NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 28, 2020
Two NHL announcers test positive for COVID-19, plus the latest on Connor McDavid, Mark Giordano, Ryan Getzlaf and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
STLTODAY.COM: Long-time Blues television play-by-play man John Kelly tested positive for the coronavirus. He was initially diagnosed with pneumonia earlier this month but said he’s feeling much better. Kelly and his family are in quarantine and receiving medical treatment. The Blues are encouraging anyone who was on their March 11 trip to Anaheim to face the Ducks to self-quarantine and report any symptoms to the team’s head trainer.
OTTAWA SUN: TSN 1200 Senators color analyst Gord Wilson tested positive for COVID-19. He wasn’t feeling well following the Senators’ road trip through California earlier this month. “It’s a flu-like nothing I’ve ever had,” Wilson said. “We’ve all had the flu and we’ve all had bad colds. This is completely different … completely different. It grips you.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s hoping Kelly and Wilson make swift recoveries.
TSN: If the NHL returns to action, Calgary Flames captain Mark Giordano believes the 2020 playoffs could be one of the best because every team will be healthy. Meanwhile, Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid said there should be some regular-season games before the playoffs begin. “I don’t know if we can just step right back in and have playoffs. Game 1, have Calgary come to Edmonton and guys are running around trying to kill one another in the first game in two months. It’ll end up as the Stockton Heat vs. the Bakersfield Condors.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Good points by both captains. The rosters of the playoff clubs wouldn’t be as banged-up as they would be under normal circumstances when the playoffs begin, but the players could benefit from a few meaningful games under their belts before jumping straight into post-season play. However, it’s the coronavirus that will ultimately determine if there will be a resumption of the schedule and what form it might take.
THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Building a backyard chicken coop is one way Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf is coping with the strict stay-at-home orders in Orange County.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, Getzlaf hasn’t flown the coop during this foul situation. Thank you, thank you! I’m here every day, don’t forget to tip your host!
SPORTSNET: NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly believes there’s a summer window of opportunity for the league to complete this season and the playoffs. “I think as time has gone on, we’ve recognized we might have a bigger window than we had originally thought with respect to the summer months and when we have to finish things to be ready for a full regular season next year,” Daly said.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some observers feel – not unreasonably – the league should just cancel the season and look toward staging a normal 2020-21 campaign in the fall. However, the powers-that-be feel very strongly about returning to action to recoup as much of their lost revenue as possible while crowning a 2020 Stanley Cup champion. As I noted earlier, however, the course of the coronavirus will determine if that summer window exists.
THE SCORE: The league has also assured the Montreal Canadiens will get to host an NHL draft one way or another. It was originally scheduled for Montreal on June 26 and 27.
OTTAWA SUN; Speaking of the 2020 NHL Draft, Bruce Garrioch reports league officials don’t expect there will be much change in the seedings for the draft lottery if the regular-season schedule is canceled.
If the lottery were staged today, the Detroit Red Wings “would have the best odds of winning the No. 1 overall pick at 18.5 percent and would be followed by the No. 30-ranked Senators at 13.5 percent. But Ottawa actually has a combined 25 percent chance of winning the lottery because it also holds the San Jose Sharks’ top pick from the Erik Karlsson trade, and their odds are 11.5 percent.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Garrioch isn’t the first person to take note of this, as several readers of this site also raised this point in recent days. Either way, the Sens are in a great position to land a couple of top prospects in this year’s draft.
NEWSDAY: Construction of the New York Islanders’ new arena at Belmont Park was halted yesterday as part of the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
SUN-SENTINEL.COM: Florida Panthers owner Vinnie Viola has committed to paying the team’s full staff through the entirety of the coronavirus pandemic.
CBC.CA: Former NHL defenseman Tomas Kaberle is delivering takeout meals from his wife’s Toronto restaurant during the pandemic shutdown.
“It’s kind of fun. If I can make them laugh at this time, whatever it takes,” said Kaberle, who played almost 12 of his 14 NHL seasons with the Maple Leafs. “I’ve got repeat customers asking for me, which is just funny,” he said. “One of our customers, I made their son laugh and made their day, and stuff like that. So that makes me happy.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nice to see retired players stepping up to do their part during this crisis.