NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 7, 2023

by | Jun 7, 2023 | News, NHL | 22 comments

Reaction to the three-team trade that sent Ivan Provorov to the Blue Jackets, the latest Stanley Cup Final news, an update on Timo Meier and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: Flyers general manager Daniel Briere thanked Ivan Provorov for his years of service to the club after trading the defenseman on Tuesday to the Columbus Blue Jackets in a three-team deal involving the Los Angeles Kings.

Philadelphia Flyers general manager Daniel Briere (NHL.com).

Briere indicated that the deal was “really enticing” based on the draft picks the Flyers received and the direction the club is going as it rebuilds. “For us, what we were looking at is young guys and picks. We’ve said it from the beginning, so that was the major reason behind it,” said Briere.

In exchange for Provorov and veteran minor leaguers Kevin Connauton and Hayden Hodgson, the Flyers will receive a first-round draft pick from Columbus (No. 22 overall), veteran goaltender Cal Petersen, defenseman Sean Walker, defensive prospect Helge Grans, a conditional second-round pick from Columbus, and a 2024 second-rounder from Los Angeles. Provorov heads to Columbus, while Hodgson and Connauton go to L.A. The Kings will pay for 30% of Provorov’s contract for Columbus.”

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen considers Provorov “a defenseman who slots in perfectly with our group.” He believes his club now has “two really strong defensemen on the left side of our top four with Zach Werenski and Ivan Provorov”.

Meanwhile, some LGBTQ+ Blue Jackets fans and community members are disappointed about the club’s addition of Provorov, citing his refusal in January to wear a Pride Night jersey when he was a member of the Flyers. Provorov cited his Russian Orthodox beliefs for declining to take part in the pregame formality.

Kekalainen defended the acquisition of Provorov. “We’ve always been an organization that promotes inclusion and diversity and all those things,” he said. “Hockey is for everyone, but we also respect freedom of opinion and freedom of choice.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: You can read my take on the Provorov trade here.

Speculation abounds in the aftermath of the Provorov trade over whether Briere has other offseason moves in the works and how it affects the Kings’ efforts to re-sign a couple of key free agents. I’ll have more on that in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


NHL.COM: Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Florida Panthers and Vegas Golden Knights averaged 2.8 million viewers in the United States across TNT, TBS and truTV. It was the second-most watched Cup Final game ever on US cable. Viewership peaked at 3.3 million viewers between 10:45 – 11 PM ET.

Game 3 goes Thursday night in Florida at 8 pm ET. The Golden Knights hold a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. 

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: Golden Knights winger Jonathan Marchessault’s play since the middle of the second round has pushed him into the Conn Smythe Trophy conversation.

The 32-year-old has scored nine goals in his last nine games and leads the Golden Knights in this postseason with 12 goals in 19 games. He also has the best plus-minus (plus-16) among postseason players.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: At this stage, I’d say it’s between Marchessault and Jack Eichel as the favorites among the Golden Knights as this postseason’s MVP. Nevertheless, there’s no question he’s played a big role in his club’s playoff run thus far.

THE SCORE: Florida Panthers head coach Paul Maurice said he has “complete faith” in Sergei Bobrovsky, who was pulled in Game 2 after giving up four goals on 13 shots in the Panthers’ 7-2 loss. He dismissed any talk of Bobrovsky wearing down from the grueling playoff run.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bobrovsky’s teammates also defended the goaltender. They cited their own poor defensive play and vowed to play better in front of him. 


NHL.COM: New Jersey Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald said his club will begin serious contract discussions with Timo Meier’s agent to sign the winger to a long-term contract. The 26-year-old winger is a restricted free agent on July 1 and is also a year away from unrestricted free-agent eligibility.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A sticking point is Meier’s salary. He’s coming off a four-year contract with an average annual value of $6 million but earned $10 million in actual salary this season. That’s how much it’ll cost the Devils to qualify his rights unless he and the club reach an agreement on a new contract before July 1.

NEW YORK POST: The Islanders will maintain its status quo in the front office and behind the bench for 2023-24. Lou Lamoriello will be back as general manager while Lane Lambert remains their head coach.

