NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 4, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 4, 2021

Check out the latest on Evander Kane, Jonathan Toews, John Klingberg, John Tortorella and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

THE ATHLETIC: Kevin Kurz reports several of Evander Kane’s teammates don’t want the San Jose Sharks winger to return to the club next season. That strained relationship was also the reason behind the club’s attempt to trade him earlier this summer.

San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane (NHL Images).

One source said the frustration stemmed from Kane’s disrespect for teams rules, including being late for practices and games. He faced no consequences for those actions, which didn’t sit well with younger teammates.

TSN: Kane has taken a voluntary leave of absence from the Hockey Diversity Alliance as the league investigates recent allegations that he bet on NHL games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kane’s troubles appear to be mounting. Earlier this year, he filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy citing over $26 million in debts with $10.2 million in assets. $1.5 million of those losses were related to gambling.

The Mercury News’ Curtis Pashelka speculated Kane’s gambling issues and the friction with his teammates could force Sharks management to buy out the remainder of his contract in the second buyout window. The club is eligible to use that opportunity because goaltender Adin Hill filed for salary arbitration.

Pashelka indicates a buyout of Kane would leave a total of $13 million in deal cap space on the Sharks payroll over the next four years. That’s in conjunction with the $7.25 million over the next three years from their recent buyout of Martin Jones.

Trading Kane would be the preferred option. As Kurz points out, however, the winger’s aforementioned issues combined with his $7 million annual average value for the next four seasons and a three-team trade list could make that move impossible.

TSN: Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman said the club remains without a firm timeline for Jonathan Toews’ return. However, the club remains hopeful their 33-year-old captain will be ready for the start of this season. Toews missed all of last season with chronic immune response syndrome.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars GM Jim Nill said his club has started contract extension talks with John Klingberg. The 29-year-old defenseman is due to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. He’s earning an annual average value of $4.25 million on his current contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Klingberg will get a significant raise on his next deal. I don’t see the Stars paying him more than the $8.45 million AAV they’re paying to Miro Heiskanen, who’s a better all-around defenseman. If he seeks more, this season could be his last in Dallas.

STLTODAY.COM: The Blues reached an agreement with forward Jordan Kyrou on a two-year, $5.6 million contract.

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes signed center Travis Boyd to a one-year, $750K contract.

NEW YORK POST: Former NHL coach John Tortorella is joining ESPN as a studio analyst.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tortorella worked briefly with TSN in a similar role in 2008. Like him or not, he speaks his mind and that will make for entertaining television.

WGR 550: The Rochester Americans hired former Buffalo Sabres captain Michael Peca as an assistant coach. He spent last season as a development coach with the Washington Capitals.

TORONTO SUN: John Lilley has left his role as Maple Leafs director of amateur scouting to join the New York Rangers as director of player personnel and amateur scouting.










NHL Rumor Mill – January 26, 2018

NHL Rumor Mill – January 26, 2018

Reviewing the latest additions to the TSN trade-bait list plus updates on the Red Wings, Sharks and more in your NHL rumor mill.

Buffalo Sabres forward Sam Reinhart is the latest addition to TSN’s trade-bait board (Photo via NHL Images).

LATEST FROM TSN’s INSIDERS

TSN: New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh, St. Louis Blues prospect Jordan Kyrou, Buffalo Sabres winger Sam Reinhart, Colorado Avalanche winger Blake Comeau and Winnipeg Jets centre Nic Petan are the latest additions to Frank Seravalli’s list of trade bait heading toward the Feb. 26 NHL trade deadline.

Seravalli claims “multiple teams” have expressed interest in McDonagh, though he anticipates the Rangers could wait until the summer to make such a significant move. McDonagh also carries a 10-team “no-trade” clause. While the Blues could be reluctant to part with the promising Kyrou, he could be what’s required to land them a scoring winger such as Buffalo’s Evander Kane at the trade deadline. Seravalli said the Jets seek a center or winger to plug into their top-two lines which is why Petan makes the list.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bear in mind Seravalli isn’t saying those players are definitely available or being shopped. Regarding McDonagh, there’s lots of chatter the Rangers could listen to offers but there’s also no guarantee he’s a goner at the deadline.

If the Blues were to part with a quality prospect such as Kyrou, they might prefer landing someone with term remaining on his contract. If they went after a pending UFA like Kane, they could seek assurances he’ll re-sign with them before agreeing to part with a significant prospect. 

Reinhart’s name has occasionally surfaced in the rumor mill amid talk Sabres management are disappointed with his regression this season. However, it might be better to remain patient with him and see if he can rebound next season.

The Jets could wait until Mark Scheifele’s return next month before reaching a decision on potential deadline moves. I expect they’ll be buyers this season.

Not sure the Avs would move Comeau. He’s a pending UFA but with the club playing well of late there’s no reason for them to become sellers. 

TSNPierre LeBrun speculates the San Jose Sharks might get more aggressive searching for a scorer in the trade market after learning center Joe Thornton is sidelined indefinitely following arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. Before Thornton’s injury, they were in the market for a fourth-line center. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: What the Sharks do will depend upon how they adjust to Thornton’s absence and their position in the standings over the next two-three weeks. Pickings are slim for quality centers potentially available in the trade market. Montreal’s Tomas Plekanec, Edmonton’s Mark Letestu, Ottawa’s Jean-Gabriel Pageau and the New York Rangers’ David Desharnais are the notables kicking around the rumor mill. Speaking of Letestu and Pageau…

LeBrun also reports it’s believed Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford seeks a bottom-six center and has kicked the tires on Letestu and Pageau. 

Darren Dreger reports former Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov is interested in returning to the NHL but he faces a lengthy process to do so. His application for reinstatement isn’t expected until the conclusion of the KHL season. It would also coincide with the expiration of his contract with the LA Kings, who hold his NHL rights. There’s also immigration issues to sort out. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Voynov returned to Russia with his family in Sep. 2015 as a result of his legal issues stemming from domestic violence charges. That could make it difficult for him to return to the United States. 

LATEST ON THE RED WINGS

THE ATHLETIC: Craig Custance reports an NHL source said the Detroit Red Wings have informed potential trade-deadline buyers that they’re ready to sell now. Unrestricted free agent defenseman Mike Green is the obvious trade candidate but there are others they could move.

The Wings came close last fall to trading goaltender Petr Mrazek to Edmonton but the return at that time wasn’t much, believed to be a mid-round pick. His improved play of late may increase his value. Veteran netminder Jimmy Howard, meanwhile, could also be available. The problem with moving Mrazek or Howard is there isn’t much of a market for goaltenders right now.  

Custance speculates the Vegas Golden Knights could be a destination for Green. Golden Knights GM George McPhee knows Green well from their days with the Washington Capitals. If there’s an interest in a Wings’ forward with term remaining on their contract, such as Tomas Tatar or Gustav Nyquist, a trade would be entertained if a deal makes sense now. 

Only the Wings young players, such as Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha and Andreas Athanasiou, are considered untouchable. Detroit’s blueline must also get younger and better. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Green is one for certain. He’s got a full no-trade but I can see him waiving it to go to a playoff contender. The Golden Knights are playing well but they could benefit from a rental addition to their blueline. Green’s puck-moving abilities could make him a good fit there if the price is right. So far, however, the Wings haven’t yet approached him about waiving that clause. 

A playoff bubble team in dire need of a goaltending upgrade (hello there, New York Islanders) could express interest in Mrazek or Howard. I think Howard might be more enticing to a playoff club. Yes, Mrazek is playing well this month but his previous inconsistency could hurt his value.