NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 4, 2020

by | Jun 4, 2020 | News, NHL | 24 comments

​​A growing number of NHL stars are speaking out against racial justice, the latest updates on the league’s return-to-play format, and Anaheim Ducks GM Bob Murray talks about his club’s future in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


TSN: New Jersey Devils defenseman P.K. Subban pledged $50,000 to George Floyd’s daughter Gianna’s GoFundMe page.

“Change the game means change the narrative. The narrative has been the same: no justice. There needs to be justice. Justice has to happen, change needs to come. But we need everyone. We need all people to look at our lives and see where we can help that change and do our part.”

BOSTON, MA – SEPTEMBER 13: Patrice Bergeron #37 of the Boston Bruins poses for his official headshot for the 2019-2020 season on September 13, 2019 at WGBH in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Patrice Bergeron

Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron pledged $25,000 to the Boston branch of the NAACP and $25,000 to Centre Multiethnique de Quebec.

 “Let’s take real actions, with an open heart and compassion, I am determined to be an ally, continue to grow myself, and raise my children to be anti-racist.”

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby and teammate Jason Zucker, Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid, Montreal Canadiens captain Shea Weber and teammate Brendan Gallagher, Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby and winger Tom Wilson, Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog, and San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson joined a growing list of NHL stars issuing statements speaking out against racial injustice.

THE SCORE: Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas believes his club can and should do more to combat systemic racism.

“I think what we’ve learned, especially in the last number of days, is that with the Maple Leafs and with our players and with our staff … we need to be doing more on the anti-racism side of things. Not only with our statements and our words and our tweets and what we put out there but with our actions, and we know that people will be watching us and holding us accountable in that regard.”

ESPN.COM: NHL analyst and former goaltender Kevin Weekes described his experiences as a black player in a predominantly white sport.

“The higher up I got in hockey, the more race started to become a factor,” Weekes said. “And I started realizing that, for me, I was walking over Niagara Falls on a tightrope with no safety net.”

Weekes called upon the NHL to implement harsher punishments for racially motivated incidents or slurs and to evaluate its relationship with local police departments.

For an example, an NHL club should be very selective, just as they are with their players, to do hyperscreening of the law enforcement officials they use to work their venues or protect their players and their families. We’ll be a lot more diligent in the people we select to work with us.”

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Ken Campbell notes the growing number of NHL players speaking out against the murder of George Floyd and racism toward black people have galvanized the sport. He wonders if this will bring about necessary change within hockey.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s heartening to see more NHL stars adding their voices against racial injustice, bigotry, and intolerance. However, they must back up their comments by actively working against racism within the sport and in society

Subban and Bergeron accompanied their words with deeds. Hopefully, other players will follow their example.

I’m not doubting the players’ sincerity, but if they don’t back up their comments with positive action, their words will ring hollow.


THE ATHLETIC (subscription required): Pierre LeBrun yesterday reported an NHL source said the league hasn’t yet whittled down its list of 10 potential hub cities down to two for its return-to-play tournament. Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton, St. Paul/Minneapolis, Columbus, Pittsburgh, Dallas, and Chicago are believed in the running. The league could narrow down that list and finding suitable locations within the next two weeks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The recent protests against racial injustice in many US cities could affect the league’s decision. The potential Canadian locations depend upon whether the Canadian government eases its current COVID-19 border restrictions or deems NHL employees as essential works.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Joe Haggerty reports the NHL won’t begin Phase 2 of its return-to-play plan until all 31 teams can safely and legally reopen their training facilities. There are also complications involving foreign-born players being allowed to return to their Canadian NHL cities because of the country’s border restrictions. July 10 is the earliest date training camps could open, with the 24-team tournament beginning in late July or early August.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Phase 2 allows the players to return to their respective NHL cities to engage in voluntary small-group training in their practice facilities. The league is believed to be aiming for mid-June to formally introduce that phase.

