NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 2, 2022

by | Sep 2, 2022 | News, NHL | 49 comments

The Stars sign Jake Oettinger to a three-year contract, an update on the Canadiens’ contract talks with Kirby Dach, Rangers defenseman Nil Lundkvist requests a trade, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Stars signed Jake Oettinger to a three-year contract worth $4 million annually. The 23-year-old goaltender was a restricted free agent coming off his entry-level contract.

Dallas Stars goaltender Jake Oettinger (NHL Images).

Oettinger took over as their starting goaltender midway through last season. He backstopped them to the seventh game of the first round of the 2022 NHL playoffs, making a franchise-record 64 saves in a 3-2 overtime loss.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s a reasonable bridge deal, giving Oettinger a well-deserved raise that doesn’t break the bank for the Stars. It also sets him up for a more lucrative new contract if he can build upon last season’s promising performance.

SPORTSNET: Eric Engels reports the Montreal Canadiens are discussing a new contract with Kirby Dach. The 21-year-old restricted free agent was acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks in July. One of the options being discussed is a four-year contract with an average annual value of around $3.5 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dach, a third-overall pick of the Blackhawks in 2019, struggled through injury and inconsistency in his years in Chicago. However, he still has plenty of time to regain his promising form. Perhaps the move to the rebuilding Canadiens will help.

Habs management could be banking on it if they’re willing to sign him to a four-year deal. The $3.5 million wouldn’t be extravagant but it could be argued that he hasn’t earned that pay level yet.

NEW YORK POST: Multiple sources claim the Rangers are attempting to trade Nils Lundkvist. The 22-year-old defenseman informed management that he’s unlikely to report to training camp in the absence of a deal.

Rangers general manager Chris Drury is working with Claude Lemieux (Lundkvist’s agent) to find a trade to a club that will give his client an opportunity to see top-four minutes and powerplay time. It’s believed Drury is seeking a young, top-nine center who can grow within the Rangers’ organization.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The report adds that Lundkvist has no issues with the Rangers. He just doesn’t see an opportunity to develop on their deep blueline.

This situation resembles Vitali Kravtsov’s standoff with the Rangers last season when he went to Russia to await a trade rather than report to their AHL affiliate. He still remains with the Rangers, however, and will try to earn a roster spot in training camp.

Time will tell if Lundkvist suffers the same fate. He could have more value in the trade market than Kravtsov given his position as a puck-moving, right-shot defenseman. Perhaps the Vancouver Canucks, Arizona Coyotes or Detroit Red Wings will be among his suitors.

DAILY FACEOFF: The Columbus Blue Jackets signed James Neal to a professional tryout offer. Neal, 34, spent most of last season with the AHL’s Springfield Thunderbirds.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Neal has reached or exceeded the 20-goal plateau 10 times in his NHL career. However, his best seasons are now well behind him. This is probably his last chance to stay in the big league.

THE ATHLETIC/WINNIPEG SUN: Leah Hextall is speaking about her difficult first season calling nationally televised NHL games for ESPN. She was subjected to sexist and misogynistic threats on social media and phone messages.

The worst came from someone threatening to track her down in her hometown of Winnipeg to sexually assault and kill her. “It was that shocking, more than anything, that someone would have that much anger towards me because I was calling a hockey game,” she said. “A hockey game. I’m not saving lives here. I’m just calling a hockey game, and you were willing to threaten my physical and sexual safety?”

Despite the abuse, Hextall will be returning behind the mike this season with ESPN. She wants to inspire girls and women who hope to one day follow her path into hockey broadcasting. She also hopes hockey will bring more women into the game.

Hextall has been covering the NHL since 2012 with several major sports networks before joining ESPN’s NHL broadcast team last season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I encourage everyone to read the links attached for the full details of Hextall’s story.

It’s one thing to be critical of how someone reports or broadcasts the game. I’ve faced it myself and it’s part of the job.

However, the abuse and threats Hextall faced, mainly because she’s a woman, were uncalled for and shocking. There’s no need for it at all and no one should have to face that.

I hope Hextall perseveres and becomes a role model for everyone who wants to get into the industry.


