NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 26, 2022

by | Jun 26, 2022 | News, NHL | 34 comments

An update on Zdeno Chara, Bruins finalize contract extension for GM Don Sweeney, Alex Ovechkin scored in pro soccer debut, the latest on Ondrej Palat and Andre Burakovsky, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Zdeno Chara’s agent said his client intends to make a decision about his NHL future in September. The 45-year-old defenseman is an unrestricted free agent after spending last season with the New York Islanders, setting the league record for most career games by a defenseman with 1,680. He had 14 points and was a plus-8 in 72 games with the Isles.

New York Islanders defenseman Zdeno Chara (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Chara is no longer the perennial Norris Trophy candidate he was during his playing prime. Still, it wouldn’t be surprising if a club signs him to an affordable one-year contract as a third-pairing blueliner if he decides to return for one more season. His preference would likely be to skate for an Eastern Conference club.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: cites the Worcester Telegram & Gazette’s Joe McDonald reporting the Bruins have finalized the contract extension for general manager Don Sweeney.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m sure the Bruins fans who are regular commenters to this site will have some interesting takes on this news. The deal hasn’t been officially announced yet though that could be coming at some point this week. I’ll post the details when they appear.

Under Sweeney’s management, the Bruins reached the playoffs in each of the last six seasons, reaching the Stanley Cup Final in 2019 and winning the Presidents’ Trophy in 2020. However, the club has declined over the past two seasons, raising questions about his efforts to maintain a contender. The recent firing of head coach Bruce Cassidy raised eyebrows around the league and the ire of Bruins fans.

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: It turns out Alex Ovechkin is also a scorer in professional soccer. Signed to a one-game contract with FC Moscow Dynamo, the Capitals captain scored a goal against FC Amkal in a Russian Premier League friendly.

YAHOO! SPORTS: Ondrej Palat’s performance in the 2022 Stanley Cup playoffs could help him cash in as an unrestricted free agent next month. Coming off a 49-point performance in 77 regular-season games, Palat leads the Lightning with 11 postseason goals and three game winners.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Palat is completing a five-year contract with an annual average value of $5.3 million. If he and the Lightning fail to reach an agreement on a new deal, he’s bound to draw plenty of interest from contenders looking for a clutch player like him. He leads all active players with 12 playoff game-winners.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar said winger Andre Burakovsky (hand injury) remains day-to-day but didn’t rule him out for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final on Sunday night in Tampa Bay.

PUCK PEDIA (via KUKLA’s KORNER): listed several upcoming key NHL offseason dates, starting with the first contract buyout window opening on July 1 and closing on July 12. July 11 is the deadline for teams to issue qualifying offers to restricted free agents. July 12 is also the deadline for teams to sign their pending unrestricted free agents to eight-year contracts. July 17 is the deadline for players to file for arbitration, which starts on July 27.

SIRIUSXMNHL host Jonathan Davis reports the Vegas Golden Knights have hired Sean Burke as their director of goaltending. Burke held that position with the Montreal Canadiens.

TWINCITIES.COM: The NHL is experiencing significant growth among female and young fans. 37 percent of its fans are female, a growth of 26 percent in that demographic since 2016. Nearly 40 percent of its fans are under 50.

NHL.COM: The Chicago Wolves defeated the Springfield Thunderbirds 4-0 in Game 5 of the Calder Cup Finals, winning the series in five games to become champions of the American Hockey League. The Wolves are the affiliate of the Carolina Hurricanes while the Falcons are affiliated with the St. Louis Blues. Wolves winger Josh Leivo was awarded the Jack A. Butterfield Trophy as the playoffs’ most valuable player.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this was the first time the Calder Cup has been awarded since 2019. Congratulations to the Wolves on their championship run this season.


  1. Can’t wait to hear all the negative comments about Sweeney. But if you look at it not as a Bruin fan but an outsider. He has done a good job overall with some screw ups tossed in. Team has had great success in his time as gm despite his mis steps His biggest strength as gm is getting star players to take less then market value for their services

    • Mrbruin ….I’m sure you have looked back at the Sweeney trades, draft picks & FA signings since 2015 and he may have hit on 6-8 transactions he’s there because Neely is there and he let some players tell him to fire BC after telling him he was coming back …not a fan

      • Joe I wouldn’t waste my breath on that guy he thinks Sweeney walks on water. “The bruins are built for the playoffs,” he knows as much about hockey as I do on quantum physics. Even if by some reason of the imagination Krejci re signs they still need a rushing D with size and skill and another forward. Sweeney’s been a disaster coming on here and listing all his failures and few positives is a waste of time. Why bother with ever perky Mr. Bruin There could be atomic explosion in your province and he would most likely come out with” sure it can rip the face right off you but, Just look at the beautiful cloud formations and Colours.”

