NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 19, 2022

by | Aug 19, 2022 | News, NHL | 39 comments

The Flames sign Nazem Kadri and trade Sean Monahan to the Canadiens, Carey Price appears unlikely to play this season, and the Predators will host the 2023 NHL Awards and Draft. Details and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


CALGARY SUN: The Flames signed Nazem Kadri to a seven-year worth an annual average value of $7 million.

Calgary Flames sign Nazem Kadri to a seven-year contract. (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As of publication, the full details of Kadri’s new contract have not been revealed on Cap Friendly or Puck Pedia. I anticipate we’ll learn more about it in the coming days.

Kadri was the top player still available in the free-agent market. For weeks, the 31-year-old center was linked to the New York Islanders in the rumor mill. However, Flames general manager Brad Treliving quietly pulled off yet another major acquisition this summer that bolsters his club’s depth at center and replaces some of the snarl they lost by shipping Matthew Tkachuk to Florida last month.

Signing with the Flames may seem like a surprise on Kadri’s part given he spiked a trade to Calgary by the Toronto Maple Leafs three years ago. However, he later explained that he refused to waive his 10-team no-trade clause at the time because he wanted to stay with the Leafs. Kadri was subsequently traded to the Colorado Avalanche.

The $7 million cap hit reflects a player coming off a career-high 87-point season and a strong postseason performance. Kadri was underpaid on his previous contract, earning $4.5 million annually. It can be argued that the AAV is a little high by about $1 million but the Flames obviously believe he’s worth it.

It’s the term, however, that’s more concerning. A $7 million AAV over a three or four-year contract for a player who turns 32 on Oct. 6 could be considered a reasonable period of time. Paying that much for a player who will be approaching 39 by the time it’s over could prove burdensome for the Flames’ cap as his skills decline in the final half of that deal.

For Treliving, however, that’s an issue to deal with down the road. Signing Kadri and acquiring Jonathan Huberdeau should be suitable replacements for Tkachuk and the departed Johnny Gaudreau. These moves are expected to maintain the Flames’ place among the NHL’s top teams. No one will complain about the expense or length of Kadri’s contract if he helps them win the Stanley Cup.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens acquired Sean Monahan and a conditional first-round pick from the Flames in exchange for future considerations.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flames needed to clear cap space for Kadri’s contract. Trading Monahan and his $6.376 million cap hit for 2022-23 addressed that issue. The 27-year-old center said he’s looking forward to a fresh start after hip injuries hampered his performance over the past three seasons.

Monahan also indicated he’s recovered from hip surgery and is on the ice four days a week gearing up for the coming season. He’s hoping to be at 100 percent when training camp opens next month.

A strong performance will be crucial to Monahan’s playing career in the NHL. He’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer so a return to form in the coming season could earn him a new contract with the Canadiens or bolster his stock in next summer’s free-agent market.

The details surrounding the conditional first-rounder the Canadiens will receive are complicated. The Gazette’s Pat Hickey simplified it by explaining the Habs will receive one of the following: “Calgary’s choice in 2024, 2025 or 2026 or the Florida Panthers’ choice in 2025 or 2026. They could also get Calgary’s third-rounder in 2025 or a fourth-rounder in 2026.”

In other words, the Canadiens are guaranteed to get a first-round pick out of this sometime in 2024, 2025 or 2026.


MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: The Canadiens could afford to acquire Monahan because it appears Carey Price will be on long-term injury reserve for this season. General manager Kent Hughes explained the news on the 35-year-old goalie’s ongoing recovery from a knee injury is “pretty discouraging”, adding there’s been no improvement in his rehab process. Price’s AAV is $10.5 million through 2025-26.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This news isn’t unexpected but it’s still rather sad. Price has been the face of the franchise for over a decade. However, he missed all but five games last season due to his ongoing rehab from last summer’s knee surgery, as well as a stint in the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program and a bout of COVID-19. Those five games may have been the last he’ll ever play.

Placing Price on LTIR provides the Canadiens with the wiggle room to take on Monahan and perhaps make other additions as required. However, they won’t find anyone who can replace Price.

This news should also put an end to recent speculation suggesting Canadiens backup Jake Allen might be available.


THE TENNESSEAN: The Nashville Predators will host the 2023 NHL Awards and the 2023 NHL Draft. The award show is scheduled for June 26, 2023, and the draft will be held on June 28 and 29 at Bridgestone Arena.

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Jim Rutherford blamed the mental effects of the COVID-19 pandemic as the reason why he stepped down as general manager of the Penguins last year. Given his age, he and his family rarely left home once the pandemic started. Confined to his home office, Rutherford said it affected his “mental toughness”.

I don’t want to suggest I had mental health issues,” Rutherford told Jason Mackey. “The way I would describe it is I wasn’t mentally as strong as I should have been to be myself and continue to do that job. I was starting to react to things differently than I normally would, which led to where I got to.”