  1. Hextall is not a good broadcaster, but see deserves respect and safety.

    • Hey FYI, showing her respect would be saying, “I’m my worthless opinion I don’t think she’s a good broadcaster”.

      See the difference?

      • No, I don’t.

        Isn’t your wording abusive as well, Ron?

      • Yes LJ, the difference is one has merit and the other doesn’t. Not surprised at all with your comment.

        Hope this clears things up. I don’t know what else to say but sorry for being so bunt?

      • Johnny has merit yours does not. So that doesn’t clear up anything… you’re saying she doesn’t deserve respect and safety?

      • Didn’t think it was so difficult to understand but here we are. My point is if you think someone deserves respect, then when talking about them, one should with respect, something I seldom show here towards comments made here.
        If you’re still reading this, in his case the comment he made stating how she is a poor broadcaster then saying she deserves respect is fallacious at best, don’t you think? Maybe hypocritical then?

        The bottom line is a lot of tv talking heads are annoying, unoriginal and just need to go away; in my opinion, which is worthless, she’s not one of them.

      • Uh, no. Saying someone isn’t good at their job is not the same as disrespecting them. Unless, of course the comment is made in disrespectful terms.

        And JZ didn’t use respectful terms …

  2. Lundkvist may have a spot in Detroit. Detroit has no depth at RD, Seider and Hronek and Linstrom but, I don’t see Hronek and Linstrom being there for long. But Stevie does not have a lot of center depth to trade, and he likes bigger D-men. If NYR would take Zadina for Lundkvist and a 2nd or 3rd there may be a deal. NYR was looking for a winger in earlier writings.
    Best place to look for young C’s would be LA, but they need LD not RD.

    • The Habs have a need for Nils Lun. He would be on the powerplay. Gorton drafted him. I assumed he would be moved there before the draft..and i was wrong. There really is no place for Nils on the Rangers if they prefer Schneider’s game

      • I don’t see the Habs letting go of any young center other than Cameron Hills…….that isn’t enough for NYR.

      • I agree that Lundkvist would be a good pickup for the Habs and Hughes and Gorton should certainly explore it. The question is what the return would be. It’s not like teams are parting with young top 9 centers that often.. The Habs picked up such a player in Kirby Dach and that came at a cost of a young D-man who’s about the same age as Lundkvist but who already has 2 NHL seasons under his belt. Hard to see a team trade a good young center for an unproven D-man.
        Ottawa May be an option as well.

      • Johnny, the Habs May be willing to part with Riley Kidney, a good young center prospect. But he’s at least a couple of years away and the Rangers will likely want a player who’s NHL ready.

      • Glad Oettinger deal got done, good number, and still leaves 7 million for Robo to get signed. Although he probably deserves more. Something like 3 x’s 7 million so that he can make a lot more when the cap is significantly higher.

        Regarding Hextall… people suck…. she is a human being. People suck.

      • In theory the Rangers just need a young center with middle 6 potential and some LHD in the organization. they do not need a player for this season

        if they could find a young middle 6 RW and add Kratsov into the deal I could see it.

      • Do they, DS?

        I have no opinion about Lundkvist. The Habs have at least three young D, arguably more, that are going to need ice time to determine if they are NHLers. I’d rather the Habs give them a go than give up assets to get yet another young D who, as described above, has not yet earned top 4 minutes.

      • @LJ
        do the Habs have some potential Powerplay Qbs in the system?
        Nils was always behind Fox and Trouba. The coach obviously preferred the size and style of another 1st rounder in Schneider on the 3rd pair than the smaller more offensive Lundqist.
        Nils never got a chance for the Rangers

    • Detroit needs RD depth, NYR could use another LD in the minors. They can trade a Grand Rapids LD for Lundkvist. Jerid McIsaac would be a good swap for Lundkvist.

      • @stars fan . How bad was the Tage Thompson signing for the stars with Robertson being way better than him . Imop

    • I don’t have much knowledge about Nils, but the Wings are much deeper on LD’s than RD’s. I might also think of Viro as a possibility. If NY is looking for a center, all we might offer is Suter, or maybe Dower Nielsson.

