantine for unvaccinated players traveling into the country. He could forfeit $400K of his salary based on those Canadian road games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Holland and Yzerman indicated they aren’t going to force anyone to get vaccinated. The league’s COVID restrictions and the prospect of lost wages, however, could eventually convince Archibald and Bertuzzi to change their minds. Their stance has the potential to create a rift among teammates who could consider them a risk to their health and safety.

Most NHL players are well-conditioned athletes with good odds of avoiding the worst serious symptoms of COVID-19. Stalock’s situation, however, should serve as a warning that they’re not totally immune.

SPORTSNET: Toronto Maple Leafs forward William Nylander is not yet fully vaccinated but will be when the season opens next month. “I had a couple of medical things that I had to take care of but I’ll be vaccinated by the beginning of the season.”

THE PROVINCE: Vancouver Canucks defenseman Travis Hamonic was reportedly not in training camp and his absence isn’t injury-related. That led to speculation his absence was related to the league’s COVID protocols but GM Jim Benning said he’ll be in camp.

Benning also acknowledged winger Justin Bailey has tested positive for COVID-19 before crossing the Canada – US border. He’ll have to wait another 10 days before he can join his teammates in Vancouver.

Speaking of the Canucks, they signed winger Alex Chiasson to a professional tryout offer.

TVA SPORTS: Montreal Canadiens forward Jesse Ylonen has changed his mind and agreed to be vaccinated.

TSN: More than a dozen infectious disease and critical care doctors are calling on the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers to drop plans to stage games in full-capacity arenas this season. The province of Alberta is reeling through an unprecedented medical crisis amid the fourth wave of COVID-19.

The Oilers issued a statement indicating fans will require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to gain entry to Rogers Place. They will also insist fans wear masks when not eating or drinking.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Calgary Flames have a mandatory vaccine policy in place for fans attending their games this season.


WGR 550: The Buffalo Sabres signed defenseman Rasmus Dahlin to a three-year, $18 million contract. The annual average value is $6 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A fair signing for both sides. Dahlin gets a significant pay raise coming off his entry-level contract while the Sabres commit to a short-term bridge deal. His signing leaves Vancouver’s Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes and Ottawa’s Brady Tkachuk as the only remaining notable restricted free agents.

THE SCORE: The Los Angeles Kings signed goaltender Cal Petersen to a three-year contract extension with an annual average value of $5 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Petersen is the heir apparent to long-time Kings starting goalie Jonathan Quick. He took over the starter’s role last season, appearing in 35 games to Quick’s 22. The latter is signed through 2022-23 with an annual cap hit of $5.8 million.

THE DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche signed right wing Logan O’Connor to a three-year, $3.15 million contract extension.


GOPHNX.com’s Craig Morgan reports Arizona Coyotes winger Phil Kessel is sidelined two-three weeks with a foot injury suffered during offseason training.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: Avalanche defenseman Devon Toews will miss the first part of the upcoming season recovering from offseason shoulder surgery.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning defenseman Cal Foote will be sidelined by a hand injury for the entire training camp and preseason as well as the first two-to-four weeks of the regular season.


TSN: The St. Louis Blues announced they’ve named Peter Chiarelli as their vice-president of hockey operations while Ken Hitchcock rejoins the club as a coaching consultant.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: The Panthers confirmed their arena will be called the FLA Live Arena for this season. The club is looking for a new naming rights partner for 2022.


  1. Why is Keith travelling to the states to get his shot?

    Has he not heard that we have the shots here in Canada too?

    And why the J&J shot?

    Re Kane…. without passing judgement (the accusations are serious and should always be taken seriously) …. But the timing of his wife’s domestic violence restraining order (Tuesday) came 24 hours after her lawyers had been given the heads up that he’d been cleared of the betting allegations

    Again…. Serious allegations and they need to be investigated thoroughly …. But why didn’t she file them months/weeks ago?

    Dahlin…. Very reasonable deal by Adams…. I truly believe that Dahlin on any other club would have performed better; and thus demanded and received more in a bridge deal

    If I’m reading the tea leaves correctly… Tkachuk stalemate is not overall remuneration , but more likely around bonuses…. George et al… is that your take? Odds of a trade are slim …. But if so… what team what return?

    Hughes/Petterssen …. Who signs first?

    • The J&J requires only one dosage, not two. I daresay Keith probably felt he could get that shot faster in the States than in Alberta.

      • Thanks Lyle

        1 shot for J&J…. Ok I get it

        But easier to get in US than Canada????….That does surprise me

      • My sister in law cannot get other COVID-19 vaccines due to severe allergy to polyethylene glycol (PEG), which is in the ingredient list for other vaccines. She is waiting for J&J approval / availability in Canada… Same for Keith, perhaps?

      • Thanks Ken

        I did didn’t know that re Alta

        No prob here…. One of my VP’s sons decided to het the J&J Vax on Monday; booked for Tuesday; and got it Tuesday

      • I know in Ontario you are not allowed to request the type of shot you get when you make an appointment or go to a pop up.

