NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 15, 2022

by | Jun 15, 2022 | News, NHL | 33 comments

The latest on the Avalanche and Lightning ahead of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, the Golden Knights hire former Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy as their new bench boss, Ducks goalie John Gibson denies trade rumors, and much more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Colorado Avalanche coach Jared Bednar hadn’t named his starting goalie for tonight’s Game 1 of the 2022 Stanley Cup Final. Darcy Kuemper has fully recovered from the upper-body injury that sidelined him for most of the Western Conference Finals. Backup Pavel Francouz picked up the wins in all four games in that series as the Avs swept the Edmonton Oilers.

THE DENVER POST: Avalanche center Nazem Kadri’s status for Game 1 remains uncertain. He underwent surgery on his right thumb last week and wasn’t seen skating with his teammates in practice. Kadri wasn’t available to the media because of his injury status.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s been suggested Kadri could return at some point in the Stanley Cup Final. Given the severity of his injury, I’ll believe it when I see it.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning coach Jon Cooper said all signs indicated Brayden Point (lower-body injury) could return to the lineup for the first time in 31 days in Game 1. However, the final decision will be made on Wednesday.

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Brayden Point (NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s believed Point will definitely be in the line for Game 2 if he doesn’t play in Game 1 tonight.

LAS VEGAS SUN: The Vegas Golden Knights confirmed they’ve hired former Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy as their new bench boss.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fired by the Bruins on June 6, Cassidy wasn’t unemployed for long. That’s because of his solid resume during his six seasons in Boston, guiding the Bruins to the 2019 Stanley Cup Final and winning the Presidents’ Trophy the following season, earning himself the Jack Adams Award as coach of the year for 2019-20.

The Golden Knights will be counting on Cassidy to get them back on the winning track after missing the playoffs this season for the first time in franchise history.

THE ATHLETIC: John Gibson denied a recent rumor claiming he would welcome a trade from the Anaheim Ducks. The 28-year-old goaltender said he first learned of the speculation in a call with his agent, Kurt Overhardt.

All of the rumors that I got in a call from Kurt yesterday are false because I haven’t had a conversation with anybody there, “ said Gibson. “None of that is true.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Athletic’s Eric Stephens suggested Gibson, who has a 10-team no-trade clause, could be traded if Ducks general manager Pat Verbeek gets a “blow-me-away” offer. That appears unlikely if the goalie wants to stay put.

NHL.COM: The Vancouver Canucks intend to qualify Brock Boeser’s rights, according to president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford. “No, we’re not going to let him walk,” said Rutherford. “We recognize he’s a good player. We can figure out a way to fit him in next season with him taking his qualifying offer. Everything gets tricky and difficult, but we can figure it out.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It will cost the Canucks $7.5 million to qualify Boeser’s rights. With limited cap space, they’ll like have to make a cost-cutting trade or two to work it out.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: cited ESPN’s Kevin Weeks reporting the Flyers are in “late-stage negotiations” with John Tortorella regarding their head-coaching job.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As of early this morning a deal has not yet been reached. There could be an announcement coming soon. Stay tuned…

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: The Red Wings signed Juho “Jussi” Olkinuora to a one-year, two-way contract. The 31-year-old goaltender helped Finland win gold at the 2022 Beijing Olympics. He also backstopped them to gold at the 2022 World Championship, earning MVP honors.

TRIBLIVE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins promoted Chris Pryor to assistant general manager.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Stars signed forward Fredrik Karlstrom to a one-year, two-way contract extension. He appeared in three games with the Stars this season.

NHL.COM: Al Morganti and Bill Clement will be honored this year by the Hockey Hall of Fame. Morganti will receive the Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award for excellence in hockey journalism while Clement will receive the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award for outstanding contributions as a hockey broadcaster.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to Morganti and Clement on winning these prestigious awards honoring their many years in their respective fields.

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes are hopeful of reaching an agreement on a new arena with the city of Tempe by the end of this year.

