NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 11, 2020

by | Jun 11, 2020 | News, NHL | 19 comments

More players taking part in Phase 2 of the return-to-play plan and British Columbia’s premier approving teams coming to Vancouver are among today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


TRIBLIVE.COM: Jake Guentzel was among a group of Pittsburgh Penguins to hit the ice on Tuesday. It’s a significant step forward for the 25-year-old winger after being sidelined since January by shoulder surgery. Guentzel hopes to be ready to participate in this summer’s proposed 24-team NHL playoff tournament.

Pittsburgh Penguins winger Jake Guentzel (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Guentzel was on pace for a career-best performance before the shoulder injury. His return will provide the Penguins with a welcome boost to their offensive game.

NORTHJERSEY.COM: While the New Jersey Devils won’t be part of the 24-team tournament, goalie Cory Schneider and center Travis Zajac still intend to participate in voluntary small-group training. Schneider and Zajac also went to bat for interim coach Alain Nasreddine, who’s reportedly among several candidates for the full-time position.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The seven NHL teams that didn’t qualify for the tournament can make their training facilities available upon request for their own players and those from other clubs who reside in their cities.

NEWSDAY: Johnny Boychuk said his injured left eye has almost fully recovered and he will be on the ice today for small-group training. The New York Islanders defenseman needed 90 stitches and plastic surgery after being struck by a skate blade during a March 3 game against the Carolina Hurricanes.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron are among the Bruins participating in voluntary small-group training under Phase 2 of the NHL’s return-to-play plan.

SUN-SENTINEL.COM: Florida Panthers general manager Dale Tallon said two-thirds of his players are already in the South Florida area and more are trickling in every day. The Panthers began their Phase 2 training yesterday.

VANCOUVER SUN: British Columbia Premier John Horgan endorsed a plan supplied by the Vancouver Canucks which would allow Vancouver to be one of the two host cities for the playoff tournament. He has written Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau informing him of the province’s support.

The plan would allow teams to stay in local Vancouver hotels isolated from the general public. It would also allow players’ families to join them provided they remain within that isolation bubble.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canada and the United States have reportedly agreed to extend their border ban on non-essential travel to late July. While the US has deemed NHL players and staff as essential workers, Canada has yet to follow suit. If it doesn’t, the two host cities will be in the United States.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames, and Vancouver Canucks are considering holding their Phase 3 training camps in the United States if the two host cities for Phase 4 are located south of the Canadian border.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens, and Winnipeg Jets could do the same. No sense having their players go through two weeks of self-quarantine in Canada before training camp if they’re to travel to the United States afterward for the tournament.


MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens owner Geoff Molson denied speculation he would hire a president of hockey operations. He also voiced support for general manager Marc Bergevin.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some Canadiens fans will despair about this news, pointing to the Habs’ woeful record over the past four years. Others will commend Molson for his patience in the club’s “retooling” program.

THE SCORE: Columbus Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella has changed his view about those who choose to kneel during the playing of the national anthem. He once threatened to bench any player who took a knee or remained seated. “I have learned over the years, listening and watching, that men and women who choose to kneel during this time mean no disrespect to the flag,” said Tortorella.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Perhaps it’s time to stop playing the national anthems before NHL games and instead reserve them solely for international tournaments. Thoughts?

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Arizona Coyotes owner Alex Meruelo doesn’t expect his club will face a substantial penalty for its alleged player recruitment violations. The Coyotes are under investigation for holding illegal pre-draft fitness tests of several players in the Canadian Hockey League (CHL).

Speaking of the CHL, Rimouski Oceanic winger Alexis Lafreniere was named the league’s Player of the Year for the second consecutive season. Pittsburgh Penguins center (and Oceanic alumni) Sidney Crosby is the only other CHL player to win that honor back-to-back. Lafreniere is considered the top prospect in the 2020 NHL Draft.

THE ATHLETIC: Former NHL player Kyle Quincey’s 14-month-old son Axl underwent surgery yesterday in Philadelphia on an Ependymoma tumor discovered in late March when he was diagnosed with brain cancer. They will be in Philadelphia for two months as Axl finishes his treatment protocols.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to the Quincey family. Here’s hoping Axl makes a full recovery.


  1. Great suggestion about anthems, Lyle. If we want them to be meaningful, national team games and tournaments make the most sense.
    It would also save us from watching players shift from skate to skate, look down or up or bored, etc. etc.
    Anthems at international games only – makes a lot of sense.

