NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 26, 2020

by | Mar 26, 2020 | News, NHL | 18 comments

The NHL postpones the scouting combine, awards show, and draft, plus the latest on Henrik Lundqvist, Jake Guentzel and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The league yesterday announced the postponements of the 2020 NHL Scouting Combine, the 2020 Bridgestone NHL Awards, and the 2020 NHL Draft, which were originally scheduled for June 1-6 in Buffalo, N.Y., June 18 in Las Vegas, and June 26-27 in Montreal respectively. The moves come as a result of ongoing concerns over the coronavirus pandemic. Location, timings, and format for the draft and the NHL draft lottery will be announced at a later date.

The 2020 NHL Draft has been postponed.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This announcement is a clear indication the league intends to resume its season, or at least stage the playoffs, during the summer if possible. I anticipate the draft combine and awards shows will be scrubbed entirely, with the latter perhaps handed out via official announcement at season’s end or a smaller ceremony involving the nominated players following the season. I also expect the draft lottery will be staged at some point during the playoffs (whenever that might be), with the draft staged via teleconference following the post-season.

THE ATHLETIC: Craig Custance reports one NHL team submitted a proposal for a tournament in which teams eligible for the draft lottery would play for the first-overall pick in this year’s draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yeah, that’ll go over well with the Detroit Red Wings, who have the best odds of winning that pick in the draft lottery. I’ll be very surprised if the league approves that proposal.

TSN: Dr. Winne Meeuwisse, the league’s chief medical officer, warns the differences across the NHL’s 31 market concerning testing, controlling and managing healthcare resources will affect when the players can return to action. The league must also determine the risks to the players, staff, and fans.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: NHL Players Association executive director Donald Fehr said he and his staff remain in constant communication with their membership. He claimed between 400-500 players participated in team conference calls. He anticipates those calls will grow in frequency whenever the league gets close to returning to the ice.

NEW YORK POST: Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist donated $100,000.00 to the Food Bank for New York City, plus “Campus Pantries as well as 27 community-based pop-up mobile markets, hoping to cover for the loss of meals provided in schools which have closed as part of the response to the coronavirus crisis.”

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford is confident sidelined winger Jake Guentzel could be ready to return to the lineup once the season resumes. Guentzel underwent shoulder surgery in December and is rehabbing well. The timeline for recovery was four-to-six months.

TSN: The cancellation of the KHL season means its players on expiring contracts are free to sign with NHL clubs by May 1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That means players like Montreal Canadiens prospect Alexander Romanov could make their NHL debuts if the season resumes this summer.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Speaking of the Canadiens, they re-signed Gustav Olofsson to a one-year, two-way contract.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars CEO Jim Lites and GM Jim Nill are taking 50 percent pay cuts to alleviate the financial stress on the organization as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

WGR 550: Buffalo Sabres owners Terry and Kim Pegula pledged $1.2 million to provide aid to Western New York during the pandemic.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning players created a fund to help all of the part-time employees of the team and Amalie Arena. The team will also donate “500,000 meals to Feeding Tampa Bay, a food rescue and distribution center in the Feeding America network.”

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: The United Center, home of the Blackhawks, will become “a logistics hub where we will be assisting front-line food distribution, first-responder staging and the collection of critically needed medical supplies.”

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Carolina Hurricanes GM Don Waddell clarified an e-mail sent to the club’s non-contracted employees that those who used up their vacation and personal time would be off without pay. ” “Everyone will get paid and we’ll figure it out after that.” He said the directive applied only to next week and that the team policy would be reviewed on a week-to-week basis, adding that the employees’ benefits would not be affected.”

ESPN.COM: Hockey equipment manufacturer Bauer has switched to making medical equipment during this pandemic.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Bruins ownership announced 68 full-time employees will be placed on temporary leave with one week’s pay and eight weeks of full-time benefit effective April 1. “In addition, 82 full-time salaried associates will be hit with an indefinite salary reduction. Anyone that has an employment contract will not fall under these cost-saving measures being made as a result of the Coronavirus impact.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bruins ownership is being pilloried in the Boston media for this decision. Principal owner Jeremy Jacobs is reportedly worth $3.3 billion. This decision will do little to bolster his already low popularity.


