NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 28, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 28, 2023

The Blackhawks upset the defending champion Golden Knights, the Kings rally to defeat the Coyotes, the Devils nip the Sabres, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: An overtime goal by Philipp Kurashev lifted the Chicago Blackhawks to a 4-3 upset of the Stanley Cup champion Vegas Golden Knights, handing the latter their first loss of the season (7-0-1). Rookie Connor Bedard scored his third goal of the season for the 3-5-0 Blackhawks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blackhawks defenseman Alex Vlasic left this game in the second period with an undisclosed injury following a high hit from Golden Knights forward Brett Howden. Speaking of the Blackhawks, forward Andreas Athanasiou was a healthy scratch from this contest.

Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty (NHL Images).

The Los Angeles Kings overcame a 4-1 deficit to defeat the Arizona Coyotes 5-4. Drew Doughty started and ended the rally for Los Angeles (4-2-1) with two goals, including the game-winner. Cam Talbot replaced Pheonix Copley in the Kings’ net after the latter gave up three goals on six shots. J.J. Moser had a goal and an assist for the Coyotes as they dropped to 3-4-0.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Credit the Kings for their comeback but the Coyotes let up after taking a 4-1 lead and it cost them the game. “We defended too much and we were not on our toes. We had no forecheck, no possession. We didn’t want to play with the puck. The other team played with the puck,” head coach André Tourigny said.

New Jersey Devils forward Erik Haula tallied twice, including the winning goal, in a 5-4 victory over the Buffalo Sabres. Luke Hughes collected two assists while brother Jack scored to collect his league-leading 18th point of the season for the 4-2-1 Devils. Tage Thompson netted his fourth goal of the season and Rasmus Dahlin tallied his first as the Sabres fell to 3-5-0.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a costly game for both clubs. Devils captain Nico Hischier was forced to leave the game after suffering a head shot from Sabres defenseman Connor Clifton, who received a match penalty and faces a hearing with the NHL department of player safety. Sabres goalie Eric Comrie left the game in the second period with a lower-body injury.

The Carolina Hurricanes got a hat trick from Teuvo Teravainen and a 20-save shutout from Antti Raanta to blank the San Jose Sharks 3-0. Sebastian Aho and Seth Jarvis each collected two assists for the Hurricanes as they improved to 5-4-0. Kaapo Kahkonen made 37 saves for the 0-7-1 Sharks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hurricanes winger Andrei Svechnikov skated in his first game since undergoing knee surgery in March. He was held scoreless in this contest.

Washington Capitals goalie Darcy Kuemper kicked out 39 shots as his club nipped the Minnesota Wild by a score of 3-2. John Carlson scored in the shootout to give the Capitals (3-3-1) the victory. Ryan Hartman sniped his fifth goal of the season while Marc-Andre Fleury turned aside 31 shots for the 3-3-2 Wild.

The Vancouver Canucks shut out the St. Louis Blues 5-0 on Thatcher Demko’s 22-save performance. Quinn Hughes scored two goals and J.T. Miller had a goal and two assists for the Canucks as they improved to 5-2-0. Jordan Binnington made 30 saves for the 3-3-1 Blues.

OTTAWA SUN: Senators defenseman Thomas Chabot will be sidelined for four to six weeks with a fracture in his right hand. Meanwhile, blueliner Erik Brannstrom suffered a concussion from a hit during Thursday’s games against the New York Islanders.

NHL.COM: Ed Sandford, the Boston Bruins’ oldest surviving player, passed away earlier this week at the age of 95. The winger spent eight of his nine NHL seasons with the Bruins from 1947-48 to 1954-55. He split the following season between the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks before retiring. In 503 regular season games, Sandford had 106 goals and 251 points as well as 13 goals and 24 points in 42 playoff games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Sandford’s family, friends and the Bruins organization.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 27, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 27, 2023

The Bruins and Avalanche suffer their first losses and Senators’ center Shane Pinto is suspended for a gambling violation. Details on these and other stories in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: The Anaheim Ducks overcame a 3-1 deficit to upset the Boston Bruins 4-3, snapping the latter’s season-opening win streak at six games (6-0-1). Mason McTavish scored in overtime while Troy Terry and rookie Leo Carlsson each had a goal and an assist for the 3-4-0 Ducks. Charlie McAvoy collected three assists while David Pastrnak had a goal and an assist for the Bruins.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, Bruins coach Jim Montgomery indicated winger Jakub Lauko (facial injury) will be sidelined for at least a week while winger Milan Lucic (lower body) will be out for at least two weeks.

Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry turned in a 31-save shutout in a 4-0 win over the Colorado Avalanche, ending the Avs’ 15-game road win streak and their season-opening six-game win streak. Reilly Smith scored two goals for the Penguins (3-4-0). The Avs (6-1-0) remain in first place in the Central Division with 12 points.

Carolina Hurricanes forward Martin Necas (NHL Images).

An overtime goal by Martin Necas lifted the Carolina Hurricanes over the Seattle Kraken 3-2. Necas finished the game with two goals and an assist as the Hurricanes overcame a 2-0 deficit to lift their record to 4-4-0. Oliver Bjorkstrand had a goal and an assist and Joey Daccord stopped 42 shots as the Kraken blew a 2-0 lead and dropped to 2-4-2.

The Montreal Canadiens got an overtime goal from Cole Caufield in a 4-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets, who led 3-1 at one point before the Habs staged their comeback. Caufield and linemate Nick Suzuki each had a goal and two assists while Sam Montembeault turned aside 33 shots for the 4-2-1 Canadiens. Emil Bemstrom tallied twice while Jack Roslovic had a goal and two assists for the 3-2-2 Blue Jackets.

Winnipeg Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck stopped 35 shots to backstop his club over the Detroit Red Wings by a score of 4-1. Nino Niederreiter and Mason Appleton each had a goal and an assist for the Jets (4-3-0) as they extended their win streak to three games. Lucas Raymond replied for the 5-2-1 Red Wings.

Tampa Bay Lightning netminder Jonas Johansson turned aside 23 shots for his second straight shutout in a 6-0 defeat of the San Jose Sharks. Steven Stamkos, Victor Hedman, Mikhail Sergachev and Nick Perbix each collected two points for the 4-2-2 Lightning. The Sharks are still seeking their first win of the season as they sank to 0-6-1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A lack of scoring punch has hampered the rebuilding Sharks. They’ve managed just eight goals thus far.

The Toronto Maple Leafs got a goal and an assist from Morgan Rielly to defeat the Dallas Stars 4-1. Joseph Woll made 31 saves as the Leafs improved to 5-2-0. Mason Marchment replied for the 4-1-1 Stars.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Leafs defenseman Jake McCabe left the game in the first period with a lower-body injury. He will be re-evaluated on Friday.

New York Islanders defenseman Noah Dobson snapped a 2-2 tie with a third-period goal as his club nipped the Ottawa Senators 3-2. Bo Horvat and Cal Clutterbuck gave the Islanders (3-2-1) a 2-0 first-period lead but the Senators (3-4-0) rallied to tie it on goals by Claude Giroux and Jakob Chychrun.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Senators defenseman Erik Brannstrom was stretchered from the game in the second period when he struck his head on the ice following a hit by Clutterbuck. Following the game, the Senators released a statement indicating the blueliner was alert, had full use of his extremities, and was transported to a hospital for further observation and testing.

The Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Minnesota Wild 6-2. Flyers rookie Bobby Brink scored the first two goals of his NHL career while Cam Atkinson had three assists and Travis Sanheim had a goal and two assists for the 4-2-1 Flyers. Dakota Mermis and Marcus Foligno replied for the Wild as they slipped to 3-3-1.

New York Rangers goaltender Jonathan Quick made 29 saves to blank the Edmonton Oilers 3-0. Adam Fox, Braden Schneider and Artemi Panarin each collected two points as they improved to 5-2-0. The Oilers sank to 1-5-1 on the season.

