NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 28, 2023

by | Jul 28, 2023 | News, NHL | 15 comments

The Senators sign Vladimir Tarasenko, the Bruins intend to retire Patrice Bergeron’s number, the Coyotes sign top prospect Logan Cooley and the Panthers prepare to celebrate their 30th anniversary season in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators signed free agent Vladimir Tarasenko to a one-year, $5 million contract. It’s expected the 31-year-old scoring winger will skate among the Senators’ top-six forwards.

Ottawa Senators sign Vladimir Tarasenko (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tarasenko was the biggest name remaining in this summer’s unrestricted free-agent market. He’s a six-time 30-goal scorer who should provide a boost to the Senators’ offense this season.

Tarasenko reportedly rejected an earlier bid from the Senators along with others from several other clubs before replacing his agent with new representation in early July. This season’s flattened salary cap hampered his chances of landing a lucrative long-term deal after coming off an eight-year contract worth an average annual value of $7.5 million.

Forced to accept a shorter term for less money, Tarasenko is betting that he’ll have a productive season with the Senators. Another 30-goal campaign could help him land a better contract via next summer’s free-agent market when the salary cap is projected to rise by at least $4 million.

As for the Senators, this move leaves them with around $784K in cap space with restricted free agents Shane Pinto, Egor Sokolov and Alex Formenton to re-sign. A cost-cutting trade could be in the works.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Bruins team president Cam Neely confirmed the club will retire Patrice Bergeron’s No. 37 at some point in the near future. Bergeron announced his retirement earlier this week after 19 NHL seasons, all of them with the Bruins.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Proper thing. Bergeron is one of the greatest players in Bruins history. Whether that happens this season or perhaps when he’s officially inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in three years’ time remains to be seen.

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes signed top prospect Logan Cooley on Thursday to a three-year entry-level contract. Cooley, 19, was chosen third overall in the 2022 NHL Draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cooley had originally planned to return to the University of Minnesota this season. However, the lure of playing in the NHL proved too strong.

Cooley is perhaps the most highly-touted prospect in Coyotes’ history. He’ll face considerable pressure to play up to lofty expectations. How well he does will affect the rebuilding Coyotes’ plans of becoming a playoff contender in the near future.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: The Panthers will be celebrating their 30th anniversary in 2023-24. The club unveiled its anniversary logo and there are plans to bring back former players, coaches and personalities who were part of the franchise during those three decades.


  1. Fascinating stuff in Sens land.
    Lots of quiet speculation that Dorion has been told by Hockey Canada which players may not be available to him next year. Friday, after all, is a good time to deliver bad news. Remove Batherson for a year’ suspension, and Pinto/Sokolov money is suddenly available.

    so next year, Vlad, Kubalik, Brannstrom, Murray’s money all come off the books. Cap “maybe” goes up and Sanderson needs a new deal.

    Formenton is likely never playing in the NHL again.

    • Dark, you’re talking about a serious matter involving criminal activity. Let’s wait for the facts to come in and not speculate.

    • Sens will try and move Joseph out to make room for Pinto contract. Even if they trade him and a pick for future considerations.

      If need be they will find interest in Brannstrom if they need more room for Sokolov but I’m not convince Sokolov will be anything special.

      Formenton isn’t even playing for them and not a word is mentioned of his situation. So I’m thinking his contract is not an issue.

      But it does make the next couple of years interesting. Tarasenko may only be a one and done player for the Sens. Giroux is in the 2nd of a three year deal
      And not getting younger.

      Ottawa has to remain cap flexible as there roster will change regarding significant rolls in the next few years

  2. Good signing by Ottawa. Not surprised he only got one year, but more money than I thought he’d get. There was speculation a couple of weeks ago that Tarasenko didn’t want to play in Ottawa. Leads me to believe there were no other good options. All that talk about him having had several offers, some at multi years, was likely a crock.

