NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 8, 2023

by | Jun 8, 2023 | News, NHL | 15 comments

Updates on the Golden Knights and Panthers ahead of Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final, the finalists for the King Clancy Trophy are announced, the Kings re-sign Vladislav Gavrikov, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines


LAS VEGAS SUN: The Vegas Golden Knights’ blueline depth is a key reason why they’re just two wins away from becoming Stanley Cup champions. Defensemen such as Alex Pietrangelo, Shea Theodore, Alec Martinez and Zach Whitecloud have played significant roles in their club’s success thus far in this postseason.

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: The Golden Knights’ discipline has also been a crucial part of their 2-0 series lead over the Panthers. “Our guys are veteran enough that they can keep their cool and composure,” said Vegas coach Bruce Cassidy. “It’s easy to retaliate and get your instant gratification. But to hold it in takes a lot more.”

Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alex Pietrangelo (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Leadership and experience made the difference for Vegas in the first two games of this Stanley Cup Final. They have a roster with several stars who’ve been here before and know what it takes. They’re not perfect – Pietrangelo received a one-game suspension in the second round for his lumberjack slash on Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl – but they’ve learned from their mistakes.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: Panthers defenseman Brandon Montour had a busy couple of days between Games 1 and 2 of the Stanley Cup Final. Following the first game, he rushed home to Florida to be with his wife as she gave birth to their son. He then returned to Las Vegas to suit up for Game 2.

DAILY FACEOFF: Panthers head coach Paul Maurice said Sergei Bobrovsky will be his club’s starting goalie for Game 3 tonight. Defenseman Radko Gudas will be in the lineup despite leaving Game 2 with an undisclosed injury and skipping practice on Wednesday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As long as Gudas can skate he’s going to play for the Panthers in this series. The question is how effective the rugged blueliner will be. His injury could hamper his performance, making him less of a physical presence.


NHL.COM: Calgary Flames center Mikael Backlund, New York Islanders captain Anders Lee, and Edmonton Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse are the finalists for the King Clancy Memorial Trophy. The award honors the player “who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community.”

LA HOCKEY NOW: The Los Angeles Kings signed defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov to a two-year contract worth an average annual value of $5.875 million. This signing came less than 24 hours after the Kings traded Cal Petersen and Sean Walker to the Philadelphia Flyers to free up salary-cap space.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gavrikov was slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. He was a solid addition to the Kings’ defense core after being acquired from Columbus at the March trade deadline. It’s believed the Gavrikov camp wanted the short-term deal in order to capitalize on a much higher salary cap in two years’ time.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: The Blackhawks signed Andreas Athanasiou to a two-year contract extension with an AAV of $4.25 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Athanasiou reached 20 goals and 40 points this season for the second time in his career. Like Gavrikov, he was due to become a UFA on July 1.

The 28-year-old forward indicated his desire to stay with the rebuilding Blackhawks during his end-of-season interview. While the Hawks are focused on stocking their roster with promising young talent, they need veterans like Athanasiou in the lineup to mentor those players.

MLIVE.COM: The Detroit Red Wings hope to re-sign pending UFAs Pius Suter and Alex Chiasson. Their other unrestricted free agents (Adam Erne, Alex Nedeljkovic, Robert Hagg, Jordan Oesterle, Mark Pysyk, Gustav Lindstrom and Magnus Hellberg) are not expected to return.

STLTODAY.COM: The St. Louis Blues hope to have replacements for fired assistant coaches Mike Van Ryn and Craig MacTavish before the 2023 NHL Draft in Nashville on June 28-29.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Popular TV color commentator Darren Pang is reportedly heading to Chicago to join the Blackhawks broadcast team after 14 seasons calling Blues games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Panger would say, “Holy jumpin’!” Best of luck to him in his new gig.

DAILY FACEOFF: The AHL announced its inaugural Top Prospects Team for 2022-23. It includes the Iowa Wild’s Jesper Wallstedt in goal, the Utica Comets’ Simon Nemec and the Cleveland Monsters’ David Jiricek, and the Lehigh Valley Phantoms’ Tyson Foerster, the Rochester Americans’ Jiri Kulich and the Rockford IceHogs’ Lukas Reichel at forward.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to their promising youngsters. They’re all projected to have bright futures with their respective NHL clubs.


