NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 25, 2023

by | Jun 25, 2023 | News, NHL | 13 comments

The Predators trade Ryan Johansen to the Avalanche, the Kings ship Sean Durzi to the Coyotes, the Hurricanes re-sign Jordan Staal, a major trade between the Flyers and Blues is in limbo and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW/NASHVILLE HOCKEY NOW: The Nashville Predators yesterday traded center Ryan Johansen to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for the rights to forward Alex Galchenyuk.

The Predators retained 50 percent of Johansen’s $8 million average annual value (AAV) through 2024-25. That leaves them with just one retained salary slot remaining on their salary-cap payroll as they’re also retaining $250K annually on Mattias Ekholm’s contract.

Nashville Predators trade Ryan Johansen to the Colorado Avalanche (NHL Images).

​SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is a bold move by both clubs. The Avalanche envision Johansen as their second-line center for the next two seasons, which could mean the departure of J.T. Compher via the unrestricted free-agent market on July 1. The Predators free up $4 million in cap space for the next two years to put toward other moves.

Colorado Hockey Now’s Evan Rawal believes there is some risk here for the Avalanche. Johansen isn’t renowned for his speed which raises concern over how well he’ll fit within their up-tempo system, especially after coming off a season-ending cut to his ankle.

It’s unclear where the well-traveled Galchenyuk fits into the Predators’ plans. If they sign the 29-year-old forward he’ll likely end up in the minors. They could also use him as a trade chip or simply let him depart as a UFA on Saturday.

The Predators’ goal was to free up cap space and get younger and faster. Galcheyuk won’t help them with the latter but they can find a player who can with their new-found cap space.

LA HOCKEY NOW: The Los Angeles Kings traded defenseman Sean Durzi to the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for a 2024 second-round pick that originally belonged to the Montreal Canadiens.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Reports indicate Durzi was traded in part to free up salary-cap space (in this case, $1.7 million) and to make room for budding young blueliner Brandt Clarke. This move is also sparking speculation that the Kings are clearing cap room for another move, perhaps the addition of a certain Winnipeg Jets center. I’ll have more in the Rumor Mill.

The Coyotes, meanwhile, bolster their depth on the right side of the blueline. Durzi, 24, is a skilled defenseman who can skate on the right or left side of the blueline. A gritty puck-moving rearguard, he had 38 points in 72 games last season with the Kings. His youth and skills should fit in well with the rebuilding Coyotes.

DAILY FACEOFF: The Carolina Hurricanes have signed captain Jordan Staal to a four-year contract extension with an AAV of $2.9 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Staal, 34, indicated at the end of this season that he wanted to finish his career with the Hurricanes. Acquired from Pittsburgh in 2012, he’s their longest-serving active player.

The cap hit is a considerable drop from the $6 million annually of his previous contract though at this stage of his career isn’t a surprise. The length of the deal, however, raises some eyebrows when one remembers that Staal turns 35 in September and his performance will inevitably decline. However, it’s not a plus-35 contract so the Hurricanes won’t be penalized if he retires before it expires.

THE ATHLETIC: Charlie O’Connor and Jeremy Rutherford report the Philadelphia Flyers were close on Saturday to trading Kevin Hayes to the St. Louis Blues in a multiplayer deal but it’s now in limbo after one of the players in the deal refused to waive their no-trade clause.

The trade would’ve sent Hayes and defenseman Travis Sanheim to the Blues with the Flyers retaining “a significant amount” of Haye’s $7.14 million AAV over the next three years, perhaps up to half of it. In return, the Blues would send a defenseman plus one of their three 2023 first-round picks to the Flyers.

Sanheim is about to start an eight-year, $50 million contract with a full no-trade clause. However, that deal doesn’t go into effect until July 1. The Flyers are rebuilding and the 27-year-old’s age and looming new contract would no longer make him an ideal fit.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Lou Korac reports Torey Krug is believed to be the player tying up this deal. The 32-year-old blueliner has three years remaining on his contract with an AAV of $6.5 million and a full no-trade clause (NTC).

