NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 11, 2020

by | May 11, 2020 | News, NHL | 36 comments

An update on the league’s return-to-play plans, the Ducks re-sign two players and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NEWSDAY: Andrew Gross reports a source claiming the NHL’s return-to-play plans have been narrowed down to two scenarios. The first involves a 24-team format in which the top four teams play for playoff seeding while the bottom teams would have postseason play-in games. The second involves going straight into the usual 16-team playoff format with no attempt to salvage the regular season.

Completing the regular season might not be possible for the NHL.

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told Gross via e-mail every option considered by the league remains on the table.  “Obviously, some may be being explored more extensively than others. But no decisions have been made,” wrote Daly.

Many health and logistic issues confront any of the league’s attempts to return to action, including self-quarantining of players and international travel restrictions. Some players expressed concern over the possibility of spending up to three months separated from their families while playing in four neutral-site host cities.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gross also reports his source claiming the NHL was hell-bent on including regular-season games if play resumed. It would recoup more of its losses by completing the regular-season schedule. With the pandemic ongoing and social-distancing rules varying from market-to-market, that might not be possible. The health, logistic and family concerns cited by Gross could force the league into returning with a shorter format.  

Gross also pointed out there’s been no clarity over determining which teams would return under 16 or 24 team playoff scenarios. However, it’s assumed points percentage will be the measuring stick.

THE SCORE: NHL legend Bobby Orr told TSN’s James Duthie he doesn’t see anything wrong with the NHL attempting to restart the season, but he cautions against trying to do it too quickly.

“We just cannot come back until the players are safe, the families are safe, anybody connected with those games, around the games, if they do come back, (we have to make sure) that everyone is safe.”

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks re-signed defenseman Brendan Guhle and center Sam Carrick to contract extensions Sunday. Guhle signed a two-season, $1.6-million contract and Carrick signed a one-season, $700,000 deal. 

EDMONTON JOURNAL: A Russian hockey website claims Oilers forward Markus Granlund will sign with KHL club Ufa Salavat Yuleaev next season. He’s an unrestricted free agent at season’s end and struggled to earn playing time with the Oilers this season. It’s believed the two sides have already agreed on a contract.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Concussion injuries have brought Ben Sexton’s playing career to a close. The 28-year-old forward spent most of his professional career in the minors, seeing two NHL games with the Ottawa Senators in 2017-18. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sexton missed all of this season with a concussion. Best of luck to him in his future endeavors.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Sam McCaig looks at the all-time single-season scoring and wins leaders for all 31 NHL teams. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some of the names on these lists might surprise you. 


  1. There will be no more hockey nor should there be. So the top 4 get no break in a 24 team playoff pool? Sadly the NHL doesn’t get the need to cancel and sadder still they propose a plan like this? If you expand to 24 teams you simply make the bottom 16 play in to form the bottom 8 of a 16 team playoff format. You then reseed; 9 vs 24 and so in a best of 3 relegation round. The top 8 don’t even report to hub cities until this round is complete. The 8 that get eliminated go home. Players like Dubnyk that don’t want to play can stay home, by the way this is not a criticism of him as it should be his choice, teams may look different based on situations like that but everything looks different right now. Canceling would look different too and it’s the right thing to do. There are more important issues like I said yesterday. And by the way I didn’t say which teams would fold….. Damian Cox did. I just happen to applaud him for being realistic when nobody seems willing to suggest a great possibility. And yes I also agree with him that a smaller NHL is a better NHL. Forgive me for expressing my opinion in a free country.

    • Steven I think it says that the top 4 play for seeding, the rest are playing to get in.
      Express away Steven, but other folks can too.
      I will have to check out yesterday’s posts!

    • There should only be a return to play if safety is paramount. As that is unlikely there may be no more play for this season (distinct from this year).

      There is precedent for playing a shorter season: In 1994 -1995 a lockout saw the regular season reduced to 48 games. The same happened for the 2012-2013 season. We all remember the Hawks won the Cup that year. How many remember that it occurred in a shortened season?