St. Louis Blues netminder Joel Hofer stopped 27 shots for his first NHL shutout in a 3-0 victory over the Calgary Flames. Oskar Sundqvist had a goal and an assist for the Blues as they improved their record to 3-2-1. The Flames, meanwhile, dropped to 2-5-1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Following the game, Flames defenseman Nikita Zadorov offered a blunt apology for his club’s poor performance this season. “We’re playing like shit now,” he said.

It’s a grim time for Alberta’s NHL franchises. The Oilers entered this season considered among the favorites to win the Stanley Cup while the Flames were hoping to rebound from last season’s disappointing result.


OTTAWA SUN: The NHL yesterday announced a 41-game suspension of Senators center Shane Pinto for activities that violated the league’s gambling rules.

In a statement, the league indicated that Pinto didn’t wager on NHL games but offered no insight into the reasons behind the lengthy suspension. However, league sources stated that Pinto’s online gambling account in the United States was flagged by a company that is a partner with the NHL because of unusual activity. They contacted the league, which launched an investigation into the matter. It’s believed they found evidence connecting Pinto to a third-party bettor.

The 22-year-old Senators center issued an apology in which he took full responsibility for his actions. Meanwhile, the NHL Players Association was aware of the investigation and will not be appealing the suspension.

Pinto remains a restricted free agent as he was in the midst of contract talks with the Senators before the suspension, which is retroactive to the start of the club’s season. The earliest he can return to action is Jan. 21 against the Philadelphia Flyers. However, it’s not expected he’ll be back that soon as he’ll need time with the Senators’ AHL affiliate to get back into game shape.

The Senators said they would welcome Pinto’s return following his suspension. They called him a “valued member of our hockey club” and will provide support for him to “address his issues.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The NHL is criticized for not revealing the details that prompted Pinto’s lengthy suspension. There is also concern that he’s being punished by a league that has almost gone overboard with its recent embrace of legalized gambling. In addition, it raises questions about the NHL’s gambling policy regarding its players.

There are also questions over how Pinto’s suspension will affect his contract talks with the Senators and their efforts to free up cap space to sign him. I’ll have more about that in today’s Rumors update.

MLIVE.COM: Detroit Red Wings forward David Perron is mourning the shooting tragedy in Lewiston, Maine that left 18 people dead and many others wounded. Perron played his final year of junior hockey with the Lewiston MAINEiacs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in 2006-07 and still has friends in the area. 

THE SCORE: Zach Kassian announced his retirement after 12 NHL seasons with the Buffalo Sabres, Vancouver Canucks, Edmonton Oilers and Arizona Coyotes. In 661 regular-season games, Kassian had 92 goals and 111 assists for 203 points along with 913 PIMs. He also had nine points in 45 playoff games.

NHL Rumor Mill – October 13, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – October 13, 2023

Musing over whether the Oilers would pursue Bruins goalie Linus Ullmark plus the latest on the Flames’ Elias Lindholm, the Senators’ Shane Pinto, and the Hurricanes’ defense corps in today’s NHL Rumor Roundup.


BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: That’s the question Jimmy Murphy pondered after watching the Edmonton Oilers get blown out 8-1 by the Vancouver Canucks in their season opener on Wednesday.

Murphy cited an NHL executive source saying a few more games like that from Oilers goalies Jack Campbell and Stuart Skinner will force general manager Ken Holland into the trade market seeking a more permanent solution between the pipes. The source claimed they had heard the Oilers expressed interest in Bruins netminders Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman over the summer.

Boston Bruins goaltender Linus Ullmark (NHL Images).

Ullmark carries a modified no-trade clause and might be reluctant about moving to Edmonton. Murphy also pointed out that both clubs have limited cap space this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s way too early to start pondering whether Holland will hit the panic button and go shopping for a more reliable starting goalie. Yes, the Oilers’ season-opener was awful but it wasn’t just on their goalies. The whole club looked flatter than pancakes for that contest.