Lamoriello said he intends to prioritize signing key free agents such as Zach Parise, Scott Mayfield, Pierre Engvall and Semyon Varlamov. However, he suggested winger Josh Bailey’s 15-year tenure with the club may be coming to an end. Bailey, 33, has a year left on his contract with a cap hit of $5 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It appears that Lamoriello will attempt to trade Bailey, who lacks no-trade protection. Failing that, the Isles GM could buy out that remaining year before the buyout period ends on June 30.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: The Nashville Predators have announced their new ECHL partnership with the Atlanta Gladiators.

THE ATHLETIC: Speaking of Atlanta, there’s some talk that the NHL could one day try again to establish a franchise in that city. Two previous teams, the Flames and Thrashers, relocated to Calgary and Winnipeg respectively.

Bad rosters, poor ownership and an arena in a bad location were cited as reasons why the Thrashers failed during their 11-year tenure there. However, if those issues are addressed and accounted for, there could be another opportunity to put an NHL franchise there.

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly acknowledged the two previous failed attempts in Atlanta. However, he didn’t rule out the possibility of a third effort at making it work there. However, he indicated the issue of expansion will not be on the table during the league’s upcoming board of governors meeting.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The size of the Atlanta market and the potential money it could generate explains why the league won’t shut the door on returning there. It’s the same reason behind the NHL’s stubborn efforts to keep the Coyotes in Arizona.


  1. Hi Lyle

    Re “NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly acknowledged the two previous failed attempts in Atlanta but didn’t rule out the possibility of a third. ”

    I know what you meant here…. But it could be read as “a third (yet again) failed attempt”

    To me ….. Priority one…. Move Yotes

    Then…. If they are talking another relo (or expansion)…. Atlanta should be down the list (2nd GTA, Houston; QC; KC, SLC, even Halifax…..should all be ahead of Atl)

    • expansion brings owners checks, giant ones, not relo so it will be expansion there or anywhere no matter how badly the ill informed want what they want

      • Hi AHN

        Historically …. Yes…, expansion has brought in more than relo

        That said….. relo fees (as with expansion) are NOT cut in stone….variable; negotiable

        NHL could (won’t…. Because of Bettman) say to a GTA group…., we’ll move Yotes to become 2nd GTA team….. relo fees are $900 M…. GTA group does not hesitate cutting a cheque

        “New” franchise is effectively an expansion team; but already staffed up….

        Build a 20-22 K seat venue…. Sellouts of reg season tickets for 5 years….. gone within minutes of sales portal opening

        NOTE…. average ticket prices on those will be top 3 in league

        Owners split $900 M

        HRR skyrockets (from 4,600 relatively cheap avg ticket prices to 20-22 K at top 3 avg prices; massive increase in TV audience; massive increase in
        hockey merch; etc etc etc)

        Any HRR increase (and it would be huge going from Yotes barn to 2nd GTA arena)… is split between players (big increase to Cap) and owners

        So….. CAN it happen; and would it make everybody financially better than any other relo/expansion….. Yes it can

        Will it…… zero (absolute zero) chance ; with Bettman in the driver seat

        Not saying any other Commish would do it…. Unlikely

        But 100% for sure Bettman won’t

        As Ron McLean said to Gary on HNIC…. “You seem fully willing to go down swinging on this” (re keeping Yotes in Arz)…. Gary certainly did not appear to like that reality statement

        This is in no way any disrespect to those who are still Yotes fans (from your moniker, I’m assuming that includes you)… and I’m truly and humbly sorry for my posts re Yotes if they come across negatively towards Yotes

        My intention is soley to reflect what is truly best for hockey; for the NHL; for the players; for the fans; for the economy …… looking at it as a whole…. Yotes MUST move on to another State (or to Canada)

        The better good for the NHL as a whole

      • If you truly want what’s best for the nhl you don’t support another Canadian team.

      • Wouldn’t it be interesting to see how many of the current 25 U/S/-based franchises would survive if all present Canadian franchises pulled out – along with Canadian media coverage of course – and formed their own league, adding teams in Hamilton, Quebec, Halifax and Saskatchewan.

      • George about as good as the old USFL vs the NFL.Then the remaining owners replace the 7 teams with new ones and in 20 years nobody will remember the 7 who left like the WHL..Ain’t gonna happen.

