NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 19, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 19, 2020

The latest on the Bruins, Blackhawks, Leafs and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

THE SCORE: Boston Bruins GM Don Sweeney is willing to let Zdeno Chara take his time to reach a decision for the 2020-21 season. He said he’s been in regular contact with the 43-year-old defenseman and his agent. Chara is an unrestricted free agent who’s spent the past 14 seasons with the Bruins.

Zdeno Chara has yet to reach a decision on next season (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Chara’s agent recently said his client is drawing interest from multiple teams. For now, there’s no indication the long-time Bruins captain is planning to leave Boston. The uncertainty over what next season will look like could be a factor in his decision not to rush into signing a new contract.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Uncertainty over the status of Brent Seabrook, Andrew Shaw and Zack Smith is affecting the Blackhawks’ salary-cap flexibility. The trio missed the 2020 playoffs because of injuries and there’s some question whether they’ll be medically cleared to play next season. They could be placed on long-term injury reserve to start the season, which would allow the Blackhawks to address their goaltending and other roster issues.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blackhawks have around $5 million in cap space with center Dylan Strome to re-sign. Seabrook, Shaw and Smith take up roughly $14 million.

TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas doesn’t anticipate making any more significant offseason moves for the 2020-21 season. Dubas has added Joe Thornton, TJ Brodie, Wayne Simmonds, Aaron Dell, Zach Bogosian, Jimmy Vesey, Travis Boyd and Joey Anderson. He also brought back Jason Spezza. He doesn’t anticipate having to move out salary to re-sign restricted free agents Ilya Mikheyev, Travis Dermott and Anderson.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates the Leafs have $1.469 million in salary-cap space. Dubas could bury some salary in the minors.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: Avalanche forward Tyson Jost elected to sign his one-year qualifying offer worth over $874K.


NHL Offseason Lookahead – Colorado Avalanche

NHL Offseason Lookahead – Colorado Avalanche


NHL Rumor Mill – May 21, 2020

NHL Rumor Mill – May 21, 2020

The latest on the Canadiens and an update on Tyson Barrie in today’s NHL rumor mill.


SPORTSNET: In his latest mailbag segment, Eric Engels was asked what he thought Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin was doing in Colorado before the Feb. 24 trade deadline. Avalanche GM Joe Sakic dismissed the speculation at the time, pointing out Bergevin’s daughter attends Colorado University, but Engels indicated that didn’t explain why Canadiens’ assistant GM Scott Mellanby accompanied him on that trip.

Montreal Canadiens center Max Domi (Photo via NHL Images).

Engels believes something was brewing between the two clubs before the deadline, though he’s not certain what might’ve been discussed. “What I would say, however, is that some seeds were likely planted and we could see something materialize between these teams at some point this off-season,” he said. “There are multiple scenarios that make them good trading partners.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bergevin’s visit to Colorado sparked plenty of wild speculation before the trade deadline. Canadiens like Tomas Tatar, Phillip Danault, Jeff Petry, Max Domi, Jonathan Drouin, and even Carey Price were bandied about in the rumor mill, while Philipp Grubauer, Tyson Jost, Samuel Girard, Ryan Graves, and Nikita Zadorov were mentioned as potential Avs trade candidates.

Maybe the Canadiens and Avalanche will hammer out a major deal before next season, or maybe their rumored trade talks in February will come to nothing. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Asked about the possibility of the Canadiens bringing back Mikhail Sergachev by signing the Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman to an offer sheet, Engels thinks it would be too expensive, perhaps costing around $8 million annually plus the loss of a first, a second, and a third-round pick as compensation if the Bolts didn’t match. Instead, the Habs could keep an eye on which players the Lightning might shop in a cost-cutting deal to free up the cap room to re-sign Sergachev.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sergachev would have to be receptive to signing an offer sheet in the first place. If he isn’t, it’s a waste of time pursuing that plan. As Engels points out, the Habs could instead look at acquiring someone like Ondrej Palat, Alex Killorn, Yanni Gourde, or Tyler Johnson if the Bolts put one of them on the trade block. Those four, however, have no-trade protection, meaning one of them would have to agree to be traded to Montreal.

