NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 21, 2023

by | Jun 21, 2023 | News, NHL | 25 comments

The Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2023 will be announced today, the Canadiens re-sign Sean Monahan, an update on Carey Price, the Flames allow Milan Lucic to speak with other teams, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.com: The Hockey Hall of Fame will vote on its Class of 2023 inductees today. They will be announced at 3 pm ET.

Former New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (NHL.com)

Goaltender Henrik Lundqvist is expected to be among that group. This is his first year of eligibility.

Other former NHL stars among the candidates include Tom Barrasso, Rod Brind’Amour, Corey Crawford, Patrik Elias, Theo Fleury, Sergei Gonchar, Curtis Joseph, Reggie Leach, Alexander Mogilny, Chris Osgood, Jeremy Roenick, Keith Tkachuk, Pierre Turgeon, Mike Vernon, Justin Williams and Henrik Zetterberg.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I will continue stumping for Butch Goring until he’s inducted or I shuffle off this mortal coil, whichever comes first.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: The Canadiens yesterday re-signed Sean Monahan to a one-year, $1.985 million contract extension. The 28-year-old center was slated to become an unrestricted free agent (UFA) on July 1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: After several injury-plagued years in Calgary, Monahan was enjoying a bounce-back performance this season until suffering a season-ending lower-body injury in December. He was a good addition to the rebuilding Canadiens, acting as a mentor to their young players while providing experienced depth at center.

This signing allows Monahan to continue playing a prominent role with the Canadiens and perhaps improve his stock in next summer’s free-agent market. He could also become a valuable asset for the Habs at next year’s trade deadline if he has a healthy and productive season.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Speaking of the Canadiens, long-time goalie Carey Price and his family have put their Montreal-area home up for sale and are moving to Kelowna, BC. Price, 35, has three years remaining on his contract but is unofficially retired because of a knee injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Price carries an average annual value of $10.5 million. It’s expected the Canadiens will place him on long-term injury reserve, providing them with additional cap space to spend on other players this summer. There’s also speculation that Price could take up a player development role with the Habs.

CALGARY HOCKEY NOW: The Flames are allowing Milan Lucic to speak with other clubs about a new contract. The 35-year-old winger is slated to become a UFA on July 1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lucic is no longer the dominating power forward of his youth but he played a significant leadership for Canada during their gold-medal run at the 2023 IIHF World Championships. That could entice playoff contenders seeking veteran leadership and toughness to sign him to an affordable one-year contract.

TORONTO SUN: Terry Koshan cites a “well-placed source” dismissing rumors of the Maple Leafs buying out defenseman T.J. Brodie. He has one season left on his contract with an AAV of $5 million and a full no-trade clause until July 1 when it becomes a 10-team no-trade clause for 2023-24.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Someone in the media was likely musing over how the Leafs could garner some cap relief and suggested buying out Brodie. It got shared on social media and twisted around into the Leafs buying him out.

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports it will take until September before the sale of the Senators to incoming owner Michael Andlauer is completed. Until then, he cannot make any changes to the club. That means he will have no say over possible offseason roster moves by general manager Pierre Dorion.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dorion’s biggest potential move is his anticipated trade of Alex DeBrincat. Garrioch reports the Senators would like a first-round pick as part of the return for the 25-year-old winger, who refuses to ink a long-term extension with the club.

BUFFALO HOCKEY NOW: The Sabres have signed forward Zemgus Girgensons to a one-year contract extension worth $2.5 million. This move was made to preserve the club’s leadership group.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Girgensons is the longest-serving active member on the Sabres roster, having played nine seasons.

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes yesterday placed forward Zack Kassian and defenseman Patrik Nemeth on waivers for the purpose of buying out their contracts.

TSN: Player agent Ray Petkau confirmed clients James Reimer of the San Jose Sharks and Thomas Greiss of the St. Louis Blues will be hitting the UFA market on July 1.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman doesn’t anticipate trading his two first-round picks in the upcoming 2023 NHL Draft (June 28-29) in Nashville. The Red Wings hold picks No. 9 and No. 17.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yzerman could change his mind if a rival GM makes a tempting offer but it doesn’t appear as though he’s actively shopping those picks.

NEW YORK POST: The Islanders signed restricted free agent defenseman Samuel Bolduc to a two-year, one-way contract worth an AAV of $800K.


  1. Cap question. When does Price become officially retired? Selling his house and moving to western Canada gives impression that he doesn’t plan on playing again. If he were to take a player development role, wouldn’t he have to retire? Can he stay on LTIR for remainder of contract? Are there any cap complications if he retires?

    • Excellent question, Slick. It would seem awfully sketchy if at some point in the future he is a ‘player’, and ‘actively not a player’ at the same time.

      • Wasn’t Pronger working with the NHL in the department of player safety while unofficially retired but still being paid?

        He unofficially retired in 2011 due to post concussion symptoms,but his contract ran through the 2016-2017 season. He was hired by the NHL in 2014.

        It makes me think the NHL doesn’t care once you can’t play anymore, even if there’s questions about conflict of interest.

