NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 30, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 30, 2023

Check out the latest on the Flames’ Andrew Mangiapane, the Avalanche’s Jonathan Drouin, the Sharks’ Filip Zadina and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

CALGARY SUN: Andrew Mangiapane said he’s “healthy and ready to go” following recovery from shoulder surgery in April. The injury limited the 27-year-old Flames winger to 17 goals after a career-high 35 goals the previous season.

Calgary Flames winger Andrew Mangiapane (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Mangiapane injured his shoulder during the opening month of last season but still played the full 82-game schedule. He and the club didn’t reveal his condition until after his surgery. A return to form could help the Flames bounce back from missing the playoffs in 2022-23.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: Jonathan Drouin is looking forward to playing for a winning team with the Avalanche under less of a spotlight compared to what he faced during his tenure with the rebuilding Montreal Canadiens.

There’s a little less media, a little less stuff going on,” said Drouin. The 28-year-old forward believes it will do him good to play for “a really good team” that “has a chance to make the playoffs, maybe more.” He’s also looking forward to reuniting with Nathan MacKinnon, his teammate from their days with the QMJHL’s Halifax Mooseheads.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Drouin faced a harsh spotlight in Montreal. Injuries hampered his performance while the anxiety of the pressure of playing for the Habs affected his mental health, forcing him to take a leave of absence during the 2020-21 season. Playing with the Avs could help him get his career back on its once-promising track.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Former Red Wings forward Filip Zadina believes the club brought him into their lineup before he was ready. “It’s tough for a young rookie to come to a team under rebuilding like Detroit was then,” he told a Czechia reporter. Zadina, 23, joined the San Jose Sharks after his contract was terminated by the Red Wings earlier this summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Zadina is going from a team further along in its rebuild than the Sharks, though the latter still has a decent veteran core of forwards in Logan Couture, Tomas Hertl and Anthony Duclair. Perhaps he’ll have better luck in San Jose reaching his potential.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Vancouver Canucks winger Ilya Mikheyev’s agent is making terrific strides in recovering from season-ending knee surgery. However, Dan Milstein wants his client and the Canucks to ensure they don’t rush his return to action.

This is something we’re going to talk about once we get the doctor’s blessing,” said Milstein. He said he keeps reminding Mikheyev that “this is not a sprint, it’s a marathon,” adding that it’s not about the preseason but the full 82-game regular season and perhaps the playoffs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, don’t rush things in training camp and preseason play and risk a setback that could affect your regular-season performance.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: The Penguins signed defenseman Mark Pysyk and Libor Hajek to professional tryout offers (PTOs).

DAILY FACEOFF: Speaking of PTOs, defenseman Jordie Benn signed one with the Dallas Stars, rejoining his brother Jamie. Jordie played for the Stars from 2011-12 to 2016-17.

CAROLINA HOCKEY NOW: Forwards Cory Conacher and Brendan Perlini are joining the Hurricanes on PTO contracts.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Former Penguins president Brian Burke has taken on a new role with the Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL). He’s the new executive director of its players’ association. The PWHL plans to start its season in January 2024 with teams in Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, New York, Boston and Minneapolis-St. Paul.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 11, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 11, 2023

The arbitration hearing dates are set while the Flyers avoid arbitration with Noah Cates and Cam York, the Bruins avoid arbitration with Ian Mitchell, the Sharks sign Filip Zadina, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.


NHLPA.COM: The hearing dates for the 2023 NHL arbitration period (July 20 – Aug. 4) have been set:

July 20
Philipp Kurashev (Chicago Blackhawks)
Brandon Duhaime (Minnesota Wild)
Alexei Toropchenko (St. Louis Blues)

Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Ilya Samsonov (NHL Images).

