NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 3, 2023

by | Jul 3, 2023 | News, NHL | 30 comments

Tyler Bertuzzi and Max Domi sign with the Leafs, the Wild acquire Pat Maroon, Kailer Yamamoto joins the Kraken, the latest on Max Pacioretty and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

SPORTSNET: The Toronto Maple Leafs signed Tyler Bertuzzi to a one-year, $5.5 million contract.

TSN: The Leafs also signed Max Domi to a one-year deal, this one worth $3 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Leafs general manager Brad Treliving made up for his underwhelming moves on the opening day of free agency. Adding two forwards with offensive skills who also bring a physical edge to the roster, Treliving is attempting to address a longstanding issue for the Leafs during postseason play.

Boston Bruins winger Tyler Bertuzzi (NHL Images).

Bertuzzi, 28, is often sidelined because of his gritty style of play. Nevertheless, he has three seasons with 20-plus goals and 40-or-more points on his resume, including a career-best 30-goal, 62-point performance in 2021-22 with Detroit. Traded to Boston at the March trade deadline, he had 16 points in 21 regular-season games for the Bruins and was tied for the club lead in playoff points with 10.

This is a homecoming for the 28-year-old Domi, having grown up in Toronto and around the Leafs when his father played for the club. A skilled but inconsistent playmaker, he’s reached or exceeded 40 points five times in his eight previous NHL campaigns. Entering 2023-24, the Leafs will be his seventh team in nine seasons.

The high number of clubs with limited cap space made it difficult for Bertuzzi and Domi to find more lucrative offers with longer terms. By accepting one-year contracts, they can hit the open market again next summer when the salary cap is expected to jump by at least $4 million.

Cap Friendly indicates both signings push the Leafs to over $8 million above the $83.5 million cap. Teams are allowed to be above the cap by 10 percent during the offseason but must be compliant when the season begins in October. We’ll have a look at how they could address this in today’s Rumor Mill update.

SPORTSNET: The notable players available in the UFA market include Vladimir Tarasenko, Matt Dumba, Patrick Kane, Patrice Bergeron, and Zach Parise.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The amount of quality talent remaining in this shallow free-agent pool is quickly draining away. Kane isn’t expected to sign a contract anytime soon as he continues to rehab from a hip procedure. Bergeron remains undecided if he’ll return with the Bruins or retire.

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: Max Pacioretty hopes to prove he’s still the scorer he once was following two surgeries to repair a torn Achilles tendon. On Saturday, Pacioretty inked a one-year, $2 million contract with the Capitals. The deal also includes $2 million in performance bonuses.

TWINCITIES.COM/TAMPA BAY TIMES: The Minnesota Wild acquired forward Pat Maroon and minor leaguer Max Cajkovic from the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for a seventh-round pick in 2024. The Lightning retained 20 percent of Maroon’s $1 million cap hit.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Maroon has a 16-team no-trade clause but Minnesota either wasn’t on that list or he agreed to go there. The three-time Stanley Cup champion is an affordable addition to the cap-strapped Wild, bringing considerable playoff experience and leadership to the roster along with an additional physical edge.

This is yet another cost-cutting move by the Lightning that bites further into their supporting cast. Their core talent remains intact but salary-cap limitations have forced them to cut into the roster depth that made them a perennial Stanley Cup finalist.

SPORTSNET: The Seattle Kraken signed Kailer Yamamoto to a one-year, $1.5 million contract. He was traded last week by the Edmonton Oilers to the Detroit Red Wings, who bought out the final year of his contract.

BUFFALO HOCKEY NOW: Sabres general Kevyn Adams has opted not to pursue a goaltender in this summer’s trade and free-agent markets. He is prepared to go into this season with Eric Comrie and youngsters Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen and Devon Levi.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This summer’s free-agent goalie market was thin on talent plus the cost of acquiring someone like Winnipeg’s Connor Hellebucyk and Philadelphia’s Carter Hart is expensive. Nevertheless, this is a gamble for Adams. Inconsistent goaltending could once again hamper his club’s chances of ending their long playoff drought.

THE TENNESSEAN: Mark Borowiecki has been hired by the Nashville Predators as a pro development coach. He announced his retirement as a player in May after 12 NHL seasons.


  1. I do like the additions of Bert and Domi. I really do

    That said….

