NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 7, 2022

by | Jul 7, 2022 | News, NHL | 41 comments

The 2022-23 schedule is released plus the latest on Kirill Kaprizov, Filip Forsberg, Kris Letang, Patrice Bergeron, John Klingberg, Evander Kane and more on the eve of the first round of the 2022 draft in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The league released its 2022-23 schedule on Wednesday. The regular season begins in Prague on Oct. 7 and 8 as the Nashville Predators and San Jose Sharks face off in the 2022 Global Series. The first games in North America will be held on Oct. 11 featuring the New York Rangers facing the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Colorado Avalanche will raise their 2021-22 Stanley Cup banner in Denver on Oct. 12 prior to their home opener against the Chicago Blackhawks. That evening will also see the Toronto Maple Leafs travel to Montreal to face the Canadiens while the Vancouver Canucks will face the Oilers in Edmonton.

The 2023 Winter Classic will be held on Jan. 1, 2023, between the Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins at Fenway Park in Boston. Hockey Day in Canada featuring all seven Canadian teams in action will be on Jan. 21.

The Florida Panthers will host the 2023 NHL All-Star Game with the skills competition on Feb. 3 and the All-Star Game on Feb. 4. The regular season will end on Apr. 13.

THE ATHLETIC: Media reports out of Russia claim Minnesota Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov is wanted in his native country for allegedly buying a fake military ID card in 2017 while he was playing in the KHL. The Wild and the NHL are gathering information to determine the credibility of the story.

Minnesota Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov (NHL Images).

Reports also claimed Kaprizov had fled Russia but Wild general manager Bill Guerin said he’s still in the country and is safe with family and friends. Guerin said he and the club have been in touch with Kaprizov’s agent and aren’t pushing the panic button.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is a result of Russia’s war with Ukraine. Under Russian law, eligible men between 18 and 27 must serve a year in the military, though exemptions are provided for athletes. Russo cited a source claiming Kaprizov’s exemption ended on June 30.

Last week, Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Ivan Fedotov was detained under suspicion of dodging the draft and sent to a remote Arctic naval base. Fedotov broke his contract with KHL club CSKA Moscow to sign with the Flyers in May. It’s generated increasing concern over whether Russian players will be allowed to return to the NHL next season. 

TWINCITIES.COM: Speaking of the Wild, they signed defenseman Jake Middleton to a three-year contract extension with an annual average value of $2.45 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Middleton was due to become a restricted free agent with arbitration rights when the free-agent market opened on July 13. Acquired from the San Jose Sharks before the trade deadline, he proved to be a good fit with the Wild. He skated with Jared Spurgeon on their top pairing, providing an additional measure of grit to their blueline.

NHL.COM: Nashville Predators general manager David Poile said his club is closer to signing Filip Forsberg now than when they made their eight-year contract offer earlier in the offseason. The 27-year-old left winger is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 13.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It looks like Forsberg will stay in Nashville barring a last-minute collapse in negotiations before the free agent market opens next Wednesday. There’s no indication from the Forsberg camp of any disagreement with Poile’s assessment of their contract talks.

I assumed a sticking point was the lack of no-trade protection. Poile indicated Forsberg will get a full no-movement clause and a full no-trade if he signs with the Predators.

The Predators GM said the holdup was over money. It’s rumored that could be between $8 million and $9 million per season on an eight-year deal.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Penguins GM Ron Hextall said he’d be surprised if his club didn’t get defenseman Kris Letang signed to a new contract before July 13. However, he seemed less optimistic about re-signing Evgeni Malkin but said the two sides will continue working on it.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Letang is reportedly seeking a five-year deal worth between $8 million and $9 million annually. The Penguins are also said to have put the priority on re-signing the 35-year-old defenseman before turning to Malkin.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron hasn’t signed on the dotted line yet, but recent discussions indicate he’s considering a return with the Bruins next season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: An earlier report last month had Bergeron agreeing to come back. Back in May, he indicated that he would either return with the Bruins or retire. If he’s leaning toward playing, I think we’ll see him suiting up for a 19th season in Boston.

DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli reports John Klingberg will be hitting the free-agent market next week. Talks between the 29-year-old defenseman and the Dallas Stars have been cordial but they don’t appear to be any closer to working out a new contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Reports last fall claimed Klingberg sought an eight-year deal with the Stars worth between $7.75 million and $8.5 million per season. With Jake Oettinger and Jason Robertson due for big raises coming off their entry-level deals, the Stars won’t have enough cap room to pay them and Klingberg.

