NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 2, 2022

by | Jul 2, 2022 | News, NHL | 32 comments

The Canucks sign Brock Boeser, the Sharks fire head coach Bob Boughner, the Jets hire Rick Bowness as their new bench boss, the Lightning sign Nick Paul, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

VANCOUVER HOCKEY NOW: The Canucks signed Brock Boeser to a new three-year contract worth an annual average value of $6.65 million. The 25-year-old winger was slated to become a restricted free agent with arbitration rights on July 13. It would’ve cost the Canucks $7.5 million to qualify his rights before then.

Vancouver Canucks winger Brock Boeser (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly shows that $6.65 million is a flat rate per season. The deal takes him up to unrestricted free agent eligibility and comes with a 10-team no-trade clause in the final season.

It’s a reasonable contract for the Canucks and Boeser. It also shows that management was understanding of the personal difficulties the winger faced this season coping with the knowledge that his father was dying. This deal could pay off for the Canucks if Boeser can reach his 30-goal potential. It would also bolster his stock when he becomes eligible for UFA status.

THE PROVINCE/TSN: The Canucks also signed promising defenseman Jack Rathbone to a two-year, one-way contract worth $850K per season. They also hired former Philadelphia Flyers interim coach Mike Yeo as an assistant coach.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Boeser and Rathbone signings leave the Canucks with $2.15 million in cap space with 19 players under contract for 2022-23. However, they will get $3.5 million in cap relief if necessary with winger Micheal Ferland on their permanent long-term injury reserve list. Still, I wouldn’t rule out a contract buyout before the July 12 deadline or a cost-cutting trade.

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: The San Jose Sharks fired head coach Bob Boughner and his assistant coaches on Friday after three losing seasons. Interim general manager Joe Will said the move was made in part to allow whoever becomes their new GM to have full autonomy in choosing their coaching staff.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I understand the logic behind that but I would’ve thought they would’ve made that decision at the end of the regular season. This could an indicator of the difficulty the Sharks are encountering in finding a replacement for former general manager Doug Wilson. Allowing the new GM to hire his own staff might be a means of enticement for suitable candidates.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: The Winnipeg Jets are hiring former Dallas Stars head coach Rick Bowness as their new bench boss.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bowness’ hiring should help reduce starting goaltender Connor Hellebuyck’s workload given his adherence to a disciplined defensive system. It’ll be interesting to see if he can heal what’s considered a fractured dressing room in Winnipeg.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: The Lightning signed forward Nick Paul to a seven-year contract worth an annual average value of $3.15 million. The deal also comes with a full no-trade clause in the first four seasons and a 16-team no-trade list in the final three years.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Acquired from the Ottawa Senators before the trade deadline, Paul quickly established himself as a key member of the Lightning roster, especially during the postseason. The length of this deal reflects how highly they think of him.

The move leaves the Lightning sitting above the $82.5-million salary cap by $5.13 million. They’re allowed to spend over the cap ceiling by 10 percent during the offseason. When the season begins, they can use the $6.875 million of the permanently sidelined Brent Seabrook as cap relief by placing him on their LTIR list.

However, that doesn’t leave sufficient wiggle room to re-sign or replace pending UFAs Ondrej Palat, Jan Rutta and Riley Nash. That’s why Lightning management is reportedly looking at trading defenseman Ryan McDonagh and his $6.75-million annual cap hit through 2025-26.

NHL.COM: The St. Louis Blues have hired Craig MacTavish as an assistant coach.

NEW YORK POST: The Rangers signed Julien Gauthier to a one-year contract extension worth $800K. The 24-year-old winger was slated to become a restricted free agent on July 13.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Post noted Gauthier had requested a trade and wondered what impact this signing will have on a potential deal. Perhaps this is part of a “sign-and-trade” move by the Rangers. We’ll find out soon enough.

PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: Flyers goaltender Ivan Fedotov was reportedly arrested in St. Petersburg on suspicion of “dodging the Russian Army”. He was taken to the Russian military registration and enlistment office in St. Petersburg. Chosen by the Flyers in the 2015 draft. The 25-year-old Fedotov spent the past six seasons in the KHL.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fedotov signed an entry-level contract with the Flyers on May 7. This is an ominous turn for Russian players hoping to skate in the NHL next season. It could also have an effect on the upcoming NHL draft. Teams could be leery of choosing Russian players over concerns they could be prevented from skating in North America.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Speaking of the Flyers, they’ve hired Brad Shaw as an assistant coach.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Stars have added Alain Nasreddine and Steve Spott as assistant coaches.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Former Red Wings great Pavel Datsyuk expects to officially announce his retirement from professional hockey.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Datsyuk in his retirement. The 43-year-old forward spent the past five seasons playing in the KHL. Before that, Datsyuk spent 14 seasons in the NHL with the Wings, becoming one of the greatest two-way players in the league by winning three Selke Trophies and four Lady Byng Trophies. He also helped the Wings win two Stanley Cups.

CALGARY SUN: Long-time Flames organist Willy Joosen passed away at age 66. He held that role at Scotiabank Saddledome since 1988.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Joosen’s family, friends and the Flames organization.


  1. 2022-07-02

    Re Bolts & Paul…. Good contract for team & Paul

    Taking into account Seabrook LTIR…. Bolts have 12/6/2 (F/D/G) signed; with $1.75 M in space (to sign 2 F , 1D). Still a move or 2 to make but their position not catastrophic

    UFAs (and current Cap hit):

    Pallat ($5.3 M)
    Ruuta ($1.3 M)
    Nash ($2.8 M)

    Yestrrday there (in here) there was discussion re moving McDonagh…$6.8 M

    To me with his NTC; very hard to do; but if they could…. Big chunk O’Cap freed up

    Boeser…. Signed 3 years at < QO (which I think was to be $7.5 M) is a bonus for next year.

    $6.7 M * 3 could be viewed as a tad high based on 21-22 performance; but from all I’ve seen; the expectation is that he will bounce back to previous production levels… making $6.7 M an equitable Cap hit

    ‘Nucks have $2.1 M in space ; with 23 contracts covered (including 3 on IR and Ferland on LTIR)…. So flex

    RFAs Highmore & Lammikko
    UFAs Chaisson Hunt Richardson

    • Waiting on the McDonagh decision!

      • Hi JZ

        Yep…. He holds all the cards… I still say it’s a longshot that he waives his NTC

        But almost nothing is surprising these days

  2. What? The “Magic Man” retiring at 43?

    I thought he had another 7 years in him

    Re Fedetov arrested for “dodging the Russian Army”

    Does anybody here know if Army service is mandatory for all Russians?

    If so, will there be other young Russian NHLers afraid to return home for fear of being forced to enlist?

    • Pengy from what I read, if he sign his Russia contract he can avoid army service. If he doesn’t sign then he must serve in the Army.

      How accurate. I don’t know.

      • Thanks Caper

  3. glad for Nick Paul, he earned a nice raise.
    I just don’t agree with GM’s handing out long term deals to 3rd line players. If the cap goes up in the future it will look nice in years 5,6,7 if he is still performing at the same standard.

    • Teams up against the cap have to take some risks to stay competitive. Term for a player like Paul who is a perfect fit with the club looks like a smaller risk than many they could have taken. Bet Barb Underhill can even improve his skating as she has for so many other Lightning players (unsung hero), which may help longevity.

      • The Bolts have been amongst the most skilled in cap management, but it looks like this is the season it starts to unravel for them. Paul at 3 million is reasonable, but the McDonagh situation is going to sting – if the stays, and if he goes. He has been a key player in the past several playoffs and whomever replaces him will be a downgrade for sure.

    • Hi Fergy22

      $3.1 M in years 5-7 will certainly be fine…. Cap in 5 years likely approaching mid 90’s $M

      Think in terms of the 6 @ $2M that Jarnkrok got 6 years ago

      He was young and had not established himself.,, had 167 games and was 25 G 32 A… that contract was great in later years

      Paul is 27 yes…. But massively bigger , and it s 6 years later, and his grit and performance and the expected big increases in Cap ceiling in 2-3 years; warrants his contract

      I believe this was a good contract for both Bolts and Paul

      I have strong confidence that he would have garnered that on the UFA market

      Now he gets to stay on a team that came close to s 3 peat; in a beautiful city; great weather; no state tax

      • I agree Pengy. I would have been happy to see him in Detroit for that amount…..maybe even a tad more.

