NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 3, 2020

by | May 3, 2020 | News, NHL | 47 comments

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.

A handful of clubs could benefit from proposed changes to this year’s NHL Draft Lottery (Photo via NHL.com).

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.”


  1. I think as a true hockey fan it would be a joke to do the draft early . The thing fans get excited for is trades that happen at the draft . There will be no blockbuster or even small trade just draft of a player . very little excitement after the first dozen picks . NHL is kidding themselves they will get the ratings the NFL got just a joke .

  2. Does it really matter where Ottawa picks.
    Dysfunctional since 1992
    Dorion has been head of scouting since 2007.
    I personally hope they get the # 1 and #2 pick
    It would be fun watching them pick another Alex.
    In the first 27 years they have picked
    # 1 – 3 times
    #2 – 2 times
    # 3 – 1 time
    I am sure as Alexander Daigle said nobody remembers who was picked 2nd.
    Chris Pronger was picked second. Oh well
    I’m not sure I have mentioned this before, drafting is a crap shoot.
    Alexander Daigle was a gonna be a star too.

    • I know you’re just trolling George to try and get a rise out of him, Vinnie. Nevertheless, your comment simply doesn’t hold up under scrutiny.

      Every NHL team has its share of draft busts, some bigger than others. However, the Senators’ draft history contains far more hits than misses.

      Since 1992, they drafted such notables as Alexei Yashin, Pavol Demitra, Daniel Alfredsson, Chris Phillips, Sami Salo, Marian Hossa, Mike Fisher, Chris Neil, Martin Havlat, Chris Kelly, Antoine Vermette, Jason Spezza, Nick Foligno, Erik Karlsson, Mike Hoffman, Mark Stone, Mika Zibanejad, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Thomas Chabot, and Brady Tkachuk.

      Pretty good draft record if you ask me, especially as they’ve been able to find talent throughout various rounds, not just in the first round.

      With two high first-round picks this year, as well as the Isles first-rounder, I like their chances of landing a high-quality player this year.

      • Ahh Lyle, thanks but he’s not worth the effort. That Ottawa bugaboo is so far up his sorry ass he’s lost sight of everything else and can only focus on the bad parts – dragging them up ad nauseam as if no other team has had similar gaffes and he’s relating them for the first time. An early sign of dementia.

      • If you wanna get a rise outta George, might I suggest, a little blue pill?
        Hey, Vinnie!

      • So in 1994 when they drafted Alfredsson . Their picks were
        #3 -Radek Bonk
        #29 -Stan Neckar
        #81 – Bryan Masotta
        #131 – Mike Gaffney
        #133 – Daniel Alfredsson
        Guess it was a smoke screen to throw the other teams off.
        Or maybe it’s just a crap shoot.
        I can do more if you like.
        Yes all teams are like that.
        If Ottawa is good at scouting and finding hidden gems how do they miss on the sure picks.
        Any team can say they found hidden gems because of scouting, makes them sound better. But its luck.

      • And as I noted earlier, Vinnie, the draft may be a crapshoot, but the Senators have played it better than most. Are they luckier than most? Perhaps, but they’re certainly nowhere near as bad as you make them out to be. Sure, you can make the case they got lucky in 1994 with Alfredsson, but they’ve done well in other drafts.

        You talk about missing on the “sure picks”. I’m assuming you’re referring to the first round. Throughout their history, the Senators selected Alexei Yashin, Bryan Berard, Chris Phillips, Marian Hossa, Martin Havlat, Anton Volchenkov, Jason Spezza, Nick Foligno, Erik Karlsson, Mika Zibanejad, Thomas Chabot, and Brady Tkachuk. That’s a pretty good record of first-round selections.

        No team hits the jackpot with first-rounders every year. It’s easy to cherry-pick those years that didn’t pan out. But if you’re trying to claim the Senators do poorly at the draft table, the facts don’t support that insinuation.

      • Personally I like Cialis, better commercials

      • Shore gets a


      • And I love radek bonk. One of the most fun names in nhl history.

  3. Didn’t know George owned the Senators.
    I like their chances as well but they probably will make another trade.
    I followed the criteria Lyle I was talking hockey on the article and team of the day. Thought I was allowed my opinion
    Lyle, I think you made it about George.

