NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 15, 2020
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.
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.