    The issue (as it always has been, but much much much more so now) is Cap ceiling and finalizing roster

    Right now…. Just shy of $86 M (already over Cap) on 22 players (13F, 7 D, 2 G); plus Muzzin on LTIR (just north of $5.6 M)…. Total $91.6 M (note 10% max over… off season is $91.85 M)

    and…. as at now… tandem is Murray/Woll (Samsonov unsigned)

    Not saying there is a direct relationship…. But effectively…. as at now ….Bert/Domi/Reaves/Klinger/Murray have replaced Bunting/RoR/Simmonds/Holl/Samsonov ; with Kerfoot and Accairi replaced (at least showing on current roster) with Robertson

    That’s the roster as at now…. And since they are already over…. just to have 23 players and be under Cap at start of season….. a player making more than $3.3 M must leave. If they can sign Samsonov (right now Leafs couldn’t match an OS [I think he is eligible for an OS??] unless another player is traded out)… that’s another player that has to go

    I do like the Bert/Domi additions …. But this tells me that either Tre already has a deal (or deals) in place to move Murray and another Key player (WW?) with basically no player coming back…. OR he is very confident he can do so

    Asking other Leaf fans on here… is the Leaf team we just had (that did get past first round ,but NOT on to ECF) better/same/worse than the one now….. that has (effectively)

    Bunting replaced by Bert

    RoR replaced by Domi

    Holl replaced by Klinger

    Simmonds replaced by Reaves

    *Samsonov replaced by Murray

    Kerfoot and Accairi replaced by Robertson


    **Exit of at least one other player making at least $3.3 M

    Option…. Elect Arb on Samsonov…. I believe that blocks OS…. and opens door for a Murray buyout ($4M Cap savings)…. Still not enough to sign Samsonov…. But a step

    Option…. (That I’ve been flogging for over 2 years)…. Move 1 of the big 4…. With much less Cap returning in the deal; plus futures

    • I didn’t expect that Treliving respectively the Leafs could sign Bertuzzi and Domi.I like both signings but dies this mean a trade is coming? Nylander? Brodie?
      Or will they buy out Murray after they went to arbitration with Samsonov?

      • Hi Juss

        Just posted a solution on Rumours side

    • Trading Murray will have to be accompanied by a large sweetener. A buyout may be possible if Samsonov goes to arbitration. Even that likely wouldn’t be enough. No way does WW leave with no player coming back.

      • Fully agree Howard

        Tre needs to roll up his sleeves ; bring in multiple consiglieri ; make a plethora of calls; pray devoutly , often and at great length; then hammer out some trades

    • Ceci-Brodie-Klingberg Dmen you cant run out 24 minutes for a playoff run and not worry about some coughing up of the puck

      Kadri-Bunting-Domi- Leafs always need a player that might take a stupid penalty and shift blame on series loss to them?

      Leaf moves are good IF they do get a younger Muzzin type Defenseman.

    • Pengy

      I do think the Leafs have options regarding Murray.

      He may be an LTIR or buyout candidate. It’s my understanding that a buyout would cost the Leafs $688K towards this year’s cap and $2M towards next season’s cap. Not a huge financial problem next year if the cap goes up by a couple million.
      Maybe they could ship him off to CHI with a 2nd or 3rd pick?

      It still looks as though there may be holes in the line-up at LW or 3C depending where they play Domi. I can see Knies getting a shot for the 2LW spot. Robertson will be given an opportunity again. Hopefully he can stay healthy and fulfill his potential. Look for McMann to earn a spot somewhere too.

      With buying out Murray and placing Muzzin on LTIR or trading his contract that money would likely go to Samsonov ($3-4M?)

      They will be tight against the cap making Pridham earn his paycheque

      • Hi Daryl

        Muzzin already on LTIR on CapFriendly….even with that, Leafs still way over without Samsonov signed

        Murray buyout saves $4M in Cap this year… dead cap $2M next year

        I posed a big trade on rumours that solves a lot…. But is unbelievably bold

    • Pengy, your “move 1 of the big 4” is extremely likely.
      I expect Nylander to be traded; and Brodie is another potential move. TJ could be difficult to trade as he has a reverse WW contract – cap hit of $5 M but owed $7.5 M during the season.

      Maybe package them together – $12.5 M cap hit / $10 M cash. Both players have a 10 team No Trade list.

      • Hi HOG

        WW for sure easiest of big 4 to move

        I posed a wingdinger trade (on Rumours ) that solves things…. Now and next two years; and makes Leafs far better than any team they have had for years; and solves cap issues

  2. It seems from afar that Sweeney got outmaneuvered as far as Bert is concerned …I guess the question to ask is did they even talk to him and if they didn’t shame on them …. 1 year contracts were flying and they should’ve at least made a offer, it will be interesting to see what happen here and hope Sweeney addresses it

    • From what Iv read SWeeney offered a contract. One I read said 5 mill 1 yr another said 4.5 over 4 yrs. Not sure if either is true but you can bet he had conversations with Bert and Orlov. Also heard Bert wanted multiple years on a contender but the money didn’t work so he took a one yr deal.

