NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 6, 2020

by | May 6, 2020 | News, NHL | 38 comments

The latest on plans to resume the season, Toronto and Edmonton being discussed as host cities for neutral-site games, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

TSN: Darren Dreger reports the NHL hopes to initiate Phase 2 toward resuming the season sometime in late May. Under that scenario, teams could reopen its facilities to allow small groups of players to voluntarily train together. “But here’s an interesting twist to all of that,” said Dreger. “Even though a majority of clubs may be able to open up unless they can all open up at the same time or around the same time, the NHL isn’t going to allow players to go to their club facility again until the majority are able to do that.”

The NHL hopes to allow small groups of its players to train together at their team facilities by late-May (Photo via NHL.com)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The longer it takes for the majority of teams to reopen training facilities, the more likely the late May timeline for Phase 2 gets pushed ahead into June.

If the league returns to action this summer, it’ll be in empty arenas. Frank Seravalli reports the NHL is leaving it up to its teams to determine plans to refund tickets. Most teams would prefer rolling that money toward 2020-21 season-ticket plans. The New Jersey Devils are offering refunds and incentives. Philadelphia Flyers fans can ask for a refund or receive credit toward future scheduled events.

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch cites a league executive saying it feels like staging the 2020 NHL Draft next month will happen “because the league wants it and they’ve spent a lot of time on this file to try to alleviate everybody’s concerns.”

Deputy commissioner Bill Daly acknowledged the possibility that a club could win the draft lottery and the Stanley Cup. “But we think it is a very remote possibility and is extremely unlikely to happen,” said Daly. Garrioch feels that’s why the league is proposing going back to the old draft lottery system that allows teams to move up only four spots and fall back one.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Whether we like it or not, the NHL seems intent on staging a virtual draft sometime next month. The league hopes this will generate buzz among hockey fans hungry for a resumption of the season. I think opening training camps and staging exhibition games in preparation for resuming the schedule will stir up more excitement than a bastardized version of the draft, especially when trading established NHL players won’t be allowed.

TSN: Ontario premier Doug Ford said he’s been in contact with Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment about the possibility of Toronto being a host city for teams should the NHL resume this season.”They’ve been in contact,” Ford said. “They’re coming up with a game plan, (the) NHL as a whole. They haven’t really divulged anything else as of yet, but we have had a conversation. Once I get more information, I’ll be able to pass it along.”

Ryan Rishaug, meanwhile, reports things appear to be progressing between the Edmonton Oilers and the province of Alberta regarding the city of Edmonton becoming a host city if the league resumes action in the coming weeks. “As meetings continue between [Alberta Health Services] and the Oilers organization there remains a strong sense of optimism from both sides that a realistic proposal will be possible. While there is still lots to work through, criteria from the NHL and AHS seem to be aligning on many fronts,” writes Rishaug.

TORONTO STAR: Leafs defenseman Justin Holl said American players on Canadian clubs like himself are waiting for a concrete plan before returning to their clubs. Under Canadian guidelines, anyone who arrives in Canada from another country must follow all rules of self-quarantine for two weeks.

TVA SPORTS: The Montreal Canadiens are collaborating with Tablée des chefs and Moisson Montréal to use the Bell Centre as an enormous kitchen to prepare tens of thousands of meals for families in need.


  1. If every team was put in the lottery to win the # 1 pick , it would be interesting while the lottery was happening. Teams fans with no interest before suddenly would be interested.
    I guess that would draw lots of interest, but would definitely upset the under achievers.
    Makes more sense to wait and see if the season can be finished before upsetting the whole system.

  2. Further to the discussion yesterday re the NHL draft vis-a-vis the NFL, especially when it comes to excitement and expectations, is like comparing apples and oranges in that respect. Vastly different stages of development when trying to compare U.S. College Football with their equivalents in hockey, whether junior, college or European leagues.

    Baseball is even worse than hockey in terms of their draft and fan viewership and most drafted take a lot longer to reach the major leagues than in any other sport. As for basketball, the vast % of any taken beyond Round 1 are seldom heard from again.

    I would also venture a guess that hockey leads them all when it comes to players drafted late – or never drafted at all – not only making the NHL, but starring there in various ways.

