NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 2, 2023
Islanders re-sign Ilya Sorokin to a long-term extension, Rangers sign Jonathan Quick, Panthers trade Anthony Duclair to the Sharks, and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: You can see my listing of notable NHL signings and trades during the opening hours of free agency on July 1 by following this link. The following is a compilation of those that occurred later in the day or in the evening.
NEW YORK POST: The Islanders signed goaltender Ilya Sorokin to an eight-year contract with an average annual value of $8.25 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A smart move by the Isles to get their starting goalie under a long-term extension. In just three NHL seasons, the 27-year-old Sorokin has established himself among the league’s top netminders. It’s also a reasonable AAV that could become a bargain over the long term if he maintains his caliber of play over that period, especially as the salary cap rises in the coming years.
Speaking of goaltenders, the New York Rangers signed Jonathan Quick to a one-year, $825K contract with a maximum of $100K in performance bonuses.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Quick is no longer the elite goalie of a decade ago when he was backstopping the Los Angeles Kings to two Stanley Cups in three years. Nevertheless, the 37-year-old could be a reliable 20-25 game backup for starter Igor Shesterkin, who could also benefit from Quick’s experience.
TSN: The Florida Panthers traded winger Anthony Duclair to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for forward Steven Lorentz and a fifth-round pick in 2025.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was a salary dump by the Panthers to free up salary cap space. There’s speculation they could be making an addition via the free-agent market. We’ll find out if that’s the case soon enough.
The 27-year-old Duclair has reached or exceeded 20 goals and 40 points three times in his nine NHL seasons but was limited to just nine points in 20 games in 2022-23 by a torn Achilles tendon. He carries an AAV of $3 million for 2023-24 and will be a UFA next summer.
Duclair should provide a boost to the Sharks offense but might not fit into the rebuilding club’s long-term plans. Don’t be surprised if they shop him near the 2024 trade deadline.
The Toronto Maple Leafs signed defenseman John Klingberg to a one-year, $4.15 million deal.
DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: The Red Wings inked defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere to a one-year, $4.125 million contract.
DAILY FACEOFF: The Philadelphia Flyers signed forward Garnet Hathaway to a two-year, $4.75 million contract.
NEW JERSEY HOCKEY NOW: The Devils acquired defenseman Colin Miller from the Dallas Stars in exchange for a 2025 fifth-round pick.
COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: The Avalanche inked defenseman Bo Byram to a two-year contract with an AAV of $3.85 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is a bridge deal for Byram, who was completing his entry-level contract and lacked arbitration rights. The talented 22-year-old blueliner has been limited by injuries to 72 games over the past two seasons.
TSN: The Arizona Coyotes signed forward Alex Kerfoot to a two-year, $7 million contract.
SPORTSNET: The Detroit Red Wings signed goaltender Alex Lyon to a two-year, $1.8 million deal.
DAILY FACEOFF: Tyler Bertuzzi and Vladimir Tarasenko are among the notable players still available in this summer’s unrestricted free-agent market.
Others include Max Domi, Patrick Kane, Matt Dumba and Jonathan Toews.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Don’t expect Kane or Toews to be signing new contracts right away. Kane is recovering from hip resurfacing that could sideline him for at least four months while Toews is mulling whether to return to action or retire.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Adam Fantilli won’t be returning to the University of Michigan, signing a three-year entry-level contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets. The 18-year-old center was chosen third overall by the Blue Jackets in the 2023 NHL Draft.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes is asking the club’s fans to be patient with David Reinbacher before judging his performance. Some Canadiens fans were upset over the Habs’ selection of the 18-year-old Austrian defenseman with the fifth-overall pick in the 2023 NHL Draft, so much so that several of them sent hateful messages to Reinbacher on social media.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s one thing to disagree with a team’s first-round selection during the draft. It’s another to attack the player on his social media account. People who do this are cowards who get off on saying things to people through social media that they wouldn’t dare say to their faces. You’re not the type of fan your favorite team wants or needs.