IDNES.CZ: Czech goaltender Patrik Bartosak is under investigation by police after his father accused him of assault. He’s a former prospect of the Los Angeles Kings, selected in the fifth round of the 2013 NHL Draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stick tap to Alexander Wirdzek for the link.

TSN: Carter Hutton announced his retirement on Tuesday. The 36-year-old goaltender spent 10 seasons in the NHL with the Chicago Blackhawks, Nashville Predators, St. Louis Blues, Buffalo Sabres and Arizona Coyotes. In 235 games, he had a record of 94 wins, 90 losses and 27 overtime losses, with a career goals-against average of 2.76, a save percentage of .908 and 13 shutouts.

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

CALGARY SUN: Jim “Bearcat” Murray passed away Tuesday at age 89. He was the trainer for Flames from 1980 until 1996, transitioning into retirement in a community ambassador role. Murray became one of the most popular and colorful characters in Flames’ history.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I saw Murray’s popularity in Calgary during the four years I lived there in the mid-1990s. He took part in many community and charity activities and was among the city’s most recognizable local celebrities. My condolences to his family, friends, and the Flames’ organization.


  1. Philly fans: You are gonna LOVE Torts! LOL

    • Torts was exactly what my Jackets needed at the time, someone who would instill a winning attitude. But he stayed one year too long. Now, I think his style of coaching is out of date.

      • The same thing was said when the Flames hired Darryl Sutter. Torts is a coach that can get the best out of a team for a short period of time. I wouldn’t write him off so quickly.

  2. And I didn’t think I could hate the flyers more.

  3. Ironic move by Vegas. Replacing one unjustly and inexplicably fired coach with another.

  4. Been so very busy over last week and a half, haven’t been able to go on here to read let alone post

    Did get to see the conference finals games (and all 4 CFL games last weekend 👍👍)

    Congrats to Avs and Bolts making it to the SCF… truly best in East meets best in West

    Media seem to be unanimously making Avs favs…. I might agree that Avs have a bit (tiny) of an advantage; but “unanimous”… ??

    Avs haven’t played in…. Mmmm…. Forever…. May have rust to shake off; and it appears Point will be back

    To me…. Bolts definitely have a huge edge in goal; one could argue the pluses on both sets of D; call it a draw

    With Point back… are Avs as a whole, noticeably better Forwards than Bolts?

    Avs have the speed and home ice advantage

    Bolts have experience; best goalie; I believe , a better coach; fresher

    To me series should be closer than the odds are tending to prognosticate

    Congrats to Oil and Rangers for making it to the final 4

    Oil… if you can get Keith to retire; sign Kane and get the #1 goalie you need…. WCF in ‘23 certainly possible

    Rangers…. Well ahead on the rebuild. Yes cap issues coming up…. But with this year’s Vezina winner and I truly believe deserving Hart winner; seasoned stars in Zib, Breadman, CK; and young stars in Chytil, Laf, KK, Lindgren, Fox, *Miller…. this is a very good team.

    *I don’t think Miller gets as much credit as he deserves. Smooth, poised, tough, big… yes – 5 and a few rough games in the playoffs but I really did like his overall game in the regular season….good on ya

    Congrats to Cassidy and Knights…. To me , Bruins threw Cassidy under the bus

    Torts and Flyers…. As a Pens fan…. Love this…. Watch further fall n standings (transparency… never have been, never will be a Torts fan) for Flyers…. What are they thinking??

    Yotes …. “hopeful of reaching an agreement …….Tempe….by the end f this year”

    “hopeful” and “end of this year”…. that’s EARLIEST BTW…..Plus planning and then building…. Now at best it’ll be 5 years in the barn…. Gary retire please so that the Houston Yotes can fill the Toyota Centre for the same period….. all owners benefit; all players (escrow) benefit; viewership increases, game expands; new natural rivalry (Stars/Yotes)….. list goes on and on and on and on (queue Journey)

    Pens…. So now it’s HexBurkiePryor ? making the trades/ moves? All good if Pryor input for first moves is to immediately jettison Zucker and get Tanger locked up

    Leafs…. Loaded in $’s….. offer as much $’s as it takes to flip Dubas for BriseBois…. gedddderrrrrdone!