    • I didn’t say you weren’t allowed your opinion, Vinnie. Based on your previous interactions with George on this site, however, it was obvious you’re trying to troll him with your comment.

      You claim the draft is a crapshoot. If so, the Senators’ draft record is a clear indication they play that game better than most.

      As for them being dysfunctional, most of the blame for that belongs to their ownership, extending back beyond the Melnyk years. Their management and scouting departments since the mid-1990s, however, have done fine work drafting and developing talent.

      “Make another trade”? Of what? I’m assuming you mean if they get the first overall pick, but what’s your basis for that theory? On a bad draft pick made 30 years ago by someone who isn’t the Sens’ GM now? If so, it’s weaker than wet tissue.

      • No actually you made it about George.
        In 2016 Ottawa at
        #11 Logan Brown
        Could of had
        #14 – Charlie McAvoy or
        #16- Jacob Chychrun
        In 2018 Ottawa took
        #4 Brady Tkachuk
        Could of had
        #7 Quinn Hughes
        Tkachuk is just another Lucic in a couple of years can’t skate. If he has to do two things he falls down and a minus player at that.
        In 2019 they took Bowen Byram. No wait that was Colorado.
        Oh well I guess you go all in when you have a team one goal from the finals .
        Especially when you are sushi a great evaluator of talent

      • You can make that claim about a number of teams, Vinnie.

        Several clubs passed on McAvoy and Chychrun in 2016. The Oilers picked Puljujarvi, the Canucks’ Juolevi, the Sabres’ Alexander Nylander, the Avs went with Tyson Jost and the Hurricanes with Jake Bean. So why single out the Senators?

        Sure, the Sens could’ve had Hughes, but they got a very good player in Tkachuk. Besides, the Canadiens, Coyotes, and Red Wings also passed on Hughes, instead selecting players who’ve yet to establish themselves as Tkachuk did. Maybe they will, maybe they won’t, but I doubt there’s an NHL team anywhere right now who wouldn’t want Brady Tkachuk on their roster. So why mock the Senators for that 2018 first-round pick?

        Yes, they traded away their first-rounder in 2019, but they’re sitting pretty right now with their own first plus the Sharks’ first. In the current draft order, they’re second and third overall. They can fall no further than third and fourth overall in the draft order. That’s an excellent position to be in.

        Earlier, you noted Dorion was head of scouting since 2007. During that period, they drafted Erik Karlsson, Zack Smith, Jakob Silfverberg, Robin Lehner, Mike Hoffman, Mark Stone, Mika Zibanejad, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Thomas Chabot, Colin White, and Brady Tkachuk. Pretty good job by Dorion. If they get the first and second overall picks as you hope, they’ll likely select Alexis Lafreniere and Quinton Byfield, the two top prospects according to the NHL’s Central Scouting report.

        You also said it’ll be fun watching them select another Alex, which I’m assuming you mean Daigle. Why do you assume they’ll do that? That was nearly 30 years ago under a completely different management team.

      • Lyle ,look up the definition of dysfunctional. It would include ownership. That might help you understand.
        You can goggle it.

      • Vinnie, I would still take Tkachuk over Hughes or Chychrun. Pleant of teams missed on McAvoy, thankfully.
        Time to step up to the mic Vinnie – Who should OTT take if they draft at 2 & 3, their current spots. Mine are below.

      • This whole thing is bologna. If it wasn’t Ottawa with the first round pick another team picks daigle. He was consensus first overall. I don’t think Ottawa was ever accused of going dramatically off the board hence it was them and scouts around the league who had these players ranked high. The other thing is you never know how players develop if drafted by someone else. Does alfredson turn into a star on say the leafs? Does Daigle meet his potential if drafted by said leafs? One can’t ever know.

      • Not like you to take the bait, Lyle.

      • A troll (noun) was originally a mythical ugly creature, now it usually means an intentionally disruptive person on the internet. … That’s how baiting people on the internet came to be known as trolling, not because the people doing the trolling are considered to be ugly people, or such.

        I looked it up by Goggling it.

  4. Well Vinnie DID remind me of something today. The 1994 first round was about as garbage as I’ve ever seen.

    Jamie Storr, Brett Lindros, Jason Weimer …. the only thing memorable about that draft class is how forgettable it was!

