NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 7, 2020

by | May 7, 2020 | News, NHL | 28 comments

Kings GM Rob Blake will find positives in resuming the season, an update on Jeff Carter, Capitals winger Brendan Leipsic in hot water over offensive comments, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


LOS ANGELES TIMES: Despite his club being out of playoff contention if the season resumes, LA Kings general manager Rob Blake believes it could be worth it. “We will find positives by playing those games,” he said. “That’s our mentality. It’s expected of us.” Despite the different scenarios being floated around, Blake said the message to his players is to keep the same mindset. “There are still games to be played.”

A nagging core injury will keep Jeff Carter out of the LA Kings lineup if the schedule resumes in July (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Among the positives is assessing the performance of their promising young players, as well as potential free-agent veterans battling for jobs.

NBC SPORTS: James O’Brien reports we shouldn’t expect to see Jeff Carter in the lineup if the Kings return to action. Blake indicated the veteran center hasn’t been able to travel to see a specialist regarding a core muscle injury because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Carter continues to rehab at home.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: O’Brien speculates other aging NHL veterans on cellar-dwelling clubs, such as San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton, could also be shut down for the rest of the season.

THE DETROIT NEWS: While the last-place Red Wings have nothing to play for if the schedule re-starts, winger Justin Abdelkader feels it would still be beneficial. “You can work on your skills and development, you can get better, and there’s going to be an opportunity to get better. As a team, and for me personally, that can help lead into the following season.”

SPORTSNET: British Columbia Premier John Horgan has written to the NHL and NHL Players’ Association offering a place to play if the league seeks a hub city to resume the season. Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney have also spoken to the league about staging games in Toronto and Edmonton.

TORONTO STAR: Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment was forced to change its date for initial payments of season tickets for Maple Leafs and Raptors games following an angry backlash from season-ticket holders. The first payment was slated for May 8 but has been changed to June 8 for now. Given the uncertainty over when the NHL and NBA will return to action amid the COVID-19 pandemic, ticket holders felt MLSE was showing disregard to the fans.

TORONTO SUN: Steve Simmons reports a long-time Maple Leafs and Raptors season-ticket holder said he wouldn’t return to watch live games until there’s a COVID-19 vaccine or assurance the virus has been defeated.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: MLSE’s tone-deafness aside, getting fans to return to games next season could be challenging for pro sports in general and the NHL in particular, considering they’re the most gate-reliant of the major professional sports leagues.

The league plans to resume this season without fans and are considering starting next season in December in hopes social-distancing restrictions will be lifted by then. If there’s still no vaccine and little assurance the coronavirus has been contained by then, however, fans could still be reluctant to return.

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: The San Jose Sharks assume their arena (SAP Center) will be among the last to open for NHL games. They’re examining different scenarios for reopening once the pandemic ends based on local health guidelines.


NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: The Capitals and the NHL condemned offensive comments made in a private group chat on social media by Brendan Leipsic and Florida Panthers forward Jack Rodewald. Leipsic made derogatory remarks toward teammates Nic Dowd and Garnet Hathaway, several former Vancouver Canucks teammates, and the wife of a current Canucks player.

Leipsic deleted his Instagram account and issued a statement on Twitter claiming his friend’s account was hacked and those comments were circulated on social media. He apologized for his “misogynistic and reprehensible” remarks but faces a meeting with Capitals GM Brian MacLellan to discuss the matter.

TVA SPORTS: Montreal Canadiens center Jesperi Kotkaniemi is recovering well from an injured spleen suffered in early March, but he won’t return to action if this season resumes. He’s on track to be ready for the start of 2020-21.

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks re-signed defensemen Christian Djoos and Jani Hakanpaa to one-year contract extensions Wednesday. Djoos accepted $1 million, down from $1.25 million for this season, while Hakanpaa will be paid $750,000, down from $850,000. The cuts could be linked to uncertainty over next season’s salary cap limits.

AZCENTRAL.COM: The Arizona Coyotes provided money to Gila River Arena to pay their staff during the pandemic but they’ve yet to be paid.

NORTHJERSEY.COM: The New Jersey Devils will donate 10,000 tickets for next season to health care workers with RWJBarnabas Health in honor of National Nurses Day and Week.


