NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 14, 2023

by | Jun 14, 2023 | News, NHL | 44 comments

The Vegas Golden Knights are the 2023 Stanley Cup champions, the Senators move closer to having a new owner, the Rangers have a new head coach, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: The Vegas Golden Knights thumped the Florida Panthers 9-3 in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final to become the 2023 champions. The Golden Knights take the series four games to one.

Vegas Golden Knights – 2023 Stanley Cup Champions (NHL.com).

Vegas captain Mark Stone tallied a hat trick, Jack Eichel and Shea Theodore each had three assists and Reilly Smith scored what proved to be the winning goal. Adin Hill stopped 32 shots for the win.

Jonathan Marchessault won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP. He was tied for first among this year’s postseason scorers with 13 goals and was second in points with 25.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is the first Stanley Cup championship in the Golden Knights’ six-year history. This game had a sense of inevitability after they took a 2-0 into the second period. The Panthers cut the lead in half early in the second but that only seemed to spark the Golden Knights. They dominated the rest of that period with four unanswered goals to put the game out of reach.

Vegas coach Bruce Cassidy started five of the six remaining original Golden Knights – Marchessault, Smith, Theodore, William Karlsson and Brayden McNabb – for Game 5. They, along with William Carrier, were the first Golden Knights to hoist the Stanley Cup following the game after Stone received it from league commissioner Gary Bettman.

Stone is just the third player in NHL history to tally a hat trick in a Cup-clinching game, joining Jack Darragh of the 1920 Ottawa Senators and Babe Dye of the 1922 Toronto St. Pats.

The Golden Knights earned this championship after missing the playoffs last season and trading scorer Max Pacioretty to Carolina last summer in a cost-cutting deal.

They began the season with starting goaltender Robin Lehner out for the season recovering from hip surgery. They played with five goalies this season, with Hill taking over midway through their second-round series against Edmonton after Laurent Brossoit was sidelined.

Stone missed part of this season to his second back surgery in less than a year. There were questions about Eichel’s effectiveness after missing most of last season recovering from neck surgery.

For Cassidy, this is sweet redemption after being fired a year ago by the Boston Bruins. The Bruins set records this season for wins (65) and points (135) but were upset by the Panthers in the opening round of the playoffs.

Team owner Bill Foley’s 2016 prediction of his club winning the Stanley Cup in their sixth season came true. “I’m going to relax and think about my next asinine statement,” said Foley with a big smile following the game.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Despite their disappointing finish to the Stanley Cup Final, the Florida Panthers had an extraordinary postseason run. They squeaked into the playoffs, upset the record-setting Presidents’ Trophy-winning Bruins, the Toronto Maple Leafs, and the second-overall Carolina Hurricanes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Panthers have a solid core of talent led by Matthew Tkachuk, Aleksander Barkov, Brandon Montour and Aaron Ekblad to remain a playoff contender next season. However, they couldn’t match the Golden Knights’ roster depth in the Final. Expect management to get to work on addressing that issue this summer.

SPORTSNET: The Panthers paid a heavy physical price in this postseason. Following Game 5, head coach Paul Maurice revealed Tkachuk suffered a fractured sternum in Game 3. Tkachuk played a limited role in Game 4 and couldn’t play in Game 5.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: One report indicated Tkachuk needed help from his brother Brady to get out of bed following his pregame nap before Game 4. He was their leading scorer in this postseason. Tkachuk’s feisty style at times drew criticism from fans but no one can say he didn’t give his all.

Maurice also revealed Ekblad suffered a broken foot, dislocated his shoulder twice, and tore his oblique during the Panthers’ playoff run. He missed only one game. He said blueliner Radko Gudas played with a high-ankle sprain that should’ve sidelined him for six weeks. He missed one period.

The Panthers coach didn’t reveal any more details on his injured players. However, he admitted that multiple players will require surgeries, with some facing recovery periods of four-to-six months. Most of those injuries occurred during their first-round series with the Bruins.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: We should learn more details in the coming days. Some of those players could end up missing the opening weeks of the 2023-24 season.