SPORTSNET: Ontario premier Doug Ford said the NHL told him it would use private labs to process COVID-19 tests of players and staff should the league resume plan this summer. Toronto is among the teams on the proposed list of hub cities for the return-to-play tournament.


THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Elliott Teaford reports Anaheim Ducks GM Bob Murray voiced his displeasure over his club’s poor performance this season. He expects improvement and more accountability from his players in 2020-21.

Murray singled out his core players. “No excuses,” he said. “All of our core guys have to pick up their games.” He also intends to meet next week with head coach Dallas Eakins and his staff in person if possible.

The Ducks GM spoke about his club’s free agents. We’ve talked to them all,” Murray said. “In some cases, we have the hammer. In some cases, they have the hammer. There’s not going to be a lot of money out there (because of the coronavirus pause in play). The (salary) cap could be flat for a couple of years. Revenues could be tight.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Ducks were a mess last season. Teaford cited their anemic offense, underachieving special teams, and inconsistent play.

Part of it had to do with their rebuilding roster, as several promising youngsters failed to play up to expectations. Some of it was Eakin readjusting to the NHL game after coaching in the minors. Some of it was core players like Rickard Rakell failing to step up. Murray can demand accountability but it remains to be seen if the Ducks can elevate their play.


  1. Bob Murray: “There’s not going to be a lot of money out there (because of the coronavirus pause in play). The (salary) cap could be flat for a couple of years. Revenues could be tight.”

    This more or less underscores what I’ve been harping on in recent weeks in response to suggestions and thoughts floating about regarding “sign this UFA to XXetyX milliions of dollars” or “trade for (Subban as an example if NJ holds 40-50%) or some other costly players, most with long term deals …”

    The new reality is slow to sink in.

    • Hi, George, the full column with Bob Murray is worth a read. He does not hold back in any way about the entire operation – management, coaches, staff.
      A refreshing voice for sure. Now for the hard part – words to deeds.

      • It was refreshing to hear a GM talk like that indeed, BCLeafFan. Another point I found interesting is when he says “Instead of assuming a leadership role as the Ducks’ top offensive player from longtime captain Ryan Getzlaf, Rakell shrank from the spotlight. With rare exceptions, he wasn’t the dangerous threat he once was and that heightened the Ducks’ offensive struggles. ”

        There was chatter in these pages about some teams, where fan “focus” is through the roof, trying to obtain Rakell in a trade. If he shrinks from the spotlight in Anaheim, where Corey Perry once said you can read a book on a beach after a game without one person recognizing you, and there are but a handful of reporters after a game, I can just imagine him shrinking into a Seinfeld “frightened turtle shell” in places like Toronto, New York, Boston … 🙂

        So Murray is down to hoping for a Striker-like bounce-back.

  2. The hub cities should be in one country. (U.S.). It would be less hassle to not have to cross the border, and who knows when the Canadian government will lift restrictions. Vegas is a gimme. Scratch St Paul/Minneapolis. An inept, racist police department, a murder on video and they have to investigate it??? If it was a black man kneeling on a white mans neck, he would have been in jail before the video hit YouTube.

    • It took 8 months to charge the officer involved in Justine Ruszczyk, death…. who happened to be black.

      Cause of death, Gunshot wound inflicted by the officer.

      Not only did it take 7 months for him to be charged. He was put on admin leave and paid the entirety of his vacation.

      Her crime? Calling 911.

      George Floyd …. killed May 25th

      Cause of death , (1st autopsy) cardiac arrest. Not Asphyxiation.

      2nd autopsy (tbd). Without a direct link (asphyxiation) to the officer …. a murder charge may not stick.

      Derek Chauvin Arrested and charged May 29th. 4 days later!

      I guess the wheel of justice doesn’t turn exactly as fast for the privileged white man as the picture you’ve painted here?

      • Hey, guys, let’s try to keep the discussions focused on today’s NHL topics.

        While I don’t mind the vigorous debates of the past several days, some of this is just repeating the same points over and over without any resolution, That’s not what this comments section on this hockey website is about.