July 21
Ilya Samsonov (Toronto Maple Leafs)

July 24
Brett Howden (Vegas Golden Knights)
Vince Dunn (Seattle Kraken)
Tanner Jeannot (Tampa Bay Lightning)

July 27
Ross Colton (Colorado Avalanche)

July 28
Gabriel Vilardi (Winnipeg Jets)

July 30
Jeremy Swayman (Boston Bruins)
Jack McBain (Arizona Coyotes)

August 1
Trent Frederic (Boston Bruins)


August 2
Morgan Barron (Winnipeg Jets)
Troy Terry (Anaheim Ducks)

August 4
Ryan McLeod (Edmonton Oilers)
Brandon Scanlin (New York Rangers)
Filip Gustavsson (Minnesota Wild)
Drew O’Connor (Pittsburgh Penguins)


NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: The Flyers avoided arbitration with forward Noah Cates and defenseman Cam York. The 24-year-old Cates inked a two-year, $5.25 million contract while York, 22, agreed to a two-year, $3.2 million deal.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: The Bruins avoided arbitration with defenseman Ian Mitchell as the two sides reached an agreement on a one-year, one-way contract worth $775K.


SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: The Sharks signed winger Filip Zadina to a one-year, $1.1 million contract. Zadina, 23, became an unrestricted free agent last week after he and the Detroit Red Wings mutually agreed to terminate his contract.

NEWSDAY: Andrew Gross reports the New York Islanders offered forwards Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Oliver Wahlstrom as part of a package deal to the Ottawa Senators for winger Alex DeBrincat. The Senators, however, didn’t want to take on the remaining three years and $5 million average annual value of the 30-year-old Pageau’s contract. They traded DeBrincat to the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday.

DAILY FACEOFF: Long-time professional and junior hockey coach John Paddock announced his retirement. He spent the past nine seasons with the WHL’s Regina Pats, hired as their head coach in 2014 and becoming their general manager in 2015.

Paddock coached the Winnipeg Jets from 1991-92 to 1994-95 and the Ottawa Senators in 2007-08. He was an assistant coach with the Philadelphia Flyers in 2013-14. Paddock also spent 15 seasons as an AHL head coach, winning the Calder Cup with the Maine Mariners in 1983-84, the Hershey Bears in 1987-88, and the Hartford Wolf Pack in 1999-2000.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Paddock for a relaxing retirement.

BUFFALO HOCKEY NOW: The Rochester Americans have hired former NHL players Nathan Paetsch and Vaclav Prospal as their new assistant coaches. The Americans are the AHL affiliate of the Buffalo Sabres.

OTTAWA SUN: Anthony LeBlanc has resigned as the Senators president of business operations. He’s said that he’s leaving on good terms. It’s believed his decision was based on incoming owner Michael Andlauer’s plans to make some changes in the front office.

THE PROVINCE: The Vancouver Canucks have reached a one-year affiliation agreement with the ECHL’s Kalamazoo Wings.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 8, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 8, 2023

Spencer Knight to take part in the Panthers development camp, “Spittin’ Chiclets” hosts criticize Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello, the latest free-agent signings and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: Goaltender Spencer Knight’s road to returning to the Panthers next season will go through the club’s upcoming prospect development camp.

Knight, 22, missed the final months of the Panthers’ 2022-23 season after entering the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program. The three-year NHL veteran has been granted a special provision to take part in their prospect development camp to get in some on-ice work.

Florida Panthers goaltender Spencer Knight (NHL Images).

Expected to join the Panthers for training camp in September, Knight will have to compete for the backup goaltender spot with recently-signed Anthony Stolarz. His new three-year contract ($4.5 million average annual value) began on July 1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Knight was considered Panthers starter Sergei Bobrovsky’s successor but struggled last season before going into the player assistance program. While his contract suggests he’s got the backup job locked up, he’ll still have to outperform Stolarz in training camp and preseason play.

NEW YORK POST: “Spittin’ Chiclets” podcast hosts Paul Bissonnette and Ryan Whitney are not fans of the offseason moves made by New York Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello.

I think the Islanders are going to be f**king horrible,” said Whitney. Bissonnette, meanwhile, was critical of Lamoriello bringing back Semyon Varlamov, Scott Mayfield and Pierre Engvall on long-term contracts.

