NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 9, 2023
Stan Bowman and Joel Quenneville speak at general managers’ meeting, an update on William Nylander’s contract talks, Tim Stutzle talks about Alex DeBrincat’s departure from the Senators, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
TSN: Former Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman and former head coach Joel Quenneville spoke Friday at the NHL’s general manager and coaches meeting in Chicago. They were invited by league commissioner Gary Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly to address the group but they did not speak to the media.
Bowman and Quenneville have been out of the league since 2021 following an investigation by the Blackhawks over the mishandling of allegations by former player Kyle Beach that he had been sexually abused by former assistant coach Brad Aldrich in 2010. Neither man was suspended by the league but Bettman has stated they need his clearance to return.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Following the meeting, Bettman told reporters that he has no timetable for when Bowman and Quenneville will be allowed to return to the NHL. He also claimed that the duo “voluntarily” attended the GM and coaches meeting. “It wasn’t something that they were told they needed to do,” said Bettman, “ We said if you’d like the opportunity to address the group, you would have it.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It doesn’t appear Bowman and Quenneville will be allowed back to the NHL this season. However, their attendance at this meeting could set the stage for Bettman to give one or both men his blessing to return in the near future.
THE ATHLETIC: After re-signing Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brad Treliving told Pierre LeBrun that he is focused on getting William Nylander under contract. “Willy is a really important player and a really good player, and we want to get him done too,” said Treliving.
The Leafs GM indicated his intention to hold further talks with the Nylander camp before the upcoming season begins. The winger’s agent, Lewis Gross, told LeBrun that they remain open to getting a deal done.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Reports earlier this summer claimed negotiations weren’t going well. It’s a promising sign that both sides are still willing to discuss a contract.
Whether they can hammer out a deal remains to be seen. It’s believed Nylander seeks $10 million annually on his next contract. That could prove difficult for the Leafs over the long term with Mitch Marner due for a new deal in 2025.
THE SCORE: Ottawa Senators forward Tim Stutzle didn’t mince words regarding former teammate Alex DeBrincat during a recent appearance on the Sportsnet podcast “32 Thoughts”.
“If he doesn’t want to be there, I don’t want to have to make him be there,” said Stutzle. He went on to say, “If you don’t want to be there, good luck on your way.”
DeBrincat was shipped in July to the Detroit Red Wings following a trade request by his representatives. Stutzle added that he and his teammates wanted DeBrincat to stay, calling him “a great guy, great player.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators are attempting to build a contender based around their young core of talent such as Stutzle who have committed to the club’s long-term plans. They don’t want any unnecessary distractions, including from those who’d prefer playing elsewhere.
OTTAWA SUN: Speaking of the Senators, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said the sale of the club to billionaire Michael Andlauer could be done “as early as next week”.
BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: The Bruins could go with a “captain-by-committee” this season with three or four alternates rather than naming a team captain. The position is currently vacant following Patrice Bergeron’s retirement in July.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins wouldn’t be the only NHL club to use that format if that’s what they decide to do this season. It can be a good way to determine which player is best suited to fill the role of team captain.
COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: The Avalanche have invited forward Saku Maenalanen to camp on a professional tryout offer. The 29-year-old winger played 64 games last season with the Winnipeg Jets.
SPORTSNET: On his “32 Thoughts” podcast, Elliotte Friedman said he believes the Seattle Kraken have sorted out prospect center Shane Wright’s eligibility to play for their AHL affiliate in Coachella Valley this season. Wright was one game short of the CHL’s cut-off eligibility, meaning he would’ve had to return to the OHL if he didn’t crack the Kraken lineup this season.
TSN: Former NHL players Dustin Brown and Jamie Langenbrunner and former NHL executive Brian Burke are among the 2023 inductees into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame. They join women’s star Katie King Crowley and official Brian Murphy.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to the Class of 2023 for this well-deserved honor.