NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 17, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 17, 2022

The reaction to the Penguins’ acquisitions of Jeff Petry and John Marino, what’s next for the Canadiens after trading Petry, David Pastrnak could get Johnny Gaudreau money, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes explained why he shipped Jeff Petry and Ryan Poehling to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday in exchange for Mike Matheson and a fourth-round pick in the 2023 draft.

Montreal Canadiens traded defenseman Jeff Petry to the Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL Images).

Hughes was acting on a trade request Petry made for family reasons during the season. He said the 34-year-old defenseman was appreciative that he was going to an American-based team that would be easier on his family, as well as one that’s going all in to try and win the Stanley Cup.

Matheson was a former client of Hughes’ from his days as a player agent. The Canadiens GM praised the Montreal native’s skating ability and character, adding that he’ll fit in well into head coach Martin St. Louis’ system.

The addition of Poehling in the deal was due to the Penguins’ belief that they’ll need a little more depth at center. With the Canadiens’ addition of Kirby Dach, Hughes felt they were solid enough at that position that they could afford to part with Poehling.

The move also freed up sufficient salary-cap space for the Canadiens to bring back Rem Pitlick on a two-year, $2.2 million contract. Hughes explained they had decided earlier this month not to qualify the 25-year-old center’s rights because their limited cap space would’ve made it difficult to meet what he might’ve received through arbitration.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Those moves leave the Canadiens with over $1.2 million in salary cap space and 21 roster players under contract for 2022-23.

Shipping out Petry also leaves them short of a right-shot defenseman. Hughes indicated he’s open to adding that type of blueliner. He’s also still willing to make another cost-cutting trade.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Prior to acquiring Petry, the Penguins traded defenseman John Marino to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for blueliner Ty Smith and a third-round pick in 2023.

Dan Kingerski reports the move freed up the cap space the Penguins needed to add Petry, who is a bigger, more accomplished rearguard than Marino. He also cited Hextall expressing confidence in Poehling as a big-bodied forward who will have an opportunity to improve in Pittsburgh.

Hextall also thinks Smith has plenty of upside and the ability to regain the form from his promising rookie season after struggling through his sophomore campaign of 2021-22.

While the addition of Petry improves the Penguins’ right-side blueline depth, trading away Matheson to Montreal weakens them on the left side.

NHL.COM: Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald explained his addition of Marino by singling out his competitive nature and puck-handling abilities.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Like Hughes, Hextall might not be done making moves this summer. He could be in the market for an affordable left-side defenseman via free agency or the trade market as insurance in case Smith struggles to adjust with the Penguins.

THE BOSTON GLOBE: Kevin Paul Dupont believes Bruins winger David Pastrnak is in line to receive a contract similar to (or perhaps exceeding) Johnny Gaudreau’s $9.75 million average annual value with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Only five players have scored more goals than Pastrnak over the past six seasons.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bruins GM Don Sweeney and the Pastrnak camp are currently in contract extension talks. Dupont believes he could get an eight-year, $80 million deal with the Bruins. If the two sides fail to reach an agreement, the 26-year-old winger will probably land a seven-year deal exceeding $10 million annually on the open market.

TWINCITIES.COM: Minnesota Wild owner Craig Leipold admitted he’s feeling some nervousness over unconfirmed reports claiming winger Kirill Kaprizov is being detained in Russia while authorities investigate an alleged attempt to evade military service.

Leipold said Kaprizov is laying low and doing the right things, adding he just wants to be in his home country during the NHL offseason and visiting his family. The Wild owner doesn’t expect any problems with Kaprizov returning to his club in the coming season and remains hopeful there won’t be.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There have been no new developments regarding Kaprizov’s situation since it was reported over a week ago. Perhaps no news is good news in this case.

DAILY FACEOFF: The Panthers signed forward Chris Tierney to a one-year, two-way contract.

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – January 30, 2022

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – January 30, 2022

Are the Canucks shopping Conor Garland? Are the Leafs trying to move Petr Mrazek? What’s the latest on Josh Manson and Owen Tippett? Find out in the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports Vancouver Canucks president Jim Rutherford is getting down to business talking about potential trades with the rest of the league after getting his management team in place last week. While there’s been a lot of rumors about J.T. Miller, Friedman believes they have a number of forwards (excluding Elias Pettersson and Bo Horvat) that they’re willing to discuss with other teams. Winger Conor Garland could be among them.

Vancouver Canucks winger Conor Garland (NHL Images).

