NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 27, 2020

by | Jun 27, 2020 | News, NHL | 52 comments

A placeholder team wins the first-overall pick in a chaotic opening phase of the draft lottery, a new CBA extension may be getting close, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: A placeholder team won the first-overall selection in the first phase of the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery on Friday evening. The Los Angeles Kings will select second overall while the Ottawa Senators will pick third. The Senators also hold the fifth-overall pick which was acquired from the San Jose Sharks in the Erik Karlsson trade in 2018.

The Detroit Red Wings slid to fourth overall despite having the worst regular-season record. The Anaheim Ducks, New Jersey Devils, and Buffalo Sabres will pick sixth, seventh, and eighth respectively.

The placeholder team will be one of the eight eliminated from the qualifying round of the 24-team tournament. That club will be decided in a second lottery held following the completion of the qualifying round and before the opening round of the playoffs. All eight of those eliminated teams will have a 12.5 percent chance of winning the first-overall pick and the right to select Rimouski Oceanic winger Alexis Lafreniere, considered this year’s top prospect.

Picks No. 9 to 15 will be determined based on inverse order according to points percentage. The remaining picks will be determined by the playoff results.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was the worst possible outcome, but what else did we expect in this crazy NHL season? There is now a real chance that a team already loaded with superstars – like the Edmonton Oilers, Pittsburgh Penguins, or Toronto Maple Leafs – will win the lottery and select Lafreniere.

The Leafs traded their pick last year to Carolina in the Patrick Marleau trade, but it was a top-10 protected pick. If the Leafs are eliminated from the qualifying round and win the lottery, the league would have to honor the conditions and allow the Leafs to keep that selection.

There is also a chance the Chicago Blackhawks or Montreal Canadiens could win that pick. Both clubs were all but eliminated from postseason contention before COVID-19 forced the league to come up with a season-saving playoff tournament allowing those two to compete for the Stanley Cup. Winning the first-overall selection could be one helluva consolation prize for one of them if they end up eliminated from the qualifying round.

This result sucks for rebuilding teams like the Wings and Senators, who need a franchise player to build around. That’s not to say they won’t get good players, perhaps even a future superstar, in their current spots, but Lafreniere is considered a “can’t-miss kid”. The Kings, meanwhile, have to be pleased to move up from fourth to second overall.

This one-off draft lottery plan wasn’t going to please everyone, but there was a sense that Detroit or Ottawa could end up with the first-overall pick. The results will only stoke criticism, not only of the way this particular lottery was planned but also of the format in general.


ESPN.COM: Greg Wyshynski reports the NHL and NHL Players’ Association are closing in on a new collective bargaining agreement that would address the league’s revenue losses stemming from pausing the schedule because of COVID-19. A memorandum of understanding is expected soon, perhaps by Sunday at the earliest.

The framework being discussed is a six-year CBA that would also cover 2020-21 and 2021-22, the final two years of the current agreement. It could see a cap on escrow at 20 percent for the first two years, after which it would revert to the traditional system as league revenues are expected to rise following a new U.S. television agreement and the addition of Seattle as the league’s 32nd franchise.

The salary cap would reportedly freeze at $81.5 million for the next two seasons and potentially rise by $1 million for year three. One source told Wyshynski the cap might not be linked back to revenue until the latter years of the agreement.

Both sides are said to agree with a 10 percent one-time salary deferral for the players. That money is not a rollback and would be paid back to the players at a lower rate of escrow in two years.

Wyshynski also reported the possibility of a delay in starting training camps on July 10 as part of Phase 3 of the return-to-play plan. That’s because of the enormity of what’s on the table and players still making their way back to their respective NHL cities for Phase 3.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: TSN’s Pierre LeBrun and Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman have also reported on the CBA talks included in the return-to-play plan. Friedman also said it’s possible the start of training camps could be changed by perhaps two or three days but it wouldn’t upset the remaining timetable. The playoff tournament under Phase 4 is slated to begin on July 30.

A CBA extension would be an unexpected silver lining to emerge from this delayed season. Both sides were engaged in ongoing discussions for a new agreement before the pandemic struck. With the current agreement set to expire in September 2022, the possibility of six more years of labor peace would be welcome news. 


ASSOCIATED PRESS: The NHL and NHLPA aren’t considering placing players under quarantine bubbles when training camps open next month. The players will be instructed to remain at home when not at the rink. They will also undergo frequent testing and maintain health protocols in the hope of preventing any coronavirus outbreaks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As I’ve said before, Phase 3 will determine if the playoff tournament under Phase 4 takes place. The league insists a handful of positive tests won’t derail its plans, but that could change if some players on several teams come down with the coronavirus in the coming weeks.

