NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 26, 2021

by | Sep 26, 2021 | News, NHL | 12 comments

The Blues sign GM Doug Armstrong to a new contract and make a trade with the Senators, the Wild name Matt Dumba and Marcus Foligno alternate captains, and the latest on Sergei Bobrovsky, Anders Lee and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

STLTODAY.COM: The Blues signed general manager Doug Armstrong to a five-year contract extension.

St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong (NHL.com).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No surprise here. In announcing the signing, Blues owner Tom Stillman pointed out the club has made nine postseason appearances during Armstrong’s tenure, including three division titles, a conference title and their first-ever Stanley Cup in 2019.

The Blues also made a trade yesterday, shipping forward Zach Sanford to the Ottawa Senators in exchange for center Logan Brown. They’ll also receive a fourth-round pick in 2022 from the Senators if the 26-year-old Brown doesn’t appear in 30 games this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A St. Louis native, Brown was the Senators’ first-round pick (11th overall) in the 2016 NHL draft but he struggled to crack their rebuilding roster, appearing in just 30 games over the past four seasons. He’ll get a great opportunity to reset his NHL career with his hometown club.

Sanford, 26, developed into a good defensive winger with the Blues. He should be a solid fit on the Senators’ checking lines.

This was also a much-needed cost-cutting move for the Blues. As per Cap Friendly, by exchanging Sanford’s $2 million cap hit for Brown’s $750K, they’re just under the $81.5 million salary cap.

TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild named defenseman Matt Dumba and winger Marcus Foligno as their new alternate captains. They replace Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, who were bought out of their contracts during the offseason.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky hopes to put last season’s disappointing playoff performance behind him. He’ll be sharing the goaltending duties this season with promising Spencer Knight.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bobrovsky’s going to face a real challenge hanging onto the starter’s job. Knight is a highly-touted young netminder seen as Bobrovsky’s eventual replacement.

NYI HOCKEY NOW: The Islanders are likely to keep left winger Anders Lee out of their first few postseason games. Their captain is returning from surgery to repair a torn ACL that ended his 2020-21 season last March.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: They want to ensure Lee is fully up to speed before putting him into game action. No sense rushing him in meaningless preseason games and risk a setback.

THE ATHLETIC: Philadelphia Flyers center Kevin Hayes recently expressed his gratitude to the hockey community at large for the support he and his family received following the sudden death of his older brother (and former NHL player) Jimmy Hayes.

Among the notables to reach out with support were Pittsburgh Penguins president of hockey operations Brian Burke and team captain Sidney Crosby, former New York Rangers teammates Ryan McDonagh and Kevin Shattenkirk, as well as New Jersey Devils defenseman P.K. Subban, Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog, and Tampa Bay Lightning forward Pat Maroon.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The past several weeks have been difficult for Hayes. He also recently underwent abdominal surgery that will sideline him for the entirety of training camp.

TSN: Montreal Canadiens winger Mike Hoffman could miss up to four weeks with a lower-body injury suffered during offseason training.

THE DETROIT NEWS: Red Wings forward Jakub Vrana’s first day in training camp didn’t last long. After being delayed joining his teammates by visa issues, he left practice yesterday with a shoulder injury.

SPORTSNET: Vancouver Canucks defenseman Brady Keeper was stretchered from the ice during practice on Saturday with an apparent leg injury. No update was provided on his condition.

TSN: Goaltender Curtis McElhinney took to Instagram yesterday to announce his retirement. During his 13 NHL seasons, the well-traveled McElhinney appeared in 249 career games with the Calgary Flames, Anaheim Ducks, Ottawa Senators, Arizona Coyotes, Columbus Blue Jackets, Toronto Maple Leafs, Carolina Hurricanes and Tampa Bay Lightning.

McElhinney finished his career on a high note, winning two straight Stanley Cups with the Lightning in 2020 and 2021. He finishes with a record of 94 wins, 95 losses and 20 overtime losses, with a 2.83 goals-against average, a .907 save percentage and 12 shutouts.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to McElhinney and his family in their future endeavors.


  1. Good luck to Logan Brown. Perhaps a change in coaching styles, new environment will bring out the best in him, same as Sammy Niku in Montreal.

    Don’t know a lot about Sanford other than he’s a big bugger at 6’4″ 207 lbs. Maybe IowaPrince can offer some insight.

