NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 1, 2023
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.
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.