OTTAWA SUN: The Senators have an agreement in principle with Toronto billionaire Michael Andlauer to purchase the club. His bid is believed to be worth $950 million. A part-owner of the Montreal Canadiens, Andlauer must now sell his share of that team.

The agreement will go before NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, who will present it to the Board of Governors meeting later this month in New York. It requires a two-thirds majority for approval.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It will still take several weeks for the sale to close and for Andlauer to take over the Senators. Barring the unforeseen, however, it’s expected he’ll become their new owner.

NEW YORK POST: The Rangers have hired Peter Laviolette as their new head coach. He received a three-year contract worth slightly less than $5 million per season.

TSN: Patrick Roy officially stepped down as head coach of the QMJHL’s Quebec Remparts. When asked if any NHL clubs had reached out to him regarding a coaching position, Roy said “absolutely none”.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some fans think it’s more than a coincidence that Roy made this announcement on the same day that the Senators reached an agreement in principle with Andlauer. However, he indicated at the start of this season that he would be stepping down as Remparts coach.

SPORTSNET: Patrick Sharp is returning to where his NHL career began by joining the Philadelphia Flyers as a special advisor to hockey operations.

TSN: The Edmonton Oilers signed forward Derek Ryan to a two-year contract extension worth an average annual value of $900K.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Changes are coming to the Canadiens’ medical staff after the club finished with the most man-games lost to injury for the second straight year. They fired head athletic therapist Graham Rynbend and head physiotherapist Donald Balmforth on Tuesday.


  1. The spitballing and speculation that has Roy being the next head coach in Ottawa, Staios as their next GM, and Chiarelli returning to the fold in some capacity is yet another example of some pundits looking at two separate events occurring simultaneously and jumping to conclusions.

    Garrioch puts that idiocy to rest this morning in his column where he writes:

    “While fans may expect to see changes right away after Toronto businessman Michael Andlauer agreed to a deal in principle Tuesday to become the club’s new owner, that’s hardly going to be the immediate case. As Postmedia reported two weeks ago, the groups that made final bids on the Senators understood they wouldn’t be able to have any say on next month’s NHL draft in Nashville or the free-agency period that opens July 1.

    If you’re expecting additions or subtractions from the front office, that won’t happen either. A league source told this newspaper Tuesday the deal likely won’t close until late August or early September. That’s because it’s going to take a while to paper this deal and until then the Melnyk estate — led by the club’s three-person board — will be making the decisions until they hand the keys over to Andlauer.

    General manager Pierre Dorion and coach D.J. Smith have led this club through this rebuild so decisions need to be made on their futures. Given the fact this deal may not close immediately, it would make sense to go into next season with both in their current roles. The Senators are at the point where all the pain, suffering and heartbreak of missing the playoffs may be about to pay dividends with the right moves made. Don’t be surprised if this group leads this team into next season.

    Smith has a year left on his contract with an option through the 2024-25 campaign while Dorion has two years left with an option.”

  2. Vegas did not win the Stanley cup like Tampa they won the CHEATER CUP over cap.

    • Huh? Who won the what and the when?

  3. I’m thinking that Florida’s ‘gooning it up’ turned out to be a poorly-considered strategy, since it appears it was mostly themselves getting seriously hurt.

    Perhaps concentrating on scoring goals and/or stopping the opponent’s goals would be a more successful strategy.

    • It did get them farther then 30 other teams….

    • Yeah, Florida ran into a team that was able to “outgoon” them.

      • News flash, the playoffs are more physical, like, every year?

        And another reminder of why you can’t play that way all year.

        Vegas played great, like the B’s do when they are playing well, go figure. Total team game with everybody accountable to each other.

        Good on em, they’ve been a good team from the get go. Aggressive all over the ice, and off the ice.

  4. Congratulations to Vegas baby they play a heavy tuff game and deserved to win. Florida had a great run but just ran into a wall and the Cinderella team was left at the ball. Now the fun begins for many teams trying to sign- trade- draft and build their teams.