SPORTSNET: Edmonton Oilers GM Ken Holland said his club isn’t close to a deal with Evander Kane. He said they’ll continue to speak with his agent to see if something can be worked out. Kane, 30, is due to become a UFA next week.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kane also has a grievance hearing over his terminated contract with the San Jose Sharks coming up sometime after July 13 unless he and the Sharks can work out an agreement before then. That could affect the Oilers’ efforts to sign him.

TSN: Washington Capitals GM Brian MacLellan said Nicklas Backstrom is determined to play next season after undergoing hip surgery last month.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Uncertainty over Backstrom’s status raised speculation the Capitals could be shopping around for a replacement. His determination to play is admirable but that will be decided by how well he recovers from hip-shaving surgery.

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Speaking of the Capitals, they’ll get more clarity on the status of Carl Hagelin’s season-ending eye injury later this summer. Hagelin suffered the injury during practice in early March. He underwent two surgeries which permanently took away some of the vision in his left eye. It also affected his depth perception but that could return in time.

VANCOUVER HOCKEY NOW: Canucks management indicated there’s not much to report on contract extension talks with J.T. Miller. However, they’re more optimistic about re-signing captain Bo Horvat.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Both players have a year remaining on their contracts. Miller has been the subject of considerable trade speculation this season. There are rumors he could be traded either during the draft or before the start of the UFA market next week.

NHL.COM: New Jersey Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald said Jesper Bratt will not be traded and has received a qualifying offer from the team. The 23-year-old winger is coming off a career-best 73-point performance and is slated to become a restricted free agent next Wednesday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: So much for the recent speculation claiming the Devils could shop Bratt if they couldn’t work out a suitable new contract.

NORTHJERSEY.COM: Speaking of the Devils, they hired Kate Madigan as their new assistant GM, becoming the first woman in franchise history to hold that role.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: The Blue Jackets signed defenseman Adam Boqvist to a three-year contract extension worth an annual average value of $2.6 million.

NHL.COM: Former NHL defenseman Bryan Marchment died suddenly on Wednesday in Montreal. Marchment, 53, was attending the upcoming draft in his role as a scout with the San Jose Sharks.

A physical blueliner during his playing career, Marchment spent 17 seasons in the NHL with the Winnipeg Jets, Chicago Blackhawks, Hartford Whalers, Edmonton Oilers, Tampa Bay Lightning, San Jose Sharks, Colorado Avalanche, Toronto Maple Leafs and Calgary Flames from 1988-89 to 2005-06. In 926 regular-season games, he had 182 points and amassed 2,307 PIMs. His son, Mason Marchment, plays for the Florida Panthers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Marchment’s family, friends, former teammates and the Sharks organization.


  1. Bergy will be back so will Krecji this will Sweeney’s swan song he will run this up the proverbial Flagpole at least a half dozen times before it’s finally laid to rest. Fans will be disappointed to learn at the end of the day and this includes Friday Sweeney will have accomplished absolutely nothing.


    My Habs picks for today & 1st two tomorrow:

    1 – Shane Wright *Drops the Mic*

    2 – I believe the Habs find a way with packaging the 26th overall with other picks, prospects &/or roster players to grab a pick between 12th & 20th.Then drafts:

    Liam Ohgren – LW, captain of the Swedish U18 National team.

    3 – With the 33rd overall pick: Calle Odelius – LD, teammate of Liam Ohgren’s on the Swedish National team.

    4 – With the 66th overall pick (because I feel the 62nd of the Oilers would be part of any deal above): Topias Leinoen – Finnish goaltender, Height: 6-foot-5, Weight: 216 pounds. After his size, his next biggest asset is his athleticism and quickness.

  3. Heh. Since it seems we’re about to predict a lot today about tonight – and barring last-minute trades – this is how I see the first 10 picks of the draft unfolding, with Shane Wright dropping to 3rd (how’s that for going out on a limb?)

    1. Montreal – 5′ 11″ C Logan Cooley
    2. New Jersey – 6′ 4″ RW Juraj Slafkovsky
    3. Arizona – 6′ 1″ C Shane Wright
    4. Seattle – 6′ 3″ RD David Jiricek
    5. Philadelphia – 5′ 9″ C Mathieu Savoie
    6. Columbus – 6′ 0″ RD Simon Nemec
    7. Ottawa – 6′ 1″ C Marco Kasper
    8. Detroit – 6′ 3″ LW Cutter Gauthier
    9. Buffalo – 5′ 10″ RW Joakim Kemell
    10. Anaheim – 6′ 4″ C Connor Geekie

    • George, the expectation, in CBJ blogs and other reports, is that the Jackets intend to pick a center @ #6. The #12 may be used to pick a d-man, or it may be traded for immediate help if the guy they’re offered is young and has, at least, three years on his contract.

