NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 21, 2022

by | Jul 21, 2022 | News, NHL | 59 comments

Matthew Tkachuk expected to be traded after telling the Flames he won’t sign a long-term extension. Check out the latest plus updates on J.T. Miller, Alex Ovechkin, Carey Price and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

SPORTSNET: The Calgary Flames are expected to trade Matthew Tkachuk “imminently” after he informed management that he doesn’t intend to sign a long-term extension. On Monday, the Flames filed for club-elected salary arbitration to make the 24-year-old winger ineligible to receive an offer sheet from a rival club.

Calgary Flames winger Matthew Tkachuk (NHL Images).

The move buys the Flames some time to work out either a sign-and-trade deal or trading Tkachuk’s rights to another club. Arbitration hearings begin July 27 and run through Aug. 11 but a date for his hearing has not yet been set.

Tkachuk will become the second major star to leave the Flames this summer. Johnny Gaudreau last week stunned the hockey world by signing with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As a restricted free agent, Tkachuk lacks no-trade protection. However, The Athletic reported he has provided the Flames with a list of preferred trade destinations with whom he would agree to a long-term extension.

A source told The Athletic those teams included the St. Louis Blues, Vegas Golden Knights, Nashville Predators, Dallas Stars, New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers. However, Sportsnet’s Eric Francis reports the “alleged list” is not accurate.

The Calgary Sun’s Wes Gilbertson believes would-be suitors will seek permission from the Flames to speak with Tkachuk’s agent about a new contract before any trade is finalized. I’ll have more on possible trade destinations for Tkachuk in the Rumor Mill.

TSN: The agent for J.T. Miller believes there’s a realistic path toward a contract extension for his client with the Vancouver Canucks. The 29-year-old center earns an average annual value of $5.2 million on his current deal. He’s slated to become a UFA next summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Miller’s free-agent status in 2023 and the Canucks rebuilding process made him the frequent subject of ongoing trade speculation. I daresay that path is a pay raise worth between $8 million and $9 million per season due to his career-best 99-point performance last season. Whether that’s a path the Canucks wish to go down remains to be seen.

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: The Capitals have no concerns about Alex Ovechkin and Dmitry Orlov being allowed to return from Russia to rejoin the club in the coming season. Russian law dictates men between the ages of 18-27 must serve one year in the military. Ovechkin is 37 and Orlov 31.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Those concerns arose due to Philadelphia Flyers prospect Ivan Fedotov being detained and deployed to a Russian naval base while Minnesota Wild star Kirill Kaprizov faces allegations of draft dodging. However, other Russian players of military age, such as the New York Islanders’ Alexander Romanov and the Vancouver Canucks’ Ilya Mikheyev, are back in North America to begin training for the upcoming season.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Former Canadiens goaltending coach Stephane Waite expects Carey Price will be ready to return to the net for 2022-23. The 34-year-old netminder continues to receive treatment to address complications arising from last summer’s knee surgery.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ll believe it when I see Price suited up for the Canadiens’ season-opener on Oct. 12.

SPORTSNET: Hockey Canada said in a statement that its National Equity Fund will “no longer be used to settle sexual assault claims,” effectively immediately. An investigation by The Globe & Mail revealed those funds came from revenue from hockey registration fees.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Well, that’s a relief…yes, I’m being sarcastic. The fact that the people running Hockey Canada thought it was a good idea to settle sexual assault claims by using funds drawn from money that parents paid to put their kids in hockey says all we need to know about their character and competence.

Speaking of Hockey Canada, their executives along with the president of the Canadian Hockey League will be back in Ottawa next week to answer questions from members of parliament over the organization’s handling of a sexual assault allegation involving eight members of Canada’s 2018 world junior team and the out-of-court settlement earlier this year. Public outrage over the investigation and settlement prompted the investigation to be reopened.

TSN: Anaheim Ducks forward Maxime Comtois is the latest member of Canada’s 2018 world junior team to issue a statement denying involvement in that alleged sexual assault of a young woman in 2018.