      The NHL will continue to grind away to save the season until it is futile. As long as it can be done with safety as a priority, and as long as it doesn’t bugger up the next season for September, I guess I don’t care. I doubt it can happen, but these conditions are met, why sweat it?

      • The difference is everyone knew that the season would be shorter, this just happened with no chance to prepare

      • The difference between a predetermined shortened season than this are night and day. You can’t compare the two.

        Going into a shortened season you make different decisions. Which goalie may start this game or that game. Which players sit, dress, or sit out with a minor ailment.

        This is a completely different animal. Those choices are now flushed. Only one team is mathematically eliminated from playoff contention. Every other team in the league thought they had 11-13 games to solidify their position.

        It would be a black eye on the nhl to do anything but scrap this season.

        No team was crowned a Stanley cup champion in 04-05. And nobody slit their wrists over it…
        or talks about what could have been.

      • NYR, you are correct, no Cup champion was made for 04 -05, and no one slit their wrists over it.

        I am not invested in the discussion about how or whether the current season finishes. My point was not that this year’s circumstances are similar to other truncated seasons. That is a distinction without a difference.

        My point was: there is precedent for finishing disrupted seasons. On that basis alone, looking for differences is like picking fly sh*t out of the pepper, and any differences will not dissuade the NHL from doing all it can to finish this season.

      • The only need to finish the season lives in the minds of over obsessive fans.

        At this point, I see a complete cancellation of the season being the only valid option.

    • Steven, I apologize if I took your comment out of context in quoting Cox – but you did go on to say you agree with his take. So it would appear that neither you nor Cox (who, as a so-called journalist (working for the Toronto Star alone brings that into question) should know better when lumping Ottawa into that mix, without referral to the Phoenix Pay fiasco that has been going on for almost 3 years without being resolved to everyone’s satisfaction. Going without a pay cheque for months on end sorta puts hockey – or any other form of costly entertainment – at the very bottom of a long list of priorities.

      • No worries, George, there won’t be newspapers soon so you can relax.
        Any journalists you trust, by the way?

      • LOL Good point BCLeafFan! Just that my distaste for the Star in particular goes back to when I worked in the Enforcement Division of Canada Immigration and the many run-ins with the Star’s approach to how government business should be run. We likened them to the NY Times’ “all the news that’s fit to slant.”

  2. If its a go and a only choice between 16 and 24…. IMHO 24 a must

    There is separation now between the 24 and 7.

    Even if the Season finished and regular 16 team playoffs; Det out already; the Cal teams and Ottw would basically have to win out while all others above lose out.

    NJ and Buff would have to win at least 11 of 13 and have massive losing records for all above; and then only one of them gets in

    At 16 …. Van ; Min ; NYI; NYR; FLA ousted…. and if it goes by points percentage and they had played just one more game and won in reg …. they’d be in:

    Minn still had 2 games against Nsh …. 1 point separates them…. if one game played btwn; Min wins; Minn in ; Nsh out

    Cgy Van still had a game remaining against each other; their status could flip

    Tor/FLA same

    Isles and Rangers still had a game against Clb

    Isles still had a game against Car

    So, IMHO…. 24 game playoff

  3. If it goes to 24 cancel the season because it this point its just a joke.

    Reality is that the season should just cancel, workout the deadline trades or teams can void them as only 2.5 weeks have passed by. Set the salary cap and set the draft and UFA dates.

    Build the draft with excitement and potential trade deals.

    Personally I’m ok if there is or isn’t a playoff but increasing it more then 16 teams is a joke and i rather them cancel the season then present a pretend cup.

    • I agree with just canceling the season but IF there is a season it has to be 24 just to make the asterisk a little bit smaller than it would be with battles still going on

    • I’m with you caper, but I’ll even go a step further by saying ANY idea other than playing out the 82 game season , normal playoffs is a joke.

      I’m not sure how to resolve the trade deadline. Honestly, I don’t think they can (Or will) retract trades.

