NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 30, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 30, 2023

The Maple Leafs win their first playoff series in 19 years, the Oilers eliminate the Kings and the Rangers force Game 7 with the Devils. Details and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: For the first time since 2004, the Toronto Maple Leafs advance to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. John Tavares’ overtime goal gave the Leafs a 2-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning to win their first-round series four games to two. Toronto center Auston Matthews opened the scoring in the second period but Lightning captain tied it in the third period to force overtime. Ilya Samsonov kicked out 31 shots for the win.

Toronto Maple Leafs captain John Tavares (NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs await the winner of the Boston Bruins-Florida Panthers series. Game 7 of that matchup goes this evening at 6:30 pm ET in Boston.

This was a well-deserved and long-overdue series victory for the Maple Leafs. Samsonov was solid in goal for most of this series while star players like Tavares and Matthews rose to the occasion in nearly every game. The players brought in by management at the trade deadline gave them a deep roster that the Lightning ultimately couldn’t match despite their experienced core.

I’ve seen some fans of other clubs mocking Leafs supporters on social media for their enthusiastic celebration of their team finally winning a playoff round after 19 years. I’m not a Leafs fan but I have relatives and friends who’ve stood by this club for years, even decades, and I’m happy for them. It takes a special kind of devotion to stick by a team that has frustrated them for so long. If I were in their shoes, I’d be in a party-hearty mood too.

As for the Lightning, this could be the end of perhaps the most dominating run of any NHL team in the salary-cap era. As The Tampa Bay Times’ John Romano observed, the Lightning won more games and scored more goals than any other NHL club over the last nine years. They won 50 more postseason games than any other team, went to six Conference Finals and four Stanley Cup Finals, winning two championships.

The cost of maintaining a Cup contender under the salary cap, however, also depleted their roster over the past three seasons. Players departed via free agency or cost-cutting trades as cap dollars went to retain their core players. Even though many of those players accepted hometown discounts, it was still expensive to keep guys like Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov, Victor Hedman, Andrei Vasilevskiy and Brayden Point in the fold.

That core of talent is still solid enough to keep the Lightning competitive as a playoff contender over the next several years. Higher increases in the salary cap after next season could help them replenish their roster. Nevertheless, their championship window appears to have finally slammed shut.

The Edmonton Oilers also advanced to the second round by defeating the Los Angeles Kings 5-4 on a tie-breaking goal by Kailer Yamamoto late in the third period to win their series four games to two. Klim Kostin scored twice and collected an assist while Stuart Skinner stopped 40 shots for the Oilers, who go on to face the Vegas Golden Knights in the second round. Kevin Fiala had a goal and two assists for the Kings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This series didn’t go the full seven games like last year’s between these two teams but it was still closely contested and very exciting. I don’t think we’ve seen the last of the Oilers and Kings meeting in the postseason over the next several years.

Not to take anything away from the Oilers’ well-earned series victory but I wonder if the outcome would’ve been the same had Fiala played in every game in this series. Sidelined by injury for the first three games, he had six points for the Kings in their final three games, giving their offense a noticeable boost.

The New York Rangers defeated the New Jersey Devils 5-2 to force a seventh and deciding game in their first-round series on Monday night in New Jersey. Chris Kreider led the way with a goal and two assists while Mika Zibanejad and Vladimir Tarasenko each had a goal and an assist and Igor Shesterkin made 34 saves. Curtis Lazar and Dawson Mercer replied for the Devils.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s only fitting that these long-time rivals should go to Game 7 in this series. It’s been an interesting back-and-forth between these two clubs with the Rangers dominating the first two games, the Devils bouncing back with three straight wins and the Blueshirts staving off elimination on home ice.


COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: Avalanche forward Andrew Cogliano suffered a fractured neck and is sidelined indefinitely. He suffered the injury during Game 6 of the Avalanche-Kraken series when he was hit from behind by Kraken winger Jordan Eberle and driven head-first into the boards. Eberle receive a two-minute minor penalty and received no supplemental discipline for his actions. Game 7 of the Avalanche-Kraken series goes tonight in Colorado.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yet another example of how much of a joke the NHL’s so-called “department of player safety” has become in the eyes of the fans and pundits.

Eberle isn’t a dirty player and has never done anything like this before. Nevertheless, it was a dangerous hit that deserved at least a five-minute major and a match penalty. Even if we give the on-ice officials the benefit of the doubt with their initial call (something that’s becoming increasingly difficult to do in every series of this round), the department of player safety should’ve reviewed this and handed down the proper discipline.

And yet, nothing. Not a peep.

Cogliano’s postseason is probably over even if the Avs reach the Stanley Cup Final. Eberle, meanwhile, gets away with a dangerous hit and continues to play. The league’s officiating loses more respect while the department tasked with protecting the players loses more credibility.

What a farce.

Speaking of the Avalanche, The Denver Post’s Bennett Durando reports Josh Manson and Darren Helm remain sidelined for Game 7.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: Matthew Tkachuk has played a major role in the Panthers’ rallying to force Game 7 against the Boston Bruins. He scored the overtime goal in Game 5 and led the way in Game 6 with two goals and an assist.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tkachuk was Florida’s leading scorer during the regular season with 109 points. He’s also their leader in this series with five goals and 10 points in six games. Love him or hate him, Tkachuk’s aggressive style has paid dividends for the Panthers.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery said Saturday that the decision on who starts in goal for them in Game 7 against the Panthers will be made on Sunday morning. There’s speculation Jeremy Swayman could get the call after starter Linus Ullmark struggled in his last two games.

THE ATHLETIC: Minnesota Wild goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury said he intends to honor the final season of his contract. The 38-year-old hinted next season might be his last. “I’ve got one more year and that might be it,” he said.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Age is catching up with Fleury, who lost the starter’s job to Filip Gustavsson during the Wild’s first-round series against the Dallas Stars.

WINNIPEG SUN: Blake Wheeler and Kyle Connor were among several Jets who took issue with head coach Rick Bowness’ scathing public criticism of their performance following their first-round elimination by the Vegas Golden Knights.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wheeler said he didn’t agree with how Bowness handled himself after that game, preferring the coach directed those comments to them behind close doors. If you asked most Jets fans, however, they probably agreed with Bowness questioning the players’ lack of pride and pushback in their series against Vegas and over the final two months of the regular season.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 29, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 29, 2023

The Hurricanes and Stars advance to the second round, the Panthers and Avalanche avoid elimination to force Game 7 in their respective series, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: An overtime goal by Paul Stastny lifted the Carolina Hurricanes to a 2-1 victory over the New York Rangers to win their best-of-seven first-round series four games to two. Sebastian Aho scored the tying goal for the Hurricanes while Frederik Andersen made 33 saves in his 2023 playoff debut. Ilya Sorokin stopped 39 shots and Cal Clutterbuck scored for the Islanders.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Islanders made this game a tight-checking low-scoring contest but they were undone by a lack of scoring punch that dogged them throughout this series and during the regular season. Addressing that issue should be their offseason priority.

Andersen played well after an illness sidelined him from most of this series. He and his teammates await the winner of the New Jersey Devils-New York Rangers series.

Dallas Stars center Roope Hintz (NHL Images)

The Dallas Stars defeated the Minnesota Wild 4-1 to take their first-round series four games to two. Jake Oettinger turned aside 23 shots, Roope Hintz scored his playoff-leading 12th point while Mason Marchment and Max Domi each had a goal and an assist for the Stars. Frederick Gaudreau replied for the Wild.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dallas dominated most of this series led by a new generation of Stars like Hintz, Oettinger, Jason Robertson and Miro Heiskanen along with a resurgent Tyler Seguin.