He has checked the f**k out,” said Bissonette of Lamoriello. “The Islanders are going to get relegated this season, that’s how bad they’re going to be.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: What say you, Islanders fans? Do you agree or disagree with BizNasty and Whitney? Let us know in the comments below.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: The Seattle Kraken avoided arbitration with Will Borgen by signing the 26-year-old defenseman to a two-year, $5.4 million contract with an average annual value of $2.7 million. They also signed unrestricted free-agent forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare to a one-year, $775K contract.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: The Penguins signed UFA forward Andreas Johnsson to a one-year, $800K contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Penguins president of hockey ops Kyle Dubas knows Johnsson well. He played for the Toronto Maple Leafs for three seasons, two of those during Dubas’ tenure as their general manager.

Speaking of the Penguins, they signed UFA forward Vinnie Hinostroza to a one-year, $775K contract.

SPORTSNET: Adam Vingan looked at four of the best remaining bargain in this summer’s UFA market.

Winger Tomas Tatar topped the list following his 20-goal performance last season with the New Jersey Devils. He’s followed by former Detroit Red Wings forward Filip Zadina, whose contract was terminated earlier this week.

Center Pius Suter and defenseman Caleb Jones round out Vingan’s list.

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: The Stanley Cup has been engraved with 52 names of the Vegas Golden Knights 2022-23 championship roster. Twenty-six are players with the rest being ownership, coaches, trainers and management.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 7, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 7, 2023

The Kings sign Anze Kopitar to a contract extension, the Red Wings terminate Filip Zadina’s contract, the Senators sign Zack MacEwen, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines

LA HOCKEY NOW: The Kings signed captain Anze Kopitar to a two-year, $14 million contract extension. The average annual value is $7 million and comes with a full no-movement clause for the 35-year-old center.

Los Angeles Kings captain Anze Kopitar (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kopitar is accepting a $3 million pay cut from his current cap hit of $10 million. Nevertheless, some observers feel the Kings overpaid to keep their captain in the fold beyond 2023-24, pointing to his age and lack of speed. They’re concerned the Kings won’t get full value should his play decline.

There’s a good chance Kopitar’s performance will drop off over the tenure of his next contract. Indeed, that decline could begin during the coming season.

On the other hand, Kopitar could remain the Kings’ best all-around forward. He’s been a model of consistency and durability throughout his NHL career. During his 17 NHL seasons (all with the Kings), he’s reached or exceeded 60 points 14 times and led the Kings in scoring in 15 of those seasons. That includes 2022-23 when he tallied 74 points.

In short, Kopitar’s new contract could be money well spent if he at least remains among the Kings’ best forwards.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: The Red Wings placed Filip Zadina on unconditional waivers on Thursday to terminate his contract by mutual consent.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wings attempted to trade Zadina (at his request) but couldn’t find any takers. He also cleared waivers earlier this week. The Wings took this step after the 23-year-old winger reportedly informed them that he wouldn’t report to their AHL affiliate if he were demoted.

The sixth-overall pick in the 2018 draft, Zadina struggled to reach expectations as a scoring forward. He’s giving up the remaining two years of his contract and $4.56 million in actual salary over that time, hoping for a fresh start elsewhere as an unrestricted free agent.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators signed forward Zack MacEwen to a three-year, $2.35 million contract. The average annual value is $775K.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators hope MacEwen will add more muscle to the lineup. They also don’t want captain Brady Tkachuk fighting in every game.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: The Washington Capitals signed Andrew Cristall to a three-year, entry-level contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cristall, 18, was projected by some observers to be chosen in the first round of the 2023 NHL Draft. Instead, he dropped into the second round where the Capitals choose him 40th overall. As the report indicates, this could be a steal for the Caps, especially after Cristall impressed during their recent rookie development camp.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson recently said he’s very close to being done making offseason moves. He indicated that they might make a depth addition or two via free agency but could remain patient on that and wait until the fall.

NHL Rumor Mill – July 6, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – July 6, 2023

The Red Wings, Ducks and Islanders are linked to Alex DeBrincat, the Penguins and Hurricanes are believed to be interested in Erik Karlsson, and the latest on John Gibson in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports the future of Alex DeBrincat remains the Senators’ top priority. Management continues to work the phones trying to trade the 25-year-old restricted free-agent winger.