      Realistically, have they come any closer to figuring out a way to play out the season? It doesn’t appear so. Players are still all over the world and I think would have to go through a 14 day quarantine?

      Players would have to basically be separated from friends and family for weeks to months. All for what?

      Just put a damn fork in this season. Continuing is just a cash grab that doesn’t take the players , player families , coaching staff, and the general public health into consideration?
      All for what? To put $$$’s back in their pocket and appease a small group of people who can’t live without hockey for one year or find something better to do?

      Don’t get me wrong, no sports sucks. But there are bigger and better things at stake here. Go fishing , go outdoors, drink yourself stupid!

      • Well said it all comes down to money and people’s health is definitely worth more than money

  4. agree with Caper….if the season finished as in every completed season there will be teams that miss by a point…

    Pengy I often agree with you….sometimes I think you are an MLSE season ticket holder as is my best friend….you guys suffer with Minnesota in town on a Tues in Feb…struggle to pawn out some tickets like this ….year after year….and now the NHL by going to 24 team playoffs basically defecates on regular season games….why would anybody go to see Minnesota in Febuary ever again….

    The NHL will do what it wants…they are in an extremely hard spot….with hints that some teams may not survive….that the salary CAP is under threat….that they may finish their year ( AHL cancelled today)….they better maintain their regular season credibility….

    24 teams lets some teams 10 points off the pace in….why not let them all in …..or just have a raffle or draw….or monkeys throwing darts at a board

    Little bit of a rant and a little extreme…..but it is an irritation point for me….I’d almost rather close it down and start again when it is safe

    • To be fair every team that is mathematically still alive should be allowed into the playoffs! When the lockout shortened the season everyone knew. This year teams haven’t played the same amount of games and the standings could change with equal amount of games! would it be fair than the teams that don’t make it in to the playoffs get to make 2 picks before the teams that make it in get 1? Just cancel it

    • Hi OBD

      Points well taken

      Absolutely good to go on any disagreements as this site is built on great discussions regarding differing opinions

      I learn from this site every day

      Not a season ticket holder; don’t miss a game though (mostly TV).., recent years attend less than a dozen per; do get in a handful of Marlies games in

      My point was only IF season is NOT scrapped and there are only 2 choices …. 16 or 24 playoff teams (no reg season continuance); then IMHO it has to be 24 teams

      Yes Habs get in at 10 points out; and Arz (4 out ) and Chi (6 out)… with Nsh having a game in hand on both

      Thats 1 getting in that would have to almost run the table while others above basically lose out; just to get in. With Chi ; can make somewhat a similar argument at 6 out

      Arz (4 out now) with 6 intra Div games still remaining ; and one with Nsh…. not a stretch at all

      Contrasting those 2 (plus maybe Arz) arguing rightfully that they shouldn’t get in at 24 making it; is …..both NY teams; Panthers; ‘Nucks & Wild eliminated if it’s set at 16; where as:

      with percentages used PLUS one single game (for each) against another team…. Just one game) Rangers vs Jackets; Isles v Canes; Panthers/Leafs; ‘Nucks vs Jets OR Flames ; and Wild vs Preds….

      Then after those 5 single games match-ups; if Rangers; Isles; Panthers; ‘Nucks, Wild win in Reg…. they are in; their opponents out

      I’m just arguing that if its a go with no season resumption , and there are but two choices 16 & 24…. to me 24 is the fairest

      I’m OK with full cancelation; I’m not OK with season end and only 16 (standings and/or percentages as at now) get in

      I also am firm in my stance on Draft only after Cup OR season/playoff cancelation

  5. I agree that 24 is a joke. But 16 may not be fair. The best idea would be 20. Add two wild card teams per conference. The four wild card teams would play a best 2 of 3. That would reduce to 16. Then follow the usual playoff set-up, with the first two rounds being best of 5 and the conference championship and Stanley Cup final being the usual best of 7.