  5. Congrats out to the Knights

    Well done. Well deserved.

    Congrats out to March on Smythe…. Great playoffs

    Leafs…. Take note on how to build a team

    Build a team with 6 cast-offs, with tons of heart; grinders that don’t give up; a team that can spread offence all around; roll 3 lines fairly evenly with huge grinding 4th line that contributes great chunks o’minutes; energy; points; charisma; and a focus on D strength first; not just goals goals goals

    Hire right coach

    Top 4 Cap hits are 3 Fwds , 1 D @40% of total team Cap hit; not 50% on 5 forwards

    Trades seem to work

    UFA “hometown” vet signings are not mandatory

    Think logical plan; not Shanaplan with rampant panic tweaks

    Build from the back end up; not forwards down. Best 6 man D-core….. in eons ….. eons!!!! Oh…. Did I say …. eons

    Seems there is some rationale to “size does matter”…. Per McLean last night…. Knights AVG weight was 13 pounds greater (fllored me when he said it; had to look it up to verify it) than Cats….. and we know which team was ailing more

    Basically…. Wake up and smell the coffee

    If you don’t make changes Leafs….. Sens hoist before Leafs…. Unfortunately a reasonable likliehood

    • Pengy, your thought that – barring changes – the Senators win the cup before the Leafs got me wondering about the respective playoff records of the 7 Canada-based teams since the turn of the millennium, based on how many time each missed the playoffs and rounds won when they did get there. It is interesting – and perhaps even surprising to some degree:

      Missed Playoffs – Worst To Best
      Winnipeg – 16 times
      Edmonton – 14 times
      Calgary – 13 times
      Vancouver – 11 times
      Toronto – 10 times
      Montreal – 10 times
      Ottawa – 8 times

      Rounds Won – Best To Worst
      Montreal – 12
      Ottawa – 11
      Vancouver – 9
      Calgary – 6
      Toronto – 5
      Edmonton – 4
      Winnipeg – 3

      • I’m thinking Sens on rise; Leafs plateaued

        Again…. 1/2 on 4 Fwds

        If they re-up both WW and AM…. That’s $25M plus; ad JT and MM….$47 M min…. 4 Fwds… 24/25 Cap … $87.5 M…. So then … 4 Fwds…., 54% of Cap….. worse situation than now!!!!

        Leafs have buckets and buckets and buckets of cash…. GM sal not part of Cap…. Get Tannebaum to call
        Foley and Viola to find out what it would cost to acquire McCrimmon or Zito

        This Pens fan was not happy with the signing of the “new” GM

        HexBurkie did zilch until the end then failed miserably

        Dubas likely to spend to thr cap; lock in; over-pay; crimp the competitiveness of the twi-light years of the big 3


    • Pengy spoken like a true Leafs fan! You got this team pegged for sure. I really like your constant distain for them while praising any other team in the process. Like I said, true fan.
      You ain’t fooling many, bud.

      Now on to something interesting I saw regarding Vegas and how/who won based on NHL overused ad hominem for team building:

      – You can’t just trade for a No. 1 C
      – You can’t just sign a top D
      – You can’t just trade for a Selke level gamebreaker like Mark Stone
      – We don’t have the cap space

      Apparently you can, can, can and do.


      The Oilers selected first overall in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2015.

      The four players selected second overall in those four drafts have now each won the Stanley Cup.

      And finally, the Leafs suck, right Pengy?

      2019: BOS beat Leafs, lose in finals
      2021: MTL beat Leafs, lose in finals
      2022: TBL beat Leafs, lose in finals
      2023: FLA beat Leafs, lose in finals

      That’s a lot of bridesmaids.

      PS nothing made me happier than watching that fat, hotdog eating, lazy player Phill, the thrill, Kessel raise that cup for the third time. People can really spot out winners can’t they. Beautiful one finger salute to everyone that thinks they know players.

