NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 16, 2023
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Nine days after reacquiring Jeff Petry from the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Canadiens traded the 35-year-old defenseman to the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for defenseman Gustav Lindstrom and a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2025 NHL Draft.
The Penguins had retained 25 percent ($1.56 million) of Petry’s $6.25 million average annual value through 2024-25. The Canadiens retain half of the remainder, meaning the Wings’ share of his cap hit is $2.34 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The initial reaction from a majority of Canadiens fans on social media was disappointment that Habs general manager Kent Hughes didn’t get a better return for Petry. However, Montreal Hockey Now’s Marc Dumont believes this shows the market for the veteran blueliner was rather mediocre at best.
Dumont also points out that moving Petry completed a series of deals completed by Hughes that started when he initially traded the rearguard to the Penguins last summer for Mike Matheson. That includes moving Mike Hoffman to San Jose and adding goalie Casey DeSmith, three draft picks and gaining more salary-cap flexibility.
Lindstrom, 24, struggled to earn a regular roster spot with the Red Wings. Dumont believes he’s likely bound for the Canadiens AHL affiliate in Laval this season but the Canadiens are in a position where they can afford to give Lindstrom an opportunity.
This was also a classy move by Hughes. A Michigan native, Petry’s family now lives there year-round. He won’t have to uproot his family or spend most of the regular season apart from them as he did last season.
Petry’s production has waned over the past couple of seasons but he brings veteran skill and experience to the rebuilding Red Wings blueline, especially with promising Simon Edvinsson undergoing offseason shoulder surgery. This move should buy time for Edvinsson to fully recover and improve his game.
TSN: Speaking of the Canadiens, Hughes indicated that Paul Byron is expected to announce his retirement before the start of the upcoming season. The 34-year-old forward missed all of last season and played just 27 games in 2021-22 due to an ongoing hip injury. Byron will meet with management next month to discuss a position with the club.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Claimed off waivers in 2015 from the Calgary Flames, Byron’s energetic two-way play quickly made him a fan favorite in Montreal. In 521 regular-season games over 12 seasons with the Canadiens, Flames and Buffalo Sabres, he had 98 goals and 208 points along with 11 points in 38 playoff contests.
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: During a recent appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show”, Golden Knights captain Mark Stone revealed that he suffered a fractured wrist during the first period of his club’s 9-3 series-clinching victory over the Florida Panthers in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final. Stone tallied a hat trick in that match, scoring twice after he was injured.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It takes a lot to sideline a player who’s on the verge of winning hockey’s holy grail.
TSN: David Krejci has left the door open on playing in Europe and representing Czechia at the 2024 World Championships. Earlier this week, the 37-year-old center announced his NHL retirement, bringing his 16-season career with the Boston Bruins to an end.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: A report out of Russia claims Artemi Panarin was fined by Novgorod police for firing a weapon inside a non-designated area on July 6. The report states the 31-year-old New York Rangers winger fired several shots and that it was his first offense. His weapon was also confiscated.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: No details were provided as to why Panarin was discharging his weapon. Perhaps he’ll shed more light on that when he reports to Rangers training camp next month.
CAROLINA HOCKEY NOW: The Hurricanes have agreed to a 20-year lease with PNC Arena.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: PNC Arena has been the Hurricanes’ home since it was opened in 1999. The area surrounding the arena is currently being renovated to include a sports and entertainment district.
TSN: Former Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Bobby Baun passed away on Monday at age 86. A 17-season NHL veteran from 1956-67 to 1972-73, Baun spent nearly 14 of those seasons with the Leafs, along with over three seasons with the Oakland Seals and Detroit Red Wings.
Baun earned a reputation as a hard-hitting blueliner, helping the Leafs win four Stanley Cups in the 1960s. He gained legendary status when he scored the series-tying overtime goal against the Red Wings in Game 6 of the 1964 Stanley Cup Final while playing on a broken ankle. He also played in the Cup-clinching Game 7 at Maple Leaf Gardens two nights later.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m old enough to remember watching Baun’s second tenure with the Leafs in the early-1970s. He was a master of the hip check, played a solid defensive game and never shied away from anyone who challenged him. My condolences to his family, friends and former teammates.