NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 9, 2022

by | Jul 9, 2022 | News, NHL | 30 comments

Duncan Keith’s retirement and its effect on the Oilers and Blackhawks, an update on Kirill Kaprizov, the latest on Johnny Gaudreau’s contract talks, the Kings re-sign Adrian Kempe, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reported Duncan Keith will retire after 17 NHL seasons. The 38-year-old Edmonton Oilers defenseman has a year remaining on his contract with an annual average value of $5.54 million.

Edmonton Oilers defenseman Duncan Keith (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Keith played all but one of his 17 seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks, becoming the greatest defenseman in franchise history. Joining the Blackhawks when they were among the league doormats in 2005-06, he went on to anchor their blueline as they rose to become one of the league’s most dominant teams.

Keith enjoyed a career worthy of the Hockey Hall of Fame. He helped the Blackhawks win three Stanley Cups in six seasons from 2009-10 to 2014-15, took home the Norris Trophy twice as the league’s top defenseman, won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP in 2015 and was a two-time First Team All-Star. He is second all-time among Blackhawks skaters with 1,192 games played, sixth in total assists (520) and 10th in points with 625. Keith also helped Canada win two gold medals (2010, 2014) in men’s hockey at the Winter Olympics.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Keith’s retirement provides a boost to the Oilers’ salary-cap space for 2022-23, removing $5.5 million from their books. Having traded Zack Kassian ($3.2 million) to Arizona on Thursday and with goaltender Mike Smith ($2.2 million) and defenseman Oscar Klefbom ($4.1 million) expected to spend next season on long-term injury reserve, the Oilers could have $22 million to work with this summer.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Because Keith was on a 13-year contract signed before term limits were imposed on contracts, the Blackhawks faced a $5.5 million salary-cap recapture penalty for 2022-23 and $1.9 million in 2023-24. The club wasn’t planning on spending to the $82.5 million cap, but it does hamper their efforts to weaponize their cap space by taking on bad contracts from rival clubs with sweeteners such as draft picks and prospects attached.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The financial effects of Keith’s retirement for the Oilers and Blackhawks is newsworthy, but it seemed to overshadow the fact that a future Hall-of-Famer was hanging up his skates after a long and productive career.

THE ATHLETIC: Michael Russo reports sources claim Minnesota Wild star Kirill Kaprizov was twice denied entry into the United States and has returned to his native Russia, likely because he currently lacks a work visa. The 25-year-old winger was previously accused of buying a fake military ID in 2017 to avoid service in the Russian military. Russo reports Kaprizov’s father said his son was a student which allowed him to avoid service. However, that exemption expired on June 30.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This has raised concerns over whether Kaprizov will be allowed to return to North America given the tensions between the United States and Russia over the latter’s ongoing war with Ukraine. Russo reports the Wild are working with the NHL behind the scenes to sort this out.

SPORTSNET: Calgary Flames general manager Brad Treliving said there is a genuine desire by his team and Johnny Gaudreau to get a new contract done before the free-agent market opens on July 13. The 28-year-old winger is slated to become an unrestricted free agent.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s been reported the Flames offered Gaudreau an eight-year deal worth $9.5 million annually. While there’s talk the club has the flexibility to go higher in salary, there’s also a belief that he wants to gauge other offers before reaching a decision.

TSN: The Los Angeles Kings reached an agreement with winger Adrian Kempe on a four-year, $22-million contract with an official announcement expected on Saturday. Kempe, 25, was slated to become a restricted free agent with arbitration rights. He’s coming off a career-best 35-goal performance.

SPECTOR’ S NOTE: $5.5 million per season is a good contract for a 30-goal winger, especially if he continues that level of production over the course of his new deal.

PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: More details emerged on the Philadelphia Flyers’ acquisition of Tony DeAngelo from the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday. The Flyers sent the Canes a second-round pick in 2024, a third-round pick in 2023 and a fourth-rounder in the 2022 draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The original report indicated the Hurricanes were receiving second, third and fourth rounds picks.

The Flyers acquired DeAngelo because they need insurance in case Ryan Ellis remains sidelined next season by his recovery from a multilayered injury in his pelvis region. Nevertheless, the deal is facing criticism by Flyers followers citing DeAngelo’s checkered history and his average defensive game.

RDS.CA: cites Pierre LeBrun reports it appears Tampa Bay Lightning winger Ondrej Palat is heading to the free-agent market on Wednesday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: LeBrun didn’t rule things changing but this would be a big loss to the Lightning if Palat departs as a free agent. The 32-year-old winger is a reliable two-way player who’s also a clutch playoff performer, sitting third among active players with 12 game-winning playoff goals.

