NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 3, 2020
Red Wings, Senators, and Jets could benefit from early NHL draft, plus the latest on Evander Kane, Borje Salming, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan reports a proposed change to the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery format could improve the Detroit Red Wings’ chances of landing the first-overall pick, which will likely be used to select top prospect Alexis Lafreniere of the QMJHL’s Rimouski Oceanic. Under the league’s proposal, only one draw would take place instead of three, meaning teams can move up no more than four spots in the draft order.
The league would use points percentage based on the standings when the schedule was paused on March 12 to determine the 15 clubs eligible for the lottery and their odds of winning. Under that scenario, the Wings (who have the league’s worst record this season) would fall no lower than second overall.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports teams could fall back only one position under the proposed change. The Senators (who also hold the San Jose Sharks’ first-rounder) have the second-worst record and would only fall back to No. 3 and No.4. The Sharks have the third-worst record.
WINNIPEG SUN: Scott Billeck believes the proposal could also benefit the Jets. If the league goes by points percentage to determine the draft order, the Jets would be 12th in the draft order, with an opportunity to move up four spots in the lottery.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: While most NHL general managers are reportedly against staging the draft before the anticipated July resumption of the schedule, the league is pushing for it in hopes of generating excitement among hockey fans as it gears up for its potential return to action.
It’s believed the league set June 5th as its target date to allow time for preparation. A board of governors’ conference call is reportedly slated for Monday, with a decision expected by Tuesday.
CALGARY SUN: Flames general manager Brad Treliving said the move toward a possible reopening of the season is good news but cautions the league is still reliant on health authorities to ensure the health and safety of all parties. He also said his players won’t get preferential treatment for COVID-19 screening because the team must follow Alberta’s health and safety guidelines.
TSN: San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane hopes the league and his fellow players do a better job of showcasing themselves when they return to business. “People need to see our faces,” said Kane. “People need to know who we are because, as biased as I may be, I think hockey’s the greatest sport by far on Earth and we don’t get enough credit as players and our league doesn’t get enough respect for what we do.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That will require a significant cultural shift within a league and a sport long resistant to change. So many of today’s best players have public personas as bland as unbuttered toast. It could take another generation before we see the changes Kane is calling for.
TORONTO STAR: Maple Leafs great Borje Salming spoke about his personal experience with the coronavirus. He was hospitalized in mid-March with suspected COVID-19 symptoms after having difficulty breathing. “When you get this, you can’t breathe. And you know when you can’t breathe, you die. So stay home, stay safe. It’s no fun to get it, so I’m lucky I’m home. But you have to be careful.” Salming has since made a full recovery.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Glad to see Salming has recovered. Follow his advice, folks. “This virus is really crazy,” he said. “So, what I wanted to say, is you have to stay home and be safe.”