Teams linked to the Canucks in the rumor mill include the New York Rangers, Boston Bruins and Calgary Flames. Friedman believes the New Jersey Devils could be in there as well with an interest in players with term remaining on their contracts.

THE PROVINCE: Patrick Johnston weighed in on Friedman’s report, suggesting the Devils have a pair of defensemen in Ty Smith and Damon Severson who might interest the Canucks. He noted Rutherford has made it clear he’s going to be making changes, and earlier this month said he was looking for younger players and draft picks. The Canucks president is also looking for more salary-cap flexibility.

THE ATHLETIC: Harman Dayal observed it’s not unusual for trade talk to pick up when a new regime takes over a club that is eager to make changes. He believes it makes sense for the Canucks to shop some of their wingers but he’s not sure Garland would be on his list as he’s still fairly young and on a good contract. However, he wondered if Rutherford would rate the 25-year-old winger as highly as the previous management.

Dayal believes trading Garland would also cast the club’s offseason blockbuster move with Arizona in a harsh light. Garland won’t fetch the top-10 pick the Canucks gave up in that deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It will be worthwhile to keep an eye on the Canucks leading up to the March 21 trade deadline. Rutherford and his staff are going to listen to offers but that doesn’t mean they’re going to make a series of trades before deadline day. They could move Garland, Miller or other wingers if they get solid offers but they could also hang onto them and perhaps see what the offseason market looks like.


SPORTSNET: Jeff Marek said there’s been speculation around the league over the future of Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Petr Mrazek given the Vezina-type season being enjoyed by starter Jack Campbell. The Leafs haven’t initiated any discussion about Mrazek but there have been teams interested in him. Any decisions about their goaltenders will be summer decisions.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, Leafs management is waiting to see how contract negotiations go with Campbell, who’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent this summer and is due for a significant pay raise. Mrazek, meanwhile, is signed through 2023-24 with an affordable $3.8 million cap hit and a 10-team no-trade list.

Elliotte Friedman said it’ll be interesting to see how long Anaheim Ducks defenseman Josh Manson will be sidelined. He’s a UFA this summer and the Leafs are believed among the clubs with an interest in the 28-year-old Ducks blueliner.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Manson’s fate also depends on where the Ducks are in the standings as the March 21 trade deadline approaches. They’re currently second in the Pacific Division and I don’t see them becoming sellers if they’re still in that position on deadline day.

Marek also reports there are a lot of trade rumors surrounding Florida Panthers forward Owen Tippett. With the Panthers in go-for-it mode this season, the 22-year-old winger is reportedly available.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Panthers are believed in the market for a top-four defenseman. They’ve been linked to the Arizona Coyotes’ Jakob Chychrun and the Dallas Stars’ John Klingberg. A promising young player like Tippett would have to be part of the package to land either guy.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 3, 2021

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 3, 2021

Robin Lehner accuses several teams of medical malpractice plus the latest on Nicklas Backstrom, Jonathan Drouin, Jack Johnson and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

ESPN.COM: Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Robin Lehner alleged several NHL teams regularly gave players drugs such as benzodiazepines and Ambien without prescriptions. He said the Golden Knights weren’t among those clubs but implied he’d been on teams that had done so.

Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Robin Lehner (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lehner can expect a call by NHL HQ if he hasn’t already been contacted. He’ll be in hot water if he can’t substantiate his allegation. If he can, however, it could prompt an investigation by the league.

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom said his injured hip is improving but there’s no timetable for his return. The ailment doesn’t require surgery and he’s been rehabbing it at an offsite location. His status remains week-to-week, leaving him questionable to start the season.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Jonathan Drouin is the 2020-21 recipient of the Jean Beliveau Trophy, awarded annually to the Canadiens player who best exemplifies leadership qualifies in the community. Drouin’s been involved in numerous charities, including those helping children and sick people.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Drouin receiving this honor takes on greater significance when one remembers he took a leave of absence from the Canadiens last season to deal with anxiety. Despite that, he still maintained his charitable work.

The Canadiens announced defenseman Sami Niku is sidelined indefinitely after suffering a concussion in Friday’s preseason game against the Ottawa Senators.

TSN: The Canadiens also claimed goaltender Samuel Montembeault off waivers from the Florida Panthers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is seen as an insurance move by the Canadiens with starter Carey Price still recuperating from offseason knee injury. His status for the start of the season remains uncertain.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: Sources claim the Colorado Avalanche are expected to sign defenseman Jack Johnson, who’s in training camp on a professional tryout offer. With Devon Toews sidelined, he’s likely to fill a spot as the fifth or sixth blueliner to start the season.