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports we’ll have to see what develops over this weekend regarding an announcement of the two hub cities for Phase 4. He believes it’s extremely close between Edmonton and Toronto as both cities seem to have provincial health clearance. Las Vegas remains an expected choice for one of the two cities.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Barring unforeseen issues, it appears Edmonton or Toronto will be named as one of those hub cities within the next several days.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars general manager Jim Nill said there’s a good chance defenseman Roman Polak won’t rejoin the team to finish this season. He indicated he’ll honor Polak’s decision but left the door open if the blueliner changed his mind. Nill said no other Stars have expressed reservations about returning to Dallas.


  1. I’m still crying in my coffee about my beloved Wings falling to 4th.
    That being said, I believe they drafted another pretty damn good player with the 4th overall pick once upon a time!

    • And they could do so again this time around too.

  2. All cards lined up to see Lafreniere in black and gold!

    • I may still be drunk from last night’s news, but I’m kinda pulling for the Habs….


      Still drunk. Need more coffee.

      • Habs will land 13th-15th pick, don’t except higher

      • K? They can’t it’s either 1st 9th or above 16 lol do some research

    • i only hope it wont be Pit, Chicago or Rangers

      • Bigbadbruins 16th it is

  3. The league was going for some excitement and interest in the draft and I think they did it.
    We have heard that this draft is deep and everyone knows that #1 can be a bust and players picked later can turn out better.
    The draft is a crap shoot. Results like this should prevent teams from tanking. That’s why the lottery system was brought in. Actually I believe it was Ottawa and San Jose that caused that back in 92 and 93 season. It’s funny that leading up to the draft those 2 teams were a big part of the topic again

  4. OK – three things i predicted would happen – the Wings would get screwed again by Bettman (yep, picking 4th) – LA wpi;d get rewarded – (Yep, picking second). And third, a non lottery team would get number one – yep, again. Now I wonder which other big market team Bettman is trying to help – Montreal, Toronto, New York, or Chicago ?

    • The wings were built to tank this year, that’s why the lottery is good they still get a good prospect at 4?

      • Wings were not built to lose but are rebuilding after 25 years of making playoffs and trading picks and prospects to make the playoffs. They had virtually no prospects and now they are bad. Yes do I think they got screwed along with Ottawa. Wonder if Boston was in the same situation and a team like Toronto jumped in front of them you would feel the same.

    • As much as I despise the Habs, I wouldn’t mind them getting Lafreniere. How long has it been that the Habs had a francophone star player (or team for that matter)? Seems like forever. 😛

    • Not sure how many folks really care about someone saying “I told you so” when talking about apparent predictions. If I make 100 predictions, some will be correct, some incorrect and some in the middle. In the end, who really cares???

    • Bettman is trying to fix american market. So it will be either Chicago, Rangers, Minnesota or his beloved Pit. He hates MTL so habs will land probably last with 15th pick

      • Again they can’t land the 15th

      • chill bro. You’re too stressed in boston

  5. Biggest winner here…? Lafreniere. Might be the first number 1 pick in a long time to go to a team and not have to be the savior. He might start on a team that has a chance to compete.

    • Great point!

  6. Maybe the Wild will finally get the star that fan base deserves.

    Probably to Florida already loaded

    • well you got couple years ago with Parise and Sutter

  7. As I posted some time ago.

    Montreal will Beat Pittsburgh and lose out on 1st overall which will go to the Penguins.

    It’s the only fair thing, don’t you agree?

    • Yes

    • so again Gary needs to rebuild Pit? Ehh that’s why we love american market

      • I hope so. F y’all.

  8. I wonder how many teams GM in the play in round secretly want lose.

    • Montreal went from an almost 20% chance of picking top 3 to now a 12 1/2% chance picking #1.

      “WE WON!”

      At the same time their chance of being knocked back a place has increased to almost 90%, even if they lose now and rank exactly where they should.

      Even if this whole thing is cancelled without playing a game.

      They’re the team who’s getting screwed by the League.

      Not one Habs fan I know, and I know plenty, think this “Play-in” is anything beyond a joke.


      • Canadiens, Canucks are usualy screwed during the lottery. It’s not the market which Gare has to protect: Pit, Chicago, NY, Toronto. I hardly belive i will see habs with 1st overall in the next 10 years.

    • Most of them don’t. Getting your name on the cup is a bigger deal. In a league with so much turnover a cup win is big on the resume. Even the pens with two recent cups have an old fogey who would rather another ring than a player he won’t really use to much cause of near retirement.