      • Bert and Orlov wouldn’t return to Boston without knowing Bergy, DK are returning and for good reason without the top two centers Boston may not make the playoffs in the east which would make them trade fodder at the TDL.

    • Joe, I wouldn’t say Sweeney got out maneuvered.

      Sweeney made an offer and it was declined.

      Bertuzzi and his agent thought they could do better on the open market. They were trying to parlay an excellent playoff by Burt into a long term contract.

      His agent came out and said they were looking for long term and when it didn’t develop they took a 1yr deal and hoping next season when the cap goes up there is a better opportunity.

      Boston was hard up against the cap and generally the long term has less average value then a 1yr short term. Likely Boston offer was maybe 4 or 5 years at $5m or around there.

      Toronto picked up a couple of good pieces in Bertuzzi and Domi.

      Boston sign a bunch of guys to get them thru this season. The hope is their experience will help get them into the playoffs.

  3. Why let Bunting go and sign Bertuzzi for $1 million more?

    Domi is a good signing, can be 3rd line center with grit, leaes it allon the ice for his team.

    • Because Bunting wanted a multi-year contract. That would interfere with new contract for Matthew and Willie Wonka Nylander.

    • I could see Domi as left wing with Tavares and Nylander. Good passer, setup man for the snipers.
      Pengy referred to options for staying under the cap. Taking Samsonov to arbitration might make sense. Trading Murray looks best to me – calling Chicago.

    • Because Bertuzzi is a beast come playoff time. He’s one of those guys that takes it to a completely different level in the post season. He’ll be one of the Leafs leading scorers like he was with Boston and in the AHL.

      • One year hardly makes him a beast lol first time ever to play in the playoffs to boot

      • I’m not sold on him either but his whole history from the Jrs., ahl and now as seen in the nhl, come playoffs bert comes to play and does well.

        But I guess some players suddenly aren’t good when they are mentioned with certain teams?

  4. Interesting moves by Tre they have over 10 million with Muzz on LTIR and getting rid of Murray but still have to sign Sammy.
    So even with all that it looks like a trade is coming is it Nylander for a Defender or a smaller trade to get under the cap interesting times in TO

  5. Evan Rodrigues acquired by Panthers. Sometmes a trade is more than hockey. Evan may be a big help in continuing to build the fanbase in South Florida. Cats are two decades behind the Lightning in doing what one must do to create success in a non-traditional market, but they seem to have the right kind of momentum now, A few years ago this franchise was a candidate to move — looks like now there could be two great markets in Florida…homegrown talent to follow soon as scholastic hockey and kid hockey in the Florida is alive and growing.

    • It’s working! Three cheers for Gary!

      • Hip hip…

      • SOP

        Don’t feed the beast

        Gary deserves 3 cheers…. ONLY at the announcement of his retirement…. And only if he does it soon….. if he waits until the end of his next contract to retire…. No cheers

      • Three raspberries for Pengy!

  6. I’ve been saying for years on this site Leaf’s have to stop worrying about offense and goals and figure out how to stop the puck. Bert and Earnie won’t help defensively and can’t stop the puck. Matthews not signing would worry me as a Leaf fan and Willy is obviously on his way out if not this year next for sure. I thought Toronto would try and bring in Quick or Fleury on a one year deal Murray and Sammy not the answer. As for my Bruins they are set up for next year when UFA market could be unreal if a few don’t sign and who knows with this year if Bergeron and Krech come back.

    • Obe some fans need to stop commenting on things they don’t have the full picture of. I’m not saying you’re wrong but do you think a team can win a playoff round by only scoring two or less goals? Finding offense might mean finding a guy or two who will chip in and get that third goal.

      Also I think after next year the Leafs are also pretty flushed out with contracts with only JT, Marner and Riely signed as the big contracts go. If AM or Nylander walk or get traded, the Leafs would be able to fully restock the team…which isn’t a goal. I don’t understand how if you have a consistent good team, it’s more important to add than to start over.

      The bruins in fact are scary close to being the next sharks. They are still good and relevant but aging out like a mofo. “Lots” of time and so-so on options.

    • Totally agree with the Leafs always need D, but always grab the shiney offensive fools gold tokens which means out in 1 round again.

  7. Does everyone realize that the Leafs were a top 6 defensive team this past season?

    As somebody mentioned…their offence dried up again because too many guys play on the perimeter. Their last 7 playoff games they only scored 2 goals each game. Tough to win that way…