Rutherford insisted his departure had nothing to do with former Penguins president/CEO Dave Morehouse, whom he was rumored to be clashing with. He remains complimentary of his time with the team, saying he was well-treated by everyone (including Morehouse) throughout his tenure with the club. He’s now the president of hockey operations for the Vancouver Canucks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think the pandemic has affected many people’s mental health to various degrees and continues to do so. The uncertainty and stress led me to reach out to a therapist earlier this year and I found it quite helpful in learning to adjust to this new reality.


  1. As someone said at another site, looking forward to this year’s Battle of Alberta – could be prime TV viewing.
    And really sad news about Carey Price. He spent a few summers training near where we lived at the time and it was neat to watch him with young kids – just a class act.

    • MTL option to take CGY’s 1st in 2024 if it is 20th or later.

      If they don’t take that, they get a Top-10 protected pick in 2025. (With a jumble of conditions based on whether Florida gives CGY their 2025 or 2026 pick and where each pick falls).

      If the pick falls to 2026 based on all the conditions, MTL picks up a 3rd for their troubles.

      • Odds are quite long for the pick to slide to 2026. For that to happen, Calgary would have to wind up with the #1 overall pick in 2025 and florida’s Pick would be top 10. Who knows what things will be like a couple of years down the road but I have a hard time seeing even one of those happen.

    • Also looking forward to a renewal of the Battle of Ontario – finally.

  2. Calgary and Montreal made the most of their situations this summer.

  3. Calgary will be a force this coming season! BT has done a marvelous recovery to his 2 top players by replacing them with 4 top players! He only has to find a scoring RW for his top 6. He could bring in Rodriguez or Kessel for $2M to round out his roster, or trade a D-man for that position.

    • Hanafin for Josh Anderson would be awesome!

      • The Habs would be better off with Rasmus Andersson, as he plays on the right side. I don’t think it’ll happen but Anderson for Andersson would be a cool deal.

      • Hanafin is a hugely underrated defenseman and has a case for being the best D in Calgary.
        At 25 he is about to enter his prime as a Dman, he isn’t going anywhere.

    • Craig Smith is your man.Something around him and
      Hanifan with the Bruins adding.

  4. Habs continue a strategy of rebuild and development collecting picks while Monahan is a low risk gamble.

    Habs should continue and trade a 4th or 5th rounder to San Jose for Adin Hill, and trade Jake Allen to one of a few teams needing a solid goalie for a higher pick next year.

    • Jake Allen will not be traded. At least not now. Maybe at the deadline. Might not be a bad idea to pick up a guy like Corey Schneider to play in Laval and be available for call up in case of injury. That way, it’s likely that Primeau can spend the whole year in Laval. It’s a big year from him – the Habs need to see if he can be a reliable NHL goalie. Price is likely done so the Habs will have to make plans for what to do in goal for 2023-24 and beyond.

      Great deal for Monahan. Even aside from the 1st rounder, it’s not impossible that he has a bounce back year. He was a very reliable center for several years before the last 2 injury riddled seasons. He says he feels healthy now. He will be only 28 when the season starts, still young enough for a comeback. If he has a solid year, I can see the Habs signing him and then likely trading Dvorak for help on D. And that’ll put the PLD rumors to rest.

    • I can see something like that being done but at the trade deadline. By then if the Habs are in a better position to tank than to get close to a playoff birth they should dump as much as they can of players not in their future.

      You just can’t have a crappy tank team right at the start. It’s not fair to the fans and players. Points will be tougher to get this coming year than last season. There’s no harm to try new things, get the fans excited, then tank for a great young player to reignite the base. Rinse and repeat if you have to.

  5. Culture change in Calgary. Maybe it will help them get over the hump.

  6. Price? Stick a fork in him he’s done.
    Monahan will be lucky to even score half dozen goals this season. It’s been covered in The Boston Media a Craig Smith Deal is almost done and they’re working on a Foligno scenario as well. Which in Sweeney translation, look for poor returns. Anything immediate with this guy means forever and a day. That way he doesn’t have to deal with other issues like how to improve this team.

    • Common sense dictates a Foligno trade costs other assets as well {pick and or prospect} and the return is only future considerations. Smith is tradable but will not receive value because of the cap

  7. One wonders if Montreal is cursed due to the treatment and trade of Patrick Roy. Ever since he was sent to Colorado, it seems like Montreal takes one step back for every two steps forward

    • The only curse for the Canadiens is years of some bad decisions by various general managers and an unwillingness (until last season) to finally stage a long-overdue rebuild from the front office on down.

      • You may be right. Then, again, the Boston Red Sox are an example of what can happen when a team trades their iconic player.

      • Makes you wonder what the Cubs did so long ago to lead to a 100-year drought.

      • I remember being at a game at Yankee Stadium in 2008, after the Sox had won 2 Series to break the curse. There was a fan wearing a T Shirt which read “Dear Red Sox. Turns out there was no curse. Your team just sucked all these years”.

