NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 12, 2023

by | Jul 12, 2023 | News, NHL | 30 comments

Pierre-Luc Dubois believes he’s been misunderstood, Ed Belfour and Ken Hitchcock named to the Dallas Stars Hall of Fame, the Rangers re-sign K’Andre Miller, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines

NHL.COM: Pierre-Luc Dubois said he’s looking forward to the opportunity to fully be himself with the Los Angeles Kings. He was traded to the Kings on June 27 and signed an eight-year, $68 million contract with the club.

Dubois felt he’s been misunderstood at times stemming from his trade requests from the Jets and the Columbus Blue Jackets. He said he had “three unbelievable years in Columbus” and “three great years in Winnipeg,” the 25-year-old forward felt he was ready to move on and do what was right for him and his career. He believes he’ll get that opportunity with the Kings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dubois’ departure from Columbus and Winnipeg stoked the opinion among fans and pundits that he puts himself above his team. Nevertheless, he has the right to do what he believes is best for himself over the remainder of his playing career.

This move to the Kings could work out quite well for Dubois and his new teammates, so his tenures in his last two NHL cities will become footnotes to his career. On the other hand, if things go sideways and he requests a trade it will only feed the perception of Dubois as a selfish player.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Ed Belfour and Ken Hitchcock will be enshrined this season into the Dallas Stars Hall of Fame. Belfour backstopped the Stars to the 1999 Stanley Cup with Hitchcock as their head coach. Belfour was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2011 while Hitchcock will be inducted as a builder among the Class of 2023 in November.

New York Rangers defenseman K’Andre Miller (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s fair to say that the Stars wouldn’t have won the Stanley Cup without Belfour in goal and Hitchcock behind the bench.

NEW YORK POST: The Rangers signed defenseman K’Andre Miller to a two-year contract with an average annual value of $3.872 million. Miller, 23, is completing his entry-level contract and coming off a career-best 43-point season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers’ limited cap space for 2023-24 combined with Miller’s lack of arbitration rights made this bridge deal possible. It’s an affordable contract for Miller, who is quickly becoming a key part of the Blueshirts’ defense corps.

Miller will be in line for a more substantial raise on his next contract when the salary cap will be significantly higher. By that point, the Rangers should be able to pay him a more lucrative salary.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: The Canadiens signed forward Alex Newhook to a four-contract contract with an AAV of $2.9 million. Newhook, 22, was acquired from the Colorado Avalanche where he tallied 33 points in his rookie season (2021-22) and 30 points last season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A speedy forward who can play center or wing, Newhook saw checking-line minutes on a deep Avalanche roster. He could be skating on the second line with the rebuilding Canadiens. It’s an equitable contract that could become a real bargain if Newhook exceeds expectations.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: The Carolina Hurricanes signed Brendan Lemieux to a one-year, $800K contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes are adding more grit to their lineup after getting swept from the Eastern Conference Finals by the Florida Panthers. They signed winger Michael Bunting on July 1 to a three-year deal.

NASHVILLE HOCKEY NOW: The Predators signed winger Denis Gurianov to a one-year, $850K contract.

DAILY FACEOFF: The Arizona Coyotes signed defenseman Travis Dermott to a one-year, two-way contract worth $800K at the NHL level.

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks hired Brent Thompson and David Rook as assistant coaches to head coach Greg Cronin. Thompson is the former head coach of the New York Islanders AHL affiliate in Bridgeport. Rook spent five years as the goaltending development coach with the Nashville Predators.

TSN: The Ottawa Senators have parted ways with assistant general manager Trent Mann. The move comes a day after Anthony LeBlanc resigned as president of business operations. These changes come as the club completes an ownership change led by billionaire Michael Andlauer.

NEW YORK POST: The Philadelphia Flyers have issued an apology after members of their social media team were heard making disparaging remarks about a reporter’s question to new Flyers forward Garnet Hathaway during a live stream on Twitter.


  1. While I have no problem with PLD (or any other player) playing where he wants, I have a huuuuuuuuge problem with how he departed Columbus. He waited nearly until the season started to sign a new contract. Then, he pouted, whined and played without passion until Jarmo traded him. On the other hand, Jarmo got Laine out of the deal and Laine plays with passion.
    Have fun in La-la land, PLD, and have fun paying the highest taxes in the country.

    • He doesn’t care about taxes with that kind of money and the LA lifestyle. He’s finally living in one of the most desirable spots on earth. Plus he’s young and rich and doing what he likes to do for living. Compared to living in Winnapeg, Columbus and Montreal…. he kinda won the lottery. (not saying that the afore mentioned cities are bad, they are just not LA)

    • Paying higher taxes in sunny LA vs Columbus…ya, ill take that ticket to LA anyday of the week. He could careless about the taxes. Getting outta Ohio was the real deal.