  1. I know Custance is based in Detroit … but he can’t be a closet Red Wings fan with THAT proposal.

    • Oops. Read it again. He was reporting what one NHL team suggested. Too bad he didn’t identify the team – but you have to think it was one of the “bubble” teams who might miss a playoff by a few points.

      • Doesn’t Ottawa have the over all best chance at picking #1? They have 2 lottery picks, possibly finishing 2nd and/or 3rd last after the wings.

        No chance they would vote for that silly idea.

        On Jacobs I don’t understand how one can defend him. A billionaire who didn’t want to pay his employees during this time of crisis and where lesser owners have. The mentioning of his wealth isn’t to say being rich is bad but being that rich and not helping when you obviously can, is.

  2. What does Jacobs net worth have to do with anything?
    I guess in a world of gofundme, and everyone’s odd self entitled bs…. nothing should surprise me.

    • He has the right to do what he did. But the people have the right to skewer him for failing to step up in a national emergency.

      • The Boston Bruins is not Jacob only concern as he has other business and any decision on one business affect the decision of the other. It’s not all about hockey.

      • From his private funds? I don’t see that. Donations, giving is a great and necessary thing. I hate the “bully” term these days … it’s grossly abused. But people shouldn’t be bullied or made to feel like they HAVE to give anyone anything.

        Maybe he and other corporations should offer loans with a guarantee they have job security when this is over , but these employees pay back this debt.

        To expect ANYONE to HAVE to offer assistance from their private funds is a bit out of control. This is hurting everybody. Especially the tourist, airline, entertainment, and restaurant industry.
        Why should he be held to a different standard than Joe Smith, the local wing place on every corner of every town? Because he has more money?

        Too many people in this country are WAY too quick to spend other people’s money how THEY feel fit. Life doesn’t work like that.

      • I have to agree Nyr4life. Giving freely from private wealth is a personal choice and not incumbent upon anyone – nor should it be unless you want a totally socialist society. And how did that work in several prominent places? That’s why I used the term “magnanimous” above which depicts anyone who gives freely form personal wealth with no conditions attached.

        A few weeks back the usual suspects were dumping all over Melnyk for “dragging his feet” in announcing his support of the administrative staff at the arena. despite the fact they weren’t scheduled to play for several days after returning from a road trip and, at that time, NO ONE knew the coming full extent of the pandemic. Hell, they were still talking of resuming after a week or so at that time.

        As you say, some are quick to want to spend someone else’s money. Someone once described that type as being “anxious for the equal distribution of unequal earnings.”

      • I suppose we could go down this rabbit hole again. To Caper’s point, Delaware North operates multiple businesses, the majority focused on the hospitality industry. They provide a lot of the food service operations in arenas, airports, casino’s etc in many countries. Methinks they are bleeding right now, to the extreme.
        Should they pay, I have no idea if they can afford to pay 55,000 employees for more than a few weeks before they can’t meet their financial obligations as I would be shocked if they don’t hold debt as they have expanded over the years. If they go down, those jobs go away and who know what happens to those jobs if they go bankrupt.They are privately held so you can’t check their financials and see what they have for cash on hand or what their capacity would be repay loans if they needed them, which they could very quickly.

        Each case is different. If you are a company that puts their artificial corporate office in a tax haven to avoid paying taxes in the US then ask for a bailout from that same US government?
        If you took 95% of you tax cut savings and did stock buy backs to hit your bonuses based on P/E ratios (Airline industry) and now want a bailout because you cash reserve is too low and debt load too high?
        Big complicated questions and the tax payers will be left paying for it, that much I would bet on.

      • Nobody is forcing Jacobs to do anything. But if you are in a business where public perception is something that can affect the bottom line it’s not bullying that occurs… just good old fashion capitalism.

        I believe most owners should feel some obligation to help when most of them took public money to build their stadiums. Most argued when they took that public money that the stadium would create jobs and drive economic growth… hence the city and people should pay. Can’t happen now. So a little bit of kindness and humanity isn’t out of line. But obligatory on their part? No. Poor optics that could lead to decreased revenue? Yup. And to bad so sad. Don’t like it get into another line of work.

