NHL Morning Coffee Headlines and Rumors – July 25, 2023

by | Jul 25, 2023 | News, NHL, Rumors | 49 comments

The Stars sign GM Jim Nill to a contract extension, the Hurricanes sign Tony DeAngelo plus the latest speculation on the Leafs, Rangers and Coyotes in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines and Rumors


THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Stars signed general manager Jim Nill to a two-year contract extension. He is entering his 11th season with the Stars and became the first general manager in franchise history to win the Jim Gregory General Manager of the Year award last season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nill did a fine job rebuilding the Stars in his early years, weathering some difficult times and bringing in young talent such as Jason Robertson, Roope Hintz and Jake Oettinger. They reached the Stanley Cup Final in 2020 and the Western Conference Final last season.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: The Carolina Hurricanes have brought back Tony DeAngelo, signing the puck-moving defenseman to a one-year, $1.675 million contract.

DeAngelo, 27, played for the Hurricanes in 2021-22 and was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers last summer, who signed him to a two-year contract worth an average annual value of $5 million. However, the Flyers bought out the final year of his contract earlier this month, making him an unrestricted free agent.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: DeAngelo played a better-disciplined game during his first tenure with the Hurricanes which explains why the Hurricanes brought him back. They had a trade in place with the Flyers earlier this month to acquire him with the latter retaining half of his cap hit but the deal was rejected on a CBA technicality.

The Hurricanes were reportedly among the teams interested in acquiring San Jose Sharks blueliner Erik Karlsson. Signing DeAngelo likely takes them out of the Karlsson sweepstakes.

THE ATHLETIC: Joe Smith reports the Minnesota Wild and goaltender Filip Gustavsson could be headed to arbitration to resolve his contract situation. Gustavsson, 25, is coming off a two-year contract with an AAV of $787,500. He filed for arbitration and his hearing date is Aug. 4.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gustavsson and the Wild will make their respective contract submissions to the arbitrator 48 hours prior to his scheduled hearing.

CAP FRIENDLY: Speaking of arbitration, Gustavsson is among eight players with hearings scheduled from July 30 (Arizona’s Jack McBain and Boston’s Jeremy Swayman) to Aug. 4 (Gustavsson, Edmonton’s Ryan McLeod, Pittsburgh’s Drew O’Connor and the New York Rangers’ Brandon Scanlin).

Toronto Maple Leafs winger William Nylander (NHL Images).

Others include Boston’s Trent Frederic (Aug. 1) and Anaheim’s Troy Terry.


TORONTO SUN: Steve Simmons believes the Maple Leafs cannot afford to pay William Nylander the $9 million to $10 million annual cap hit that he’s seeking on his next contract. It’s still less than what John Tavares, Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner are currently making.

Simmons doubts the Leafs will get anything close to equal value for Nylander in a trade. He recommends letting the 27-year-old winger play out the final year of his contract and then let him walk via free agency. Simmons argues the Leafs could use the money they would’ve paid Nylander to put toward “all kinds of possibilities for roster movement” between now and next July.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The latest reports on Nylander’s contract negotiations claim they’re not going well with the two sides far apart.

General manager Brad Treliving went through a similar situation in 2021-22 with winger Johnny Gaudreau while GM of the Calgary Flames. He hoped to re-sign Gaudreau but wound up watching the winger depart for Columbus as a free agent last summer.

That’s sparked speculation that Treliving won’t go through the same thing with Nylander. Others, meanwhile, share Simmons’ belief that they should retain him this season as the Leafs chase the Stanley Cup, let him walk next summer and use the cap room to bolster their depth elsewhere.

It’ll be interesting to see how Treliving addresses this. While he won’t get equal value for Nylander in the trade market, he could get a couple of promising young players in return who could blossom into future stars. However, if the “Shanaplan” remains pursuing the Stanley Cup this season, they’ll likely keep Nylander and watch him depart as a free agent next July.