      More interesting question is how many fan bases would rather the draft pick than a cup. As a pens fan give me the pick. But that’s only cause we recently won two cups. I’d think most fan bases would prefer the parade.

      • Chris, are you seriously asking that question?

      • Yes. I’d rather the pick. I’ve seen 5 cups in my lifetime. I’ll take the 7+ years of watching a star. You?

  9. What happens if the playoffs do not go ahead? Does the draft go ahead with teams 8 – 16 getting a shot based on whatever odds they are assigned?

    • LJ I’m sure someone will chime in to add but believe all 8 teams that would of played have a chance at that number one pick now. The team with the worse points playing percentage has the greatest odds and slowly makes it down to something like 6% to the highest.

      If they cancelled the playoffs, this lottery result couldn’t be worse. Hopefully, all the losers from the playin round wil get a crack for number 1. Just saying….LOL if Edmonton gets this. Another LOL if Arizona gets it since it seems to go to whatever team Hall is on.

    • Hi LJ

      Per Freidman last night; if season shuts down ; the ranking at season close (percentage) is taken ; and teams 15th last place through 8th last place ; get equal 12.5% chance at the first pick:

      Mont, Chi, Ari; Minn ; Winn; NYR; Cgy; Van

      • So it will be between Chicago, Minn, Rangers

    • Since I’m old, Chris, I’ve seen four Cups myself but just one more would be fine.

  10. *former* (not in play anymore…) 258th – 8th round, Nashville Predators choose Pekka Rinne.. It’s what you do with it… 😀

  11. Bottom 8 have a chance to get top pick.

  12. I heard rumour Team E (2.5% chance of winning) was the team that won the lottery.

    If true, by current standings, that’d be Winnipeg. So they go from guaranteed Lafreniere to a 12.5% chance of getting him, and only if they lose the play-in.

    I’m a Habs fan, but no team is getting more screwed than the Jets if the above is true!

  13. My 2 cents on Detroit getting screwed

    1) Looking at the 4 major sports teams in Detroit NONE of them are worth a bag of ….
    2) With the number #1 pick Wings would have at least given Detroit fans in General and Wing fans in particular some hope.
    3) 20 years or so ago I read an article that around 40% of wings fans drive over the border from southern Ontario to attend games. It was actually quicker and SAFER to drive thru the tunnel into downtown Detroit than drive from the out skirts of Detroit thru the “badlands” to get to downtown arena.
    4) With the pandemic stopping people from crossing the border, with big Democrat cities cutting police departments, just who is going to risk their life to go to games to watch a team with no hope for the future ?

    • Answer is REAL hockey fans are going to risk their life to go to games to watch a team with no hope for the future.

      P.S. I don’t believe you’re risking your life to go to a Detroit game and I believe all teams have hope for the future.

  14. Not sure if anybody watched last night’s lottery live but Ron MacLean made a gaffe in stating that Rangers were the only team in the NHL that could win the cup and draft first overall

    I’m sure he meant owned pick (any team could actually win cup and then trade for first overall pick … Lafrennierre) but they can’t win and select first w/o another trade

    NYR Winning the cup and their own pick is 31st;

    Via Car trade they get the higher of the Leafs and Car picks (IF Leafs pick goes to Car)…. nullifying the lower (possibly first overall pick)

    If Car doesn’t get Leafs pick ; Car pick goes to NYR; so this is probably what RM was counting on; Leafs keep pick; Car loses first round; wins the second lottery ….. but….

    Only way Leafs keep pick is if it is top 10…. only possibility of that is that 1st overall lottery one (nullifying Rangers getting it)

    First 8 slots already dealt out (including mystery 1st overall) so 9th and 10th only other ones in top 10…. Leafs canNOT finish 9th or 10th as Flames play Cannucks and Jets play Wild…. all four lower in standings losers will rank below Leafs

    ….., Unless there is something I missed re the Car trade???



  15. George

    Are you happy with likelihood of



    and then maybe get Foester or Zary with the Isle’s pick…. not too shabby!!!

  16. George is likely still drowning his sorrows like me.

    BUT…..I think OTT is gonna make out like bandits! I like the looks of the top 10. As are my Wings (really want Stutzle).

    That being said, both teams were vying for #1. Both teams have ALOT of cap space. Could either trade their picks for proven “commodities”?

    • Pengy & Artsy19 – let’s look at this way.

      Should any of those teams of some fans in here (such as Edmonton, Pittsburgh or Toronto as examples) fail to go past the first round and then get the # 1 pick had, instead, been in Detroit or Ottawa’s position, you can bet the favourable attitude of those fans would have been quite different.