I expect Campbell and/or Skinner will improve in the coming weeks. If they don’t, Holland could end up having to shop for help. As for Ullmark, I don’t see the Bruins parting with him unless their season goes off the rails.


TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports dialogue continues between the Calgary Flames and Elias Lindholm regarding a new contract for the 28-year-old center. While there’s been no line in the sand from either side, they’re nowhere close yet on a number that works for both sides.

LeBrun speculates the Flames may be looking at Mark Scheifele’s seven-year extension worth $8.5 million annually with the Winnipeg Jets as a possible comparable.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is probably going to go on all season. The Flames can point to Scheifele’s contract but Lindholm’s camp believes his two-way play is worth more. Most pundits believe it’s probably going to cost over $9 million for the Flames to get him under contract.


TSN: Darren Dreger reports Ottawa Senators general manager Pierre Dorion is still working the phones trying to move a player to free up sufficient cap room to re-sign restricted free agent Shane Pinto.

Dorion has been trying to move Mathieu Joseph. Dreger also said he’s had conversations about moving defenseman Erik Brannstrom.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is what happens when you invest $5 million in an unrestricted free-agent winger like Vladimir Tarasenko without first ensuring you’ve got sufficient cap space to re-sign a key restricted free agent such as Pinto.

The Senators seemed to be counting on Pinto accepting a bargain-basement deal given his lack of leverage coming off his entry-level contract. Instead, the Pinto camp has dug in its heels and shows no sign of budging.

Dorion is left scrambling to move a salaried player in a season where most clubs are also pressed for cap space. Many teams can’t afford Joseph’s $2.95 million cap hit or Brannstrom’s $2 million. Those who could will want something else attached like a draft pick or a quality prospect.


THE ATHLETIC: Cory Lavalette reported on Wednesday that Carolina Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell said his club is not actively trying to shop a defenseman. However, he said it’s his job to listen if a club comes calling.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pending UFA defensemen Brett Pesce and Brady Skjei were frequent topics of trade chatter during the offseason. The Hurricanes’ blueline depth entering this season also prompted speculation that one of them could be used as a trade chip to land a scoring winger.

Much will depend on the Hurricanes’ performance and where they are in the standings leading up to the March 8 trade deadline.


TSN: Chris Johnston noted several teams, such as the Montreal Canadiens, Detroit Red Wings, Buffalo Sabres, Philadelphia Flyers and Chicago Blackhawks are carrying three goaltenders on their respective rosters this season. He thinks a lot of those teams are trying to hold back one of their veteran goalies rather than risk losing them to waivers.

NHL Rumor Mill – April 11, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – April 11, 2023

What could be in store this offseason for the Senators? What next for the Flames following their elimination from playoff contention? Check out the latest in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


THE ATHLETIC: Ian Mendes reports Ottawa Senators general manager Pierre Dorion yesterday told TSN’s 1200 that his club will be a salary-cap team for 2023-24. He admitted they might have to be creative with some bridge deals and long-term signings.

Ottawa Senators winger Alex DeBrincat (NHL Images).

The Senators are already carrying a $68.25 million salary cap hit for next season, leaving them with around $15 million available should the salary cap increase to its projected $83.5 million. Alex DeBrincat, Shane Pinto and Erik Brannstrom are restricted free agents this summer.

Dorion confirmed his club will exercise the $9 million qualifying offer for DeBrincat at the end of this season even if there isn’t a contract in place before then. It’s a means to maintain his rights while continuing to negotiate a new deal with his agent. DeBrincat is also a year away from unrestricted free agent eligibility so he’ll have a lot of leverage in contract talks this summer with the Senators.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There was never any question of the Senators qualifying DeBrincat’s rights for next season if a contract extension wasn’t in place before the end of June. Given how much they traded to Chicago last summer to acquire the 25-year-old winger, they won’t risk losing him to this summer’s UFA market.