      • Wouldn’t the bridesmaids be the teams that lost in the final round, Ron?

        Surely teams that lose in the early rounds would be the ushers.

      • He missed that salient point, LH. As well as not offering anything substantial to counter Pengy’s sound arguments. As for Stone, IF that was a pathetic backhand aimed at Dorion for using the excuse that he didn’t have the cap at the time to sign him at what he got in Vegas, nothing could be farther from the truth.

        Melnyk had a meeting with Dorion where they realistically recognized that they were already in the midst of a long, painful re-build and simply decided that more might be gained over the long run by dealing Stone (and some others) at that time, rather than dole out a huge contract which, in and of itself, was not about to get them back into contention any time soon.

        That’s management in the face of reality – unlike some teams thinking they can produce a cup winner by paying their 4 or 5 top players 52% of the cap every season and still produce a cup winner by hiring a bunch of guys named Joe to fill out the balance of the roster.

        But, I suppose, if a fan is happy with their team being among the top 5 or 6 in the league over a season, but fade when it counts with the cup on the line. who are we to criticize.

      • Ron,

        So if I get this right and according to your logic

        2019: BOS beat Leafs, lose in finals to Blues
        2021: MTL beat Leafs, lose in finals to Lightning
        2022: TBL beat Leafs, lose in finals to Avalanche
        2023: FLA beat Leafs, lose in finals to Golden Nights

        That means the Leafs wouldn’t have been able to beat the Blues, Lightning, Avalanche and Golden Knights had they got pass the 1st round (2nd this year)

        Now if you went a little further than 2019 :

        2018 49-26-7 Lost First Round (Won 0 Rounds)
        2017 40-27-15 Lost First Round (Won 0 Rounds)
        2016 29-42-11 Missed Playoffs
        2015 30-44-8 Missed Playoffs
        2014 38-36-8 Missed Playoffs
        2013 26-17-5 Lost First Round (Won 0 Rounds)
        2012 35-37-10 Missed Playoffs
        2011 37-34-11 Missed Playoffs
        2010 30-38-14 Missed Playoffs
        2009 34-35-13 Missed Playoffs
        2008 36-35-11 Missed Playoffs
        2007 40-31-11 Missed Playoffs
        2006 41-33-8 Missed Playoffs
        2004 45-24-10-3 Lost Conference Semi-Finals (Won 1 Round)
        2003 44-28-7-3 Lost First Round (Won 0 Rounds)
        2002 43-25-10-4 Lost Conference Finals (Won 2 Rounds)
        2001 37-29-11-5 Lost Conference Semi-Finals (Won 1 Round)
        2000 45-27-7-3 Lost Conference Semi-Finals (Won 1 Round)

        56 years of pure bad luck, nothing else.

        Bottom line, yes the Leafs suck…


      • OMG touched a nerve did I? I didn’t think anything like that at all. I’ll touch on what you missed and how I saw it. 1st no backhand at anything, point was got a great player for nothing – lucky. As for bridesmaid the saying is about being second. Had nothing to suggest that… but thank you, that if they had beat any of those teams – I can’t believe I’m writing this or you guys went here – that the Leafs would of won? That point is basically the Leafs eventually lost to a team that everyone lost to but one. That’s why what superfan Pengy is wrong, again.

    • Pengy,
      Sometimes the stars align themselves and sometimes they don’t.

      Vegas has had essentially the same structure for years and missed the playoffs, lost to the Habs another time.

      Vegas had the good fortune to have the “hot” goalie in these playoffs. Adin Hill was a surprise aswas Bobrovsky’s resurgence.

      As for Ottawa/Toronto, one keeps missing the playoffs and doesn’t learn in building, the other keeps tweaking and improving their bottom end.

      Historical records spanning decades involving different management and different players are irrelevant and not a precursor for the future.

      Here in Montreal for example Gorton/Hughes are considered to be great and Bergevin a bust despite all of the new young guys (almost) were drafted or traded for by Bergevin.