      • Joe. We could have had. Marc. Bergavin for a gm or chuck. Fletcher Bruins have won more then their fair share under him even with some big boo boos he has made. As far as RWM. He is a complainer about all. He thinks Orr was not a star lol cause only won cups Enjoy the day

    • Spoiled New England sports fans don’t have a clue. Sweeny is not the overall problem. It’s ownership. And not because they are cheap and won’t spend because the bruins have hovered around the cap maximum for 10-12 yrs easy. It’s because the last CBA Jacobs and one other owner wouldn’t budge on a deal. Effectively causing the lockout to continue on. So why sign here? Secondly since Pasta was drafted every team the bruins teams wanted him then Mcavoy Sway Lysell and so on. Players targeted were moved to other team for what seemed a bargain Donny missed the boat on. But stood pat and kept them. Can’t make teams trade with you nor can you make players sign as free agents. 2015 draft in hindsight looks bad but the Bruins had a deal with the canes that fell through if I remember correctly. So instead of taking the best player available they drafted for need. Bergy and DK were top 2 centers and zero need to draft Barzel type players. Even through last yr with no real second line center the bruins were still an elite team. Bruins were a top team from new year’s to the end of the season. Fire Sweeny is just bandwagon garbage

      • Here here

  2. Who would have known those four little words could inspire so much dread in bruins fans everywhere.. “ Don Sweeney Signs Extension,”I almost feel like I’ve been caught in a time loop, like Bill Murray in Ground Hog Day, going through same motions over and over again, for me I knew it was coming just a matter of time. At least two more years of Charlie Wonka and the chocolate factory! I just can’t get any feeling of optimism for next season, unless something extraordinary happens I just can’t watch.

    • You feel like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day?

      • Lol! Well played Ray!

      • That you Ned? ……..Ned Ryerson?

    • Happy Birthday Rick.

    • I thought Habs fans were tough. The constant trashing of Sweeney by Bruin fans on this site makes criticism of Bergevin by Habs fans look like polite disagreements.

      • Howard, it should be Bruin fan, not plural. Well maybe 2. But ya, I understand your point.

  3. Retire Z it’s over. My grandmother could probably deke you out in her walker or at the very least win a foot race with you on the ice. retire already.

    • A third-pairing D at league minimum who is a plus-8?

      I think most teams would find that acceptable.

    • Agreed. Chara has had a great career. Time to hang em up.

    • The Bruins should sign him for his swan song.
      He’d be an excellent fit while everyone is on the mend.

      • SOP isn’t it past your nap time at Sleepy Acres? I’ll talk to Nurse Rachet and see if she’ll fluff your pillow for you before you catch a few winks. Chara couldn’t stop Pee Wee Herman on a breakaway. Stick a fork in him he’s done.

      • Good one, Rick.

  4. Pierre Luc Dubois is emerging as the next coming of Mark Messier. Montreal if you could have him right now, would you trade #1 pick and Kaiden Guhle to get him?

    • If his name was Pete Woods they wouldn’t make that deal in a hundred years.

    • See Lyle’s other post for plenty of views.

  5. Pierre Luc Dubois…. He would look very handsome in a Bruins uniform for many years ….. pull this off Sweeney and you’ll win me over

    • Joe, realistically what does Boston have that they’d be prepared to give up without creating a massive need elsewhere and, more importantly, that Winnipeg would even want? They’re not operating from strength when it comes to trades of that magnitude and at least 10 much deeper teams could – IF they wanted to – make better offers for Dubois that the Jets might go for.

      • GeorgeO I’ve have never agreed with that statement.

        If Boston wanted to trade for Pld, yes they have assets that interest Winnipeg.

        Every team has assets that interest other teams.

        Comes down to if your willing to part with more assets.

        If acquiring such asset, every team will have to give up something of value, creating a hole somewhere else.

        Boston biggest need is at Center.

        Filling that need and creating another hole, which is generally easier to fill then the Center or #1 or #2 C.

        Ie moving Pastrnak or Carlo and Debrusk

        Both create holes but easier to fill then finding a #1C

      • Caper, read what I said “what does Boston have that they’d be prepared to give up without creating a massive need elsewhere …?”

        YOU say they could offer Pastrnak or Carlo _ DeBrisk and I’m sure if they ever did that Winnipeg would jump at it. But that is not going to happen and you know that as well as anyone.

        Logical? Perhaps. Realistic? Not a chance.

      • GeorgeO i did read what you said and that why I replied.

        My reference is to other teams have more assets.

        Read what I said again

        From a Boston pov I think a Carlo/ Debrusk is exactly what it takes to land PLD.

        I wouldn’t say it’s to much… if so Winnipeg can throw in a 2nd round pick or a prospect.

      • Caper, they are ranked 26th out of 32 in terms of prospect depth. If the Jets were to deal Dubois don’t you think that part of what they would want back is a top C prospect? Boston doesn’t have one.

        DeBrusk has the growing perception of being a malcontent – the last thing the Jets would want is another of those. Carlo is a decent D – but D is not where the jets would be lacking if they traded Dubois away.

        So, yes, there are at least 10 other teams that could offer a better package, including a top C prospect and a roster winger, if for no other reason than to clear cap space so they could take on a Dubois and his pending cap hit.

  6. Don Sweeney isn’t God but has done a good job keeping the Bruins in the mix. The draft everyone brings up was a blunder but I’m sure Bruin scouts were also to blame. Must also remember they drafted Carlo in 2nd round great pick. Every team ages and Boston’s best players are getting long in the tooth and Rask going down also hurt. The Hampus Lindholm trade and sign was very good you can pick any team and I can show you many of examples of players they missed on draft day.

    • Obe. Never mind RWM has spoken. No one knows anything. Only him as he played hockey in peewee rec league and even scored a goal. Has the puck no his basement 😂

    • Sweeney Stinks and always will worst gm in the nhl

      • You spelled Fletcher wrong.

  7. Snicker

  8. Sweeney wasn’t my first choice for the GM job, but he has won me over. There’s no arguing his overall body of work has been well above average. The Bruins have been extremely competitive in the regular season. (Top 5) and we even made it to the finals in ’19.
    I feel he has done enough to warrant the extension awarded to him.
    I’m glad he recognized that cASSidy wasn’t the right man to have at the helm. (I’m sure the players told his as such at the year end meetings.)
    I’m curious as to how he handles the retooling after this coming season.
    Wait and see, I suppose.