    • Ny4Life, Brett Lindros was a good prospect whose career ended quickly because of concussions. We never did see his true potential.

      • He was definitely not Eric Lindros, that’s for sure. He has 7 points in 51 games…

        Either way, overall that draft was terrible.

  5. I’m still very against draft preceding Cup/Season end

    The rank as is (pts %) and max move up of one team by 4 mitigates some (but nowhere near all) concerns

    However unlikely …. the proposal mathematically could (very very slim chance but could)….

    Have Ducks winning draft (Lafranierre); and somehow going on a tear; getting in; continuing tear and winning cup….. or

    Blues picking 30th and out in 4; or even a much longer shot (but still mathematically possible)… Blues finishing out of the playoffs (where they would have had a remote probability under current system; of winning lottery (Lafrenniere) )

    Also under proposal :

    Wild can pick as high as 7th ; and as at now are 1 point out of a playoff spot

    Panthers can pick as high as 10th and are only 3 points behind both Leafs and Jackets with a game in hand AND a head-to-head remaining with Leafs

    That …. and no trades with players ????

    …. and all those conditional picks to be potentially “re-negotiated”

    …. and

    ….. and

    …. and

    ….. all to drum up excitement for resumption of season and/or playoffs????

    I truly believe that the pent up “need” “wish” “desire” for resumption (by fans) is already there. Safety first of course but is a draft in June going to drum up massive excitement enough to overcome the tremendous amount of negative outcomes as a result of draft B4 season end/playoffs???? To me ….. NO!!!!!


    • They could make it very interesting. Any players traded for could be available for the acquiring team to use right away, to finish the season and the playoffs.

  6. George, for arguments sake, if the Sens draft in their current slots at 2 & 3, who do you take?
    Me it is Byfield and Drysdale.
    Luv that Drysdale kid in the WJC as a 17 year old. The longer the tourney went on the more they threw him over the boards. Skates great, aggressive and confident. Impressive as 17 year old D rarely make Team Canada let alone play like that.

    • Yeah, that’ll be a toughie Ray, and they could very well go that way. But as I said yesterday, where things stand now their biggest immediate need is scoring. They’ve stocked up on some good D prospects in recent years (Thomson, Bernard-Docker, Jaros, Wolanin, Brannstrom, Engeland, Zub) so I just have a feeling they’ll go for the best F available at 2 and 3 and that should be Byfield and Stutzle.

      • Ya, I get that George, it makes sense.To be fair can’t say I watched many German games.
        I know I’m making a big deal out of one tourney, but he looks like he has the proverbial “it”.

  7. While I don’t like the idea of the draft before they finish the regular season, I don’t think that would stop trades completely. Not sure about this but can they make trades, it just that players cannot play in the playoffs for their new team ?
    If that is the case, then I can see trades between teams that know they won’t be in playoffs. I can see trades whereas a team is trying to dump a salary & adding a pick to a team willing to take on a salary to get that pick say Steen ( St Louis) + #1 pick to Jersey. Ya it would screw Steen but Jersey would want that pick ( or fit in Ducks, SJ, Kings etc). Question is can teams make trades NOW & before the end of the season ?

  8. Can’t help to think that the general consensus among the NHL head honchos is this draft flat. What I’ve seen/read is there seems to be a handful of top end talent but not many stars but a lot of serviceable players that will make the team that drafts them. And so knowing this, I wonder if they feel as some of us do, if you’re picking anywhere after the 10th-15th pick, you’re probably can get a similar player down in the 30s-50th picks.

    After all all drafts are a crap shoot where even in a normal year, only 6 or 7 players drafted in the top 10 become successful regular NHLers.