Ottawa Senators winger Alex DeBrincat (NHL Images).

St. Louis broadcaster Andy Strickland claims the Detroit Red Wings are revisiting their interest in DeBrincat. Garrioch also cites sources claiming the Anaheim Ducks and New York Islanders are in the mix.

If the Senators can get DeBrincat off their books, they could have room to sign unrestricted free-agent winger Vladimir Tarasenko. The Senators would also like to add depth to their third and fourth lines but some of that is being held up by the DeBrincat situation.

TSN’s Darren Dreger recently reported the DeBrincat camp seeks a contract similar to Timo Meier’s eight-year, $70.2 million deal with the New Jersey Devils with an average annual value of $8.8 million. Interested clubs aren’t willing to go that high, valuing him closer to $7.8 million. None of them are willing to offer up an eight-year contract.

The Senators could bring DeBrincat back on a one-year deal. However, they’re taking the winger to salary arbitration to see if they can get a 15 percent reduction on his $9 million qualifying offer.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the Red Wings could consider terminating winger Filip Zadina’s contract after failed efforts to trade him followed by his clearing waivers earlier this week. There’s talk he could refuse to report to their AHL affiliate if sent down, which would be a contract violation.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates the Red Wings have over $9.8 million in cap space. They have the cap room to pursue a trade for DeBrincat and perhaps sign him to a contract close to what his camp is seeking. However, they might feel more inclined to do so if they can get Zadina’s $1.85 million cap hit through 2023-24 off their books.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Matt Levine weighed in on the Ducks’ rumored interest in DeBrincat. He believes it would make sense for them as they’re seeking a scoring winger and have the cap space and assets to make it happen.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Based on Garrioch’s latest report, the Ducks may have the cap space but they’re not willing to pay him $8.8 million annually. The same also applies to the Red Wings. Both clubs could be trying to squeeze the DeBrincat camp into accepting a lesser deal to facilitate a trade.

The Islanders, meanwhile, have the most difficult path to landing DeBrincat. They lack the cap space as well as the quality assets to tempt the Senators. I don’t see them having a chance unless the Ducks and Red Wings drop out of the bidding.


SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Sheng Peng indicates the Pittsburgh Penguins and Carolina Hurricanes are thought to be interested in Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson. However, he also cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported that interested clubs prefer that the Sharks retain a larger chunk of the 33-year-old Norris Trophy winner’s $11.5 million cap hit.

Friedman indicated the Sharks were willing to retain 20 percent of Karlsson’s cap hit when they were discussing a possible deal with the Edmonton Oilers earlier this year. He also noted that general manager Mike Grier has said that they’re not going to retain 50 percent.

According to Friedman, Sharks owner Hasso Plattner is a bit involved in this situation. It sounds like he’d be willing to retain a little bit more with the caveat that the more they retain, the better the return has to be.

Friedman also noted that Kyle Dubas, the Penguins’ president of hockey operations, has been pursuing Karlsson for some time, stretching back to when he was the GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

THE ATHLETIC: Rob Rossi believes Dubas has a way of clearing cap space to acquire Erik Karlsson now that Penguins winger Drew O’Connor has filed for arbitration. That move allows the Penguins a second opportunity this summer to buy out any player on his roster (other than O’Connor) 72 hours after O’Connor’s arbitration case is settled or awarded.

Rossi noted that Dubas said on July 1 that he looked into acquiring Karlsson and didn’t rule out continuing the pursuit. Such a move would likely be a three-team deal as the Penguins lack sufficient tradeable assets on their own to make it happen and the cap space to absorb his full cap hit.

The Penguins have two potential buyout candidates in Mikael Granlund and Jeff Petry. Rossi believes Granlund is the more likely option given Dubas’ recent remarks that he still views Petry playing a big part with the Penguins going forward.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Mark Madden doesn’t see the Penguins pulling off a Karlsson trade given their lack of cap space and trade assets. The only way he envisions it happening is through “some third-team, cap-dump magic.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Three-team trades are easy for fans to envision, In reality, they’re difficult to pull off, especially when the centerpiece of the deal carries $11.5 million annually through 2026-27 plus a full no-movement clause giving him complete control of the situation.

