NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 28, 2023

by | Jun 28, 2023 | News, NHL | 21 comments

The 2023-24 schedule is released, the Leafs and Senators will retain their head coaches for next season, Bruins are preparing for life without Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci, plus more news heading into the 2023 Draft in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NOTE: The 2023 NHL Draft opens tonight at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville with the first round starting at 7 pm ET.

Follow this link for my take on yesterday’s notable trade activity.

NHL.COM: The league released its schedule for 2023-24 starting with a tripleheader on Oct. 10 featuring the Vegas Golden Knights’ 2023 Stanley Cup banner raising before facing off with the Seattle Kraken at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Also on that night, the Nashville Predators will meet the Tampa Bay Lightning while the Chicago Blackhawks journey to Pittsburgh to square off against the Penguins.

All seven Canadian teams will be in action on Oct. 11 with the Montreal Canadiens against the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Ottawa Senators facing the Carolina Hurricanes, the Winnipeg Jets meeting the Calgary Flames, and the Edmonton Oilers meeting the Vancouver Canucks.

Notable dates include the Tim Hortons Heritage Classic between the Flames and Oilers on Oct. 29 at Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium, the Jan. 1 Winter Classic between the Golden Knights at Kraken at Seattle’s T-Mobile Park, and the NHL All-Star Weekend from Feb 1-4 in Toronto.

The regular-season schedule ends on Apr. 18.

TORONTO STAR: Maple Leafs general manager Brad Treliving confirmed that Sheldon Keefe will return as head coach for 2023-24. He also expressed confidence in getting Auston Matthews and William Nylander signed to contract extensions this summer.

Keefe has a year remaining on his contract. Treliving said he’s open to signing him to an extension.

OTTAWA SUN: Senators GM Pierre Dorion confirms head coach D.J. Smith and his coaching staff will be back for 2023-24.

Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The performances of both clubs will determine if those coaches will remain in those jobs beyond 2023-24. Another early playoff exit will likely spell the end of Keefe’s tenure behind the Leafs bench while another missed postseason will see Smith receive his walking papers.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: The Bruins are preparing for next season under the assumption that centers Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci will retire at some point this summer. Team president Cam Neely said they’ll give both players the time they need to reach their decisions but the club has to press on with their offseason plans.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins created salary-cap space by trading Taylor Hall to Chicago but most of that will be taken up attempting to re-sign or replace key players. If Bergeron and/or Krejci decide to return it’ll be on low-cost one-year contracts provided the Bruins can still squeeze them in.

DAILY FACEOFF: Teams that have met and interviewed Matvei Michkov have come away impressed by the young Russian prospect. Stories have circulated about the 18-year-old KHL winger questioning his attitude. Michkov is considered the best Russian prospect in years and could be chosen among the top 10 in this year’s draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Any NHL club that selects Michkov will have to be patient. He’s signed with KHL team SKA St. Petersburg through 2025-26. It could be worth the wait if he follows in the footsteps of Washington’s Evgeny Kuznetsov and Minnesota’s Kirill Kaprizov, who quickly matured into NHL stars following their KHL tenures.

CHICAGO HOCKEY NOW: The Blackhawks signed Nick Foligno to a one-year, $4 million contract. They acquired the 35-year-old forward the day prior from the Bruins. He was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Foligno wouldn’t have gotten that much money on a one-year deal on the opening market. If he has a good season the rebuilding Blackhawks can attempt to move him to a contender at the trade deadline for a draft pick. This signing also helps the Hawks reach the $61.7 million salary-cap floor for 2023-24.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Stars re-signed winger Evgenii Dadonov to a two-year, $4.5 million contract. The average annual value is $2.25 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dadonov struggled through most of last season with 18 points in 50 games skating with the rebuilding Montreal Canadiens. He regained his scoring touch after being acquired by the Stars on Feb. 26 with 15 points in 23 regular-season games along with 10 points in 16 playoff contests.

SPORTSNET’s Elliotte Friedman reports the Anaheim Ducks are unlikely to give winger Max Comtois a qualifying offer, making him an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A once-promising young winger, Comtois’ production has declined since his 33-point performance in 55 games during the COVID-shortened 2020-21 season. The 24-year-old could become an affordable reclamation project.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Speaking of the Ducks, they’ve named former captain Ryan Getzlaf a player development coordinator.

