NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 8, 2024

by | Jun 8, 2024 | News, NHL | 5 comments

The latest on the Panthers and Oilers on the eve of the Stanley Cup Final, the Flyers consider buyouts for Cam Atkinson and Cal Petersen, the latest on the Blackhawks’ plans for their first-round pick, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

STANLEY CUP NOTEBOOK

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: The Panthers still remember the sting of losing the Stanley Cup Final last year against the Vegas Golden Knights. They’re using it as motivation as they face the Edmonton Oilers in the 2024 Stanley Cup Final.

Florida Panthers defenseman Brandon Montour (NHL Images).

Panthers defenseman Brandon Montour said he couldn’t watch the Golden Knights’ on-ice celebration last year. Losing that series was a feeling he and his teammates don’t want to go through again. Head coach Paul Maurice recalls how focused everyone was entering training camp last September on returning to the Final.

Winger Carter Verhaeghe said he and his teammates learned a lot from last year’s Final, saying they weren’t focused enough on winning. Defenseman Aaron Ekblad said the experience fueled everyone in the organization to be better this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is one of the factors behind my decision to pick the Panthers in my Stanley Cup prediction. We’ll find out over the next week or two if it proves to be sufficient additional motivation to put them over the top.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Winger Warren Foegele returns to the Oilers lineup for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. Defensive errors led to Foegele becoming a healthy scratch for the final three games of the Western Conference Final.

It’s never fun watching because I’ve been on this team for three years and it’s an exciting time,” said Foegele. “I know what I need to do to stay. Every game is a new opportunity. You do have to have a short memory.”

THE FLYERS COULD BUY OUT ATKINSON AND PETERSEN

TSN: Philadelphia Flyers general manager Daniel Briere said his club is weighing all options for winger Cam Atkinson and goaltender Cal Petersen, including buying out their contracts later this month when the buyout window opens.

Because we’re tight on cap space, we’re still looking at every possible option in that direction. Both Cam Atkinson and Cal Petersen want to prove that they can still play in the NHL,” said Briere. “So, we’re evaluating all of that, but we haven’t made a final decision yet.”

The Flyers have just over $500K in cap space for next season with 19 players under contract. Atkinson, 35, has a year left on his contract with an average annual value of $5.875 million. Petersen is also signed through next season and carries a $5 million cap hit. He spent most of this season in the minors.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The buyout window opens on June 15 or 48 hours following the end of the Stanley Cup Final, whichever is later. It closes at 5 pm ET on June 30.

The Flyers could also get additional cap flexibility of $4 million if Ryan Johansen stays on long-term injury reserve for next season. He has a year left on his contract with an AAV of $8 million. Half is retained by the Nashville Predators, who traded Johansen to the Colorado Avalanche last summer. He’s been sidelined by a hip injury since getting traded to the Flyers.

LATEST DRAFT NEWS

TSN: Top prospect Macklin Celebrini is expected to be chosen first overall by the San Jose Sharks in the 2024 NHL Draft. The 17-year-old Boston University center isn’t in any rush to begin his NHL career.

There’s never really shame or there’s nothing wrong with just taking your time and just improving a little bit more,” said Celebrini. He suggested spending another year with BU could benefit him physically when he’s ready to make the jump to the NHL.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sharks must ensure they don’t rush Celebrini into their lineup. If he feels another season at BU will make him a better player they will likely support that decision.

THE ATHLETIC: Chicago Blackhawks GM Kyle Davidson said there’s an ongoing debate among his staff over which prospect they’ll select with the second overall pick in this year’s draft. It’s believed they’re deciding between Russian winger Ivan Demidov and Belarussian defenseman Artyom Levshunov.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the Buffalo Sabres are open to trading their first-round pick (11th overall) in this year’s draft. He believes they’re willing to move it for a top-six forward.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: New Jersey Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald recently said he’s open to moving the 10th overall selection. Montreal Canadiens GM Kent Hughes is also open-minded about trading his pick (fifth overall) if it fetches a return that helps his club right away but he also said he would most likely retain that selection.

IN OTHER NHL NEWS…

NHL.COM: Flyers GM Daniel Briere said Jamie Drysdale underwent surgery on April 18 to repair a “significant injury.” He didn’t elaborate but stated that the 22-year-old defenseman will be ready when training camp opens in September.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers acquired Drysdale from the Anaheim Ducks in January. Briere indicated it was unrelated to the blueliner’s season-ending shoulder injury suffered in November 2022.

SPORTSNET: announced an 11-year broadcasting extension with the Edmonton Oilers, renewing their regional coverage through 2035.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: The Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks will reportedly rebrand their jerseys and logos for next season.







5 Comments

  1. Seems like teams are looking at trading high draft picks for established players! It is getting harder to rely on 18 year old kids! And agents seem to be making all of these decisions for their players! Wonder if that happened with Gauthier and Philadelphia!

    Reply
    • High draft picks for players?

      We’ll take

      A 5th rounder (this year) for Eller

      A 7th in ‘26 for Smith

      A 7th in ‘28 for Accairi

      Reply
      • That looks like an AARP list!

      • 🤣

  2. Atkinson… buyout for Philly… perhaps an attractive buy-in for Toronto. They need seats filled in on the cheap.

    Watched his exit video, and the line he kept repeating is he still “has lots of gas in the tank.”

    Reply

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