NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 3, 2023
Tyler Bertuzzi and Max Domi sign with the Leafs, the Wild acquire Pat Maroon, Kailer Yamamoto joins the Kraken, the latest on Max Pacioretty and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
SPORTSNET: The Toronto Maple Leafs signed Tyler Bertuzzi to a one-year, $5.5 million contract.
TSN: The Leafs also signed Max Domi to a one-year deal, this one worth $3 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Leafs general manager Brad Treliving made up for his underwhelming moves on the opening day of free agency. Adding two forwards with offensive skills who also bring a physical edge to the roster, Treliving is attempting to address a longstanding issue for the Leafs during postseason play.
Bertuzzi, 28, is often sidelined because of his gritty style of play. Nevertheless, he has three seasons with 20-plus goals and 40-or-more points on his resume, including a career-best 30-goal, 62-point performance in 2021-22 with Detroit. Traded to Boston at the March trade deadline, he had 16 points in 21 regular-season games for the Bruins and was tied for the club lead in playoff points with 10.
This is a homecoming for the 28-year-old Domi, having grown up in Toronto and around the Leafs when his father played for the club. A skilled but inconsistent playmaker, he’s reached or exceeded 40 points five times in his eight previous NHL campaigns. Entering 2023-24, the Leafs will be his seventh team in nine seasons.
The high number of clubs with limited cap space made it difficult for Bertuzzi and Domi to find more lucrative offers with longer terms. By accepting one-year contracts, they can hit the open market again next summer when the salary cap is expected to jump by at least $4 million.
Cap Friendly indicates both signings push the Leafs to over $8 million above the $83.5 million cap. Teams are allowed to be above the cap by 10 percent during the offseason but must be compliant when the season begins in October. We’ll have a look at how they could address this in today’s Rumor Mill update.
SPORTSNET: The notable players available in the UFA market include Vladimir Tarasenko, Matt Dumba, Patrick Kane, Patrice Bergeron, and Zach Parise.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The amount of quality talent remaining in this shallow free-agent pool is quickly draining away. Kane isn’t expected to sign a contract anytime soon as he continues to rehab from a hip procedure. Bergeron remains undecided if he’ll return with the Bruins or retire.
NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: Max Pacioretty hopes to prove he’s still the scorer he once was following two surgeries to repair a torn Achilles tendon. On Saturday, Pacioretty inked a one-year, $2 million contract with the Capitals. The deal also includes $2 million in performance bonuses.
TWINCITIES.COM/TAMPA BAY TIMES: The Minnesota Wild acquired forward Pat Maroon and minor leaguer Max Cajkovic from the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for a seventh-round pick in 2024. The Lightning retained 20 percent of Maroon’s $1 million cap hit.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Maroon has a 16-team no-trade clause but Minnesota either wasn’t on that list or he agreed to go there. The three-time Stanley Cup champion is an affordable addition to the cap-strapped Wild, bringing considerable playoff experience and leadership to the roster along with an additional physical edge.
This is yet another cost-cutting move by the Lightning that bites further into their supporting cast. Their core talent remains intact but salary-cap limitations have forced them to cut into the roster depth that made them a perennial Stanley Cup finalist.
SPORTSNET: The Seattle Kraken signed Kailer Yamamoto to a one-year, $1.5 million contract. He was traded last week by the Edmonton Oilers to the Detroit Red Wings, who bought out the final year of his contract.
BUFFALO HOCKEY NOW: Sabres general Kevyn Adams has opted not to pursue a goaltender in this summer’s trade and free-agent markets. He is prepared to go into this season with Eric Comrie and youngsters Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen and Devon Levi.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This summer’s free-agent goalie market was thin on talent plus the cost of acquiring someone like Winnipeg’s Connor Hellebucyk and Philadelphia’s Carter Hart is expensive. Nevertheless, this is a gamble for Adams. Inconsistent goaltending could once again hamper his club’s chances of ending their long playoff drought.
THE TENNESSEAN: Mark Borowiecki has been hired by the Nashville Predators as a pro development coach. He announced his retirement as a player in May after 12 NHL seasons.