      • Pengy not saying it is not a good deal for the player and club. I am old school im my thinking, 3 years for most players is what I prefer, lock up your stars to longer term deals , no problem.
        I also do not like limited NTC.

      • Sorry Fergy

        I Misunderstood before

        Got it

        I see your logic

  4. If a brawl breaks out between coaching staffs, I’m bringing Berube, Ott, and MacTavish of the Blues vs. any other team. Any takers??


    • Nope. You win that one.

    • Hi IP

      McT wouldn’t necessarily need to join…. The tag team of Berube/Ott should certainly be enough

      McT can tap in if/when Berube’s knuckles get too swollen from opponent coach’s faces

      Bettman hadn’t even thought about this potential bonus huge HRR $’s from PPV “bar room blitz bouts” of coaching staff v coaching staff

      I’d live to see a bare knuckle bout… Berube v Torts… even though it would be over in seconds

      • “love” to see

        Not “live” to see

    • I thought Steve Ott was more of a mouthpiece than a fighter. Any team that hires Larry Robinson would be competitive, I don’t care how old he is.

      • I think Shawn Thornton would handle them all – c’mon B’s hire him as assistant coach. He’d teach some meanness! :))

    • I’ll have to see if/where Tocchet and Boughner sign. Berube was a tough dude but Ott was more of a cheap shot artist and loudmouth than an actual fighter.

  5. Winnipeg hiring Rick Bowness just tells me that good coaches don’t want to come to Winnipeg either.

    • Why would Bowness go to Winnepeg.He is like a lot of the old mercenaries who should have retired instead of playing for the veteran minimum,hello,Chara and Thornton.Let a young guy and younger players get a shot at these jobs.The longer you stay on the longer you embarass yourself.With Bowness taking the job and no one else,what does that say about the Jets?

      • We have no idea who else wanted that job, but I would bet there were many.

        How about we wait and see if they improve under Bowness before we trash him and the team?

      • What’s wrong with you Ray!

        I live in the market, even the reports are calling it a stop gab.

        Everybody and their dog knows who Winnipeg wanted and his home town is actually colder then

        I will say he has nice hair and from Moncton both very good things.

        In this market, the hope is their guy wants to coach next season.

        All joking aside he will help the defensive side of the game and by all reports the players like him.

      • What I am saying Caper, is that the # of head coaching jobs in the NHL are limited. Plenty of guys would jump at that opportunity. I would bet a pay cheque on it.

        Trotz didn’t want to coach yet, his words. Folks can guess what his motives are, but since I don’t know, and nobody else does either other than him, I will go with what he said.

        I hope WPG and Bowness do well. The guy knows the game, question is will the players execute it. IMO.

      • Relax Ray… take it down 5 notches.

        My original comment I thought was funny.

        Damn some serious people on here. Lol

        Reality Ray, yes people do know, your just not one of them.

        Rick Bowness started his head coaching job in Winnipeg.

        He recently quit on his last job.

        Not what I’m looking for in a coach.

        From what is reported Trotz wants to be in management not a coach.

        Enjoy your long weekend have a drink and take the edge off.

        All good, opinions are allowed to be different.

      • My first post was more in response to Steve’s than yours. Then responded to yours.

        In particular – With Bowness taking the job and no one else,what does that say about the Jets?

        Disagreed with it and said so, that’s it, and yes I will have a drink, kind of what I do on a Saturday!

        Dude, I’m always relaxed, just direct.

  6. There you go, Ray, talking sense again.

  7. Russia arrested Philly goalie Ivan Fedotov.

    Claiming trying to avoid military services and breaking his Russia contract.

    • Which was already duly noted, Caper.

  8. Paul a 7 year contract is 4 years to long plays a heavy game will be like Kassian and Loooch deals to long. Third line player should not have 7 year deals but just my opinion time will tell

  9. Over-payment for Boeser. Here’s a guy who is 25 and has never gotten above 56 points. I think 5.5 million is max and, then, as a GM I’d have to think twice about it. If he can show me a 70+ point season within the next two years, then offer a substantial raise. Otherwise, no thanks.