DAILY FACEOFF: Seattle Kraken defenseman Carson Soucy intends to test the free-agent market on July 1.

SPORTSNET: The New Jersey Devils have given winger Miles Wood permission to speak with other clubs. Wood, 27, is scheduled to become a UFA on July 1.


  1. Dubas just watching all the inexpensive trades (for 3C replacement and top 6 wingers) go merrily by

    Doing jack 💩

    Reece Comfort from The Hockey writers has some good tips for KD:

    5 Penguins That Need to Be Moved Off the Roster This Offseason


    Toffoli, Newhook, Hall, Hayes, RyJo; Durzi…. All snapped up at very reasonable prices by GMs “in the action”

    You have over $20 M to juggle with right now ($24.5 M once you give Granlund the heave ho); with no goalies (I am not counting De Smith) under contract; no improvements at D or Fwds (over last year—— NOTE: where the playoff streak ended) ; you still have problem contracts in Carter, Petry, Rutta. You still haven’t re-upped Smith, O’Connor or Poehling; and many WBS players. You are hanging out there on the Guentzel decision.

    You’re doing nothing!

    Dooby…. At the very least…. You MUST buy out Granlund; AND keep 14th OA , select one of (in alphabetical order) :

    Barlow, Danielson , Ritchie ; Wood; ; or Yaeger…. At least one of them should be available @14; maybe 2.

    Don’t leave the Draft without one of them!!!!

    If Wood is miraculously available at 14….. run (don’t walk) to the platform (with the XXL jersey in hand) and smile ear to ear when you call his name

    Tre…. You MUST not re-up BOTH AM and WW…. Leafs already 1/2 Cap for 4 Fwds; re-upping both has leafs starting 24/25 at around 54%-55% for 4 forwards.

    And now you are talking about re-upping Kerfoot

    You have a starter wrapped in bandaids that needs to go; and Samso not re-upped yet!!

    Re your public statement that you have extreme confidence that you can get an extension done with both AM and WW…. Remember….. WW’s dad held out…. WW is not re-upping with Leafs at the figure you think you can get him at!!! Both have their trade protection clauses kick in on Saturday

    Do something!

    Tim’s on me

    • Who is WW? Willy Wonka? LOL

      • Hi Konstantine

        WW is “Wee Willy” Nylander.

        Name given to him by Leafs Play-by-play guy, Joe Bowen

        His brother plays for Pens and his father is a retired NHLer

  2. Soucy testing Free Agency…. Hello Oil!!!

    Would love him on Leafs or Pens

  3. Curious to see how L.A fills the #1 goalie slot. They do not have much cap space left.

    • Casey DeSmith OR Matt Murray for future considerations

    • I think LA will move more salary out ? Arvidsson ?

      • He’s the logical choice Iago but you never know Blake may be cooking up another deal

  4. Thinking .. PB comes back for one last season … Bruins will trade Ullmark … 2 Dmen get traded ….. sign Bert before draft ..DK is all done and will retire ..Bruins bring in a #4 Dman … will Looch sign with B’s ? …

  5. Quite a day yesterday. Glad the Dubois sage is finally over. Now we can all exhale and move on.

    As I’ve been saying, I was all for picking up PLD at the right price. The necessary price for the Jets at this time is just not right for the Habs. At the stage of the Habs rebuild, they just do not have the pieces to trade away without creating holes in the lineup. The Kings are obviously in a different place than the Habs. They had the pieces that fit. And as far as money is concerned, $8.5m. is better than $9m. But still too high. Good on Hughes for not giving in to temptation to trade away too much. Better to stick with his plan.

    How the Dubois trade worked out is likely why the Habs decided to pick up Newhook. The players they would pick at 31 and 37, best case scenario, would not even see NHL ice for 3 years. And it would then take a couple of more years for them to establish themselves as trade worthy assets to a team looking to trade a solid player but also wanting to pick up players who’ll help right away, like the Jets right now. Hughes feels that he has a nice prospect pipeline and decided it was time to move forward by picking up a young NHLer. This way, he has a group of young players in their early 20s who will hopefully grow together as a solid unit. If things work out as planned, he’ll have the players to satisfy the Kings in 3 years when Dubois requests a trade out of LA.

