NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 26, 2023

by | Aug 26, 2023 | News, NHL | 17 comments

Check out the latest on William Nylander, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Andre Burakovsky, Alex Galchenyuk and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

TORONTO SUN: Lance Hornby reports Maple Leafs general manager Brad Treliving said his club continues its contract negotiations with William Nylander. “He’s a terrific player and he’s a star,” said Treliving. “You want to keep your good players. We have time.”

Toronto Maple Leafs winger William Nylander (NHL Images).

Hornby also reported the two sides remain $1 million apart. The Leafs prefer signing him for around $9 million annually.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nylander recently said that he prefers to continue playing in Toronto. Whether his camp can overcome that $1 million gulf on his next contract remains to be seen. He’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent next July.

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Capitals head coach Spencer Carbery said Evgeny Kuznetsov remains an important player for the club despite his struggles last season. “What he’s capable of when he’s on his game is world-class and that’s my challenge to help identify parts of his game, things I can help him with, put him in positions to have success.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Capitals reportedly attempted to trade Kuznetsov, who is believed to have requested a trade late last season despite his public denials. His inconsistent play and his $7.8 million annual cap hit through 2024-25 have likely hurt his value in the trade market.

A better performance by Kuznetsov this season could improve his trade stock. On the other hand, it could also ensure he remains with the Capitals if they’re in the playoff hunt this season.

THE SEATTLE TIMES: The Kraken hopes that Andre Burakovsky regains his scoring form following his recovery from a groin injury that prematurely ended his 2022-23 campaign. The 28-year-old winger was leading the Kraken with 39 points in 49 games before he was sidelined.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: They missed Burakovsky’s offense during their first postseason in their short franchise history. He could help them maintain their place as a playoff club this season.

DAILY FACEOFF: Alex Galchenyuk has signed a two-year contract with KHL club SKA St. Petersburg. The 29-year-old winger had signed a one-year contract with the Arizona Coyotes in July but that deal was terminated following his arrest for a run-in with local police.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This could signal the end of Galchenyuk’s NHL career after 654 games and 354 points with the Montreal Canadiens, Pittsburgh Penguins, Minnesota Wild, Ottawa Senators, Colorado Avalanche, Toronto Maple Leafs and two stints with the Coyotes. His career was already in decline before the incident in July.

Never say never, though. A strong effort in the KHL could act as a springboard for an NHL contract in two years times.

WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets announced a new partnership with the ECHL’s Norfolk Admirals. It’s the first time they’ve had an ECHL affiliate since 2020-21.


  1. Call me surprised that galy was a .5 point per game player

    • Remember, he was an effective player for the Habs. His decline happened a year or so after they traded him.

  2. The best move for Tre is WW traded for a D improvement

    He’s not signing at 9; he wants over 10

    If a miracle of all miracles comes in and his father gets drunk and signs off at $9.5 M….

    Then Top 4 Fwds…..51% of Cap for 24/25

    The formula wasn’t working when they were “almost” 1/2 Cap on 4 Fwds….. does anybody really believe it will happen by making the cap situation worse?

    • Pengy:

      I added up the cap space allotted to the 4 players who consumed the most cap space for the 4 top teams in the 2023 playoffs, irrespective of position:

      Vegas: 41%
      Florida: 43.2%
      Carolina: 35.2%
      Dallas: 43.4%

      Adding the Oilers, because one Vegas player said it was their toughest series: 43.2%

      A couple of notes:

      This was from cap friendly, today.
      I get 48.5% for the Leafs top 4 forwards.

      Whether it is 48.5% or your 51%, the Leafs spend more on their top 4 players than anyone in the league.

      What should alarm Leaf fans more is that if you add in the Leafs next highest player, Reilly, the figure jumps to 57.5%.

      Against the Panthers the Leafs top 4 scored a combined total of 3 goals. Reilly added 1.

      One could go into a deep dive on stats but the above is surely enough to end any argument about the Leafs approach to cap management. They had to sign Matthews, a center like him can’t be allowed to walk.

      But if the Leafs re-sign Nylander their cap becomes even more top heavy and they will continue to have to let their best UFAs go and continue to scrap the bargain bin for the rest of their line up.

      So agreed, trading Nylander, not trying to sign him, is the only way forward for Leafs that I can see.

    • You can’t just let it go man? That is only one option and I think by now we all know that. Do you feel we don’t or someone new here that hasn’t heard that? Bottom line, hearing the same thing over and over again is not appreciated.

      • I hate to pile on with the stating of the obvious, and I’m not sure if anyone else knows, but the Leafs haven’t won a cup since 1967…

      • One could say the same for your continual knee jerk reaction to any comment that just might be seen as critical of your Leafs, Ron.

        Yes, certain themes get a lot of repeated play here. But the debate as to whether to sign Nylander, and if so at how much, is the same for any other player with profile – a debate which often goes on for days. That’s what this site is about.