    • Well, you sure made up for your absence! LOL
      Yotes stay in AZ and await the franchise savior: Austin The Great Matthews.

      • Hi JZ

        Just my bottled up thoughts

        Sorry busy busy day again… just getting back to reading responding

        I have said many times that it is an extremely high probability…. Approaching certainty that Mathews last possible day as a Leaf is 30/6/24…..and a couple of years ago I was strong on the belief that he’d go “home” for his next contract

        With today’s news that Yotes were “hoping” for an agreement with Tempe “by end of the year”…. means best case is likely Q1 in 2023…. then planning; construction contracts; building etc….. opening now likely won’t be (at best) until 27/28 season… nota chance Mathews agrees to play in that Barn for 3 full (at least) seasons.

        If Gary retires….. Mathews could very well become the first Captain of the Houston Yotes (likely will change the name)

        I do realize that that are some like yourself that would like Yotes to stay. Unfortunately, the numbers of Yotes fans who want them to stay are grossly outnumbered by all that want them moved (31 owners, entire NHLPA, millions of current fans across North America; several hundred eager “new”/ “awaiting” fans in Houston).

        The decision to stay, as always, lies with one guy…. Gary

    • Interesting. Another joins in the Dubas-Is-In-Over-His-Head-Chorus … only this time it isn’t someone who’s immediately accused of being a “hater” (hate that newbie expression) but an acknowledged Leafs fan.

      The thing is, while everyone is aware of the cap issues facing him and the need to not only flesh out his lineup with other than minimum ELC call-ups (or cheap UFA acquisitions), but also to resolve a glaring goaltending problem, he’s been down this road before and somehow has gotten it done.

      So Pengy, are you now saying that you don’t think he can do it again without weakening his roster?

      Looking at it as an “outsider” I don’t see how he can possibly re-up all 4 of his RFAs AND sign Campbell without dealing one of his top cap hits – and the only logical one, from another team’s cap cost viewpoint, is Nylander. And if that’s the case, and given the urgency of the situation with free agency looming, can he hold out for the kind of return Nylander would command in the normal course of events, i.e., top draft pick(s)/top ELC prospects? And regardless of ow rich they are, he certainly can’t afford to take back a significant cap hit or he’s right back where he started with regards to cap issues!

      • I think George some place a greater importance in cap space than they do in quality players….like as if the cap space is a star player. Or, get rid of one of your better players, who has a large cap hit, irrelevant to it being a justified amount or not aside, so you can sign your bottom of the line up players. I wonder if the group you’re talking about believe free agency is where you tune up or fix your teams needs? A place to pick up a guy like they are suggesting to move so that you can become cap friendly?

      • I’m not suggesting anything. It’s the GM’s job to put the best line-up possible on the ice within the confines of the cap.

        Just looking at it from a purely mathematical standpoint I merely ask the question “how does he re-up his RFAs AND sign Campbell AND replace the players he obtained in trade who are now UFAs with the limited cap space he has available without dealing either several low- to mid-range contracts OR one of the so-called “core?”

        But before someone responds with “they always find a way” what I’d be interested in seeing is, how do they think he’ll go about it?

      • Just to add — that’s the sort of back-and-forth suggestions/retorts that contribute to discussions much more meaningful than “it always seems to get done” or the fantasy-league ideas of “these 6 guys for those four and a # 1 pick ..” that NEVER transpire … outside of said fantasy-leagues. That stuff is simply a waste of time in the real world.

      • Fair enough George. But that’s my point. We don’t really know simply because we don’t know what their plan has been all along. I doubt, and from experience, these organizations (teams) don’t have a long term plan that will take years to achieve and along the way provisions are made as well as changes due to unfortunate circumstances that we are privy to. We as fans can only make reactionary moves which for the most part horrid.

