NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 1, 2023

by | Jun 1, 2023 | News, NHL | 17 comments

The Leafs formally hire Brad Treliving as GM, the Kraken extend GM Ron Francis’ contract, the Rangers get permission to speak to former Predators coach John Hynes, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee headlines.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A reminder that Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Florida Panthers and Vegas Golden Knights is Saturday, June 3, at 8 pm ET in Las Vegas.

TORONTO SUN: On Wednesday, the Maple Leafs formally announced the hiring of former Calgary Flames general manager Brad Treliving as their new GM. He replaced Kyle Dubas, who was fired as GM on May 19.

Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brad Treliving. (NHL.com)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I went into detail yesterday regarding Treliving’s tenure with the Flames when the news broke that he was to be hired by the Leafs.

The consensus by the pundits (including the Toronto Sun’s Steve Simmons, the Toronto Star’s Bruce Arthur and Daily Faceoff’s Matt Larkin) is that Leafs president Brendan Shanahan’s fate is now in Treliving’s hands. He may be the safe choice but is he the best choice? If he’s not, it will cost Shanahan his job.

Shanahan reportedly hopes to maintain the Leafs “core four” of Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, William Nylander and team captain John Tavares. He could also insist on keeping Sheldon Keefe as head coach for another attempt at winning the Stanley Cup. It’s believed that those who were interviewed for the Leafs GM job (including Treliving) had to agree to those conditions.

If the Leafs stick with their current roster and head coach, Treliving won’t have much room to put an immediate stamp on this club. They have limited cap space so he can’t just go out and sign big-name free agents or make a blockbuster trade to shake things up. He also can’t bring in a new bench boss who might have a fresh approach that turns the Leafs into a Cup contender.

The Leafs should be a playoff team for the foreseeable future. Even by bringing in affordable players to fill out their roster depth, they have the core talent to once again finish among the top-four clubs in the Eastern Conference. It’s how they do in the postseason that will determine whether Shanahan made the right call with Treliving.

Oh, and remember those media rumors linking the Leafs to St. Louis Blues GM Doug Armstrong? It turns out they never even reached out to the Blues to ask permission to speak with Armstrong.

SEATTLE HOCKEY INSIDER: The Kraken signed general manager Ron Francis to a three-year contract extension.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Francis has done a fine job thus far as the Kraken’s GM. This extension was his reward for the second-year NHL club reaching the playoffs this season.

NEW YORK POST: The Rangers sought and were granted permission from the Nashville Predators to speak with former head coach John Hynes, who was replaced yesterday with Andrew Brunette. Hynes was a teammate of Rangers GM Chris Drury at Boston University from 1994 to 1997.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: cited TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reporting Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron remains undecided whether he’ll return for another season or retire. The Bruins aren’t putting any timeline or pressure on Bergeron to reach a decision.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Just like last summer, the Bruins will give Bergeron all the time he needs. He’s earned that right.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars winger Joe Pavelski shut down any notion of his retirement following this season. He once thought this season would be his last but his performance and that of his teammates changed his mind. Pavelski signed a one-year contract extension in January.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pavelski played a significant role in the Stars reaching the Western Conference Final. The 38-year-old winger still has enough left in the tank for another season.

Speaking of the Stars, Max Domi is open to returning with the club. Acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks at the trade deadline, he proved to be a solid addition to the Stars. Domi, 28, is slated to become an unrestricted free agent and is seeking stability after playing for six teams in the last seven years.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Stars could find it difficult to retain Domi because of their salary-cap constraints. That could send him into the UFA market on July 1.

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: Sidelined Golden Knights goaltender Robin Lehner and his wife are facing new allegations of fraud tied to the couple’s ongoing Chapter 7 bankruptcy case. A Las Vegas businessman claims Lehner misled him on his ability to repay $4 million in loans provided to the netminder.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Legendary goaltender Dominik Hasek used shopping carts to recently clear out his artifacts from the Czech Hockey Hall of Fame in Prague. He and other famous Czech players had to gather up what they donated to the Hall as it is closing due to economic issues. It’s hoped it will reopen in a new location in the future.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The report indicated Hasek was emotional about this situation. He helped to create the Czech Hockey Hall of Fame and donated numerous artifacts from his playing career.