This was a disappointing series for the Wild. Leading goal-scorers Kirill Kaprizov and Matt Boldy had just one goal between them while their defense at times struggled to contain the Stars’ scorers. With a salary-cap crunch coming for next season, management will find it difficult to improve their roster.

There will be a seventh and deciding game between the Boston Bruins and Florida Panthers as the latter tied the series with a 7-5 victory in Game 6. Eetu Luostarinen broke a 5-5 tie with 5:38 remaining in the third period. Matthew Tkachuk led the way for the Panthers with two goals and an assist. David Pastrnak scored twice for the Bruins.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The series returns to Boston for Game 7 on Sunday as the Panthers battled back from being down three games to one to force this winner-take-all situation. They also had to do with winger Ryan Lomberg sidelined for this game with an upper-body injury.

Game 6 was an entertaining throwback to 1980s high-scoring hockey with the two clubs combining for seven goals in the third period. One team would score and the other would quickly reply to tie the game. It was punch and counterpunch that was only really settled by Sam Bennett’s empty-netter in the dying seconds of the third.

Boston fans and pundits are calling for Bruins coach Jim Montgomery to replace starting goalie Linus Ullmark with Jeremy Swayman for Game 7 as the former has struggled over the last two games. Ullmark hasn’t been helped by his teammates as the vaunted Bruins defense has grown porous of late. If they don’t regain their form in Game 7 it might not matter if Swayman is the starter for that contest.

The Colorado Avalanche forced a Game 7 with a series-tying 4-1 victory over the Seattle Kraken. Artturi Lehkonen tallied twice, Mikko Rantanen had a goal and an assist and Alexandar Georgiev made 22 saves for the Avalanche. Vince Dunn replied for the Kraken. Game 7 goes Sunday in Colorado.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avalanche got the win with defenseman Josh Manson sidelined from this game with a lower-body injury. It’s not known yet if he’ll return to the lineup for Game 7.

Few observers expected this series to go the distance, let alone that the Avalanche would be the club facing a do-or-die situation in Game 6 to force a seventh-and-deciding contest. No matter the outcome of Game 7, the Kraken should be commended for how they’ve held their own in this series against the defending Stanley Cup champions.


NEW YORK POST: Vladimir Tarasenko ranks seventh among Rangers forwards in overall ice time and power-play ice time. Larry Brooks believes it’s imperative for head coach Gerard Gallant to give the sniper more playing time if the Rangers hope to avoid elimination by the New Jersey Devils in Game 6 of their first-round series tonight.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak will be sidelined for Game 6 tonight against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Cernak hasn’t played since being hit in the head in Game 1 by Leafs winger Michael Bunting, who received a three-game suspension. Toronto leads the series three games to two.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Mattias Ekholm is enjoying the role of mentoring young Oilers defenseman Evan Bouchard.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bouchard’s performance has improved since being paired with Ekholm after the latter was acquired from the Nashville Predators before the trade deadline.

SPORTSNET: Actor Ryan Reynolds and the Remington Group led by real-estate mogul Christopher Bratty are said to be preparing to bid more than $1 billion for the Ottawa Senators. The deadline for the second and final round of bids is May 15.


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 5, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 5, 2023

Lightning stars benched in loss to Sabres, the league-leading Bruins pick up their 10th straight win by downing the Rangers, and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: Buffalo Sabres forwards Tage Thompson and Jeff Skinner each had a goal and an assist in a 5-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Eric Comrie made 33 saves as the Sabres (32-25-4) sit within three points of the Pittsburgh Penguins for the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth with 68 points. Alex Killorn scored two goals for the Lightning (37-20-5) as they dropped their fourth straight game and sit third in the Atlantic Division with 79 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lightning head coach Jon Cooper wasn’t pleased with his club’s performance. He benched his top line of Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point for the entire third period. “It just felt, in the third period, that they weren’t giving us the best chance to win,” said Cooper. Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak missed this game with a lower-body injury and is listed as day-to-day.

New York Islanders captain Anders Lee (NHL Images).