      Habs tradition is great goaltending, top notch big D and build outward.
      TML glory days had strong goaltending and big D as well.

      • Agree HF30

        Hot goalie does go a long way…. But they were the better team in each series

        They were quick; determined; cohesive; played with grit, pride and heart more yhan their 4 opponents….and generally played a better (sounder) defensive game than their counterparts

        There have been better individual defensive players over the years for sure; and better top pairings….. but I’m pressed to come up with (from the last few decades) a sextet that played as good as their 6 D did these playoffs

        Size for sure helped them. I knew they were a big team.. . But AVERAGE player weight of 13 lbs greater over Cats last night (and that includes March [183] and Smith [185] and Karllsson [190]); shocked me

  6. A few things.
    1. I wonder if vegas winning the cup with second and third string goalies hurts the market for your hellybucks gibsons and harts.
    2. Congrats to teddy and Phil. Forgot they were on vegas.
    3. Cue the vegas were gifted a cup bologna from the patty pouts a lots.

  7. Congrats to Vegas, they built one hell of a team with all the help that Bettman originally gave them. They conducted their team purely as a business and cast many aside in their quest for the holy chalice. This will now be the model for all future winners. I guess they did what they had to do. Not saying it is wrong, but being ruthless is now what is required to achieve glory. Gonna find out who they cast aside in the next few weeks to achieve another golden moment. To be continued…………

    • Sounds like sour grapes to me….

    • Right on cue Johnny Z.

    • Johnny what do you have to say about the other 31 teams that didn’t win? Is it Vegas’ fault teams unvalued their own players? Got guys like Echiel and Stone for next to nothing and were willing to take the risk of signing them?

      • Not exactly “next to nothing” for Stone.

        They got Brannstrom who, like a lot of D after being drafted, had to bank AHL time to iron out the kinks, but now is considered a key element of Ottawa’s D. They also got Vegas’ 2nd round pick in 2020 and that turned out to be Ridley Greig. If you think that’s “next to nothing” …. well, I think you’re in for an unpleasant surprise.

      • As for Buffalo, they got, along with a 1st round pick that turned out to be German C prospect Noah Ostlund, Alex Tuch who finished this season with 36g 43a 79 pts in 74gp. Meanwhile, in Vegas, Eichel was posting 27g 39a 66 pts in 67 gp.

        Not bad for being forced to make a deal to all intents and purposes.

    • I’m sure they’ll fire the coach and trade half the team away for the next shiny new toy (PLD?) or toys. That’s what they’ve done for 6 years now.

      • You can’t counter with logic and reality, Some Old Guy. Apparently that’s taboo in these discussions.

      • Pretty successfully to boot!

  8. 1. Bruce Cassidy was the Game Changer in Vegas

    Leafs can run with Keefe for now

    Nothing really intriguing available on the coach front

    2. Matthews ordeal – In a perfect world – he would set an example for the franchise , sign a deal that has the best interest for the team overall , but that isn’t going to happen – he is not built as a Bergeron , even with Shane Doan in the equation …

    Treliving has his work cut out for him , trying to manoeuvre around the cap , NO mention of Nylander ?
    Does Doan take the floor at the upcoming draft …

    • Who cares? This is vegas’ time. Leafs are going to be the Leafs, love it or leave it.

      • And that Ron shows why the leafs have had so little success. They don’t have enough real fans. Real fans hold ownership accountable for sustained failure by withholding their support. In regards to merch butts in the seats and eyes on tv. Toronto owners will never have to worry about that. Until leafs fans strap on two nuts and hit the owners where it hurts there is no reason for meaningful change.

      • Oh cool we are at blame the fans again. Thank you, Chris. Without your insightful comment I now know who’s to blame fans who are in control. Yeah let’s show ‘em!

      • Talk about touching a nerve! Again, as with Pengy’s post, tell us where what Chrisms wrote is wrong.

        And while you’re at it, tell us how – in your world – being a “true fan” must never include criticism of perceived flaws and only sing their praises regardless.