  3. Be interesting to know what the Ottawa scouting system thinks of Lundqvist and whether their assessment might prompt Dorion to get in on the bidding in order to have him as the RD he’s been looking for to play alongside Chabot., He has the assets with which to deal. However, that glaring -9 in 34gp with the Hartford Wolf Pack would suggest that home-zone D is not his strength.

    • George: would a Lundkvist for Pinto swap be fair?
      Lundkvist won award for top D man in SHL 2 seasons ago before playing in AHL last year.

      • Oh man … Slick62, before his shoulder surgery before last season – which caused him to miss the entire season – Pinto was regarded as one of THE best prospects in their system. Maybe this season we get to see if that is accurate. I’d sure hate to see him become Zibanejad Part Deux!

        I would think Dorion passes quickly on that one. If we were talking about an experienced, legitimate Top 4 RD with term that a team must move due to cap problems, then maybe yes. But right now Lundqvist, a 28th overall pick in 2018, has proven nothing at the NHL level – and Ottawa has two RD in their system with about the same NHL experience who were taken higher in the draft – Bernard-Docker taken 26th also in 2018, and Thompson, taken 19th overall in 2019.

      • But George, Lundkvist had Fox and Trouba in front of him and eventually Schneider. He’s been considered a top prospect for awhile but there was no need for another offensive dman in lineup. Hence why he’s looking for a chance to be that guy in another city.

      • That may be true Slick62, but the fact remains, in the handful of games he has played in the NHL he has proven nothing – same as Ottawa’s two RD prospects who were both drafted higher.

        Besides, what Dorion is seeking is an experienced Top 4 RD noted more for his defensive strengths than his offense to play alongside Chabot – who has plenty of offensive talents.

        He might relinquish Pinto for that – but not for a prospect.

  4. Jake O’s a better goalie than Ullmark and less expensive & thus far, better than Swayman Swayman has to and should get better. Ullmark’s a 3 mill goalie nothing more.

    • Should look at stats before you post. Both Ullmark and Swayman have better GAA and Ullmark has better SV% With Swayman the same 914%. As Jake. So technically speaking both can easily be considered better options then Jake. If one thing you are consistent. Wrong that is

      • Is there a hat on his head?

      • Rick

        That’s not my point I never admitted to knowing all. Just try to post factual stuff and my opinion based on the facts Try to enjoy your long weekend. Life is too short to see things 1/2 empty all the time

    • Ullmark makes 5 million Rick!

  5. Like I posted yesterday; Oettinger @$4M Cap hit…. Great signing IMHO

    I really like this kid’s playing; and he’ll still be an RFA at the end of this contract

    Hextall… no one deserves this… just awful. Transparency here…I did not think she did a very good job…. But that is true of many as they start out. There are new voices calling CFL games and I have the same bugaboo. They will all improve. They will prevail.

    Hextall’s treatment is tragic; and quite frankly, incomprehensible.

    Agree with your hopes and wishes re Hextall, Lyle

    • Pengy

      It is a great sign for both. As if continues to play well his raise will be substantial as cap will be rising by a lot since then

  6. Does it seem like this happens to the rangers more so than other teams? I can’t tell if it’s the pens fan in me enjoying the challenges the rangers face that’s coloring my perception of this being a uniquely rangers problem or if it is actually a rangers problem.

    • Too many good up and coming young players is a challenge every NHL team would love to have. Good players want to play. But to play in the NHL you have to earn your spot. If Kravtsov had stayed with the Rangers he would have had a top 6 spot like he wanted last year. He will get his chance to earn a spot this year. Lundkvist was outplayed by Schneider. With Fox, Trouba and Schneider ahead of him on the depth chart Lundkvist feels frustrated, which is how he should feel, but he still has to earn a spot on the team. Hopefully the Rangers will find a top 9 C in return as that is still a weak spot on the team. As a Penguins fan you will be very jealous of the Rangers in a few years when Crosby, Malkin, Letang and others retire and stop playing.