The New York Islanders got two goals from captain Anders Lee to defeat the Detroit Red Wings 4-1, handing the latter their fifth straight loss. The Islanders improved to 32-25-8 and vaulted over the Penguins into the first Eastern wild-card berth with 72 points. Dylan Larkin replied for the Red Wings as they fell to 28-25-9 (65 points).

Speaking of the Penguins, their four-game win streak came to an end as they dropped a 4-1 decision to the Florida Panthers. Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 31 shots while Carter Verhaeghe had a goal and an assist for the 31-27-6 Panthers (68 points) as they sit three points back of the 31-22-9 Penguins (71 points). Kris Letang scored Pittsburgh’s only goal while Casey DeSmith made 38 saves.

The league-leading Boston Bruins picked up their 10th straight victory by doubling up the New York Rangers 4-2. Tyler Bertuzzi collected an assist in his Bruins debut while Charlie Coyle had a goal and an assist as their club improved to 49-8-5 and sit atop the overall standings with 103 points. Alexis Lafreniere scored both goals for the Rangers (35-19-9), who’ve dropped six of their last eight and sit third in the Metropolitan Division with 79 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The much-anticipated reunion of Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin has yet to pan out for the Rangers. In fairness, it’s only been two games and Kane is still adjusting to his new teammates after 16 seasons in Chicago. The Rangers were also short two defensemen with K’Andre Miller serving a suspension and Ryan Lindgren sidelined by an injury.

Dallas Stars winger Jason Robertson scored twice and collected an assist as his club snowed under the Colorado Avalanche by a score of 7-3. Roope Hintz collected two assists as the Stars (34-16-13) hold a one-point lead over the Vegas Golden Knights for first place in the Western Conference with 81 points. The Avalanche dropped to 34-21-5 and hold the final Western wild-card spot with 73 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cale Makar returned to the Avalanche lineup after being activated off concussion protocol. Meanwhile, Avs defenseman Josh Manson remains sidelined by a lower-body injury.

The Washington Capitals kept their playoff hopes alive with an 8-3 drubbing of the San Jose Sharks. Alex Ovechkin scored two goals and picked up an assist, Dylan Strome had a goal and two assists and Craig Smith tallied twice for the 31-27-6 Capitals, who sit three points back of the Penguins with 68 points. Erik Karlsson collected two assists for the 18-33-12 Sharks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sharks head coach David Quinn was ejected from this game after voicing his displeasure after winger Kevin Labanc was penalized for clipping. Quinn was apologetic following the game, admitting he was embarrassed by his actions.

Winnipeg Jets defenseman Josh Morrissey tallied twice and collected an assist as his club held off the Edmonton Oilers 7-5. Mark Scheifele had a goal and an assist as the Jets snapped a five-game losing skid (36-25-2) and move back into third place in the Central Division with 74 points. Leon Draisaitl collected a hat trick for the Oilers (34-22-8) as they hold the first Western wild-card berth with 76 points.

Two shorthanded goals by Elias Pettersson and J.T. Miller 44 seconds apart carried the Vancouver Canucks to a 4-1 upset of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Thatcher Demko kicked out 36 shots for the 25-32-5 Canucks. John Tavares scored for the 38-17-8 Leafs as they hold second place in the Atlantic Division with 84 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Leafs center Ryan O’Reilly left this game in the second period after being struck in the hand by a shot by teammate Auston Matthews. An update on his condition isn’t expected until Monday.

The Los Angeles Kings defeated the St. Louis Blues 4-2. Kevin Fiala had a goal and an assist and Gabriel Vilardi scored the game-winner for the 36-20-8 Kings as they sit in second place in the Pacific Division with 80 points. Robert Thomas and Kasperi Kapanen scored for the Blues as they dropped to 27-30-5.