Engels was asked about the long-term futures of Domi and Tatar in Montreal. He feels if Domi, a restricted free agent, was trending toward a one-year deal before the season was paused, it’s difficult to imagine he’ll get a longer-term offer now. Tatar, a UFA next summer, may have been on his way to pricing himself out of Montreal, but a flat cap beyond next season could make it difficult for him to get that type of deal. Engels likes the chances of both staying in Montreal next season.


THE SCORE: Matt Teague reports Tyson Barrie admitted he’s facing uncertainty following this season. The Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman is slated to become an unrestricted free agent, but the current pause of the schedule means it’s yet to be determined when he’ll be heading to market. “It’s a weird time to be heading into free agency,” Barrie said, adding his current focus is on helping the Leafs make a playoff run whenever this season resumes.

Regarding possible destinations as a free agent, Barrie indicated he’ll be seeking a team looking for a defenseman with his skills. “A good team headed in the right direction and a good organization,” he said. “I think there’s a lot of right organizations that tick those boxes.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Vancouver Canucks could be one of those clubs. Barrie was born in Victoria, BC, and makes his off-season home there. He was linked to the Canucks before the trade deadline.  He could be a fit as a right-side defenseman if they part ways with Chris Tanev or Troy Stecher in the off-season.



NHL Free Agents & Trade Candidates – Colorado Avalanche

NHL Free Agents & Trade Candidates – Colorado Avalanche


NHL Rumor Mill – February 29, 2020

NHL Rumor Mill – February 29, 2020

Check out the latest on the Rangers plus recent updates on Shayne Gostisbehere and Tyson Jost in today’s NHL rumor mill.


NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Jordan Hall reported the Philadelphia Flyers weren’t shopping Shayne Gotisbehere contrary to speculation on social media. Even if they were, his trade stock is low due to injuries and a career-worst performance this season.

General manager Chuck Fletcher admitted teams had called about the 26-year-old defenseman. “Nothing really makes sense right now to me to move one of our seven D unless we’re getting a really great impact player back in some area,” he said. “Those types of trades usually don’t happen right now.”

Despite trade speculation, Shayne Gostisbehere remains with the Philadelphia Flyers (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It wasn’t just on social media where Gostisbehere surfaced in trade rumors. His name was floated more than once in the press, especially last fall when he was linked to the Montreal Canadiens.

Nevertheless, Fletcher admitted teams had made inquiries, but it’s apparent he wasn’t going to get back a solid return. That might not stop rival general managers from seeing if they can get him on the cheap.


NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks believes the Rangers trading Brady Skjei to the Carolina Hurricanes at the trade deadline means they won’t have to rip up the roster to accommodate new contracts for restricted free agents such as Ryan Strome and Tony DeAngelo. He also feels they won’t have to trade winger Pavel Buchnevich to get under next season’s salary cap.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers are in a better spot cap-wise for next season, but they’re not out of the woods yet. They have over $67 million invested in 15 players for 2020-21.

With Skjei off the books and Kreider re-signed, they have sufficient room to re-sign RFAs DeAngelo, Strome. Alexandar Georgiev and Brendan Lemieux, as well as UFA winger Jesper Fast if they wish. The arbitration rights held by those RFAs could complicate things. If they seek much more than the Rangers are willing to spend, it’ll quickly eat up that cap space.

They could pass on Fast, or consider trading one of those RFAs this summer if their asking prices prove too expensive. They could walk away from an arbitration ruling, or maybe move Buchnevich or somebody else to make room for the new salaries. If they’re looking at adding someone, that could also lead to a cost-cutting deal.


THE ATHLETIC: Following the trade deadline, Ryan S. Clark wondered if Tyson Jost still has a future with the Colorado Avalanche. The 21-year-old center popped up in the rumor mill leading up to the recent trade deadline. He’s spent 31 games as their fourth-line center this season and has shuffled up on the lineup due to injuries. A healthy roster might not leave much room for Jost.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Jost isn’t traded this summer, next season could prove crucial to his future with the Avs. Clark suggests he could be left unprotected in the 2021 expansion draft.