NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 10, 2022

by | Jul 10, 2022 | News, NHL | 41 comments

Updates on the contract negotiations of Evgeni Malkin and David Pastrnak, Braden Holtby’s career could be over, Anthony Cirelli underwent surgery and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

THE ATHLETIC: Evgeni Malkin appears uncertain if he’ll be returning to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Rob Rossi reports the Penguins center is wondering if the front office still wants him as contract negotiations have stalled, raising doubt in the 35-year-old’s mind.

Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin (NHL Images).

Close friends and teammates of Malkin claim he’s devastated by the lack of movement on the Penguins’ part. Rossi cited congratulatory texts Malkin sent to teammates Kris Letang, Bryan Rust and Casey DeSmith after they signed new contracts with the Penguins. When they asked about the status of his contract talks, Malkin replied, “They think I’m not good anymore.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rossi also reported Penguins general manager Ron Hextall told reporters on Friday that his club wants to re-sign Malkin. He hopes to make a cost-cutting trade to free up cap space to sign the long-time Penguins star. The Penguins’ initial offer to Malkin was reportedly a three-year, $18 million deal. There’s also talk of a four-year contract worth $7 million annually.

Still, this appears to be affecting Malkin so much that team captain Sidney Crosby reportedly paid him a visit to cheer up his old friend. We’ll find out by noon on July 13 if his future remains in Pittsburgh or if he’ll be moving on to a new NHL club.

NHL.COM: Eric Russo reports Boston Bruins GM Don Sweeney said contract extension talks with David Pastrnak have gone well thus far. The 26-year-old winger is eligible next summer for unrestricted free agent status. The specifics of the deal (term and salary) have yet to be addressed.

Sweeney also provided updates on captain Patrice Bergeron and former Bruins center David Krejci. He’s hoping for a final decision by Bergeron on Wednesday whether he’ll return for another season or retire. Meanwhile, Krejci is still contemplating whether he’ll return to the NHL after spending last season in his native Czechia.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins and Pastrnak have completed the preliminary stage of negotiations. Next comes determining the framework of the contract. Sweeney appeared keen to continue talks as soon as possible.

It’s rumored Bergeron is leaning toward return, with one report last month claiming he intended to play next season. Krejci’s return would resolve the Bruins’ need for a second-line center for next season. Fitting him into their tight cap constraints, however, could be difficult.

As per Cap Friendly, the Bruins have just over $2 million in salary-cap space with 22 players under contract for 2022-23. They should get some early-season cap relief with Brad Marchand and Charlie McAvoy expected to miss the opening weeks recovering from off-season surgery but must become cap compliant when they return to action.

THE BOSTON GLOBE: Speaking of the Bruins, team president Cam Neely seemed to suggest the players had a hand in the departure of head coach Bruce Cassidy. Confirming that Jake DeBrusk had rescinded his trade request, Neely said the players were chafing under Cassidy’s coaching style and were ready for a change.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This could raise concerns over how this makes the Bruins look and could make things difficult for Cassidy’s replacement, Jim Montgomery. However, those worries will be mollified if they play well for Montgomery.

DAILY FACEOFF (via RUSSIAN MACHINE NEVER BREAKS): Frank Seravalli recently reported Braden Holtby won’t play next season and his career could be over after dealing with a nagging lower-body injury this season. The 32-year-old goaltender played 24 games with the Dallas Stars in 2021-22 and is slated to become a UFA on July 13.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No word yet from Holtby or his agent regarding his health or future plans.

THE ATHLETIC: Tampa Bay Lightning GM Julien BriseBois said center Anthony Cirelli underwent shoulder surgery last Tuesday. He didn’t provide a timeline for his return.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: A source claims the Sharks won’t be tendering a qualifying offer to restricted free agent Jonathan Dahlen. The deadline for qualifying offers is 5 pm ET on Monday, July 11.

DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli reports the Nashville Predators could be the host for the 2023 NHL Draft. They last hosted the draft in 2003, choosing Ryan Suter seventh overall.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: The Seattle Kraken had a solid draft this year, using their 11 picks to address a variety of needs. Highly-touted prospect Shane Wright fell to them at the No. 4 position, but they also chose such notables as Jagger Firkus, Jani Nyman, Niklas Kokko, and Ty Nelson.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The overall consensus is the Kraken did very well stocking up their prospect cupboard this year. They’ll be sitting in a good place within a few years if even a handful of those picks pan out for them.


  1. I think it has become fairly obvious that there was friction between coach and the players That is a battle no coach can ever win

    • Horrors! Another Torts!!! Ha ha
      Bruins loss is the Knights gain. However, I predict that Montgomery is going to do very well in Bruin land.

    • Mrbruin4, I guess we’ll soon find out if it was his coaching style that led to his dismissal if the rumblings start in Vegas.

      • George. I think he is a great coach and should do well in. Vegas. But I also think he was losing the Bruin players though players like Bergy. Etc would never publicly say anything that would be tossing him under the bus He did not give much rope to young guys. Similar to what julien. Use to do and that led to Cassidy replacing. Him. Coaches get paid to win so if on a team that expects to win you are not going to give extra rope to the youngsters as it might end up hanging yourself with it

    • Can’t develop young guys with his attitude. They need to let ‘em play. Can’t learn from mistakes if you don’t get the chance to make them. As for the riff factor and losing the room that’s never good to have a cloud of tension hanging in the room.IMO Bruce was good until 2020 but then teams figured out his schemes and inability to counter. The power play especially in the playoffs has been terrible. I get it’s partly on the players but the way teams clogged the offensive zone and the fact Bruce did absolutely nothing to change it up is solely on him. Lvg can have him and he can have them lol I’m guessing he’s got a ton of work ahead of him considering the nose dive they made last year. Bruce and Eikle will not get along.

  2. A lot of internal politics in Beantown

  3. If Cirelli had the same surgery as Colin White and Shane Pinto he’ll be out long-term.

    • Might be part of the reason Tampa morning news has Palat’s people sitting down with Lightning management again today. Meanwhile, G Nick Malik, second gen Lightning, will do homage to former G and current NHL broadcaster Weekes and wear Shady 80 to prospects camp. If he plays as well as Kevin we’ll be happy to have him as there is a job open with the Crunch, and with the Bolts post Eliot. In fact, given the goalie dance this year, someone may make the Bolts an offer they can’t refuse for Eliot before the year is out as his consistancy looks better and better with time.

      • Palat is a gem – especially when it counts most. Be a shame to lose him. If he is out long term that $4.8 mil cap hit will come in handy.

      • “he” being Cirelli

  4. Cam Neely might want to shut the hell up once in a while. Boston played well for Cassidy. He’s a good coach. That’s all anyone needs to say.

    • Very valid point BCLF

    • Agree on that. If saying anything it should be great coach. Just time for new voice in the room

      • Agree , when anyone took a bad penalty or dumb play and the cameras would go directly to Cassidy, he looked like he wanted to hurt one of his players lol. 6 great years under Cassidy, this team is not the same that he took over . When Krug left that was the end of the power play and Sweeney never replaced Krug so that’s that.

  5. Math was one of my worst subjects, but it doesn’t take a genius or even Major Bowles to figure out you can’t squeeze around 20 mill under a 2.5 million cap. There’s a rumour of maybe 7 mill for Patty, you know Pastrnak’s not going to except that amount and then there’s Krecji. How does Captain Crunch and Sea Dog aboard the good ship Guppy do it? Maybe they’ll be the first to go ahead sign everyone anyway and just accept the fine. It’s an impossible situation. What a mess!! Even Sam Pollack couldn’t get out this quagmire.

    • As great a GM as he was, I doubt Sam Pollack would have functioned well under a cap system.

