NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 25, 2020

by | May 25, 2020 | News, NHL | 17 comments

Some positive reaction to the league proposed 24-team return-to-play tournament, New York state allowing pro teams to resume training, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

**UPDATE** The NHL has published its framework for Phase 2 of its Phased Return To Sport Protocol. You can read the details by following this link. I’ll have more on this in tomorrow’s Morning Coffee Headlines. 

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Unlike some who feel the NHL’s return-to-play proposal could be a travesty, Mike McIntyre suggests it could be the most memorable Stanley Cup playoffs in our lifetime.

There won’t be any home-ice advantage, while the playing field will be level for the most part because many players have recovered from nagging injuries. It also provides for some potentially entertaining match-ups, such as the Calgary Flames and Winnipeg Jets squaring off in the best-of-five play-in series.

McIntyre doesn’t feel this tournament should become the new normal. Provided the health and safety of everyone involved can be assured, he thinks this could give sports fans starved for live events the opportunity to enjoy this unique tournament from the comfort of their homes.

STARTRIBUNE.COM: Jim Souhan acknowledged the daunting logistical hurdles the NHL must clear to safely stage this tournament, including COVID-19 testing, finding suitable hub cities, international travel issues, and the absence of the usual “sportstuff” that accompanies the game, such as fans and media scrums.

Nevertheless, Souhan suggests hungry sports fans should take what they can get, appreciate the players willing to take this risk, and hope the league is doing this because it can ensure the players’ safety. 

For Pittsburgh Penguins winger Patrick Marleau, the proposed 24-team tournament could be his last chance to play for the Stanley Cup (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The critics of this proposed tournament raised legitimate concerns. If the league cannot assure the health and safety of everyone involved, from the players, team and training staff, arena staff, broadcasting crews, plus all those involved in feeding, housing, and transporting those people, then no, this tournament shouldn’t happen.

On the other hand, the NHL will earn justifiable plaudits if they can pull this off, providing an example for other major professional sports leagues. I expect many of those voicing opposition to this tournament will tune in to follow the outcome. If this is done in careful steps, it’s worth a try.

TRIBLIVE.COM: For Patrick Marleau, this tournament could be his last shot at playing for the Stanley Cup. The 40-year-old Pittsburgh Penguins winger is in the twilight of his career and could retire after this season.

SPORTSNET: New York state governor Andrew Cuomo yesterday announced professional sports teams could resume training as of Sunday. Those include the New York Islanders and New York Rangers, as both clubs are eligible to participate in the proposed 24-team tournament.

NEW YORK POST: The league hasn’t told the Rangers (or Islanders) when they can reopen their facilities. We have yet to set a date on which clubs may reopen their facilities for training and, eventually, formal training camps,” NHL group VP of communications John Dellapina told The Post via email. “We are still working with the NHL Players’ Association (NHLPA) on a league-wide plan to return to play.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Phase 2 of the NHL’s return-to-play plan involves players returning to their respective NHL cities and taking part in small-group training in their team facilities. That could go into effect in early- or mid-June.

THE DETROIT NEWS: Representatives for Red Wings forward Dmytro Timoshov denied a recent report out of Russia claiming their client was close to signing with the KHL’s Dinamo Riga in Latvia.

NEWSDAY: Construction on the New York Islanders’ new arena at Belmont Park is expected to resume on Wednesday.


  1. Hi Lyle

    Was having trouble over the weekend trying to get on your site.

    The web browser looked like it was attempting to get in but never could. Tried on cell; iPad and computer.

    It looks like others posted; was it temporarily down and that is when I was attempting to get in?

    Just asking and thanks in advance for your response

    • Oh man. Pengy got back in. Quick everyone! Turn off the lights! Ssshhhhh!!!!!

      • That Pengy is a nutcase isn’t he!

    • Hi, Pengy. I’ve been dealing with host server issues since Saturday. Not easy to do over the course of an American holiday weekend.

      Simply refresh the page or clear your cache and it should address the issue until I can get this server issue sorted.


      • I never got denied getting in but sometimes the circling butthole in the top left of my phone was present for a good minute.

      • Thanks Lyle

        I did try refreshing over and over but was still having trouble getting in; sometimes I got a message from GoDaddy telling me to do the same

        Looks like Oki Doki today

        Thanks again and Cheers

      • Chrisms

        …. so many lines coming to mind re “ circling butthole in the top left of my phone”…. 😂

  2. Re

    “If the league cannot assure the health and safety of everyone involved, from the players, team and training staff, arena staff, broadcasting crews, plus all those involved in feeding, housing, and transporting those people, then no, this tournament shouldn’t happen.” ….. I would add “and players families”

    • Couldn’t the League have come up with a way to reward patient fans?
      Where is Boston-Montreal,

      • Hi Mark

        As it stands now; proposal would have Pens/Flyers if Pens beat Habs

    • Exactly Pengy. As I indicated the other day, the well-being of their families is every bit an issue as is that of the players and others associated with doing the games. And the first positive case will result in immediate shut-down.

      I understand the burning desire for everything to get back to normal as soon as possible – including sporting events – but the simple fact is, this is NOT just going to fade away – not until there is a viable and world-wide ready vaccine. And according to those who should know – i.e., the ones trying to develope it – that is upwards of two years away.

      We can’t subsist on wishful-thinking and talking around it as if it won’t be an ongoing issue for quite some time.

  3. Re “McIntyre doesn’t feel this tournament should become the new normal.”….

    Fully agree; but I wouldn’t be surprised if post Seattle expansion it goes to 20 playoff teams….

    Remember pre Sharks expansion for over a decade 16 of 21 (76%) made it

    This Covid one off proposal has 24/31 (77%) making it

    Keeping 16 after Seattle joins….50%??

    If (I think they should) they increase playoff bound numbers post Seattle ; then 20 (~63%) IMHO is not unrealistic

    Not sure how it would be done; perhaps 4 WCs per Conference play best of 3 while top 6 per Conf get a bye; after which there is 16…

    Seeding/re-seeding rules TBD

    Just sayin’

    • As stated again by Lyle that naysayers will tune in… I completely agree as I am a naysayer I don’t think this should happen but I am starting to think it will… and I will watch EVERY minute! Just concerned for everyone’s safety. Not to mention the legalities if people get sick and die and then point to the NHL as the culprit. The lawsuits could be devastating to the health of the League. I do believe public safety is more important than sports.

      • I agree Steven , I’ll watch but I’m more worried about getting back to every day life

  4. Everyone says whoever wins the Stanley Cup this year will have an asterisk beside it.
    I would assume they would be a far superior champion for having to endure isolation from their families , the stronger chance of infection because I doubt they play 2 meters apart.
    Whoever wins this year if played would be the ultimate champion

    • I kinda agree but is it really going to be playoff hockey? No fans no goal celebration, no scrums after the whistle? It just seems like it might be lame in that way

    • Agreed, Vinnie. Lots more stress on the players, plus it’s a much more unique set of circumstances. Five rounds instead of four, with at least the play-in as a best-of-five. No home-ice advantage, no fans, lots of extra precautions and essentially living in a bubble for perhaps two months isolated from family. That asterisk talk is nonsense. Whoever wins the Cup this year, provided the league can pull this off, will have more than earned it.