        Going back to long term plan which every team has. This means looking internally to fill spots. In an ideal world, you hope your team has a talented core which can be supported by inexpensive players, such as players on ELC or budget vet or two. And finally there’s RFAs who don’t get qualified from their team to fill your lower roster. Hopefully you hit a home run with either your ELC player, vet or newly signed RFA to eventually bump out a top player making them redundant and now an option to move.
        I said it a million times, it’s better to have over paid a star player than to over pay a scrub. You’re never gonna find a star player or receive enough compensation for one on the trade or FA front. As we all should know by now, you draft and develop your stars to build your team until the cap forces you to cut bait on them when you can no longer fit under the cap.

        So to wrap it up, the Leafs as with any team, needs to look at how the teams are built, look for redundancies and examine if it’s a luxury or necessity and act on your findings to improve the team even if it is only a placemat. Based on that you can find the cap space to make moves to improving your team. As for the hated leafs, well, thankfully having a good farm team means good prospects so there’s a good cheap pipeline of players right there and I strongly believe that since the Leafs cap woes are basically average compared to the league – yes there are at least 10-12 teams in a worse cap he’ll than the Leafs – teams will not be qualifying RFAs which will help a lot of the cap crunched teams.

        As a side note, if your team wasn’t in the playoffs and it’s tight to the cap, your team is worse off than the Leafs.

      • I understand all that … and can’t really dispute any of it, except to ask – at what point does a team begin to think that the inability to get out of the first round may have less to do with lucky bounces year after year and perhaps more to do with the inability to establish 4 solid lines and 3 pairs of D because the top 5 or 6 players are taking up well over 50% of the cap?

        And no one has yet answered the basic question – how does Dubas re-up his RFAs AND sign Campbell to a contract extension – because there is simply no one out there who is better and available and “cheap” all at the same time. Unless they think going with Mrazek and the kid is the way to go.

      • Well George to answer your first question and one so often repeated around these parts regarding the first round eliminations the past 5yrs is really disingenuous really. The Leafs made the playoffs only the first year of Mathews being a leaf, the years before that no one needs to tell you how good your team was if you’re drafting first overall after drafting 4th over all the year before. To expect a team to have the success they have had in a short turnaround time is nothing but lucky or incredible. Furthermore, to push much better teams to game 7s and those teams either won the cup or were runner-ups to it. Now what happened with the Blue Jackets (although looking at the numbers it was an evenly match series) but did give a preview to the next series that was inexcusable by the manner they lost to the Habs again two more series that went the distance but really should of never have. Plus lose in the first round or later has the same result, no cup. For your team lose to a team that marches on to the final and/or wins it isn’t a total loss it’s inexperience after all you’re expecting what from a team who’s current makeup is only 5 yrs old? It should be there needs still a lot of work to be done….

        Which perfectly brings us to your next point. How with so little room to make the big changes needed to made?

        There is no simple fix for a complex problem not only for the Leafs but for all teams who have not raised the cup. I think it’s important to lock up your stars because if drafting them is like finding unicorns, how likely is someone going to give you one when you do see one you like? And FA usually come with buyer beware signs on many due to the expected cap hit and age.

        How does he resign all his RFAs and Campbell? Does he have to? I know you think he should because he won’t find better and/or cheaper but I have to disagree on all RFAs and Campbell. Like I mentioned before, the leafs have some decent NHL ready prospects that should make the team next year even at worse on a part time basis, as in not a full season but a lot more than a drink of coffee. Instead of worrying how the team will or won’t resign or sign to play, you really need to look at the team over all and look at redundancies, team flaws or weakness as well as recognizing its strengths so you can built your team to correct as many as you can OR leave the opportunity to do so in the future. To say this team or that one has “x” amount of players needing to sign which is impossible to currently fit within the cap as the team is currently constructed is kinda silly. Look at what potentially be the 3x cup champs Lightening, they lost their entire 3rd line last offseason due to the cap crunch. They did what they hoped they had and inserted a few guys from their minor team and traded for players they needed in the mold of to fit their play, plan and team.

        Now I’m not saying it’s easy or if Tampa did anyone can but it does say if you plan good enough you can achieve your goals even when given some bumps on your ride.

