NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 6, 2023

by | Feb 6, 2023 | News, NHL | 26 comments

Bo Horvat signed a contract extension with the Islanders, the regular-season schedule resumes on Monday, the Kraken acquired Jaycob Megna from the Sharks, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NYI HOCKEY NOW: Bo Horvat signed an eight-year contract extension with the New York Islanders on Sunday. The move comes roughly a week after he was acquired in a trade with the Vancouver Canucks. Horvat will be earning an average annual value of $8.5 million starting in 2023-24.

Bo Horvat signs an eight-year extension with the New York Islanders (NHL Images).

Horvat cited the Islanders’ organization, culture and his belief that they’re in a position to win now as the reasons why he signed so quickly with his new club. He expressed his relief at having his contract situation put to rest after months of speculation and uncertainty with the Canucks.

Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello is no fan of long-term contracts. When asked about Horvat’s new deal, he replied that it was “too long, and too much money.” He stressed that he was not a jab at the 27-year-old center but rather a complaint over the trend of signing talent to maximum-length contracts under the current salary-cap system. Lamoriello believes Horvat and his two-way game makes him an asset for the Islanders.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicated Horvat will have a full no-trade clause in the first four years of his contract followed by a 16-team no-trade list for the final four years. He’s also not receiving any payments in the form of signing bonuses, something most players of his caliber now tend to insist on to ensure full salary payment at the start of each season.

It’s also not a front-loaded contract. Horvat is getting $8.5 million per season rather than earning most of the actual salary in the early years of the deal.

I thought that Horvat would receive over $9 million annually based on his performance this season. He gets a little less than that but ensures himself the security of a maximum-length deal with full no-trade protection in the first half and a measure of control over possible trade destinations in the second half.

Some Canucks fans look at Horvat’s new contract and believe they could’ve kept their captain for that rate if management hadn’t re-signed J.T. Miller to an eight-year, $56 million extension last September. Time will tell if the Canucks end up regretting that decision.

Lamoriello may not be a fan of eight-year contracts but he evidently has no problem paying it for a player that he thinks can improve the Islanders’ anemic offense. Horvat’s acquisition and signing received a mixed reaction in the media. Some believe the Isles GM made the right move while others believe he overpaid in trade and contract.

NHL.COM: Speaking of Horvat, he’s expected to make his debut with the Islanders when they face off tonight against the Flyers in Philadelphia as the regular-season schedule resumes following the All-Star break.

The Tampa Bay Lightning will tangle with the Florida Panthers, the Calgary Flames face off against the New York Rangers, the Canucks journey to New Jersey to meet the Devils, the Anaheim Ducks square off against the Dallas Stars, and the Minnesota Wild will face the Arizona Coyotes.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: The San Jose Sharks traded defenseman Jaycob Megna to the Seattle Kraken in exchange for a conditional 2023 fourth-round pick.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is the Sharks’ third trade since Jan. 18 as GM Mike Grier continues to retool (rebuild?) his struggling roster. He’s expected to make a much bigger move leading up to March 3. Rumors persist that he could trade winger Timo Meier.

Kraken GM Ron Francis was in the market for a defenseman to shore up his second pairing. Megna averaged the third-highest ice time per game (19:03) on the Sharks and was also relied on to kill penalties.

It’s an affordable move for Francis and he might not be done adding to his blueline. The Kraken have $3.6 million in projected trade deadline cap space.

THE ATHLETIC’s Peter Baugh reports Bowen Byram and Valeri Nichushkin are ready to return to action for the Colorado Avalanche.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Byram’s been sidelined since Nov. 4 while Nichushkin’s last game was on Jan. 24.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: The Detroit Red Wings sent forward Adam Erne to their AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids after he cleared waivers over the weekend and recalled winger Filip Zadina.

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes have assigned forward Dylan Guenther to the WHL’s Seattle Thunderbirds for the rest of the season. Guenther had been on the active roster for 39 games with the Coyotes this season. Had he been on the roster for 40 games, it would’ve counted as a year on his contract toward unrestricted free agency.