Korac indicates multiple sources say Justin Faulk, Colton Parayko and Nick Leddy were not approached by the Blues to waive their NTCs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It remains to be seen if this trade can be salvaged. There’s talk it could end up being just Hayes heading to St. Louis with 50 percent salary retained.

THE ATHLETIC: Speaking of the Flyers, they’re reportedly closing in on a trade to send Tony DeAngelo back to the Carolina Hurricanes. The deal could be completed on Sunday.

The Flyers previous management acquired DeAngelo from the Hurricanes last summer for three draft picks and signed him to a two-year contract with an AAV of $5 million. Reports indicate they will ship him to the Hurricanes with 50 percent of salary retained in return for a late-round pick.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: DeAngelo turned out to be a poor fit within head coach John Tortorella’s system. With the Flyers rebuilding under new general manager Daniel Briere, they apparently just want to wash their hands of DeAngelo and get him off their roster.

DAILY FACEOFF: The St. Louis Blues did make one notable move on Saturday by re-signing defenseman Scott Perunovich to a one-year, $775K contract.

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes are close to re-signing goaltender Connor Ingram to a three-year contract with an AAV believed to be $1.95 million.


  1. Dear Mr. Trotz

    I would like you to pay $8 M (over the next two years) of our 2C’s salary. In consideration of such a fantastic privilege (for you) I will give you the rights to a UFA player who played 11 games for us last year; attaining a very impressive 0 points; and who was truly beneficial to us at a minus 8 over those 11 games

    AND, most importantly, make sure RyJo plays about 10 games over the next two years; against his former team. It’s always great to pay for a former player to play 10 games against your own team👍👍


    Dear Joe

    Love to. Consider it done. You saved my proverbial butt. No chance any other team wanted an experienced vet (840 games) strapping 6’3” , 220 lb C , for $4M per for two more years. Please let me know where to send the cheque.

    Bending over in salute to you


    Dear Mr.Dubas

    Please see above for an exchange between two GMs that has one Central team completely hosing another; and two memos (below) that YOU should have sent Friday. Please wake up and save our team.

    All Penguins fans

    Mikael G,

    Cheques in the mail. B-Bye

    Yours in Christ

    Dear Oh so honourable and wonderful Barry. You have always been, and will always be, my hero. You are handsome, smell of roses, and have a great sense of humour.

    The Penguins would like to offer a deal that helps both of our storied franchises.

    If you could please retain 50% on RyJo; the Pens will be pleased to give you prospect Drew O’Connor; and our 4th round pick next year. Pens will be saving you $8 M in future commitments; and will be giving you two valuable assets for your rebuild. In addition, Pens will also guarantee that RyJo plays no more than 2 regular season games at Bridgestone arena over the next 2 years. Finally, I would like to commit to you, that if my wife and I are blessed with any more children, we will name ALL of them Barry (regardless of gender)

    Your humble , and awe-inspired, fellow GM

    Kyle (Dooby Dooby Doo) Dubas

    • Just a cap dump, Trotz is looking to spend that savings on another C. To be continued……….

      • Hi JZ

        My point was…. Cap dump was irrelevant. That was the Predz decision

        They got Jack Squat back…. Zip…. Zilch

        For sure they could have rec’d something; ANYTHING; elsewhere

        My proposal above has Pens converting Granlund into RyJo at 3C…..in the process …..getting younger, getting faster, getting bigger, getting stronger, getting way way better and getting much more production for the team

        Also…. Pens actually save NET Cap space

        For Predz…., they get 2 assets, instead of zilch

        Sackic won this deal; plain and simple. He’s laughing and now willing to do many more trades with Barry

        Barry looks completely inept in the move…. Pens were certainly not the only team that would have taken RyJo @ $4M for 2 years; AND, would have given up something…., ANYTHING!!!!!….. to do so

        Even a 7th in ‘28 is better than NOTHING

        Extremely bad move Barry

        GMs need to make more than one call when looking to put a cap dump in

        Dubas….. strike while the iron is hot…., call Barry and tell him you are willing to part with Chad Ruhweedel for two firsts….. then jump on ANY counter offer…, you know it will be a “winner winner chicken dinner”

        Is Barry still looking at a Cap dump?

