NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 6, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 6, 2022

The Golden Knights snap the Bruins’ home win streak, the Canucks rally from a 4-goal deficit to down the Canadiens, the three stars of the week are revealed and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Boston Bruins’ 14-game home winning streak came to an end as the Vegas Golden Knights defeated them 4-3 on a shootout goal by Reilly Smith. Vegas had jumped to a 3-0 lead with Paul Cotter scoring twice but the Bruins rallied to tie the game on goals by Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak and Taylor Hall. Logan Thompson made 40 saves for the Golden Knights (19-7-1) as they lead the Western Conference with 39 points. The Bruins (20-3-1) picked up a point to hold first place in the overall standings (41 points) with a game in hand over the New Jersey Devils.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Golden Knights coach Bruce Cassidy picked up the win in his first game against the Bruins since they fired him as head coach in the off-season. He received a standing ovation from Boston fans during a video tribute in the first period.

Jack Eichel missed this game for the Golden Knights as he’s listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury. Teammate Alex Pietrangelo missed his fourth straight game due to personal reasons.

Vancouver Canucks forward Elias Pettersson (NHL Images).

Vancouver Canucks center Elias Pettersson scored in overtime as his club overcame 4-0 and 6-5 deficits to beat the Montreal Canadiens 7-6. Pettersson finished the night with three points while Ilya Mikheyev scored twice as the Canucks improved to 11-12-3. Nick Suzuki and Jordan Harris each had two points for the 12-11-2 Canadiens.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens entered this game with winger Brendan Gallagher sidelined for two weeks with a lower-body injury and defenseman David Savard out with an upper-body injury. Center Sean Monahan left the game in the second period and was spotted after the game wearing a walking boot cast on his right foot. He’s been nursing that injury since the start of this road trip.

The Philadelphia Flyers upset the Colorado Avalanche by a score of 5-3. Kevin Hayes, Scott Laughton and Travis Sanheim each had two points and Carter Hart made 29 saves for the Flyers (9-12-5). Alex Newhook tallied twice for the Avalanche (13-9-1), who also lost center Nathan MacKinnon in the first period with an apparent wrist injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There was no update on MacKinnon’s condition following the game. The Avalanche went into this game already shorthanded with Valeri Nichushkin, Gabriel Landeskog, Bo Byram, Evan Rodrigues, Darren Helm and Kurtis MacDermid among their sidelined players.

Three unanswered third-period goals by K’Andre Miller, Alexis Lafreniere and Chris Kreider lifted the New York Rangers to a 6-4 victory over the St. Louis Blues. Lafreniere, Artemi Panarin and Vincent Trocheck finished the night with two points apiece as the Rangers improved to 12-10-5. Jordan Kyrou had two points for the Blues (11-14-0) as they’ve dropped four straight.

A third-period goal by Nic Dowd snapped a 2-2 tie as the Washington Capitals nipped the Edmonton Oilers 3-2. Lars Eller and TJ Oshie also scored for the 11-12-4 Capitals. Stuart Skinner stopped 47 shots for the Oilers (14-12-0) while Connor McDavid scored to extend his points streak to six games. He leads the league with 48 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kailer Yamamoto returned to action after missing 11 games with an undisclosed injury.

The Calgary Flames downed the Arizona Coyotes 3-2 on a third-period power-play goal by Nazem Kadri, who finished the night with three points. Jakob Chychrun and Shayne Gostisbehere each had a goal and an assist for the Coyotes (7-12-4) while the Flames improved to 12-10-3.

HEADLINES

NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid, Buffalo Sabres center Dylan Cozens and Dallas Stars winger Jason Robertson are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Dec. 4, 2022.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets winger Jakub Voracek acknowledged his playing days might be over due to concussion symptoms. The 33-year-old winger said he has a history of head injuries. He added there’s a slim chance he might be able to resume his playing career but it won’t be happening anytime soon.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Voracek has a year remaining on his contract but he’ll likely finish that on long-term injury reserve. He’s had a productive career with 806 points in 1,058 NHL games over 15 seasons but he has to put his health and well-being first.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: The Panthers have placed winger Patric Hornqvist on LTIR after he suffered a concussion during Saturday’s game against the Seattle Kraken. He’ll be sidelined for at least 10 games and 24 days.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The move also provides the Panthers with some short-term salary cap relief for Anthony Duclair’s expected return to action later this month.

