NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 13, 2022
Johnny Gaudreau heads to the free-agent market, Evgeni Malkin re-signs with the Penguins, Evander Kane stays with the Oilers, Patrice Bergeron to return with the Bruins, the Wild trade Cam Talbot to the Senators, and much more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
CALGARY HOCKEY NOW: Johnny Gaudreau has played his final game with the Flames. He reportedly rejected an offer worth over $10 million annually on an eight-year deal. Flames general manager Brad Treliving indicated the 28-year-old winger’s decision was based on family reasons and not money.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s a disappointing outcome for the Flames. Gaudreau’s decision could also affect the club’s efforts to re-sign restricted winger Matthew Tkachuk to a long-term deal. Gaudreau is now the top player available in the unrestricted free-agent market when it opens at noon ET today. He’s been linked to the Philadelphia Flyers, New Jersey Devils and New York Islanders.
PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Evgeni Malkin has agreed to a four-year, $24.4 million contract with the Penguins. The annual average value is $6.1 million and comes with a full no-movement clause.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Malkin was reportedly planning to test the market due to his frustration over negotiations with the Penguins. It appears his desire to stick with the only NHL team he’s ever played for led to his change of heart. The cap hit is identical to teammate Kris Letang’s but for two years less than Letang’s contract.
Speaking of the Penguins, they signed pending restricted free agent defenseman Pierre-Olivier Joseph to a two-year, one-way contract worth an annual average value of $825K.
SPORTSNET: Evander Kane is staying with the Edmonton Oilers after agreeing to a four-year, $20.5 million contract. The annual average value is $5.125 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers agreed to let Kane’s agent speak to other clubs but it appears whatever those teams were offering didn’t measure up to this deal. The 30-year-old winger had terrific chemistry with Edmonton superstar Connor McDavid last season. It’s a good bargain for the Oilers if Kane and McDavid continue playing well together.
Meanwhile, Kane is still waiting for his grievance to be heard over his contract termination last January by the San Jose Sharks. There’s no indication he and the Sharks are going to work out a settlement before then.
RDS.CA: Francois Gagnon reports Patrice Bergeron will be returning with the Boston Bruins. Details of the agreement are expected to be revealed later today.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There was concern among Bruins followers that Bergeron would retire, leaving the club without an established first-line center. It’ll be interesting to see what this new contract looks like.
OTTAWA SUN: The Senators have acquired goaltender Cam Talbot from the Minnesota Wild in exchange for backup goalie Filip Gustavsson. Talbot, 35, has a year remaining on his contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Talbot was reportedly unhappy over the Wild bringing back Marc-Andre Fleury on a two-year contract. Wild general manager Bill Guerin said he respected the veteran netminder but didn’t want this situation to become a distraction.
In the short term, Talbot should provide a much-needed boost to the Senators’ goaltending. Gustavsson, meanwhile, will serve in a backup role to Fleury.
TSN: Speaking of the Senators, they placed defenseman Michael Del Zotto on unconditional waivers yesterday for the purpose of buying out his contract. Del Zotto joined Philadelphia Flyers forward Oskar Lindblom, San Jose Sharks forward Rudolfs Balcers and New Jersey Devils forward Janne Kuokkanen on the contract buyout list.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lindblom’s buyout isn’t going down well with Flyers followers. The 25-year-old winger became a fan favorite after overcoming a rare bone cancer in 2020. The move is seen as GM Chuck Fletcher’s attempt to clear cap space to pursue a big-ticket free agent such as Johnny Gaudreau.
THE ATHLETIC: Tampa Bay Lightning winger Ondrej Palat intends to test the market today. Speaking of the Lightning, TSN reports they’ve hired former Detroit Red Wings head coach Jeff Blashill as an assistant coach.
TSN: The Los Angeles Kings signed defenseman Alexander Edler to a one-year contract worth $750K.
WGR550: The Buffalo Sabres are bringing back goaltender Malcolm Subban on a one-year, $850K contract.
NHL.COM: The Kraken re-signed forward Alexander True on a one-year, two-way contract.
TSN: Scotty Bowman is stepping down as senior hockey operations advisor for the Chicago Blackhawks.
NHL.COM: Duncan Keith officially announced his retirement yesterday as an NHL player after 17 seasons with the Blackhawks and Oilers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I summarize the future Hall-of-Famer’s career on Saturday when news first broke of his impending retirement. Best wishes to Keith and his family in their future endeavors.