  1. Re:

    “ long-time Maple Leafs and Raptors season-ticket holder said he wouldn’t return to watch live games until there’s a COVID-19 vaccine or assurance the virus has been defeated.”

    I believe that will be the mindset of more than a few; including likely me

    I’m just now no longer years away from being in my 60’s; but months…. so nearing the higher danger area; and in addition, even if I had infinitely strong confidence in beating it and/or expecting very very mild symptoms; I do not covet, under any circumstances , being quarantined and/or infecting fam/friends

    Even in the NHL sites that consistently sell out; I fully expect a fair chunk of empty seats at least for the first 1/4 of the season. Now imagine the stands in Sunrise , Arz, etc etc…. which normally have mega unfilled seats in regular seasons!!


    • Pengy for me i be going to every game, not missing a beat.

      Would i be taking precautions absolutely, mask, gloves, sanitizer in hand.

      If the medical field says it safe and you been following their advice all along, why would you change now?

      • Hi Caper

        I guess I’m a wuss…. the shoulder to shoulder sitting with strangers (who may be asymptomatic) at the ACC; is something; as at now; I don’t see myself comfortable with until I’m vaccinated

        I cede that I’m not as brave as others like yourself

        Were it just my health…. maybe; but if I catch it… I could pass it on to fam and friends ; which would be very depressing ; and selfishly from a monetary perspective; I could pass it on to my staff; costing me (as it has for 7 weeks now) in Sals w/o offsetting revs

        Wussy Pengy

      • Hi Pengy, no one is saying Wuss, we all react to things differently.

        The medical field won’t allow mass gathering unless it’s safe.

        At some point got to get on with living or just let life pass you by.

      • Caper that assumption is unfortunately not necessarily true. The medical professionals will be competing with those that have economic interests and political interests. It’s unknown who will come out on top. Money talks.

    • Pengy
      Near 60 ? Your just a kid ( I’m 71), Two things about getting older
      1) When they call it the “Golden Years” they lied,
      as the years go by body parts wear out and
      $$$$ don’t buy what they use to
      2) Enjoy each day as much as you can, a lot of joy in the little things. It’s May in Toronto, meaning the sun is out and it actually above zero and the green stuff on the ground is called grass.
      Don’t let the Gobberment kill your joy. If you want to do something and it’s legal go for it.

      • 👍👍

        and thanks

        We’re both boomers I guess…. you near the beginning and me near the end

        Silly aside anecdote re boomers…. my Brother’s best friend was a boomer and so was his mom…. she was born the first day of what they consider it to be ….. 1/1/46 ; and he was born the last day (in Canada at least) it is considered to be …. 31/12/64 (day before his mom’s 19th BDay!

        …. but May in Toronto and the sun is out….I’m looking at full grey skies right now …. maybe it’s just over my house and my area of the GTA

        …. and there is crap weather ahead per Weather Network 😡

      • I won’t be either Pengy, I actually don’t think arenas will open to capacity next season unless a vaccine is available which is highly unlikely.
        30% maybe? And only in some areas?
        We’re fortunate in AB that we had more time to react and our gov’t has done a pretty good job.
        We’re not the major hub like TOR or NYC, you folks have a bigger and more difficult hill to climb.
        All for easing restrictions for low risk folks, just need to be smart about this. We are hitting the marks we needed to to reopen and have built capacity to test, trace and isolate. We can now try to use a scalpel to attack hot spots instead of a blunt instrument used on the entire population. If we get stupid, right back to isolation for all of us.
        I am comfortable playing a round of golf, walking and staying apart, sitting in a packed arena? No thanks.
        55, so early Gen X, reasonably healthy and reasonably low risk.

    • Pengy: A wuss? How about considerate of others instead?

      People will make their own choices, that’s fine.

      But what seems to get lost is the fact that in doing so people make choices for all those with whom they have contact as well.

      We can’t stay at home for ever and accepting some level of risk is inevitable. I have a whole lot of respect for people who take a measured approach to risk and who have enough awareness of the risk they spread.

      • I think there is a major point that seem to be lost on the 50+ age category and folks that are financially set or ok.