TSN: Travis Yost considers the contract buyout possibilities for the Maple Leafs in the wake of Ilya Samsonov’s contract award via arbitration on Sunday.

With the Leafs now well over the $83.5 million salary cap, Yost believes a buyout is coming before their second buyout window closes barring a cost-cutting trade. He suggests oft-injured goaltender Matt Murray or defenseman T.J. Brodie as candidates, though buying out the latter could hurt their efforts to be a Cup contender this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yost also points out that the Leafs could place Murray on long-term injury reserve. However, they would have to be salary-cap compliant once he’s ready to return to the lineup. Of course, if injuries have ended his playing career they can place him on LTIR and buy out Brodie or someone else.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks recently noted an unusually large number of free agents remain unsigned. He wondered how many of them would accept one-year contracts or tryout offers and if the Rangers might be able to tap into that low-cost pool to fill out their roster.

Among the notables that Brooks listed were Max Comtois, Jesse Puljujarvi, Zack Kassian, Anders Bjork, Colin White, Danton Heinen, Austin Watson, Cal Foote and Ethan Bear.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Puljujarvi might not be able to play until much later in the coming season. He underwent double hip surgery and faces a long recovery period.

GOPHNX.COM: In his latest mailbag segment, Craig Morgan was asked about why the Arizona Coyotes didn’t trade Nick Schmaltz this summer given how backloaded his contract was. Morgan believes they’re willing to absorb that cost given their shift to improving year over year as well as Schmaltz’s chemistry with high-scoring winger Clayton Keller.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Morgan believes Keller wouldn’t have been very happy if Schmaltz was traded. He tied the franchise single-season points record (86) in 2022-23 with Schmaltz as his linemate.

Morgan was also asked about the trade rumors that swirled about Coyotes goaltender Karel Vejmelka. While they’re always willing to listen to offers, management hasn’t put Vejmelka on the trade block.


  1. Having my morning Coffee & came across this in a couple of places … Bruins interested in a Noah Hanifin and forward Elias Lindholm deal and how crazy would that be when both were traded to the Flames together….What goes back is the issue . Flames really don’t need a goalie …Would a DeBrusk…Carlo..Grez work …both Flames players are UFA after coming season so would need contracts … DeBrusk & Grez Bruins side would need contracts … Carlo would be nice trade leverage because he has 4 years left on contract .. the players ages work , for this year it would give the Bruins a little more cap if trade is made ..It’s a very interesting trade

    • Not going to happen but I would love to see it being a long-time Bruins fan. The Bruins would have to send Ullmark somewhere else and find a taker for Forborg and then possible extensions could take place. The Bergeron situation and the Flames situation- they may try to extend Lindholm themselves-will also complicate such a move.

      • Patrice just announced his retirement btw

    • Maybe Debrusk and Mason Lohrei ? I dont see the Flames being interested in Carlo.. I think the Flames would rather like having a young and NHL ready D as Lohrei in retrun of a Hanifin who is in is prime and still young at 26. I didn’t check how this would work out cap wise though

      • Carlo was for the $$$ to work

  2. Do the Coyotes not recognize the Winnipeg era as far as records??

  3. Not sure why Toronto would just hold Nylander and let him walk. I could see if they were starved for offense, but they aren’t. Flip him now for a legit goalie, maybe some shut down D, and grit on the wing. That would give them a better shot of winning the Cup now rather than just running him out there again trying to outscore everyone.

    • agree. Nylander for a 20 minute a night defenseman around the same age etc makes more sense for the Leafs.
      The fantasy hockey trade of Nylander for Hanifin would be in Calgarys favor imho and cant see Willy not having the Flames on his 10 team list.
      I actually like Ristolainen more than most with his skillset but Briere knows Willy wont want to play for Torts. Seth Jones?

      • also how will the Canes dress their D?
        they are very heavy on the left side right now…. can orlov play the right side?

