NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 18, 2023

by | Jul 18, 2023 | News, NHL | 14 comments

Connor Bedard signs his entry-level contract with the Blackhawks, Ross Colton inks a four-year deal with the Avalanche, Anton Stralman is no fan of today’s NHL, and more in today’s Morning Coffee Headlines.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Chosen first overall by the Blackhawks in the 2023 NHL Draft, Connor Bedard celebrated his 18th birthday on Monday by signing his three-year entry-level contract.

Chicago Blackhawks prospect Connor Bedard (NHL.com).

The deal earns Bedard a maximum average annual value on entry-level deals of $950K. However, he could earn up to $4.45 million annually in performance bonuses.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bedard is the most highly touted prospect since Connor McDavid was drafted first overall by the Edmonton Oilers in 2015. He’s also the latest first-rounder in this year’s draft class to sign their entry-level contract, bringing that number up to nine thus far.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: The Avalanche avoided arbitration with Ross Colton by signing him to a four-year, $16 million contract with an average annual value of $4 million. The Avalanche acquired the 26-year-old forward from the Tampa Bay Lightning on June 28.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Colton is coming off a two-year contract with an AAV of $1.125 million. He’s also getting a full no-trade clause for 2024-25 and a modified no-trade for the final two seasons. This deal is a significant raise for Colton and an indication of how highly Avalanche management thinks of him. He could be slated for a larger role than the third-line spot he filled with the Lightning.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Anton Stralman is not a fan of how his NHL career ended because of the salary cap. “It’s not a dream employer regarding how you are treated and all that; it is a cut-throat business,” said the 37-year-old defenseman, who will play this season with HV71 in the Swedish Hockey League.

Stralman also cited the “difficult dynamic” of balancing a family with his NHL career. “No, there is no glamor in it really. It’s hard work and no glamor at all in being an NHL player.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stralman is coming off a 16-season NHL career, tallying 293 points in 938 career regular-season games with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Columbus Blue Jackets, New York Rangers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Florida Panthers, Arizona Coyotes and Boston Bruins.

There’s no question that it took a lot of hard work for Stralman to maintain a long NHL career. The movement involved in playing for seven teams combined with the games away from home would be stressful for his family. Nevertheless, the money Stralman earned during his NHL career should provide him some measure of comfort. Cap Friendly indicates his total career earnings at over $47 million.

NYI HOCKEY NOW: Islanders winger Oliver Wahlstrom has signed his qualifying offer. It’s a one-year contract worth $875,125.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It had been reported that Wahlstrom had rejected his QO from the Islanders when there was no indication that he’d accepted it by Saturday’s 5 pm ET deadline. However, there was no deadline for the club to make the announcement.

TSN: Ondrej Kase has signed with HC Verva Litvinov in Czechia. He’d played 258 NHL games with the Anaheim Ducks, Bruins, Leafs and Carolina Hurricanes, netting 124 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A series of injuries, including concussions, derailed Kase’s once-promising NHL career.

WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets avoided arbitration with forward Morgan Barron as they agreed to a two-year contract with an AAV of $1.35 million.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Martin Kaut has decided to play for HC Dynamo Pardubice in the Czechia Extraliga rather than re-signing with the San Jose Sharks. He claimed that, during his tenure with the Sharks AHL affiliate, their coaches encouraged him to fight opponents as a way of getting into the NHL. The Sharks released a statement denying Kaut’s claim.

CBC NEWS: Nike announced it will permanently end its sponsorship of Hockey Canada in the wake of its handling of a high-profile alleged group sexual assault case.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Losing a major sponsor like Nike should be a major shot across the bow for Hockey Canada to get its act together and address its toxic culture.

As the report noted, it had used money drawn from player registration fees to quietly pay $8.9 million to 21 complainants since 1989. The entire board of directors and CEO all resigned last fall following months of public scrutiny.

The results of an NHL investigation into the alleged sexual assault involving members of Canada’s 2018 World Junior team are expected to be released this month. Several of those players may have gone on to NHL careers.