        As I said. Good old capitalism

      • Isn’t that what unemployment was made for? That plus the 1200 per person the government is about to hand out isn’t enough?

        It’s odd to mention capitalism. Because this looks nothing like capitalism and 100% like socialism.

        What happens when the world is done spending other people’s money?

        What happens to a company when they bleed themselves dry showering the entitled with $$$ ? When they have to shut their doors permanently…. where do those jobs go?

        So the owners of businesses or corporations should be there with their money in times of crisis….

        So when a business is bleeding or going through crisis it should be on the employee to reach into pocket and come to work for nothing?

        I mean, it’s only money right? It just seems more abstract when it’s spending someone else’s I guess?

      • You seem to think I disagree with you. The problem is that is the minority opinion. Most people are only gonna see the mean old billionaire… hence causing a reputation black eye that can hurt the business. So they can choose to pay up to prevent that damage, or weather that damage. Sports are so much a fabric of society that he will be able to weather the damage.

        I certainly ain’t gonna cry unfair on behalf of Jacobs though. Being the target of the masses ire comes with the territory of owning a team. If he don’t like it then he can sell and get out of it.

      • I think we all agree more than we think on most of this.
        Is this a really bad look for any owner who doesn’t support their employees in this crisis, yes, but there is more to many of these cases than what appears on the surface.
        If they can they should, if they can’t they can’t.
        This isn’t socialism. Not even close. Socialism is when the government controls the means of production. Think state owned oil companies like in Venezuela. Not Canada or the USA is going to become Venezuela no matter how many talking heads say it will. That is just fear politics.
        Industry bailouts are closer to socialism than this. Tax breaks and grants for certain industries is more like socialism. Tariffs are definitely closer to socialism.
        The reason we see this divide now is because the divide is getting bigger financially. The middle class has shrunk and the working class has less income relative to the cost of living. Income redistribution has been going on since 1980, but up not down. It was paid for by campaign contributions and super pacs.
        0.1% of the population has as much wealth as the bottom 90%. That is a huge shift in income redistribution. In the US that is 18,000 people in a country of over 300 million.
        Personal income tax rates have zero impact on GDP growth. Government debt just grows. We have data since 1947 if you care to check.
        The highest rate has been cut by more than half in 40 years. Why do you think that is? Just because they felt like it?
        So when we have a crisis impacting huge portions of the population and the people with the means to step up do not? People get pissed because they have eyes, ears and brains and know how their political systems have changed. We all remember 2008. What happened to the guys who committed obvious fraud and cost millions their jobs? Oh yeah, nothing.
        This is from a guy who considers himself to be conservative on economic issues and liberal on social ones. Sure as hell ain’t a socialist.
        The vast majority of the people that will lose their jobs and struggle through this work and work hard. Most aren’t the type who look for handouts.
        This crisis brings it to the surface, just like the last one did. The result will likely be the same.

  3. For what it’s worth that actual quote was by one Ebenezer Elliott in the late 1800s who defined a socialist as “one who hath yearnings for equal division of unequal earnings. Idler or bungler, or both, he is willing, to fork out his copper and pocket a shilling.”

    • Interesting how capitalist governments discover socialist practices when the s**t hits the fan. It was taxpayer money that got us out of the hole in 2008 and it’ll be the same now.

      • As a fiscal conservative and somewhat liberal when it comes to looking after the genuinely needy, the problem with socialism is, they’re far too ready to spread the funds willy-nilly without the application of a “needs” assessment to filter out the “users” from the genuinely needy because they tend to regard that as degrading.

        As a consequence, whenever such a government starts spreading the cash around the opportunists come out of the woodwork.

        As Winston Churchill so eloquently put it “Socialism is the philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy. Its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.”

        Yes, the world has to resort to such measure in times such as these … but it simply cannot continue once the storm blows over.

  4. Why would any owner of any business pay people who are not working that’s why the Government just approved 2.2 trillion for workers and businesses. Wouldn’t be many businesses and I’m not just talking about hockey that would be alive for long and would run out of money with zero dollars coming in and wages going out. Most people have zero idea about business they say well they just write it off how stupid. Still have to have money in the bank to write the check. Let the owners be owners and players play and let us be fans I’m sure all organizations will handle this crisis many different ways.