NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 16, 2022

by | Jul 16, 2022 | News, NHL | 39 comments

The Devils believed they were a destination for Johnny Gaudreau, plus the latest on Ondrej Palat, Mitch Marner, Vladimir Tarasenko, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

SPORTSNET: New Jersey Devils general manager Tom Fitzgerald believed Johnny Gaudreau was going to sign with his club before shocking the hockey world by joining the Columbus Blue Jackets. Gaudreau, who grew up in Carney’s Point, N.J., was reportedly looking to sign with a club closer to home.

Fitzgerald said he thought he’d really connected with Gaudreau and his wife during his conversation with them. He also cited a personal connection as his son played with Gaudreau at Boston College.

We put our best foot forward,” said Fitzgerald. “He chose to go to Columbus for the reasons he chose. He could have gone anywhere. We wish him all the best.” The Devils GM subsequently signed former Tampa Bay Lightning winger to a five-year, $30 million contract.

THE ATHLETIC: Speaking of Palat, he admitted to feeling sad over leaving the Lightning after 10 seasons. “I was kind of preparing myself there was a chance I was leaving Tampa,” he said. “But it’s a business and now when I signed with New Jersey, I’m not as sad.”

Tampa Bay Lightning winger Ondrej Palat (NHL Images).

Palat admitted the past several weeks had been an emotional roller coaster, going from losing in the Stanley Cup Final to the Colorado Avalanche to free agency. However, he’s excited about bringing his experience to a promising team with younger talent.

TSN: Speaking of the Devils, they hired former Florida Panthers interim coach Andrew Brunette as an associate coach for Lindy Ruff.

SPORTSNET: Toronto Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner admitted he endured flashbacks of being carjacked in May. He and his fiancee were unhurt in the incident but he said there were a couple of weeks where it came back to him whenever he was driving.

We were lucky enough to have people around that we can talk to and have these stories to tell and get feedback,” said Marner. “So, definitely mental health is something important to me and my family – and something that we really take serious.”

TORONTO SUN: Speaking of the Leafs, they signed forward Calle Jarnkrok to a four-year contract worth an average annual value of $2.1 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some Leafs fans see Jarnkrok as a replacement for Alex Kerfoot should GM Kyle Dubas trade him during this summer or in the regular season. Kerfoot has been rumored as a cost-cutting trade candidate for some time.

STLTODAY.COM: Blues GM Doug Armstrong isn’t going down the trade-rumor rabbit hole with Vladimir Tarasenko like last summer. Despite Armstrong’s recent claim that the winger’s “trade demand” was no longer an issue, a report emerged during the 2022 NHL Draft indicating that Tarasenko hadn’t rescinded the request. “He’s under contract and I expect (to have) him,” said Armstrong.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tarasenko becomes an unrestricted free agent next summer. He carries a $7.5 million average annual value but will earn $5.5 million in actual salary. He also carries a full no-trade clause.

THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: Mike Sielski doesn’t buy into the theory among Flyers fans that their club went downhill after team owner Ed Snider passed away and Ron Hextall became general manager followed by Chuck Fletcher. He believes the rot within the front office extends back to 2006, long before Snider’s death and before Hextall and Fletcher came along.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Whatever the reason, there’s no denying the Flyers are a mess. Another poor performance by this club will mean the end of Fletcher’s tenure as general manager. However, the on-ice product won’t change much unless ownership charts a new, clearer direction and hires the right people to make it happen.

PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: On the topic of the Flyers, they signed former first-round pick Morgan Frost to a one-year, $800K contract.

TSN: The Nashville Predators signed forward Zach Sanford to a one-year, $850K contract.

THE DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche signed defenseman Brad Hunt to a one-year, $800K contract.


  1. Come on. Sweeney. Why haven’t you signed. Kadri and Klingberg. Already. Bruins being run by dumb and dumber. ……..my Weekend humour 😜

  2. As usual Sweeney’s the absentee landlord. Joe the longer this goes on the more I’m convinced he has once again gone awol. If they could trade ole Yellar
    ( Foligno) along with Matt, Beecher to the Wild for Dumba. It’s affordable and do able. Will not reply to Ole Vet( baloney) or mr know it all.

    • Now, my morning’s complete thanks to the daily uninformed rant of the least hockey savvy person on the planet. BTW, RWM, my Dachshund thinks you’re funny.

      • Mr vet what a bunch of bs.You couldn’t serve a bowl of refried beans, phony.

      • Paul The CMA just named a new fungus after you..

    • You act as if I care what you think. I don’t. You are merely cheap entertainment.

      • Phony.. oh by the way, congratulations on your most recent accomplishment.

    • Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawn

      • PB The CMA just named a new fungus after you

  3. The Tarasenko trade saga will drag on all season long.

    At next year’s trade deadline, Armstrong will be forced to move him for Picks and Prospects only.

    If Armstrong was smart, he’d move Tarasenko this summer and try to get an established NHL player, or players in return.

    • Vinny

      He may also just keep him as his own rental if they are near the top of the league and going for the cup.

