NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 5, 2020

by | May 5, 2020 | News, NHL | 34 comments

The latest on the league’s 2020 Draft proposal, Oilers and Canucks among clubs looking to host neutral-site games plus updates on Sidney Crosby, Philipp Grubauer, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


TSN’s Pierre LeBrun took to Twitter yesterday reporting a good discussion on Monday’s NHL Board of Governors’ conference call over staging the 2020 draft in June before the resumption of the schedule. A decision is expected later this week or sometime next week. Deputy commissioner Bill Daly said, “We think it’s more important to get the right decision than to get a quick decision.”

NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly (Photo via NHL.com).

In his column for The Athletic (subscription required), LeBrun reported holding the draft in June doesn’t require approval from the board of governors. Teams will also seek more clarification regarding the trades involving conditional picks in this year’s draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The NHL may claim it wants to take some time to make the right decision, but most pundits seem to feel this is a fait accompli. It appears league headquarters wants to stage the draft in June to drum up excitement among hockey fans for the potential resumption fo the season in July or August.

TSN: Travis Yost points out the potential revisions to this year’s draft lottery would give the Detroit Red Wings a 57 percent cumulative probability of winning the first-overall selection. Bob McKenzie reports the lottery rules will revert to the system last used in 2012, where only one of the bottom-five clubs has a chance of winning that pick. Those teams include the Red Wings, Ottawa Senators, San Jose Sharks, Los Angeles Kings, and Anaheim Ducks. The Senators hold the Sharks’ pick. Teams outside that group can still win the lottery, but would only move up four spots in the order.

SPORTSNET: Chris Johnston reviewed every NHL trade involving conditional picks in this year’s draft, ranking them from the easiest to resolve to the most difficult. Those in the latter category include the conditional third-rounder the Edmonton Oilers packaged with Milan Lucic to the Calgary Flames for James Neal, and the conditional fourth the New Jersey Devils received from the Carolina Hurricanes in the Sami Vatanen deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sorting out the conditional picks will be a challenge. Under the league’s proposal, it would give the teams involved the option of sorting it out among themselves or the league will do it for them.


THE ATHLETIC: Pierre Lebrun reports between 11 and 14 teams submitted bids to be among the four hub cities for the resumption of the season. This format isn’t the only option but is considered the leading one. He also indicated a few league governors favor delaying resumption as long as possible, perhaps a September-October playoff, when it might be possible for the 16 playoff clubs to host games in their own arenas.

THE SCORE: The Vancouver Canucks and Edmonton Oilers are reportedly among the teams to submit bids to be a host city.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The league and the NHL Players Association have yet to decide on the format for restarting the schedule or when the schedule could resume. It’s believed the league is targeting early June to open training camps for their 31 clubs.


TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby donated 100,000 meals to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. That’s the equivalent of 120,000 pounds of food.

THE DENVER POST: Colorado Avalanche goaltender Philipp Grubauer said he was just days away from returning from a lower-body injury when the schedule was paused. He added he’s been cycling 100 miles per day in the Denver area.

ESPN.COM: Over 65 percent of sports fans surveyed favor sports returning to action without fans in the stands. That number rises to 76 percent when asked if they support a return without fans in the stands if players were kept in hotels and their contact with others was closely monitored.

The New Jersey Devils are giving their fans options for a full refund of their remaining tickets for this season to ticket donations for front-line workers in the COVID-19 pandemic.



  1. I’m surprised crosby didn’t donate 87,000 meals.

  2. Doing the draft like that solves some issues. However it still hinders the draft itself. Teams will be locked in their positions ounce the lottery is done. How will a team beable to move up the draft if trade is restricted due to this being mid season and after the deadline.

    All things will be equal but draft day trades bring excitement and viewership.

    • The possibility of trading established NHL players brings an extra buzz to the proceedings that will be absent under the league’s proposal for this year’s draft.

      The Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson pointed out hockey fans don’t follow junior, European, or college hockey with the same intensity that sports fans follow US college football. As a result, he doesn’t expect as much excitement for this year’s NHL draft compared to the recent NFL Draft.

      • Add this to the fact that NFL draftees, even those drafted in the later rounds, are expected to contribute immediately while NHL draftees, other than those at the very top, will likely not be heard from for a couple of years. The NHL is irrationally exuberant because of the way the NFL draft was well received, but having the draft before the season is cancelled or completed would be a huge mistake.

  3. I read that they voted on the 2012 draft format .
    It turned out like you would expect
    6 – yes
    8 – no
    15 – maybe
    2 – no vote
    Pretty easy to figure the 6 that want it that way are in the last 6 spots. It would be 7 but I don’t imagine San Jose cares
    The next 8 don’t want it because they are out of the playoffs and would like a crack at moving up more than 4 spots. They kept competing and didn’t quit and shouldn’t be penalized for performing.
    The next 15 are maybe because maybe they can make a side deal to vote 1 way or the other
    The 2 non votes are probably teams that don’t have a pick in the first round.
    Pierre Dorion the accidental genius

    • 1998 – the ultimate in drafting futility

      • Hi George

        Didn’t remember the ‘98 draft really

        Had to look it up

        Which team were you referring to for futility…. Leafs (Andropov & Poni) ? or Sens (Fisher/Neil)?