  1. Reading that Karlsson won’t waive to go to the Canes and that he hates Brett Burns………. 🤔

    • What a stunning admission by Karlson. LOL. They’re both alphas. They both want the icetime and the puck. They both had terrible seasons together and fantastic bounce back seasons once separated. Why Carolina is even rumored to be thinking about reuniting them is baffling. Now, putting him with the Penguins and Letang seems like a similar set up but Letang is more of a similar style to Karlsson maybe with a tad more defensive upside. It might work if you paired them both up with stud defenders to cover their asses as they push the puck up the ice.

    • Where did you read this? i’ve heard the same thing but haven’t seen it in print.

  2. poor Anton made 40mil playing a game…. first world problems kids, first world problems. Most jobs are cut throat and don’t pay near what a rookie makes…. in the AHL nevermind in the NHL.

    • F#@k Stralman! Try working any REAL job and balancing a family and maybe earning 50k/yr. He made 47M in total career earnings and he’s whining. I can’t wait to see now he likes the rest of his life. Go away…

      • Wow, you guys sound like the whiners now.

        A guy mentions that it was tough being away from his family for the better part of the last 16 years, and your guys heads explode and need to make sure everyone understands you had it tougher!

        Many people make sacrifices to make a better life for their families long term. The sacrifice for him, was being away from them in their younger years and moving them from city to city. The trade off was the $. He just said it, and if you have ever been away from your family for long stretches, or picked them up and moved them multiple times, those are not easy decisions. I’ve made them, for the career and the $.

        My son recently made the decision to get out of the field, where he made significantly more money, so that he could spend more time with his young family and not be away from them 150 days a year. Is that because I did the opposite?

        This isn’t a who is a bigger victim contest. Chill the flip out.

      • Strahlman didn’t make these comments in passing as you suggest. He’s complaining about why he cant make at least 985,000 in the NHL this season. Poor fella has to go the whole way to Sweden to work. What a dump, huh?

        Don’t make excuses for out of touch athletes who play a game for a living. We all have a tough story or whatever to share. But 47 million is 47 million. More than I’ll make working my 9-5, that’s for sure.

      • Ray I wouldn’t use the word victim.

        No one is a victim, folks made a choice. Nothing more nothing less.

        Money plays no part in stress. Stress doesn’t care about the size of your bank account.

        Stralman made a choice to play professional hockey and make a lot of money doing so; with that decision comes sacrifices and with them sacrifices there probably some guilt.

        Moving a young family is very difficult, not so much for the professional but for the spouse and children, who have to leave their friends and comfort zone behind and start all over again.

        I believe when he says it’s hard, it’s more about him acknowledging the mental toll it takes on every one else in the family.

        That’s hard because you can’t control their emotions and stress.

      • Caper, exactly.
        Nobody is a victim when it comes to choices they have control over and have made.

        I don’t doubt that he feels some guilt or is second guessing the ones he made when it comes to his family.

        Randino, he is actually from Sweden, and I’m not making excuses for him, and I also don’t think he is out of touch.

      • I’m with ray. Yes they are paid well… they worked hard for that. It’s both a bit of genetic luck and a lot of hard work. From him and his family (from parents to spouse to kids). Athletes between the travel and training and actual games put in more than a 40 hour work week during the season. I get what he is saying in that quote but optically he could have phrased it better

      • I’m a plumber by trade, worked for a large utility company making some real good coin but, did not get to see my oldest grow up. It ate at me for years.
        I quit, took a pay cut and was fortunate enough to see my youngest grow up. Are things tougher? Yep…would I make that financial decision again…yep !

        You only live once. Money is not everything but memories sure are.

  3. I’m glad the Avalanche got the Colton contract done. Didn’t want to see that go to arbitration. I’m curious to see how the Avalanche approach the remainder of the summer re: anymore moves. According to Adrian Dater who covers the Avalanche and has for many years, the team will have approximately $2.8 M in LTIR because of Landeskog. So, I am wondering how they will utilize that money? GO AVS!!

  4. I am sickbed by the Hockey Canada sex scandal. Interesting though that Nike Canada is bein investigated by Canada for illegal labour exploitational Uyghur forced labour…

  5. I am sickbed by the Hockey Canada sex scandal. Interesting though that Nike Canada is bein investigated by Canada for illegal labour exploitational Uyghur forced labour…