      • You’re wrong George. Pollocks genius was that he could find a way to deal with any situation. I have no doubt he’d have been a top GM even today.

    • Pastrnak still has a year left on his contract. The cap hit of his next contract won’t count against this year’s cap.

    • Rick, Pastrnak is under contract this season and with $17m (est) including Pasta contract coming off the books next season. Lots of room to resign.

      No issue with signing Krecji or Bergeron.

      The one contract that should be moved out is Charlie Coyle. Coyle is not a second line center, he does the elevate the play of others.

      Good player very good 3rd line Center but over $5m is to much for a 3rd line C.

  6. Who cost 20 million . ???? Bergy and Krechi?? Not even close more closer to 10
    Move or demote Wagner. Save 1 mil. Buy out Foligno save 2 mil. Move 1 d man save 3 mil
    Now he has 8.5 mil. And has yet to break a sweat

    • Your only saving $933,000 buying out Foligno (capfriendly.com) makes no sense to buy him out and insure more cap hit next season
      Considering it will cost a min of $750k to replace him, best decision ride it out or send to the minors.

  7. Either the reports from one side or the other are incorrect or Malkin is a real weirdo. 6-7 mil a year and they think he sucks?

    • If he thinks he’s still worth more than $6M then let him walk.

      • Offer him 7.1 for three years!

    • Malkin has only played in his hometown and the Pens. A buddy from PGH met him a few times and said he is a simple guy. I think the idea of playing anywhere but PGH has little interest for Geno.

      • If this is the case, then he should have no problem re-signing at $6M. That should be enough to play out your career and retire as a Penguin.
        According to capfriendly his estimated career earning are $118,720,892.

      • That translates into a LOT of rubles.

    • Rumor : Penguins offered Malkin 3 years 6 million per year. Even though Malkin scored 20 goals in a shortened season because of his injury , his Plus/Minus was -10. Management should question at times Malkin not playing a team game , taking unnecessary penalties , and his injury history.

      Next season which player would like to see as the Penguins second line center?

      1. Evgeni Malkin

      2. Vincent Trocheck

      3. Nazem Kadri

      4. other

      • Vincent Trocheck,, He is a good two way player, he is 28, a Pittsburgh native, scored 21 goals, could probably do 25 in Pittsburgh, and we can get him for like $ 5.5 – $ 6 million

      • Nick Foligno, take him he’s yours.

  8. Never good when it becomes clear that the players fired the coach.

    • 1st rd exits. Is what cost him job

  9. Sounds like Malkin is as fragile emotionally as he is physically. If that’s even possible? Someone get that boy a box of tissues and directly to the nearest shrink!

    • Malkin is still a top player – when he’s playing. The fact is that he’s about to turn 36 and has only played 70 games in one season in the past 10 years. In fact, he’s missed over 90 games in the past 4 seasons. When adjusting for the two Covid abbreviated seasons, that’s an average of 25 games missed per season. Nearly a third of the season. You can’t blame the Pens for wanting to be careful with term and dollars.

    • A little late in the day to be into this but here is a quote from Malkin 6 months ago:

      I’m not thinking about my contract, I’m not thinking about money. I’m, like, a pretty rich guy,”

      Cap Friendly estimates his career earnings at $118,720,892. So this is clearly about ego.

  10. I wouldn’t blame the Pens if they walk away all together. If this guy wants 7-8 per with any kind of term, not only should they walk away, they should RUN.

    I understand he’s basically a point per game player, but what good does that do when he’s in street clothes 25% of the time?

    That money could be better spent in many better ways for players who can actually sign a contract with spraining their wrist.

    As I’ve been saying for weeks (with much tears and complaining from pens fans) it’s time to start thinking about life after Malkin / Crosby.

    By pens fans own admission, he also likes to fall asleep while playing at times.