NEW YORK POST: Forget the rumors of the Islanders trading Semyon Varlamov. GM Lou Lamoriello said he’ll be maintaining his goaltending tandem of Varlamov and Ilya Sorokin for next season.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: The Avalanche are reportedly closing in on a new contract for Valeri Nichushkin.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic said it doesn’t appear he’ll be receiving a contract buyout. He’s excited about returning under new GM Mike Grier (who he played with earlier in his career) and the new coaching staff.

THE TENNESSEAN: Speaking of the Sharks, they acquire forward Luke Kunin on Friday from the Nashville Predators in exchange for a 2023 third-rounder and forward John Leonard.


  1. The Wild w/o there super Russian star??? War has many victims!

  2. Hoo boy – talk about frustration – we were one of millions hit by the massive coast to coast Rogers blackout yesterday – no phone, no Internet only local TV.

    Pengy, I was not surprised Wright dropped to 4th – saw enough of him when Kingston played the 67s to see that he blows hot and cold – not just from game to game but at times period to period. Not surprised either that Slafkovsky went # 1 – I just thought the Habs would opt for a C first. But he’s a legitimate # 1. Enjoy the Blue Mountain – that cup brewed in L.A. had to have been through a sock. Done properly, there is NONE better on the planet.

    mp, you were bang on re DeBrincat … there’s no denying his offensive talent … I just have this built-in concern about small players being able to handle the grind – especially the playoff type of grind. But, he’s here now and playing with Stutzle and Formenton – that could be a line to watch.

    The Leafs finding a taker for Mrazek – any kind of a return to his form in Detroit and Carolina and the Hawks will have a bargain for the duration of his contract. Not sure I understand the rumours re Murray to the Leafs. If that ever did go down, what the heck is Dorion planning for the goalie tandem? Gustavsson-Forsberg? Sogaard-Forsberg? Both mistakes in my view. So, would there be someone else coming in through trade? Not much left among the UFAs.

    • George- Soobas tries to collect all his old shiny toys that played for him and he hired a new but familar goalie coach that was with Murray.

      I don’t like what it may be leading up to tender wise for the leafs even though I called the Mrazek to the Hawks bit. If I was Saultbas, I would aim for Blackwood first, get him inked as he could be a great backup or can also be a starter and then inquire about Gibson and see if a deal could be swung.

      Unless Murray comes in real low I only see him as a back up but he is too pricey for us and gets injured too often and it could be the Mrazek re-tread moment.

      I could handle a disgruntled Talbot and maybe Guerin needs to re-evaluate the Krill situation as he may be without a superstar, but here is where maybe a Nylander trade could come into place with either Minny or the Ducks.

      just to throw another log into the tender fire – How happy is Calgary with Markstrom? That was a sad playoff showing and maybe they have an itchy trigger finger and maybe a three way with the Sens/Leafs and flames could occur for a tender dosey doh!

      • If the Sens retain 50% of Murray’s salary I would take the risk that he rebounds. At least he has won two cups and shown that he was able to lead a club to a Stanley Cup. High risk high reward.
        And I don’t think Campbell is a goalie who could win the Leafs a cup.

      • DJ, I believe you put your finger on what will be the main focus of teams and topic of discussion once free-agency kicks in Wednesday – goalies, goalies, goalies

      • no to Murray at 50% retained.
        A better situation would have been the trade to buffalo where Ottawa was retaining and then buffalo retains to send to the Leafs.
        Murray can’t go in as the starter, he may earn the job but its not his by any stretch of the imagination at the start of the season.

        What could have been. The Sens put that pick to much better use. Sucks that they are in the same division as the Leafs but they will be a fun team to watch. Maybe I’ll make it out to a few more games this year, take advantage of the CT center being only one exit away on the 417, for now.

  3. Give the man a work visa. Even a temporary one. He clearly has a job in the US.

  4. Sitting here sipping my BRC
    ( Freedom Choice) came across this in the Boston Globe Online

    Word is out that Bruins players had their say in Bruce Cassidy’s firing.

    Not a good look Boston Bruins especially after the GM went to Cassidy and told him he was coming back

  5. Looks like the inmates are running the asylum in Boston.Bad take when a player rescinders his trade request after a productive coach is fired.I wonder what Harry thinks about Don Sweeney now.Wonder why tough guy President Neeley didn t go to Cassidy s house to tell him of his firing.