THE TENNESSEAN: The agent for Nashville Predators defenseman Dante Fabbro said his client was not involved in that incident and knew nothing about it. He added that Fabbro fully complied with the initial investigation and will continue doing so in any forthcoming investigations.

CBC EDMONTON: Oilers owner Daryl Katz has been accused in a civil suit of paying $75,000 to a teenage ballet dancer for her “sexual favors.” The unproven allegations are in response to a sexual abuse lawsuit filed against a dance teacher and his wife.

Katz’s lawyer said his client never engaged in a sexual relationship with the young woman and intends to vigorously defend his reputation against the “baseless and scurrilous” claims in the lawsuit. He said the money Katz arranged to be sent to her was funding for a film project, calling the allegation “a distraction and a shakedown.”

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Former Bruins defenseman John Gruden has been named as their new assistant coach. He spent the past four seasons as an assistant coach with the New York Islanders.


  1. I hope they trade Tkachuk to Arizona. Spoiled brat
    If Calgary loses him and they will Treliving is history. To lose two superstars in one fell swoop is a disaster. If Sweeney has any life in him at all or any measure of common sense left he’ll get this guy. Prototypical Boston Bruin if there ever was one.

    • Ya Arz. Going to give up top players and 1st rd picks for a single yr of chukky. Jeez

    • Rick, I imagine you’re being somewhat sarcastic, but he’ll only be traded to a team with whom he’ll sign long-term. That’s where they’ll get the best return.

      • I hope that team in in the KHL.

      • Why shouldn’t players get to say where they want to play, Iago?

        Tkachuk is playing by the rules; indeed, he and PLD are doing their teams a favour by letting them know early enough to make a trade. unlike Johnny Hookey …

    • Bruins need a C, not a W Rick.
      Matt Tkachuk is over rated, and not some tough guy who scores. Delete the tough guy part. When the going gets tough, like against Kassian he turtles after 2 dirty blind side cheap shots. When the Oil lined up Kane against him in the playoffs, he disappeared. Wasn’t even a “pest”, never got to the net.

      Unless you define tough as accidentally on purpose falling on or running over goaltenders who are on their knees.

      Can’t stand that guy, and we’ll see how he does without Johnny driving the line.

      • Yeah Ray, your toughest guy jumped him and Edmonton fans demanded one of the Flames best players fight him. And he did.
        I don’t see McSlewfoot offering to fight anyone that he elbowed in the head from behind or slewfooted! Kassian and Kane turtled or ran away whenever Lucic was out there. Kane wouldn’t even look him in eye. Edmonton Oilers, home of the brave!

    • I agree prototypical Boston bruin Rick… spoiled brats!😂

    • I agree, “spoiled brat” definitely equates to “prototypical Boston Bruin”! Maybe Boston will finally get rid of Sweeney to hire Treviling so he can make this trade, as it’s well known that Sweeney is hiding in his closet right now.

    • It’s true, Tkachuk would be a natural Bruins. Or maybe even more a Philadelphia Flyers type of player.

    • Why is Matt T. a spoiled brat? He has fulfilled his contractual obligation to the Flames and it letting them early in the agreed upon process that he doesn’t intend to re-sign with them. The Players Union has fought for years to allow players some freedom of choice on where they can play and get a bigger payday. Do you really want to go back to the old days when there was no free agency?

      • Perfectly put Bob.

    • I am truly in awe of how you can turn any topic into a way to b*tch about your team. It’s brilliant really.

  2. Sign and trade Matty to the Blues for:
    Tarasenko (if he will be extended), Kyrou, Perunovich, 2023 1st

    Curious to see what Vegas offers!

    • I can tell you what Vegas should offer. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Zero. Nil. They don’t need another huge contract acquired at great cost of assets which would once again force them to dump off good players for nothing.
      Vegas has, for several years, chased the big, shiny object like an insecure middle aged man needing to buy a Ferrari. That has left them adrift, directionless and with constant changes to the roster and coaching staff. And they are regressing because of it.
      Vegas has to decide on a longer term plan and stick to it.