        Maybe similar situation in Alberta? He needed the 1 shot in order to get started right away so that could be the reason for travelling to the states to get it.

    • Peng and Lyle,


      Peter C. !!!! ##^%&@#


      • Hi Iowa Prince

        Passed his prime IMHO…. But Hitch was a fair coach “in his day”. LOL

        Still kindly reaching out for a Vlad – Zucker flip….. case of Glenlivet to GM??

    • There was a story of one pharmacy in Calgary being worried about a shortage a week ago, but I haven’t heard of anything else.
      When the UCP put in proof of vaccination rules in for restaurants, bars and some other places, vaccine appointments spiked. Not a surprise, so should have seen it coming, but a good thing.

      Should be no issue getting the supply chain filled in a day or 2, so Lyle is likely right, 1 shot vs 2. Or he likes the old school tech vs mRNA.

      I dunno, but that would have hurt the Oil not having him play.

      • Agree and thanks Ray

    • The Canucks should be more motivated to first sign Pettersson because he is eligible for an offer sheet.

      • This seems to be the consensus among most pundits as well. I just can’t wait until they are signed and we can get this season started!

  2. I can’t BELIEVE an NHL team took on Peter Chiarelli. Wow.

    • Hi Pete

      Anything can, and does , happen in the NHL

      Remember …. An NHL team signed a player (no one else really wanted) ; just minutes into UFA; for 5 years; at a grossly over paid price; just because he was friends with the captain (as a 14 year old); then watched him cripple a team’s performance and be a fundamental and high contributing factor in 6 (of the 6 losses he played in) playoff losses in consecutive years; and main contributor in back to back 1st and out playoffs; then no one would take him in a trade; then after 2 years of public outcry… finally bought out

      Then…. With retirement almost assured… a usually astute GM gave him a 1 year…. Note at more than league min…. Where he played a handful of games; and not well

      Then… one of the leagues top GMs…. Who has a cup fav team…. Signed the same absolute wreck of a player to a PTO

      SO…. ANYTHING …. Absolutely ANYTHING….. can happen in the NHL

      • Gorton, usually “astute “?

        Like buying out Girardi, to sign Shatenkirk, to buy out Shattenkirk, like trading Mcdonagh AND Miller for Hajek (probably AHL bound and gone next year) , Brett Howden (bust and gone for DeSimone ahl’er, a 4th that will end up being nothing , Namestikov , traded for Ebert and another 4th and a 1st which turns out to be Nils Lundkvist promising rh d-man, but better be amazing to make that trade look even remotely close. )

        Ryan Graves for Bigras?

        Stepan and Raanta for Deangelo and a 1st (Lias Andersson which turned into a 2nd round pick?) we all know how the Deangelo thing worked out.

        Plonk and Winnipeg’s own 1st from the Hayes deal for Trouba. A little high for a guy that wanted out of town and was an rfa.

        Re-signing Brendan Smith.

        Signing Johnson.

        Now the good.

        Skjei for what turned into Schneider (Jury’s kinda out, but I’ll call it a possible win)

        Spooner For Strome ( Hard to give Gorton credit for a players turn around, but I’ll give him the win)

        Zibanejad and a 2nd for Brassard, ( hands down a win, but even a broken clocks right twice a day)

        2-2nds for Fox. NY could have pretty much given a lot more away and won this trade,

        Miller, Jury’s out. Looks promising, but a little early.

        Nash trade turned into Lindren and Kravstov. Looks promising here. Jury’s out on Kravstov..

        I’m not giving him credit for Kakko or Laffrienere. They were getting drafted exactly where they fell.

        “Astute” would be more than a little generous.

      • Are you maybe talking about JJ?

      • Hi CO

        Cede your concerns …. But….

        This non Ranger fan views your plus list (overall) better than your minus list… Quality over Quantity

        We agree to disagree on that… ‘tis what this site is all about

        No matter which way you look at it

        Gorton >>> Jimbo

        And Jimbo ; somehow; got recognized for contributions ?????

        Hence my “usually astute” moniker

        Mine (viewpoint) is but that…. a subjective assessment

      • Hi DB

        Perhaps, I say ……

        with my Dr Evil mask on and baby fingernail in corner of mouth


      • My plus list was very generous outside of Zibanejad and Fox and filled with question marks.

        I didn’t even go into the Staal re-signing (Marc) Eric Staal trade, Yandle trade etc.

        The Miller / Mcdonagh trade was a axing trade on its own.
        Trading both of those players in one deal was flat out dumb.

        If Nils Lundkvist is a bust, they should rehire Gorton just to fire him again. That was a grossly one sided deal.

        Gorton was not good for NY. I’m not sure that can be seen as subjective given his track record. Awful!

  3. When I first saw $400 K potential loss (Bertuzzi…. $4.25 M Sal) vs Archibald $600 K (Sal is $1.2 M)… it threw me…. But I now realize .. duh…. Oil play more games in the states than Wings play in Canada

    …. But Oil play likely 4 or 5 games each against Flames and Nucks ; 2 or 3 vs Jets; and 2 each for Leafs, Sens, Habs …. Max 20 games… so at least 62 games in US…. If restrictions stay for whole season…. His gross loss > $900 K…. and take home for full year (noting escrow) less than $120 K ….. ouch!