      • Nah. I’m it’ll take a lot for me to get jealous. I’ve seen 5 championships in my years. Plus, and I say this only partially tongue in cheek, I fully expect as a pens fan to land a generational talent shortly after the end of the crosby Malkin years. Rationally I shouldn’t expect that to be an automatic but it’s been that way my whole life. So unless the rangers turn that young talent into multiple championships Jealousy won’t be in the cards.

      • Agree with the state of the NYR D depth dov, good problem to have. But to be fair to the Pens, they have been a very good team for more than a decade and were trading picks for right now, vs trading for them because they were not a good team.

        Those roles will reverse soon enough, your very likely right about that.

        When folks say young top 9 C, do they mean like a proven one? IE – MacLeod in EDM. Not sure why any team would do that? Nils has proven exactly nothing at the NHL level, and quality C’s are hard to find.

        Perhaps an unproven C not full time in the NHL with some upside is what folks meant to say.

      • 5 championships? Big deal. In my lifetime when I was a fan of Les Canadiens, I saw 20 championships.

      • Yeah well no championships matter until the year I was born. Duh.

      • It’s all relative … duh

  7. What is wrong with some people? Threatening someone because she’s a woman calling hockey games? And I thought evolution had killed off all the knuckle dragging Neanderthals. I hope the proper authorities are trying to track down the a$$hole who was so stupid as to threaten rape and murder.

    • So true Paul. Remember, before the InterNet, when some intellectuals thought the cause of stupidity was a lack of access to information? Yeah … it wasn’t that obviously.

      • Pronerbly more a question of lack of braincells and education!

      • Ya, not lack of info, but too many choices, many of them bad. No laws against lying and spewing this stuff online, where these a-holes get their info.

        Wish I knew how to fix that but I don’t.

        Never paid much attention to her as she didn’t do many games I watched. Rooting for her to do well now.

      • Back a few years, on the French-language sports channel RDS, one of the best and most knowledgeable hockey commentators – male or female – was Chantal Machabée. The Habs recognized that talent when they hired her as Director of Communication for the franchise.

    • Bizarre and disgraceful for sure. That sort of stuff could surely affect Hextall’s mental health for the rest of her life.

      I like to imagine the jerks who threaten her find themselves in hospital, with a female surgeon about to put them under.

  8. I know Leah, mom. I Can’t imagine how upsetting and worrisome it would be to hear and read all them comments and threats.

    Hopefully with experience Leah improves her on air persona.

    I despise every time I had to listen to Pierre McGuire to the point I would mute the TV. It never crossed my mind to try and reach out to him and tell him, I don’t like your work.

    There is always someone personality or voice we won’t like. I’ll leave it up to the network to figure out if the person is worth keeping or not.

    No one should have to put up with this garbage and that one person should be tracked down and charged and his name made public.

  9. You have your opinions I have mine it’s not going to change.

    You like Sweeney, I think he’s the worst GM in Bruins history.

    Stats don’t tell the whole story I happen to think Jake is better than Ullmark and a Bit superior to Swayman.

    I ‘m going to stop responding to you, it’s hopeless and pointless.

  10. I cannot watch womens sports, women sportscaster s are okay,although I’d rather watch men. I will say this, women work as hard and sometimes harder than men to achieve their goals. And there’s some incredible women athletes Hayley w, Serena. Etc make you a bet this doesn’t get on

    • Lost that bet Rick.
      With regards to women’s sports not being popular, they are not compared to men’s. Nothing wrong with discussing that as that’s the way it is currently.

      I don’t dislike watching them, I will watch the women’s world championship final if Canada makes it, which they likely will. I always do, and it is often entertaining because it is close. Will do the same for soccer when the Olympics and world cup are on. It’s competitive and entertaining.

      IMO if they want to have profitable leagues, they need more women to watch it. My wife doesn’t because she just isn’t into sports, only played them when her parents made her. I got her playing golf (downside to that!) which she does now watch. She doesn’t watch men’s hockey either unless it is team Canada.

      I think it will grow as more and more girls and women play the games, and they are, at least in these parts. My G daughter does, and loves it. Just gonna take a while. Kind of like NHL hockey is places like Arizona.

  11. Ullmark makes 5 million Rick!