    • Johnny Z: That deal is kind of lop-sided in favor the Flames in my opinion. I could see one of three, Tarasenko or Kyrou or Buchnevich; but not 2 of them.

      However, if Tarasenko is not included, any deal needs to include Scandella heading the other way to make the dollars work.

  3. It’s actually Stéphane Waite talking about Price, not his brother Jimmy. But I agree with Lyle. No way of knowing what will happen till Price tests his knee at training camp. Waite May be a solid coach but I don’t think he’s a doctor.

  4. The question isn’t where Tkachuk wants to go. The question is why elite players are leaving Calgary.

    • Paul, in this case I don’t believe it has anything to do with Calgary itself – a great city in which to live and raise a family.

      Rather, it just happens to be two similar situations involving U.S.-born players who decided they either wanted to be closer to home, or simply back in the U.S. A similar situation is Giroux signing (as a UFA) in Ottawa, where he was actually in the process of building a home anyway.

      Although I don’t think Gaudreau ever came right out and said anything publicly to that end as he approached UFA status, the Flames were stubborn to a fault for not reading the writing on the wall. At least Tkachuk has flat out told them he has no interest in signing long-term there and has even given them a clutch of teams – all in the U.S. – with whom they can dicker for the best return possible.

      This same sort of speculation that beleaguered the Flames will begin to heat up as Matthews gets closer to UFA status in Toronto and there’s no indication he intends to re-sign there. That is inevitable.

      • Yes it is unfortunately inevitable that there will be non stop articles and opinions flying around something that also no indication he’s thinking of leaving too.

        As said many times before, one player does not make a team. The best example was Lindros forcing the Nords to trade him to Philly. Philly be some better, but didn’t win a cup like the relocated nords now known as as Avs have.

      • That’s what causes the most disruption Ron – the endless media chatter and fan speculation and the player just trying to do his job without being asked what are his intentions. C’est la vie on the NHL.

      • Or, George, Petry telling the Habs he wanted a trade to a US team. Like Johnny Hookey, Canada’s Covid rules seem to be the issue as they made it harder to get back to Canada quickly.

        The difference being Petry gave the Habs lots of notice …

  5. Yesterday when I heard on the car radio (have no clue who but it was on Team 1200 – was just clicking around for something interesting) that the situation in Calgary is similar to what Ottawa went through 3/4 years ago with their top “stars” (Karlsson, Stone, Duchene, Hoffman) I had to laugh.

    There is NO similarity. In Ottawa’s case the moves came after the late owner sat down with Dorion and agreed with the latter that, since they were going nowhere with those “stars” in the line-up, it would be best to embark on a full re-build and to deal them for the best returns possible. Which Dorion promptly did in 2018/2019.

    Some of the the returns are now all playing key parts in the team’s resurgence.

    Calgary simply hung onto Gaudreau in the forlorn hope that he’d re-up there and so lost him for absolutely nothing. Now they’re faced with Tkachuk taking the same route out town, only in this case, although he’s not yet a UFA, it’s only a matter of 1 year.

    Yes, they can deal him now, but even if a destination he favours steps forward, they’re not about to give up the farm to get him knowing Calgary has no choice but to take the best offer. Otherwise – if that destination is really his preferred option – they can wait one season. And, as with Gaudreau, get him for nothing in terms of assets.

    And there’s no way Calgary can now go into next season with him in the line-up. No other team not among his preferred destinations is going to give up anything for someone who won’t sign there either.

    The ONLY way the Flames might get a better return is if one or more of those preferred destinations sees his addition to the line-up being a key to a serious cup run. Then the dickering could up the ante.

    • All good points. Look, I (and every hockey fan in Ohio) would love to see Tkachuk join Gaudreau on the Jackets. But I don’t see the Jackets giving up what would assuredly be what Calgary would demand. Nor, I believe, would Calgary accept Laine in return since he’s also just a year away from UFA.
      Any way you look at it, the Flames are screwed.

