NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 19, 2022

by | Sep 19, 2022 | News, NHL | 22 comments

Sidney Crosby speaks about his future as well as his celebration of Nathan MacKinnon’s Stanley Cup win, Leafs GM Kyle Dubas faces a make-or-break season, the most and least expensive arenas to watch an NHL game, and more in today’s Morning Coffee Headlines.

YAHOO! SPORTS: Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby recently spoke about how long he intends to continue playing during a recent appearance on the “32 Thoughts” podcast.

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby (NHL Images).

I’m thinking about three more years, then seeing what happens from there,” said the 34-year-old Crosby. That’s also when his current contract expires in 2025. He wants to ensure he can continue playing at a high level, with good health being among the factors that will determine how long he’ll continue his NHL career.

Crosby also opened up about celebrating with long-time friend and fellow Cole Harbour, NS native Nathan MacKinnon at the latter’s Stanley Cup party this summer. “At least top five (drunkest there)”, he joked, adding that MacKinnon left the party two hours before he did. “I think I shut the ale house down that night,” said Crosby.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Crosby has a well-deserved reputation as one of the fittest players in the NHL. Now in his mid-thirties, he’s no longer the dominant player of his youth but remains among the league’s elite stars.

Despite missing the opening weeks of last season due to offseason wrist surgery, the Penguins captain tied with linemate Jake Guentzel as the club’s leading scorer with 84 points in 69 games. If Crosby is still capable of that type of production by 2025 it’s probably a safe bet that he’ll continue playing beyond that season.

THE ATHLETIC: Kyle Dubas will soon become the longest-serving general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs in 25 years. However, it could also be his final season in the job if the Leafs once again fail to advance past the opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. His contract expires at the end of this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As the article points out, the Leafs under Dubas have become one of the league’s best clubs during the regular season, twice setting franchise records for most points in a season (2017-18 and 2021-22). Nevertheless, the club’s ongoing postseason drought and Dubas’ reluctance to shake up his roster core have put him in what appears to be a difficult position with an uncertain future.

Dubas will probably earn a contract extension if the Leafs can at least get past the first round of the 2023 playoffs. Should they come up short again or miss the postseason, he won’t be back as GM.

TIME2PLAY: Rhiannon O’Donohue compiled a list of the most and least expensive arenas to watch an NHL game.

The New York Rangers top the list with the overall cost (factoring in ticket prices, food and drink and parking) being $188.26 USD or $247.99 Canadian based on 2021-22 numbers. The Toronto Maple Leafs and Vegas Golden Knights are second and third followed by the Seattle Kraken and Boston Bruins.

The Arizona Coyotes are the least expensive ($87.93 USD, $115.83 Cdn), followed by the Buffalo Sabres, Columbus Blue Jackets, Florida Panthers and Ottawa Senators.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stick tap to Sportsnet’s Luke Fox for the link.

LE QUOTIDIEN: Antoine Roussel has been invited to the Philadelphia Flyers training camp on a professional tryout offer. The 32-year-old winger spent last season with the Arizona Coyotes.

CAP FRIENDLY: The New York Rangers have signed defenseman Matt Bartkowski to a professional tryout offer. He spent last season with the AHL’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

NYI HOCKEY NOW: Former New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk has rejoined the franchise in a player development role.


  1. Arizona pricing has totally changed and will have an increase in revenue this year despite playing in a 5000 seat arena.

    Ticket prices have doubled from $90 to $170 which is 3rd highest in the league.

    • Hi HF30

      I just can’t possibly see revs increasing

      Per Statista…. Yotes attendance in 21/22 was a little under 476 K…. Using your Facebook gires above …. $90 per avg….. ~ $42.8 M

      If they sell out the 4,950 seats every game this year…. attendance…. ~ 203 K…. Using the $170 avg you gave….. at best $34.5 M…. So absolute full sell-outs every single game (I’m skeptical)…. Means at best $8.3 M less than 21/22

      Transparency…. Not a fan of this Bettman decision

    • Hi HF30

      I just can’t possibly see revs increasing

      Per Statista…. Yotes attendance in 21/22 was a little under 476 K…. Using your Facebook gires above …. $90 per avg….. ~ $42.8 M

      If they sell out the 4,950 seats every game this year…. attendance…. ~ 203 K…. Using the $170 avg you gave….. at best $34.5 M…. So absolute full sell-outs every single game (I’m skeptical)…. Means at best $8.3 M less than 21/22

      Transparency…. Not a fan of this Bettman decision

  2. Leafs will make the playoffs, they’ll just have to outcore their opponents 6-5 every game. but 1st round of playoffs is another story. can Murray stay healthy enough to get to the playoffs?

    • Why is winning a first round series seen as significant improvement? If only by sheer luck the Leafs are bound to win a playoff round. Shouldn’t the bar for success be set a little higher?

      • MikeP – The Leafs defense isn’t as bad as it’s made out to be.
        I’m no fan of the Matt Murray trade, even less so given how little salary was retained but looking at advanced stats Murray had a better goal save above expected than Campbell last year.
        Murray had a better high danger sv% than Campbell.
        Campbell was good but its less of a downgrade that everyone seems to think, if at all.

      • LJ it’s not the bar at all but due to public perception as well as the article making this point, I think Mikep is just reiterating the point the article is making: win a round, good, lose that round, you’re out.
        I don’t think many fans look at just getting past one round, that’s not a form of success to many other than the usual talking heads.

        If Murray stays healthy maybe he’ll be enough, but no one really knows… that’s why we play the 82 games.

      • Taz, There is more to it than just HDS% and expected goals saved between the two. Murray played just 20 games last season and only faced 122 HDSA compared to Campbell’s 49 games and 290 HDSA last season. The more games played and chances against will always bring a goalie’s average down. Campbell played injured in quite a few games last season. That also brought Campbell’s numbers down.

