NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 15, 2020

by | Apr 15, 2020 | News, NHL | 6 comments

The latest on plans to resume or cancel the 2019-20 season, an update on the Senators, plus the latest on Mitch Marner and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports the NHL has yet to set a firm deadline to announce the resumption or cancellation of the 2019-20 season. If the schedule is to resume, the league will need at least two weeks for players returning from Europe to be quarantined, followed by two-three weeks of training camp, potentially some exhibition games followed by some regular-season contests before starting the playoffs. One league governor suggested they should have an idea by late-May, while another though mid-June would be the earliest.

Still no deadline on when to resume or cancel the 2019-20 NHL season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The longer the restrictions on crowd sizes, the slimmer the chances of finishing the regular season or staging the playoffs. Again, I don’t fault the league and the NHL Players Association for examining every option, but I’m not optimistic this season can be completed.

THE SCORE: The NHL yesterday extended the self-quarantine period for its players to April 30. It’s the third time the period has been extended.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Don’t be surprised if there’s another extension to May 15.

SPORTSNET: U.S. President Donald Trump will hold a conference call with the major-league sports commissioners today, including NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. They’re part of a committee of 200 business leaders advising the president on when to re-open the American economy.

OTTAWA SUN: Senators general manager Pierre Dorion said his club has made three proposals to Bettman on possible scenarios for resuming the draft lottery, the regular season, and the playoffs. The Senators hold three picks in the first round of the 2020 NHL Draft, including what could be the second- and third-overall selections. Overall, the Senators hold 13 picks in this year’s draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates the Sens have three first-round picks, four in the second round, two in the third round, one in each of the fourth and fifth rounds, two in the sixth, and none in the seventh.

TSN: Dorion also said the five Senators players and the one staff member who contracted COVID-19 have recovered.

TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner is using his charitable organization to solicit for donors to organizations providing food, shelter and aid to front-line services.

NBC SPORTS: Seattle’s NHL expansion franchise raised $1 million to assist those affected by the coronavirus epidemic.

WGR 550: The owners of the Buffalo Bills, Buffalo Sabres and Buffalo Bandits are issuing furloughs and layoffs. Executive pay is also being temporarily reduced.

TSN: Colby Cave’s family and the Edmonton Oilers have set up a memorial fund to support mental health initiatives and programs providing access to sports for underprivileged children. The fund will be headed by Cave’s wife, Emily. Cave passed away last week at age 25 following emergency surgery to remove a colloid cyst that was causing pressure on his brain.

NHLPA: Kris Versteeg announced his retirement as a professional player, which include 11 NHL seasons. He spent five seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks, winning the Stanley Cup in 2010 and 2015.

Versteeg also played for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Philadelphia Flyers, Carolina Hurricanes, Los Angeles Kings, and Calgary Flames. In 643 career NHL games, he scored 149 goals, 209 assists, and 358 points. He also had 18 goals and 48 points in 93 playoff contests.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Versteeg in his future endeavors.


  1. This is getting silly. Kicking the can to April 30.
    So if the intent is to play out the schedule as if nothing happened, then,
    Bring players from Europe starting May 1
    They will be “Q” two weeks – Mid May
    2-3 weeks of training camps / Practice Games First week of June
    3 weeks to finish end of schedule – end of June
    2 Months to do playoffs if 16 teams and best of 7,
    end of August
    Draft – end of August
    Free Agency September 1
    Now we all know this is not realistic, they need to get serious and start making cuts. 15 teams will not make the playoff’s and many of who won’t we already know. If your OTT/DET/LA/ANA/SJ etc do you really want to bring players back, training camp again just to play 10-12 games in who knows where arena, knowing the games mean nothing to you ? A lot of wishful thinking here. Set a times line and stick to it. EXAMPLE if on April 30 it’s still no go, rest of regular season cancelled, if still no answer by end of May = 1st round of payoffs cancelled, meaning 8 teams dropped or playoff rounds dropped from best of 7 to best of 5.
    We know tough decisions have to be made so start making them

  2. Boom/bust,
    Good points. So then maybe if they want to continue the season, this maybe an idea.
    Roll all the teams back to the 68 game mark, and that’s the cutoff for the playoff picture(instead of win %)
    Start a 2 week mini camp with those 16 teams.
    Play 2 exhibition games, then roll into the playoffs with a 1st round of 3 out of 5, and all other series 4 out of 7.
    Hold the playoffs in 6-8 different locations only, to limit any further contraction of this virus.
    Play without fans, and have games on every night, in rounds 1 and 2. Then go every other night for rounds 3 and 4.
    Using marketing through TV networks to gain some money back, and award the Cup.
    For the non- playoff teams, they can go on with their offseason business, and keeping their players, staff and organizations safe for the start of next season.

    • Francois
      That works for a start. Sending 1/2 the teams home makes the problems a little easier to handle. I think you have to chip away at the problem piece by piece. On the draft do you just rank the teams by points at the 68 game mark 1 to 31 and hold the draft now and get it over with ( skip the lottery) ?
      There are no more games to be played so all “let’s take one more look at this kid” is over.

      • I’m ok with doing the lottery, for the draft, even if we roll back the season to 68 game mark.
        It will draw TV revenue, grant probably a small share, but with no sports, it would still be exciting to watch. Plus, it would give those teams, not involved in the resumption of play some excitement.

  3. Like I said before when the Olympics where cancelled that it was over for the NHL too. I’d love to be wrong…speaking of, am I the only one thinking 200 businessmen don’t know s#it about pandemics and efing dumb to seek advise from them when there are things called uhm doctors that might be in the know?

    I like me some sports but life before all please.

    • Yep, millions are getting that lesson in life right now.
      A lot of people who were making a good living, getting raises and had a bright future now suddenly have their incomes slashed or disappear and it’s do we pay the rent or pay the invoice from the local NFL team for season seats. Do I send my kid to UCLA @ $ 20,000 a year or let him go to the local Junior college for the first two years.

      I see where CFL is pushing things back also and they don’t even start until early June. Remember last year seeing all the empty NFL seats, wondering just how many season ticket holders are sending in their checks right now.