    Maybe that kind of quick math had Ylonen change his stance

    • Archibald won’t see the Oilers dressing room until he is fully vaccinated. The risk is too high to the rest of the team when the margin of in or out of the playoffs is so slim. Can’t have key guys missing games because of Covid positive tests whether they get symptoms or not.

      Too bad, he is a decent player and fan favorite as he is a high energy guy who battles.
      4th line guy who can pot close to 10 has value.

      Perhaps he changes his mind, but wouldn’t bet the farm on it.

      • You are correct, Ray. He won’t see the Oilers dressing room until he is fully vaccinated.

        “Too bad, he is a decent player and fan favorite as he is a high energy guy who battles.
        4th line guy who can pot close to 10 has value.”

        He is but that is not worth the risk to the other players he will be around.

        I would like to think that the decision is entirely health risk based but it is also based in $$$. Playing him is not worth the risk of possibly losing the bigger stars.

        But you know what? That is fine with me if in the end it gets everyone vaccinated. Good info and education doesn’t seem to be working with the hold-outs so restrictions are necessary.

  4. And IF he actually catches the virus – he’s off without pay until he’s fully recovered. With even doubly vaccinated people catching the virus in significant numbers…..this season could get ugly with fans in the stands.

    according to most dialed in people in Ottawa (love the new Ottawa hockeybuzz blogger K.Francis) Tkachuk want’s no move protection and bonus money. Second Liver Eugene isn’t willing to break in house rules. So we are at an impasse.

  5. Lyle: “Most NHL players are well-conditioned athletes with good odds of avoiding the worst serious symptoms of COVID-19.”

    That statement may have some truth to it, but it is by no means a guarantee. There are other factors that determine one’s reaction to the virus.

    In any event, Lyle, your comment is a red herring. We know for a fact that the unvaccinated are much more likely to catch covid. No matter how often an unvaccinated player is tested for covid, a positive result means exposure of team mates has already taken place.

    Why would any team risk having other players infected by the unvaccinated, or having games postponed and reschedule into a tighter and therefore harder to win time frame?

    It’s insanity for teams to let unvaccinated players play with others. Teams can’t force players to get vaccinated. But it’s like showing up at an airport. Don’t want to go through screening, no problem. Find another mode of transportation. Don’t want to get a vaccination to play with our team? No problem. Find another line of employment.

    • GM Sweeney says all Bruins’ players and staff are fully vaccinated

    • Will be interesting to see, as word is, being vaccinated can cause symptoms to be worse.

      Oscar de la Hoya was vaccinated, and it kicked his ass. His words, not mine.

      We are learning through the Delta variant… that the vaccine isn’t so effective.

      Not to long ago, 30 vaccinated Israeli’s had COVID in Iceland… one of the most vaccinated countries in the world, with stringent entrance requirements.

      • Just more misinformation. The vaccine has been proven to be effective in lessening Covid’s serious health effects.

  6. Stalock and also 18 year old Rossi

  7. Add the Oilers requiring fans to wear masks except when eating and drinking to other absurdities surrounding covid mitigation efforts. A typical mask does little, if anything, to protect a healthy wearer from infection. Epidemiologists advise mask wearing because a mask might retain virus-laden water droplets expelled by a sick wearer’s cough or sneeze, thereby preventing those droplets from reaching and infecting a healthy person. A sick person is no less likely to cough or sneeze while eating or drinking than he would otherwise. In the interest of preventing the spread of disease, it would be best if the Oilers disallowed eating and drinking during games, but their interest is obviously more inclined to producing revenue from concession sales.

  8. I wish evander kane would bet with me for a year. I could use $7 mil. On second thought, if he doesn’t pay his debts, I want to take my wish back.

    Surely the Sharks will find a way to get him out of their locker room while avoiding a buyout?

    • Not sure they can Nasdaq40. The NHLPA will defend him, so the team/league will need to prove he broke the terms of his contract/code of conduct.
      Being a bad and addicted gambler, deadbeat dad and a bad team mate likely don’t qualify or they would have already.
      Spousal abuse sure as heck would. But as discussed on here before bad breakups cause folks to say things that aren’t necessarily true so will need to wait and see on that one.

      Some of his own team mates took the step of asking he not be back tells you all you need to know about how they feel about it, so not sure what they do.

      Can’t see them finding a trade partner anytime soon.

      • Ray, why would you say deadbeat Dad? do you know more then what is reported?

        I get people don’t like him; but that doesn’t mean he s guilty.

        The optics for his ex are not great; she would interview with the league.

        The day the league say they can’t find anything; then she files abuse claims.

        He has already put a restraining order against her.

        Unfortunately the child get hurt.

        I don’t need to know about their divorce and what happen and didn’t happen in their house.

        The optics is someone wants to destroy someone.

  9. It seems to me Kane does most of his gambling in the casinos ..