Oilers captain Connor McDavid enjoyed a second straight four-assist game, David Perron and Shayne Gostisbehere had a big game for the Red Wings while the Predators are rising in the standings. Get the details and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid had a goal and four assists in an 8-2 rout of the Anaheim Ducks. It’s the second straight game that McDavid has collected four assists. Zach Hyman scored twice and set up another while Darnell Nurse had three helpers for the 7-12-1 Oilers. Max Jones scored both goals for the Ducks as they dropped to 9-12-0.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: McDavid is the fourth player in Oilers history to have four-point performances in consecutive games, joining Wayne Gretzky, Jari Kurri and Paul Coffey. He also joins Gretzky and Kurri as the third Oiler to have consecutive four-assist games. McDavid is the fifth active NHL player with at least six career contests of four or more assists, joining Nicklas Backstrom (12), Leon Draisaitl (nine), Sidney Crosby (eight) and Blake Wheeler (six).
The Detroit Red Wings dropped the Minnesota Wild 4-1, handing the latter their seventh straight defeat. David Perron scored twice (including his 300th career goal) while Shayne Gostisbehere had a goal and three assists for the 11-6-3 Red Wings, who picked up their third straight victory. Joel Eriksson Ek replied for the 5-10-4 Wild.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wild forward Pat Maroon wasn’t pleased with his club’s performance. “F**king unacceptable…Guys should be pissed off,” said Maroon. Head coach Dean Evason claimed some players were “not pulling their weight.”
Meanwhile, Wild forward Ryan Hartman faces a hearing with the NHL department of player safety for slew-footing Red Wings forward Alex DeBrincat, who avoided injury from the incident.
Nashville Predators captain Roman Josi had a goal and two assists as his club held off the Winnipeg Jets by a score of 3-2. Juuse Saros made 32 saves as the Predators rose to 10-10-0, putting them just one point out of the final Western Conference wild-card spot. Josh Morrissey and Cole Perfetti scored in the third period for the 12-6-2 Jets.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: On November 14, the Predators were 5-10-0 coming off four straight losses that put them near the bottom of the Western Conference. They’ve since won five consecutive games including victories against good clubs like the Jets and Colorado Avalanche.
Speaking of the Predators, defenseman Luke Schenn returned to action from a lower-body injury that had sidelined him since opening night.
The St. Louis Blues doubled up the Chicago Blackhawks 4-2. Pavel Buchnevich had a goal and two assists while Jake Neighbours tallied twice for the Blues as they improved their record to 11-8-1. Ryan Donato had a goal and an assist for the Blackhawks as they slipped to 6-13-0.
Three unanswered goals by Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Brady Skjei and Andrei Svechnikov gave the Carolina Hurricanes a 3-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Svechnikov’s game-winner was also his first goal of the season while Seth Jarvis collected two assists as the Hurricanes improved to 12-8-0. Elvis Merzlikins made 40 saves and Johnny Gaudreau had a goal and an assist for the Blues Jackets (6-12-4), who sit at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings with 16 points.
TSN: The New Jersey Islanders traded minor-league forward Arnaud Durandeau to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for minor-league forward Tyce Thompson.
The Bruins and Avalanche suffer their first losses and Senators’ center Shane Pinto is suspended for a gambling violation. Details on these and other stories in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
NHL.COM: The Anaheim Ducks overcame a 3-1 deficit to upset the Boston Bruins 4-3, snapping the latter’s season-opening win streak at six games (6-0-1). Mason McTavish scored in overtime while Troy Terry and rookie Leo Carlsson each had a goal and an assist for the 3-4-0 Ducks. Charlie McAvoy collected three assists while David Pastrnak had a goal and an assist for the Bruins.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, Bruins coach Jim Montgomery indicated winger Jakub Lauko (facial injury) will be sidelined for at least a week while winger Milan Lucic (lower body) will be out for at least two weeks.
Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry turned in a 31-save shutout in a 4-0 win over the Colorado Avalanche, ending the Avs’ 15-game road win streak and their season-opening six-game win streak. Reilly Smith scored two goals for the Penguins (3-4-0). The Avs (6-1-0) remain in first place in the Central Division with 12 points.
Carolina Hurricanes forward Martin Necas (NHL Images).
An overtime goal by Martin Necas lifted the Carolina Hurricanes over the Seattle Kraken 3-2. Necas finished the game with two goals and an assist as the Hurricanes overcame a 2-0 deficit to lift their record to 4-4-0. Oliver Bjorkstrand had a goal and an assist and Joey Daccord stopped 42 shots as the Kraken blew a 2-0 lead and dropped to 2-4-2.
The Montreal Canadiens got an overtime goal from Cole Caufield in a 4-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets, who led 3-1 at one point before the Habs staged their comeback. Caufield and linemate Nick Suzuki each had a goal and two assists while Sam Montembeault turned aside 33 shots for the 4-2-1 Canadiens. Emil Bemstrom tallied twice while Jack Roslovic had a goal and two assists for the 3-2-2 Blue Jackets.
Winnipeg Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck stopped 35 shots to backstop his club over the Detroit Red Wings by a score of 4-1. Nino Niederreiter and Mason Appleton each had a goal and an assist for the Jets (4-3-0) as they extended their win streak to three games. Lucas Raymond replied for the 5-2-1 Red Wings.
Tampa Bay Lightning netminder Jonas Johansson turned aside 23 shots for his second straight shutout in a 6-0 defeat of the San Jose Sharks. Steven Stamkos, Victor Hedman, Mikhail Sergachev and Nick Perbix each collected two points for the 4-2-2 Lightning. The Sharks are still seeking their first win of the season as they sank to 0-6-1.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A lack of scoring punch has hampered the rebuilding Sharks. They’ve managed just eight goals thus far.
The Toronto Maple Leafs got a goal and an assist from Morgan Rielly to defeat the Dallas Stars 4-1. Joseph Woll made 31 saves as the Leafs improved to 5-2-0. Mason Marchment replied for the 4-1-1 Stars.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Leafs defenseman Jake McCabe left the game in the first period with a lower-body injury. He will be re-evaluated on Friday.
New York Islanders defenseman Noah Dobson snapped a 2-2 tie with a third-period goal as his club nipped the Ottawa Senators 3-2. Bo Horvat and Cal Clutterbuck gave the Islanders (3-2-1) a 2-0 first-period lead but the Senators (3-4-0) rallied to tie it on goals by Claude Giroux and Jakob Chychrun.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Senators defenseman Erik Brannstrom was stretchered from the game in the second period when he struck his head on the ice following a hit by Clutterbuck. Following the game, the Senators released a statement indicating the blueliner was alert, had full use of his extremities, and was transported to a hospital for further observation and testing.
The Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Minnesota Wild 6-2. Flyers rookie Bobby Brink scored the first two goals of his NHL career while Cam Atkinson had three assists and Travis Sanheim had a goal and two assists for the 4-2-1 Flyers. Dakota Mermis and Marcus Foligno replied for the Wild as they slipped to 3-3-1.
New York Rangers goaltender Jonathan Quick made 29 saves to blank the Edmonton Oilers 3-0. Adam Fox, Braden Schneider and Artemi Panarin each collected two points as they improved to 5-2-0. The Oilers sank to 1-5-1 on the season.
St. Louis Blues netminder Joel Hofer stopped 27 shots for his first NHL shutout in a 3-0 victory over the Calgary Flames. Oskar Sundqvist had a goal and an assist for the Blues as they improved their record to 3-2-1. The Flames, meanwhile, dropped to 2-5-1.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Following the game, Flames defenseman Nikita Zadorov offered a blunt apology for his club’s poor performance this season. “We’re playing like shit now,” he said.
It’s a grim time for Alberta’s NHL franchises. The Oilers entered this season considered among the favorites to win the Stanley Cup while the Flames were hoping to rebound from last season’s disappointing result.
