NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 11, 2022
John Gibson isn’t interested in a trade to Toronto, the Avalanche re-sign Alexandar Georgiev, the Blackhawks won’t qualify Dylan Strome’s rights, and much more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
DAILY FACEOFF: cites Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos reporting agent Kurt Overhardt claims client John Gibson has no interest in playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs. His comments come amid speculation the 28-year-old goaltender could be a Leafs trade target. “He’s absolutely committed to the Anaheim Ducks,” said Overhardt.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Last month, Gibson denied speculation he wanted out of Anaheim as Ducks management focuses on rebuilding the roster. Some will take Overhardt’s comments as meaning his client isn’t interested in playing for Toronto but could accept a trade to an American-based team. Nevertheless, it’s apparent the Leafs will have to look elsewhere for a goaltender. I’ll have more about that in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.
THE DENVER POST: Less than a week after acquiring Alexandar Georgiev from the New York Rangers, the Colorado Avalanche signed the 26-year-old goaltender to a three-year, $10.2 million contract. He was slated to become a restricted free agent on July 13.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The annual average value is an affordable $3.4 million. Georgiev now has an opportunity to finally establish himself as a starting goaltender and to do so with a Stanley Cup champion.
THE ATHLETIC: The Chicago Blackhawks won’t be qualifying the rights of RFA Dylan Strome before today’s 5 pm ET deadline. The 25-year-old center will become an unrestricted free agent on July 13.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s not sitting well with Blackhawks fans who felt Strome earned at least a qualifying offer. Some wonder why they’re just letting him go rather than trying to shop him for some sort of return. He’s been a fixture in the trade rumor mill for the past two seasons. Strome has had his ups-and-downs with the Blackhawks but he could be an affordable second-line center option on a more stable roster.
YARDBARKER: Strome isn’t the only Blackhawk not getting a qualifying offer. Winger Dominik Kubalik will also be heading to market on Wednesday. The 26-year-old led all rookies in 2019-20 with 30 goals in 68 games but his production dropped to 17 goals in 56 games in 2020-21 and 15 goals in 78 games this season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kubalik will likely get less on the open market than the $4 million it would’ve cost the Blackhawks to qualify his rights. Still, he could be an affordable option for teams on a budget that are seeking scoring depth.
THE SCORE: Seattle Kraken center Shane Wright denies he glared from the draft stage at the Montreal Canadiens table for not selecting him with the first overall pick. “I was just looking at the cameras in front of me,” said Wright. “To be honest, I don’t really remember too much of going up on stage. It was just kind of a whirlwind for me.”
NYI HOCKEY NOW: Vancouver Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin strongly denied there were any trade talks regarding a possible trade of J.T. Miller to the New York Islanders leading up to the first round of the 2022 NHL Draft. When asked, Isles GM Lou Lamoriello simply shrugged and said, “Talk to Vancouver”.
Nevertheless, Stefen Rosner reports a league source claims Allvin asked for an additional piece in the Islanders’ rumored package offer for Miller. Lamoriello was said to be unwilling to do that and nixed the deal.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The speculation suggests the Isles were in the market for a scorer at the draft. Whether Lamoriello continues his rumored attempt to land Miller or looks elsewhere via trade or free agency remains to be seen.
Speaking of the Islanders, The Athletic’s Kevin Kurz tweeted it’s his understanding winger Josh Bailey isn’t being shopped, nor is he believed to be available.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bailey was rumored to be a cost-cutting trade candidate in Lamoriello’s search for a scorer. Cap Friendly shows the 32-year-old winger is signed through 2023-24 with an annual cap hit of $5 million and lacking no-trade protection.
DAILY FACEOFF: Qualifying offers for restricted free agents are due at 5 pm ET Monday (July 11). RFAs are eligible to begin receiving offer sheets on July 12. By midnight on Tuesday, pending UFAs won’t be eligible to receive eight-year contract offers from their current clubs. The free-agent market opens Wednesday at noon ET.
BROAD STREET HOCKEY: Philadelphia Flyers winger Bobby Brink is dealing with a hip injury suffered during offseason training and will miss the club’s ongoing development camp.
TSN: The Buffalo Sabres re-signed defenseman Jacob Bryson to a two-year contract with an annual average value of $1.85 million.
Former NHL center Rod Zaine passed away from undisclosed causes on July 7. He was 76. Zaine made his NHL debut with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1970-71 and played for the Buffalo Sabres in 1971-72. He spent the final three seasons of his professional career in the World Hockey Association.
SPECTOR’ S NOTE: My condolences to Zaine’s family, friends and former teammates.