        Or were you referring to just first round overall where less than 1/2 ended up playing > 700 games and the the cumulative total games played by the 4 picks …. 11th (Car); 13th (Ed); 14th (Pho); and 16th (Mon) played only a total of 134 games between them?

      • Nah – typo – should read 1999 – guess you missed yesterday’s exchange 🙂

  4. Again

    I’m confused as to how this (draft< season end/playoffs) benefits the NHL????

    Increase excitement/interest ? I believe there is plenty of desire/interest in seeing hockey again

    As Jeff and Lyle have pointed out ….. draft day player trades are gone and following/viewership of Jr players is low ; plus draft will be virtual….. how can this increase the excitement (and expected viewership on resumption) more than the current pent up demand already has it at?????

    That paired with the massive number of negatives in holding the draft pre final standings determination; including (but certainly not limited to):

    No draft day player trades

    Only 5 teams have a chance at 1st over-all pick; and 4 of those mathematically still have a chance at winning the cup

    Blues will pick 30th but still not mathematically guaranteed a playoff spot (where [missing playoffs] mathematically under normal rules; they’d have a shot [extremely rare but a shot] at the Lafrenierre lottery)

    Currently top ranked teams could still make playoffs ; have to pick in the high 20’s in position; and still could be ousted in 4

    Wild can pick as high as 7th; Panther’s 10th; both literally on the playoff doorstep!

    The conditional picks nightmare






    Pengy the Covid Confused Wonder

    • Forgot to add for George’s sake

      Current system …. as at now Sens would have highest chance at Lafrennierre (25% …. combined Sens/Sharks odds) ; Wings only 18.5 %

      New system (only top 5 can win Lafrennierre)… Wings odds sky-rocket to 57% per above!!!!

      Dorion très malheureux ☹️😭

      • C’est vrai, mais … the consolation prizes aren’t exactly chopped liver … c’est la vie

    • I believed staging training camps and exhibition games in four hub cities in June will stoke more fan excitement over resuming the season in July than a bastardized early version of the draft.

      • 👍👍👍👍👍

        Absofreeeeaakenlutely agree with you Lyle

  5. was wondering what happens July 1 when free agency season typically starts ? Are players contracts written to expire on a given date or is it by end of season ?

    if the season resumes and runs through the summer that would mean that teams would have roster players who were scheduled to become UFA’s on July 1… not sure how this would work, can someone enlighten me

    • Hi Fergy 22

      I asked that same question a few weeks ago and I believe the response here was that there would be an NHL blanket shift in contract ends

      Weird though

      • thanks for the response Pengy

      • Don’t think it’s that simple, Pengy. Try reading the definitions the league has for a season, the end of a season and the start of the next season. Other than giving you a headache, it will be as clear as mud.

      • Hi BCLeafs fan

        Agree , that is why I was asking a couple of weeks ago and the general responses I read and from what I’ve heard on the radio and TV since; leads to the assumption of basically time-shifting everything to accommodate …. a surprise to me

        Certainly out of my realm of understanding and I couldn’t get near any consensus from my circle of friends who are lawyers (note none of them had seen/digested the CBA and none are practising law in that niche…. although two of them are criminal lawyers …. so maybe …. 😂😂)

        Can’t fathom that this has not been formally (and in complete minutiae detail) reviewed and discussed by NHL; NHLPA and agents

        Wouldn’t that be a hoot if I was wrong and nobody had thought of it and Gary gets a frantic call at 11 PM on 30/6…. “Gary…. we just realized something …. Houston, we have a problem”

    • Hi, Fergy.

      There hasn’t been any official word from the NHL and NHLPA on this issue yet. The media consensus is they’ll shift that date forward from July 1 to whenever the playoffs end. After all, the players cannot participate unless they’re under contracts covering them for the rest of the season.

      • thanks Lyle , I had kinda assumed that but had not read or heard anything until today

  6. With no chance of trades and everyone knowing who is going 1st overall, there is little to no excitement in this propose draft.

    I don’t think Anaheim likes this draft, as they have Boston 1st round pick, which presently sits at 31st and who very well could be a quick exist.

    • Agree it is a bad idea from all angles to hold draft before cup.

  7. I can not agree more the NHL is kidding themselves if they think it will get ratings like the NFL draft . This will make the NHL look like a joke league that has no idea what they are doing. It will be the worst draft ever .

    • No friggin’ kidding, Swany.

      Except for a very few highly touted prospects the players drafted are a list of “who’s he?” followed by breathless analysis of mostly unfulfilled potential by broadcasters.

      I repeat myself out of sheer frustration: a draft without the potential of trading existing players is as exciting as reading a shopping list out loud.

      The NHL is run by dolts, whose desperation for network coverage to compete with the major US pro sports leagues is the TV version of penis envy.

      May I add Bettman is a dick?

