NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 22, 2023

by | Jun 22, 2023 | News, NHL | 23 comments

The 2023 Hockey Hall of Fame inductees are announced, salary cap only rising by $1 million for 2023-24, plus updates on Rasmus Dahlin, Owen Power, Josh Bailey and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: Henrik Lundqvist, Tom Barrasso, Pierre Turgeon and Mike Vernon were the former NHL players among the inductees in the Hockey Hall of Fame’s Class of 2023. Canadian women’s star Caroline Ouellette, former NHL coach Ken Hitchcock and former Colorado Avalanche general manager Pierre Lacroix were also among the seven inductees. The formal induction ceremony will be held in Toronto at the Hockey Hall of Fame on Nov. 13.

Tom Barrasso is among the seven inductees into the Hockey Hall of Fame’s Class of 2023 (NHL.com).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to all the inductees for this well-deserved honor.

It was long-overdue recognition for Barrasso, Turgeon and Vernon after being passed over for years. None of them say it coming. When Vernon got the call from Hall of Fame chairman Lanny McDonald, he joked that he thought McDonald was inviting him for a golf game. Barrasso, meanwhile, admitted he wasn’t sitting by the phone awaiting the call.

Once again, deserving former NHL stars such as Alexander Mogilny, Butch Goring, Patrik Elias, Rod Brind’Amour and Keith Tkachuk were passed over. Perhaps one of them will get their due next year.

TSN: As expected, the NHL salary cap for 2023-24 is going to rise by just $1 million to $83.5 million. The cap has been flattened since 2020-21 as part of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for extending the collective bargaining agreement.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As per the MOU, the cap remained at $81.5 million in 2020-21 and 2021-22, rising to $82.5 million in 2022-23 and $83.5 million in 2023-24. There was some hope that the cap would increase by more than the projected $1 million if the players had fully repaid the escrow owed to the team owners resulting from the pandemic-shortened seasons of 2019-20 and 2020-21.

Following the 2023-24 season, the salary cap is projected to significantly increase by at least $4 million. It could rise even higher given the boost to hockey-related revenue over the past two years arising from new broadcasting deals and the addition of the Seattle Kraken.

NHL.COM: The Buffalo Sabres hope to re-sign Rasmus Dahlin and Owen Power to contract extensions and the feeling is mutual. Both defensemen have a year remaining on their respective contracts and can re-sign on July 1.

Dahlin is slated to become a restricted free agent next July with arbitration rights coming off his three-year bridge contract. At the same time, Power will be completing his entry-level contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Coming off their best season in years, this is a heady time for the Sabres and their fans. After years of often painful rebuilding, the club is on the cusp of becoming a playoff contender thanks to exciting young talent like Dahlin and Power.

The Sabres already have forwards Tage Thompson and Dylan Cozens under reasonable long-term contracts. Getting Dahlin and Power locked up to lengthy new deals will ensure this team has a solid base of core talent to build on going forward.

GOPHNX.COM’s Craig Morgan tweeted that sources said there is no truth to reports suggesting the Arizona Coyotes have an interest in New York Islanders winger Josh Bailey.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Coyotes have a history of taking troublesome contracts from cap-strapped teams packaged with draft picks which they’ve stockpiled to build up their prospect pipeline. However, the Bailey rumor sounds like some folks were spitballing for ways that the Islanders can free up cap space for next season.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Vancouver Canucks GM Patrik Allvin said Tanner Pearson is making progress in his recovery from a hand injury that sidelined him for most of last season. He indicated that the 30-year-old winger is preparing himself for training camp in September.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pearson’s playing career was thought to be in jeopardy after an infection set in requiring another surgical procedure.

DAILY FACEOFF: Florida Panthers GM Bill Zito said he’s spoken with Spencer Knight and expects the promising 22-year-old goaltender to be back with the club next season. Knight played 21 games this season before entering the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program in February and remained there for the remainder of the regular season and the playoffs.

NEW YORK POST: The Rangers have hired Phil Housley and Dan Muse to their coaching staff. A Hall-of-Fame defenseman Housley is the former head coach of the Buffalo Sabres.

DAILY FACEOFF: Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment chairman Larry Tannebaum is set to sell 25 percent of his stake in the company to OMERS, a pension plan for Ontario municipal employees.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: The Blue Jackets signed forward Mathieu Olivier to a two-year, $2.2 million contract extension.

NHL.COM: The Hershey Bears are the 2023 AHL champions following a thrilling 3-2 overtime win over the Coachella Valley Firebirds in Game 7 of the Calder Cup Final.

Mike Vecchione tallied the winner for the Bears, who are the affiliate of the Washington Capitals. Connor McMichael and Hendrix Lapierre also scored for the Bears.

Bears goaltender Hunter Shepard was awarded the Jack A. Butterfield Trophy as the most valuable player.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to the Bears on winning their 12th Calder Cup in franchise history. The Firebirds deserve a round of applause for reaching the Final in just their first season of operation. They’re the affiliate of the Seattle Kraken.


  1. Congrats out to the class of ‘23

    I’m still amazed that Cujo and Amo not in?????

    Barrasso and Vernon in before Cujo????