      • Yeah if Calgary does a one-for-one (or one-for-one plus a pick/prospect) for someone like Laine (or Pastrnak if he doesn’t want to remain in Boston) they would certainly want some kind of long-term deal in place first.
        Who has Calgary on their list of preferred destinations given the exodus of star players this offseason?

      • Laine could talk to Calgary, he may enjoy being THE guy (along with Lindholm). Maybe there is an extension to be worked out.
        Nyquist would goa s well to make dollars work and then its down to what picks/prospects columbus can add to tempt Calgary.
        Of course, all of this dependent on King Tkachuk.

      • Yeah, sure. Everyone who likes hockey in Ohio follows the Blue jackets. I can make it to Detroit in 45 minutes. I’ve been following the Wings for damn near 40 years. You probably think everyone in Ohio likes the Buckeyes as well.

      • Zoso, get stoned and trip out to Dark Side of the Moon. Obviously, I was making a general statement.

    • It actually reminds me of the Devils losing Parise and Kovalchuk within a year of each other.

      They didn’t start a full rebuild and have been stuck in limbo for a decade as a result. I think Calgary has more assets than the Devils did back then, but I’m doubtful they can be cup contenders after losing their two pillars of offense.

      I think it’s probably better to bite the bullet and do a reset, looking for futures instead of looking for current NHL players for Tkachuk, and selling off a few older players.

      • I agree Number6 – wherever he’s dealt, if a solid NHLer with term is not part of the return then they have to be looking down the road and insist on a 1st round pick and a top prospect – then they have to get lucky – as Ottawa did – when they got that 1st rounder from SJ in the Karlsson deal – and the bottom promptly fell out of the Sharks and they sank like a rock and that 1st rounder turned out to be Jake Sanderson – to go along with the top prospect – Josh Norris.

        In other words, whatever goes down Calgary MUST make sure any prospect coming in has pedigree combined with the hope that whoever they deal with experiences a bad season. As always – due diligence combined with blind luck.

      • Good one Paul, LMAO, a general statement on here can be like “lighting a fuse on a stick of dynamite.” Avalanche are 2022 Stanley Cup Champions, just saying. GO AVS!!!!!!!!!!

    • Your missing a big piece George. They also held onto him as they were a top team in the league and wanted to go for the cup. Imagine had they traded him at the deadline because he might leave them. The reaction to that would have been huge.

      • Not missing that at all Chrisms – I don’t think anyone saw the Flames as a legitimate cup threat, including Treveling. A solid team who might be a tough out at best. And the point at which to deal Gaudreau was not just before this year’s playoffs anyway – it was the year before when all this speculation began to heat up. A good GM has to have the gonads and to know instinctively when to make a deal for the best return possible. Those that subsist on hope aren’t the GM for very long.

      • All gms have is hope. The Stanley cup playoffs rely on a whole lot of luck… as you pointed out in the past talking about that sens pens series. I don’t believe for a second they didn’t see themselves as cup contenders after the season they had.

      • Chrisms has a point, George. The Flames were all about re-build after some disappointing seasons – that’s why they brought in task master Sutter, signed Markstrom and Tanev, and later traded for Toffoli. Trading JH that early would have sent a bad signal.

        Besides, did anyone know that early he wanted out? If you read his Players Tribute post he was unsure until the very last moment. IMO that is hogwash, but you are making one bold statement in implying anyone in Flames management could see the writing on the wall that far out.

      • And no one in Ottawa team management saw that developing – they were just happy to be in the playoffs – but when the bottom fell out the next season and they sank like a rock, the decision was made to move the “stars” as soon as possible and for the best returns possible.

        NO ONE – from pundits to fans to anyone else – saw the Flames as a serious threat to go all the way – not with the playoff track records of Gaudreau and Tkachuk leading up to this year and management had to realize that.

