NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 5, 2020
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.
2020 NHL DRAFT UPDATE
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.”
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.
TEAMS SUBMITTING BIDS TO HOST NEUTRAL-SITE GAMES
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.
IN OTHER NEWS…
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.
#NJDevils goalie Mackenzie Blackwood (a pending RFA after this season): “I love playing here, and I’d love to play here for a long time so I’m sure we can figure something out and hopefully it can go smoothly.”
— Mike Morreale (@mikemorrealeNHL) May 4, 2020