        I’m with Lyle. Bad management making bad player moves is what brought this about. Thankfully, the new management team seems to have its act together.

      • Wish I had that T-shirt Howard. Awesome.
        I luv the folks in NYC, been too long. Definitely call a spade a spade.

        Going to watch the Yankees and Jays end of Sept for a couple games, maybe I’ll go to NY next year.

    • And ever since Roy left Colorado, the Avs have soared. Thanks to Joe Sakic.

      • True. But so far Joe has 1 cup there. Patrick is largely responsible for two – just not as a GM.

      • The first 15 years after Roy Colorado won a total of 3 playoff rounds , missed the playoffs 8 times! And we’re bounced in the 1st round 4 times. Didn’t pass the 2nd round once in 15 years and only made it there 3 times.

        Soar? More like snore!

      • My bad, I thought you meant as a player.

  8. Montreal has 5 1st round draft picks over the next 3yrs. It’s a nice way to stock picks and build the prospect pool.

    With a strong draft next year, they should be adding another solid piece. I don’t see a top pairing d; maybe Guhle is that guy down the road.

    • Caper, I see both Guhle and Barron as Top 4 D-men, maybe top pairing. But I agree with you that while the pieces seem to be in place up front, it’s somewhat thinner on the back end, especially on the right side. Hughes’ next moves will have to be to solidify the D, as well as find a young goalie of the future if Primeau won’t be the guy.

      As I posted earlier, Monahan having a bounce back year and signing an extension would be beneficial in more ways than one. They could then trade Dvorak and if need be a piece from their large pool of prospects and picks for some help on D.

      At the very least, the new management seems to have a solid plan in place. Picking up Dadanov, Monahan and a 1st for absolutely nothing is amazing.

    • Caper hopefully with a new front office drafting, I’m sure they will have much more success than they’ve had with recent management.

      Also it we can now confirm the price of moving a full $6m contract with a year remaining of a unknown player’s usefulness is. Of course there maybe exceptions like the ones the leafs did with Chicago and the Oilers did with the Yotes. Same quality of player, similar term, but a difference of $700k more for the player the Leafs where trying to move, ended up costing them less than the Oilers paid which was two extra picks. Could in all cases be related to expected ice time to some degree?

  9. The way I would describe it is I wasn’t mentally as strong as I should have been to be myself. I was starting to react to things differently than I normally would.

    So you had some mental health issues jr. And that’s ok but call a spade a spade bud.

    • Chrism I agree with you; I don’t think it as simple as admitting to it the issue as you would like.

  10. The repeated mantra of curse on Montreal re the treatment of Patrick Roy is not only misguided it has no basis.

    The fact is that Patrick Roy was a very divisive figure on the Habs and GM Serge Savard had decided to trade him, a deal was in place for Owen Nolan and Stephane Fiset but both Savard and Demers were fired before the trade could be consummated.

  11. The Flames transactions are a rare example of both teams getting a bad deal. The Flames have now over paid in $ and term for two players in order to restore their repetitional damage as perceived by the snubbing by Gaudreau and Tkachuk. Both contracts will bite well before the expire.

    The Habs getting Monahan is also a bad deal, marginally improved by a first rounder. The bigger bad news is that it is confirmation Price will not return this year, meaning he is on LTIR.

    • How is Montreal getting Monahan a bad deal?

      Habs get a 1st and potentially an additional 3rd or 4th.

      IF he rebounds, the Habs have an asset to trade for picks.
      IF he rebounds, he shelters Dach.
      IF he’s unable to play, he’s LTIR.
      IF he lost his game, he’s let go as UFA.

      Picking up a veteran leader for nothing on a rebuild/development year looks pretty good.

      • The best moves the Habs have made are getting Gorton and Hughes.

        IMO they are on the right track, as much as I would prefer them not to be good.

      • I think Montreal gets bonus possible points for a new attitude coming out of the room; watched MSL as a player for years in Tampa and a big part of his success was that he made every player he played with better; there is value in a ‘good room’. Lots of different kinds of coaches have won, but this guy seems like a good fit for this team at this time.

      • That is a valid way to look at it HF30. I did say the first round pick improved the acquisition.

        That said, IMO Monahan is a 6 million gamble. That’s 6 million that they cannot parlay into a goaltender by trade or signing. Yes, expectations are low for this year, but Allen has one year left on his current and then the Canadiens will have no proven starter in net. With Price now done what now?

        IMO, you can only kick the can down the road so long. Goaltending is important. For all the clever moves Gorton and Hughes have made they have done nada regarding a pretty damned important position. 6 million would help.

  12. I applaud you sir for having the cajones to admit that you needed some help with whatever. It is not an easy world to live in any more and the covid years just messed things up big time. God I wished it would just go away. Sending
    Blessings your way.

    I quote you below…..
    “The uncertainty and stress led me to reach out to a therapist earlier this year and I found it quite helpful in learning to adjust to this new reality. }

    • Thank you.