NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 4, 2021

by | Sep 4, 2021 | News, NHL | 21 comments

NHL players will participate in the 2022 Winter Olympics, the Senators sign Drake Batherson, the Red Wings ink Filip Hronek to a new deal, and more in today’s morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The league has reached an agreement with the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) to take part in the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. NHL players will be returning to the Olympics for the first time since the Sochi Games in 2014. The league will break from Feb. 3-22 to allow for the 2022 All-Star Game in Las Vegas followed by the Olympics.

NHL players will take part in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics (NHL.com).

The agreement also provides the league and the NHL Players Association the option for a possible later decision to withdraw from the Beijing Games in the event COVID-19 conditions render participation to be impractical or unsafe.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some hockey fans and pundits believe the NHL should boycott the Beijing Games for a variety of reasons. That decision, however, isn’t up to the league.

The players wanted Olympic participation as part of the extension to the CBA. As a result, the league had to work with the PA, IIHF and the International Olympic Committee to reach an agreement on the Beijing Games. It appears the only thing that will prevent it will be the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators winger Drake Batherson to a six-year, $29.85 million contract. The 23-year-old winger’s annual average value is $4.975 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Batherson enjoyed a breakout campaign in 2020-21 after two short seasons with the Senators, tallying 17 goals and 34 points in 56 games. The report noted that the versatile two-way forward enjoyed terrific chemistry on a line with Brady Tkachuk and Josh Norris. That should continue in the coming years as the rebuilding Senators rise in the standings. Batherson’s new contract could also be a cost-effective deal if he continues to improve as management believes he will.

THE DETROIT NEWS: The Red Wings signed Filip Hronek to a three-year, $13.2 million contract. That’s a $4.4 million annual average cap hit for the 23-year-old defenseman.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: An affordable new deal for Hronek, who developed into the Red Wings’ best blueliner over the past two seasons. He’ll likely be joined on their top pairing by Nick Leddy, who was acquired earlier this summer from the New York Islanders.

STLTODAY.COM: After signing an eight-year contract extension, Colton Parayko assured nervous Blues fans that he’s fully recovered from the back injury that hampered him last season. The 28-year-old defenseman missed 21 games but said he required minimal offseason treatment, relying instead on rest and building up the muscles around it.

TRIBLIVE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins invited forward Brian Boyle and defenseman Matt Bartkowski to training camp on professional tryout offers. Boyle is attempting a comeback after sitting out last season while Bartkowski spent all but one game last season with the Minnesota Wild’s AHL affiliate in Iowa.

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: Rocky Thompson has stepped down as an associate coach with the San Jose Sharks. Medical reasons prevent him from taking the COVID-19 vaccine, making it difficult for him to perform his duties under the league’s COVID protocols for the coming season.

USA HOCKEY: John Hynes, David Quinn, Todd Reirden and Ryan Miller will serve as assistant coaches to head coach Mike Sullivan for the 2022 USA Men’s Olympic hockey team.


  1. I know of three Canadians who won’t be in attendance at the Olympic games cheering on “Team Canada” – Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig and Robert Schellenberg, currently under a death sentence – all under trumped-up charges with no basis in fact.

    I guess the theory is, if we kow-tow properly maybe they will relent and release them.

    I hope there Canadian players, at least, who will shoe their disgust and say “no thanks” to an Olympic invitation.

    • “show their disgust”

    • “SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some hockey fans and pundits believe the NHL should boycott the Beijing Games for a variety of reasons. That decision, however, isn’t up to the league.”

      I am one of those fans and I certainly won’t be watching.

      • Same here. At the very least Canada should drop out. What’s more important, seeing Canadians being draped with a gold medal or seeing 3 Canadians, held under asinine charges, get their lives back?

  2. The Rocky Thompson resignation is an interesting one. I wonder what medical condition would preclude vaccination. Doubtless this story will become more detailed in the next while.
    Thompson is considered a serious NHL coaching prospect but his career seems to have hit a wall.

  3. NHL players in the Olympics👍😀👍😀👍😀

    Batherson contract… good for both sides

    Parayko… Blues get a F A N T A S T I C deal👍👍👍👍

    Boyle and Bartowski on PTOs with Pens….. HexBurkie are brain dead

    Neither player (even at league min) moves the needle for Pens

    Pens either need to make a hockey trade (best idea) or start the rebuild

    As is or even with one/both of Boyle/Bartowski… Pens are most likely battling fir 5th/5th in Metro

    Only team to lose 2 players to Kraken

    Gino out at least 1/6th of the season

    Zucker still on team

    Team right up against Cap (but acknowledge that they will get 1/6th min of Gino’s Sal in LTIR Cap relief)

    All above is NOT a pretty picture

    Sid has to be peeved with HexBurkie

    Mario…. Call Vinnie and see what it would take to flip HexBurkie for Zito


  4. If China is reporting less than 5,000 deaths from covid it seems to be the safest place on earth for the NHL players. How does the NHL brain trust think they will be able to judge the underlying health danger?

    • The NHL does not care about health. They care about $$$

  5. Maybe arresting Meng Wanzhou on a stopover in Vancouver and holding her on bail for three years wasn’t such a good idea.
    Releasing her in October might be an idea.

    Right or wrong one has to expect and plan for retaliatory action when acting for a “friend” who doesn’t give a hoot about Canada.

    • Irony at its best coming from you.

    • Yeah sure. The Extradition Treaty between Canada and the U.S. is legal and, in the U.S., she faces charges of fraud. So here we’re obeying the rule of law. Those murderous SOBs are just flexing their dictatorship muscles. You think such action would never be repeated when the situation suits them

      Opinions are one thing – that attitude disgusts me. Eff this site if that’s the sort of gutless wonders with whom I am dialoguing.

    • The reason I said October is because Meng Wanzhou’s extradition hearing ended in early August and the Chief Justice will announce a date for giving her ruling at the end of October.

      A release might help get the Canadians released since they were taken as bargaining chips.

    • That’s the dumbest thing you’ve written on here, Habsfan30, and you’ve given us some doozies to choose from.
      Count me out.

  6. I believe that like I believe they respect the rule of law.

  7. Bulyah,

    Bergervin comes out on top of all of this in at least the short term.

    • How? He loses the far better player in KK, and over pays for a middling 3rd line center.
      A 1st and a 2nd for Dvorak? Lol. He’ll never break 40 pts. He’s soft and weak in the dot, and he cant shoot. Lol. This is fantastic to watch. Can’t wait for Habsfan30 to come on here and explain why this is a great deal, and how Dvorak is the second coming of Carbo.
      If we’ve learned anything here this past week, it’s how to properly use an offer sheet to acquire top talent. Wonder if GMMB has been paying attention. Had he know how to add term properly, he could have had Aho.

      • 2422,

        We all have our opinions 🙂

      • Well, silly me.

        I will not bother to post from now on.

        Have a great evening.

      • Oh come on. I’m just being a jacka$$.

        I apologize, and recognize I went too far.
        No more outta me on the matter.
        Please reconsider not posting. That certainly wasn’t my intention.