    Move on. It’s over. And pens fans can (and will) start chirping about Pittsburghs 5 cups (2 of which have literally zero to do with this team ). But it’s time to face the fact their time is done. 4 consecutive 1st round exits, preceded by a quick 2nd round exit before that. They’ll find themselves closer to the cellar than they do those 5 cups in the coming years. And no help is coming. Ranked dead last in prospects.

    At minimum, A retool should have considered a year or two ago. Where they could stockpile assets for guys like Letang, Malkin, Rust etc. today, they’re rosters average age is around 30 and growing older as they bring back these same players they should have ran away from.

    What will happen is they’ll end up with a bunch of undesirable contracts that will be very difficult if not impossible to unload, with no return on their assets.

    So basically what Pittsburgh is in for, is literally trying to build around their own draft picks, much like Edmonton, Buffalo. How long / painful of a process has that been?

    They could have just pulled another “Pittsburgh “ and tanked for Bedard (seems to be a common theory among pens fans that this will just continue to happen when they turd out)

    Instead, they’ll find themselves in the middle of the standings for a few years (which ain’t helping building through the draft) and eventually in the cellar with no quick fix.

    Again, as a Ranger fan, I’m all for it! Keep up the good work “Hex/burkie”!

    Good teams aren’t built on sentiment.

    • First time we agree? If Malkin wants 7-8 per year they should walk away. I would pay no more than $6M per year for 2 max. 3 years.
      As I said before I would rather try to sign Trochek or Kadri. My favorite player would be J.T. Miller but Ruhwedel, Zucker and a bag of pucks won’t be enough.
      IMO they try to be competive respectively to reach the playoffs for maybe 2 years. Remember it’s not only about winning the cup it’s about making money. And you make definitely more if you reach the playoffs. After the pandemic this is even more important.
      Their rebuild will probably start when Sid’s contract ends. A
      I’m sure they think about life after Malkin/Crosby/Letang. But all three played their whole career in Pittsburgh and they should give them the oppertunity to end their careers as a Penguin.

      Will the contracts of Letang/Rust/Malkin (of they re-sign him) and others like bad in 3 years? Yes, some will definitely!
      Who could tell us more about bad contracts than a Rangers fan? 🙂

      • Well, I’m also the first one to criticize bad contract the Ny rangers have signed. But right now that’s pretty irrelevant. The worst contact NY has is Nemeths for 2 more years at 2.5 per.

        Panarin is expensive, but a top 5 point guy in the NHL for the past 5 years. And his deal ends before he’s 35, not starts.

        Trouba about 1 million over, but I wouldn’t consider it “bad”. And his deal ends at 32 , not 39-40z

        That’s a far cry from signing often injured 34-35-36 year old players to 4-6 year deals. While the team can’t get past the 1st round. And expecting different results. (Definition of insanity).

        I don’t try to sell a turd as filet mignon. And there’s a lot of that going around Pittsburghs fan base right now.

        I actually said here during the playoffs that NY could take a step backwards next year depending on how the 2nd line center position pans out.

        So, You’ll have to come up with something more recent than Redden, Holik, Gomez contracts from 100 years ago if you want to try and get some Nader my skin.

        These two teams are heading in complete opposite directions. And I’m good with mine. If pens fans are happy becoming a retirement home for sentimental reasons, who am I to interfere?

      • The bad contracts I was refering to were those of th past. Scott Gomez, Bobby Holik, Wade Redden and some more come to my mind.

        Imo Panarin’s contract is a little bit to expensive but far away from bad.

        We’ll see how the fill that 2nd line center position and who they gonna re-sign.

  11. Lyle problem is the Bruins played well for Cassidy and he was still fired because of a chosen few, lady 3 months leading up to the playoffs there wasn’t many teams playing better

    • Why question is why did Neely make the comments he did and all I can see there is a guy trying to justify a decision – ain’t no flies on me, folks.
      A pretty lousy way to deal with a coach that was so bad he was unemployed for five minutes after you fired him.