    • Ya, fine with that too BCLeafFan.
      Do they play the anthem before pro hockey games in places like Sweden etc? Soccer in Europe?

    • I’m all about removing the anthem. It’s just unnecessary.

    • I fully agree

  2. I’ve been trying to steer clear of any political talk here. Even when it’s the topic… it just isn’t worth the bs.

    However the anthem. A couple of things here. First , it has been a part of sports here in the United States for about 80 years. It’s tradition. The don’t see anything wrong with honoring vets or patriotic pride. It’s sad that it’s come to this…

    I have no idea how long it’s been a part of Canada’s history?

    Second, if it’s not about the flag, vets etc… why take that time to state your case for social injustice during the anthem? They have plenty of other time / platforms to speak out. The fact that it’s always done during the anthem doesn’t make sense to me.
    Why not during mid game “y’all ready for this”?

    3rd. Yes it’s true, most of Europe does not do an anthem prior to sporting events. But plenty of other countries do. But tracing back to our earliest roots, ideologies , dreams in this country… we were built from people escaping Europe for something better. Why do we care what Europe or any other country does? We didn’t model ourselves after Europe. So I don’t think we should start modeling ourselves around the way they do it now.

    This should probably be a precursor but,

    Lyle asked for thoughts. He didn’t ask for agreement. So before anyone starts ranting and raving… these are MY thoughts. I am entitled to them….. I think?

    • NYR, I actually had no idea what they did in Europe as I don’t watch soccer or those hockey leagues. Now I know. Thanks.
      I think we can learn from other countries, good and bad. We are not masters of all and right about everything.
      I’m kind of where Chrisms is on this, I simply don’t think it is necessary to show patriotism every time we attend a sporting event. Fair to say the vast majority love our countries, and I really appreciate the US too. And appreciate our vets. Anthems or not doesn’t change that in either direction IMO.
      How about we teach more history and civics in school, as I think that has been lacking recently.
      If we keep them all good, I will stand, remove my hat and put it over my chest just like I do now.

      I think the NFL players who decided to take a knee did it during the anthem to bring attention to an issue they cared about and impacted them and their families. I believe they also love their country and want to see it change for the better. Patriotic IMO as it is in pursuit of a more perfect union.

      • I actually think it’s more necessary than ever. I think this country is so divided on so many different levels …. why not take 2 minutes of our time to stand and remember, regardless of our differences, race, religion We are all part of one nation?

        IMO, this separatist movement is killing this country from top to bottom.
        Just one more thing to divide.
        I don’t see how standing up for 2 minutes and honoring tour country hurts anyone. I don’t see how it’s unnecessary?

        If this is hurtful to the ones taking a knee, I guess everything they’ve sold us on “it’s not about disrespect to the flag, country and vets is a total bs job?

      • It’s just a song, there is a lot deeper things that need to be figured out before they worry about an anthem. I don’t understand why people would worry about a person kneeling if they want? That’s what makes countries free to agree or disagree it’s their right

      • To you it’s a song… to others it has meaning.

        I really wasn’t even touching on the kneeling aspect.

        And not every country is free. Some countries you’ll get your head chopped off for being homosexual, promiscuous, etc.

        So as bad as people may THINK they have it here, it’s usually grossly over exaggerated.

        Where do you live BBB?

      • When it comes down to it it’s just a song, it might mean something to you but not to others in your country. I know not every country is the same but there is a real problem in the states right now and the last thing that should be worried about is if someone kneels for the anthem! The violence towards anybody should be the first thing that needs addressed. I’m from Canada and stand for the anthem but if I felt strongly enough about something I would also kneel

      • There is no reason to play a national anthem before a sporting event. Sporting events is something we can all agree calling them a form of entertainment. No other entertaining events, concerts, movies, theater, etc don’t play the anthem. Only sports on this side of the Atlantic. I lived in Europe and before soccer matches they do play the clubs song. Now that was fun having a 100k fans singing the teams song gets you into the game as a fan much more than hearing anthems.
        I also find it quite disingenuous when people say it’s for the vets. You know what, if you do care about vets and such, why don’t you help a vet deal with the VA. I help my Vietnam vet every time he needs help with forms or getting in touch with officers because it seems the government loves to ask you what they can do for you and when you have given everything you could, they thank you by making getting your benefits, help, health, all second class if it even is an option. So I don’t know how playing the anthem is for them.

      • Bbb,

        I’ve been coming here for 10+ years . I don’t know how long you have but I’d imagine 3-4 at least? You and I never had a disagreement about anything until the Price topic came up a few weeks back.

