NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 18, 2020

by | Mar 18, 2020 | News, NHL | 18 comments

A Senators player tests positive for COVID-19, NHL players propose a summer postseason schedule, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: The Ottawa Senators released a statement indicating one of their players tested positive for COVID-19. The unnamed player has mild symptoms and is in isolation. The club also indicated they’re in the process of notifying anyone who had known close contact with the player and is working closely with team doctors and public health officials.

THE ATHLETIC: Other Senators players are believed to be ill and they’re awaiting test results. It’s thought the infection occurred when the Senators played the Los Angeles Kings on March 11 at Staples Center, the day after the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets (who have four players who tested positive for COVID-19) played the Lakers at the same arena. The Sens also played games against the Ducks in Anaheim and the Sharks in San Jose and could’ve picked up the virus in one of those locations.

An Ottawa Senators player has tested positive for COVID-19.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was inevitable an NHL player would test positive for COVID-19. Here’s hoping whoever it makes a full recovery, while the others receive negative results from their tests.

NHL.COM: A relative of a Buffalo Sabres employee tested positive for COVID-19 outside of New York state. They are receiving care and are in isolation outside the state.


TSN: Frank Seravalli reports some NHL players have proposed resuming the season in July and August after recent reports from health experts suggest resuming the season in May or June seem overly optimistic. They’d rather not jump straight into the postseason, preferring a shortened regular-season schedule (following a brief training camp) that ends in late-July, followed by a two-month playoff run finishing in late-September.

After that, the proposal suggested a three-to-four week transition in October to allow for the draft, free agency and training camps. The 2020-21 season would follow with a condensed, 82-game regular-season schedule. The proposal is making its way to the NHL Players Association and potentially to the league,

The NHL is willing to consider all options to salvage this season. Seravalli pointed out the players’ proposal is similar to one recently pitched by a league governor. The biggest concerns, however, is broadcast availability (NBC Sports is covering the 2020 Summer Olympics from July 24 to Aug. 6) and arena availability.

SPORTSNET: Chris Johnston examined how a 24-team Stanley Cup playoffs could look following a halted season. Based on the seedings, the first-round matchups would look like this:

Pittsburgh vs. Montreal

Toronto vs. N.Y. Rangers

Carolina vs. Florida

N.Y. Islanders vs. Columbus

Dallas vs. Chicago

Vancouver vs. Arizona

Nashville vs. Minnesota

Calgary vs. Winnipeg

OTTAWA CITIZEN: Michael Traikos examined the NHL’s options when the season resumes. Among them could be a wild card play-in, or a round-robin, or a shortened playoff featuring the top-eight teams, a rematch of last year’s Stanley Cup Final, or an inverted playoff pyramid with the first round a best-of-seven series, the second round a best-of-five, the Conference Finals a best-of-three, followed by a single-game winner-take-all Stanley Cup Final.

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly reiterated the league’s intent to finish the 2019-20 regular season and the playoffs, but it won’t happen until approval is received from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Other factors must also be taken into consideration, such as broadcasting and arena availability. Daly also said every scenario is being considered.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The players and the league appears to be on the same page with saving this season. One reason is the desire to crown a Stanley Cup champion, but trying to salvage as much remaining revenue as possible is another motivating factor. Another issue will also be ice conditions in each arena during the summer. At this point, I think the league will face canceling the season outright if they can’t at least resume action by mid-May.


NBC SPORTS BOSTON: With quarterback Tom Brady’s long tenure with the NFL’s New England Patriots having ended, Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron becomes the longest-tenured active pro athlete in Boston.

KHL.RU: The Kontinental Hockey League has suspended its playoffs until April 10 in hopes of slowing the spread of COVID-19.

THE SCORE: The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) has canceled its regular season, with the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) and Western Hockey League (WHL) are expected to follow suit.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens prospect Cole Caufield will spend another season in the NCAA.



  1. Man. Is that boomer whinefest from yesterday still going on?

    I’m surprised the nhl even said the Ottawa player has Coronavirus… thought they would just announce it as an upper body injury… week to week.