      • Yes Tarasenko put up career best points last season while being unhappy

        If the Blues for some reason fall out of it next season or if another winger emerges look for Vlad to be a rental for someone that brings in a nice haul

    • Hi VC (and for IP)

      Early on Sat…. So for ships ‘n giggles, I’ll throw out TWO 3 way massively “pie in the sky” trade proposals….


      To Ducks: Dumo @ 25% (50% retained by Pens; another 25% by Yotes)

      To Yotes: Bruins 2nd (from Ducks) in ‘24

      To Pens; Zelleweger (From Ducks)

      To Yotes; Marino

      To Blues: O’Connor, Zucker @ 25% (50% retained by Pens; another 25% retained by Yotes) ; Bruins 2nd (from Ducks) in ‘24 [from trade above]

      To Pens (Vlad @ 25% …50% retained by Blues; 25 % by Yotes) ; two 2nds (latest 2 of 3 owned by Yotes) in ‘24;


      Ducks… Dumo @ 25% for Zelleweger and 2nd in 2 years

      Yotes: Net Marino for about $3.5 M in cash retention (after escrow) plus 2 2nds (‘24)

      Blues …. Convert Vlad into Zucker and O’Connor ; save ~ $1.6 M in Cap and get a 2nd

      Pens …. Jettison Zucker, move 2 surplus D; get Vlad (replacing Zucker; net $7.7 M in Cap; gain 2 seconds and Zellweger; lose O’Connor

      Of course not happening…, just nice to dream

      • Pengy…Just hear Mike Matheson and a 3rd round 2024 draft pick to Vancouver for Jeff Petry and Ryan Poehling…

        just was confirmed we shall see. This Makes the Marino thing more tolerable now.

        Letang / Petry / Rutta our right side defenseman…

        maybe we are keeping Petersoon since they moved Matheson…

      • Just saw Jeff Petry and Ryan Poehling to Pittsburgh for Mike Matheson and a 3rd round 2023 draft pick to Montreal ???

  4. Don’t see Tarasenko going anywhere. That cap hit plus cost to obtain, not to mention the ntc.
    Philly seemed most obvious choice for Gaudreau. BC connection there too with Hayes and Atkinson. Closest to home. Philly not getting this done is another failure. Wondering when Laine rumors start up again.

    • Well, when you think about it, Columbus is closer to NJ than Calgary. (chuckle)
      Laine will be playing in Columbus at least one more season, either from accepting his qualifying offer or from going to arbitration. The real question is whom is Columbus going to trade to clear cap space and what the return is.

    • 62,

      I’ve decided the Blues (and I) will be OK to move on from Tarasenko while his value is higher.

      I suspect that he would approve a trade to New York Islanders—maybe Beauvillier as a return. The Blues get younger and some cap room.

  5. Did Marner demand safer cities? Did they find Marner’s carjackers? Did the media claim the jackers were victims?

    • Read the article in the link provided to find out, Johnny. One spoiler for you: they did find and arrest his carjackers.

  6. Players stringing along GM’s and Owners during the UFA process has created a brand new way of trying to build a successful hockey team.

    Players go for the money, which you can’t blame them for doing, but show no loyalty to their current team by telling them the truth about their intentions of leaving.

    Tavares did it, Gaudreau did it and who knows how many others have.

    This scenario played out again and the Islanders and Flames lost a franchise impact player for nothing in return.

    GM’s cannot allow this scenario to continue playing out this way. It’s appropriate for the UFA players to have leverage, but if they are not honest with their respective GM’s, they should and will be moved for something at the deadline prior to the upcoming summer when the UFA deadline hits. So sad bc the Organizations drafted these players as 18 year old’s and dedicated so much time and money, all to have nothing in return if they walk.

    Maybe it’s time for mandatory Draft Picks to automatically be awarded to the Team’s losing their originally drafted players who after 10 years of service leave for nothing.

    Maybe a tiered compensation similar to the Draft Pick return structure on Offer Sheets.

    Something needs to be done by the League to aid the Team’s like the Islanders and Flames moving forward.

    • Vinny, Flames had all year to extend Gaudreau. They had to figure there was a good chance he’d walk. They chose to keep him as an “own rental”. As far as chasing the money, Gaudreau took 15mil less to go to Columbus

      • Slick62 agree and there was no chance he was being traded at the deadline.

        All 3 players had over +50

        The fans would’ve revolted if he got traded at the deadline.

    • They could have moved him at the deadline but chose to keep him for the playoffs. The league also has the 8th year rule in place creating a market for the players rights right up to ufa. Teams have opportunities to own players until we’ll into their prime years. Ufa is a well earned process that should happen earlier for players. System is just fine.

  7. I don’t know Gaudreau personally – obviously – but this latest “he’s going here … he’s going there … he’s staying put … he signed WHERE?” makes me think of guys I knew growing up and playing in the area’s various sports leagues who, while great athletes in the community, always displayed the decisiveness of a squirrel on a busy street. We usually nicknamed them “Shakey” or “Flighty.” That’s what he puts me in mind of.

    • George he played 9 seasons in one city.

      He didn’t tell NJ he was signing there.