      • You’ve got Burns/Pesce/Chatfield on the right, Slavin/Skjei/Orlov or the left.

        In (my) perfect work DeAngelo is your 7th D or PP2 specialist. I could see them dressing 7D regularly.

        If Pesce goes as rumored, then DeAngelo moves up to the 3rd pair.

      • @whalercane
        Which leftie gets 3rd pair minutes? They signed Orlov for more than 12 minutes a night. or just luxury of D to try to win the Cup this season?

      • Orlov played both sides in Boston depending who else was in the lineup.

        That is one great D core, wow.

      • …..Which leftie gets 3rd pair minutes?

        Excellent question, ds, for which I have no answer.

        Pretty good problem to have, though.

      • Carolina signed Orlov because either Pesce or Skjei is going to be traded before the season starts. None of Carolina’s current left handed D is being paid to play third D. Im assuming Chatfield will be paired with DeAngelo on the third pair and one of them will play their off side, which Carolina typically tries to avoid.

        Carolina should extend Chatfield while he is affordable.

    • Youre both assuming there’s a trade out there to be had, one that suits the Leafs… but we know and are told that it will be impossible or unrealistic that the Leafs (or any team when dealing a star players) would come out “winners” in any deal so why take the loss when IF he walks at the end of next season and doesn’t resign, well you now will have a hole in your top six plus all his cap space to make changes you’ll need to make during the offseason when it’s easier and no pressure.
      I don’t know and like I’ve been saying, there are no quick and easy fixes to a complicated problem which involves more than one piece that will solve it. Sometimes you need to take a step back before you can move forward again.

  4. @ Foleyd7 and other interested parties on the Nylander front

    Scary thoughts , I was worried when I saw the return on the Debrincat trade

    Similar players, with Nylander more of an up sell

    Islanders have been offering squat , I thought a Calgary swap would be ideal , as that team has their issues of their own , but supposedly Hanifin wants to go to a US team ..

    Trade for prospects sure , but there is a glaring hole on right wing

    I am not sure who is available on next years free agency , easy enough to find out , just dip into that pool and seek a out another Tyler Bertuzzi type , as per Konechny in Philadelphia would be ideal if he is available

    I know Tom Wilson will be available !

    It’s pretty much a given , I think Toronto will run its course with Nylander unless Treliving pulls a rabbit out of his hat

    Brodie and Murray will be bought out , maybe bring in Dumba , whom they previously kicked tires on . I think Dumba is waiting on the Leafs anyways to clear cap space ?

    • Ken, why would the Leafs buy out Murray and TJ?
      It makes zero sense.

      Brodie’s buyout would cost $2.5 million this year and next year. Zero actual cap savings. A little wiggle room for the upcoming season, but then the Leafs are handcuffed in 2024-25 with $4.5 million in dead cap space. In such a scenario, how does AM34 get re-signed?

      Much better to just trade Brodie with 50% retained. Cap cost in 2023-24 is still $2.5 million, but zero in the following year. Plus, Leafs would also acquire some type of asset (pick / prospect).

  5. Bergeron just announced his retirement.

  6. Bergeron announced his retirement.

    I thought for sure he play one more season.

    Congrats on your retirement Bergy, you are the definition of classy.

    Great team player and leader.

    • Ya, end of an era Caper.

      I thought he was retiring, it sure seemed like it when you saw him and Marchand after the series ended. Most of the reporting around the team suggested that during the season, that it just felt like this was the last kick at the can for him. That was the mood in the room.

      Plus, have you ever seen the B’s go that hard acquiring pending UFA’s to go for it? Seems like the organization knew it was likely as well.

      Stick tap to Bergy.

      • And to think the Habs, perpetually in search of centres, could have drafted Bergeron. Instead they drafted Andrei Kostitsyn. What a blunder.

        Best wishes to a talented and classy guy.

