NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 5, 2022

by | Jul 5, 2022 | News, NHL | 55 comments

The Canadiens leave all options open with the first-overall pick as the 2022 draft approaches, the Sharks name Mike Grier as their new GM, Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk rescinds his trade request, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes is stirring up intrigue over what he’ll do with the first-overall pick in the upcoming 2022 NHL Draft. He claimed he hasn’t decided yet if he’ll choose center Shane Wright of the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs, winger Juraj Slavkovsky of Liiga club TPS in Finland, or center Logan Cooley of the U.S. National Team Development Program.

We’re trying to evaluate how a player projects,” said Hughes. He adds they’re being open-minded and flexible over which is the right situation for those players. The Canadiens GM also didn’t rule out trading the pick or swinging a deal with the New Jersey Devils to end up with the first- and second-overall picks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hughes is doing what any GM worth his salt would do with the first-overall pick in a draft where there is no generational player like Connor McDavid available. He’ll get a very good player with that pick if he keeps it regardless of whether he chooses Wright, Slavkovsky or Cooley.

Hughes could surprise us by trading that pick, and if he can land the Devils’ pick without giving up a young core player such as Nick Suzuki or Cole Caufield it’ll be an impressive move. However, I doubt he’ll be able to pull that off. I anticipate he’ll retain the first-overall pick and use it to select Wright given the Habs’ ongoing need for quality depth at center.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: cited ESPN NHL insider Kevin Weekes reporting the Sharks will name Mike Grier as their new general manager on Tuesday. He’ll become the first black person in NHL history to become the GM of a team.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Weekes has a solid record for breaking NHL news. Grier spent 14 seasons from 1996-97 to 2010-11 as an NHL player with the Sharks, Edmonton Oilers, Washington Capitals and Buffalo Sabres. He went on to serve as an assistant coach with the Chicago Blackhawks, New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers and in 2021 was named the Rangers’ hockey operations advisor.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: cited TSN’s Ryan Rishaug reporting Jake DeBrusk’s agent claiming his client has rescinded his trade request. The Bruins signed the 25-year-old winger in March to a two-year contract extension.

Boston Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Interesting to note that DeBrusk withdrew his trade request after the Bruins fired head coach Bruce Cassidy. Make of that what you will.

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports Evander Kane’s grievance hearing with the San Jose Sharks over the January termination of his contract isn’t likely to be scheduled before free agency begins on July 13.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: LeBrun wonders if the two sides might reach an agreement on a settlement before then. That might be possible now that the Sharks finally have a new general manager in place.

TSN’s Darren Dreger reports Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Mikhail Sergachev has changed agents and is now represented by Dan Milstein. Dreger’s colleague Chris Johnston reports Sergachev is expected to sign a contract extension in the coming weeks.

Pierre LeBrun reports pending UFA winger Ilya Mikheyev’s agent (Dan Milstein) may seek a multi-year deal worth between $4.75 million to $5.5 million annually. The 27-year-old Mikheyev spent the past three seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs, tallying a career-high 21 goals and 32 points in 53 games in 2021-22.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Mikheyev is a good depth forward but he’s not worth that much. Nevertheless, we shouldn’t underestimate the ability of NHL general managers to succumb to action fever and overpay for second-tier talent in the opening days of free agency.

NHL.COM: The Winnipeg Jets have appointed Scott Arniel as an associate coach under new bench boss Rick Bowness.

PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: Flyers goaltender Ivan Fedotov is apparently going to be serving in the Russian Navy. After being detained in St. Petersburg last Friday for allegedly dodging the draft, he was reportedly hospitalized with what his attorney called stress-induced gastritis. He was then sent to a Russian naval base near the Arctic Circle.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fedotov, 25, played for CSKA Moscow last season but signed a one-year entry-level contract in May with the Flyers. There are rumors his gastritis was in fact poisoning but there’s no confirmation of this.

Fedotov’s plight is raising concerns that he’s being used as an example to other young Russian players thinking of leaving their KHL clubs to play in the NHL while Russia is at war with Ukraine. It could affect whether Russian prospects are chosen in the upcoming NHL Draft.