Minnesota Wild goaltender Filip Gustavsson kicked out 31 shots to shut out the Calgary Flames 3-0. Joel Eriksson Ek and Matt Boldy each had a goal and an assist as the Wild improved to 36-21-6 and hold second place in the Central Division with 78 points. The Flames (27-23-13) have dropped five straight and six points behind the Avalanche for the final Western wild-card spot with 67 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flames were booed off the ice by the Saddledome crowd following the game. Their window of opportunity to secure a playoff berth is just about shut unless they can somehow reverse their fortunes soon.

The Ottawa Senators remain in the Eastern Conference playoff race following a 5-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Jakob Chychrun collected his first points with the Senators with a goal and an assist while Tim Stutzle scored two goals, including his 30th of the season. The Sens improved to 32-26-4 and are three points back of the Penguins with 68 points. Patrik Laine and Jack Roslovic scored for the 20-37-6 Blue Jackets.

The Nashville Predators kept their playoff hopes alive by downing the Chicago Blackhawks 3-1. Tyson Barrie’s first goal with the Predators was the game-winner as they improved to 31-23-6 and sit five points back of the Avalanche with 68 points. Seth Jones replied for the 21-36-5 Blackhawks.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 16, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 16, 2023

A record-setting performance for Coyotes goalie Connor Ingram, Bally Sports financial woes could affect 12 NHL teams and Alex Ovechkin mourns his father’s death. Details on these and other stories in today’s Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHL.COM: A record-setting shutout performance by Connor Ingram carried the Arizona Coyotes to a 1-0 upset of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Ingram’s 47 saves were the most by a goalie in his first NHL shutout in league history. Nick Schmaltz and Clayton Keller scored in the shootout for the 19-28-8 Coyotes. Steven Stamkos replied in the shootout for the Lightning (35-16-3) as they dropped into third place in the Atlantic Division with 73 points.

Arizona Coyotes goaltender Connor Ingram (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Lightning played without defenseman Erik Cernak as he’s day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

The Toronto Maple Leafs downed the Chicago Blackhawks 5-2. William Nylander scored his 30th goal of the season and collected two points while Auston Matthews scored the winning goal in his return to action after missing five games with a sprained knee. With the win, the 33-14-8 Leafs vaulted over the Lightning into second place in the Atlantic Division with 74 points. The Blackhawks dropped to 16-32-5.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier in the day, the Blackhawks placed captain Jonathan Toews on injured reserve. He’s been sidelined for five games by a non-COVID-related illness.

New York Rangers forwards Artemi Panarin and Mika Zibanejad each scored two goals and collected an assist in a 6-4 victory over the Vancouver Canucks. The Rangers (32-14-8) have won six straight and sit three points behind the second-place New Jersey Devils in the Metropolitan Division with 72 points. Elias Pettersson and Andrei Kuzmenko each had two points for the Canucks as they fell to 21-30-4.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canucks defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson and forward Curtis Lazar left this game with lower-body injuries. In his post-game interview, head coach Rick Tocchet said the severity of Ekman-Larsson’s injury was unknown but Lazar’s might not be serious.

The Colorado Avalanche got a 41-save performance from Alexandar Georgiev to hold off the Minnesota Wild by a score of 3-2. Nathan MacKinnon had a goal and an assist as the Avalanche improved to 29-19-5 and remain third in the Central Division with 63 points. Kirill Kaprizov netted his 31st goal of the season for the Wild (28-21-5) as they’ve dropped five of their last six games and slipped out of the final Western Conference wild-card berth with 61 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Avalanche defenseman Josh Manson returned to the lineup after missing 31 games with a lower-body injury. Wild blueliner Calen Addison was a healthy scratch from this contest.