      He did his due diligence and he and his wife decided that Columbus was were they wanted to live.

      Nothing shakey about it. Man just doing his due diligence and what he and his family think the best decision for them.

      • Oh, sorry, I didn’t know you knew him so well. As I said, I don’t know him at all … that is just the IMPRESSION I got trying to follow Waldo.

      • George, why is it you always get sensitive and rude when someone doesn’t agree or gives a different view point then yours. Relax.

        George just pointing your theory doesn’t hold water.

      • Wasn’t being rude – just wondering how I can say something – and make it clear it’s an impression or an opinion – but you can respond with something that sounds like – not an opinion but rather definitive fact based on personal knowledge?

        How do you know, for example, he didn’t leave the impression after talks with Fitzgerald that he was leaning towards NJ? Fitzgerald “believed Johnny Gaudreau was going to sign with his club before shocking the hockey world by joining the Columbus Blue Jackets.”

  8. Why does anyone think a player is obligated to tell his current team, while in the final year of his contract, whether or not he intends to re-sign? In the case of Gaudreau, how do you, Vinny and George, know he didn’t tell Treliving that he intended to leave? For all either of you know, he did and Treliving chose to keep him as an own rental -considering the Flames were first in the Pacific at the trade deadline and were a good bet to go deep in the playoffs – then try to convince him to stay.
    Moreover, George, just because the media claimed that Philadelphia, New Jersey and New York were his likely destination doesn’t mean that Gaudreau started that rumor. That was, more likely, pure speculation on the part of commentators who still think that Columbus is the hockey equivalent of moving to Nigeria because they’ve never spent any time here.
    It’s so funny, to us in Columbus/Central Ohio that so much of the media is so butt-hurt over Johnny Hockey choosing Columbus instead of the teams the media prefers. But to read supposedly informed and reasonable people on a blog accept the media’s butt-hurt and act like Gaudreau did something wrong by doing what the CBA says he can do is insulting.

    • Agree that it’s pretty hilarious to read how seriously people seem to take speculation… And then make judgements on the outcome absent of any actual knowledge of the conversations behind closed doors that led to it.

      Also, I’m seeing a lot of people (not necessarily here) rightly pointing out what a mess Philly is, in commenting on other news items, but fail to mention that when considering what a shocker it was that JG didn’t end up there. None of the teams rumored to be in the running are exactly perennial playoff contenders right now, but Columbus has had more recent success than Philly or NJ. And Jarno has mostly seemed pretty savvy to me (aside from the Gudbranson deal), so if building a good team around him mattered to JG, Columbus seems a better destination than Philly and no worse than NJ.

      • Gudbtunson fills a need. Last year, the Jackets set a team record for goals scored in a season, but also set a team record, much higher, for goals allowed in a season. Much of which is due to a blueline corps which emphasizes offense at the expense of defense.

    • He may well have Paul … all I can go by is what Fitzgerald has said re his impression – following talks with Gaudreau & his wife – that they were leaning towards NJ’s offer … so far none of the other GMs have said squat.

      I thought I made it clear that my impression/opinion – call it what you want – was just that. Nothing else. What I did not do was leave a post suggesting that I KNOW what happened for a fact. I don’t – and neither does anyone else – in here.

      • And neither does Fitzgerald. If anyone just has to know his reasons for picking Columbus, Gaudreau explains them in his introductory news conference which is on YouTube. Just call up the Jackets’ channel.
        George, sorry if I come off somewhat defensive. You see, I was raised in San Francisco, but moved to Columbus in ’92. Ever since Columbus was granted a team, hockey “experts” and commentators have put the city down because we don’t have the Golden Gate Bridge, L.A.’s stars, NYC’s upteem million people crammed into a small area, etc, etc, etc. And none of them even have visited to learn that Columbus is a hidden gem with moderate weather, a world class zoo, lower cost of living and a 2 hour or less drive to lots of great stuff in Ohio.

      • Well, Paul, I can understand that – I’ve seen enough of it directed at Ottawa. But just for the record, not once have I ever disparaged Columbus – been there and loved the atmosphere – way ahead of Cleveland and Cincinnati in my opinion.

        I wasn’t questioning his decision to choose Columbus but rather the flood of reports we were deluged with ever since he became eligible for UFA status – as I say “he’s going there” “he’s staying put” and finally “he went WHERE” – which was the theme of many in here and in the media – but not from me.

        I guess poor Fitzgerald just chose to assume based on congenial talks.

  9. George O, the way some of these pundits act, you’d think that only so-called Original Six Teams (a huge misnomer that lost all meaning by the early 80’s) have any right to sign UFAs. There are still some who say Columbus isn’t a hockey town. Only shows they’ve never been inside Nationwide Arena during a game. I’ve left games with my ears ringing. I was gifted a ticket to game 3 of the playoff series when the Jackets swept Tampa. I was still partially deaf the following afternoon. If the Jackets ever get to the Finals in my lifetime, I intend to watch the games from a safe distance. Dayton might do.

    • LOL. Or invest in a good set of ear plugs. That blinking cannon can’t help.

      • We love the cannon. Especially since other teams and Don Cherry hate it.