CALGARY SUN: The city of Calgary is continuing to work with the Flames in hope of finding a resolution toward the construction of a new arena to replace the aging Saddledome. A third-party intermediary called the Event Centre Visioning Group is continuing talks with both sides with the intention of getting them back to the negotiating table.


  1. Re

    “Pierre LeBrun reports Evander Kane’s grievance hearing with the San Jose Sharks over the January termination of his contract isn’t likely to be scheduled before free agency begins on July 13……LeBrun wonders if the two sides might reach an agreement on a settlement before then. ”

    The skeptic in me thinks this “delay” (of hearing) is intentional to almost “force” a settlement!!

    • It’ll be the first order of business for Mike Grier and set up to establish him as a no-nonsense type – here’s what we’re offering … take it or leave it or we’ll see you in “court.”

      • Hi George

        I don’t believe Sharks or Kane have control over when Arb hearing is

        I was alluding to my pessimism in that I believe this was a deliberate delay tactic by NHL to force an “out of court” type of settlement

        Grier great choice as GM but in no way should he take the stance “take it or leave it” offer

        From all reported accounts…. Arb is likely to rule much closer to Kane’s agent’s ask/expectations (as NHL investigation did not find any fault in the actions Kane did that ended up Sharks terminating contract citing “breach of contract”

        Kane should be motivated to end this so he can sign his next contract

        Sharks should be motivated to make a settlement as an Arb hearing more than likely not going the way they could get in an “out of court” settlement

        To NHL , IMHO, their delay tactics kind of forces actions (outside settlement) so as to appear neutral in this

      • The NHL doesn’t set the schedules of the arbitrators, Pengy. It’s based on their availability. That’s why the league sets its salary arbitrations schedules well in advance to ensure there will be arbiters available to hear the cases.

      • Cheers and thanks Lyle

        That makes more sense…. I HAD thought it was scheduled by NHL

        Thanks again

    • Hi Pengy,
      I think your right on this one the NHL has Egg on its face for not dealing with the Kane situation Much sooner❗️

      With UFA period coming on the 13th of July teams want to get going Especialy the Oilers as it look like both parties want to continue there relationship hear….
      Im thinking he is getting a 4 yr deal from the oil @ $5.M for a 4 year deal just under The Nuge & Hyman deals……..❓

  2. I think Mikheyev and his agent are dreaming in technicolour if they think someone is going to cough up $4.75 to $5.5 per for his services in this tight cap world.

    Coming off a $1,645,000 cap hit in Toronto, if someone goes as high as $3.5 over 3 years they should grab it and run.

    As for picking a Russian in the draft … it wouldn’t surprise me to see the 3rd round roll around before seeing the first to go.

    • Hi George

      I think Milstien is posturing

      The fact that Mikeyev was at $1.6 M last year should have zero bearing on what he gets next contract

      When the superstars jump from ELC to next contract….. the contract is based on future expectations …cite…..$975 K – $12.5 M (McD)

      Market bears out what GMs will pay; some more “pressured” or “panicked” than others and overpay

      One thing is for sure… Leafs can’t afford Mikeyev

      around $5M , I agree , is likely a stretch

      But….he’s 27, big…. Last year had 82 game pace of 33-17-50 and +24 , had 2G 2 A in 7 playoff games

      That should certainly IMHO, get him offers North of $3.5 M

    • Hi George re Drafting a Russian B4 round 3…. Not a chance it gors that late

      Mintyukov should go mid 1st round

      I agree that GMs might not be clamouring to grab a Russian teenager; but the cream of Russian teenagers will still be picked

      • We’ll see.

  3. Lafreniere and Gautier for # 1 overall and a 2nd

    • Slick, that’ll be a NO on both sides. The Rangers are happy with Laffys development and will not want to trade him. As for the Habs, at this point, I don’t see Gauthier becoming more than a fringe player. As much as they’d like to have Laffy, I think they’ll prefer Wright, given that he’s a center.