  1. Currently holding down the 2nd WC slot with a 27 18 3 57pts record in 48gp, look for the defending Cup holders to rise in the Western Conference as their injured players return – Nichushkin, Byram, Manson and, of course, Landeskog.

    Right now they sit 9 pts back of 1st place Dallas with 3 games in hand. They also have 3 games in hand on Vegas, 4 on Winnipeg and 5 on L.A., all currently just a notch ahead of them.

    The really interesting thing to keep an eye on is what they do leading up to TD Day. Sakic is shrewd and won’t rush into anything, but if there’s a deal in the making ut there expect it to happen in the days before the deadline.

    • I will not be surprised if Aves use the games in hand and the return of all those key players to vault themselves right into first place by seasons end.

  2. The Thunderbirds are loaded for bear. Should be an interesting playoffs. I know anything can happen, but I can’t see anyone beating them in the Dub, even though there are some other real strong squads.

  3. Is Chychrun getting moved this week? I honestly wonder what he’ll fetch?
    After watching him more closely since coming back from injury, I feel I wasn’t giving him enough credit. He’d be a top 4 guy on almost all teams.

    • I have a difference in opinion on Chychrun. The way he is being deployed, it looks like their coach is trying to protect him from injury and his trade value. As per Puck IQ, most of Chychrun’s ice time is against the opponent’s lower lines. 41% against weak (gritensity) competition, 31.9% against middle competition, and 27.1% against elite competition. He is fifth on the Coyotes in ice time against elite competition, and 7th in percentage of ice time against elite competition. He also gets the most offensive zone starts amongst the Coyotes d-men.
      As per NHL.com, this is with getting the most time on ice per game amongst Coyotes d-men. 7th short-handed time on ice per game and 2nd power-play time on ice per game.

  4. Shoreorrpark, I, for one, never doubted his talent. What I thought was insane was the notion that someone would relinquish an unprotected 1st round pick, a good young roster player and a high-end prospect for a player who has made repeated trips to IR throughout his career (including his junior years in Sarnia).

    Since his first year in the NHL, right up to and including today, the Coyotes have played 504 games and, due to various injuries, he’s played in 371 of them – or 74% – meaning he’s missed 26%. And the absences have been in each season since 2016-17 except for one – the Covid-shortened 2020-21 season during which he played in all 56 games.

    His injury history is well-documented and best described in one site which says “It would seem that there is now real concern about Chychrun’s injury history, including a recent wrist injury that has kept him out of action since training camp. It’s not like those concerns are illegitimate either, Chychrun’s long injury history includes  surgery on both knees, shoulder surgery, ankle surgery and a pair of wrist surgeries now as well. Chychrun has also suffered a concussion during his career, but I believe that is likely less of a factor than the surgeries.”

    Is he worth a reasonable gamble through trade? Hell yes. But at the demand by Armstrong? Hell no.

  5. I’ve always been leery os signing players to long contract going mid to late 30’s.

    Realizing the game has change less physical contract and the players are in much better shape and eat healthy, combine with the wonders of modern medicine, players are having productive years later in their careers.

    With that said nothing beats youth; at present there are 5 players in the top 30 of NHL scoring who are 30 or older.

    EriK Karlsson 32 8th
    Zach Hyman 30 11th
    Sidney Crosby 35 12th
    Steven Stamkos 32 19th
    Alex Ovechkin 37 25th

    Looking at these names, Sesame Street comes to mind. “one of these things (name) don’t belong.

    • Hi Caper,

      Would love to see the NHL bring down Max term contracts to 6 years from 8 yrs …🤔
      90+% of the NHL players once they hit 33-35 yr old they hit the Wall and go Down Hill and float….❗️

      would you pay these 2 this money….
      $10.5M….Jonathan Toews =28pts
      $10.5M…Patrick Kane =34 pts

      but then you have Elite players like Crosby & OV
      who are still performong at a very high level…..

      6 yr max contracts would be good for the NHL❓

  6. I’m gobsmacked Lou got this deal dine

    Forget about his dislike if max term contracts….