    • I think Dorion helped another team and took the virus. I believe in the future you will hear he got a draft pick in 2021.

      • Ha

  2. Hi Everyone 🙂

    Some facts for all of you.

    There are 22 NHL Players that have the Coronavirus. Two are in Hospital and the other 20 are in Isolation and being monitored.

    The NHL Playoffs are Tentatively scheduled to start in Early September with 12 teams.


    Pittsburg, Boston, Philly, Tampa Bay, Toronto and Washington.


    Calgary, St. Louis, Edmonton, Colorado, Dallas and Vegas.

    Playoffs are to be Best of 5 for all rounds including Final. Home team gets 5th game if goes to 5th game. 2-2-1 Format.

    Eastern Games on one night and Western games on the next night.

    Playoff teams will be have 3 days of practices before Playoffs start.

    Exhibition games will be only one week before start of 2020-2021 Regular Season.

    2020-2001 regular season will be reduced to 72 games.

    This is what I know and are all facts.

    Be upset with this but that’s what’s going on.

    Reality check.

    Have a good day

    • And this all takes place in the fantasy world where Pittsburg has an nhl team.

    • And exactly where did you obtain these “facts”? Considering no league has made any announcement concerning returning to games, I find it difficult to believe that you, an unidentified person using one of the most common names in the English speaking world, know more than NHL insiders.

    • Isn’t this the same guy that was predicting trades 30 minutes after they happened on deadline day?

    • John, Hello.

    • Is this turning in to a truther / conspiracy theory page? Somebody kill me now!!!

      So… Tom Hanks , 6 NBA players including one of the most famous on the planet ….. known actors, politicians etc. have covid-19…. but big brother is keeping 21 NHL players (who most of the planet wouldn’t even know if they tripped over them) a secret?

  3. The one interesting point he made, which makes sense; If needed start the playoffs later and shorten the 20-21 regular season. I believe it’s more important to have a cup winner then starting the regular season on time.

    • Ya Caper, it would be nice, would like my Bruins to have a shot considering their window is short and they gave up some assets with that in mind.

      September actually does seem like a more realistic timeline than May timeline that was out there.
      Some interesting questions then regarding free agency, training camps and when the season would start and still get the 72 games in that were suggested.

  4. If you could change or add one rule to NHL what would it be?

    Mine would be icing; I would like the league to add a maximum amount per game per team. Say 5 icing per game which includes on the PK once you’ve reached the 5 max, you go into penalty trouble a 2 minute minor penalty for any additional icing.

    This would help speed up the game and provide more scoring chances and a team doesn’t get a bonus of being able to send the puck the length of the ice without being a icing call.

    • Pps don’t end with a score. You serve whole penalty.

      Fighting automatically a 1 game suspension. 2nd fight of season = 2 game suspension and on. If multiple suspensions occur the coaches gms and owners also fined.

    • Do away with the delay of game penalty for a player trying to clear the puck which rolls up over the glass.

      Picks are round and they do roll. Besides, they delay the game umpteen times for commercial breaks while the players sit around with their thumbs up their butts. How long does it take to get a new puck?

      Ridiculous penalty forcing 5 on 3s.

    • Get rid of shoot-out and the 3 point games. Shoot-outs are only a side show and not relevant in a team game and I don’t think the total number of points awarded per game should vary.

      • I’m not crazy about the shootout either. It’s like if the NFL went to a field goal contest to decide tie games. Really like the 3 on 3 though. Also have to admit that ties suck IMO, so keep shootout as you can’t play OT for unlimited minutes.
        I would change the points awarded.
        3 for regulation win.
        2 for OT/SO win
        1 for OT/SO loss
        Would that give incentive later in the season for teams looking to move up to open it up in the 3rd?

    • I’d change the “you have to wear pants in our arena! “ rule.
      Total bs!

  5. Ray , I like your idea , only with a minor change
    3pts – regulation win
    2pts – OT win
    1pt – SO win
    Nothing for the losing team, creates more incentive to win , rather than playing for loser point.
    The loser point makes the league look more competitive.