Shootout goals by David Perron and Pius Suter lifted the Detroit Red Wings to a 5-4 upset of the Edmonton Oilers. Dylan Larkin and Robby Fabbri each had a goal and an assist while Ville Husso turned aside 41 shots for the Red Wings (25-20-8) as they sit four points out of the final Eastern Conference wild-card spot with 58 points. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored twice and Connor McDavid collected two assists for the 30-19-6 Oilers as they hold the first Western Conference wild-card berth with 66 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Red Wings’ call-up Jakub Vrana was a healthy scratch from this game while defenseman Jake Walman remains day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

The Buffalo Sabres snapped a four-game losing skid by downing the Anaheim Ducks 7-3. Seven Sabres, including Rasmus Dahlin, Dylan Cozens and Alex Tuch, collected two points each as they improved to 27-22-4 to sit four points out of the final Eastern wild-card berth with 58 points. Cam Fowler tallied twice for the Ducks as they dropped to 17-32-6 on the season.


ESPN.COM: The owner of Bally Sports regional networks skipped $140 million in interest payments due Wednesday, starting a 30-day grace period that could be the prelude to a bankruptcy filing.

Bally is owned by Diamond Sports Group, a subsidiary of Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. It provides regional coverage to 12 NHL teams.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Those 12 NHL teams are the Los Angeles Kings, Anaheim Ducks, Arizona Coyotes, Dallas Stars, St. Louis Blues, Minnesota Wild, Detroit Red Wings, Columbus Blue Jackets, Nashville Predators, Carolina Hurricanes, Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers.

The Athletic’s Michael Russo tweeted yesterday that the NHL Board of Governors held an impromptu conference call to discuss the situation. No word yet from the league regarding the outcome of those talks.

This isn’t expected to affect regional coverage for the remainder of this season as the rights for those games were already paid before the start of the season. However, it will be a problem for next season and beyond if the league is left scrambling to find a replacement for Bally.

This won’t affect the salary cap for 2023-24 as that’s based on hockey-related revenue earned this season. However, it could have a substantial impact on the cap for 2024-25.

The salary cap is projected to increase by just $1 million for next season as the players still have to pay back the remainder of their escrow debt to the owners arising from the shortened seasons due to the pandemic. There is speculation suggesting the league and NHLPA perhaps reaching an agreement to increase it by up to five percent.

For 2024-25, the salary cap is forecast to jump to between $3.5 million and $4 million, rising to between $87.5 million and $88 million for 2024-25. It is also projected to rise by $4 million in 2025-26 to $92 million. However, the potential hit to hockey-related revenue from losing Bally’s regional coverage could adversely affect those projections.

TSN: The Los Angeles Kings signed defenseman Mikey Anderson to an eight-year, $33-million contract extension on Wednesday. The average annual value will be $4.125 million starting in 2023-24.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s a reasonable cap hit for Anderson, who is on a one-year, $1 million contract this season and was slated to become a restricted free agent with arbitration rights this summer.

The 23-year-old defenseman is earning first-pairing minutes alongside Kings blueline stalwart Drew Doughty. He can move the puck, play a solid physical game in his own zone, and leads the Kings in short-handed ice time per game (2:26) this season.

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin announced the death of his father Mikhail on Wednesday. He was 71 years old. Ovechkin will be away from the Capitals for an undetermined period of time.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Ovechkin and his family.

Notable NHL Free Agent Signings and Trades – July 13, 2022

Notable NHL Free Agent Signings and Trades – July 13, 2022

The following is a list of notable NHL free-agent signings and trades during the opening day of free agency. This list will be updated throughout the day as details become available. I’ll also be doing live grades of today’s biggest signings on Bleacher Report.

Columbus Blue Jackets sign Johnny Gaudreau to a seven-year, $66.5 million contract.

Seattle Kraken sign defenseman Justin Schultz to a two-year, $6 million contract.

Vegas Golden Knights trade winger Max Pacioretty and defenseman Dylan Coghlan to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for future considerations.

Ottawa Senators trade winger Connor Brown to the Washington Capitals in exchange for a second-round pick in 2024.

San Jose Sharks sign center Nico Sturm to a three-year, $6 million contract.

Detroit Red Wings sign David Perron to a two-year, $9.5 million contract.

Detroit Red Wings sign Dominik Kubalik to a two-year, $5 million contract.