OTTAWA SUN: The NHL yesterday announced a 41-game suspension of Senators center Shane Pinto for activities that violated the league’s gambling rules.
In a statement, the league indicated that Pinto didn’t wager on NHL games but offered no insight into the reasons behind the lengthy suspension. However, league sources stated that Pinto’s online gambling account in the United States was flagged by a company that is a partner with the NHL because of unusual activity. They contacted the league, which launched an investigation into the matter. It’s believed they found evidence connecting Pinto to a third-party bettor.
The 22-year-old Senators center issued an apology in which he took full responsibility for his actions. Meanwhile, the NHL Players Association was aware of the investigation and will not be appealing the suspension.
Pinto remains a restricted free agent as he was in the midst of contract talks with the Senators before the suspension, which is retroactive to the start of the club’s season. The earliest he can return to action is Jan. 21 against the Philadelphia Flyers. However, it’s not expected he’ll be back that soon as he’ll need time with the Senators’ AHL affiliate to get back into game shape.
The Senators said they would welcome Pinto’s return following his suspension. They called him a “valued member of our hockey club” and will provide support for him to “address his issues.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The NHL is criticized for not revealing the details that prompted Pinto’s lengthy suspension. There is also concern that he’s being punished by a league that has almost gone overboard with its recent embrace of legalized gambling. In addition, it raises questions about the NHL’s gambling policy regarding its players.
There are also questions over how Pinto’s suspension will affect his contract talks with the Senators and their efforts to free up cap space to sign him. I’ll have more about that in today’s Rumors update.
MLIVE.COM: Detroit Red Wings forward David Perron is mourning the shooting tragedy in Lewiston, Maine that left 18 people dead and many others wounded. Perron played his final year of junior hockey with the Lewiston MAINEiacs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in 2006-07 and still has friends in the area.
THE SCORE: Zach Kassian announced his retirement after 12 NHL seasons with the Buffalo Sabres, Vancouver Canucks, Edmonton Oilers and Arizona Coyotes. In 661 regular-season games, Kassian had 92 goals and 111 assists for 203 points along with 913 PIMs. He also had nine points in 45 playoff games.
Kris Letang returns to the Penguins following a stroke, the Leafs and Mitch Marner continue their streaks, the Lightning’s Steven Stamkos extends his points streak, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
NHL.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Buffalo Sabres 3-1 as defenseman Kris Letang returned to their lineup for the first time since suffering a minor stroke 12 days ago. Letang was held pointless but played a team-leading 22:14 of ice time while Sidney Crosby scored two goals and collected an assist for the Penguins, who’ve won five straight and improved their record to 16-8-4. Peyton Krebs replied for the Sabres as they dropped to 12-14-2.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sabres played without winger Jeff Skinner. He’s serving a three-game suspension for cross-checking Penguins winger Jake Guentzel in the face during their game on Friday.
Toronto Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner extended his franchise-record points streak to 22 games in a 5-4 overtime victory over the Calgary Flames. Marner scored the game-winner and collected an assist on one of William Nylander’s two goals as the latter reached a single-game personal best of five points. The Leafs (18-5-6) are unbeaten in their last 14 games (11-0-3). Noah Hanifin tallied twice for the Flames as they slipped to 13-11-4.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs (42 points) are one point behind the league-leading Boston Bruins. Before the game, Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe said forward Nick Robertson could miss six-to-eight weeks with a shoulder injury. He is not expected to undergo surgery.
Three unanswered third-period goals by Brayden Point, Mikhail Sergachev and Steven Stamkos lifted the Tampa Bay Lightning over the Florida Panthers 4-1. Stamkos extended his points streak to 13 games while the Lightning boosted their record to 17-9-1. The Panthers dropped to 13-11-4.