      • So is Logan Cooley

    • Hi Slick

      Rangers on cusp of vying for cup…. IMHO , they shouldn’t be focusing on 1OA in ‘22 (that has no generational players) for a player who may be impactful in 2-4 years while giving up Laf

    • Slick- you as a Ranger fan want to send Laf away?
      He might not be McKinnon etc talent but he is a heart and soul kid that can produce if given more minutes

      We need another center but no reason to trade Laf

      • ds. Don’t want to, but with Kreider and Panarin not going anywhere, and Othmann, Cuylie, and Trivigno in Hartford, I’d take that gamble on this kid stepping in at 2C next year. Sign Copp. Gaut a throw in. Habs like Franco’s.

      • @Slick
        Kreider at some point lack a NMC right?

        Laf could be moved now for a center that could plugged into NOW…not an 18 year old if they are going to move him at all

  4. Hughes, like any smart GM, is playing his cards close to the vest. I agree, however, that the Habs will stat at #1 and pick Wright. There is speculation that they’re trying to bait the Devils into offering up some value to have the Habs lay off Slafkovsky but I don’t think the Devils will bite.
    I don’t see the Devils trading their pick even to move down a few slots. They want Slafkovsky and I don’t see any team offering up enough of a haul to entice them to trade the pick.

    • If NJ truly wants Nemec or Jiricek, they could trade down as far as #5. AZ has 2 other 1st’s and might be the target if they want 1 of the top 2. Then the Kracken or Philly might pony up a good asset to switch picks. A good D or winger or goalie would be a good asset to get for NJ.

  5. Can’t get a stadium done.. Move them to Quebec or Houston…. Where have we heard that before? 😉

  6. That’s swell Jake has pulled back his trade request,
    I was against this guy from the beginning, but maybe there’s more than meets the eye here I still want Sweeney out of Boston ASAP but now I’m beginning to feel there we’re other players ( Krecji and Patrice) who Cassidy rubbed the wrong way. I still think Cassidy is a good coach and he took the fall for Sweeney’s horrible free agent picks ups and other blunders. But Cassidy was I think starting to lose the players. It eventually happens to all the coaches. Krecji will be back. But they still need more. I am not comfortable with Sweeney filling in the cracks, I don’t think he can do it.he is still lost in the petrified forest trying to chop down a Sequoia Redwood with pen knife.

    • Today’s anti-Sweeney rant brought to you by “I think I’m smarter than ownership”, Inc.
      Seriously, RWM, there are lots of fans in, at least, two countries who would love for their team”s GM to have the level of success that Sweeney has had. True, with an aging core, especially up front, Boston is looking at a rebuild/retool in the near future, but that doesn’t change the fact that the Bruins have been one of the teams that must be beaten to reach the Stanley Cup finals for nearly twenty years.

      • With. Jake wanting to stay. I wonder who they ship out to pay Bergy.? Reilly. Smith. Nosek Coyle?? If going to try and bring in a 2 ctr. Even Krechi. Probably 4 players have to go to cover Bergy and Krechi. Salary even if bonus heavy

      • Although I enjoy reading his comments but I am not at that level that RJM is I must comment on the Bruins.The 2 most recent coaches Claude Julien and Bruce Cassidy for the last 10 years have excelled at Defensive zone play.The GM by his free agent signings ,Drafting and Trading have been subpar.They have not meaning Sweeney drafted,traded for or signed as a free agent a top 6 center in 10 years.

      • If you don’t like what you see don’t read it

      • Everyone has their say don’t like it don’t read it … i

    • I’m thinking DeBrusk would look good in Vegas. Maybe on Eichel’s line.

      • Steve

        He had some flops. But he also hit. On mcavoy. Carlo. Lauzon. Lindgren Lucic trade
        Coyle trade. Hall trade. Lindholm trade even. Nash trade was good can’t blame him for Mellon head flops. 2015 draft when he could not move up. Backes deal but coach played part not allowing him to play his game backes pretty much said so after he was traded
        Foligno. Just bad pick up especially after the leafs got him at deadline as a bust

      • RWM…. Are you me or am I you ?

    • To Rick point

      Sweeney has drafted 42 players 7 1st round picks and 8 2nd round picks

      Zboril, Debrusk, McAvoy, Frederick, Carlo, Lauzon, Lindgren, Vladar and Swayman are the only full time NHL players.