Seattle Kraken sign Andre Burakovsky to a five-year, $27.5 million contract.

Detroit Red Wings sign Ben Chiarot to a four-year, $19 million contract.

Pittsburgh Penguins sign Jan Rutta to a three-year, $8.25 million contract.

Florida Panthers sign Eric and Marc Staal to identical one-year, $750K contracts.

Colorado Avalanche sign winger Artturi Lehkonen to a five-year, $22.5 million contract.

Dallas Stars sign winger Mason Marchment to a four-year, $18 million contract.

Tampa Bay Lightning sign Ian Cole to a one-year, $3 million contract.

Washington Capitals sign Charlie Lindgren to a three-year, $3.3 million contract.

Columbus Blue Jackets sign Erik Gudbranson to a four-year, $16 million contract.

Tampa Bay Lightning sign Mikhail Sergachev to an eight-year, $68 million contract extension effective 2023-24.

The Lightning signed center Anthony Cirelli to an eight-year, $50 million contract extension effective 2023-24.

The Lightning signed defenseman Erik Cernak to an eight-year, $41.6 million contract extension effective 2023-24.

Washington Capitals sign goaltender Darcy Kuemper to a five-year, $26.26 million contract.

San Jose Sharks trade defenseman Brent Burns and center Lane Pederson to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for winger Steven Lorentz, goaltender Eetu Makiniemi and a conditional 2023 third-round pick. The Sharks also retain 33 percent of Burns’ $8 million annual average value through 2024-25.

New York Rangers sign center Vincent Trocheck to a seven-year, $39.38 million contract.

Detroit Red Wings sign forward Andrew Copp to a five-year, $28.13 million contract.

Vancouver Canucks sign winger Ilya Mikheyev to a four-year, $19 million contract.

Chicago Blackhawks sign forwards Max Domi and Andreas Athanasiou to one-year contracts worth $3 million apiece.

St. Louis Blues re-sign defenseman Nick Leddy to a four-year, $16 million contract.

Ottawa Senators sign forward Claude Giroux to a three-year contract with an annual cap hit of $6.5 million.

Edmonton Oilers signed goaltender Jack Campbell to a five-year contract with an annual salary-cap hit of $5 million (as per TSN’s Darren Dreger).

Buffalo Sabres re-sign restricted free agent winger Victor Olofsson to a two-year contract with an annual average value of $4.75 million.

Toronto Maple Leafs sign goaltender Ilya Samsonov to a one-year, $1.8 million deal (as per Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli).

New Jersey Devils trade winger Pavel Zacha to the Boston Bruins in exchange for Erik Haula (as per TSN’s Darren Dreger and Daily Faceoff).

Colorado Avalanche signed defenseman Josh Manson to a four-year contract with an annual average value of $4.5 million (as per TSN’s Pierre LeBrun).

St. Louis Blues sign forward Robert Thomas to an eight-year, $64 million contract extension (as per Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli).

NHL Rumor Mill – June 27, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – June 27, 2022

What next for the Avalanche and Lightning following the Stanley Cup Final? What’s the latest on the Islanders and Sabres? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.


ESPN.COM: Greg Wyshynski and Kristen Shilton looked at what the offseason could hold for the Colorado Avalanche and Tampa Bay Lightning following the 2022 Stanley Cup Final.

Colorado Avalanche center Nazem Kadri (NHL Images).

Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic has some notable free agents to deal with, starting with forwards Nazem Kadri and Valeri Nichushkin. Both are slated to become unrestricted free agents on July 13 and are coming off strong regular-season and playoff performances.

Goaltender Darcy Kuemper, winger Andre Burakovsky and defenseman Josh Manson could receive lucrative offers from other clubs in the upcoming free-agent market. Trade deadline acquisition Artturi Lehkonen is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights who’s a year away from UFA eligibility.

