NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 27, 2023

by | May 27, 2023 | News, NHL | 36 comments

The latest on the Golden Knights and Stars ahead of Game 5 of the Western Conference Final plus updates on Jordan Staal, Frederik Andersen and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: The Vegas Golden Knights can advance to the Stanley Cup Final with a victory tonight over the Dallas Stars in Game 5 of the Western Conference Final. The Golden Knights hold a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.

LAS VEGAS SUN: The Golden Knights intend to heighten their focus on shutting down Jason Robertson. After scoring just twice through the first two rounders, the 23-year-old Stars winger has four goals in the Conference Final, including two in Game 4 as his club avoided being swept from the series.

Dallas Stars winger Jason Robertson (NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was the Stars’ best players like Robertson rising to the occasion in Game 4 (other than Jamie Benn, who’s serving a two-game suspension) that sent this series back to Las Vegas for Game 5. They’ll need a similar or better effort to force a Game 6.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars winger Evgenii Dadonov did not travel with his teammates to Las Vegas for Game 5. He suffered a lower-body injury in Game 3 that sidelined him for Game 4. Stars coach Peter DeBoer no longer classified Dadonov as day-to-day but expects that he will return later in the postseason.

TSN: Jordan Staal said he has no plans to play for another NHL club and hopes to return next season with the Carolina Hurricanes. The long-time Hurricanes captain is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 coming off a 10-year, $60 million contract.

NHL.COM Hurricanes reporter Walt Ruff tweeted that Frederik Andersen is also keen to return to Carolina next season. Like Staal, the 33-year-old goaltender is a UFA on July 1. “My priority is to get back here,” said Andersen. “We believe in this group that we can do something special next year.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think the Hurricanes intend on bringing back Staal and Andersen provided they’re willing to accept pay cuts on short-term deals. We’ll see how things pan out for them in the coming weeks.

DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli reports the list of potential general manager candidates to be interviewed by the Toronto Maple Leafs is expected to include Jason Botterill, Marc Bergevin, Brad Treliving and Peter Chiarelli.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Leafs president Brendan Shanahan recently indicated he’s seeking someone with experience for the job. Some pundits consider Treliving to be the front-runner.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman saying that Fenway Sports Group (owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins) is giving former Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas this weekend to mull over whether he wants the job of Penguins GM.

Meanwhile, THE HOCKEY NEWS’ Nick Horwat cited TSN’s Chris Johnston saying Dubas is “98 percent he’s going to be taking a job there”, meaning Pittsburgh.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is the Memorial Day long weekend in the United States. That means Dubas’ answer could come on Tuesday at the earliest.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: A strong performance by Canadiens goaltender Samuel Montembeault has carried Canada into the semi-final against Latvia at the 2023 IIHF World Championship. He’s allowed just six goals on 118 shots in the five games he’s played thus far with a 1.19 goals-against average and a .949 save percentage.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That performance could also help Montembeault’s case if he’s looking for a contract extension from the Habs. He will become an unrestricted free agent at the end of 2023-24.


  1. Canes should re-sign Andersen, and Staal. Then find a scoring winger and 2nd line C. They do that and stay healthy next year, we should seethem in the SCF!

  2. I wonder how the Leaf GM candidates feel about Shanny micro-managing their every move? Shanny already undermined the GM by going to the core 4 with a promise to keep them all!

    • I don’t think he promised. I think he said it was his intention to keep all 4.

      • According to TSN’s Chris Johnston, Team President Brendan Shanahan remains steadfast in his support of the $40 million quartet, and reportedly reiterated personally to Matthews, Marner, Tavares, and Nylander that he will keep them together in phone calls after the dismissal of GM Kyle Dubas last week.

      • And if he did, what else do you say in a time like this with half of them needing extensions? Do you think throwing in uncertainty is wiser than assuring them during this time?

      • You got it … the Leafs GM – whoever it’s to be – will be Charlie McCarthy to Shanahan’s Edgar Bergen.

        Bottom line: you’ll be fine as long as every move you intend to make is filtered through me first and, of course, the move(s) pan out. If they don’t … well, if it results in someone losing his job, it won’t be me.

      • Whatever he said or didn’t say, it isn’t written in stone.

        A new GM will work with the hand he’s dealt, the offers made or available..

        GMs are all accountable to somebody, be it president or ownership.

        Habs have a GM, Hughes, who answers to a VP Operations, Gorton, who answers to an Owner, Molson.