Minnesota Wild goaltender Filip Gustavsson made 35 saves to shut out the Vancouver Canucks by a score of 3-0. Matt Boldy, Connor Dewar and Sam Steel were the goal scorers as Minnesota sits at 14-11-2. Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov was held scoreless, bringing his 14-game points streak to an end. The Canucks dropped to 12-13-3.
Detroit Red Wings forward David Perron scored in his 1,000th career NHL game but his club dropped a 3-2 decision to the Dallas Stars. Nils Lundkvist got the winner in overtime as the Stars improved to 16-7-5 while the Wings sit at 13-8-6.
The Carolina Hurricanes blanked the New York Islanders 3-0 on a 16-save shutout by Pyotr Kochetkov. Paul Stastny, Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Jordan Staal scored for the Hurricanes (15-6-6) while the Islanders are 17-12-0 on the season.
First-period goals by Anze Kopitar and Viktor Arvidsson 19 seconds apart enabled the Los Angeles Kings to double up the Montreal Canadiens 4-2 and improve their record to 15-11-4. Cole Caufield tallied his 16th goal of the season for the Canadiens (13-12-2) as they’ve dropped three of their last four contests.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Canadiens moved sidelined winger Brendan Gallagher to injured reserve. Winger Mike Hoffman returned to the Habs lineup after missing eight games with a lower-body injury.
The Ottawa Senators got third-period goals by Alex DeBrincat and Drake Batherson to hold off the Nashville Predators by a score of 3-2. The Senators improve to 11-14-2 while the Predators slide to 12-11-2.
SPORTSNET: Former Vancouver Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa still had more to say about former Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara claiming the Canucks were practicing passing around the Stanley Cup before Game 3 of the 2011 Cup Final between the two clubs. Chara made that claim recently on the “Games with Names” podcast.
Now a Hockey Night in Canada analyst, Bieksa previously told colleague Jeff Marek that the incident never happened nor did the Canucks contact the league to ask how many family members would be allowed on the ice when they won the Cup.
During Saturday’s HNiC telecast, Bieksa called Chara’s comments “one of the dumbest things we’ve ever heard.” He pointed to the fact that there was no record of this supposed incident despite the plethora of media coverage of that series.
Bieksa also noted that Chara seemed to walk back his comments during the podcast. He believed the former Bruins captain was showing a lack of respect toward the Canucks and their leaders at the time.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bieska made a valid point about the lack of substantiation of Chara’s claims. So far, there’s been no response from the former Bruins star.
THE SEATTLE TIMES: Kraken defenseman Jamie Oleksiak received a three-game suspension by the NHL department of player safety for a hit to the head of Washington Capitals defenseman Alexander Alexeyev.
NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: Blackhawks goaltender Petr Mrazek hopes to return to the lineup on Tuesday to face the Capitals. He’s missed the last three games with a minor groin injury.
THE SCORE: The Edmonton Oilers will host the Calgary Flames at the 2023 Heritage Classic.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Former NHL player Chris Therien has released a book chronicling his life and career, including his struggle with alcoholism and his subsequent decade of sobriety.
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).
Evgeni Malkin to test UFA market while Penguins re-sign Rickard Rakell, Avs promote Joe Sakic and re-sign Valeri Nichushkin, Senators trade Matt Murray to the Leafs and much more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
TSN: Darren Dreger broke the news yesterday that long-time Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin intends to test the free-agent market when it opens on Wednesday at noon ET. Colleague Pierre LeBrun reported there was a bit of progress in negotiations between Malkin and the Penguins but his decision to go to market reflects his frustration with the process.
Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin (NHL Images).
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins reportedly are offering Malkin a three-year term while he’d prefer a longer deal. I can’t say I blame him considering the Pens re-signed teammates Kris Letang and Bryan Rust to six-year contracts.
There’s still time for the two sides to reach an agreement and the Pens have the cap space to re-sign him. Nevertheless, Malkin could draw plenty of interest in the open market. Whether he’ll get a long-term deal remains to be seen.
PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: The Penguins re-signed Rickard Rakell to a six-year deal worth an annual average value of $5 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rakell was acquired from the Anaheim Ducks at the March trade deadline, netting 13 points in 19 regular-season games with the Penguins. The AAV is reasonable but the term is too long for a 29-year-old winger who last reached 30 goals in 2017-18.
Maybe Rakell will regain that form with the Penguins, but I think his chances of doing so would be better skating alongside Malkin. His linemates for next season could include an aging Jeff Carter and a frequently injured Jason Zucker.
THE DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche promoted general manager Joe Sakic to president of hockey operations. Assistant general manager Chris MacFarland takes over as the GM.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sakic will still be involved in the major decisions but MacFarland will handle the day-to-day work. The move was made in part because other clubs were expressing interest in hiring MacFarland as a general manager. This was a shrewd decision by the Avs to keep him in the fold.
Speaking of the Avalanche, they signed Valeri Nichushkin to an eight-year contract with an annual average value of $6.125 million. The 27-year-old winger was slated to become a UFA on Wednesday. Meanwhile, it appears winger Andre Burakovsky will be testing the free-agent market.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bought out by the Dallas Stars in 2019, Nichushkin turned his career around in Colorado, enjoying a career-best 52-point regular season and netting nine goals and 15 points in 20 playoff games in their march to the Stanley Cup. It’s a major raise for Nichushkin on a deal that seems rather lengthy. However, it could work out for the Avs over the long term if he maintains that high level of two-way play.
OTTAWA SUN: The Ottawa Senators traded goaltender Matt Murray to the Toronto Maple Leafs along with a third-round pick in 2023 and a fourth-rounder in 2024 for future considerations. The Senators also retained 25 percent of the 28-year-old Murray’s $6.25 million annual cap hit through 2023-24.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As more than one pundit and fan pointed out on social media, this trade will either make Kyle Dubas look like a genius or ensure the coming season will be his last as Maple Leafs GM.
When healthy, Murray is a good goaltender who backstopped the Pittsburgh Penguins to two Stanley Cups in 2016 and 2017. However, he’s been plagued by injuries in recent years that have sidelined him for lengthy periods of time and hampered his performance. Dubas now needs to find a reliable backup goaltender for Murray.
Senators GM Pierre Dorion is enjoying a fine off-season thus far. He acquired a proven 40-goal scorer last week in Alex DeBrincat and freed up a logjam in goal while shedding the bulk of Murray’s cap hit. He now has room to pursue some additional veteran depth via free agency or the trade market.
TSN: Speaking of the Senators, they’re working on trading winger Connor Brown and hired former Sens defenseman Wade Redden as a player development coach.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers have granted Evander Kane’s agent permission to speak with other clubs. However, they remain hopeful of working out an agreement on a new contract with the 30-year-old winger. It’s believed they offered Kane a three-year deal worth $4.75 million per season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see how Kane’s situation pans out. The uncertainty over the outcome of his contract termination grievance with the San Jose Sharks plus his well-documented personal baggage could scare off other clubs, making the Oilers perhaps his best option.
DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli reports St. Louis Blues winger David Perron could be heading to market. The Blues want to re-sign him but currently lack sufficient cap space to do so. Perron could command up to $6 million annually on the open market.
BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: The Bruins are reportedly in negotiations with David Krejci for a potential return to Boston. The 36-year-old center spent last season playing Czechia.
NBC SPORTS CHICAGO/CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: The Blackhawks placed Henrik Borgstrom and Brett Connolly on unconditional waivers yesterday for the purpose of buying out their contracts. They’ll become UFAs on Wednesday. They’ve also brought back Derek King as an assistant coach following his solid stint as their interim bench boss in 2021-22.
NYI HOCKEY NOW: Islanders defenseman Alexander Romanov has been offered a one-year contract by his former KHL club CSKA Moscow. He’s a restricted free agent who cannot be signed to an offer sheet. It’s believed this is an attempted leverage move by his agent.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The KHL offer is for less than $1 million US. I doubt Isles GM Lou Lamoriello will be swayed by this tactic. There was concern over whether this offer meant Romanov would have difficulty returning to the United States. However, he and his wife are reportedly in Miami.