    Here’s a list – in no particular order – of some of the very best drafted in the late rounds (and I’m sure I missed a few)

    Luc Robitaille L.A. Round 9 1984 (171st)
    Theo Fleury Cgy Round 8 1987 (166nd)
    Henrik Zetterberg Det Round 7 1999 (210th)
    Doug Gilmour StL Round 7 1982 (134th)
    Brett Hull Cgy Round 6 1984 (117th)
    Pavel Datsyuk Det Round 6 1998 (171st)
    Daniel Alfredsson Ott Round 6 1994 (133rd)
    Henrik Lundqvist NYR Round 7 2000 (205th)
    Pekka Rinne Nash Round 8 2004 (258th)
    Joe Pavelsi SJ Round 7 2003 (205th)
    Jamie Benn Dal Round 5 2007 (129th)
    Peter Bondra Wash Round 8 1990 (156th)
    Frederick Anderssen Car Round 7 2010 (187th)
    Cam Arkinson Clb Round 6 2008 (157th)
    Brendan Gallagher Mt. Round 5 2010 (147th)
    Anders Lee NYI Round 6 2009 (152nd)
    Mark Stone Ott Round 6 2010 (178th)
    Jake Muzzin Pit Round 5 2007 (141st)
    Ondrej Pala TB Round 7 2008 (208th)
    Anton Stralman Tor Round 7 2005 (216th)
    Mike Hoffman Ott Round 5 2009 (130th)

  3. For what it’s worth, here’s a list of some of the best never to have been drafted

    Ed Belfour; Sergei Bobrovsky, Dan Boyle,, Dino Cicarelli, Geoff Courtnall, Steve Duchesne,m Mark Giordano, Curtis Joseph, Adam Oates, Borje Salming, Martin St. Louis, Peter Stastny, Steve Thomas

    • So you’re saying in the NHL , the draft is a crap shoot.
      Sounds better when you say it.

      • Never, have I ever, suggested otherwise. So, what’s your point?

    • Adam Oates, Steve Thomas, Markham Waxers!

      • Torey Krug

      • Chris Kunitz

      • Two more very good NHLers who were never drafted

      • Steve Duschene

      • I think I mentioned him above – unless I spelled his name wrong

    • It would be interesting to go back to see the pre-draft thoughts on years like 2010, 2007 and 84. Those are some pretty big misses to happen multiple times.

      I’m not completely sure but don’t the drafted players in the NHL step into the roster the upcoming season where in hockey that rarely happens.

      • Sure would. Using 1984 by round as an example

        LA’s draft
        1st – D Craig Redmond – 191gp
        2nd – C Brian Wilkes – 48gp
        3rd – D John English – 3 gp
        4th – F Tom Glavine – never played – much better as a pitcher!
        5th – F David Grannis – never played
        6th – G Greg Strome – never played
        7th – F Tim Hanley – never played
        8th – F Shannon Deegan – never played
        9th – LW Luc Robitaille ***

        Calgary draft
        1st – LW Gary Roberts – 1224 gp – great pick
        2nd – D Ken Sabourin 74gp
        3rd – no pick
        4th – F Petr Rosol – never played
        5th – D Joel Paunio – never played
        6th – Brett Hull ***

  4. I don’t see how they will pick both Canadian and American city’s to host games . I think one or the other border crossing will be very tough.

    • That’s the most sensible solution , that I have seen posted.
      But the problem remains players being away from their families. I did it my whole career and it is tough .
      You have to have a strong independent wife

      • With most player being from Canada, it only makes sense to have it hosted in a Canadian city. Also, with the way the virus is so strong in the States it also makes Canada a more viable option.

      • Lol, most of the Canadian players are playing for American teams. Only 4 of the 16 teams holding a playoff spot today are Canadian. Why on earth should Canada be the sole host?

        As of may 5th Toronto has had over 18k cases, Tennessee has had 13k in the entire state. So throw the covid 19 theory out the window as well.

      • @Nyr4life as of Wednesday afternoon May 6th Toronto has had 6665 confirmed cases not over 18k like you say, try to come closer on your guesses when you`re trying to make a point

      • @Nyr4life, with most players being from Canada, they are already in Canada. Travel will be restricted and this means less players moving from outside their country. The fact that they play for American teams is irrelevant. I’m not putting down the States, just suggesting the best option where fewer people are moving across borders.