    • Teams are mathematically still in have to have a chance is the biggest problem, one gm brought up the leafs 2013 playoff run where they went 2-8 in the last 10 games falling out of the playoffs! You don’t know what would happen so you need to allow teams even with a far chance of making it in

      • Hi BBB

        If just one more game was played (Leafs v Panthers)… with a regulation Panther win and league just counting percentage points… Panthers in/ Leafs out

        This is the same for other teams with a specific single game match-up matchup won in reg…. see my other post…. that one game could see both NY teams; ‘Nucks and Wild also get in ; with their single game opponent ; out

        No matter what decision is made …. there will be many unhappy campers

        Canceling everything screws current Cup fav Bruins

      • That’s why I think it is best for the league to just cancel this season, it really makes the most sense for everyone involved

      • Anything to get the Habs in the playoffs! Ha

      • Might as well give someone a chance rather than the leafs, when’s the last time they won a round? Ha

  6. What if they do a 20 team scenario, where teams 7-10 play in a best of 3 play in series. That would allow, teams who are close to get a shot. It also, lessens the teams and players coming back.
    It can go by point %, and in the event of ties, go to head to head play. Then goal differential, if necessary.
    I know it’s not ideal, but maybe this is the way to allow a better version of hockey, then going the 24 team route, and having 8 teams leaving in a few days after coming back.
    Just some thoughts.

  7. I think the AHL cancellation is a precursor to the NHL cancellation. There seemed to be a lot of positive momentum last week toward a return to play and announcement of the Draft date and then the week passed with no announcement. The time table for return of players for informal skates and workouts should have resulted in an announcement last week. Seem ominous to me. Cancellation is becoming the simplest route to next season. FA, draft, etc. Not sure the remaining juice is worth the squeeze for this season.
    Also, suggesting that Buffalo could lose their team is crazy. I could see Arizona and Florida, maybe but definitely not an 8 team contraction.

    • Marko, couldn’t agree more re Buffalo but, in every league in North America, the longer this goes on, teams may be forced to re-locate or close up shop.
      It’s the junior and minor pro leagues that are really up against it as they are gate-driven.
      I agree with Chrism that fans should not cheer for other teams to leave town but the reality is that major change could be coming over the next twelve to twenty-four months and contraction could be part of it.

      • I don’t believe contraction is on the way. The NHL has pushed too hard for this 32 team expansion to throw in the towel.

        On the other hand, I don’t agree that no city should lose a team either. That is beyond ridiculous.

        Yes , it sucks… but it’s a business. Fans need to put their asses in seats and buy some merchandise regardless of how their team is playing.

        You can’t boycott games because of standings , then complain when a bleeding team wanted to get the bleep our of dodge.

        Plenty of organizations have survived without success. Some of them being top earners in n the process.

        Ny knicks
        Ny Jets
        Cleveland Browns
        Chicago Cubs
        Boston Red Sox pre 04
        Some of the above fan bases have actually embraced the losing culture.

        Ultimately, be a fan. Not a fair-weather fan and you won’t have anything to worry about.

        Be a fair-weather fan, and don’t complain when your team ends up elsewhere. You were the problem, not the solution.

  8. If the nhl resumes play… 16 24 31 … whatever… all people will see in a couple of years is who won the cup. The nhl will be lauded for finding out a way to salvage the season after a global catastrophe and all talk of What was fair or unfair will be practically non existent. This is what will happen if the league resumes and it successfully navigated covid. If it turns into a disaster the talk in a few years still won’t be about what was fair or unfair it will be about how dumb the nhl was to move forward

    Point being talks about what format works best is essentially irrelevant.

    • Lol, you give way too much credit to people.

      People are still protesting the ending of Game of thrones …. like they had any say in the ending.

      You think any way the nhl chooses to resume the season will go without long lasting backlash?

      I seriously doubt that.