        Sure, if they were happy to have seasonal warriors whose play could get them TO the playoffs, then hanging onto them for as long as possible was the way to go. But that’s a far cry from seeing your team as a legitimate cup threat.

        The Flames finished this year with 111 pts with 293gf 208ga and a +85 – well ahead of Edmonton on both counts. But when they went head to head – and tossing out that first game 9-6 fiasco, the Oilers took them 4 straight.

        Then promptly lost to Colorado 4 straight. Sorry, neither Calgary nor Edmonton were considered a legitimate threat to win the cup.

        The best GMs succeed, not based on having luck (although all readily accept any that floats their way – why not?) but rather on assessing and then building a 23-man line-up that is solid through all 4 lines, 6 D and in goal.

        Treveling was a deer caught in the headlights.

      • Well, George, I am in the awkward position of agreeing and not agreeing with you. I agree that Gaudreau and Tkachuk had an unusually good season and Johnny Hookey is not going to get any team to the Cup.

        But I say again, the Flames added significant pieces to their roster for the Cup run. How many times have you heard GMs say: make it to the playoffs and anything can happen. Witness the Habs two seasons ago.

        Hell, witness the Oil now, having bounced back from a playoff loss two years ago to lots of optimism now. An optimism that I can’t see, but my point is why shouldn’t the Flames have been optimistic about the coming year as well?

        And while I agree that Treveling got caught with his pants down, that was during the past month. Expecting him to have foreseen this outcome more than a year ago is just plain unreasonable.

        That’s my last word on this, I am off to walk the dog.

      • Just about every team sees themselves as a cup contender once they make the dance. Unfortunately you seem to be falling into the trap of believing a team should be a cup favorite or aim for a lottery pick. Unless jg specifically told flames he was leaving without a doubt there was no way the flames would or should have traded him. And even if he had…. Woulda been a hell of a ballsy move to move him at the deadline and admit to everyone you don’t have faith in your own team.

      • You mean like shipping out Karlsson, Stone and Duchene a year after being one double-OT game 7 goal away from eliminating the eventual Cup champions in 2017 and going to the finals against Nashville.

        We’ll just have to cling to our own perceptions of the situation. All I know for sure is, Ottawa is now reaping the rewards of “being hosed” while Calgary is reaping zilch – so far.

      • I agree, Chris, I thought Calgary could beat Edmonton because of the Oilers inconsistent goaltending. Didn’t happen but, if the Flames had advanced, not sure many people would have been surprised.

      • Well. I’d first argue that there was more to shipping out those players than the fear of losing them to fa… there was also the fear of spending to the cap. And what specifically are the “rewards” you are referring to?

      • Norris, Sanderson, Greig, Brannstrom, Sokolov, Sogaard … far better than what Calgary has for one of their two “stars” – to this point anyway, and we still have to see what they get for Tkachuk.

      • Interesting and perceptive Hockey News article. It seems like the Flames came to view JH as the face of the franchise, a cornerstone piece if you will.

        When that happens judgement gets clouded. See Price and Gallagher’s contracts in Montreal as cautionary tales when a GM falls in love with a player.

        As a side comment, this whole rhubarb shows that players have figured out how to accelerate the path to UFA status by rendering the RFA period sterile.

      • Nor was there ever a “fear” of spending to the cap under Melnyk – just a fear of spending stupidly, which is where they’d be had Karlsson, Stone and Duchene been given what they demanded. Somebody else gave it to them – and now they’d love it if somebody took them off their hands.

        Have you checked out the contracts given – so far – to Chabot, Batherson, Norris, Tkachuk, Giroux not to mention the $9 mil paid to DeBrincat without blinking? And except more of the same next year with Stutzle.

      • Until those players win you something there hasn’t been much in the way of rewards. And saying they shipped the players off solely cause they they felt they weren’t going to win without them is a nice way to gloss over the fact they also didn’t want to pay them. Things have certainly changed this year as you pointed out. What else is new for the sens this year?

