NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 14, 2020

by | May 14, 2020 | News, NHL | 11 comments

Erik Karlsson explains why he feels his club shouldn’t finish this season, Florida governor said his state is open to pro sports teams, and some prospects want the draft to be held in June. Details and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson made a rational argument against his club potentially completing the rest of the regular season if the NHL resumes playing this summer. He pointed out the Sharks were well out of playoff contention when the schedule was paused. “Obviously for us, it doesn’t really matter what happens to the season, personally. But at the same time, you do feel for the guys and the teams that are in a totally different position.”

San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson (Photo via NHL Images).

Karlsson indicted he’d probably feel differently if the Sharks were a Stanley Cup contender like they were a year ago. “But as of right now, I don’t know what the point is for us to come back if they’re gonna play us five games [and we’ll] be away from our family and friends and put ourselves in that position for pretty much nothing.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Karlsson isn’t the only player on a non-contending team expressing reluctance about completing the regular-season schedule. He makes a good point, as he and his teammates would have little to play for.  Lately, however, reports have emerged indicating the league could be moving away from that format, looking instead on going straight into the post-season schedule. 

ESPN.COM: Florida governor Ron DeSantis said his state is open for professional sports teams to practice and play. “What I would tell commissioners of leagues is, if you have a team in an area where they just won’t let them operate, we’ll find a place for you here in the state of Florida,” said DeSantis.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Florida could be a potential NHL Atlantic Division host location. Arizona also recently made a similar announcement but they’re reportedly not among the contenders to be an NHL neutral-site host.


OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports player agent Andy Scott said the prospects he represents are keen for the NHL to hold the 2020 Draft in June.  “They’d rather have the draft in June and not have all of the anxiety the entire summer of where they’re going to go in the draft,” he said. “They’d rather get it over with, understand what team owns their rights, and be able to have some communication with that team throughout the summer.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Can’t blames those youngsters for wanting to get this done as soon as possible. The league proposed staging the draft next month before resuming this season, but there’s reportedly been pushback against that idea from NHL general managers. A decision could be reached by the end of next week. 

ESPN.COM: Greg Wyshynski reports AHL president David Andrews isn’t ruling out having less than 31 teams participating next season if social distancing rules prevent fans from attending games. “We have 19 NHL-owned teams and 12 independently-owned teams. And the independently owned teams are in very good financial condition, even after what happened in this 2019-20 season,” he said. “But if their businesses aren’t viable, if they have to play in front of an empty building for six months, some of those teams will likely choose not to play.”

Andrews explained his league relies more on gate revenue than the NHL. “We have very little in the way of rights fee revenue for television We have fairly decent streaming revenue, but not enough to sustain [31 teams]. Our corporate partnership revenue is linked to having people in the seats. Without being able to put fans in the seats, it would be a much different-looking league,” he said.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, the AHL could return next season with only 19 clubs in operation. It could be a one-season pause for the dozen independents, but it would certainly raise questions over the long-term futures of those 12 franchises.


  1. Interesting take on completing the regular season schedule. While it would make sense to me that they might go straight into post-season schedule, I wonder what the position on the teams that were still fighting for the final playoff spots would be – would the league organize some sort of a “qualification tournament” for them, or would they simply lose their chance to fight for the final spots?

  2. If they go with a format that does not include any further regular season games then draft seeding can be done based on winning percentage. There shouldn’t be too much whining about draft position by teams that get to participate in the playoff tournament in my opinion. I also think that if a team is included in the playoff format then they should be excluded in the draft lottery. I understand the prospects’ position on wanting the draft to occur. The majority of picks will not play in the NHL this fall and they need to sort out where they will be whether it be AHL, college, juniors, Europe or other. Many will have to make a commitment some time during the summer.

  3. For Erik Karlsson who total salary for 2019 – 2020 season is $14.5m which $11m was in signing bonus and who team is eliminated from any playoff potential, i guess he rather not play. Based on games played he would have $512,195 left owing. He is also on IR.

    I don’t know how the players get paid, if the regular season is done, are the players paid in full?

    • To the best of my understanding, unless they left one check on the table because of the unknown outcome of COVID-19, the general player contract runs for 82 games.
      They should be all paid in full, with individual bonuses to follow.

      • I believe they are paid weekly.

    • Good point. I believe teams should play but individual players should not be subjected to any negative pushback if they sit. Teams should be allowed in that case to call up their prospects… ahl chl if under contract. Those players would probably love an opportunity to get some ice time and show off to gms.

    • @Caper the players voted to turn down the final paycheck to ease the escrow. So, in essence, the players are paid in full. If the season is canceled the players have to return the money just like the NHL would have to give back revenues for not completing the season and playoffs. That`s the reason for awarding the Stanley cup unlike the lockout season where no revenue had to be paid back

  4. Of course the Florida governor is offering Florida as a place to play, just as he opened the beaches for spring break. He has left people open to Covid exposure before and is willing to do it again in the name of economic profit over health concerns. I’m surprised no one else mentioned that.

    • Bad ice is a playoff tradition but Florida ice in the summer might set a new standard. Might even be dangerous but why worry?

      • I can just see the giant fans brought in to blow away the fog when it’s 102F outside. Most won’t remember the 1975 Buffalo fog game


        watch the video right after the first one too

  5. as far as non playoff teams go: I would assume if they play out the regular season, they would have to be included, especially against teams that are still in the playoff hunt.and the bb+t arena in sunrise is a perfect match. many nights this season the upper level was vastly empty. so they easily handle social distancing.