NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 27, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 27, 2020

In today’s NHL morning coffee headlines: The Senators avoid arbitration with Chris Tierney, the latest on the Penguins and Coyotes, and long-time Edmonton sports icon Joey Moss passes away.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators avoided salary arbitration with Chris Tierney as the two sides agreed to a two-year contract worth an annual average value of $3.5 million. The 26-year-old center’s arbitration hearing was slated for Nov. 8.

Ottawa Senators center Chris Tierney (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Another affordable move by the Senators to keep a key veteran in the folk. Acquired from the San Jose Sharks in the Erik Karlsson trade in 2018, Tierney’s become an invaluable two-way center for the Sens, netting 37 points in 71 games last season.

TRIBLIVE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins fired assistant general manager Jason Karmanos yesterday. No reason was given for the move. He’d been in the position since 2014, hired a week after Jim Rutherford was named general manager. Karmanos also served as GM of the Penguins’ AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

The Penguins also announced Trevor Daley was hired as a hockey operations advisor. Daley, 37, has retired as an NHL defenseman after 16 seasons spent with the Penguins, Dallas Stars, Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings. He won two Stanley Cups with the Pens in 2016 and 2017, finishing his career with 89 goals and 309 points in 1,058 games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Daley in his future endeavors.

AZCENTRAL.COM: The Arizona Coyotes are facing criticism for selecting Mitchell Miller in this year’s draft after it was revealed the defenseman admitted to repeatedly bullying, hitting and racially taunting an African-American classmate with developmental disabilities four years ago. The club and GM Bill Armstrong responded with statements pointing out Miller sent a letter to all 31 NHL teams acknowledging his behavior and expressing remorse, but the mother of the victim said he has never personally apologized. Armstrong had not officially taken over as GM when Miller was selected.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: While the Coyotes are under fire for their selection, The Hockey News’ Ken Campbell points out there were many others in the hockey world willing to have Miller on their team despite his checkered past. Campbell raises legitimate questions over Miller’s character, if he’s truly remorseful for his actions, and if he’s deserving of a chance to play in the NHL.

SPORTSNET: Speaking of the Coyotes, they’re reportedly in discussions with Shane Doan regarding the possible return of their former captain to the organization.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Joey Moss, the long-time dressing-room attendant for the Oilers and the CFL’s Edmonton Eskimos, passed away at 57 after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s disease and recent hip surgery. Moss, who had Down syndrome, was hired by the Oilers in 1984 and the Eskimos in 1986 on the recommendation of Wayne Gretzky. He quickly endeared himself with both clubs, becoming a popular, well-recognized part of the Edmonton community. In 2015, he was inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Moss was an inspiration as well as a beloved icon of the Oilers and Eskimos. My condolences to his family, friends and the Oilers’ and Eskimos’ organizations.

Five NHL Salary Arbitration Hearings Worth Watching

Five NHL Salary Arbitration Hearings Worth Watching


NHL Free Agents & Trade Candidates – Ottawa Senators

NHL Free Agents & Trade Candidates – Ottawa Senators


What Are Pierre Dorion’s NHL Off-Season Plans For The Ottawa Senators?

What Are Pierre Dorion’s NHL Off-Season Plans For The Ottawa Senators?


NHL Rumor Mill – September 22, 2019

NHL Rumor Mill – September 22, 2019

An update on Torey Krug and the latest on the Oilers in today’s NHL rumor mill.


NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Joe Haggerty reports Bruins general manager Don Sweeney expects to have contract extension talks with Torey Krug. The 28-year-old defenseman is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next July. Krug has said there have been no contract talks yet but indicated he’s willing to take a hometown discount to stay in Boston.

Torey Krug hopes to start contract extension talks with the Boston Bruins (Photo via NHL Images).

Krug told Haggerty he assumed the reason why there have been no contract discussions was that the Bruins were focused on re-signing young blueliners Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo. He said he’s eagerly looking forward to those talks.

Haggerty suggests Minnesota’s Jared Spurgeon as a reasonable comparison. The Wild recently re-signed Spurgeon to a seven-year, $53.025-million contract with an annual average value of $7.575 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the Bruins hoping for another run at the Stanley Cup this season, don’t expect them to shop Krug if unable to reach an agreement on a new contract. Sweeney could take a wait-and-see approach this season before opening contract talks. How much of a hometown discount Krug’s willing to take will also be a factor.

Cap Friendly indicates the Bruins have over $56 million invested in 13 players for 2020-21. Of their pending free agents, Krug would be the most expensive to re-sign. If he’s willing to accept under $7 million per season on a five-year deal, Sweeney could go for it. Things could get dicey, however, if the rearguard seeks much more than that for seven or eight years.


EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson reports the Oilers still haven’t found a suitable third-line center. “Riley Sheahan could get the 3C but really he’s a solid No. 4. Same as Colby Cave, with good camp but hasn’t shown much puck creativity.”

Kurt Leavins notes the Oilers had a scout in attendance at Saturday’s game between the Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens and wondered if he was looking for a third-line center. Senators centers Chris Tierney and Jean-Gabriel Pageau are slated to become UFAs next July. A dip in the latter’s production last season could lower the asking price.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators are rebuilding with youth. Tierney, 25, has a career-high 48 points last season. Pageau missed over half of last season recovering from a torn Achilles tendon. Tierney’s cap hit is just over $2.9 million while Pageau’s is $3.1 million.

One or both could hit the trade block at some point this season, especially if the Sens are out of playoff contention by the trade deadline. However, it remains to be seen if they’re willing to move either guy right now.

Erik Karlsson Traded to the Sharks

Erik Karlsson Traded to the Sharks

The Ottawa Senators traded defenseman Erik Karlsson and prospect forward Francis Perron to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for center Chris Tierney, defenceman Dylan DeMelo, and forward prospects Josh Norris and Rudolfs Balcers, along with a conditional first-round pick (2019 or 2020) and a second-round pick in 2019. If the Sharks miss the playoffs this season, the first-rounder will be in 2019.


Ottawa Senators trade defenseman Erik Karlsson to the San Jose Sharks. (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators were never going to get full value for Karlsson. The pressure general manager Pierre Dorion was rumored to be under from owner Eugene Melnyk to get a deal done quickly likely left him little choice but to accept the Sharks’ proposal.

Tierney, 24, is a good two-way center who reached a career-high 40 points last season with the Sharks. He should be a good fit as Ottawa’s third-line center. The 25-year-old DeMelo obviously won’t replace Karlsson’s all-star skills. Given the lack of skilled depth on the Senators blueline, he will likely fill a top-four role.

Norris, another two-way center, played for Michigan in the Big 10 and could remain there this season. Balcers tallied 48 points with San Jose’s AHL affiliate last season and is likely headed to the Belleville Senators this season. One of these guys could become a full-time roster player one day for Ottawa but it’s doubtful they’ll blossom into stars. 

As for the Sharks, GM Doug Wilson knows his club’s Stanley Cup window of opportunity is closing. Bringing in Karlsson gives the Sharks two former Norris Trophy winners (Brent Burns being the other) plus the always-dependable Marc-Edouard Vlasic patrolling their blueline. Karlsson will help relieve some of the burden from Burns, providing additional offensive punch from the defense.

This move can also be considered Wilson’s answer to the significant offseason moves made by division rivals like the Vegas Golden Knights, Los Angeles Kings, Calgary Flames and Arizona Coyotes. It could provide a significant boost to the Sharks’ Stanley Cup hopes for 2018-19, but it remains to be seen if they can afford to keep Karlsson beyond this season.