NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 11, 2020
Another update on the possibility of staging neutral-site games, plus the latest on John Tavares, Danny DeKeyser and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: Deputy commissioner Bill Daly said the league is considering games at neutral sites without fans if the season resumes later this year. “I’d say it’s one possibility, for sure, and it’s something that has been considered and something that has been discussed,” said Daly. “It’s not our preferred result or outcome.”
Daly indicated it would be difficult for team facilities to open in 25 of the league’s 31 markets because of local coronavirus directives. He acknowledged government and health authorities control the timetable for a possible resumption of the schedule, but felt the league still has some time to work with. Asked about staging neutral site games in Europe, Daly didn’t rule it out but considered that option unrealistic.
ESPN.COM: Daly said cities and venues across North America have reached out to the league pitching themselves as neutral site locations. He admitted the league is compiling a comprehensive list, but it isn’t completed or narrowed down.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Finding suitable neutral-site locations is one thing. The logistics of staging those games in those areas is another.
Suitable accommodation, meals, and transportation for the players, as well as the staff of the respective teams and arenas, plus the security and broadcasting crews, must be provided, as well as stringent COVID-19 testing. I’m not saying it can’t be done, but it could put a tremendous strain on local resources that could prove unmanageable.
SPORTSNET: Led by John Tavares, several members of the Toronto Maple Leafs donated an undisclosed amount of money to support front-line workers at two Toronto-area hospitals.
THE DETROIT NEWS: Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser hopes to get his NHL career back on track after missing all but eight games this season with a herniated disc.
NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Sidelined Flyers Philippe Myers and Nate Thompson have been cleared to resume playing whenever the league schedule resume. Winger James van Riemsdyk is expected to be cleared within one-to-two weeks.
Nolan Patrick (migraine disorder) continues to work out but hasn’t been cleared yet. Samuel Morin is expected to return from knee surgery in time for the 2020-21 season.
LOS ANGELES TIMES: The Kings re-signed defenseman Kurtis McDermid to a two-year contract extension worth an annual average value of $875k.
ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes have furloughed half of their staff through June 30. The club will cover 100 percent of their health benefits during that period.
LOS ANGELES TIMES: Former Kings coach Tom Webster died of brain cancer at age 71. As a player, he spent parts of five NHL seasons with the Boston Bruins, Detroit Red Wings, and California Golden Seals, as well as six productive seasons with the WHA’s New England Whalers from 1972-73 to 1977-78.
Webster went on to become head coach of the New York Rangers in 1986-87 and the Kings from 1989-90 to 1991-92. He also served as an assistant coach with the Philadelphia Flyers, Hartford Whalers, and Carolina Hurricanes, and as an amateur scout with the Calgary Flames.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Webster’s family, friends and former teammates.