    • Caper. So did I. He will be missed by Bruins big time. 46 will announce retirement shortly aswell I assume. Will be tough year ahead. But with lots of cap space to reload next year is a slight piece of good news for them. I think if DeBrusk asks for more then Bruins are willing to go he will be moved at deadline day to restock the cupboard a little along with most any other ufa s they can move

      • I doubt the Bruins sign Jake to another contract he’s over 4 million now probably going to want 5-6 million with 4-5 years … either trade him now in a package for a legit #1 center or move him at trade deadline ..

    • As a Habs fan, Patrice was still one of my favorite players in the NHL. Not because he is a francophone, just because he is Patrice. Great player and Beliveau style class. See him soon in the Hockey hall of fame

  7. Don’t forget Lindholm and Hanifin return was Hamilton and Fox. Can’t remember the other pieces
    DeBrusk and Carlo for Hanifin and a decently rated prospect and a later round pick
    I do recall Hanifin wants a US destination otherwise a Toronto trade involving Nylander makes the most sense

    • That’s a big overpay for Hanafin IMO S7. He is a UFA next season and reportedly won’t sign an extension. So, the team trading for him has all the leverage, not Calgary.

      Carlo is an excellent, right shot, 2nd pair, shut down D because he is big, smart with the puck and can move. Not as good as Hanifin offensively, but he is also signed for the next 4 years at a reasonable # and the same age at 26. Hanifin is a good player, but we’re not talking about Hedman here.

      Pending UFA who can pick his spot next year, vs a proven quality 2nd pair D man signed on a good deal for 4 years?

      I may have just argued that Carlo alone is an overpay?

      • Not really Ray, reason is Bruins are not the only team interested in him. So no Carlo is not a overpayment, maybe not enough to match another team’s offer, and because of that, Flames might ask for a yound NHL ready D combined with a bad contract. As I wrote higher that player they might ask for may well be Mason Lohrei..

        Anyways, I think the B’s should put their efforts on finding a center first.

      • I guess the question Mike is, will Hanifin sign with the team trading for him long term? If not a commitment then you are trading 4 years of Carlo for 1 year of Hanifin. That’s a flat out no from Boston’s end, I think we can all agree on that.

        If he can pick anywhere he wants to go after this season, then safe to say he will do what DeBrincat did and go where he wants to go, which was close to his family in Michigan. So Yzerman knowing that low balled OTT and OTT eventually took it.

        Would OTT give that same package to BOS for Carlo? I think in a minute they would, but BOS wouldn’t accept it as Carlo is in his prime and signed on a good deal for 4 years.

        I have no idea if Hanifin wants to be close to his family, but he is from Boston.

        Hence Calgary has no leverage, whichever team it might be and won’t get equal value for Hanifin, just like Toronto won’t for Nylander. At least IMO.

        Unless they wait until the trade deadline, which has it’s own issues.

      • Okay, I understand now, makes a whole lot of sense 🙂

        What do you think of the idea of them acquiring Mark Scheiffle ? Patrice Bergeron was talking about how you have to have a good attitude to be a Bruin. Do you think they would straight him up ? ‘Cause statistically and hockey wise he would be a very good addition to keep up with the Leafs

    • Silverseven, I wouldn’t give up Carlo for Hanifin.

      What makes you think he is worth all of that?

      • 3 concussions and counting for Carlo. Limited offensive abilities. Hanifin 4 th overall pick and mobile Straight up not enough in my opinion . He stated not resigning in Calgary. No mention of testing free agency

  8. I’ll repeat it one more time. My advice to any aspiring hockey player would be this:
    If you want to know how to play the game, just watch Patrice Bergeron.
    One of the all-time greats.

  9. Thanks #37 …. It was a joy

  10. Bruins are going to need a #1 center …

  11. Re; Tony DeAngelo

    Thats Very Smart move by the Carolina gettting RD man on a low contract @$1.675M…👍

    Now they can move RD man Brett Pesce for a Scoring winger like the leafs William Nylander or Philly’s Travis Konecny

    Last season with the Can’s DeAngelo had 51 points in 64 games he could get more if he played a full season like 65-70 points❗️

    • I am very pleased with this move. Now let’s get off the Karlsson chatter. I will assume Pesce will be traded. Not sure I like that but someone has to go and I don’t think Carolina is going to pay what he is probably asking….if he’s even asking. I sure wish hockey season would hurry up and get here.