    • Not only that he wouldn’t give a reason why he wanted out of Columbus. He has been misunderstood my butt. He wants to be himself in a team sport. 3 years from now where will he want to be himself. going to be hard to ditch 5 years at 8.5 for a guy that wants to be himself and hasn’t scored 30 goals in a season. Good luck LA

  2. Excellent signing by NYR and Miller. Not only does it give Miller a chance to cash in when Cap goes up, but it gives Rangers 2 more seasons to see if they want to commit long term. They’ll both be in a much better position in time as their higher priced players near end of deals and nmc’s are up. Laf is next and I think Drury is done until deadline.

    • How many offers did he spit on before accepting that one, I wonder?

      • Does Miller have some reputation of being difficult that I’m not aware of?

        It’s being reported that Miller and his camp did not seek offer sheets from other clubs.

        The negotiations have been pretty quiet on both Miller and Laffrienere. So your comment is a bit confusing?

        Doesn’t seem like this process had him spitting on anything.

      • Especially considering his lack of arbitration rights.

      • I believe he was referencing the fact that Miller spat on an opposing player not that long ago……not that he’d “spit” at an offer from Drury.

      • Sorry. I should have added “like he did on Drew Doughty”. There, better?

  3. The departures of Mann and LeBlanc from the Senators front office hardly comes as a surprise. It was suggested early on – once Andlauer won the bid – that he wanted to see some of his close associates with the Bulldogs (a team in the OHL he owns) installed.

    Yes, his “influence” isn’t supposed to be front and center until “official” league approval … but let’s face it, that’s a rubber stamp process … he’s calling the shots now in terms of who sits in the front office.

    And if his meeting with Daniel Alfredsson went well, you can expect him to be back in some official capacity.

    Which brings me to some extreme spitballing.

    Alfredsson and Karlsson are extremely close … and this morning Garrioch’s column quotes Dorion as saying he is not through making roster changes.

    So, it would not surprise me in the least to see a deal worked out with San Jose to bring him back to Ottawa … with Chabot going the other way. The difference in cap hits ($8 mil for Chabot – $11.5 mil for Karlsson – of $3.5 mil could easily be retained by SJ.

    Now, as I say, that’s spitballing in the extreme … would I, as a fan, like to see that? Hell no … but Andlauer seems like the type who can see the huge publicity impact of such a move and would not hesitate to authorize the move.

    The only saving grace would be that Karlsson would have his new “Mark Methot” protection in the form of Zub. On the down side, how would it go down with the likes of Tkachuk and Giroux?

    Or, maybe I’m way off the mark. But hey, if others can come up with some spectacular off-the-wall scenarios, why not join in? It is the “silly season.”

    • Hi George

      EK to Sens not outlandish; but there would be much more than Cabot going; and Grier is already entrenched with Canes and Pens on retention…. Seems media is pegging Grier (at least as at now) refusing to not budge off 20% max retention…. That’s EK coming over at $9.2 M

      There will be additional assets coming over as well

      What are your thoughts on total extras given up by Sens on top of Cabot?

      Right now I think Canes will win the bid; which then leaves easy path for Dubas and Pens…. Buyout Granlund; sign Duba …. No assets relinquished; AND although EK on Canes (Pens’ Div rival); they are weakened elsewhere in the assets given up

      • LOL. You’re kidding, right? If Grier demanded MORE than a 26 y/o Chabot – 5 years to go at $8 mil per – when he’ll still be younger than Karlsson is now – straight up for 33 y/o Karlsson … who would cost Ottawa $8 mil per for 4 more years when he’ll be 37 and no guarantees he’ll ever approach this season again – I think even Andlauer would say “see ya.”

      • Hi George

        I wasn’t devaluing Chabot ; and I don’t believe Sens should make the trade as it will cost more for sure than you are proposing (Cabot for EK @ 30% retained ($3.5 M Cap)….

        Grier will not take that swap at all

        $3.5 M Cap retention on EK is ~ 30%; he’s still owed $38 M

        30% of $38 M is $11.4 M

        Chabot has 5 years left at a total cash remaining of $46 M owed; total combined (Chabot plus EK retention) is $57.4 M cash

        So Grier would be getting Chabot for 5 years at a cash average AAV of $11.5 M per

        He, under no circumstances, does that trade

      • I’m with George, I’m not trading Chabot straight up for Karlsson.