      • KevJam,

        I believe your point is valid if it were for goals saved above average – the number of shots taken do count.
        With the HDS% that is a percentage.

        I agree with murray having limited exposure and that is a separate concern altogether.

        My point being that Campbell isn’t the elite goaltender that he is made out to be at times. He had a very hot stretch, no doubt but there isn’t enough of a track record of there.

    • MikeP, to answer your question about Murray – No.

  3. Frankly, I don’t think Dubas and Shanahan deserve contract extensions. Their “plan” of spending $40+MM on four forwards while spending pennies on goalies and the blueline is straight out of the 80’s.

    • Its a little different now.
      Looking around the league there are very few elite goalies who can start 55 games/year. Saros, Vasi, Shesterkin, Helleybyuck, markstrom
      Possibly will get there category: Merzlinkins, Sorokin, demko
      There’s 32 teams and that is 25% at best.

      Your point about 40M on 4 forwards is valid, it is too much.

      • Spending $40MM on 4 FWDS is valid, but saying spending only pennies on D and goaltending was part of the plan is not.

        The plan was based on a sound assumption that the cap would continue to go up, and significantly due to new US TV deal.

        And it would have, except for that whole pandemic thing.

        You can criticize the decision on Tavares, and how much they gave Marner by a mil or so.

        Dubas has decided that the return he would have gotten for Marner or Willie (the only 2 he can trade in reality) would not make them a better team. We don’t know what that return would have been. So if folks on here do know that, kindly let us know.

        I get what Dubas was trying to do, he got burned by the Vid. Good chance it will cost him his job.

      • Ray you’re wasting you time. The Leafs were boned by the cap due to the unforeseen conditions that the world wide pandemic had negatively on everything.
        That’s still on them. It always will be. So is the dumb call to re-up all their stars who have performed better than expected early rather than after a bridge. Something that only now we are seeing other teams do now too.

        When your young team is constantly a top team season after season but failing to have success in the post season, the obvious fault is the guys that built the team, not inexperience whether be players or team build, (just think how much a teams line up changes during a season, let alone year to year) it sadly takes time, talent and luck to win and even then, no guarantees. This version of the Leafs are one of the best teams as evident by the teams that these guys built – which many say should be shown the door – had already two record breaking years. That’s not nothing but to many here 😗 it is not a measure of anything.

      • Frederick Anderson did a very good job for Carolina, this year. But Toronto let him go for peanuts. Shows just how important a decent blueline is. Which Toronto could afford if they weren’t spending $40MM/year on four players. The next GM will have to trade one of those players to improve the blueline and buy out Matt Murray.

      • See what I mean Ray?

      • Yes he was good in Carolina last year Paul, but he wasn’t good for Toronto the year before, which was the year they had to make that decision. And Campbell played very well behind that so called terrible D. They chose Campbell, who was also making less. Seems like a logical decision.

        Freddie also sucked it up and played hurt in TOR that season. His reward for that was getting roasted by media and fans. On this site as well. So I would not assume that he even entertained playing another year in TOR. He would have to sign the contract too after all.

        As for what he getting paid in CAR, what should you pay for a guy coming off a .895 SV%? CAR took a chance on him and were rewarded, perhaps TOR gets rewarded this year for the 2 guys they are taking a chance on.

        Goaltending is voodoo.

  4. Way to early; however, i think this year is the most wide open it’s been for a team to win the cup.

    Last year i predicted Colorado to beat NY Rangers for the cup. Didn’t happen.

    This year and yes, you’re going to think I’m off my rocker.

    I’m leaning towards a Nashville vs Toronto cup final.

    I’m thinking Toronto is going to have one of the best goalie tandem in the league.

    • Caper if the goalies play lights out for leafs they should be a fave But I think Murray will get injured yet again. Tenders will be average and out in rd1 again. This bringing the end to the shanaplan in Toronto

    • Hi Caper

      Sadly (as a Leaf fan)…. I am anticipating another great regular season and a no-show in the ECF

      If they don’t meet Bolts in first round; perhaps Leafs finally win round 1 and go down to Bolts round 2

      Flames v Bolts IMHO; is more likely SCF than Leafs v Predz

  5. I’m not holding my breath re Leafs getting to ECF

    Can they win a 1st round series? If it’s against Bolts…. No , I don’t think so

    Other teams maybe

    But their still not likely to get to ECF or even think of getting to SCF unless there is a change away from 1/2 Cap on 4 Fwds

    So why should they re-up Dubas if they magically win round one; only to lose round 2 to Bolts?

    Re Sid…. Would love to see him re-up in 3 years…. Will he stil be a PPG player…. Not guaranteed …. But Sid; even if in 25/26 he only gets 65-70 points…. Still a great player to have

    Good on ya re closing the bar at MacK’s Cup celebration party

  6. Toronto may not make the playoffs. Yes, they have the guns up front. But, once again, the blueline is strictly ordinary and it will take a miracle for Murray to be worthwhile. Let’s face it, goalies do not suddenly get better and less injury prone after 30. While, right now, I’m looking at Tampa, Florida and Toronto to top the Atlantic, that’s with a grain of salt.
    Besides Toronto’s deficiencies, Tampa had to shed players, again, to remain cap compliant. Sooner or later, that’s going to matter strongly. This past year, Florida led the league in come from behind victories. That’s highly unlikely to happen again.
    So, with Boston likely to struggle, due to key players recovering from surgery, it’s possible – not likely, but possible – for one of Buffalo, Ottawa or Detroit to sneak past one of the “big three” and into the playoffs.