Hanging over all of his is the knowledge that superstar center Nathan MacKinnon is a year away from UFA eligibility. Sakic must manage his future cap space carefully and might have to get creative if they hope to repeat as Stanley Cup champions.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avalanche have a solid core next season in MacKinnon, Cale Makar, Gabriel Landeskog, Mikko Rantanen, Samuel Girard and Bowen Byram. However, maintaining their supporting cast could be challenging.

Cap Friendly shows the Avalanche with over $25 million in salary cap space with 14 players under contract for 2022-23. They’re enough room to re-sign Kadri, Nichushkin, Kuemper and Manson but it will eat up most of that cap space as well as bite deeply into their available space for 2023-24 when MacKinnon will be due for a big raise on a long-term deal.

Sakic might keep one of those key UFAs. It could be Kadri to ensure their depth at center but he could price himself out of their market. It could be Kuemper to maintain their solid goalie tandem with Pavel Francouz. I don’t think Burakovsky and Manson will be back.

My guess is Nichushkin is the most likely to return. Sakic took a chance on him after the Dallas Stars bought him out and he found his game with the Avs. He’s completing a two-year deal worth $2.5 million per season and should be the more affordable to retain.

The Lightning’s decisions start with pending UFAs Ondrej Palat, Nick Paul and Jan Rutta. They’re up against the salary cap once again with 19 players under contract for next season. That makes a major roster overhaul unlikely.

Like Sakic, GM Julien BriseBois will have to use some creativity to maximize his bargaining power. He’ll need to decide if he’s happy with the club’s current depth, especially on the blueline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: BriseBois has proven skillful at finding inventive ways to maintain a championship roster. That ability will once again be put to the test.

The Lightning will get some wiggle room with Brent Seabrook ($6.875 million) on permanent long-term injury reserve. Still, it’s unlikely BriseBois be able to bring back all three of those UFAs. I expect BriseBois will put his efforts into signing Palat.


THE ATHLETIC: Kevin Kurz recently pondered the possibility of the New York Islanders shopping Anthony Beauvillier for help on their blueline. While the 25-year-old winger’s development has stalled, he’s still young enough to improve. He also carries a reasonable $4.15 million annual cap hit for the next two seasons and lacks no-trade protection.

Zdeno Chara, Andy Greene, Sebastian Aho and Grant Hutton have likely played their final games for the Islanders. There are questions over whether those in the system, such as Robin Salo and Samuel Bolduc, are ready to move up.

Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun could be a trade target. Most Isles fans polled by Kurz would be fine with bundling Beauvillier with their first-round pick (13th overall) in this year’s draft for Chychrun, though Kurz believes the Coyotes would want a prospect included in the deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Islanders aren’t the only team expected to have an interest in Chychrun. However, the Coyotes have set a very high asking price. Beauvillier, a first and a prospect might not be enough to land him. I suspect GM Lou Lamoriello will explore more affordable options if he uses the winger as trade bait for a blueliner.


THE BUFFALO NEWS: Mike Harrington doesn’t see the Sabres using their plentiful salary-cap space to pursue a big-ticket UFA like Johnny Gaudreau, Evgeni Malkin or Kris Letang. He also doesn’t see them pursuing Marc-Andre Fleury to bolster their goaltending depth if Craig Anderson decides he’s not returning.

He doesn’t see the Sabres being interested in Colorado’s Darcy Kuemper. Toronto’s Jack Campbell might want a deal of three or four years and the Sabres aren’t interested in that type of term. He also believes St. Louis’ Ville Husso will want dollars and term that the Sabres aren’t interested in handing out.

Harrington advocates pursuing Braden Holtby to share the goalie duties and mentor promising Ukka-Pekka Luukkonen, suggesting they offer up a two-year, $8 million deal. It would also help the Sabres reach the $61 million salary-cap minimum.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see who the Sabres bring in to share the goalie duties with Luukkonen if Anderson hangs up his pads. The focus seems to remain on building up with their younger players, though I do see them adding affordable veterans to provide depth and leadership for next season.