  12. September 2003 I watched Patrice Bergeron-Cleary play in a pre-season game in Halifax. He was just drafted, and a bit of a long shot to make the team. He was just one of several Bruin prospects I was watching. I noted pluses and minus of their respective play, and I could not see any weaknesses in his play, which was pretty incredible for an 18 year old. He did not have any true spectacular highlight reel moments, but I came away really impressed with very solid play. I believe he had an assist on a goal by Glen Murray. From that point on I have been nothing except fortunate to watch his play for the Bruins. Thanks Patrice. The game was made a better place with your presence, and we the hockey fans were the beneficiary.

  13. Bergeron retires, Scheifele’s value just went up. Scheifele/Stanley for Swayman/Frederic/Carlo. Then trade Hellybuyck and get another on the cusp center (Buffalo’s got a few)

  14. Bergeron retires, Scheifele’s value just went up. Scheifele/Stanley for Swayman/Frederic/Carlo. Then trade Hellybuyck and get another on the cusp center (Buffalo’s got a few). Chevy’s work is done.

    • Such a good move, I thought I’d mention it twice.

      • Solid no from the Bruins on that one. Swayman for Scheifele straight up maybe.

      • Swayman for Scheifle with 1 million retained
        and Hellybuck for Mercer.

        That would make the Jets near future look much better imho

  15. SS 4th overall pick, doesn’t mean over pay for his services.

    Carlo has 4 season remaining at $4.1 excellent shut down dman.

    Hanifin is a ufa at season end. This would be a terrible move by Sweeney; unless Hanifin signs.

    I don’t have Hanifin in the top 15 of a re-draft.

  16. @ Hammer of the gods above

    I am grasping at straws trying to piece this lineup together

    U R right , this buyout option isn’t necessarily a saviour …

    Something has to give , especially in order for an upgrade to the defence core

  17. is DeBrusk/Grez/Forbort enough for E Lindholm/Hanifin ……all involved UFA next offseason… my thinking probably not

  18. As a Leaf fan, I am one happy camper re Bergeron retiring

    Great player, great leader, great career


    Congrats on a fantastic career from Jr., internationally and as an NHLer….enjoy retirement…. See you in the not so distant future as a first ballot HHoFer

  19. Tre…. Seeing as the window only allies one buyout per elected Arb…. Buy out Murray…. Save $4 M this year

    Makes you $8.4 M over, with Muzzin LTIR… effectively $2.8 over

    Move WW for a 2nd pairing D-Man with Cap hit no greater than $5M; send (to the Marlies; either Homberg or Robertson)…. Gets Leafs at 22 (of 23) on roster; just under Cap

    • Ken, Pengy has the solution.

      1. Buyout Murray, save $4 million, but get hit with $2 million penalty next year. Tre can just blame Dubas.

      2. Trade Nylander for Pesce and there’s another $2.9 million.

      3. Trade Brodie for futures. Even if 50% retained, Leafs knock off another $2.5 million.

      Opening Night Roster Changes.

      Bunting, Nylander and Kerfoot replaced with
      Bertuzzi, Domi and Knies

      Muzzin, Brodie, Holl replaced with
      McCabe, Klingberg and Pesce

      Murray out, Woll in.

      • Hammer if the gods

        I l REALLY Like this strategy … U and Pengy are always interesting , informative on here

        Something is going to break with Pesce , 4 Sure – Hopefully Toronto is his destination !!!

        Brodie, with 50% retained is definitely inviting ..

        1 small issue is signing Pesce next season , will he want more than 7-8 million/ year ?!?!?!