NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 24, 2023

by | Jul 24, 2023 | News, NHL | 7 comments

The Leafs’ Ilya Samsonov and the Blackhawks’ Philipp Kurashev are awarded new contracts via arbitration, the Coyotes look to re-sign coach Andre Tourigny and the latest on Shane Wright in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

TORONTO SUN: An arbiter awarded Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Ilya Samsonov with a one-year contract worth $3.55 million on Sunday. The 26-year-old had sought $4.9 million while the Leafs countered with $2.4 million. Samsonov will be eligible for unrestricted free-agent status next July.

Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Ilya Samsonov (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Samsonov’s agent said his client was well-prepared for what he would face during the hearing. He added there were “no hard feelings” toward the Leafs and they would move forward.

Nevertheless, arbitration can be bruising to a player’s ego and can pave the way for their departures via the UFA market when their arbiter-awarded contract has expired. That’s where Samsonov could be headed, especially if he plays well in his contract year.

The Leafs now have a 48-hour window to buy out a contract if they wish. It’s speculated that oft-injured goaltender Matt Murray could become a buyout candidate.

CHICAGO HOCKEY NOW: Speaking of arbitration, Blackhawks forward Philipp Kurashev was awarded a two-year contract with an average annual value of $2.25 million. Kurashev, 23, was seeking $2.65 million annually while the Blackhawks countered with $1.4 million. It’s a significant raise over the $750K he earned last season.

NHL.COM: The Arizona Coyotes are interested in signing head coach Andre Tourigny to a contract extension. He’s in the final season of a three-year deal. General manager Bill Armstrong praised Tourigny for getting the players to buy into the culture and to compete in every game. The Coyotes won three more games and collected 13 more points last season compared to 2021-22.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: The transfer agreement between the NHL and the CHL could complicate where Shane Wright plays this season.

The 19-year-old won’t be eligible to play for the Seattle Kraken’s AHL affiliate in Coachella Valley this season despite a conditioning stint last season and playing with them during the 2023 Calder Cup playoffs. He played 24 games with the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires last season, one short of the requirement to qualify for an official season played.

That’s because Wright doesn’t turn 20 until Jan. 5. He typically cannot suit up for Coachella Valley this fall unless the Kraken can get an exemption for him if he’s not yet ready to crack their roster for the coming season. General manager Ron Francis is pursuing such an exemption.


  1. According to Spotrac, this makes Samsonov the 29th highest paid goalie in the league, behind such luminaries as Petr Mrazek, Spencer Knight, Ville Husso and Jack Campbell. I realize goalie salaries are all over the map, but in a league where the 15th best goalies is making $5m/year, I suggest Samsonov got hosed on this one.

    • How did he get hosed? During the season he was very good on a very good team. How much was it him and how much was it the team, 50/50, 60/40? I don’t recall him much in the playoffs; I know he got hurt again and Val finally looked human for once and Samsonov managed to out play him. I don’t know. $3-3.5 sounds about right for a guy who doesn’t have a long resume, played ok in the playoffs, couldn’t stay healthy and was great during the season.
      Judging but the agents comments, it seemed like it went as both parties hoped for. I don’t think there is any contention or anything negative from the meeting other than having to state that in an interview because, well, it’s Toronto.

      • Most pro athletes are overpaid. I’m not suggesting Samsonov is great, or even very good, but his numbers suggest that he is at the very least an average starting goalie. And in today’s NHL, that’s $5m. So unless he is below average, or not a starting goalie….

      • Agreed, Ron. I figured he’d get ~ $3M. He had a solid season and more or less took over the starting role. His numbers in Washington were meh and he hasn’t started a lot. If he has a good year this year, he’s really put himself in a great spot as a UFA next year.

        They’re going to need to do more than buy out Murray though, aren’t they? CapFriendly shows them now at $6.7M over (including Muzzin’s LTIR relief). They’re going to need to drop about another $3M after a Murray buyout to get under the cap.

        Buying out Murray also hurts them next year, doesn’t it? Treliving needs to re-sign Matthews. If the cap goes up $4 or $5M next year, doesn’t a Murray buyout eat up about half of that?

    • Hi Kevin

      Hosed…. No IMHO

      that said… he is certainly worth more than 29th best goalie Sal

      Leafs offer was real lowball ; His Camp too high

      More appropriate IMHO would have been $4 M, maybe $4.1M

      This Leafs’ fan is happy as every Cap $ counts; and Tre now a “paltry” $12.4 M OVER

      BTW…. Re “behind such luminaries as …. and Jack Campbell”…. Campbell is getting $6 M this year (Cap hit of $5M)

  2. Lol

  3. With Murray buyout and Muzzin LTIR…. Roster at 23…. $2.8 M over

    Trade absolutely needed unless starting season @20 on Roster….

    Burying two players each with Cap > $1.2 M won’t be enough

    WW for a top 4 D with Cap hit at least $2 M less (than WW) is s start