  1. Shanny seems to be tying one of Brad’s arms behind his back with all the restrictions he will be faced with. I guess he could just concentrate on the goaltending issue. Good luck with that!

    • Johnny it does seem that way, eh? Too bad it’s not true as even though “ It’s believed that those who were interviewed for the Leafs GM job (including Treliving) had to agree to those conditions.” the key word there is BELIEVED. Just like it was believed they reached out to St. Louis.

      I’m sure many think where there’s smoke there’s a fire, in Toronto where there’s smoke, there’s a smoke machine. Proof is everywhere.

      All this was confirmed at the presser introducing Treliving where Shanahan said ultimately the GM has final say, period. So either believe the words that come out of the horse’s mouth, or believe what someone who’s job it is to create click bait as your go to.

  2. I wonder if Toronto will get past the 2nd round before I die. BTW, I’m 63 with a heart condition.

    • It might be a bit more excitement than you could handle…. 🤔

    • Why would you care? Isn’t it more important how your jackets do than a team you’re not a fan of? What an odd comment.

      • Depends on how you look at it. I became a hockey fan after Dad took me to the Detroit Red Wings – San Francisco Seals game, the Seals first home opener, in October 1967. When the Seals moved to Cleveland, I simply enjoyed the game for nearly 30 years, with no favorite team, until life brought me to Columbus and the NHL awarded the city an expansion team. Add in my enjoyment of underdogs and my comment makes sense.

      • Why is the comment “odd”? Seems like a legit betting scenario to me. I mean, the leaf haven’t won anything since 1967. Paul has a bad heart and he’s getting up there in years. We should be able to handicap this, no?

  3. I consider myself a hard core hockey fan.

    I’m struggling with interest to watch hockey, now that I’m focusing on something else.

    The NHL is doing a poor job of keeping fans engaged with 5 days off.

    • Hey Pens fans, enjoy your new president of hockey and GM Dubas. I’ll start off by saying he’ll be one of the best you’ve ever had. But seriously I look forward to seeing what he does with the Pens and the position they are in.

      *reaches for the popcorn

      • Your box of popcorn is more qualified than Hextall was. Anything Dubas does cannot be worse by comparison. So relax and enjoy, but be sure to avoid the unpopped kernels.

      • The announcement is just Prez of Hockey Ops, so not sure if he is GM Ron?

        Good for him, more job security as he can likely fire a GM or 2 before he gets axed, unless he is in fact the GM too.

        Agree it will be interesting, best guys getting up there with Sid, Geno, Letang and Chad.

        Have some cap space, and some holes so thinking go for it for a couple years, and start the inevitable tear down and rebuild/retool/whatever you want to call it.

        Cupboard of prospects is pretty bare.

      • Chad will age like fine wine.

      • Hey Ray, no worries, Dooby has it ALL right now:
        “Dubas said he plans to handle the beginning of this offseason, including the draft and free agency, as the interim general manager, meaning a new hire for the position is no longer imminent. Any move will likely come later in the offseason after the team’s roster situation for 2023-24 is settled.”

      • Thanks for catching that Chrisms, can always count on you for my jokes!
        I was fishing for a Pengy, but he seems to be MIA for a bit. Hope he’s doing OK.

    • As a hardcore hockey fan you can watch the memorial cup and follow your team’s draft picks and potential upcoming draft picks.

    • Ya, too long of a break, but thinking the arenas may have scheduling conflicts? I dunno, but I’ll watch when I get back from fishin’, no TV up there, and root for Vegas I suppose. Just tough to cheer for Tkachuk, although would like to see Maurice hoist the cup. Looks like it could be a good series.

      The Mem cup playoffs look to be good too. Quebec and Seattle are both great teams, with a big game tonight to see who gets into the semifinal between the Petes and Blazers.

  4. Well it seems that all the whispers of “non hockey reasons” for the Senators trading Lehner were true. There were rumours before he left that he was getting into a lot of gambling trouble.