NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 5, 2020

by | Mar 5, 2020 | News, NHL | 19 comments

Flyers on the rise, salary cap could significantly increase next season, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: The Philadelphia Flyers picked up their seventh straight victory by beating the Washington Capitals 5-2. Kevin Hayes and Ivan Provorov each had a goal and an assist for the Flyers (85 points) as they moved to within one point of the Metropolitan Division-leading Capitals. It was a costly win, as winger James van Riemsdyk is sidelined indefinitely after suffering a broken hand blocking a shot. The Flyers have 16 victories in their last 21 games, while the Capitals have just four in their last 10 outings.

James van Riemsdyk was sidelined during the Philadelphia Flyers 5-2 win over the Washington Capitals (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers are surging at the right time and could supplant the slumping Capitals atop the Metro. They’re a deeper team thriving under head coach Alain Vigneault this season. It’ll be interesting to see how they cope without van Riemsdyk, who tallied 31 points in his last 41 contests.

An overtime goal by T.J. Brodie gave the Calgary Flames a 3-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. With 77 points, the Flames opened a three-point lead over the Vancouver Canucks for third place in the Pacific Division. The Jackets (78 points) picked up a point to move into the first wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference.

The Arizona Coyotes overcame a 2-1 deficit to double up the Canucks 4-2. Carl Soderberg and Oliver Ekman-Larsson each had a goal and an assist as the Coyotes (74 points) moved into a three-way tie with the Canucks and Winnipeg Jets, though the latter two hold the last two wild-card berths with 34 wins each.

Rickard Rakell’s overtime tally lifted the Anaheim Ducks over the Colorado Avalanche 4-3, snapping the latter’s seven-game winning streak. Avs captain Gabriel Landeskog had a goal and two assists. Colorado has 88 points, two behind the Central Division-leading St. Louis Blues.


The salary cap for 2020-21 could rise to between $84 million to $88 million, according to NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly. The cap is currently at $81.5 million. The increase will depend upon the NHLPA triggering its annual escalator clause. Daly also said the league is discussing a formula with the PA that could provide general managers with an annual cap figure earlier than they do now. That formula is part of ongoing CBA extension talks with the Players’ Association.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I assumed the cap could reach $84 million next season, but that potentially higher total surprised me. It will certainly benefit clubs with limited salary-cap space, such as the Arizona Coyotes, St. Louis Blues, and Toronto Maple Leafs.

NEW YORK POST: Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk required 90 stitches after being struck near his left eye in the face by a skate blade during Tuesday’s loss to the Montreal Canadiens. His eye was undamaged, but he’ll remain sidelined until the swelling goes down and his eye opens again.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Boychuk wears a visor, but it couldn’t provide full facial protection from a fluke injury like that.

CBS SPORTS: New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider faces a four-to-six week recovery from a broken foot suffered last week against the Flyers.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators dismissed CEO Jim Little following what he described as a heated argument he had with team owner Eugene Melnyk. A team source claimed cited “a pattern of behavior, not just one incident, among other things,” that led to Little’s dismissal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That source’s name wouldn’t rhyme with “Meugene Elnyk”, would it?

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: The NHL is prohibiting its employees from making work-related trips outside North America over concerns about the coronavirus.


  1. Ida gone with hygiene smellnyk. But that made me smile Lyle.

    • Not a big fan of the idea of a …. proposed…. extended cap …to where as in the rise in cap will be for multiple years such as a 3 – 4 year term …

      Its obviously this is just another way of the league to slow down payroll and higher revenue for the league.. ..and the players make less especially bottom 6 roll players …

      I love the talk show hosts and writers who say this is a decent idea and it gives a path and clarity for a GM over a time frame…BUT obviously everyone loves an idea when it does not come out of their pocket or effect there families..financially.

      There will be a gross amount of money and revenue coming in VIA over seas TV deals and the new betting on NHL games..that should be shared …

      Iam still of the mindset that each team should have 2 contracts that sit outside the TEAM CAP based on Elite talent and super star status ..and an owner can pay those guys however much they want to come to terms on and the rest of the team is entitled to the entire cap ..to be distributed as it is now ..which will allow for better talent and players in the bottom of the team to continue with teams and lower turn over and younger players being used only because they come in on an ELC ..it will encourage development in the minors and allow for the bottom 6 players an opportunity to make some money playing a PRO sport not just $750,000 and cut that in half after taxes while being a professional athlete where the life expectancy in the league is no more than a mere 3 years than maybe off to the KHL or Europe to further their playing careers…right now the league is turning over the bottom 6 players to keep that cap hit down….where as the top 6 stays the same for some time barring a trade or trying to move money out ..