I’m not suggesting it can’t happen. I just think the Penguins face long odds of pulling it off.


THE HOCKEY NEWS: Matt Levine cited John Gibson’s appearance on the July 4 episode of the “Cam and Strick Podcast” where he spoke about his future with the Anaheim Ducks.

There have been reports that Gibson wanted to be traded from the rebuilding Ducks to a team that was in a better position to win the Stanley Cup. The 29-year-old goaltender said he wasn’t really sure if a trade was going to happen. He indicated he’s had a few conversations with Ducks GM Pat Verbeek since the end of the 2022-23 season but declined to get into the details.

Gibson said he’s facing some uncertainty over whether he’ll be returning with the Ducks or playing elsewhere this season. For now, he’s focusing on his offseason training.

Levine believes it’s unclear what the future holds for Gibson. He’s got four seasons left on his contract with an average annual value of $6.4 million.

THE ATHLETIC: Eric Stephens reports there is no known formal trade request from Gibson. When asked, the goalie and his agent declined to comment. However, sources close to Gibson and the Ducks say he has not asked to be traded.

Stephens indicated that neither side is banging the table for a trade. However, that doesn’t mean neither side wouldn’t be interested if an opportunity were to materialize.

Trade destinations appear limited this summer. The Penguins are no longer an option after they brought back Tristan Jarry. Stephens wondered if the New Jersey Devils might be interested.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gibson’s cap hit and his 10-team no-trade clause complicates things. Verbeek would also likely set a significant asking price. Perhaps next summer might be a better opportunity to move Gibson when the salary cap is expected to rise by at least $4 million.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 5, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 5, 2023

A brief look at the top remaining unrestricted free agents, Flyers defenseman Travis Sanheim is off the trade block and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

DAILY FACEOFF: Vladimir Tarasenko, Patrick Kane and Matt Dumba top Frank Seravalli’s list of this summer’s top remaining unrestricted free agents.

Vladimir Tarasenko (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tarasenko is said to be mulling over half-a-dozen offers and has been linked to the Carolina Hurricanes and Ottawa Senators. He’s reportedly close to reaching a decision that could come before the end of this week.

Kane is rehabbing from a hip resurfacing procedure and is expected to be sidelined for four to six months. It could be weeks before he signs with a new club, perhaps before training camp opens in September.

As for Dumba, the Arizona Coyotes are reportedly pursuing the 28-year-old defenseman. They’ve had a busy couple of weeks stocking up with veterans, signing forwards Jason Zucker, Alex Kerfoot and Nick Bjugstad and acquiring blueliner Sean Durzi from the Los Angeles Kings.

Jonathan Toews is another notable still available.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: After 15 seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks, Toews is reportedly taking his time considering his future before deciding whether he’ll return to action or retire. He’s been battling health issues for the past three seasons.

Other noteworthy UFAs include Max Comtois, Tomas Tatar, Oskar Sundqvist, Jaroslav Halak, Paul Stastny and Phil Kessel.

PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: Flyers general manager Daniel Briere said he’s received calls from clubs expressing interest in Travis Sanheim. However, he doesn’t think he’ll be moving the 27-year-old defenseman.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sanheim’s contract is likely the reason why Briere doubts he’ll be moving the blueliner. Signed last October, the eight-year, $50 million deal kicked in on July 1 with a full no-trade clause. Unless Sanheim waives it, he’s not going anywhere.

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: The Capitals signed defenseman Martin Fehervary to a three-year contract with an average annual value of $2.675 million.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators are bringing back Travis Hamonic for two more years. The 32-year-old defenseman’s new contract carries an AAV of $1.1 million.

TSN: The Anaheim Ducks signed defenseman Robert Hagg to a one-year contract worth $775K.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Filip Zadina cleared waivers yesterday and will be staying with the Red Wings. At the 23-year-old winger’s request, GM Steve Yzerman tried moving him to a new club via trade but couldn’t find any takers.