  1. I am not sure of the Wings desire to sign Suter or Chiasson. Their forwards group is already pretty crowded without them, and Detroit could be in the market for a center. If they did sign either of them, it might be to a 2 way contract, and both are probably looking for something better.

  2. Reports throughout the season until the All Star game was that Gavrikov wanted a longer term than the Jackets wanted to give. His new contract shows that those reports were in error (to be polite). Now, it looks like the Jackets could have kept Gavrikov for just a little more than what they’re going to be paying Provorov. Add in the questionable and fairly unpopular hiring of Babcock makes me wonder what Kekalainen thinks he’s doing and smacks of desperation.

    • I assume the gentleman is Russian and it is not uncommon for those players to want to go to a city with a larger sub population of fellow countrymen. I assume la might have a bit more flavor in that regard. So maybe he wasn’t going to resign with Columbus so he could test fa to pick a certain location like a la or ny.

      • Provorov is Russian, too. As are Marchenko, Chinakov, Tarosov and Voronkov. While Columbus, the city, doesn’t have an actual Russian community, there are few teams with as many Russians on their NHL roster. Plus, Gavvy was extremely popular with his teammates and Jackets fans, whereas Provorov is somewhat divisive.
        Sure, Gavvy would probably enjoy being in a city with a Russian community as LA does, but that doesn’t explain why he signed a 2 year contract when, no doubt, the Kings would have given him a 7 or 8 year contract. Which indicates that he’s more interested in $$ and could have received the same contract from the Jackets instead of being traded away for next to nothing.

      • Paul the two year deal might be more a tell-tale sign that he wanted more money and it’s no surprise that the cap will jump a lot more than a million in two years just in time to resign a nicer bigger number for more term than something now that will be smaller.

        He’s basically banking on himself to get that bigger contract in two years. I don’t think it has anything else than maximizing his contract value. Risky? Yes. Smart? Maybe. You have to wonder if more players are going to be looking at short deals for now until the cap gets its proper bump in two years and teams are more willing to make bigger deals.

      • I was gonna respond with what Ron said about the cap. And all those Russians you list wernt ufas? So they don’t have the choice. It’s just a theory but I know it’s happened before.

      • You both miss my point. I’ll try, again. Blue Jackets fans were told Gavvy had to be traded before the deadline because he wanted a contract of more than the two years Jarmo wanted to give him. Now, Gavvy has signed a 2 year contract with LA.
        Does that make the contradiction clear or do I have to dumb it down further?

      • I think you need to dumb it down some more because we are obviously imbeciles. Duh.

    • Provorov may be unpopular/divisive, but I think he’s probably better than Gavrikov.

  3. To STL:

    Alex DeBrincat
    Alex Forminton
    Anton Forsberg

    To OTT:

    Jake Neighbors
    Tyler Pitlick
    Jordan Binnington a million a year retained (if he agrees to waive his NMC)

    • I’ll take pipe dreams for $200, Alex.

    • I don’t want Binnington anywhere near the Sens. Emery part 2? No thanks.

  4. PLD has officially requested a trade and has stated he will NOT sign any contract with the Peg.
    We all knew this diva would do something like this! 🤨😕

    • I think calling him a diva is a bit immature…it’s like he wants to move on and is telling you so there’s no surprises and you don’t like him to so you call him a diva?

      I would think you’d say something like, now that he’s made it official, do the Habs swoop in before he gets traded to a team he might want to stay with, a team not in the middle of a rebuild?

      As for any ideas of he lowered his value BS by asking for a trade or letting everyone know he’s not resigning just doesn’t remember that when teams trade a star player, any team, any star, at any time/condition, they rarely get equal value in return. At this stage, Winnipeg might be best to get whatever they can for him to aid in their rebuild or re-tool.

      • You do know why diva Dubious is in Winnipeg, don’t you?