    • Cassidy is why DeBrusk wanted out, it might be the real reason why DK sat out this past season especially after the Hall signing which gave him a legit winger again and it might be the reason PB said he might retire ….if all three come back I think we’ll have a answer

    • Not sure the inmate analogy works, since the players are the product and the biggest reason you win or lose. Kinda need them.

      The reason Neely didn’t do is because it is the GM’s job as Cassidy reported to him.

      It isn’t a great look, but not that big a deal. If I had to guess, and it is a guess, he did his season ending interview with the coach first. Then did the players individually, and sounds like multiple players said they had issues with Cassidy.

      He had new information, made a decision based on that. The optics are secondary.

      • What I would like to know was Sweeney without a GM contract before he was resigned this offseason … Cassidy was fired in 6/6/22 Sweeney was rehired on 6/27/22.

  6. I would guess Palat is running into the Lightning’s next year’s problem, when they have Sergachev, Cerkal, Colton, Foote, and Cirelli all coming up on RFA expiration. There is cap space this year, but not next. If Pally goes, I’d be surprised if Killorn doesn’t also to add a new crop of hopefully fast & skilled youngsters to sort out in an on-the-fly retooling. The three aged folks on the SchoolBus line (Perry Maroon Bellmaire) are enough of that and after several years of going for it there’s no help in Syracuse, unless Barre-Boulet magically finds his game (unlikely). I see him packaged with Killer& a pick for 2 AHL but NHL ready guys and an NCAA prospect, all forwards. Foote may be ready…or may have spent enough Cooper doghouse time to also be moved for something equal. Expect a slightly down year for the Bolts; aided by the coach going easy on minutes for the tired vets, then seeing how far Vasy can carry the grou come playoff time.

  7. Do the NHL Morning Coffee Headlines mention Boston, the Bruins, Sweeney,, Cassidy?

    Is there some kind of hidden code?

    It’s one thing to repeat the same opinions ad nauseam but at least be on topic.

    • LOL, it’s the same every day from the same group. All Boston all the time!!

      I really like the Ville Husso signing by SY. With Cossa coming to the AHL this season, we now have 4 capable goalies. I’d speculate that one of Ned or Husso could be trade bait at the deadline, likely to whomever signs Campbell to the next Matt Murray contract!!!

      • Ya, those Bruins fans are all the same – Boston, Boston, Boston nonstop.
        Then there’s the Philly fan who only wants to talk about Toronto.
        And don’t get me started on Habs fans. They are clearly at the top of the heap (although their treatment of the commissioner was first-class).

        On the goalie front, I think the Leafs should go after Hellebuyk.

    • Do read it …or do you want to talk about the Leafs/Canadians every day

      • The Do is a Don’t

    • Are you the topic police ?

      If there’s a issue Lyle will tell me not you

      • It’s recommended that you try to stay on topic. In this instance, however, you were posting up something you read about the Bruins that is newsworthy and hockey-related. So in this instance, I’ll allow it. And thanks for the heads-up about this story as I hadn’t seen it when I was doing my morning update. Cheers!

  8. It would be hard to imagine BriseBois being indifferent to losing Palat to free agency, given that the Bolts essentially gave McDonagh away to clear cap space to sign him.

    • not indifferent, but under extreme duress. What will the offers be? He’s been at 5.5, Tampa would need a cut w/ a runout to lower av cap hit, and there might be a contender offering a raise. “Exploring” is not signed elsewhere so we’ll wait & see but JB can’t & won’t get into a bidding war; I expect he’s put his offer on the table & Palat’s agent may be actually looking or just doing due diligence. Lightning can afford five years 4,4,3,2,1.5 or something similar (to age 37) have no idea what premium someone else might pay for his playoff rep.

      • I had harbored hope that Dorion would go hard after Palat but once the DeBrincat trade went down that went out the window. Now, it seems, he is considering a goalie move to possibly clear the way for a RD – Weegar’s name has cropped up and I’m sure he has an eye on others.

  9. He hails from Salem down in New Jersey
    This Is where you’ll find Johnny Hockey signing soon you’ll see
    He’ll douse the flames, sign and quickly skate away
    And listen to his home state back him and all shout Hooray
    Maybe someday he’ll be back in cowtown
    But he’ll be wearin the devil making Treliving look like a rodeo clown
    I said, Go
    Go Johnny Go,
    Go Johnny Go
    Go Johnny Go
    Go, Go
    Go Johnny Go
    He’s good as gone…Johnny be bad 😀

    • Chuck is rolling over in his grave! LOL

  10. Keith the greatest Defenseman in Blackhawk history? Over Chelios? Really?

    • Pierre Pilote?

    • No love for Orr, Coffey and Wilson?

      • Bill Gadsby?