      • Lol so true NYR

    • How about next season guys?
      How is the situation going to be much different? Hopefully more testing available and maybe even a treatment that proves somewhat effective. Ain’t gonna be a vaccine.
      Methinks it will be the same conversation at it’s core.
      Less restrictions on distancing/gathering will still mean more cases this fall/winter.
      We will probably even have more active cases as they start to ease these restrictions in more areas.

  9. The more the NHL changes or rehash an old idea, the more I think fans are being played. The CFL has all but said, no 2020 season. Baseball is very quiet on the issue, and as each day passes by College Football looks doomed for 2020.
    If they hold the draft before playing again it is because they know that the 2020 season and playoffs is dead and to make that cancel season announcement before the draft would kill interest. The second point about not announcing cancelling the season and playoffs is that they then will be faced with requests for refunds, meaning sending money out with nothing coming in. It also would mean 2020-2021 season ticket holders would hold off sending in money, waiting to see when teams could start playing. I think a big part of NFL going ahead like nothing has happened is that they want the season ticket money flowing in.
    If no games, then they will do the “we still think we can start the season March 1 2021 so we will hang on to your money”
    It’s all about the money, honey

  10. I’ll go back to my post of about a week ago …. younger generation’s perspective (I think he’s 20)…. go figure why I agree with him …. Tee Hee

    Here is what I posted:

    “One of my VP’s sons (2nd year Harvard Bus.; BTW) has come up with an economic/logistical/pragmatic solution to the NHL season debacle…..

    Here is a cut and paste of what he sent his dad (who sent it to me)

    Since Leafs and Leafland are 53 years in the waiting and seemingly willing to pay anything for a cup:

    Award ‘20 Cup to Leafs with a ceremony in early September; followed by parade.

    Draft goes mid June as ranked now (Leafs picks gone see below).

    UFA opens as regular on Canada Day.

    Training camp ‘21 to start in mid Sep; with season starting as usual in the first week in Oct. ASG and bye-week remain.

    If pandemic spike and science dictates then play in empty arenas until science approved fans in stands.

    The other side of the equation:

    1. Tory to Levy a one time 1% prop sur-tax

    2. Peel; York; Durham to levy one time 0.5% prop tax

    3. Leafs ticket prices increase by 3% next year

    4. Leaf players who will have their name on cup; 2 year roll-back of 5% of their Sals

    5. Take all those revs; MLSE adds to it (whatever is short) to bring it to $..25 B. This amount goes to NHL for proportionate rev sharing to other 30 teams

    6. Parade coverage ; Stanley Cup awarding coverage; merchandise re ‘20 Cup …. all those revenues to go to NHL other 30 teams as above

    7. Leafs give up their next 30 draft picks (what they have now from the ‘20, ‘21, ‘22, and ‘23 drafts) distributed one to each of the other 30 teams in ranked order of pick “value” to the teams in current standings ranking order

    8. Leafs barred from trades or UFA signings until July 15th

    9. Personal hand written apology/thank-you letter written by EACH of Shanny; Dubas and Tannenbaum; to each of other 30 team’s GMs

    10. Each Leaf player to write thank-you email to each player on other 30 teams (no cut/pastes or group sends)

    11. MLSE to run 29 full page ads in each of top newspapers in the other 29 cities (NY has 2 teams) stating their humblest of apologies as well as lauding thanks

    Give that Harvard kid a 🍺 or 🍺🍺 for being creative 🤓😁”

    • Harvard? Seems more like Devry or Phoenix University.

      • Heh NY4Life,

        With the statement he gave …. just reconfirms (to me LOL) how well he is doing at that unknown (??) school in Cambridge

        I’m more than willing to pay the prop tax increase and increase in ticket price …. ‘cause , it seems that if Dubas is firm on 1/2 Cap on the 4…. that Cup still a dream … distant dream

        Passed it on to my sons (who are in their late 20s) and they flipped on to their circle …. they seem to like the idea!!! 👍

        They’ve only been waiting just North of a 1/4 Century…. 53 Yrs and counting for my circle of friends (all mid/late 50s)

        If we can’t “win” it; we can “buy” it