      He traded Dougie Hamilton to Calgary for a 1st and two seconds good deal.

      1st Zach Senyshyn)
      2nd Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson
      3nd Jeremy Lauzon (picked up by Seattle)

      traded Milan Lucic to LA

      Colin Miller (Vegas epansion draft)
      Martin Jones
      1st Jacob Zboril (still a chance)

      Trade Martin Jones to San Jose

      Sean Kuraly (in Columbus)
      1st Trent Frederick (still developing)

      The trades themselves were very good, the drafting may leave some questions marks.

      From them 3 trades Boston received 8 assets of them 8 assets only 2 remain Zboril and Frederick

      • Sock it to em Cappy Sweeney’s got go worst gm in the nhl

      • I’d say having 9 out of 15 first and second round picks (roughly 60%) is a pretty good total. Of course, every GM has his blindside (Jarmo K of the Jackets seems to get burned on big ticket UFOs, for example), but I’m willing to bet that most teams’ owners and fans would love to have a GM with a 60% hit rate on 1st and 2nd round picks.
        As for you, RWM, you strike me as someone who will only be happy if the Bruins go 82-0, then sweep every round of the playoffs. If you haven’t figured it out, yet, most of us consider you a joke.

    • DeBrusk …. Go crying to your GM about your coach that he sat you down a few games because you wouldn’t get dirty ..

  7. best of luck to Grier in SJ, he’s going to need it to sort out their cap mess. He was always thought of as being a very smart player, I remember him most as an Oiler, and also asst coach with the Devils
    Wouldn’t it be funny if the arbitrator ruled the Sharks couldn’t buy him out, and is awarded back to the Sharks, instead of free agency?

    • If that happens, I would expect Sharks management and Kane’s agent to work out some kind of deal. It’s so blatantly obvious that Kane is not welcome in SJ.

    • Hi Mike

      An unlikely scenario…, but there is s possibility (even tho remote)

      Agree , Grier (great guy) is inheriting a mess

      • Could be worse. He could be Guerin! At least Grier will have live bodies for his cash outlay

  8. Debrusk rescinding doesn’t surprise me; I like Cassidy as a coach to a point.

    I didn’t like how he treated the young players. Ie Frederick, Zabrol and Debrusk make one mistake, they would sit for long periods of time or be a healthy scratch.

    Meanwhile more established players make the same mistakes or other mistakes leading to goals against they be no disciplinary actions.

    Media called Cassidy a no nonsense coach because he would often call players out in the media. While it makes for good print it didn’t do anything for said player.

    With all that said, he was a winning coach and if concerns with his style, I wonder if there was a discussion about his style and a request to change it? Your very good at this, this, this and that; however we would like to see and improvement in this area, do you think you can do that without compromising in other areas?

  9. There is a report surfacing around the internet last night by Nic Kypreos, he stated that there is two teams ready to sign Kadri 7yrs over $8m per and they are Seattle and Boston.

    I’m a Kadri fan and would love to see him in Boston.

    Kadri will be 32yr old in October. Boston doesn’t have the cap space and if they did, this would still be a bad signing.

    The ship has sailed, good for Kadri get what you can but for Boston this would not be a good decision , 7yrs is 4yrs to many.

    Rumors with PB and DK signing bonus laden contracts kind of kills any of them rumors.

    • Bruins would regret that signing if it becomes a reality

      Someone is going to over pay with term and $$. Same with Johnny hockey.

      • I thought Kadri would get $8M, which is why I thought the B’s wouldn’t be in on it.
        Very good player, but 7 years is flat out nuts IMO.
        Hell, 4 or 5 seems too long, but OK I get it he is the best UFA C out there.

        Will believe when I see it, that seems too crazy to me.

    • Huge mistake and where’s dies the $$$ come from

  10. George, your thoughts on Colin White. Is he an NHL player? 3rd line? 4th? Cap? Thanks.

  11. BCLeafFan, as I say elsewhere, my thought on White is that he was never given an extended chance to play RW on a line with grade A linemates.