    It’s interesting, though, that he’s a LW, joining Connor Brown, Nick Paul and Alex Formenton at that position, with highly-rated prospects Roby Jarventie, Ridley Greig and Egor Sokolov in the wings at Belleville.

    Could it be a sign that they’re becoming fed up dealing with the “Tkachuk way” of negotiating and that he’ll soon be on his way elsewhere as well?

    • And, until and unless Stutzle moves to C, can’t forget him at the LW position, adding to the crowd gathering there.

    • O

      I’m not nearly as harsh regarding Sanford as most other Blues fans. He doesn’t always use his size as much as he could (ie. not tough on puck, no net front presence) and some of his turnovers will make you CRAZY. HOWEVER, he is versatile and can play up/down lineup when needed. A pretty complete player, just not consistent. He can score and has a decent shot/release. He kills some penalties too. He’ll be a good addition.


      • the way I see it Sanford will allow for the prospects George mentioned to get more time and experience in Belleville. Adding another LW is not a good sign for Sokolov as some were hopeful he could crack the lineup this year. I can see Sanford being moved at the TDL for a pick. It was time for Logan Brown to move on , I am surprised Dorion got that good a return.
        I.P, speaking of big players who don’t play BIG , you shall see more of that with Brown.

  2. Re Bobo and “ hopes to put last season’s disappointing playoff performance behind him. ”….. Knight should push him

    If Knight plays as expected and if Bobo can play as good as say a $6M goalie (Note: he’s paid $12 M this year and has a $10 M cap hit)…. Then Panthers have a very fair chance of winning Atl and even the East

    If Bobo can play anywhere near his Cap hit, barring major injuries to key Panthers, then probability of Panthers winning the East jump up even more

    Now, a faltering Season by Knight and Bobo repeating last year’s work…. All bets are off….”No soup fer you”

    • Pengy,

      If Spencer Knight provides Florida with Chris Driedger like goaltending there will be a lot of red faces in Edmonton.

      • ‘Nucks, ‘Yotes, Wild also passed on him

        It’s a gamble picking a goalie 1st round; and especially in the top 1/2 of the draft (meaning it’s by a team that missed the playoffs)

        Goalies usually take much longer (on average) than forwards and D to enter the NHL

        Looks like the gamble paid off for Panthers…. Don’t forget …l Panthers also gambled by giving Bobo $10 M * 7

        As at now… Panthers looking great

        I’d absolutely love for Mario to negotiate with Vinnie for a Zito flip for HexBurkie

        Zito 👍👍👍👍

      • Only in your mind Hab fan. That was Holland’s first draft and he wasn’t going to reach for a goalie in the top 10 unless that was a slam dunk , it was not. 12 other teams also agreed. At the time everyone was clamouring for a winger , Holland stuck to drafting what they determined was best player available , not drafting for a positional need . The oilers have spent on the position and have skinner , who outbattled Hart in junior , played great in the ahl last year and is trending in the right direction , konovalov , a young prospect with khl experience and rodriquez . They haven’t neglected the position , it’s a tough one to nail , they have 3 good chances.

      • Drafting is difficult, we all know that, teams have different evaluations on positional players and its easy to point fingers when a much lower LD, RD or C or LW or RW turns out to be a better pick.

        I’m not doing that, nor do I consider any GM or head scout for, in hindsight, evaluating wrong.

        It’s been 30 years since Edmonton has had above average goaltending.

        A stud available in a position of long time need is worth a “gamble” that if it pays off, sets the team for a decade.

        I have no dog in the fight.

      • As I mentioned , it was Holland’s first draft. With not even his full staff in place yet . The two previous drafts they had spent 2nd and 3rd round picks on skinner and rodriquez . Not the time to spend a top 10 pick on a goalie. They obviously liked konovalov and thought they could get him deeper in the draft , and also grab Broberg and lavoie in the process. Knight wasn’t a sure thing then and isn’t a sure thing now . Your assertion that anyone would be Redfaced in Edmonton and only Edmonton is strange and not close to accurate or even a thought in Edmonton

  3. Captain Obvious

    You better have some of your best posts ever today

    When I opened Spector’s page today; your picture was up there in 3 places…. You are star attraction today…. Roll up your sleeves … gedderdone 👍👍

    • For what seems like the one millionth time do you realize the shape Jim Rutherford left Hextall & Burke in regarding the cap???? Apparently you don’t … do your homework …