    • is there even a way to finish the regular season?I mean seems like they need to go direct to extended playoffs so the locations run all the playoff series for the 4 teams or so there involved
      I know its not easy to be 100% fair…

      First round:

      Toronto Based: Toronto-Florida-Montreal-Buffalo
      Where would this be??? Pitts-Carolina-Columbus-NY Isles
      Minnesota based: Dallas-Winnipeg-Nashville-Minnesota
      Where would this be based??? Calgary-Vancouver-Arizona-Anaheim

      Montreal and Buffalo over the Rangers is a tough one
      Anaheim over Chicago too

      • Can you imagine a scenario where NY goes along with a plan that puts Buffalo (68 points 69 games played) or Montreal (71 points, 70 games played) over NY (79 points in 70 games)?

        Me either. Somehow I can’t see the largest market in the US, biggest revenue generator saying “sure, that seems like the best solution, we’ll just pick back up next year…. btw, good luck Montreal and Buffalo… you earned this. And hey, just take our share of TV, Advertising revenue on the way too”.

      • Too true Nyr4life – all the Rangers were was the hottest team in the league before the crap hit the rotating blades and my dark-horse to go deep in the playoffs – certainly miles ahead of both Montreal and Buffalo.

      • nothing is going to be fair this year, teams are getting screwed in the lottery teams are getting screwed in the playoffs! Money is the driving force which is very sad in a time like this, I think most players would rather just start fresh next season they know whoever wins the cup it will marred with controversy

      • I think you’re absolutely right Bigbadbruins … too bad Gallup couldn’t conduct a poll of all NHLers to see where they stand on both the draft and any plan to resume the season and a playoff.

        Then conduct two others involving a) the owners and b) the GMs and coaches.

        The comparisons would certainly be interesting.

      • Disagree BBB, nobody is getting screwed and it won’t be marred with controversy.
        Will it be perfect or the same as other years? No, of course not.
        That is the reason they want to finish the season. If they do, the lottery order won’t be dramatically different. I think the players on the contending teams want to play for a cup. They have hoped and dreamed for this opportunity almost their entire life, and work their ass off to get there. The opportunities are limited.
        The lower end teams, ya some of them might not want too, but many of the players want the $$ too. How about a borderline player whose career will only be a few seasons? So many of the guys on those teams are probably fine with it.
        They are trying to find a least worst solution to a bad situation.

      • How do you figure no one is getting screwed ray? Last year the rangers jumped from 12th to 2 in the draft now teams can only move up 4 spots doesn’t seem very fair? And by the sounds of it, it will be a 24 team playoff yet the rangers don’t get in against teams that have fewer points than them but they’re not getting screwed? There are a lot of nhlers happy if the season would just end why risk people’s health to play a game? They understand that in order for the games to be broadcasted there is a lot of people that behind the scenes that are risking getting affected than taking it home to theirs houses

      • Agree George it would be very interesting

      • Fairly hyperbolic BBB.
        Who from the league said 24 teams will make it and NY is out? I haven’t read that anywhere from an actual rep from the NHL or a GM. It is my understanding they want to finish the regular season. At least that is the most recent official word I have seen.
        Suggesting that NY will jump 10 spots again and are getting screwed because they can’t is ignoring the odds of that happening again. They may end drafting in a better spot again, maybe not, it is random luck. It will likely be pretty close to where they finish in the standings. Which is likely where they would pick with the same rules. Did other teams get screwed in the past when they changed the lottery rules, or did they simply play by the same rules as everybody else?
        I think having the draft before the season is over is a bad idea too, but nobody is getting screwed. Rules are the same for everybody. Getting screwed implies the league is intentionally trying to screw them doesn’t it?
        Not perfect but the outrage seems a bit over the top IMO.

      • Multiple players have said the league knows they won’t be able to have a regular season. So all the teams that saw the rangers jump 10 spots last aren’t getting screwed because they don’t even have the chance to win a lottery spot? And what about the people that have to risk their own and families lives to broadcast a game so the rich don’t lose AS much money? And too say the winner won’t be marred with controversy is ridiculous, everything about this season is going to be different there has already been a 2 month pause in the season that alone has already helped teams that wouldn’t have had key players back from injuries for playoff stretch run.