      But, the NHL farcical approach is what it is.

      A close friend of mine in Nova Scotia who has followed the Q very closely has this to say about Ottawa’s position and I quote:

      I agree with everybody else that allowing the “place holders” to play any part at all in the entry draft is a farce. Allowing one of these teams to have the first pick overall can’t be defended. However, it should be kept in mind that Alexei Lafreniere is NOT Connor McDavid, Sidney Crosby or even Nate MacKinnon. He’s potentially a pretty good first line player (Mark Stone?) but that’s it. It’s the way that the message is being sent that can’t be defended.

      Right now, Ottawa has the 3rd and 5th picks overall. Quenton Byfield will likely go 2nd overall. He is a centre. But make no mistake Ottawa is better positioned to move up 1 position to get Byfield, if they really want him, than any other team. Pre-draft The Hockey News ranked Ottawa’s farm system 3rd overall with 6 of the best one hundred players. Post draft it will be much deeper (7 picks in the first two rounds). So if they really want Byfield they should be able to get him.”

      We’ll see how this plays out.

      • One need look no further than the likes Alex Daigle, Nail Yakopov or Patrik Stefan to know there is also a possibility to shank on a very highly touted #1 overall as well!!!

      • Hi George

        Personally I’d pick Byfield before Stutzle but the recent rankings have Stutzle ahead of QB

        …. But LA has Carter (35) and Kopitar (32) and Lizzotte and Amodio are not arcing towards top line centres; so LA just may want QB over Stutzle (who is listed as C/W but per TSN more likely to slot in at Wing)

        LA also has 3 2nd rounders…. what could Dorion offer LA to flip 2nd for 3rd if Dorion was pretty sure they wanted needed QB and that LA was likely to snap him at 2?

        Under no circumstances should he move the 5th

        If Dorian gets Stutzle /Drysdale at 3rd/5th… perhaps parlay NYI pick (if it’s say 13th-15th) with their own 33rd pick plus another (of their 4 second rounders) to get into top 10…. Askarov?

        What about Miracle sets of upsets in play ins with also a NYI loss… somehow already having Askarov still available at the NYI pick…. then late in 1st flip two or 3 seconds to move up to mid 20’s pick and get Quinn 😁

        So with some big luck Dorian could get

        QB or Stutzle; and
        Drysdale; and
        Askarov; and

        …. with their current young up and coming stars plus their pretty fair current prospect pool ; and the ability to snag another prospect or two taking on short term high cap contracts from Cap strapped teams…. Sens outlook is pretty dashed good IMHO

        Gut feeling … Lafreniere a Hab

      • Uwey – 3 names that stick out for sure as disasters as # 1 overall. Add to that Rick DiPietro NYI 2000, Gord Kluzak Bos 1982, Greg Joly Wash 1974, Brian Lawton Minn 1983.

        Just some of the names that went after those guys: Chris Pronger, Morgan Rielly, Filip Forsberg, The Sedins, Dany Heatley, Marian Gaborik, Brian Bellows, Scott Stevens, Clarke Gillies, Doug Risebrough, Bryan Trotter, Sylvain Turgeon, Pat Lafontaine, Steve Yzerman

  17. Everything said & done, I really like this format & think it should stay. But with one minor adjustment, all of the first phase teams should be drawn for, not just the top three. I would keep the #8 (#9 once Seattle joins the league) team option to be drawn from the 2nd phase, just to keep that bit of WOW factor involved. I really do like this concept, no one would have reason to tank & if the team on the ice was really that, the fan need to take issue with the team’s management not the league & the draft!!!

    • Krupp?

  18. I wonder if Edmonton were to lose in the first round & actually win the first overall pick, if they would be willing to deal it away to Dorion & the Sens????

    No GM in the league values draft capital as much as Kenny Holland & with two studs McDavid & Draisaitl & with Dorion & the Sens oozing that draft capital would Holland entertain the thought of quantity over some slightly less quality??? Edmonton has no second rounders in either of the next two drafts.

    Would Dorion part with #3 overall, plus the Isles #1 pick & the Blues Jackets second rounders in this years & next years draft, all which the Sens own for the #1 overall???

    Dorion would then have the #1 & #5 overall picks while holding three second rounders this year & two next.

    Holland would then have his two second rounders back in his bank for the next two drafts, plus turning one first rounder into two!!! He could Stuetzle at #3 & then a very decent D-man prospect with the second of the two first rounders. Likely having a shot at any one of Schneider, Barron, O’Rourke or Wallinder.