        Don’t like the comments? Rebut, refute, or refrain.

        That might be hard as the stats are what they are, and paint a clear picture, but you do have a choice. In fact, Ron, I anticipated you would bristle, but give that I was using statistics and not opinion I wasn’t trolling you. Pengy used stats too.

        I’d suggest that if the comments upset you so much that you stick to sites exclusively for Leaf fans, except that some of the comments I have read elsewhere are a lot worse than any that appear here. And often by self declared Leaf fans, who are surely engaged in the same commentary about whether to sign Nylander.

    • LJ as you have listed, most successful teams pay their stars top dollar. Nothing new or unusual there. The only thing cap watchers miss is the simple truth that if your team hands out contracts to players who will never perform or outperform that contact cap hit no matter the value will hurt your team more. Paying a replaceable players big dollars only result in teams not being able compete or improve due to overpaid and underperforming players which can’t be traded without an added cost or at best delays progress which sucks for a young team that isn’t still playoff bound and most likely won’t due to those bad unmovable contracts, not the big contracts to big time players that will hold you back. If your team isn’t a playoff team and has cap issues, that is infinitely worse than paying a handful of guys 10-15% of your cap and be a cup contender.
      Will that make team construction tougher? Of course it will, for every team as we have seen but teams will and have found ways to overcome it and some still looking for the right mix.

      • Ron, I owe you acknowledgement that your reply at 1:28pm was a more temperate response. Thank you. My first response to you was being written as you posted yours, though my comments still apply.

        A comment in your post: ” the only thing cap watchers miss is the simple truth that if your team hands out contracts who will never perform or outperform that contract … will hurt your team.”

        That is the heart of the debate about signing Nylander specifically, and the cap consequences for the Leafs.

        If one didn’t know you were so committed to the Leafs one would think you might be talking about them, given the demonstrated lack of playoff performance by the Leafs big money guys. That and how thin their line up is after them, as a consequence of their cap allocation.

        The debate about whether the Leafs have too much $ tied up in too few players will only end if the Leafs with the Cup this year, or if they trade one of their big money guys guys (Nylander?) to try and balance their roster.

        We’ll have to wait to see, won’t we?

  3. Lyle did you forget his brilliant stay with the Leafs?

    • LOL, Joe, it appear I did. I’ve amended it accordingly. Cheers!

      • That’s why you’re the best! Who could forget that brilliant pass to Cole Caufield in overtime that sent he and Nick Suzuki on a two on zero resulting in the winning goal?

      • Joe, I’ll never forget it. One of the best passes to set up a game winner I’ve ever seen. Couldn’t have done it better if he’d tried.

  4. The constant refrain about the TML core 4 and the amount of cap space taken up in $ and % is tiresome to hear and to defend as well.

    Other teams follow the same model of paying and locking up their best players for top dollar.

    The core 4 have put up big numbers year after year and most if not all GMs would love to have any of them.

    Other teams use similar strategies with few of them getting into the playoffs with regularity.

    Tampa followed the same concept and won a few cups, their core consisted of 2Fm 1D and 1G with a constantly changing bottom 6.

    Some made it by having middling or unproven goalies have a horseshoe up their butt for a playoff run.( VGK. Dallas)

    As fans we demand/want the prize but it’s the hardest one to win in pro sports. Its amazing how many players who make it to the finals disclose terrible injuries that need surgery, rehab and in many cases retirement.

    The reality is that getting to the dance is a feat in and of itself, hello Ottawa, Chicago, Detroit, Buffalo etc.

    Bergevin did a lot of good things in Montreal and laid some eggs too. One thing he said is that it takes payers to get into the playoffs and players to get through them, ergo the tinkering and fine tuning at the tail end of the season.

    What he didn’t say is that means catching lightning in a bottle in that tinkering.

    TML fans should be grateful for having a successful entertaining team play all year for consecutive years

  5. Toronto Maple Leafs winger William Nylander
    could sign a 2-3 year deal with the leafs….🤔

    Then When Tavares leaves in 2 years if they cant get him to wave his NTC and trade hime then WN can sign a long extension with the leafs when he is 29….❓

    • WW will not do that, too much uncertainty. If he gets hurt, he might not come back to his previous play. Many people will say he is being selfish, or that players are selfish for asking for so much money. But they get what the market bears. Do I like that prices have risen to much, no, but I understand it is a free market, if someone wanted me and was willing to pay more than I was making, i would be stupid not to take it.

      Tavares is not going anywhere either. He signed with his boyhood team and why would he waive.

  6. Maybe it’s not a case of the Leafs spending that much money on 4 players? Maybe it’s that they’re spending that much money on the wrong players?

    Tavares is a good player…just not sure he’s captain material? He shows no emotion.