      • Hi George

        Re “Another joins in the Dubas-Is-In-Over-His-Head-Chorus “….. this is not me joining…. I’ve been on this for a couple of years. Nice guy…. But afraid to make the tough moves. My angst goes back to his capitulation of the Nylander contract…. That capitulation I believe, collectively cost an additional precious $4M – $5 M (collective annually for WW, MM, AM) and likely lost a precious additional year on the AM contract. Not sitting WW….. then all negotiating power went from Leafs to the Marner and Mathews camps ….. a few months after I posted that… Burke said those amounts and almost an identical statement on HNIC

        Covid happened, flat cap happened… but $4 M to $5M extra plus extra year on Mathews would have helped huge. He’s also made several questionable moves and non moves. I don’t believe he’s the right guy for the job. I DO believe BriseBois is far far better at his job

      • Wow Pengy. Hey btw who was the GM before BriseBois in Tampa? Did that guy leave them as poorly as Lamarello left the Leafs? Kinda like what he’s doing with the islanders now? I would prefer BriseBois’ results too if one thinks they started at the same point.

    • Mr Vinik generally tries to retain good people; from the GM to the video coach and down the roster long tenure is a feature of the Lightning Organization. That said, the assistants are permitted to better themselves and a couple are now GM’s. The real treasure to be poached from the lightning might be Groulx from Syracuse, & Stacey Roest might be ready for a bigger job; he replaced Pat Verbeek who moved to the NHL in a GM slot. I expect Mr. Dubas & his fantasy points group will stay in Tor.

      • Hi Richard

        I’m sure you are right, but Hope you are wrong…. and swap of Dubas for BriseBois is being negotiated…. LOL

    • Pengy. People were worried and asking about you

      • Hi Chrisms

        Worried about me…. Ed? C.O. ? LOL…. I’m sure many loved the Pengy absence. Mrs. Pengy loved not seeing me for 16 + hours every day

  5. About time for Stevie Y gets himself a coach. I don’t see why he would wait for the finals to end to interview a Bolts assistant coach, that would be another 3 week delay….is Lalonde that special? Gotta get the coach’s input on this summer’s agenda soon! It is gonna be a Bobby Dazzler!

    • If the coaches that are now off the board were ones Yzerman was truly sold on, he would have already hired the guy. Keep in mind, all these big name coaches are being talked up by people whose job it is to attract readers. In other words, they are just throwing ideas out there.

    • Pretty sure he’s already got a handshake deal in place with Halpern. (widely reported~under the table)

  6. Knew Bruce would have a job before end of the week turns out it was much sooner one of the best coaches The bruins ever had. For those two slopheads (dumb and dumber ) to use this guy as a scapegoat. It only goes to illustrate how quickly and conveniently they needed to pass off the blame before Jeremy started asking some serious questions. He’s in town.wishful thinking on my
    part to think maybe he’s seen the light Jeremey only see what he wants to see. May his son can help remove the blinders Neely and Sweeney have to go! good luck to Bruce in Vegas he’ll do well there. Lightning win tonight.

    • Bruce good luck in Vegas.The sights at the casino s will be little better than those on MASS/CASS.

  7. sorry to hear about Bearcat Murray , I am sure there are lots of great stories to be told. He struck me as being a feisty character. Time flies.

    • Back in the 80s, more than once I remember him jumping over the boards to attend to an injured player before the play was whistled dead. LOL
      He is truly one of the all-time best characters in the NHL. He will be missed by all.

  8. I hope Cassidy enjoys his 2 years in Vegas.

    • That’s what I was thinking. It will be interesting to see how the Knights work things this offseason. 17 players (9 of them with an NTC of some kind) signed and only $200k in cap space. Trading Dadonov at best could turn out with 16 players signed and $5.2 million in cap space. Still not nearly enough to get a full roster under the cap.

      • Tampa Bay has done ok with it.Taught the NHL how to win using LTIR.

      • The LTIR dance didn’t help the Knights this past season. Now they are even thinner with losing Reilly Smith

  9. BC/LV….was a easy call day after he was fired by Bruins