    Why did BH sign so soon

    8 @ $8.5 M

    Why not wait for 1/7 just to see what is out there?

    Krakken could have offered AT LEAST 7 @ $7.1 M…. Which is more take home (cite: per Gavin group) than 8 @ $8.5 M on the Island .

    Kraken could have gone 6 yrs @ $8.2 M (same take home as 8 & $8.5 with Isles—- again cite Gavingroup) ; loaded it with SBs….

    He’d be ah ad financially

    Have 2 more years at end to make more $’s

    Be on a younger, fresher , team with more upside over next few years

    Yes….. bird in the hand vs. 2 in the bush…..

    But you think Kraken wouldn’t have gone AT LEAST ; either 6 @ $8.2 M or 7 @ $7.1 M??

    The only downside to waiting…. serious injury from now until 1/7

    If I were his agent; I’d have said “wait it out”

    • Then again, maybe he prefers New York over that s^%t-hole Seattle.

      • I’ve never been to the Emerald City. Is it actually as terrible as people say?

      • Never been there either SOP & George, but how different can it be from Vancouver which is a beautiful city/area? Especially if you take the ferry over to the Island. Pictures look similar.

        So I googled it, out of the 150 largest metro areas in the USA, it is ranked 36th.
        Takes into account all kinds of things from income opportunity, taxes, schools, quality of life etc.

        Doesn’t seem too bad to me.

      • huh, I have never heard that said about Seattle before. I have been there many many times and always loved it. I mean it has its areas and its issues but name a city that doesn’t.

      • But one way or another, it doesn’t come close to New York City as a great area to call home.

      • I’ve never heard anybody say negative things re Seattle other than rain

        One of my groomsmen lived there for 6 years ; and that was about 10 years ago

        He can’t laud enough praise of the city

        To each his own

        I used Kraken as an example…. Those numbers are valid for Stars, Predz; Bolts; Cats; Knights as well

        Regardless of take-home…. Strange that he didn’t wait to see what the UFA offers would be….. could always circle back to Uncle Lou after a couple of days of UFA offers

        Outside of $’s and Krakken; I have sed them as an example in that they (in the next few years) are likely to have a better shot at a deep cup run; than Isles

        In the end….. Lou bested Jimbo/Allvin

    • Lou probably brought the contract along with a few endorsement deals he could have by playing in the mecca that is New York. Don’t think that opportunity is as great in Seattle.

  7. Jacob Megna may not seem like a big trade, but he is one of only two players on the Sharks with a positive plus/minus. I know that playing with Erik Karlsson has something to do with that, given the later’s resurgence this year, but as Karlsson is not known for his defense, I think Megna’s done a great job, and he’s the only consistent D-man defensively this year on the Sharks. Add to that his low salary, I think Grier should have held out for at least a third, as defensive d-men seem to be in demand these days.

    • Rock…
      I don’t get it either. Grier’s moves so far don’t make much sense. Signing Hertl long term and letting Meier and other assets go doesn’t seem like the rebuild they need.
      Don’t change allegiances just yet though, the Betard sweepstakes could change the whole landscape.

      • Hud: Grier didn’t sign Hertl, it was his predecessor Joe Will. And he hasn’t moved Meier, at least, not yet.

  8. Lamoriello is a phony and a hypocrite. How long was the deal he gave Kovalchuk?

    • Wasn’t Lamoriello the GM who signed Tavares to his current contract in TO?

      • I think Lou might be experiencing some running confusion in his mind as to whether he’s “Lou, the False Legend” or “Lou, Who Has No Clue How To Handle A Hard Cap.”

      • He wasn’t but he’s still full of it. Since 2006 he’s given out ten 7+ year contracts and the Kovalchuk one was for 15 years!

      • No, that was Dubas.

  9. I just love how the collective agreement is so insane that the GMs that complete a contract are the first to criticize how awful it is.

    But that’s how it goes now. You want a solid player for 3-4 years, you have to sign them for 8.