Plenty of time remains for Senators management and the DeBrincat camp to hammer out a long-term deal that keeps him in Ottawa well beyond the end of next season. However, it will be an expensive signing. Perhaps it’ll be a front-loaded deal that keeps the annual average value between $8 million and $9 million on a seven or eight-year contract.

The Senators GM also sounded pleased with Brannstrom’s performance this season, indicating they’ll be bringing the 23-year-old blueliner back. Mendes expects he’ll get a healthy raise over his $900,000 salary for this season but the number of years could be a sticking point. He’ll also have arbitration rights this summer.

Mendes thinks Brannstrom, Pinto and Jake Sanderson could receive bridge contracts. He also noted that Dorion told pending UFA blueliner Travis Hamonic at the trade deadline that he would keep the door open for a contract extension.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Brannstrom’s raise could be as high as $2.5 million annually. Pinto is coming off his entry-level contract and lacks arbitration rights while Sanderson has a year left on his ELC. Those two won’t have much leverage and will likely have to settle for affordable short-term deals with the promise that they’ll get significant raises down the road.


CALGARY SUN: Wes Gilbertson looked ahead at the offseason questions facing the Flames following their elimination from playoff contention.

He wondered if general manager Brad Treliving will be signing a contract extension or if someone else will be doing his job this summer. Treliving garnered praise last summer for making the best of a tough situation last summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That tough situation was Johnny Gaudreau departing as a free agent and Matthew Tkachuk declining to sign a long-term contract. He shipped Tkachuk to Florida for Jonathan Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar and signed free-agent center Nazim Kadri.

Nevertheless, the Flames struggled on the ice this season. Huberdeau never came close to last season’s career-best of 115 points while Kadri’s production was also down this season.

Gilbertson wondered what the future holds for head coach Darryl Sutter. He’s under contract for two more seasons but couldn’t seem to get the most out of this underachieving roster.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Huberdeau and Kadri seemed to chafe under Sutter’s demanding ways. Maybe they all need another season to better adjust to each other or perhaps they need a coach that can do a better job of bringing out the best in those two and the rest of the roster.

There will likely be plenty of speculation in the coming weeks over what the Flames’ roster will look like for next season. However, those issues cannot be suitably addressed until we know what the future holds for Treliving and Sutter.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 6, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 6, 2022

The Golden Knights’ new coach hopes to help Jack Eichel improve while Nick Suzuki talks about the Canadiens’ captaincy and the pressure of playing in Montreal. Details and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

THE ATHLETIC: Vegas Golden Knights head coach Bruce Cassidy hopes to elevate the play of center Jack Eichel, who has yet to appear in postseason competition after seven NHL seasons. Cassidy has spoken with the 25-year-old center about his goals and said he’s motivated to win the Stanley Cup.

Vegas Golden Knights center Jack Eichel (NHL Images).

Eichel spent most of his NHL career with the struggling Buffalo Sabres before he was traded last season to the Golden Knights. He missed over half of last season recovering from neck surgery and played with a fractured right wrist down the stretch.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Eichel and Cassidy face tremendous pressure this season as the Golden Knights attempt to bounce back from missing the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. A strong performance by Eichel will be crucial toward achieving that goal and should make Cassidy’s job easier.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Appearing on the “Raw Knuckles Podcast,” Nick Suzuki spoke about the Canadiens’ captaincy and the pressure of playing in hockey-mad Montreal.

Suzuki, 23, is considered by some observers a favorite to become the Canadiens’ next captain. Asked about that role, he said he would “definitely be ready for it” if it came his way, pointing to examples set by former captain Shea Weber and teammates such as Brendan Gallagher.

