NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 26, 2020

by | Jun 26, 2020 | News, NHL | 9 comments

Vancouver is out as a possible hub city,  the latest CBA news, an update on the 2020 draft lottery, and much more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


VANCOUVER SUN: The city of Vancouver is no longer in the running to become one of the two hub cities for Phase 4 of the NHL’s return-to-play plan. Reports indicate the league was looking for some sort of waiver from British Columbia’s positive-test protocols. One example cited was the province of Ontario, where someone who tests positive but is asymptomatic can still return to work. League officials have said one player testing positive shouldn’t be ground to prevent a team from playing on.

TSN: The league is now shifting its focus to hosting bids from Edmonton and Toronto. Alberta’s chief medical officer signed off on a health-and-safety plan for a host city presented by the Oilers Entertainment Group.

Pierre LeBrun reports Los Angeles and Chicago are on standby in case the NHL cannot put a hub city in Canada to go along with Las Vegas. He also said an announcement probably won’t happen until Monday or Tuesday so as not to conflict with tonight’s draft lottery.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The league seems quite keen for a hub city in Canada. Edmonton looks like the front-runner now. It appears Las Vegas remains a lock as one of the hub cities despite the recent rise of COVID-19 in that city and the state of Nevada. 


NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports the full membership of the NHL Players’ Association will vote on a comprehensive return-to-play proposal. It would include a collective bargaining agreement extension plus the health protocols for training camp and the playoff tournament once negotiations between the league and the PA conclude.

New York Rangers winger Artemi Panarin (Photo via NHL Images).

Rangers winger Artemi Panarin raised concern about escrow payments. He said the players cannot resume play until there is an agreement in place.

For nearly two decades, the Players have protected the owners income with escrow, including throughout this pandemic crisis, in which owners equity has continued to grow exponentially,” wrote Panarin. “It is time to fix the escrow.”

Brooks cites sources indicating the proposal generated by the league and the PA would include a cap on escrow on a de-linked flat salary cap expected to be around $83 million for at least the next three seasons as both sides continue to deal with the economic issues caused by the pandemic.

He suggested that the cap number could change over time. The excess could roll over two or three years, but a hard cap on escrow would be gradually implemented throughout the extension. Brooks also said the players would be responsible to make up 14 percent of escrow for this season.

THE SCORE: Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Kesler is also calling for changes to escrow.

“It’s about time … the owners need to understand we’re done paying their debts,” Kesler said. “You run your team into the ground it’s on you …. if there’s a pandemic it’s on the owners … figure it out it’s not a free ride.”

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman cites sources claiming the escrow cap would be at 20 percent for 2020-21. There would also be a one-season-only salary deferral of 10 percent by every player. It would not be a rollback as the players would get that money back in the future, meaning the escrow on that money would be lower.

Friedman also reports the cap could be kept close to $81.5 million for the next three seasons. It could increase by $1 million in 2022-23.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price said he wouldn’t feel comfortable having an NHLPA vote right now.

There’s still a lot of questions that need to be answered,” he said. “We have obviously a unique situation right now. The NHL and the NHLPA are trying to make the best of a very difficult situation. So moving forward I’d like to play, but we have a lot of questions that need to be answered and a lot of scenarios that need to be covered before I can vote yea or nea.”

The pandemic struck close to home for Price, as the mother of one of his good friends died earlier this year after contracting COVID-19.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The players will determine the fate of the return-to-play plan. The tournament and a possible extension to the CBA could be derailed if they reject the proposal. I don’t blame them for trying to leverage this to their favor, but it remains to be seen if the majority support that power play. 


TSN: Bob McKenzie reports the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery will be held tonight at 8 pm ET at the NHL Network studios in New Jersey. For the first time, there won’t be representatives from the various clubs in the lottery because of COVID-19.

McKenzie took to Twitter indicating the league has a Plan B for what will happen to the draft lottery and order of selection if the return-to-play plan doesn’t go through. He doesn’t know what it could be but cited one NHL GM suggesting the league should resort to the rules of the 2005 draft in which all teams would be eligible for the first-overall pick.

NBC SPORTS: has a draft lottery primer, including the top prospects, the odds for the NHL teams, and a brief explanation of the potential two phases of the lottery.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Detroit Red Wings have the best singular odds (18.5 percent), but the Ottawa Senators have the second-best odds (13.5 percent) and hold the San Jose Sharks pick (11.5 percent). Rimouski Oceanic forward Alexis Lafreniere is considered the top prospect. 


THE SCORE: The NHL could play daily triple-headers if play resumes.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: As of Thursday not a single member of the Winnipeg Jets roster has returned to Winnipeg for Phase 2. They could be kept off the ice by Manitoba’s quarantine protocols for 14 days unless they receive an exemption. It would affect their efforts to resume skating in preparation for the start of training camp on July 10. 

SUN-SENTINEL.COM: Florida Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov is now a major shareholder of Tappara Tempere, his hometown club in Finland. He also claims he and his Panthers teammates are looking forward to resuming the season 

THE SCORE: Seattle’s KeyArena will be renamed Climate Pledge Arena after Amazon bought its naming rights.


  1. Kesler sure sounds very entitled for a guy who will wind up collecting over $20m. over 3 seasons without playing a single game. When he says “run your team into the ground”, does that include giving expensive long-term contracts to players on the wrong side of 30? And does he really want that to stop?

    • Howard

      You had ur coffee B4 me… was going to post highly similar thoughts to u re Kessler… ins paying his Sal… he’s only on hook for his share of premium…. not even sure of the rules wrt LTIR having an impact (If any??) from escrow… anybody here know?

      • Doesn’t matter who’s paying his salary, he’s still getting it for not playing. As for the premium, I would imagine it’s the Ducks who are paying it, not him, as the salary is the team’s obligation.

    • The Kessler and Panarin remarks sound a lot like shots have been exchanged already and is quietly stirring. When you think about it, both parties have each other over a barrel and looks like both parties are looking not to be taken advantage of and at the same time, use it to their advantage.

      Here’s something to think about – what if they end up not returning to play? I can see that as a starting point of a potential lockout or extended work stoppage.

    • Very entitled?

      Lets hear from Tavares with his yearly signing bonuses.

  2. I think Donald Fehr translated panarin’s comment !? If the cap stays flat for 3 the teams up against are going to be giving away players for picks all over the league

  3. $83 M Cap as a possibility???? I’d be 😮

    Re: “ should resort to the rules of the 2005 draft in which all teams would be eligible for the first-overall pick.”

    I know who won but can’t remember if it was all EQUAL odds or just that ALL teams eligible with differing odds

    I think it was all equal (please advise if I’m wrong) but there was no previous season to go by

    If this season is not re-started (play-in etc)…. I don’t have issue with all teams (with a pick) at least having a shot…. but it has to be scaled odds…. Detroit was already mathematically eliminated ; and 20 teams had at least DOUBLE the points as Detroit

    Blues and Avs having same odds as Detroit???? Nyet!!

    What happens to traded picks…. imagine if nothing happens and the winning ball (using equal odds) drops for Bruins (now Ducks) or Bolts ( SJ)

    If it was Bruins… the Backes trade … wow 🤬

    If it was Bolts… oddly enough Sharks (via Goodrow trade) technically jump from where they landed (3rd last) to get Lafreniere 🤓

    For me …. Leafs and Pens already moved their firsts…. but if trades nixed and equal odds …. Lafreniere with Sid 😁; Leafs win Lafrennierre … then trade of WW (my pref) or MM a given ; to get a top 3 D!

    Strange times

    • It wasn’t equal odds I can’t remember exactly how the odds were but it wasn’t equal

      • Thanks BBB