        Ottawa building something very good. Don’t take that and blow it on a potential disaster.

      • Seems 30% will be the retainage or EK plays in SJ next season

      • I think chabot and next years first with some sort of lotto protection is fair. Chabot is already showing signs of not being worth his contract. Plus there’s the salary retention.

    • I would *way* rather have Chabot than EK. Chabot is just coming into his prime, whereas EK has most likely peaked. This past season was wonderful for him, but I highly doubt he can maintain that standard even for the upcoming year. Just my opinion of course.

      • I agree

  4. PLD…. Misunderstood…., we could say that re many players

    I think he’ll be s good fit for Kings

    Jets move forward with the “newbies”

    Great signing Blueshirts on Miller

    Ditto Habs (Newhook) and Predz (Gurianov)

    Dermott…. So sorry to hear that

    To Ken and Aunt Sally’s Nephew (Frank)

    Just read your posts from yesterday re our beloved Blue ‘n White

    For sure a move must be made

    Re-upping both (WW & AM); even after next year’s Cap raise; will have 4 Fwds taking up around 53%-55% of Cap (right now just shy of 1/2)…. So worse than this year; and previous years… and we still can’t get to the Conference finals let alone to SCF; or winning it all

    I love the idea if moving one to net D improvement…. Balance the Cap around the team and not top heavy on forwards. Great idea.

    Setting aside my disdain for Trouba…. I can’t see Rangers biting and giving up both Miller and Trouba; AND the offers are heavily favoured to Leafs

    I really think the move is with Krakken….

    Either WW straight up for Oleksiak (The Big Rig); where Leafs get a solid and huge (biggest player in the NHL) and save Cap space…. Or


    AM (who would be the face of their [Krakken] franchise; next Captain; premier scorer; and who would sign long term at that highly beneficial no state tax great take-home rate…. Plus Laff (Cap balancin) For….

    The Big Rig
    Tanev (50% retained)

    Yes this means JT moves to 1C; McC @ 2C

    Balanced lines …. More like 1A 1B lines

    Production coming in is much greater than just AM’s leaving :

    Last year combined 66-65-131 (replacing AMs /Laff’s 52-58-110)

    Tons of grit coming over

    $1.5 M net Cap savings (plus 3 in; 2 out; so a roster player must drop…. So actual net Cap savings at least $2.3 M)

    Buyout Murray (the deadcap next year now well more than covered in moving AM as his raise would have been that or more)…. Saving another $4M

    That’s $6.3 M net savings

    The multi-player deals are great; do work( but are rare)….

    WW for the Big Rig is easiest

    • 🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄

    • Like I say elsewhere … it IS the Silly Season.

    • Pengy, These trade proposals make absolutely zero sense for the Leafs.
      I don’t know on what planet Oleksiak is anywhere close to the value of Nylander.

      How you feel that JT is 1C on a serious contender is beyond me.

  5. It seems this comment follows every player who is signing a short term (1-2 year) deal right now: “[Player] will be in line for a more substantial raise on his next contract when the salary cap will be significantly higher.”
    Problem is, in 2 years there are going to be dozens of players on every team fighting for more of that cap increase and there isn’t going to be enough to go around to satisfy all these players who think they will cash-in in 2024 or 2025.
    Should be fun to watch!

    • A player like Miller is going to get a big raise when his next contract expires in 2025. The salary cap is projected to reach $92 million for 2025-26. Miller will get a big payday.

      • I’m not doubting he will get a good raise. I thought he might get at least a 6x$6M now, but Rangers can’t fit it.
        If cap goes to $92M in 2 years, that is about $7M more than current. But I would expect Igor to eat up at least $4-$5M of that as his next contract is due too. Kakko is due that same year. Lafrenierre will probably be due too if he signs a 2 year.
        My only point is that $7M isn’t going to be enough for everyone to cash in. The cap might be going up, but it also may be spent on other players first.

      • Lyle, for certain as Miller had more goals, assists,TOI and better +/- than Trouba who makes $8m per yr, so Drury being lucky this time on the cheap, but next contract Miller starts at $8m.

    • Correct that ~$4m cap bump isn’t a windfall increase probably $175k on per player a 23 man roster. The high end talent will get more but the bottom six will barely notice the increase.

  6. What was PLD misunderstood about? Why couldn’t he be himself in Columbus or Winnipeg?

    I will say this about PLD, i did not witness him quieting on the Jets; good on him, as that would have decreased his value and potential trade destination.

    But i don’t see anything that he was misunderstood about, he been clear from day one, he wasn’t staying in Winnipeg.

  7. I thought Dubios wanted to play for Montreal???