NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 26, 2023

by | Jun 26, 2023 | News, NHL | 11 comments

Erik Karlsson is open-minded about trade destinations, Patrick Kane already rehabbing from hip surgery, the Hurricanes-Flyers trade involving Tony DeAngelo hits a snag, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Erik Karlsson loves living and playing in San Jose. With the Sharks rebuilding, however, the 33-year-old defenseman is open to a trade.

San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson (NHL Images).

Karlsson noted he’s at the stage of his career where he’s running out of time to garner an opportunity to win the Stanley Cup. He said he played with too many players who had great careers but never won the Cup.

I don’t want to be that guy, I want to win,” said Karlsson. “That’s not to say I’m going to win, right? I want an opportunity to win.”

Karlsson acknowledged the difficulties of a trade given his hefty contract. He’s signed for three more seasons with an average annual value of $11.5 million with a full no-movement clause. “I think there’s a lot of teams that want to do it, not necessarily a lot of teams that can do it.”

A two-time winner of the Norris Trophy, Karlsson is a finalist for the award this season. He indicated that he’s open-minded about potential trade destinations. He told Swedish reporters that he’s open to returning to the Ottawa Senators.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Karlsson also praised Sharks general manager Mike Grier and believes he’s doing the right thing with the roster. However, he pointed out that he’s not at the right stage in his career to be part of a rebuilding club.

Coming off a career-high 101-point performance, Karlsson undoubtedly is drawing attention from contenders who would benefit from his puck-moving skills and experience. Finding a way to move his hefty contract, however, is the main obstacle.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: Three weeks after undergoing hip surgery, Patrick Kane appears to be ahead of schedule with his recovery. He is already shooting pucks and skating with assistance.

Kane, 34, becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1. His agent, Pat Brisson, said his client intends to continue playing “for a long time.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The release of the videos of Kane’s rehab process was likely timed to ease the concerns of potential suitors regarding his health.

THE SCORE: cited TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reporting on Twitter that a potential trade sending Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Tony DeAngelo back to the Carolina Hurricanes has hit a snag. The Flyers were reportedly set to retain half of DeAngelo’s $5 million cap hit and would’ve received a draft pick in return.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Anthony SanFilippo of the sports blog Crossing Broad reported hearing that the snag has been ironed out. If so, the trade could be finalized later today.

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: The Golden Knights are reportedly close to signing goaltender Adin Hill to a two-year contract extension worth $9.8 million. The average annual value is $4.9 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Golden Knights also have Logan Thompson and Robin Lehner under contract. Lehner, however, missed this season on long-term injury reserve recovering from hip surgeries. He’ll likely remain sidelined for next season.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Jakub Vrana believes someone in the Red Wings’ hockey operations department didn’t want him back following his return from the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program. “I don’t know if that came from the coach (Derek Lalonde) or the general manager (Steve Yzerman),” said Vrana. “But I felt that something was wrong.”

Vrana spent time this season with the Wings’ AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids. Traded to the St. Louis Blues, he regained his scoring touch, finishing with 10 goals in 20 games. He called the trade “a new beginning”, saying he got the chance to play again.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Vrana is signed for next season with a cap hit of $5.25 million. A strong performance in 2023-24 will ensure a new contract with the Blues or make him a valuable trade chip.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid and his girlfriend Lauren Kyle recently announced their engagement. The couple have been together for nearly eight years.


  1. Lyle, Vrana’s cap hit is $2.625M. Detroit ate half of his salary in the trade.

    • johnnyZ, I think Lyle’s point is, regardless of which team holds half his cap hit, in total it’s $5.25 mil and if he has a strong season in St. Louis, his negotiations for a new deal with start from that total – not $2,625 mil.

      • Bingo!

  2. Vrana now has a clue?
    Ya think? You left your teammates high and dry 2 years in a row with things that could have been done or at least started in the off-season!

    • Johnny, Vrana entered the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program. There’s no timetable for dealing with a substance abuse issue. He recognized he needed help and sought treatment that was available through the NHL/NHLPA. He didn’t do it on purpose to hurt his teammates.

      • Still, maybe Vrana’s not wrong. He felt like someone in the Wings organization was upset with him missing so much time or whatever. Maybe the team, his teammates, or the coaching staff felt let down. Addiction leaves a lot of wreckage. Not saying it was on purpose but it’s possible people in the organization had had enough of his actions. Speculating of course.

  3. Lebrun reported that the snag was brought about by the NHL and not by the teams involved. The league is justifiably suspicious when a player is traded to another team and then, not long thereafter, is traded back to the original team with the second team retaining salary. Could be a means of cap circumvention. The league will want to talk to both teams before clearing the trade.

    • That makes total sense. I hadn’t thought of that potential circumvention angle.

      • I think you guys are gonna lose Brett Pesce to Buffalo.
        Strong Granato connection.

      • He’s still under contract for a year, so CAR won’t ‘lose’ him anytime soon without their approval.

        But yes, that wouldn’t surprise me if he ends up elsewhere by the start of 2024 season. Not that I’m rooting for that.

    • That’s correct. I believe the timeline is 1 year, so they may have to wait until the 8th.