      • Hey Kal El, I’m not sure how budgeting 3-4 years out hurts the lower level players. I also wouldn’t assume revenues continue to rise more than the rate of inflation. The NA economy has been on the longest era of growth in history and it has helped revenues somewhat, but nothing crazy, and we are due for a downturn. Just the way it has been throughout history. So a 3-4 year budget may actually help the players and mitigate risk.
        Hockey related revenue is a separate issue, and I would be shocked if gambling isn’t included.
        Agree that the $88M cap seems a little out of left field.

      • Did you read a multi-year cap somewhere? From what Lyle said the quote just sounds like it will be determined earlier though I haven’t looked it up externally.

      • Not sure where Kal El got it from. I was simply responding to his post.
        Interesting idea though and in theory helps teams manage there cap, whether that actually happens is is another question.

  2. The conduct unbecoming of what the senators organization expects was supposedly based on the fact that Mr. Little payed his gambling debts on time and on top of paying his pilot for the trip had also tipped her. Smellnyk disapproved vehemently.

  3. Well , maybe their girlfriends had an argument. I would think he should make Pierre Dorian CEO he seems to be more of a yes man
    And that’s what Eugene Melnyk requires. But he is the owner .
    Dysfunctional Ottawa

  4. That is a decent salary cap increase even the lower end; imagine if it goes to $88m that’s a $6.5m increase from the present $81.5m

    Can’t help but wonder how quick a GM will blow that additional cap $$$ by over paying for said player.

    • It’s a decent salary cap but I don’t like the idea of setting salary caps for 4 or 5 years.
      I think that would create more of problem down the road. Yearly is better IMO
      A manager could really mess up a team for the future

    • Hi Caper

      Very skeptical on the 88; to me likely will end up a tad shy of 86…. $4.5 M “raise”

      Can’t tell you what/who it will be spent on… can speculate that a good chunk going on 1/7 though!

  5. Lots of Ottawa material lately, but i haven’t read any comments from George O; did someone P him off?

    George O you there?

    • I made a comment to George regarding him being the first person to make a leafs related comment whether there’s a news item on them or not which I found particular considering he is not a fan unless he’s a closeted one.

      Bottom line is theres a lot of talking points regarding the Sens and it’s wananbe Ballard owner that like many leafs fans have done in those times, find the owner as the focus point of their frustrations.

      PS Make your comments and state your opinions, right or wrong who cares? Opinions are like a-holes, we all have one and for the most part they stink and full of crap.

      • Hi Ron, George O commenting first might have more to do with geography then trying to be first to comment.

        Lyle lives in PEI and generally post around 9am PEI time, for George this is 8am in Ottawa and like most of us becomes more of a habit of going on to read. For me in Manitoba i generally going on about 8:30 am 1.5hrs after Lyle has put his work online.

        Keep posting, don’t care who is first billing or last.

        Just remember my opinions are like the two rules of the boss.

        1st rule. The Boss is always right

        2nd rule. When the boss is wrong refer to rule number 1.

        or if you prefer

        A boss is like a baby diaper always on you *ss and full of Sh*T

  6. Ron Moore , don’t blame yourself for George’s discontent. It would appear it is me . I am thick skinned so I assume everyone is. If you read yesterday’s comments Lyle told me to lay off other posters.

    • I told you to stop antagonizing other posters because several of them complained about your antics, plus you choose to use yesterday’s rumor mill comment section solely to attempt to troll another poster, rather than offer up comments related to the topic of the day or even anything hockey-related. As always, stick to talking hockey and you won’t be singled out by me.

      As for George, I know he was absent for several weeks last fall due to illness. Perhaps that’s why he hasn’t posted of late.

      • Lyle, did you not read and understand what I wrote. I was telling Ron Moore it wasn’t his fault. I was taking the responsibility.
        But I am who I am. I guess you can call it trolling if you want..
        It is your site.

      • I read your comments, Vinnie, and provided clarity as to why you were told to lay off other posters. Once again, stick to talking hockey.

    • There is a treatment for psoriasis vinnie.

  7. Yes Lyle , I know stick to talking hockey. And I will get treatment for my psoriasis. lol