NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 22, 2020
A second Senators player tests positive for COVID-19, plus the latest on Shea Weber, Johnny Boychuk, Jacob Markstrom and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
OTTAWA SUN: A second Senators player tested positive for COVID-19 and is in self-isolation. He was among 52 people on board the club’s charter flight through California during their road trip from March 6 to 12. Eight of them have been tested thus far. Both Senators are the only NHL players to test positive thus far.
LOS ANGELES TIMES: Half of the NBA and NHL coronavirus cases are linked to Staples Center, home of the Los Angeles Clippers and Kings.
NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: The San Jose Sharks report none of their players possess coronavirus symptoms or have been tested for the virus. In a statement, Sharks general manager Doug Wilson explained the club felt it was important to ensure those tests are available in the local community to those in the highest risk groups and those displaying symptoms.
LE JOURNAL DE MONTREAL: Canadiens captain Shea Weber recorded a message on behalf of the Quebec government aimed at informing English-speaking seniors in the province to practice good hygiene during this time of pandemic.
ESPN.COM: New York Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello said defenseman Johnny Boychuk will return to action when the NHL schedule resumes. Boychuk was sidelined on March 2 after receiving 90 facial stitches when he was accidentally struck by a skate blade in a game against the Canadiens.
SPORTSNET: Vancouver Canucks GM Jim Benning said goaltender Jacob Markstrom has fully recovered from his knee surgery.
TSN: NHL owners will have a conference call on Monday to discussion the league’s financial situation, including escrow.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks cites a source claiming the NHLPA held a conference call Friday in which the players essentially decide to defer a decision on how to handle their upcoming escrow losses until a verdict is rendered on the season. The league informed the PA that cancellation of the season could mean losses of up to $1 billion, equating to escrow losses of up to 35 percent per player.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s why the league and the players are open to all options to salvage what’s left of the season. Nevertheless, they’ll still face significant losses. A lot of hockey fans will be adversely affected by this pandemic, leaving many without jobs or reduced income once this crisis has passed. They’re not going to spend it going to NHL games, where the fan cost index averages USD 424.62 for a family of four.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: The International Ice Hockey Federation announced the 2020 Men’s World Championships are canceled. The tournament was to be staged in Switzerland in May.
NBC SPORTS BOSTON: The Boston Bruins ownership announced a $1.5 million fund to aid part-time TD Garden employees if the Bruins remaining six homes games are postponed or cancelled.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins faced growing criticism as the last team to unveil a plan to assist their part-time employees. The news received mixed reviews from TD Garden employees. Some were happy to hear the news, some felt ownership had to be shamed into doing something, while others are wondering when they’ll start to see the funding.
CALGARY SUN: The Calgary Flames Foundation will donate $1.15 million as part of a COVID-19 community support program.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: With their season cancelled, ECHL players have been left in the financial lurch. The minor-league Professional Hockey Players Association is starting a relief fund to help those players cover their expenses.