        If it wasn’t the TML it wouldn’t be a topic

      • Hey Ed,

        Whats that 6 years in a Row they have kept the big 4 with a consistent first round exit❗️

        if Shanahan will not let the New GM trade any of these guys its going to be the same consistent first round Exit Results✔️

        KD spent a lot of picks & prospects on this years team trying to get them the help and they got lots of good players this year they big 4 are not the answer,
        John Tavares has to go, i know he has a No Trade in his contract…

        They need to spend 50-60% of that JT money on a top pairing d/man to work with Morgan Rielly
        Leaf Draft picks the Cuboard is quite bear for the next 3 drafts
        So they have 5 picks in the next 3 Draft years😳

        2023, 1st pick and Zero 2nd, 3rd & 4th picks
        2024, 1st pick and Zero 2nd & 3rd. 1X4th pick
        2025, No 1st, No 2nd, & No 4th pick 1X4th pick

        $9,M in Cap space
        1 RFA & thats There #1 goaltender Samsonov
        will cost them about $4.M…

        They need to do a salary dump with Matt Murray
        They have 11…UFA Roster players to fill❓

      • Yeah, right. And Scotty Bowman and before him, Sammy Pollock and before him, Frank Selke each would have been happy having a go-between to filter their decisions.

        They didn’t, and collectively, no organization even comes close in terms of ultimate success – the Stanley Cup.

        I still maintain – you hire a “General” Manager – let him do the effing job and be answerable ONLY to ownership. Not some glorified “mastermind.”

      • Bowman was never a GM in Montreal, Pollock answered to Molson and Courtois.

        More importantly those were different times, smaller league, no salary cap, much lower salaries…..the GM job was much different in those days.

        The entire executive was different in those days for both winning and losing franchises.

      • You’re on a role today HF30. Correct on all points, particularly the comment about how different the GM’s role is today.

        One more kudo to you: the season before this last one you were singing Montembeault’s praises …

      • LJ,

        I get lucky with my assessment of players sometimes.

        Here’s another sleeper for you that I noticed last year, Jared Davidson, 5th round pick.

        He’s a centre with a lot of dog in him, a motor that doesn’t stop.

        He and Beck will challenge for a spot on the team next year.

      • Hey, thanks for the Davidson tip. I’d not heard of him.

        Don’t give up on Joshua Roy. I thought he was excellent during the World Juniors,

      • Sigh. Another brain fart … Scotty Bowman and the Bowmans on the brain … I meant Serge Savard there

        And my point was, I don;t believe any of those named would – in any era – consent to being a GM with someone constantly peeking over their shoulder and vetting every move – especially Pollock.

      • GMs get fired, like coaches get fired, there is always somebody up on the totem pole.

        Teams aren’t owned and run by a patriarch for the most part but by a layer of executives and they need to be answered to..

        Serge Savard, was fired by Ron Corey…..the President of the team.

        Selective nostalgia while gas-lighting TML fans mixed with a desire to go down a rabbit hole is too common a pattern.

      • Hey LJ,

        Joshua Roy continues to improve, he’s a Tyler Toffoli type player and he’s also a 5th rounder.

        I haven’t mentioned him because he has the recognition already as a potential top 6 player.

    • There’s no evidence of any of that but you’re free to believe what you wish. Even the reporter making those claims isn’t reporting that as fact. Just like they are also “meeting” with those GMs. Or Shanahan’s title is President of the Toronto Maple Leafs not president of hockey ops but again feel free to make assumptions.

      I thought someone would bring up how the Canes were swept but Rod’s comments about he didn’t think they where or is it worse getting swept than losing a series besides getting swept?

      • Sorry, Ron – your “fanhood” is getting in the way of rational judgement. Dubas DID say, among other things before the decision to part ways, that he wanted more autonomy.

        Right there was the implication that he was tired of having a “super GM” vetting every decision he wanted to make when it came to the roster.

      • Can you supply a source? I follow the team and never saw anything concrete to that effect. I’m sure that there a chain of command but that’s the case with anything where you’re an employee, no matter how high up you are within your place of employment.

        I’m just wondering what you think Shanahan’s role is because it sounds like you’re very wrong. Do you believe his role is hockey ops? You know that is just a small part of it. The owners of MLSE own multiple assets, three of which are sports teams. At each team they installed a team president who is knowledgeable/experienced in the sport. I don’t see a flaw with that. Shanahan might not be your cup of tea but he’s a good mix of old and new thinking.
        And I know you cannot be defending Dubas a GM you rallied against any chance you got, be it signings, team construction, or trades. I think he did do more good than bad but it wasn’t good enough nor do we know how much he was held back making him either look good or bad. The bottom line is you don’t give free rein to a rookie GM to the keys to one of the premier clubs in the world, do you? How exactly would have you done it better or smarter? I’m sure you’ll do something similar just maybe not those names for what ever reasonings you may have which I’m curious to hear.

      • Ron: Here is a quote from a Sportsnet article announcing Nylander’s signing:

        Early in the summer, GM Kyle Dubas was asked if he could keep his powerful young core — Matthews, Nylander and Mitch Marner — together along with the newly signed prized free agent John Tavares.

        His response?

        “We can, and we will …

        “We’ll be very patient,” Dubas told Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek on the 31 Thoughts podcast in early July. “I always think that when a player is going to make a commitment of any length, particularly when they’re signing up long-term, that we need to sit with the player and make sure that the player knows where we’re going as a program and what our vision and our plans are so those are discussions that I’ll have with each of the individual players that are due extensions here or are due contracts for next season.”