        Duchene 50% retained for Bonino??

      • You know things are bad when a guy that’s a month from 31 years old makes a team “younger “.

  2. That’s quite the script Pengy !!

    I also hope Scooby Doo serves your team well and at least keeps a jar of peanut butter in the cupboard

    • Hi Ken

      Dubas screwed over one of my fav teams by maintaining 1/2 Cap on 4 forwards; preventing cup chances

      I fear that he will screw things up for Pens in Sid’s/Gino’s/Tanger’s twilight years

      He has publicly hinted that he won’t be buying out Granlund…. Which is complete lunacy

      Both TSN & SN had Granlund as 3rd most likely buy out

      Right now…. $5M cap hit for two more years of brutal play( for slow; small; and definitely not strong seriously underperforming 3C)…. Vs

      SAVE $4.2 M then $3.2 M on Cap in these next two “last window” years; followed by paltry $1.8 M dead cap for two tears when (1) Cap ceiling is > $90 M; AND (2) when Pens are definitely in re-build

      He (Dubas) has also not even discussed anything in the contract front with Jarry’s camp.

      Set aside the decision of the goaltending tandem for next year….. your current starter is UFA in 6 days…,,a call, at least, is appropriate

      Dubas has also hinted that he “may” move down in the draft OR trade pick…..in This strong draft…. Where @ 14th OA…. He is absolutely guaranteed of getting one of….,Barlow OR Woods OR Ritchie OR Danielson OR Yaeger

      WT Fuddle Duddle???

      • I think it’s McFarland making the deals in Colorado, Pengy. Sakic is the President.

      • Hi SOP

        Yes MacFarland is GM; and BT won’t formally be GM until next week

        So officially MacFarland hosed the 💩 out of Poille

        The key is…. There were more than one team that easily would have accepted (embraced with open arms more precisely) that deal

        My rant re RyJo in over Granlund (at 3C) being a considerable difference for Pens id not hyperbole

        It would be a very big difference

        Sadly…. RyJo went to Avs instead of Pens

  3. Torey Krug reportedly evokes his nmc.

    Most trades nowadays are kept quiet until they happen.

    Who leaked the players and that Krug declined to move.

    You Hand out NMC, NTC like candy; you can’t be surprised a player in his 30’s doesn’t wants to go to a rebuilding team.

    Some B fans wanting Krug back.

    Pastrnak retreated someone tweet that read “bring Krug home” ummmm No! He should’ve been traded for assets in his final year.

  4. Pierre LeBrun is reporting that snags have arisen in the proposed Deangelo deal. May wind up killing the deal.

    • TDA at 1/2 price, or no TDA at all?

      I’m good with either.

      I certainly wouldn’t part with any assets or pay more than 1/2, though.

      • Whalercane I agree, If the Canes are the only team wanting TDA they want Briere to eat 1/2 a 5$m sandwich or pound sand he isn’t really a fit defensively anyway.

  5. What I am reading about this trade between Philadelphia and St. Louis, I was impressed with the Blues mindset. Even though it may not happen, I like their thinking. This is what I wanted the Avalanche to look into! Despite liking the acquisition of Johansen for not much, to me the Blues are looking at it in a better way? When I heard that Sanheim was available, I thought the Avalanche should attempt to get him because EJ not coming back, Sanheim is big, young and has a good shot. So, the Avalanche could have moved Girard and 1st for Hayes/ Sanheim. It would be worth it to fill some holes IMHO. Hopefully, the Avalanche have something else up their sleeve? GO AVS!!!!