NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 7, 2024

by | Jun 7, 2024 | News, NHL | 31 comments

The latest on the Oilers and Panthers as the Stanley Cup Final approaches plus updates on Nikita Zadorov, Valeri Nichushkin, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


SPORTSNET: The Edmonton Oilers aren’t concerned about the Florida Panthers’ supposed physicality edge in the upcoming Stanley Cup Final.

Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl (NHL Images).

We can play any style and we can win any type of hockey game. We’ve shown that over the last numerous months,” said Oilers star Leon Draisaitl. “We’re very comfortable in any situation that’s thrown at us. Whether it’s high scoring, or low scoring, defending and grinding one out. We can win games in any form.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The piece also noted the Oilers overcame the Dallas Stars’ depth advantage in the Western Conference Final.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: Alan Greenberg looked at the moves made by Panthers general manager Bill Zito since last summer that built his club into a powerhouse this season. They include the addition of backup goaltender Anthony Stolarz, defensemen Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Dmitry Kulikov, and forwards Vladimir Tarasenko and Kyle Okposo.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Zito’s done a tremendous job building up the Panthers into a Stanley Cup contender since taking over as general manager in 2020. He’s made bold moves like swapping Jonathan Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar for Matthew Tkachuk and affordable ones like those noted above.

SPORTSNET: The WWE will make a commemorative Stanley Cup champion legacy belt available for purchase following the Final. NHL teams were previously given custom WWE championship belts for winning the Cup but this is the first officially licensed title belt.


THE PROVINCE: Player agent Dan Milstein shot down a report by Sportsnet’s Iain MacIntyre claiming contract negotiations between the Vancouver Canucks and his client, Nikita Zadorov, were making progress. “Fake news,” replied Milstein on social media. He also said that contract talks had not been happening with the Canucks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Zadorov is looking for a long-term deal after playing for four teams (the Colorado Avalanche, Chicago Blackhawks, Calgary Flames and the Canucks) since 2019-20. The report speculated he could seek $5 million annually on a six-year deal.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: Valeri Nichushkin is reportedly set to play in Russia’s Media Hockey League. The 29-year-old Avalanche winger is currently in the NHL-NHLPA player assistance program and is serving a six-month suspension from the NHL.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The report suggests this Russian summer league is closer to a beer league or Minnesota’s “Da Beauty League”, which involves active and former NHL players during the summer. It doesn’t appear to violate the conditions of the assistance program.

THE SALT LAKE CITY TRIBUNE: The NHL’s Utah Franchise has narrowed down its potential team name to six possibilities following the first round of fan voting. They are the Utah Blizzard, Utah Hockey Club (HC), Utah Mammoth, Utah Outlaws, Utah Venom and Utah Yeti.

Round two of the selection process runs through June 20.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m partial to Utah HC. It has a nice EPL (English Premier League) feel to it.

THE MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens fans will get a behind-the-scenes look at their club’s rebuilding process this season. The eight-part docuseries “The Rebuild: Inside The Montreal Canadiens” will stream on Crave TV in English and French later this year.


  1. Fla. has all those UFA S so this has to be their year! Success means larger contracts and under the cap it is tough to keep teams together!

    • I think it s funny to name a team hc. This is Not a football /soccer league. What do you think the logo would be a hugh c and an h oh wait that logo is part of the habitants famous logo. Go with Outlaws venom or yetis jersey would look awesome. Maybe bigfoot as a mascot

  2. I like the sound of Utah Outlaws for a hockey team, for good ole 7-6 and 8-5 games

    • How about the Utah Nobody In Arizona Knew We Were Alive So That’s Why We’re Here.

      • or the Utah Mormons with a siloutette of a man with his 10 wives

    • Given the Butch Cassidy connection, I like this one as well. While there seems strong interest in the Yetis, I don’t see the connection to Utah. Maybe if Tibet gets into the league….

      • Maybe Yeti isn’t a term used in Utah, Rock, but it’s North American equivalent, Sasquatch, certainly is


        The problem there, though, is pluralization … Sasquatches doesn’t work for sure

      • And by the way, a nickname with no connection to the locale isn’t foreign to Utah when you consider their NBA franchise, the Utah Jazz. That may have worked well in their former locale in New Orleans … but I doubt “Utah” and “Jazz” have any historical connection – much like the Calgary Flames keeping that nickname which did have some historical link in Atlanta.

  3. Utah HC… has the ring of being olden… and it’s wholly individual in pro hockey.

    • Here’s one vote for “Yeti”

      • Yeti, seconded.

  4. Utah Yeti has alliteration, fantastic logo opportunity, and, if Yeti (the cooler company) paid for sponsorship rights to the arena, they could play home games at the Yeti Arena.

    • True. If we can have a mythical Kraken why not a Yeti? With the right crest their jersey would become a best-seller!

      • I vote Yeti

  5. It would add a different flavor for sure zimmer.

    The closest any current franchise comes to that are the Habs.

    Their crest – the double C and H – signifies Club de Hockey Canadien

  6. Utah Yipikayes has a great ring to it, with all the alternate spellings on the alternate jerseys.
    easy marketing and cheering.

  7. Re Utah,

    My 1st vote would be the Utah Yeti
    let go Yeti let go has the better Ring to it…👌

    My 2nd vote would be the Utah Outlaws

  8. What is their color scheme going to be?

    • If it’s to be Yeti, probably 3 shades of brown 🙂

    • My Guess….
      Sky Blue, White Snow Peek Mountains, And a Yeti Face with a Stick & Sun……

  9. Utah likez the letter Z in their sportz teamz.
    Outlawz workz, but with the leak of the color scheme, I’m guezzing they’re gonna be called The Utah Blizzard.

    • LOL. Makes perfect zenze. On that thinking, they could also go with Buzzardz or Lizardz

  10. Neither Yeti (Himalayan) or Kraken (Nordic) have any local connections. Horrible, gimmicky names.

    • I agree.

    • Well. if you accept that Sasquatch and Yeti are simply colloquial names for The Abominable Snowman of The Himalayas, there is a connection in Utah as noted above – and here


      As the Bard inferred when he wrote “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell just as sweet.”

      • Utah Sasquatch would be ok, I don’t love it but at least there’s a connection. Yeti is just a sad, trendy, foolish name.

    • Sheesh, didn’t even spell my own moniker correctly. Time for new specs, I guess.

      I have no say or vested interest in the Utah Hockey Team name, other than personal preference, but what makes “Yeti” trendy? Doesn’t a business want their brand to be trendy anyway? Who would wanna be a fan of say, The Utah Intestinal Methane Expellers, The Ho-Hums, or The Nothing to See Here Hockey Club?

      • Because it’s the brand name of a trendy, overpriced cooler company…

  11. HC. Boring. What will the mascot be?

    I like Yeti.

    Mammoths; just seems ‘oafish’

    Blizzard and Venom have a great opportunities for emblem design

    Very surprised that any name that depicts Utah’s beautiful landscape (they have 5 spectacular National Parks) wasn’t used.