OTTAWA SUN: Senators defenseman Artem Zub could be sidelined for a month with a broken jaw. He suffered the injury when he was struck in the face by a puck during Friday’s game against the New York Rangers. Zub missed eight games earlier this season with an upper-body injury.

THE SEATTLE TIMES: The Kraken have recalled Shane Wright from his stint with their AHL affiliate in time for Tuesday’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nice dramatic touch by Kraken management. The Canadiens passed over Wright during the opening round of the 2022 NHL Draft, using the first-overall pick to select Juraj Slafkovsky, who’ll be in the lineup for this contest.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens and Carey Price have apologized for the goaltender’s recent support of a pro-gun organization on social media just days before the Dec. 6 anniversary of the 1989 Polytechnique Massacre in Montreal. On that date, 14 women were killed and another 10 were wounded by a lone gunman armed with a legally purchased semi-automatic rifle.

Over the weekend, Price posted a message on Instagram expressing his support of the Canadian Coalition for Firearms Rights’ opposition to a proposed federal gun control bill (C-21). The bill originally targeted handguns but an amendment was tacked on that would focus on a number of rifles used for hunting. The government is still listening to feedback to ensure the bill doesn’t target hunting rifles or shotguns.

Price faced a backlash for his remarks over both the timing of his post and for supporting the CCFR, who recently ran a promo code “POLY” for 10 percent off merchandise purchases. According to a survivor of the Polytechnique shooting, the promo code mocked the massacre.

In their apology, the Canadiens announced they would make a donation to the “Week of the White Rose” campaign. The team also claimed Price was unaware of the Polytechnique anniversary. Meanwhile, Price followed up on social media claiming he meant no disrespect and didn’t agree with the CCFR’s promo code campaign. An avid hunter, he said he stood by his fellow hunters and sport shooters who have legally purchased firearms and use them safely.

Unlike the United States, Canadian citizens do not have a constitutional right to bear arms.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Commenters are asked to limit their replies to this story to Price’s remarks and the Canadiens’ response. I don’t want to see this derail off-topic into a broad debate on your personal views about gun control.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 28, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 28, 2022

The Kraken keep rising in the standings, the Canucks are clawing their way back into playoff contention, plus the latest on Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: An overtime goal by Daniel Sprong lifted the Seattle Kraken to a 5-4 victory over the Anaheim Ducks. Matty Beniers had a goal and two assists for the Kraken (13-5-3) as they pick up their fifth straight win. Mason McTavish and Adam Henrique scored in the third period for Anaheim to force overtime as their record falls to 6-15-1). Ducks forward Trevor Zegras collected three assists.

Seattle Kraken center Matty Beniers (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the win, the Kraken moves one point ahead of the Dallas Stars for second place in the Western Conference standings with 29 points. Beniers leads all NHL rookies this season with 18 points. Meanwhile, Ducks goaltender John Gibson left the game in the third period with an undisclosed injury.

Vancouver Canucks forward Andrei Kuzmenko scored in overtime to nip the San Jose Sharks 4-3. Kuzmenko, Elias Pettersson and J.T. Miller each collected two points as the Canucks (9-10-3) have won five of their last six games. Luke Kunin scored twice and Erik Karlsson picked up two assists for the 7-13-4 Sharks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks have overcome a poor start to this season. With 21 points, they’re one point out of a wildcard berth in the Western Conference. Kuzmenko’s been a key part of that improvement. After netting just two points in his first seven NHL games, he now has 19 points in his last 14 contests, including two game-winning goals.

The Winnipeg Jets thumped the Chicago Blackhawks 7-2. Pierre-Luc Dubois and Saku Maenalanen each scored twice while Kyle Connor and Josh Morrissey each had three-point performances as the Jets improved to 13-6-1. Taylor Raddysh and Jujhar Khaira replied for the Blackhawks (6-11-4) as their winless skid reached seven games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Since their 4-2-0 start, the Blackhawks have won only twice in their last 15 games. Jets forward Morgan Barron collected an assist as he returned to action for the first time since being sidelined by an injury on Oct. 30. With 27 points, the Jets are fourth in the Western Conference.

Minnesota Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov had a goal and two assists as his club held off the Arizona Coyotes by a score of 4-3. Joel Eriksson Ek collected two assists for the Wild (10-9-2) while Matias Macelli also picked up two assists as the Coyotes slid to 7-10-3.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Macelli sits second among this season’s rookie scorers with 13 points but he’s their leader in assists with 12.