      • Which players have said that?
        There is a way to do this and remove the vast majority of the risk.
        Players will arrive and self quarantine for 2 weeks. So will everybody else that travels in to do this.
        Test everybody involved before they start, and multiple times as it goes on. It needs to be in city that has the capacity to support it. High risk folks that are old or have conditions that make them high risk won’t be involved. That would be stupid, they ain’t stupid.
        Everybody stays at the same hotels on the same floors eating food from the same restaurants or catering services.
        Here in Edmonton the majority of people are still working, going for groceries, and practicing the restrictions the government has advised. We are averaging less than 2 new cases a day in an area over 1 million. This will be tighter than that, it’s not like they won’t take the precautions necessary. We’re doing fine here in Edmonton and we will continue to follow the rules as they begin to open things up.
        Marred in controversy makes no sense to me. There has been a pandemic, we had to suspend our way of life, build and understand the data and capacity to deal with it. We are now easing back in. It is what we were supposed to do. So we did (I understand not every place has). Same for every team. Unfortunate and not ideal, sure, but the ideal ship sailed 2 months ago. This isn’t controversial unless you want to make it that way.

  5. Seeking clarity here from all re the Hub city proposals

    At first I thought it was to be 4 hub cities; one for each div; with whatever games remaining (if playing a full season) done with re-jigged schedule so that ALL the remaining games are intra-div games (no travel ; no venue change for remainder of season once season resumes)

    If that is the case then as I stated before; Detroit has no incentive to play let alone try (if forced to play); leading to massive advantage (WC spot) to rest of Atl teams in that they’ll all play at least one game against Wings; disadvantage to the tougher Metro Div; similarly advantage to Pac Div teams for WC spot in that each of Van, Cgy, Ed, Veg; Arz get to play at least ine game against each of the cal teams ; and Disadv to the more competitive Central Div

    If it is not the case (that is hub cities to host games but travel to enact remaining schedule as is) then there may be quarantine time each time a team travels; IF all hub cities are in just Canada or just USA; and more importantly there WILL be quarantine if hubs in both countries with inter-div and inter-conf games

    So question to all here…. is current hub city plan for remainder of full season (a) just re-jigged sched balance with only intra-div games? Or (b) full resumption; same sched; travel between hubs???


    • I think the toughest part is yes non-playoff teams playing 6-8 games and going home anyways

      at the same time throwing a team without any real games into a playoff could lead to some upsets

  6. Still don’t understand why Toronto is being considered as a hub city – the case numbers do not justify consideration.

    • Nor the testing capacity/capabilities BCLeafFan. Ford is still pressing for improved testing regularly. Kind of goes hand in hand with what your saying.
      Should you take testing away from other, more urgent, areas of the population to test NHL players? Are you going to do this without regularly testing the players and staff?
      Edmonton checks all the boxes, if you want a test, you can actually get one and the staffed testing centers are not even busy right now. Knock on wood. A friends wife works at one and they had 7 yesterday.
      2 ice surfaces, 4 NHL quality dressing rooms (Oil Kings home and away). 2 training areas, big new hotel across the street connected to the arena.
      Newest and best tech for TV.
      As for the rest, can’t say as I don’t live there. But Edmonton definitely qualifies IMO.

      • Edmonton for sure. If it’s one hub for each division, to me it’s a no-brainer. I don’t think it’s so easy to find a city for the other divisions.
        How about Winnipeg, Pittsburgh and Tampa?

  7. Wayne Gretzky was never drafted by an NHL team.

    • Heh – yeah, that’s true Caper – but not for the same reason as all the others. That 21-year personal-service contract with the then-WHL Oilers put a crimp in any NHL draft plans.

      Wonder if such a contract would hold up today? I suppose, if there was ever another rival league, it could.

  8. Why not have some type of wildcard game(s)? I’m sure it’s been previously discussed on here.

    1st in division get auto pass to playoffs. Same with 2nd.

    After that…3 game series for rest who would have made playoffs as of last games played.

    Bottom 15, as of regular season standings get that pick.

    Detroit 1st
    Ott 2nd
    Ott (SJ) 3rd

    Anyways, the beers are goin down quick this afternoon…

    Roast me!