    • Ah ah ! Exactly as you said, Howard !
      Now, to the moment of truth : the draft.
      My feeling is that San Jose will pick-up Michkov ; if they do, Habs will be left with one of Carlsson or Smith (word is that Columbus has their eyes on Smith).
      The only way I could see our Habs doing wrong would be to pick ANY player, not in the “consensual top five” : if Michkov is still available, and they don’t want him , for Pete’s sake, they HAVE to trade the pick. Go get Philly’s 7th AND 22nd, AND Owen Tippett. Or, Detroit’s 9th and 17th, and Sebawtian Cossa, or Marko Kasper. Or, at least, Washington’s 8th, and their 1st next year, unprotected.
      Leaving Nashville with “only” Reinbacher or Leonard would be a failure.
      (I personally would pick Michkov)

      • Agreed Patrick. Hopefully Smith or Carlsson will be available at 5. I’m still quite wary about Michkov. If he’s not top 4, hopefully they can work out that trade down and still get Leonard.

      • Frank Seravalli is reporting today that the Habs have fielded 5 offers to move down at the draft. Seems to be no chance at moving up. It seems that if Smith or Carlsson are there at #5 (which one of them will hopefully be), that’ll be their choice. If not, they’re open to moving down. In that situation, they shouldn’t be afraid to do so if they don’t move down below #9 and if the return is worthwhile.

  6. Comtois to MTL? the fans love their local players and they sure could use his size up front

    • They don’t need him.

    • Mmmmm ? The problem is that we can only dress four lines, “bro” , and it’s starting to be quite the logjam.
      Let’s count : Suzuki, Caufield, Anderson, Dach, Slafkovski (waiver exempt),Newhook, Monahan, Harvey-Pinard (RFA, waiver exempt), Gallagher, Ilonen, Evans, Armia , Dvorak, Pezzetta, Hoffman, Pitlick.
      That’s 16 forwards, with Heinemann and Beck soon pushing. Not counting all the kids going up to Laval this year : Roy, Kidney, Farrell, Davidson.
      I see no room for Comtois, plus, Hoffman (one year left), Dvorak and Armia ( two years left) have to go.

      • Patrick, I agree roster management is an issue.

        However, there is likely to be several trades of some of those names you list, plus a few D who played for the Habs last year. Lots of movement to come before next season.

        Dach was a reclamation project, as was Danault before him, and Newhook somewhat of the same. Thus a little quick for you and Howard to dismiss acquiring Comtois, who has size the Habs need. He too is an RFA, and if the price is right why not? If he doesn’t work out he can be sent to the AHL.

  7. As it stand this moment Boston has two center under contract:

    Pavel Zacha
    Charlie Coyle

    Most likely Trent Fredrick an rfa will be resigned and if they resign ufa Thomas Nosek, that would most likely be Boston starting Centers.

    At least their 1st round pick to Detroit is top 10 protected.

    No reason for Bergeron to retire he is still elite defensively and finished the season with 27 goals.

    If Boston can swing a deal for Mark Scheifele and Bergeron return that would definitely solidify their Center position. Even one or the other. Sound like i’m begging.

    A B C D
    Zacha Bergeron Scheifele Scheifele
    Coyle Zacha Bergeron Zacha
    Frederick Coyle Coyle Coyle
    Nosek Frederick Frederick Frederick

    I don’t think Krejci is coming back but if he does im
    good with that.

    I think B is what we end up with and if it’s A, good thing we have a strong defensive system that was established by Bruce Cassidy.

  8. salary cap has been announced at $83.5m max salary 20% or $16.7m

    Minimum wage is $775,000 or .0092%

    You think they could at least make minimum wage at 1% $835,000

    Mind you i would give my job up for a minimum wage of $775,000

    • LJ, I agree that Comtois could add an element of size and grit that’s missing.
      Have the Ducks announced they won’t qualify him ?
      A low risk approach, indeed, could be a one year, league miminum one year “show me” deal.
      And yes, Laval is only a ten minutes subway ride. MAY BE an enraged Comtois could make the roster ….

  9. Like to add comment to the future of the Bruins…they only have 8 players signed for 2 or more years … the two guys with 2 years left are Ullmark who could be traded soon and Marchand who will be 37 years old when he’s up .. 3 forwards ..Pasta..Coyle..Zacha … 3 Dmen ..McAvoy..Lindholm..Carlo …. It looks like Sweeney is getting ready for a huge roster turnover soon