NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 16, 2020

by | May 16, 2020 | News, NHL | 19 comments

A plan to resume the season could be coming soon, the latest on this year’s draft, P.K. Subban believes he’s still among the top defensemen, Ales Hemsky retires, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


TVA SPORTS: Renaud Lavoie reports a source claims the NHL and NHL Players’ Association could have a plan in place next week to determine what the remainder of the 2019-20 schedule will look like. Several issues must be worked out with the Canadian and American governments regarding travel, work vias, and self-quarantining. Decisions must also be reached determining the four hub cities and the type of playoff format. An NHL Board of Governors meeting is set tor Monday, which could shed more light on this plan.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars owner Tom Gaglardi believes “there’s a very high likelihood” the NHL will stage its postseason at some point this summer. “I expect we will play the season. I think we’re down to logistics, said Gaglardi. “I keep saying it, people that talk to me are tired of hearing it, but it really comes down to being able to test, effectively test on a timely basis. If we can test, I think the season is going to happen.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Calgary Flames general manager Brad Treliving also hinted this week that a decision on a return-to-play schedule could be coming soon. Whenever it does, we’ll get more details on how those other issues will be addressed. The host cities will be decided by local and state/provincial officials. Toronto mayor John Tory cautioned pro sports (even without fans) might not return to his city until this fall. That would take Toronto out of the running as a host city. 

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch scolds some NHL general managers for their resistance toward staging the 2020 Draft in June before the presumption of this season. The proposed draft lottery format based on points percentage, the risk of the draft lottery winner going on to win the Stanley Cup, the inability to trade established NHL players, and the possibility of non-contending Chicago Blackhawks and Montreal Canadiens being able to participate in an expanded playoff format are among their concerns.

New Jersey Devils defenseman P.K. Subban (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Garrioch believes those general managers are missing a golden opportunity to capitalize on the lack of live sports for big programming ratings by holding the draft in June.

I disagree.

As The Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson observed, the NFL got big ratings last month for its draft because more sports fans follow US college football than follow junior, college, and European hockey, which is where NHL prospects come from.

The possibility of a blockbuster trade involving established NHL stars generates as much excitement during the draft as the coverage of the opening round. Without those trades, many fans will probably tune out following the first round. 


NJ.COM: Despite a lousy performance this season, New Jersey Devils defenseman P.K. Subban still believes he’s among the NHL best defensemen. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Subban’s play has declined since 2017-18, prompting some to suggest that his best seasons are behind him, as well as stoking criticism that he’s putting more focus on his interests outside hockey. The 31-year-old’s confidence in his abilities remains unshakable, but he’ll need a strong performance next season to silence his doubters. 

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets winger Patrik Laine and goaltender Connor Hellebuyck are among the NHL stars taking part in an upcoming Fortnite tournament for charity. Others include Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon, Carolina’s Sebastian Aho, Ottawa’s Thomas Chabot, Toronto’s Mitch Marner, and Calgary’s Johnny Gaudreau.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno is regularly checking in with his teammates on their mental health. 

SPORTSNET: The minimum wage class-action lawsuit against the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) has been settled for $30 million. It brings to an end a six-year standoff with former players over whether “WHL, OHL, and QMJHL players are “employees” or “student-athletes.” 

TSN: The Washington Capitals extended its affiliation with the AHL’s Hershey Bears. 

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Former NHL winger Ales Hemsky announced his retirement. He spent nearly 11 of his 15 NHL seasons with the Edmonton Oilers, followed by stops with the Ottawa Senators, Dallas Stars, and Montreal Canadiens, amassing 174 goals and 572 points in 845 NHL games. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A slick playmaker, Hemsky’s best seasons were with the Oilers, which included two 70-plus point performances. He probably would’ve had more if not for injuries. Best of luck to him in his future endeavors. 


  1. I think having the draft when the season is over makes the most sense. Trades is what makes it exciting after the first 10 picks.
    Bruce Garrioch wants it now for obvious reasons. He reports on Ottawa and they have numerous picks. Makes his job easier, would something to report on.
    Subban probably could return to a great player on the right team. But not many can afford his cap hit.

    • Subban could be one of the players who benefits from extended time off. If he gets fit and healthy, he could definitely help any team.

      • I don’t know…….I watched a lot of devils games more to see what hughes is doing but pk has lost something in his game, and at 9 million he’s probably going to have to finish his contract out in nj

  2. So, all the “concern” about when the draft is held centres around the opinions of GMs, fans, TV ratings etc., but not a bit about the people to be drafted, many of whom have real concerns about exactly where they are going to be this fall, depending vert much in some cases upon which team drafts them – back to college/junior/Europe, the NHL, the AHL (which may not HAVE a season, the ECHL, etc.

    But no problem – they don’t really count in the final analysis.

    • George O i hear that arguement another including Bob MacKenzie and Bob did say he has no other reason then doing it for the kids.

      Personally I disagree the NHL draft is a major component of how GM shapes their teams and the affect it has for years.

      Just doing it for the sake of doing it without all the trades that may or may not happen doesn’t make sense.

      Yes the kids will have to be patient there will be a draft that we know 100% but there might not be a season or playoffs, league may not start up in October or November.

      Doing it just so the kids are drafted today and have peace of mind, isn’t a good enough reason to throw the draft with its major trade component under the bus.