The Ottawa Senators downed the Los Angeles Kings 3-2 on an overtime by Claude Giroux. Brady Tkachuk, Tim Stutzle and Thomas Chabot each had two points as the Senators boosted their record to 8-12-1. Arthur Kaliyev scored both goals for the Kings (12-9-3) as they’ve dropped four of their last five contests.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was a big win for the struggling Senators as they salvage four points from this four-game western road trip.

HEADLINES

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov will be sidelined for the next two games with a non-COVID-related illness.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers placed forwards Kailer Yamamoto and Ryan McLeod on injured reserve.

WGR 550: The Buffalo Sabres placed forward Riley Sheahan on unconditional waivers for the purpose of terminating his contract after he declined to report to their AHL affiliate in Rochester.

DAILY FACEOFF: Former Canucks coaching staff member Rachel Doerrie filed a complaint with the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal last week. She alleges she was discriminated against by the team and assistant general manager Emilie Castonguay for her mental and physical disabilities.

Doerrie, who has PTSD and a heart condition, was hired by the Canucks in January as an analyst and promoted to the coaching staff on Aug. 1. She indicated she had revealed her medical conditions to Canucks president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford during the hiring process. She was terminated from her position in September.

The Canucks issued two statements saying they “strongly disagreed” with Doerrie’s allegations.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 4, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 4, 2022

The 2022-23 preseason schedule is released, the Devils avoid arbitration with Jesper Bratt, the Oilers re-sign Kailer Yamamoto, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: The league released its 2022-23 preseason schedule. It begins on Saturday, Sept. 24 featuring the Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs facing off in a split-squad doubleheader in Toronto.

On Oct. 3, the Nashville Predators will face SC Bern in Bern, Switzerland on Oct. 3 while the San Jose Sharks take on Eisbaren Berlin in Berlin, Germany, on Oct. 4 as part of the 2022 NHL Global Series. The Predators and Sharks will meet to play their regular-season openers on Oct. 7-8 in Prague, Czechia.

Twillingate, NL and Elsipogtog First Nation in New Brunswick will be hosting Kraft Hockeyville games between the Senators and Montreal Canadiens on Oct. 6 and 8 respectively.

New Jersey Devils winger Jesper Bratt (NHL Images).

The regular season opens in North America on Oct. 11.

NORTHJERSEY.COM: The New Jersey Devils and Jesper Bratt avoided arbitration at the last minute by agreeing to a one-year, $5.45 million contract. Bratt, 24, was asking for $6.5 million while the Devils sought $4.15 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bratt will be a restricted free agent with arbitration rights again next summer. He tallied a career-high 73 points in 76 games last season. Another season with comparable numbers will put him in line for a more lucrative deal.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers re-signed winger Kailer Yamamoto to a two-year contract worth an average annual value of $3.1 million. Yamamoto was scheduled for arbitration on Aug. 7.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yamamoto’s getting a significant raise over the $1.175 million he earned last season. The 23-year-old two-way winger netted career highs with 20 goals, 21 assists and 41 points last season.

The move puts the Oilers above the $82.5 million salary cap by just over $6 million. They can exceed the cap by 10 percent during the offseason and are expected to place sidelined players Mike Smith and Oscar Klefbom ($6.3 million combined salary) on long-term injury reserve to be cap compliant to start the season. However, they still have Ryan McLeod to re-sign and that could force them to shed a salary via trade or waivers.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: The Blue Jackets re-signed forward Emil Bemstrom to a two-year, $1.8 million contract.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: The Avalanche signed former Boston Bruins forward Anton Blidh to a one-year, two-way contract worth $750K at the NHL level.

DAILY FACEOFF: The Calgary Wranglers have been unveiled as the Flames’ new AHL affiliate. They were the Stockton Heat from 2015 to 2022.

NHL.COM: The Seattle Kraken hired Jeff Tambellini as their director of player development.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 31, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 31, 2022

P.K. Subban is still seeking a new contract, the latest on Kailer Yamamoto, and family and friends recently gathered to say goodbye to the late Bryan Marchment. Details and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Stu Cowan reports that P.K. Subban still wants to play in the NHL, according to his long-time agent, Don Meehan. “But I think at this stage of his career, he would want to play somewhere that would provide a good opportunity for him.”