      • George if anyone says anything about your Sens you have been the one to huff and puff about it. I really don’t care what you guys say. You’ve all shown what you know and how you think…guess what? Only the like minded praise you, the rest either ignore or push back.

        I’m going to ignore for now on. This thread is all you need to know about who’s commenting and the validity of them. You can go back to ripping on and taking as you call it backhanded jab or whatever you passively aggressive you do. In sort, you and the others like you comments are usually just not worth it. Have a good summer bashing and belittling a better team than yours.

      • Point to ONE time where I “huffed and puffed” over criticism aimed at the Senators where it is amply justified. Just One.

        Hell, no one has been more critical of some of their more dubious actions than me.

        That’s the difference between us – I accept and concur with some criticisms where applicable – you bridle at ANY criticism of the Leafs regardless, especially if it comes from a recognized fan of the team.

        And my skin isn’t ultra thin. I give and take with equal aplomb. What I don’t do, Ron, is take my ball and go home.

  9. Congrats to Vegas! Now the fun stuff will begin this off season.
    Vegas has just short of 3.4 million in cap space.
    What will UFA Adin Hill get as a UFA?
    Barbashev is going to get 6+ on a multi year deal from someone. Never wanted my Blues to trade him and they received a questionable return on that trade, but happy for Barbie.

    • Congrats to Vegas on a great run.

      On drafted NHL player and discarded by the Florida Panthers Johnathan Marchessault wins the Conn Smythe.

      Oilers media and fans all over social media reminding everyone that no one scored more goals than Leon Draistl and Connor McDavid was sixth in scoring in only played 12 games.

      I wonder if they actually understand their own tweets?

      Bruce Cassidy as he did in Boston put in an excellent defensive system, which leads to offense and in Vegas case lead to a stanley cup.

      Cassidy was ran out of Boston after player exit interviews. Cassidy maybe had more desire to win the cup then some players. Congrats to Cassidy as he stated he wants his name on the cup and he earned his way to that accomplishment. Congrats Bruce

      One thing I didn’t like was listening to Alex Peter Peiterangelo on NHL radio before the game and one of the questions was “dream of winning the game on home ice?” His reply I have my wife and children with me and they travel with me, so I don’t care where we win it as long as my wife and children get to see it”

      I would of liked “it be awesome to win it in front of our fans” as part of the answer.

      Wasn’t much of a game, glad it’s over now we can start with the buyouts.

  10. On that note, Johnathan Marchessault was part of my Bluejackets first. He just wasn’t good enough to crack are loaded lineup.

    • After which he went to the Lightning where, like Verhage on the other side, he was a cap casulty/couldn’t crack the top six. Congats Vegas, and congrats Bettman; we in Tampa lived through expansion when the teams got a raw deal and, frankly, the league is better off when new teams can win some, fill their buildings, and establish their fans base right off, They pay a steep price to the other owners for the privilege

  11. Boston media like “it was time for Bruce to go” “Vegas would’ve won the cup without but Boston wouldn’t have won it with him.”

    Do whatever you need to do to justify your opinion.

    Cassidy just out coached the coach who out coach Jim Montgomery.

    Vegas didn’t win the Cup without Cassidy, they won it with him.

    We will never Know if Cassidy would’ve won the cup with Boston.

    Give Cassidy the credit he deserves; no other coach won the Cup for Vegas, but Cassidy did. Get use to it, he is an excellent coach.

    • He’s come a long way from his beginnings with the Hawksbury Hawks!

      • Ya it’s a good story George, and his first coaching gig with the Jacksonville Lizard Kings. Had success everywhere, and there was quite a few places with teams folding and stuff.

        Injuries put the brakes on a good career as a player. Picked himself up and became a great coach. Good for him.

      • He was one of Brian Kilrea’s favorites in his days with the ’67s

      • He put up a lot of points as a D man for the 67’s. Good experience playing for Kilrea if you end up coaching. One of the best all time in Jr.