NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 30, 2023
The 2023 Draft is completed, the Blackhawks acquire Corey Perry and Josh Bailey, the Red Wings acquire Klim Kostin and Kailer Yamamoto, plus updates on David Krejci, Tyler Bertuzzi, Jesse Puljujarvi and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
2023 NHL DRAFT NEWS
Among the notable numbers emerging from this year’s draft:
PICKS BY POSITION
Right Wing: 34
Left Wing: 32
PICKS BY BIRTH COUNTRY
United States: 50
PICKS BY AMATEUR LEAGUE
USHL: 39 (includes NTDP)
BIG 10: 4
HOCKEY EAST: 2
SWEDEN U-18: 2
KAZAKHSTAN U-20: 1
The second day of the draft also saw three trades involving NHL veterans:
The Chicago Blackhawks acquired winger Corey Perry from the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for a 2024 seventh-round draft pick. The Blackhawks subsequently signed Perry to a one-year, $4 million contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Lightning couldn’t afford to re-sign Perry so they shipped out his rights for a draft pick. As for why the 35-year-old winger signed with the rebuilding Blackhawks, the $4 million salary was one reason but the opportunity to play with a potential generational talent like Connor Bedard also likely appealed to him. If Perry plays well, the Blackhawks can peddle him to a playoff contender before next season’s trade deadline.
Blackhawks head coach Luke Richardson was reportedly a big fan of Perry’s going back to when he coached the winger in Montreal two years ago. His experience and leadership will be invaluable to this team.
The Blackhawks also acquired winger Josh Bailey and a 2026 second-round pick from the New York Islanders in exchange for future considerations. They placed him on waivers for the purpose of buying out the final year of his contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was a straightforward salary dump by the Islanders. Bailey was their longest-serving active player but the cap-strapped club had to offload his $5 million cap hit for 2023-24 to free up space for other moves.
The Blackhawks can afford the buyout, which will count as $2.66 million against their salary cap for 2023-24 and $1.166 million for 2024-25. With 16 active roster players under contract, they’ll be roughly $3.2 million within range of the $61.7 million cap minimum for 2023-24.
Bailey, meanwhile, becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
The Detroit Red Wings acquired forwards Klim Kostin and Kailer Yamamoto from the Edmonton Oilers for future considerations.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was also a cost-cutting move as shipping out Yamamoto clears $3.1 million from the Oilers’ books. Kostin, meanwhile, is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights whom the Oilers evidently believed they couldn’t afford to re-sign. Part of that cap space could be spent on signing UFA Connor Brown on July 1 as well as re-signing RFA defenseman Evan Bouchard.
Detroit Hockey Now’s Bob Duff believes Kostin was the main prize for the Red Wings while Yamamoto could be a buyout candidate. If so, the Wings have until 5 pm ET today to do so.
IN OTHER NEWS…
TORONTO STAR: The Maple Leafs have confirmed that Sheldon Keefe will return as their head coach next season. He has a year remaining on his contract but general manager Brad Treliving indicates that an extension will be discussed during this summer.
BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: cites a report out of Czechia indicating that Bruins center David Krejci remains undecided whether he’ll return to the club for another season. There was speculation he will retire or return to play in Czechia.
SPORTSNET: Speaking of the Bruins, winger Tyler Bertuzzi is expected to head to free agency when the market opens at noon ET on Saturday (July 1).
TSN: Jesse Puljujarvi will become a UFA as the Carolina Hurricanes will not issue him a qualifying offer. The 25-year-old winger recently underwent double hip surgery and could be sidelined for some time.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This could also spell the end of Puljujarvi’s NHL career. The fourth overall pick by the Oilers in the 2016 draft struggled to play up to expectations as a scoring winger.
DAILY FACEOFF: Buffalo Sabres rookie forward Jack Quinn will be sidelined for four to six months following surgery to repair his Achilles tendon. The 21-year-old winger suffered the injury during training this week.
FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: Patric Hornqvist’s NHL playing career appears to be over following two concussion injuries this season. However, the Florida Panthers are hoping to bring him back in another role.