      • CBJ takes Gauthier at 6
        I would love it if Cutter fell to 8 for the Wings!

    • Your ruining my morning George, if your Sens do take Kasper it is going to be a sad day for Detroit. There is talk that Gauthier could play center but I am not holding my breath. But in all honesty, I will be happy with whomever the Wings puck as Draper is showing he is a pretty good talent evaluator.

      • Paul Bowles & AzWingsfan – if Columbus did, say, take Kasper at # 6 I could see Dorion elevating Geekie to the 7th pick.

        One thing is for certain in this draft – Centres are target # 1 – no less than 12 of the projected 32 1st round picks are Cs), followed by RD, with 9.

    • Hi George

      My bet to you

      I say Wright does not drop to 3rd

      If I’m right… you drink an XL Tim’s

      If you’re right…. Tell me what brand you need me to drink an XL of… and I’ll suck it up and do it

      Do we have a bet?

      • Heh. You drive a HARD bargain. An XL of Pretentious Sludge!! Hmmmm. OK, and if he does drop it’s an XL of Jamaica Blue Mountain.

      • 🤝

    • I would like to see Ottawa snag Gauthier , I have a feeling Philly or CLB will pick him.

    • George, I wouldn’t be surprised at anything Mr. Yzerman does with #8. We know he is willing to go off the beaten path like he did with Seider. I can’t wait to find out, but will be OK with whatever he does. I am willing to admit that I know about 1% of what I would need to in order to make an intelligent choice.

    • Might as well take a stab at it too, this is barring trades.
      1. MTL – Wright
      2. NJ – Slafkosky
      3. ARI – Cooley
      4. SEA – Jiricek
      5. PHI – Gauthier
      6. CLB – Kasper (Go with Paul’s C info)
      7 OTT – Geekie (Georges reaction to Paul)
      8 DET – Lekkerimaki
      9 BUF – Kemell
      10 ANA – Nemec

      • Getting pumped for tonight- can’t believe it. My prediction is more trades tonight than in the last ten years. We can always hope.

      • So Geekie now goes to Chicago?

    • Bold, George. The reason I disagree is that Cooley is small-ish. I don’t think the Habs want their two top centers at less than 6′ tall.

      I know you are spit balling, but it won’t be Jamaican Blue Mountain I will be drinking if they take Cooley.

      • It’s the first year in a while who we don’t know who the #1 pick will be. Always a little hype, but obvious at the same time.

        Not this year.

        You can find mock drafts with either of the 3 at #1. I have even seen one where Cutter moves into the top 3. Blew them away at the combine I hear.

      • There is, as others note, no clear and consistent # 1. But that doesn’t make Cooley bigger.

  4. Habs will sell everything for the 2nd AND 3rd picks. Draft Wright, Slaf, and Cooley all at once and in no particular order. For the first time in NHL history there will be 3 x 1st overall picks.

    • They might TRY to do that – chances of succeeding are slim to none.

    • Hi EDB

      Well that would certainly go down in history

      So… what are your thoughts on how they get there?

      Who + Who to Devils for 2OA

      26th, 33rd, 62nd + who + who to Arz for 3OA?

      Or are they doing the Burkie two/step movie…. Trade up to 6th (?) then flip that 6th (?) and player, to Avs for 3OA

      At least one of the “who” above is from Suzuki/Caulfield…. Maybe both….

      • Oh, I was just being silly and adding to the narrative that Habs are undecided. They’d have to give up a lot to pull that off. Are these draft picks even worth it? If none are considered generational then the likelihood one gets moved is possible… Seriously though, if Habs want to put a stamp on this draft, show the hometown crowd (and the league) they mean business, it would take some savvy Burke-like moves to wow the audience. Otherwise it will be a heavily scrutinized draft for years to come.

      • Hi EDB

        I knew you were hyperbolizing re top 3 …. But selecting 1&2 or 1 & 3 would be a huge splash and even though a relativelysmall possibility… could happen….

        Devils have been reported to be shopping their 2nd….

        26th, 33rd, 62nd and Anderson for 2OA

        Habs then take Wright/Slaf

        In 3 or 4 years when Habs back in the SC hunt… their top 6 would include Suzuki, Wright, Slaf, Caulfield

        Just sayin’

      • Hey everyday, why do you say this draft will be heavily scrutinized? The consensus regarding this draft is that it’s a filler draft. Meaning there might not be many stars but a lot of good quality players like 2nd liners, etc types which we won’t know how any team has drafted until years later.

        I think we’ve been spoiled the past few years where the top talent was either generational or close to it. This draft is where I expect teams to find those plugs that fill up the holes that every team has.