TSN: Washington Capitals goaltender Ilya Samsonov, Toronto Maple Leafs winger Ondrej Kase and Chicago Blackhawks forwards Dylan Strome and Dominik Kubalik were among a number of restricted free agents who did not receive qualifying offers by Monday’s 5 pm ET deadline. They are eligible to become unrestricted free agents on Wednesday.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Puck Pedia also has a list of RFAs who didn’t get qualifying offers. Some, like Samsonov, Kase, Strome and Kubalik would’ve cost more to qualify than their teams could afford because their actual salaries were higher than their annual cap hit. Some of them could’ve also received higher salaries through arbitration. These players could still sign with their current clubs but it would be for less than what they would’ve received through qualifying offers or arbitration.
The Lightning traded Ryan McDonagh to the Predators, the Jets officially hire Rick Bowness, an update on David Perron and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines
NHL.COM: The Tampa Bay Lightning traded defenseman Ryan McDonagh on Sunday to the Nashville Predators in exchange for defenseman Philippe Myers and forward Grant Mismash.
Tampa Bay Lightning traded defenseman Ryan McDonagh to the Nashville Predators (NHL Images).
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lightning general manager Julien BriseBois indicated this was a cost-cutting move. The cap-strapped club clears most of McDonagh’s $6.75 million annual average value through 2025-26 from their payroll. However, BriseBois took pains to point out this was a result of a flattened salary cap. He obviously didn’t want to move McDonagh, who played a key role in the club’s recent championship successes.
Cap Friendly indicates the Bolts are over $933K above the $82.5 million cap, though they can get $6.875 million in cap relief with permanently sidelined defenseman Brent Seabrook on their long-term injury reserve list. It might not be the only move they make in order to find sufficient space to re-sign or replace pending unrestricted free agents such as Ondrej Palat, Jan Rutta and Riley Nash.
BriseBois also dismissed speculation he would buy out Myers, saying they’ve really liked the blueliner since his junior days. He carries a $2.55 million cap hit for 2022-23.
McDonagh put on a brave face on the trade, saying he believes the Predators have the pieces to win a Stanley Cup and accepting the move as a business decision. However, McDonagh’s agent said his client was crushed about being traded just days after the Stanley Cup Final.
The deal leaves the Predators with $18.1 million in cap space with 18 players under contract through 2022-23. A new contract for pending UFA Filip Forsberg could eat up over $8 million of it.
WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets yesterday officially announced their hiring of Rick Bowness as their new head coach. Terms and details of his contract weren’t revealed but TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reported it was for two years at $2.5 million per season.
STLTODAY.COM: Blues management is hopeful of getting pending UFA winger David Perron under contract. The 34-year-old winger is coming off a four-year deal with an annual average value of $4 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The article goes on to indicate the problem isn’t finding room for Perron’s new contract within their 2022-23 payroll. It’s how it could affect their 2023-24 payroll when Vladimir Tarasenko, Jordan Kyrou and Robert Thomas will be due for new contracts.
DAILY FACEOFF: The Edmonton Oilers’ Ken Holland, Calgary Flames’ Brad Treliving and Winnipeg Jets’ Kevin Cheveldayoff are among the general managers under the most pressure this offseason.
Holland must sort out his goaltending and try to re-sign Evander Kane. Treliving must re-sign free agent forwards Johnny Gaudreau, Matthew Tkachuk and Andrew Mangiapane. Meanwhile, Cheveldayoff must decide if he’ll trade Blake Wheeler or Mark Scheifele and determine what to do with Pierre-Luc Dubois after he signaled his intent to test the 2024 UFA market.
MLIVE.COM: Improving the Detroit Red Wings’ team defense and solving the special teams is among the challenges facing new head coach Derek Lalonde.