        I can understand a 20 or 30 or 40 year person saying I got a mortgage, car payments, cell phone bill and feeding my children, I am healthy and I can work, I can survive covid-19 and I want to go to work. I’ll go to work go home and not socialize. Otherwise your killing me to, as I get more and more depressed everyday.

        As I said before as the weather gets warmer more and more people will go out, people will only stay isolated for so long.

        Personally for me it isn’t an issue as I posted on Facebook before

        ” I don’t answer my door so please call before you come over and by the way I don’t answer the phone.”

      • I hear ya Caper. I have kids in late 20’s early 30’s. Both taken 20% pay cuts, working from home with kids in the house. So long days. Luckily both still employed, but that could change. I’m lucky I am in the industry I am in or it could easily happen to me as well. Still could, our overall company is hurting, my division isn’t. Simple good fortune.
        We can’t let the economy absolutely crash or keep pumping in endless $$ into it. We can’t let 100’s of thousands of people die either.
        The economy won’t come back without fixing the root cause, or at least containing it first.
        Need to thread the needle and be smart. All of us. Especially our leaders and communicate it clearly.
        The plan is now clear, or at least it should be, for now. The execution is the hard part.
        Chrisms is right, there are competing interests. Hence why strong, informed, intelligent and ethical leadership is required. In times like these it becomes obvious if the emperor has no clothes.
        If this starts spreading like crazy again, the economy shuts down again. It’s that simple and on all of us.

      • Ray this a link from prohockey but it states both Friedman and brooks are thinking it will be a 24 team playoff but doesn’t go into much detail on the rounds, but the rangers would be in so it must be points % in the league not conference to Conference


      • I stand corrected BBB.
        I hope they let the teams play some games. Tough for a team like TB or BOS and getting the Rangers in a best of 3 after not playing any real hockey for 2 plus months.
        A training camp isn’t enough IMO. But if it is, then it is. I would hope they have some exhibition games, 3-5 min. Promising news that they are rethinking the draft date, that didn’t make sense to me. The upside to now is minimal IMO.

      • It will be tough for all teams! Jumping into the playoffs or playing regular season it don’t matter at this point a lot of players heads won’t be 100% into the game

  2. Leipsic is an idiot, people took screenshots of the whole conversation. Talking about doing drugs,disrespecting women and just being a moron! If he ever players in the league again tanner Pearson is going to teach him a lesson

    • You would think players would learn, they must be taught that whatever you put out there on social media may very well come back and bite you in the backside.

      One thing to say something about ex teammates but totally different to say something about your present teammates.

      Don’t see how Washington keep this guy and don’t see another team picking up this garbage.

    • Yup. Bad enough that he stains his own team mates. Worse for him in that he is a marginal player with a season high 5 goals, barely hanging on to his career.

      Doubt Leipsic will survive this, and Rodewald has just become Roadkill.

  3. Hey George O Happy 83rd this month.

    I don’t know the day but I recall its May.

    Stay safe and be happy

    • 2nds in the HBD (83rd) George,

      Same birth year as Academy award winners Jack; Morgan; Jane ; Anthony ; Dustin!

      • Well thanks guys … I think ,,, actually it’s 82 – don’t rush me (LOL) – on Saturday

      • Happy 82nd birthday, George!

      • Happy birfday old man.

      • Merci beaucoup – je pense

        Funny thing when you hit these milestones, one day you wake up and can’t remember where the Hell you put the last 30 years of your life

      • Same place you left your spectacles George.

      • LOL. Actually, I don’t need ’em believe it or not. About 7/8 years back I had to have surgeries on both eyes – one for a small hole in the retina and the other for a “bubbled” retina. The surgeon said to me, since I have to go in there anyway why don’t I correct your farsightedness (selective surgery that would normally cost a few thousand per eye). Hell yeah, I said … and since then I don’t need glasses to drive/watch TV – normal everyday things. The trade-off was I had to have reading glasses for close-up crap – so I carry those around my neck on a cord – otherwise I WOULD be leaving them all over the place.

      • Oh. I meant on your face. But thanks for the old man story that I fell asleep too halfw……

      • Actually, I mentioned it merely to illustrate the difference between our health system and yours!