      • Pengy, I’d do that trade in a second if I’m the Habs. as much as I’d prefer not to trade Anderson, it would still be worth it. But it’s a no go for the Devils. As I posted on the Rumor chat, If you’re trading the #2 pick, and dropping way down, you must get a top flight player. Anderson is certainly a good player. But not of the caliber required to get the #2 pick. As to the late first rounder and the 2 seconds, at that stage, odds are better that you’ll wind up with a middling player or two (or nothing at all) than a top flight player. Not worth it for NJ.

      • Hi Ron, agree we’ve been spoiled in the past. I think this draft will be heavily scrutinized because there’s so much conflicting info in the rankings. Wright’s been pegged as #1 but then Bob Mackenzie comes out at the last minute with Slaf as #1. He only surveyed 10 scouts, but got the results to spin a controversial announcement just a few days prior to the draft. Then there was Wright’s combine results… and how well Cooley did at the combine… and how well Slaf played against men (non-NHLers) in Europe and at the olympics. The narrative is complete with such gems as “we all remember what happened the last time Habs picked 1st overall.” I guess when the competition is so tight near the top then the draft is more likely to be scrutinized? I just hope it doesn’t end-up like the 2012 draft…

      • Yeah you’re right, it might just come down to one of the most interesting drafts.

  5. if PB & DK sign back with the Bruins what might be the top two lines opening night….

    • Joe

      That would depend greatly who they move out. Debrusk. Smith. Coyle?? At least 3 players will need to go to squeeze in under cap

    • Top line…. PB centering Hall and Pasta

      2nd DK centering Zucker and Coyle

      3rd line Carter Smith Haula

      DeBrusk and Foligno went to Pens; Pens bought out Foligno

      Bruins got from Pens…. Carter, Zucker, Dumo, Ruhweedel… for DeB and Foligno ….LOL 😂 👍🤞🙏

  6. Pengy….don’t think DK or his family would be happy with that line combo I’m thinking his family wants him on a line with Pasta or he’s going back home to play hockey again. If Coyle is still there he would’ve happy with Zucker coming to the Bruins

    • Oki Doki; fair point

      Forget the rest…. Let’s make Coyle happy

      Pens gladly give you Zucker and Ruhweedel for 7th in 2045

      Can we 🤝 on it?

      Sid will throw in signed jersey, stick, puck

      I’ll drink a Jamaica Blue Mountain (see my deal with George above) for a week instead of my beloved Tim’s

  7. Pengy,let s look at this one Carter,Zucker,Marino for Debrusk,Carlo,Smith and Reilly!Even out the money a little more.

  8. BTW the Russian factor is gonna be a big story. I don’t know how many GMs have made somewhat awkward comments regarding Russian players and prospects going forward. It sounds like it’s not a good and there’s nothing teams could do, like in the past to getting the talent out this time.

    George commented on how he feels a lot of top ranked Russian prospects will fall in the draft and I feel he might be right.

    • Agreed, Ron. I believe Putin will give the finger to the US by not letting any of the Russians drafted this year permission to leave any time soon.

      An NHL team could take the position that as their picks are young they can wait a few years, particularly because they are a ways away from an NHL debut. But still, any Russian will be a mid round pick at best.

      • Not just the draft, there are a fair number of Russians in the NHL and many teams already have Russians in the pipeline. Take the CBJ for example. They have Vladislav Gavrikov, Yegor Chinakov and Daniil Tarasov on their current roster and three or four either under draft claim or assigned to Cleveland. Putin deciding to be difficult could create a fair sized hole in the Jackets’ team.
        My belief is that Russia/Putin has already taken a huge PR hit by invading Ukraine for no reason and will not want to look petty by keeping Russian NHL players from playing in the NHL.

      • Paul, Putin has no problem with appearing petty. The man is a megalomaniac of the first order who doesn’t care one iota what the rest of the world thinks of him – as long as they fear him. If he want to send a strong message to other young men in his country that it’s not wise to disregard their obligation to the military he will, in fact, deliberately target athletes. No skin off his ample nose.

      • Maybe George. Though there have been questions about his health, recently, and he has mud on his face since Ukraine has been making the Russian army look pretty bad, which reflects poorly on Putin.
        Mostly, I’m thinking about the money factor. Every country that matters has enacted a full trade embargo. Russia could probably use the influx of income tax moneys from all those lucrative NHL salaries.

      • As long as European countries continue to loftily place sanctions in one breath – and continue to import Russian oil and natural gas with the other – the money will roll in. Bottom line – they have no choice as there is simply not another source for either that could make up their absolute needs.

  9. Penguins resign Kris Letang. Deal is 6 years for 36.6 million and first four years include no movement clause.