Speaking about the pressure from fans and media in Montreal, Suzuki acknowledged their high expectations. However, he doesn’t let it interfere with how he prepares for the game. “As a player, you have to self-motivate, know where your game’s at, know how you’re playing and don’t let anything outside affect you,” he said.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see who the Canadiens choose as their next captain. It could be a rising young star such as Suzuki or perhaps a veteran such as Gallagher who’s been with the team for years.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators signed restricted free agent defenseman Erik Brannstrom to a one-year, $900K contract.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Former Oilers defenseman Ladislav Smid has been invited to help as a guest coach with the WHL’s Edmonton Oil Kings. Smid, 36, spent nearly eight of his 10 NHL seasons with the Oilers.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: The Sharks are reportedly considering rebranding their home and away jerseys for 2023-24.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 27, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 27, 2022

Leon Draisaitl talks about how his ankle injury affected his postseason play, Joe Thornton won’t be returning with the Panthers, Mike Babcock intends to retire from coaching and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

THE SCORE: Kayla Douglas cited Leon Draisaitl telling Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman how his high ankle sprain during the playoffs forced him to change his style of play. The Edmonton Oilers center suffered the injury in Game 6 of his club’s first-round series against the Los Angeles Kings.

Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl (NHL Images).

Draisaitl usually relies on speed to beat his opponents. He explained that the injury forced him to slow down his game and evolve as a player. “I tried to find a way to be productive in a different way,” said Draisaitl. “I thought I did a pretty good job of that.”

For the remainder of the Oilers’ playoff run, Draisaitl scored twice and collected 22 assists in 10 games while playing a more stationary style.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was apparent Draisaitl was hampered by his injury yet his output was impressive. It’s bad news for opponents that he used the experience to evolve his style of play. This lesson could also help him remain productive when age inevitably slows his skating.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: On Wednesday, Joe Thornton’s wife posted to her private Instagram account that the family will be moving on from South Florida. He signed a one-year contract last summer with the Panthers but appeared in just 34 regular-season games and one playoff contest. It’s uncertain what the future holds for the 43-year-old free-agent forward.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: After 24 seasons, Thornton’s NHL career has likely come to an end. His performance has been declining since his season-ending knee injury in 2017-18.

650 CKOM: Mike Babcock said he intends to retire from coaching after stepping down earlier this week as head coach of the University of Saskatchewan Huskies. While he seemed to leave the door open for a possible return to the NHL coach ranks, the 59-year-old indicated retirement was best for himself and his family.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Babcock had a long and successful career in the NHL. He sits 10th all-time in wins (700) between 2002-03 and 2019-20 with the Anaheim Ducks, Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs, winning the Stanley Cup with the Wings in 2008. Babcock faced allegations of bullying players following his dismissal by the Leafs but he has denied those claims.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: The Red Wings signed Filip Zadina to a three-year contract with an average annual value of $1.825 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Chosen sixth overall in the 2018 NHL Draft, Zadina has struggled to play up to expectations as a top-six winger. The Wings appear intent on staying patient with the 22-year-old right winger. His affordable new contract could also make him easier to trade if the two sides feel he might benefit from a change of scenery.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: The Lightning signed Philippe Myers to a one-year, $1.4 million contract extension. The 25-year-old defenseman was acquired from the Nashville Predators as part of the return in the Ryan McDonagh trade earlier this summer. Myers is entering the final season of his current contract with a $2.55 million cap hit.

DAILY FACEOFF: Vegas Golden Knights GM Kelly McCrimmon said the club will go with the goalie tandem of Logan Thompson and Laurent Brossoit to start the upcoming season. There was speculation over how they would address the absence of Robin Lehner, who is undergoing double hip surgery.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: McCrimmon has no choice. There are no viable replacement options via free agency or the trade market for his cap-strapped club.

TSN: cited the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch reporting Senators general manager Pierre Dorion saying he’s still talking with the agents for Erik Brannstrom and Alex Formenton. He anticipates the two restricted free agents to be signed before training camp opens next month.

In other Senators’ news, they recently reached an affiliation agreement with the ECHL’s Allen Americans. Speaking of NHL teams and ECHL affiliates…

CALGARY SUN: The Flames named the Rapid City Rush as their ECHL affiliate.

NHL.COM: The San Jose Sharks did the same with the Wichita Thunder as did the Arizona Coyotes with the Atlanta Gladiators.