      • You’re right pengy, I don’t know where Ron is getting his information from but everyone is saying this is the deepest draft since 2003

  9. Has anyone done the math – who are the 15 teams and in what order?

    • Since they’re proposing win percentage, it’ll look like this:

      Detroit Red Wings (.275)
      Ottawa Senators (.437)
      San Jose Sharks (.450)
      LA Kings (.457)
      Anaheim Ducks (.472)
      New Jersey Devils (.493)
      Buffalo Sabres (.493)
      Montreal Canadiens (.500)
      Chicago Blackhawks (.514)
      Arizona Coyotes (.529)
      Minnesota Wild (.558)
      Winnipeg Jets (.563)
      New York Rangers (.564)
      Calgary Flames (.564)
      Florida Panthers (.565)

      • I see some potential deals here. If the draft order listed is the final draft order, then I see some interesting deals in play.
        I am in So Cal so don’t see a lot about draft prospects but from what I read there are 6-7-8 players that will be AAA and after that the next 30-40 or so could fall anywhere. In Southern California both the Kings and Ducks have drafted a lot of forwards the past couple of years, I am guessing both want a shot at Drysdale. One or neither may get him ( neither if Ottawa takes him). That leaves one or both wondering, do we take the best forward or do we trade down ? Minnesota / NYR / NJ each have two or more first round picks.
        Montreal has one #1 and I think 4-#2s,
        so does Minny/NYR/ maybe Montreal give up a bundle of #1 & #2’s to get the 5 or 6 pick in the draft ?

  10. Ray I like Byfield as well. Big centers are needed. And they traded Zibanejad away so that may fix that. To be honest with the next pick I would see what is available because of the salary cap situation. You might get some very high end talent for that pick.
    Ray , assumed you were asking what I would do if I was G.M of Ottawa.
    The have enough so called prospects, they need players to help. They have the cap space so quit sand bagging. And don’t tell me it’s Melnyk.
    He got tired of paying all the money on bad contracts .

    • LOL, now there’s a blast from the past. It might be time for me to update that list since its publication over five years ago.

      • Things have definitely changed for some teams on that list. Tampa , Toronto etc.

      • We’re #1, hey, we’re #1,hey!

  11. Yes , all that bad drafting by Toronto and Ottawa’s elite scouting in the same period and the steals in the 90’s by Ottawa
    And yet Toronto played Ottawa 4 times in the playoffs and won all 4 series
    16 games to 8 games
    That was with all the elite scouting by Ottawa.
    The draft is a crap shoot.

    • Meanwhile, from 2005-06 to 2016-17, the Leafs reached the playoffs just twice in 12 seasons and were eliminated in the first round on both occasions. During the same period, the Senators reached the playoffs eight times, including the Stanley Cup Final in 2007 (which the Leafs haven’t done since 1967) and the Eastern Conference Final in 2017 (which the Leafs haven’t done since 2002).

      In that time frame, the Leafs’ notable draft picks included James Reimer, Luke Schenn, Nazem Kadri, Morgan Rielly, William Nylander, Mitch Marner, and Auston Matthews. The latter four are playing significant roles in the Leafs’ success since 2017, but their overall draft record before them was pretty weak.

      From 05-06 to 12-13, the Senators had lineups featuring notable draft picks like Alfredsson, Spezza, Phillips, Neil, Fisher, Kelly, Volchenkov, and Foligno. From 2010 to 2018, their lineups also featured Karlsson, Stone, Hoffman, Zibanejad, and Pageau.

      From these comparisons, we can see the Senators got more from their draft picks than the Leafs did over the same period.

      Of course, the Leafs since 2016-17 have far gotten more from Rielly, Nylander, Marner, and Matthews than the Senators from their draft picks over the same period. That trend should hold for the next several years. The Senators have two youngsters in Chabot and Tkachuk blossoming into stars in their own right, but they’re not on the same level as the aforementioned Leafs stars. Time will tell if the Senators’ selections since 2018 and those to come in 2020 and 2021 turn Ottawa into a playoff contender again.

      As I noted before, if the draft is a crapshoot, the Senators have played that game much better than most through most of their history.

      • And Lyle with the mic drop…………

      • Boom

  12. Lyle, did you look up dysfunctional yet. You should.
    I’m glad I get to express my opinions on here.
    I got to remember Ottawa good.
    Toronto bad .
    Ottawa good
    Toronto bad
    George right
    Vinnie wrong
    It was a beautiful day riding the motorcycle. The sun was shining and their wasn’t much traffic.

    • You claimed the Senators did poorly at the draft table. I merely pointed out that wasn’t the case, providing examples to disprove your claim. Have a nice day! 🙂

    • The martyr look doesn’t fit. Try a new approach.

  13. Fun discussion again today.
    See everyone tomorrow!