        I have watched you, you’re pretty passionate about defending all things About the Canadians.

        If you can feel that strongly about a team / game. Why can’t people be as passionate about their country?

        I don’t think “most people have a problem with the anthem” . I’d actually say the opposite. It’s the few, not the many. I attend games all the time. Ny , Florida and elsewhere. Most people gladly stand for the anthem.

        I think the problems of this country are a bit over exaggerated by the media feeding frenzy.

        I’ve lived in 3 cities in this country. All with a 30% + African American populations. It’s not anything what is portrayed by the media. I’ve managed to work, live , and have friendships with all races and religions. I even have African American relatives.

        The real issues are much bigger than the anthem.


        To say that it’s disingenuous would be like saying you know every individual that states that. Why do you assume nobody helps vets that states that? That is a whole lot of assuming on your part.

        My father was a Vietnam vet , as was my uncle. A few of my cousins are veterans as well. I live around 4 military bases, and a very heavy military surrounding. I’d say most vets would disagree with your thoughts.

        I’d also say most don’t have a problem with standing at events for the anthem. So once again the world will have to cater to the few….

        Unnecessary, in a fews eyes doesn’t mean we should end it.

      • I never said most people have a problem with the anthem? And I don’t remember getting into a price topic with you a couple weeks ago? I just think like I said earlier the last thing people should be worried about is an anthem too many bigger issues

    • Fair point NYR, but somehow the anthem and kneeling became a political and cultural issue that divided us more.
      I have an opinion on why it happened but won’t get into it on here as that is deep rabbit hole.
      I don’t mind debating this stuff with you, all good, I just don’t think others on this site want it to turn into a political forum. They are probably right, we get enough of that already.
      So unless it is topical for the day, which this is, I will try and refrain.

    • NY4Life, I don’t disagree about the tradition. I just think, if playing the anthem is to be meaningful, games between nations makes the most sense.
      I’m old enough to remember going to Maple Leaf Gardens and seeing fans dressed in their finest – men in suits and ties, women in fashionable dresses. Things change.
      Be that as it may, Leaf fans know that, if the anthems aren’t played before the game, management will still find a way to fill fifteen or twenty minutes with a pre-game ceremony.
      Some things change but, in Toronto, that never will.

    • NYR, if you really want to start understanding what’s going on, I have 3 things that helped me get it.



      3) This exercise will hurt, try to tough it out. Do it in your head/alone at first.

      List everything the flag/anthem means to you.
      End every phase with “for white people”
      Take a breath/pause
      Ask ‘Why would someone think THAT?”
      Do the research and learn why.

      • Habsfan,

        I watched the first one, not the others.

        While it’s always good to listen, I don’t know that I’ll take one mans words on YouTube as the problem.

        The issues for the African Americans in this country are deep. They really and truly are deep. But it is way above and beyond a cop killing an African American or a lot of other media snatching / baiting headline we see a few times a year.

        I won’t really go on here,
        Last week to keep political issues off this site I offered my personal email address to anyone who wished to have a civilized discussion without hogging this board.

        I offer it again…


  3. I like the anthems, watch them every time even though I could skip through with the PVR. Sometimes it is like a rut but there are many good moments that come out of anthems as well. Think about Kate Smith in Philly, Mark Donnelly in Vancouver, Len Kropioski in Winnipeg.

    I think my kids learned the anthem (and the American anthem) from hockey games. It is like the calm before the storm that I would miss. NYR is right that our countries need this for unity more than ever – though protests have never been against the country, rather the knees were about drawing attention to an issue that (still is) a wrong that exists and demands change. If the protests were against the country the players would have given the 1 finger salute throughout the anthems and not quietly taken a knee.

    Keep the anthems, when the countries get it right we will have resolved some significant issues and the players will all stand united once again.

  4. I’m actually with Nyr4life about the anthems. My father and Mother taught me to stand at attention when the anthems were played. I still do in my home or anywhere else when the anthems are played. I get strange looks when we have company over when I stand and I don’t care.
    My grandfather, father and uncles served as well as my wifes father.
    People died so we could live our life of freedom and I was taught by standing we were acknowledging that sacrifice.
    While I understand people wanting equality, which I agree with I don’t see how disrespecting people who served or gave the ultimate sacrifice is any different .
    Don’t take it out on the people who tried to make the world a better place.
    Where would we be if we had lost. I’m sure it would be alot worse.