Former New Jersey Devils defenseman P.K. Subban (NHL Images)

Subban, 33, tallied 22 points in 77 games last season with the New Jersey Devils. He’s coming off an eight-year contract that paid him an average annual value of $9 million. Over that period, he was traded by the Montreal Canadiens in 2016 to the Nashville Predators, followed by a trade three years later to the Devils.

Meehan acknowledged his client isn’t the All-Star defenseman he once was but believes he can still contribute to a club on a positive basis.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some Subban fans hope that he’ll return with the Canadiens to bring his career full circle. Given the club’s current rebuild under new management, however, Cowan considers that to be an unlikely scenario. He could end up on a playoff contender on a one- or two-year deal for an annual cap hit of around $3 million.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Derek Van Diest reports the clock is ticking on Oilers general manager Ken Holland and Kailer Yamamoto to reach an agreement on a new contract. The 23-year-old winger’s arbitration hearing is scheduled for Aug. 7. Yamamoto earned $1.175 million on a one-year deal last season, scoring 20 goals and 41 points in 81 games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Holland avoided arbitration with Jesse Puljujarvi with a one-year, $3 million contract. He was coming off a two-year deal with a cap hit similar to Yamamoto’s. Perhaps a one-year for around the same cap hit as Puljujarvi is in the cards for him.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Bryan Marchment’s family and friends recently gathered in Oshawa to say goodbye to the former NHL defenseman. Among those in attendance were Dion Phaneuf, Louie DeBrusk, Mike Ricci and Scott Thornton.

Marchment, 53, died of natural causes on July 6 in Montreal the day before the 2022 NHL Draft. Since 2007-08, he’d been part of the San Jose Sharks organization as a developmental coach and a scout.

NEW YORK POST: The New York Islanders recently bought 25,000 tickets for the July 29 $1.28 billion Mega Millions lottery.

Had the Isles won, they would’ve shared the winnings with full-season ticket holders and suite holders. Another share of the winnings would go to staff members and the children’s foundation Islanders Group.

TSN: The New Jersey Devils named Ryan McGill as their new assistant coach. He’d spent the past five seasons as an assistant coach with the Vegas Golden Knights.










NHL Rumor Mill – June 10, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – June 10, 2022

A look at Daily Faceoff’s top offseason trade targets in today’s NHL rumor mill.

DAILY FACEOFF: Alex DeBrincat tops Frank Seravalli’s list of this summer’s top-25 trade targets. He considers it a question of “when”, not “if” the Chicago Blackhawks trade the 24-year-old left winger. Seravalli believes he’d be their best trade chip to stockpile futures for their rebuilding process. It will also cost them $9 million to qualify his rights at the end of next season.

Chicago Blackhawks winger Alex DeBrincat (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: NBC Sports Chicago’s Charlie Roumeliotis believes Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson could seek a return comparable to the two first-round picks and two NHL players he got from the Tampa Bay Lightning for Brandon Hagel. A high first-round pick and/or an A-level prospect would have to be a priority. He suggested the New Jersey Devils could be worth watching as they’re willing to part with their first-round pick (second overall) in this year’s draft.

Whoever pursues DeBrincat must be prepared to pony up big bucks to re-sign him after next season. He’ll be a restricted free agent with arbitration rights who’ll also be a year away from unrestricted free agent eligibility.

Minnesota Wild winger Kevin Fiala, Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun, Vancouver Canucks center J.T. Miller and the Devils’ second-overall draft pick sit Nos. 2 through 5 on Seravalli’s list.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fiala, Chychrun and Miller have been fixtures in this year’s rumor mill. Seravalli thinks Fiala could be a good fit with the Devils alongside Swiss countryman Nico Hischier. The Ottawa Senators and New York Islanders have also been linked to Fiala.

The Coyotes’ expensive asking price for Chychrun remains a sticking point. The Canucks are expected to try and sign Miller to a contract extension this summer but could end up shopping him if that’s not possible.

Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Tony DeAngelo, Anaheim Ducks goaltender John Gibson, Edmonton Oilers defenseman Tyson Barrie, Devils forward Pavel Zacha and Nashville Predators defenseman Philippe Myers come in at Nos. 6 through 10.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: DeAngelo enjoyed a bounce-back performance this season but the Hurricanes might end up shopping him if they can’t re-sign him. Seravalli said Ducks general manager Pat Verbeek quietly floated Gibson’s name before the trade deadline. However, his contract could be difficult to move. He carries a $6.4 million annual salary cap hit through 2026-27 with a 10-team no-trade clause.

