NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 30, 2022

by | Sep 30, 2022 | News, NHL | 10 comments

The Leafs sign Rasmus Sandin and could try Mitch Marner on defense, Devils captain Nico Hischier suffers a hamstring injury, an update on MacKenzie Weegar’s contract talks with the Flames, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

TORONTO STAR: The Maple Leafs signed Rasmus Sandin to a two-year contract worth an average annual value of $1.4 million. His deal is similar to that of teammate Timothy Liljegren. The 22-year-old defenseman missed the start of training camp due to his contract negotiations.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sandin camp reportedly reached out to Leafs management to expedite this situation as injuries have already sidelined blueliners Liljegren, Jake Muzzin, Jordie Benn and Carl Dahlstrom.

Cap Friendly indicates this signing puts the Leafs over the $82.5 million salary cap by $2.89 million but they can garner some temporary relief by placing Liljegren on long-term injury reserve and demoting another player. Sooner or later, however, they could be forced to make a cost-cutting trade.

SPORTSNET: With their defense corps already depleted by injuries, the Leafs are considering having All-Star winger Mitch Marner take some shifts on the blue line. The 25-year-old right winger is among the NHL’s best defensive forwards.

Toronto Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hall-of-Fame forwards Bob Gainey and Sergei Fedorov also used to sometimes play defense in certain circumstances. It might not be a bad idea to experiment with Marner on defense during preseason play to see how he fares in that role until their blueline is healthy again.

NJ.COM: New Jersey Devils captain Nico Hischier suffered a hamstring injury in preseason play and will be re-evaluated in 10 days.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hischier has been hampered by injuries for most of his young NHL career. The 23-year-old center is coming off a career-best 60-point performance in 70 games last season.

SPORTSNET: Eric Francis reports MacKenzie Weegar and his agent are pushing to get a contract extension done with the Calgary Flames before the start of the upcoming regular season. Acquired from the Florida Panthers in July, the 28-year-old defenseman netted a career-best 44 points last season and is a year away from unrestricted free agent eligibility.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Francis expects Weegar could earn more than $6.5 million annually if he hits the open market on July 1. Both sides reportedly remain optimistic so there’s a chance an agreement could be hammered out before the Flames open their season on Oct. 13.

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks are still awaiting word as to the severity of Trevor Zegras’ upper-body injury. The 21-year-old sophomore center left Wednesday’s preseason game against the Arizona Coyotes after receiving a thunderous bodycheck by Jan Jenik.

THE ATHLETIC: Michael Russo reports Minnesota Wild forward Tyson Jost admitted he found it difficult watching the Colorado Avalanche win the Stanley Cup this year. Jost, 24, spent nearly six seasons with the Avs until he was traded to the Wild before last season’s trade deadline.

It was just tough to watch, and now you’ve got to live with that,” he said, crediting his mother for helping him through that emotional time. He also deleted his Instagram account for a time after several Avs fans trolled him by leaving him messages saying their club wouldn’t have won the Cup if he’d still been with them.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: We’re so used to players saying how happy they are for their former teammates when they win the Cup. That feeling may be sincere but some of it could also be for public consumption. Privately, it has to affect them in some way to have missed out on winning hockey’s holy grail.

Jost doesn’t have any ill will toward the Avalanche. He’s also in a good position to play a larger role with a promising team in Minnesota than he did in Colorado. Maybe he’ll get his opportunity to win the Cup with the Wild.

TSN: Los Angeles Kings forward Jacob Doty will have a hearing on Friday with the NHL department of player safety for interference on San Jose Sharks forward Jeffrey Viel. The incident occurred during a preseason game on Wednesday.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars forward Ty Dellandrea broke a bone at the tip of one of his fingers after blocking a shot during Thursday’s preseason game against the Minnesota Wild. He’s expected to be sidelined for two-three weeks.


  1. Why is it that certain people think that social media is a license to become ill-mannered, disrespectful jerks? Maybe I’m simply too old (I’m days away from my 63rd birthday) to understand.

    • Agree completely, Paul. It’s a tool for cowards and children when they use it that way.

  2. Over the years the Habs have used a few players in both forward and defense positions on Stanley Cup winning teams in different generations.

    Three that come to mind are Jimmy Roberts,
    Rick Chartraw and Mark Streit who did it pretty regularly…..but none of them were all-stars like Marner.

  3. Mitch Marner and Ian Moran. Like mirror images of each other. Also Derek Engyland.

    • C’mon. Ian Moran notched out a really good career for his skill set. Lol. Engyland too!
      Mitch is smart enough, he can skate well enough and I can only imagine that his first pass out of the zone and individual zone entries will be top tier.
      I’m actually curious and somewhat excited to see this play out. Good on Mitch for excepting the challenge.

      • I’ve been saying for a long time now that Marner has all the earmarks of a classic C the way he handles and passes the puck … he’ll be able to handle that challenge … look for a lot of tape-to-tape precise passes coming out of their zone, especially to some of their faster skaters like Matthews, Nylander and Kerfoot.

      • For us old guys, Red Kelly is the epitome of
        Versatility. An all-star defense man for Detroit and a great center for the Leafs.
        I still think Morgan Reilly could be really good as a center.
        Good luck, Mitch.

  4. Sad to hear that some Avalanche fans were trolling Josty? He gave everything he had in the tank if you watched him play! Obviously, those who trolled him are despicable and probably not even close to
    being real Avalanche fans!
    Always was in his corner and I took heat for standing by him on other sites and with other fans. I guess he wasn’t able to find the back of the net often enough and he got pushed around but he brings it. Good penalty killer and hockey player. Hope he does well in Minnesota, just not against us! GO AVS!!!!!!

  5. Mitch Marner on Defense …

    I am bamboozled on this idea ???

    R we thinking power play ?

  6. Mitch Marner on Defense

    Morgan Reilly – A really Good Center

    A little early in the day to be into the Koolaid !!!!!