      • Hi Chrisms

        I do want what’s best for the NHL

        Setting all politics aside…. The absolute best for the NHL; literally the absolute best for the NHL; short/mid/long term; and best by far…. Is another team in the GTA

        No ifs ands or buts

        I cede your concerns re Halifax and possibly QC

        There are zero concerns re a 2nd franchise in the GTA

        And any who think Leafs would suffer; aren’t realuzing that Leafs (with a cross town built in rival) actually gain

        And it’s not the minimal cost savings of 3 or 4 “road” games now still “home” games

        Waaay beyond that

        There is no other place to put a new franchise (or relocate an existing one to) that would benefit hockey, NHL, fans; owners; etc etc etc…., more than a 2nd GTA team….absolutely nowhere else

        Politics and one man alone have prevented this;

        The next best move is to Houston

        Atlanta; in no way; should be considered

    • Fixed, thanks Pengy

      • My sarcastic side would have sided with the way it was originally posted 😀


    • I’m with you on this Pengy. Atlanta’s first two attempts at hockey were miserable failures. No reason to believe a third would be any different. I can understand Bettman’s desire to spread the game to non-traditional cities, but common sense must still prevail. It’s not like there are no other options.

      • Absolutely

        Bettman and common sense parted ways years ago (single cite only , needed…. Desert Dogs)

        My heart would like a team in QC (and I’ve been in that arena…. Very nice). As a businessman…. Pure business decision…. Short/medium/long term…2nd GTA team

        Setting aside business logic and what makes mote money short/mid/long term; and setting aside politics etc etc

        The most logical next step…. Yotes permanently move to Houston (meaning earliest being 24/25 season) and 23/24 season home games spread out (say 1/2 in barn, the rest in western cities; already with arenas; that have larger seating capacity than the paltry 4,600 at the Desert Barn

  2. Re Prop deal…. win-win-loss (Jackets-Flyers-Kings) as at right now

    I’m guessing that Kings move was for space freed up (?)…. What was total space freed up?

    If Kings can’t re-up Gav…. IMHO; they lost on this deal

    • I’d say that the Kings won this trade from a hockey perspective. Due to the move they will be able to sign Gavrikov and maybe even korpisalo, both upgrades on what went out.
      Jackets have taken the biggest risk, they paid for a 2019 Prov not the 2023 Prov.

      • It could be a risk but the Jackets D is in sad shape.
        Plus the Kings are eating 30% of Provorov’s salary

    • I’d call it win (Philly), win (LA) and loss (Jackets). Provorov has never lived up to the expectations of being a 7th overall pick and in the Jackets blue line, isn’t likely to approach those expectations.

  3. Flyers acquiring a goalie from LA , does this mean Carter Hart will be traded ..

    Toronto is so wrapped up trying to sign Matthews , Tail wags the dog in Toronto , as Toronto cannot be proactive , as it might be a disturbance to Matthews thoughts moving forward …
    What a mess ..,

    • Ken can you show me how you connected the two and how it’s a mess?
      Hart to Montreal maybe?

      • Why do they need to be connected?

      • I don’t know Paul, maybe when someone’s makes one point about something then makes one not at all related or makes any sense, I’d like to know where that comes from.

        After reading so many comments of various quality, I didn’t know I required your permission to ask what I did. Like, do you visit this site to hear the latest crap regarding your Leafs or what? Actually never mind I don’t care.

  4. @ Ron Moore

    Treliving is at a standstill with having to deal with Matthews foremost .
    Obviously there is hesitancy on Matthews camp , as per Treliving ‘s plans
    Is he replacing the coach
    Is he trading my partner Mitch Marner ..

    The Leafs are already top heavy , let alone adding another 4 million to the payroll, this is not including resigning Nylander Matthews , Marner, Nylander , Tavares, Reilly equates to $65 million

    Leaving $27 million to fill out the roster of 14 more player

    Totally impossible

    Than another hurdle – Murray’s 4.8 million deal

    I just don’t know how you reshape this lineup ..
    Shanahan has informed his players his “core” will remain as before ???

    As per Carter Hart – I have always craved for him to be a Maple Leaf
    Put a decent team in front of him and see what he can do !!

  5. Correction !!!

    Leaving 17 Million dollars to fill out 14 other roster spots


    This is totally insane

    Robin, to the Batcave – We have a disaster on our hands !!!

  6. I feel like a big thing Briere wanted to do was minimize any more controversy. He’s coming into the job after high profile crap he son pulled, I think he would like a year without the anti-pride shadow over him.