Barrie could be shopped by the Oilers to free up cap room for other moves. Seravalli suggests Zacha, a restricted free agent with arbitration rights, could be used as a trade chip by the Devils to bring in help elsewhere in their lineup. He also thinks Myers could be useful for a cap-strapped team to acquire and buy out because of the way his deal is backloaded.

Montreal Canadiens defenseman Jeff Petry, Pittsburgh Penguins blueliner John Marino, Islanders goaltender Semyon Varlamov, Vegas Golden Knights winger Evgenii Dadonov and either Oilers forward Jesse Puljujarvi or Kailer Yamamoto come in at Nos. 11 to 15.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The cap-strapped Canadiens tried to fulfill Petry’s trade request before the trade deadline and could shop him this summer to free up cap room. Seravalli suggested he could be a solid backup plan for the Penguins if Kris Letang departs via free agency. He’s also been linked to the Dallas Stars. However, the three years left on his deal at $6.25 million could be a stumbling block.

Marino, Varlamov and Dadonov would also be cost-cutting trade candidates. There’s speculation the Canucks could be interested in Marino. Varlamov’s 16-team no-trade clause could complicate attempts to move him. The Golden Knights unsuccessfully attempted to move Dadonov before the trade deadline. They will likely try again this summer.

Seravalli believes the Oilers’ limited cap space could force GM Ken Holland to choose between Puljujarvi and Yamamoto. Both are restricted free agents with arbitration rights.

Florida Panthers winger Patric Hornqvist, Seattle Kraken defenseman Carson Soucy, Canucks forwards Tanner Pearson and Jason Dickinson, Detroit Red Wings forward Filip Zadina, and the contracts of Oilers defenseman Oscar Klefbom and Canadiens blueliner Shea Weber are shoehorned into Nos. 16 through 21.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Panthers need to free up cap space and Hornqvist has only a year left on his contract. Seravalli believes GM Bill Zito will be able to find a taker for the veteran forward as he did with Anton Stralman and Brett Connolly last season.

Seravalli doesn’t see any push by the Kraken to move Soucy but could listen to offers if they won’t re-sign him after next season. Pearson and Dickinson would be salary-dumping moves by the Canucks. Zadina might need a fresh start after struggling with the Red Wings.

Klefbom and Weber are on permanent long-term injury reserve. Seravalli points out that the Oilers and Canadiens would like to move those contracts as having them on LTIR prevents them from accruing cap space during the season.

There’s an assumption the Canadiens will try again to peddle Weber’s contract to the Arizona Coyotes after a rumored deal fell apart before the trade deadline. He carries a $7.857 million annual cap hit for four more seasons but will be paid just $6 million total in actual salary over that period.

Montreal Hockey Now’s Marco D’Amico explains that would allow the Coyotes’ ownership to save millions in payroll, especially as they’ll be playing in a tiny university arena over the next three or four years while awaiting construction of their new arena. However, they could insist on draft picks in the 2023 and 2025 drafts be included in the deal if they’re still willing to take on Weber’s contract.

Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Justin Holl, Hurricanes blueliner Ethan Bear, Canadiens winger Josh Anderson and Winnipeg Jets center Mark Scheifele round up the remainder of the list.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Like so many on this list, Holl would be moved in an effort to trim payroll. Bear, meanwhile, fell out of favor in Carolina and was a healthy scratch in the playoffs. I don’t see the Canadiens shopping Anderson though it wouldn’t hurt the rebuilding club to at least listen to trade offers.

Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff last week indicated he expected Scheifele to be back next season. Seravalli acknowledged moving him probably isn’t high on Cheveldayoff’s list and considers it difficult for the Jets to get equal value in return.










NHL Rumor Mill – June 8, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – June 8, 2022

Could the Bruins trade David Pastrnak this summer? What’s the latest on the Oilers? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.

COULD THE BRUINS TRADE PASTRNAK?

THE ATHLETIC: Fluto Shinzawa reports a source close to David Pastrnak said there’s “no chance” he returns with the Boston Bruins with Don Sweeney as their general manager. The 26-year-old winger apparently wasn’t pleased with how Sweeney treated his two best friends, Torey Krug and David Krejci, during their contract years. Krug went on to sign with the St. Louis Blues in 2020 while Krejci returned to Czechia last summer to finish his playing career.

Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak (NHL Images).