        This is a quote from the Hockey Writers:

        The discussion that William and I had had a couple of times was a fear of his was that I think especially as it went on into October and November and obviously the deadline was looming and there began to be rumors of trades and more and more teams were calling the fear was that he would be signed and traded, that he was being signed to be traded and my discussion with him I just affirmed my intention with him that was not our intention whatsoever. Our intention was as long as I was here that I saw him as a part of the Toronto Maple Leafs.”

        Now, to be fair, the Hockey Writers article says: see, Dubas never said never. Technically true, but that is surely splitting hairs.

        Were one to be reassured in the manner that Dubas did (“not my intention”, “make a commitment”) were uttered to put Nylander’s concerns at rest so he would re-sign – and he did. I know what the word commitment means to me and it must have meant something to Nylander.

        Not that any of this matters now, though, and not that you might consider changing your view.

      • George where’s there smoke there’s a smoke machine in Toronto.

        Also speculating on autonomy isn’t proof. Your star article mentions it after a wordy article from Feschuk last two sentences…hmmm interesting to bring that up then isn’t it?

        I’m sorry but I want more than a reporter stating his opinion or assumptions, like a 2nd source to confirm or hearing it from the horses mouth would convince me. And you know, complete autonomy is BS. Everyone has someone to answer to, you may think a team owner (billionaire) is better to answer to and seek approval than an established hockey mind. Please tell me what exactly your issue is.

      • LJ I’m missing your point. I think you’re agreeing with me regarding telling the players what they need to hear so they will feel comfortable to sign? The Leafs unfortunately put in or allow a clause to be put in the contract ease the player’s mind regarding getting traded…even with a no trade clause, players can still be traded but it’s sort of a false sense of security but a security some players would rather have than not.

      • Nevermind then, Ron, you are totally right. No refuting your facts. The shanaplan is still in place. The Stanley cup is guaranteed to be in Toronto for the next several years. Feel better?

  3. The Latvian goalie is 22 year old Canuck prospect Artur’s Silovs who’s showing that he is capable of being the backup for Thatcher Demko.

    • Yes, Silovs is really putting on a show over there, dragging Latvia into the medal round for the first time ever, in any hockey tournament at this level. In their quarterfinal game, highly favoured Sweden outsourcing Latvia 41 to 15, but Silovs led his team to a 3-1 victory. It’s still early in his development,
      but Canucks fans are starting to get excited.

  4. Holy some folks now throwing all the blame on Shanahan door step.

    Dubas had a boss, and some decisions may get stopped or question.

    Dubas offer the contracts

    Dubas told Nylander he wouldn’t trade him

    Dubas didn’t get the results

    Dubas wasn’t renewed

    Why is Dubas consider a good GM?

    Because the team had regular season success?

    Dubas gave the contract to Matthew that walks him right into free agency.

    Why pay Marner a rfa over $10

    Matthew and Marner were a stretch to draft them were they got drafted.

    Now if you believe all them decision were made by Shanahan and Shanahan alone, then Dubas should be excited to work somewhere else.

    • Heh … the ones you mention may not have been MADE by Shanahan … but you can bet your spurs he had to apply his stamp of approval before they went forward.

      • George you yap like you know what you`re talking about. Your links to a few articles by reports who are speculating, none of whom are offering any proof that Dubas was demanding more power. Plus not one reporter as yet to offer any proof that Shanahan interfered with any of Dubas`s trades or in any of his contract decisions. You rant and rave about Shanahan`s interference, but all you can provide for evidence is speculation by a bunch of reporters. The same reporters that you complain about being Toronto hacks when it suits you, now they`re a reliable source of info for your rants. Everybody including myself has no clue what was in Dubas`s counter offer and the exact reason for him being dismissed by Shanahan. I would love to see actual proof of what`s transpired, chances are we probably won`t see it. Personally I`d like 1 more year same core new coach. Keefe keeps getting outcoached, Trotz should`ve been hired. How about George you got any hard evidence of Shanahan blocking a trade or forcing Dubas to trade someone, interfering in a contract negotiation maybe. Something to support your on going rant about Shanahan instead of links to reporters opinions and speculations. If it was up to me I would`ve cleaned house after that embarrassing Montreal series.

      • Yogi’s my man!

      • Yeppers. Classic Leafs fans … only tell me what I WANT to hear … never what I SHOULD hear.

    • For sure George; no different then Neely signing off on Sweeney moves.

    • Caper, when someone says, “ Matthew and Marner were a stretch to draft them were they got drafted.” everything they say is about as smart as that sentence is.

      Seriously, if anyone thinks that, they should look into watching something else that requires less mental energy….ahh to be blissfully ignorant.

  5. Then why do we have journalists – DIFFERENT journalists for DIFFERENT outlets – all making the same speculation?

    All I’m doing is passing that along. If you don’t like it – stuff it. I could not possibly care less if your Leafs feelings have been ruffled.

  6. Oh, and when did The Athletic become a haven for “Toronto hacks” – or The Hockey Writers for that matter. I venture to guess there are many at both outlets far removed from Toronto.

    Talk about “yapping!”