    Taken 21st overall in 2015 as a C, and after bouncing up and down between Belleville and Ottawa at the start of his career, he first 2 seasons as a regular were shortened versions due to Covid during which he was shifted between C and RW and always on different lines from 1 to 4.

    He was fairly durable in those seasons, missing just 16% of the team’s games – and a lot of that was due to Covid protocols. A severe shoulder injury and surgery towards the end of the season before the one just concluded caused him to miss all but the last 24 games of a full 82-game schedule – and again he was in and out of lines 3 & 4.

    I just wish they had chosen to give him a prolonged chance at RW on the Stutzle-Formenton line before pulling the plug. Yeah, at $4 mil+ that was a little steep for what production he produced, but I really think he had the talent to do a lot better with an extended presence on the 2nd line.

    He plays hard and at 6′ 1″ 200 lbs is no shrinking violet. Someone will give him a 2-year look-see at a bargain price and, if given half the chance, will do well.

    • Thanks, George, don’t really understand why the Sens are buying him out but it sounds like he’ll be a solid addition for a team next year. More action around the league in the upcoming days and weeks.
      I wonder how many players will change teams this summer.

      • BCLeafFan, the deciding factor could all boil down to money. According to CapFriendly, it cost $5.25 million to buy him out – a saving of $10.5 million. The way it works out is that he now will cost them – in terms of the cap – just $875,000 for 5 of the 6 seasons through to 2027-28 (just?? – geez, can’t believe I’m treating that dizzying amount – to me anyway). For some reason, the calculation also gives them a $625,000 cap credit in 2024-25.

        Relieving themselves of $3,875,000 of his annual $4,750,000 cap hit will come in handy next summer when they have to re-up RFAs Stutzle, Pinto and Gambrell and UFA Zub.

    • Apparently White’s former agent is now the Montreal GM. Also of note, White played with Auston Matthews in the US development program. He also played at Boston College.
      The plot thickens.

      • Heh. He was also born in Boston.

      • I’d give him a chance on the B’s if $ and term make sense. And if his shoulder is 100%, those injuries can linger and keep coming back.

        First thing I thought of when I saw they were buying him out, was concern about the shoulder.

        They could have waited a year to buy him out to see if he could get it going. So is there a problem, or are there more moves to come in OTT?

      • Ray, unlike Pinto who had much the same surgery, White did come back this past season and got in the final 24 games – seemingly without problems related to the shoulder – and played pretty well considering the time missed and the fact it was a crucial time of the season – at least where many of their opponents were concerned.

      • Why did they do it this year in your opinion George?
        Norris is getting a big bump if they go long term, everybody else should be pretty reasonable even though they have quite a few to sign, but the math looks OK for this season IMO even with White.
        Just seems like they could have got his value up if he played well this year and avoided the buy out, and if it didn’t work out do it next year.

        Maybe another move is in the works.

      • That crossed my mind, too, Ray. If something does go down with a fairly large cap coming in (either a RW or a RD) from a cap-strapped team), look for it to happen on the draft floor – especially if Dorion has more than one offer for that 7th overall pick +whatever. I think he’d like nothing better than to make one of the biggest splashes of the night right there in Montreal.

      • Seems to be a lot of hype around the draft this year George, doesn’t mean there will be a whack of action of course, but here’s hoping there is!
        Lots of teams need to make some moves.

  12. I am not a Colin White fan but I think he can help an NHL team. He works hard and has enough skill to be a bottom 6 center in the NHL , just not Ottawa.
    I expect someone to sign him to a short term affordable deal and this will light a fire under him. He was thrust into playing RW by default, it can be hard on player who has played center all their life to change up and play the wing.
    Bottom line , Dorion gaffed when he signed him to that deal.

    • And right there is the crux of the matter, Fergy22 … the fact he’s probably better suited as a C despite their attempts to turn him into a RW.

      Unfortunately for him, with Norris and Stutzle firmly established as their 1-2 Cs, with Pinto hopefully coming back 100% from his shoulder surgery to take the 3rd line C spot, and Gambrell the 4th line C, there is simply no room at the inn – not when your cap hit is $4,750,000. That, however, is not out of line for a 2nd line RW and it just bugs me that they have decided not to give him a good – LONG – look on that line.