    I posted yesterday (from Quant hockey) all the different stats …. All showing Cujo with better numbers than Barasso. Vernon’s numbers similar to Barasso; both still quite a bit behind Cujo????

    • Maybe based on time retired ? Barrasso and Vernon have been waiting longer ? Now that they are in, there’s no reason to not induct Cujo at some point.

      • Hi Dave

        Good point

        That has to be it

        Cujos numbers just that much better than Vernon and Barasso

      • Cujo?? Seriously????

        Barasso and Vernon are two-time Cup Champs, and are fully deserving of being inducted.

        The only reason Cujo won Olympic Gold was because he never saw the net again after giving up 5 in the one game he played. Cujo played great on poor teams, but he isn’t HOF material.

      • Maybe because Barasso & Vernie won 2 Cups each, and Cujo didn’t?

    • Well Barrasso and Vernon won Cups and that does sway votes. Deservedly.

    • Cujo?? Seriously????

      Barasso and Vernon are two-time Cup Champs, and are fully deserving of being inducted.

      The only reason Cujo won Olympic Gold was because he never saw the net again after giving up 5 in the one game he played. Cujo played great on poor teams, but he isn’t HOF material.

  2. Ozzie should have gotten it before Vernon. Ozzie has more wins, fewer losses, better GAA, better saver percentage, more Cups. On career stats, Ozzie has Vernon beat.

    Two of the three top 5 Vezina finishes came before Brodeur and Hasek were in the NHL. I am not sure there was much competition at the time. NHL goalie talent in mid and late 80’s and the goalie talent in the 90’s are two very different things.

    Most importantly, the 1997 Conn Smythe was outright stolen from Fedorov. If his name were John Smith, he’d be the winner. Vernon played well and made some timely saves, but Fedorov was the MVP of that team. Vernon was unceremoniously traded almost immediately after winning that Conn Smythe, which says everything you need to know about how valuable Scotty thought he was.

    It didn’t take Vernon to win the Cup. It took Shanahan… he was the final piece. And it took Fedorov playing with a broken rib, another reason to give him the Conn Smythe, but the league screwed him over. The next season the Wings won it again… without Vernon.

    So yeah… I see it a bit different.

    • I’m not arguing or debating your opinion of Osgood over Vernon, Johnny. However, your claim that the league “screwed over” Fedorov by not awarding him the Conn Smythe Trophy in 1997 is baseless. The Professional Hockey Writers Association selects the Conn Smythe Trophy winner, not the NHL. Take up your beef with the PHWA.

      • Sorry I touched a nerve, Lyle. But the Russian bias was even more prevalent then. I am sure it included writers as well.

      • You didn’t “touch a nerve”, Johnny. I’m pointing out that you were wrong about the league “screwing over” Fedorov for the Conn Smythe Trophy.

        By the way, Fedorov won the Selke Trophy in 1994 and 1996 and the Hart Trophy in 1994. Guess who voted for that?

    • Hi JZ

      Te Osgoode…. See Dave’s post above…. I think he hit the nail on the head

      If they go purely on what they did…. Cujo gets in before Osgoode who gets in before Vernon and Barrasso

      Cujo being passed over (in lieu of Vernon and Barrasso) can only be because he retired 6 or 7 years after them (they have been waiting longer)

      Absolutely more deserving…. So it’s just timing

      Thinking ahead a few years….. if Sid, Gino, Tanger all hang them up at same time…. They are all getting in at same time!!!

      • Chris Osgood won 3 Cups.

        Cujo is 5th best in career regular season wins.

        Noteworthy indeed, but for the HOF, I’ll take the goalies like Osgoode, Vernon & Barossa who took their teams all the way to the Cup more than once.

    • I recall thinking at the time of the ’97 Conn Smythe that it was another Russian who should have been awarded the Smythe. Vlad Konstantinov had a dominant defensive playoff and set the mold for the likes of Scott Stevens and Chris Pronger. It was his outstanding play that let Vernon shine. His play was so good that he had to go to the net once in a while to see if Vernon was still awake. If there was ever a year for a defense first d-man to win the Smythe ’97 was it.

    • Well-said Johnny👍

  3. read a few articles last night, saying don’t expect any Russian player to be selected into the Hall-of-Fame during this political times.

    Not sure i buy into that; why would you want to keep a Russian player who defected from his Country out of the Hall.

    Personally i believe Mogilny belongs in the Hall and this year was a weak class and thought it was his time. Hopefully it has nothing to do with politics.

    • Unfortunately, politics touches all our sports. I wish that sports could just be an escape from the pressure that our corrupt politicians put on us through our sports.

  4. Meh, Russians were coming over to play when it was more of a dictatorship
    and the iron curtain was still up.

    • The “Soviet dictatorship” is back, and in a worse way than in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. And that was what the first russians i NHL defected from! What we have on the other side of the Baltic today is the worst we’ve had in Europe since Stalin and Hitler.

      • Where’ve you been! We’ve been looking all over for you!

      • Lost but not forgotten!

      • Soooo the ’72 summit series shouldn’t have happened?

        Member of the HHOF from that Soviet team like Kharlamov. Yakushev, Tretiak and others shouldn’t be there eh.