    • The problem is Swany, NO formula in and of itself is going to excite/please fans to the extent that the NHL sees it as a means of generating that kind of response in terms of selling tickets/advertisements. Not in this existing situation where, despite all the encouraging talk about “flattening the curve” and “opening things up” thousands of Covid-19 cases are being diagnosed each day and people continue to die at an alarming rate. All over the world.

      The ONLY thing that is going to bring the fans back – and not just in hockey – is a vaccine that is known to work and available world-wide and that is at least a year away. At least. Until then, jobs will continue to suffer as the need for “social-distancing” and therefore no crowds continues. In the meantime, those big businesses that pay for much of the advertising will continue to suffer as well.

      So holding the draft in June or any other time, while admittedly pissing off fans regardless of what’s adopted is, in the end, seen by Bettman and Daley as a tempest in a teapot that will eventually be forgotten by even the most diehard opponents.

      • Another factor that is perhaps lost on fans is that the time between the draft and next year’s academic season/and preseason is used by teams to hold prospect camps and determine where these drafted players are going in the fall. These young hockey players have decisions to make over the summer, although the rest of the timelines are messed up as well. College hockey, juniors, ECHL and international leagues have not made firm schedules yet either. It’s all pure speculation/chaos right now. Will honestly need to see places re-open for a few weeks to see what happens.

      • I agree George . What I am saying is the NHL is trying to generate a buzz but in my opinion it will be all negative buzz . I love the NHL draft it’s exciting but because your team maybe making a blockbuster trade .

        I am a Hab fan so maybe thinking just about them will suck as they set them self’s up to maybe make a big trade (lots of picks /cap space ) and now can not even move up to first with most likely going to old lottery odds . As a Sens fan 2 picks for sure to be very high I could see it being exciting . But unlike the NFL most people won’t even no anyone after the first few picks .

  8. One of my VP’s sons (2nd year Harvard Bus.; BTW) has come up with an economic/logistical/pragmatic solution to the NHL season debacle….. LOL

    Here is a cut and paste of what he sent his dad (who sent it to me)

    Since Leafs and Leafland are 53 years in the waiting and seemingly willing to pay anything for a cup:

    Award ‘20 Cup to Leafs with a ceremony in early September; followed by parade.

    Draft goes mid June as ranked now (Leafs picks gone see below).

    UFA opens as regular on Canada Day.

    Training camp ‘21 to start in mid Sep; with season starting as usual in the first week in Oct. ASG and bye-week remain.

    If pandemic spike and science dictates then play in empty arenas until science approved fans in stands.

    The other side of the equation:

    1. Tory to Levy a one time 1% prop sur-tax
    2. Peel; York; Durham to levy one time 0.5% prop tax
    3. Leafs ticket prices increase by 3% next year
    4. Leaf players who will have their name on cup; 2 year roll-back of 5% of their Sals
    5. Take all those revs; MLSE adds to it (whatever is short) to bring it to $0.2 B. This amount goes to NHL for proportionate rev sharing to other 30 teams
    6. Parade coverage ; Stanley Cup awarding coverage; merchandise re ‘20 Cup …. all those revenues to go to NHL other 30 teams as above
    7. Leafs give up their next 30 draft picks (what they have now from the ‘20, ‘21, ‘22, and ‘23 drafts) distributed one to each of the other 30 teams in ranked order of pick “value” to the teams in current standings ranking order
    8. Leafs barred from trades or UFA signings until July 15th
    9. Personal hand written apology/thank-you letter written by EACH of Shanny; Dubas and Tannenbaum; to each of other 30 team’s GMs
    10. Each Leaf player to write thank-you email to each player on other 30 teams (no cut/pastes or group sends)
    11. MLSE to run 29 full page ads in each of top newspapers in the other 29 cities (NY has 2 teams) stating their humblest of apologies as well as lauding thanks

    Give that Harvard kid a 🍺 or 🍺🍺 for being creative 🤓😁

    • Pengy
      Ask the Harvard kid if Harvard plans to have students on campus this fall, the social distancing thing might be a big problem. If not, do they plan online classes @ same tuition as if students on campus ? If no students on campus then multiply that by BC, BU, MIT, Northeastern , U Mass etc, big problem. Also will these east cost schools have Football, Basketball, Hockey this fall ? A lot of NHL prospects play college hockey.

      • Hi Boom/Bust

        You got that right !

        I think he may be on a scholarship but anybody that has to pay that tuition ….. with only online learning …. yikes 😡

        I consider myself to be pretty fair at “big picture, long term” thinking …. but prognosticating about what my city, province, country , continent , and the world will be like this fall or next spring even; is absolutely mind-boggling…. it pains me just to talk about it

        I’m coo-coo for Cocoa Puffs

    • Got to hand it to the kid. He’s done what Dubas, Lou, Fletcher and so many predecessors failed to do and that is figure out a way for the Leafs to win the Cup.

      • Smart kid is right

        I’m in if it’s only a tax hike and ticket price increase


      • Maybe the kid from Harvard can help the Canucks too…..

      • Can confirm that Harvard kids are alright.
        We have a Harvard kid steering out ship.