    • Hi Slick

      He is not “officially” retiring…, that stops his contract and $M’s

      He is “effectively” retired in the fact that he can’t play anymore so he will never play another NHL game but because he is on LTIR he still will collect a paycheque, but that paycheque will come from the insurance company

      He CAN take on advisory rolls within the org but I don’t believe he can get paid for it

      • If he were to formally/officially (he won’t) retire…. He throws away $23 M …. Gone; AND Cap hit completely off Habs books

        It won’t happen

        Pronger stayed until the end on LTIR for much much less

    • Angela Price last week on The Drive By podcast, she and Carey are considering buying property in downtown Montreal to facilitate work that they’ll be doing in the city during the hockey season. Angela also confirmed that Carey will be back in Montreal in time for training camp in the fall.

  2. Amo

    Make the announcements!!!

    • I vote Elias and Zetterberg.

      Also, I’m heavily biased in rooting for Brind’Amour

  3. Montreal signing Monahan for $2m including bonus. Is such a no brainer. No real risk.

    Monahan would’ve received more on the open market. Have to appreciate the fact he like Montreal and enjoy playing there, good signing.

    • I agree Caper. This is a solid signing. But I’m not sure he would’ve gotten more money on the open market. Certainly not guaranteed money. A one year prove it deal was all he could reasonably expect.
      A rebuilding team like the Habs is the best spot for him as he’ll get plenty of ice time and opportunity to prove he can once again be healthy and productive,
      Who knows? If he stays healthy and plays as well as he did before he got hurt, I can see the Habs signing him to a reasonable multi year extension.

      • I’ve watched lots of Monahan since his rookie year. He’s really good. I think the Habs made out like bandits on this one. Good on Sean for signing there. They’ll use him appropriately and he’ll have a magnificent impact on the kids. He’s a quiet leader. Great character in the room and on the bench. Gives his all on all occasions.
        Solid, solid move by those rascals in the front office.

    • Monahan is the real deal, the kind of pro every young team needs.

      Too bad that he’s beaten up and fills the old pro role at 28 but he’ll do for the young Habs what Perry and Staal did a couple of years ago, mentor and teach them the right way.

  4. Goring
    Barasso (pretty ridiculous he’s not in there yet – and no way Cujo or Crawford should be in if Tom’s not. You shouldn’t get punished for being a jerk.
    John Tonellli…

    • Hi Dark G

      Has nothing to be with him being a jerk

      It’s purely looking at his body of work and what he performed at:

      Cujo was the far better goalie in his overall career; plain and simple

      Cujo has 85 more wins (7th place OA vs 21st OA for Barasso

      Cujo has 13 more shutouts ( 28th OA vs 51st)

      Career GAA…. Cujo ….; 2.79; Barasso….3.24

      Save %’ages….906 (Cujo) vs 892 (TB)

      Above stats all from

      Cujo also has:
      Olympic Gold;
      Spengler Gold;
      two WC Silvers
      3 All star games

      Subjectively….Cujo carried many a team in the playoffs when the team in-front of him was not performing as well as he was, Barasso’s key times had a loaded Penguins team in-front of him

      Cujo also played to 41; Barasso to just a few games as a 37 year old

      Going for Barrasso….

      2 Cups
      Jennings (shared)
      Olympic Silver
      2 time All Star

      So to me; not that Barrasso was a Jerk…. Cujo just statistically the far better goalie

      • Nice one, Pengy. Can you do Cugo and Osgood next?

      • The ONLY reason Cujo has a Gold Medal is because another Goalie won it for him after he let in 5 in ONE game!


  5. Elias and Mogilny, can’t believe they are already not in? Lundquist definitely!

    Lucic to the Avalanche for a bag of pucks! GO AVS!!!!

  6. Would Lucic be a low cost fit for the Bruins? Boston doesn’t lack leadership so he’s not really needed in a leadership role. They don’t have his element of toughness. I believe he is an upgrade over Hathaway and Foligno.

    There is no turning back the clock here, Milan isn’t magically turn into his playing time of 2011.

    If acquiring Lucic means blocking the path for a player like Jakub Lauko, then i take a pass. Otherwise he be a good physical presence that make other player feel safer.

    I like Lucic but i’m not advocating for a return and if he did return my expectation is a 4th line player who can add toughness and play a net front presence.

    • I’d sign him and play him with Lauko.
      He’d be a fine mentor for both him and Fred.

  7. Lucic

    35+ contract…. So…. Eligible for PBs in contract

    Give him $800 K sal (that’s the cap risk to teams as 35+ contracts can’t be burried); with PBs truly reflective of performance…. If he somehow were miraculously to perform at the level of $3M player…. He gets that…. Value for cap/cash spent…. Just have to structure the PBs properly (can’t be just on number of games played)

    Same analogy goes for Toews (would be fantastic risk/reward move by Pens IMHO)

  8. I had to laugh at the comment that Andlauer will have no possible say in the club’s roster decisions until he formally owns the team.

    • Agreed LJ.

  9. Could Dubios sign with the Habs for less annual salary, sy in the Caulfield range, knowing he would be the face of the Habs in Quebec for advertising & endorsements???

    Thus, he would still become the Habs top grossing player for money per season in pocket.

    • I think Caulfield is a more marketable player being a pure goal scorer

  10. The buyout of TJ Brodie makes no sense. Who are the Leafs getting at 5M to replace him?
    Unless Muzzin comes back, TJ is gonna stick around.

    Leafs need to have some cap flexibility so they can call up some younger bodies.
    Both Gio and TJ probably need some load management in 2023-24