NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 14, 2020

by | Apr 14, 2020 | News, NHL | 10 comments

More on the league’s plans to possibly resume this season, plus the latest on Drew Doughty, Brandon Carlo, Dale Hawerchuk and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Commissioner Gary Bettman told CNN the league continues to explore all options to resume the 2019-20 season while awaiting word for clearance from authorities. “When we’ll have an opportunity to return depends on things that we have absolutely no control over, because it all starts with everybody’s health and well-being,” said Bettman. “And until there’s a sense that people can get together, not just to fill our arenas but even our players to get together to work out, we don’t know when we can come back.”

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman (Photo via NHL.com).

Bettman also said the league and the NHL Players Association discussed the length of time it would take for the players to prepare for the resumption of the season. While the players are training at home, Bettman said it would take between two-to-three weeks to get back into playing shape.

THE SCORE: cites TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reporting the NHL is willing to delay the start of 2020-21 to November to conclude this season. It would cancel the All-Star Game and the accompanying bye weeks, and extend the post-season into late June. The league also prefers playing some regular-season contests before the playoffs and would condense the postseason if necessary.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Kings defenseman Drew Doughty is skeptical about finishing this season. “We have no idea when this virus is going to be over,” he said. “We’re just sitting here waiting, working out, getting ready to hopefully return at any point. I would think the NHL or whoever has to make a decision will make some type of decision on that soon. It seems like it’s going to be pretty tough to return, to resume the season or the playoffs.”

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo is among those hopeful the league can resume in some fashion and complete this season. “It’s been great to hear that we’re going to work as hard we can to establish as many games as we can for this season and still try to make the ultimate goal of awarding a Stanley Cup happen,” said Carlo, the Bruins NHLPA player rep. “I’m trying to do everything I can to stay in shape because I am optimistic about the season returning.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Like most of you, I doubt this NHL season is salvageable. Nevertheless, I don’t fault the league and the PA exploring every option to return to action. While the pandemic will likely stretch through the summer and into the fall, there’s nothing wrong with being prepared in case the coronavirus runs its course faster than projected or a vaccine is discovered and distributed quicker than anticipated. 

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Pierre McGuire predicts the salary cap could decline by 25 percent to 40 percent. A 25 percent drop would put next season’s cap at $61 million, while 40 percent would lower it to $49 million. McGuire believes the NHL and NHLPA will have to come up with some creative ideas to address this potential problem. On a positive note, he said he’s never seen better cooperation between the two sides in his 31-year hockey career.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s already been reported several times by different sources that the league and PA won’t let the cap drop for next season. There’s talk of setting an artificial number at $81.5 million. It’ll be interesting to see how they address this situation.

SPORTSNET: Hall-of-Famer Dale Hawerchuk completed his final round of chemotherapy for stomach cancer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes for a full recovery.

CTV NEWS SASKATOON: A highway memorial involving hundreds of cars lined the highway to Battleford, Saskatchewan to show support for the family of the late Colby Cave, who passed away last week. Cave was originally from North Battleford.

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Anaheim Ducks players and families pledged 200 meals a day for the staff at UCI Medical Center.


  1. Funny, neither the NHL nor the PA showed any great determination to salvage the 2005 season and declare a cup winner when they couldn’t come to terms on how to divvy up billions. Now, with thousands dying all over the world, some on both sides continue with this charade about finishing thew season and having a playoff.

  2. Pierre McGuire’s comments are interesting in that he’s likely basing them on the assumption that the 19-20 season will be cancelled.
    His view of a 25-40% drop in the cap probably reflects the value of the playoffs to the league and the players and could be an accurate reflection of the drop in revenues across the league.
    I don’t see how the NHL could cut the cap so drastically but I could see the cap set at an artificial number and staying there for several years.
    How this all shakes down will affect every aspect of team operations across the NHL – management, staff, scouting departments, minor league operations, coaches, players, ticket prices, concessions, etc.
    I still don’t see how some franchises can carry on with an artificial cap even if the league supports them for a period of time. If Arizona and Florida and Carolina, for example, are losing money right now, how can they keep going for the next five to ten years?
    Interesting times for sure.

    • As stated the cap is artificial, just there to stop rich teams from buying up all the talent. Perhaps it’s time to look at what Baseball does, a tax for spending over a certain limit. The rich teams can spend as much as they want but over the limit a tax is applied and then spread out to the needy teams.
      I’m betting that teams are looking at how can I cut my expenses in house. Do I really need a working agreement with ECHL team to supply them with players. What AHL players am I paying that just fill out the roster and have no NHL future.
      Do the west coast teams really have to play a home and way game with east coast teams? I’m sure LA/ANH would rather add a home and away game with each other than travel to Boston or Flordia once a year. With airlines moth balling planes and hotels closing it could be a chore scheduling road trips. Lots of ways to cut expenses if you have to.

      • Good post and one result of the cost-cutting could be more players heading to Europe.

      • Hey Boom/Bust, I guess it depends how it is structured with a luxury tax. It’s better than nothing but the richest teams in baseball have a huge advantage today.
        If you look at the Yankees in the last 20 years they have finished 1st in AL East 11 times, 2nd 6 times 3rd or 4th 3 times. Never a losing record.
        They have drafted and developed well, but always pickup key FA’s too.
        Not sure I want to see the Leafs winning the division half the time or top 2 80% of the time.

      • Ray,

        And in that time the Yankees have only won one championship. Not counting recent years because when the old man died, they became cap compliant in recent years.

        1 championship vs 100s of millions pumped into the league in revenue sharing so teams like the Marlins can exist.

        Seems like a fair trade off to me.

        Now, they are cap compliant, have built from within and are still considered contenders.

      • @Ray with Dubas running the Leafs you`d have nothing to fear

      • Ya Nyr4life, the Yankees are best run Evil Empire I can think of. I respect and hate them at the same time.
        The Jays would take that level of success, as would most teams.
        Some teams in baseball seem to have caught on sooner to the fact that player performance declines consistently once you get past 30 or 31. Obviously exceptions out there, but as a rule.

  3. No thanks to the luxury cap. The NHL cap system was working fine.

    What doe the future look like?

    Mayor of Vancouver said the city could be filing for Bankruptcy, citing a poll that 50% of property owners are not expected to pay their full property tax.

    Won’t be much entertainment dollars to attend an NHL game.