    • George, can you tell me the last time Melnyk spent to the cap? Did he ever?

      I would say that was the major difference.

      • Sparky, going back to Bryan Murray’s tenure as GM, and right through Dorion’s so far, even during those periods when they were a league force, it was team POLICY not to spend right up to the cap – always leave some appreciable wiggle room for acquisitions at the trade deadline.

        Melnyk never said “stop spending” – it was the way both Murray and now Dorion preferred it. Right or wrong we’ll leave to the historians. But right now, with at least a dozen teams snug up against the limit, how many have wished they had enough to bring in that needed ingredient heading down the stretch to strengthen weak spots?

      • I recall an interview with Melnyk George where he stated he was never going to put his personal wealth at risk to support the Sens.

        With attendance being what it has been iit is understandable even for a billionaire. But he also refused to sell the team to others that promised to spend at the time.

        Cheap? Smart? Careful? His legacy is what people think it is.

      • Sparky, IF he ever gave an interview where he said that, it would still be available on the web.

        I don’t believe he ever said that. And without actual proof, it’s simple hearsay.

      • I watched the video George but the part I am talking about is quoted in the text of Luke Fox’s story. It doesn’t seem to show up and might have been edited out. I recall him saying that though as it was on tv

      • Sparky, “the owner of the National Hockey League team brought up the idea of moving his franchise. I’m not going to blow a lifetime of working hard to support a hockey team. It’s not gonna happen,”

        He was talking about the dwindling attendance – a situation not helped one iota by the idiotic Federal Government’s “Phoenix Pay System” that saw THOUSANDS of public servants going without pay for months on end. And Ottawa IS a public service city.
        That’s a far cry from “never going to put his personal wealth at risk to support the Sens.” It had NOTHING to do with spending to the cap and everything to do with pouring money into a franchise that was playing before 50% to 70% of capacity,

  6. When there is competition; meaning more then one team with interest, the return will be better then if only one team.

    Whatever teams are on the list; do they have an interest in Tkachuk?

    Do they have the cap space?

    Do they have the assets.

    Calgary isn’t waiting a year to let him walk for free. And as of now he be a distraction on the team.

    Calgary best move is a sign and trade or allowing a team to work out a long term deal.

    If your one of the prefer destinations and are interested; your best to put your best foot forward because some other team may better your offer.

    Calgary still has a level of control, maybe Ottawa is on the list and he can go play with his brother.

  7. Between the allegations against Katz and the Hockey Canada matter, today’s blog looks a bit like the National Enquirer.
    Hockey Canada must do what the Hawks were forced to do when the Beech story came to light. Everyone involved with the cover up and improper use of the equity funds must be gone. Now!

    • You assume it was a cover up, Howard. Do you know what the girl’s view of having the issue public knowledge? Do you know what the terms of the settlement were and what each party’s position was?

      Your position sounds like Judge Judy rather than a lawyer.

      • Hockey Canada’s response to this whole thing does not have them coming off as a group which tried to do all the right things.

  8. LJ, legit questions. Why should Hockey Canada settle at all? I mean they should be hands off and support the police investigation %100 wherever it goes. It is all accounting smoke and mirrors. Hockey Canada collects money, and pays for stuff with that money. Whatever it pays for it pays with money it collects. The real issue is paying such settlements in the first place. Hockey Canada should start by creating and including for all employees and participants mandatory training about consent and best practices for victim support. Start there and build even better.

    • Well, from what we know so far, the victim could not – or would not? – identify any of the perpetrators and was satisfied with the pay-out and the avoidance of appearing in a public court.

      So far, the affidavits of denial of any involvement are just that – denials. Much like every criminal who spouts their innocence through their lawyers. As for those who have yet to release similar affidavits, perhaps their lawyers have told them it’s pointless to deny anything until actual charges have been made, and the way I’m reading the events and developments – so far anyway – is that it probably won’t come down to that. The issue are the actions by Hockey Canada.