      • Well, since all we in here have are opinions, mine is that it’s WAY more than merely “peace of mind” Caper – there are MAJOR decisions to be made by those kids and precious little time to do it. And after all, THEY are the primary reason for the draft. As far as I’m concerned screw the multi-millionaires in the NHL and among the sponsors and TV moguls.

      • George O lol screw all the millionaire in the NHL, what is that some of these youthful players getting ready to be drafted will become?

        I agree we all have opinions and mind is different then your today. Tomorrow we may agree on something different.

  3. as a Devils fan, I have to say that the beginning of the season was a travesty for the entire team, including Subban. poor offense, bad defense, bad special teams, average goaltending.

    when Nasreddine replaced Hynes, the players showed much more effort. the defense had much more structure. Subban went from a train wreck defensively under Hynes to a solid dman under Nasredddine. it really shows what structure can do.

    if the Devils ownership and management is smart, they will realize they won’t be contending for next year, and give Nasreddine the full time spot. with his defensive structure in place, Subban hopefully will continue to be solid and have a much better year.

    also note, Subban wasn’t even on the team’s top PP under Nas, as his offensive game has turned into just slap shots, nothing else.
    sure PK has confidence, but he is nowhere close to a top d-man anymore. he is basically a #3 or #4 two-way dman who plays on the 2nd PP.

    in terms of the draft, considering how short of a window between the end of the playoffs and next season (basically a month), to hold free agency, arbitration AND the draft, I should think it’s better to have the draft in June. As I proposed earlier, allow players to be traded during the draft, but the traded players would be ineligible for this playoff season. some trades will occur has teams will worry about their cap structure for next season. also, we do over exaggerate about the possibility of major trades. look at the past few drafts, the major trades have barely occurred. teams are afraid to make big trades because they are afraid to lose the trade to other GMs.

    just makes too much sense to have the draft next month, instead of forcing everything into October along with free agency and arbitration.

    • Pk has a reputation of being self serving, with that said no denying his talent and what he gives back to the community.

      He certainly was not one of the best dman this season.

      Question is can he refocus and become what he was once was.

    • MikeP,
      I too am a Devil fan. And yes the team has played better after the firing of Haynes, but the statement that Naserdine has brought more defensive structure is a bit inaccurate.
      The Devils got world class goaltending from Blackwood, during this stretch. It’s the main reason, they aren’t a lock to pick 1st overall.
      Now, don’t get me wrong, I do like Naserdine, but with other coaches available (Gallant, Especially) the organization should think long and hard about who steers the ship going forward.
      As for P.K. I agree with you. The thing I have noticed with P.K. has been his skating style has changed from past years, as he is more upright now, then when he was younger. I believe this has to do with his back issues.

      • I find it hard to believe that all 2 devils fans are here on the same day!🤪

  4. The USA is still very much a Covid-19 hot spot with about 1/3 the world’s reported cases and over 28% of the world’s deaths and I’m sure this is why the Canadian Government has recently stated there will be no rush to open the border. If MLB gets underway, the Toronto Blue Jays will be playing in Florida because of the closed border. When the border is open, will it be open to certain people (like hockey players) or will it be open to everyone. I love my hockey and baseball but until the USA’s Covid-19 statistics vastly improve, I would prefer the borders stay closed and the NHL starts planning for next year.

    • Yup. Whether some of us in here like it or not, pro sports is at or near the bottom of a long list of priorities, not only for the provincial and federal governments in Canada, but also for the millions who have lost their jobs (20,000 more at Air Canada just announced).

      • George O don’t under estimate the will of the people and government officials wanting the economy to get back up and running and pro sports plays a part in that.

        Maybe my opion is different because in Manitoba we presently have only 28 active cases in a population of 1.3 million so we are running for low and ad of yesterday was 4 straight days of no new cases.

      • Wait til you “open it up” – as they’re finding out in South Korea. Then see how fast it’s shut down again when the cases spike. And without a vaccine it’s inevitable thanks to the millions of asymptomatic types who have yet to be tested and who will carry it in without realizing it. And don’t be fooled by the “hot humid weather” promise to curtail its spread. It’s rampant in The Philippines and Singapore and the last I heard they’re always hot and humid.

        The last thing we need to hear is that it can by carried by mosquitoes, in which case you guys in Manitoba are up that well-known creek 🙂

  5. If the draft is held in June and based on winning percentage then they must set a 16 team playoff also based on winning percentage. Otherwise they look Bush league and making it up based on a hidden agenda I.e letting bid market teams for ratings in that should be out like chicago and Montreal.

    • @Wendel17higgins, Agreed on that point and the thought of putting the rest of the regular season in is ridiculous, as If I’m a player on a team with no playoff chance there is nothing to gain ,no motivation, and risk getting C19 and leaving they’re family for weeks and risk injury and lose next season. Teams miss the playoffs every year by 1 game, and this season would be like a labor stoppage season being short on games ,so I say go straight to the post season and get on with it.

    • If teams aren’t mathematically out I don’t see how you can’t let them in the playoffs, the leafs lost 8 of their last 10 a few years back to drop from 2nd in the division to out of a playoff spot! My stance is still cancel the season and prepare for the next

  6. more sports fans follow US college football than follow junior, college, European hockey and the NHL COMBINED