  3. 🔥

    The Sen/s singed Tarasenko. to a 1 year deal for $5.M with a NTC for the whole year.
    Now they only have $895,000 left in cap space❗️

    The need to sign 3rd line Centre Shane Pinto who got 20 goals last year……

    Thats going to cost them more…$?.M+ unless he takes a team friendly deal for 1 year untill they have cap space next year or 🤔
    Also need to resign the Big Russian RFA 6.ft5 & 215lb L.W. Egor Sokolov, they could sign & send him to the AHL…
    So they also need to trade out some salary cap….⁉️

    Maybe they move out 26 yr old LW/RW winger Mathieu Joseph @$2.9M to sign the 2 young guys
    Pinto has to be on the team 100%

    Top six looks Great now adding a tough physical 30 goal forward like VT……😁

    With 20 goal Shane Pinto on the 3rd line at Centre, and
    Dominik Kubalik, an other 20 goal guy on the Wing then add a
    Big Mark Kastelic or Ridly Greig on the 3rd line also, Sens have a very nice Top 9

    AHL Rookies banging on the door this year
    C/LW, Ridly Greig the speedster will be on the team
    LW, Roby Järventie,
    L.W. Egor Sokolov

    on d big
    LD/ man Tyler Kleven will be the 1st call up
    RD/man Tyler Kleven could be the 2nd call up

    Joonas Korpisalo a good starting goaltender this season…..
    Good Job PD…👍

    • Soooo are we proclaiming the Sens finally playoff bound? They kinda have to be. They have no cap and most teams in that position are contenders which honestly Ottawa isn’t yet.

      • Ron, the Sens could have McDavid, Crosby, Bedard, Ovechkin and the entire 80s/90s Oilers dynasty stars on the roster and you would still say they are not playoff bound.

        Whether it’s true or not, you say the same thing and it makes me question your extreme bias.

      • Hi Ron,

        Absolutely we are………👍 its young team, thats getting better every year, Same with Buffalo both these teams will finish around 6th, 7th, 8th,

        -upgraded on D, with Jakob Chychrun
        -up-graded in Goal with Korpisalo
        -up-graded up front with Tarasenko and Kubalik
        =50 Goals
        with a mix of 4 Rookies at forward & defence that are knoking at the door also
        2 young goaltenders both 22 yrs old both need AHL time a couple of years away
        Mads Søgaard & Kevin Mandolese
        Good Job by the GM… Mr Pierre Dorion✔️

        Who getting traded for cap space…………🤔
        i think its
        26 yr old LW/RW winger Mathieu Joseph @$2.9M

      • Hey Willie the team sure looks like an exciting young team. They are still young and it’s gonna be better cap wise next season so hopefully this season will be one that identifies the final tweaks before they can take their place as a dominant club. Good times to be a fan of your team.

        Just wondering, and I know it’s early, but who would the other seven teams to make it in if Ottawa took a spot? The east is a beast!

      • Bottom line Ron – The Sens missed by 6 points this past season – that’s with the use of 7 goalies, 4 of them rookies.

        Are you suggesting that the addition of Korpisalo, a healthy back-up and Norris and Tarasenko can’t make up 6 points?

      • Hey George, they sure can and should be able to make up only 6 points but I doubt it will be easy. It’s not like the teams that got in are going to go away. Not to mention other teams also improving. If Ottawa makes it in, who doesn’t? Buffalo still a no?

  4. Mathieu Joseph is definitely on his way out unless there is some reason to part with someone like Batherson OR maybe they got some bad news about Norris we don’t know yet…

    • Hey Ron,
      here you go Teams that Wont Make it a couple of shockers hear…..
      Maybe not quite in this order but 90% sure they wont make it due to the lack of trades and teams in a re-build along with teams that have Not much Cap space ECT…..🤔

      3/ Philly,

      8/Florida, Flash in the pan this year, The $10M man in Goal got hot at the right time…Sergei Bobrovsky❗️
      and there 2 top RD men are out till December some time, d looks very weak, and over the cap $1.2M

      9/ Boston, Losing Bergeron & Krejci two top centres will hurt & they need to trade for a 1st line centre and re-sign Swayman at $4+M and Trent Frederic at @$2.M…?
      they only have $5.4M in Cap space

      10/Pens, came back with the same to OLD Bunch❓
      apart from adding LD man big Ryan Graves & bottom 6 payer, Most of the team coming back
      (15) are +30 years Old‼️
      and they are Over in Cap space $2.3M…
      they do have Trader-Joe… GM Kyle Dubas…🤔


      • Pretty bold prediction with Rags missing Willie!

        Here is my prediction for standings the east.
        1 – NJD
        2 – NYR
        3 – CAR

        1 – TOR
        2 – FLA
        3 – TB

        WC (because I have to pick someone)

        I actually have no idea on the WC spots, I think it will be right down to the wire between BUF, OTT, BOS, PIT

        I think we see a changing of the guard this year. IF lineups stay the same. Some big moves can change it and reserve the right to change my picks!

      • I think even though there’s no way to judge teams right now since many are still not set rosters for the season the bottom line is some good teams are going to miss the playoffs this year. It will be interesting if anyone we least expect would be one of them.