Pastrnak is approaching the final season of his six-year, $40 million contract. It’s expected the Bruins will offer up a lucrative long-term extension. One agent suggested an eight-year, $68 million contract ($8.5 million annual average value) would be fair to both sides. However, the Bruins face uncertainty next season with Patrice Bergeron mulling retirement while Brad Marchand and Charlie McAvoy are among several players sidelined through the opening weeks of next season.

Shinzawa believes the Bruins must consider trading Pastrnak if there’s any indication he’s hesitant to sign a contract extension. They can’t afford to lose him to next summer’s free-agent market for nothing. The asking price could be a first-round pick, a second-round pick, a young NHL player and a high-end prospect.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy reports Sweeney intends to discuss a contract extension with the Pastrnak camp at the earliest opportunity. Murphy also cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reporting his sources indicated the Bruins fully intend to sign the winger to an extension and have no plans to trade him. However, that could change if the feeling isn’t mutual and Pastrnak decides to play out the final season of his contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pastrnak’s contract status adds another level of intrigue to an already chaotic offseason for the Bruins. The earliest they can sign him to an extension is July 13, which is when, for contract purposes, the 2022-23 season begins.

Pastrnak could get much more than $8.5 million annually in next summer’s UFA market. He reached at least 34 goals and 70 points in five of the past six seasons (including two seasons with 40-or-more goals) and has 48 points in as many games in last season’s COVID-shortened campaign. While the salary cap next summer will only rise by $1 million, I can see Pastrnak getting up to $10 million annually on the open market.

As Shinzawa and Murphy observed, the Bruins have the advantage of offering up an eight-year term compared to the seven years he’d get in the UFA market. However, much will depend on the club’s direction not just next season but also in the coming years.

Bergeron could retire this summer. Marchand has three years left on his contract but the wear-and-tear of 13 years of physical play could start catching up with the 34-year-old winger. The club appears to be entering a period of transition and also lacks depth at center.

Pastrnak could stick with the Bruins if he feels the Bruins’ transition won’t take long. If he has lost confidence in Sweeney, however, it might not matter how many assurances the Bruins GM makes him. That will leave Sweeney no choice but to shop him to the highest bidder.

LATEST ON THE OILERS

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson reports Evander Kane hasn’t decided yet whether he’ll re-sign with Edmonton or hit the open market this summer. The 30-year-old winger signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Oilers in January following the termination of his contract by the San Jose Sharks. He meshed well skating alongside Oilers captain Connor McDavid.

Kane said he enjoyed playing for the Oilers and appreciated how well the club treated him. However, he indicated he has a number of variables to sort through. A new contract for Kane could be expensive and could force general manager Ken Holland to shed some salary to free up cap space to sign him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kane’s teammates praised his performance and made the case for him to stay. Finding the cap space to do so, however, won’t be easy. The outcome of his ongoing contract termination grievance with the Sharks could also be a factor in what his next contract looks like, be it with the Oilers or another club.

Sportsnet’s Mark Spector suggested shopping Tyson Barrie and his $4.5 million cap hit, moving Zack Kassian and his $3.2 million AAV and perhaps having to choose between re-signing Kailer Yamamoto or Jesse Puljujarvi. At least one of those players won’t be back if Holland gets Kane under contract before his UFA eligibility on July 13.

THE ATHLETIC: Daniel Nugent-Bowman reports Mike Smith appeared non-committal about completing his contract during his end-of-season interview yesterday. The 40-year-old goaltender has a year remaining on his deal.

Jason Gregor of Oilers Nation reported sources telling him Smith is contemplating retirement. When asked about it, Smith replied it was too early to tell if he’ll hang up his pads but Nugent-Bowman observed he also didn’t affirm if he’d be back with the Oilers.

If Smith retires, his $2.2 million cap hit for next season comes off the Oilers’ books. Those savings could be put toward finding a new starting goaltender.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Holland is expected to address the media today. We could get some clarity over his offseason plans but I doubt he’ll tip his hand too much as to his intentions.

I examined the Oilers’ limit cap space yesterday and how much a new contract for Kane will bite deeply into it. Smith’s potential retirement would help free up some space but that will have to go into finding a suitable replacement between the pipes. That will also prove costly.

Holland will likely have to trim some salary from his cap payroll to address those two needs. If it also comes down to a choice between Yamamoto and Puljujarvi it could be the latter who gets traded given the ongoing disappointment in his performance.