        Some of you have strong views regarding the George Floyd killing and the protests. I respect that but let’s not have things deteriorate to where both sides are just engaging in a daily repetitive argument about broader social and racial issues.

        Instead, why not discuss or debate what NHL players and teams can do to address racism and bigotry within the game? I’d be much more interested in hearing all your thoughts on that.

      • NY4. I honestly try to avoid interacting with you. It almost seems sometimes like you just come here to argue. The fact that you’d go find a case where a black officer killed a white woman says a lot. You’re more bothered by the idea that the Floyd murder is getting attention. You bring up the case of a black officer. He was responding to a 911. He was on scene when the woman approached his car. He panicked and shot her. You could argue that if he was a white cop shooting a black teen, he would’ve never been charged. How come you didn’t bring up one of the numerous cases caught on video? Tamir Rice? Eric Garner? Philip Castile? As mentioned in Lyles article, we need to teach our children better. Obviously, there’s too many people like you in my generation that will fight change to the death! By the way, the term “white privilege” doesn’t mean you’re actually priveleged.

      • So slick,

        When Lyle asked to stick to the topic I guess he meant everyone but you?

        To make those kind of accusations toward me are ridiculous. Where I came from I was the minority….

        To say I didn’t bring up those cases mentioned… ? Actually I did. And went into great detail on some of them…. Maybe before you sling accusations you can take the time to read them?

      • Lyle, as I said, I try to avoid.last week I responded to George only. We had our say and moved on amicably. You posted on the subject. Somebody commented, and I responded. I understand you’re trying to nip in bud. That’s fine. As I said in my comment, most in my generation don’t want to have this conversation. I suggest maybe you shouldn’t have made it a topic then. Have a great day.

      • NY4. I posted my comment before I saw Lyles. Probably posted while I was typing. And for record, you brought up the 1 case ( Justine Ruszczyks) compare to the Floyd case. I’m done

      • Lol… yet you STILL continue?

        You or ANYBODY else wish to continue… email me. Don’t take it up here where it’s been requested to stay on topic.



  3. Repeating here

    Best for resumption (if it actually does happen); to be in one country….. avoids any cross border travel (and therefore any current and/or future border crossing restrictions)

    Once in a hub, no travel until SC and in one time zone…. so time of day playing for players won’t have anywhere near the impact that it woulD have had with travel and time zone changes. Already proposed 3 games a day possibility in hubs so the time zone issue for fans is not as dramatic as being forced to play all in prime time…. ‘tis what ‘tis…. so both Hub cities could be in same time zone

    $Cnd low; so economically better for both hubs in Canada

    Covid spread , testing, local concerns ….. paramount

    Playing in mid summer…. so ice concerns with 3 games a day played in cities with extremely high temps with high humidity

    Logistics …. available amenities (practice arenas , transportation , and very importantly ; enough hotel footpad to accommodate 12 teams (players, staff, and potentially fam)

    With the above…,I’d have to say Vegas and Ed are the best solution if they go bi-national (and of course IF 14 day Canadian restriction can be addressed)

    If the 14 day restriction is addressed … and decision to go with no cross-border for entirety…. Ed/Van

    If 14 day issue in Can not addressed… Vegas/Pitts; with a close second Pitt/Clb

    • Pengy, in one part you correctly point out that “Playing in mid summer…. so ice concerns with 3 games a day played in cities with extremely high temps with high humidity …”

      And then you sum up with “I’d have to say Vegas and Ed are the best solution if they go bi-national … or “If 14 day issue in Can not addressed… Vegas/Pitts; with a close second Pitt/Clb …”

      The daily average temp in Vegas over the summer months are

      June – low 74°F (23°C) – high 100°F (38°C)
      July – low 81°F (27°C) – high 105°F (41°C)
      Aug – low 78°F (26°C) – high 102°F (39°C)

      Seems to me we’d be watching fog bowls and by the 3rd game they’d be skating in slush

      And this was in Buffalo!


      • Hi George

        Bang on re heat but my mistake for not clarifying re much less chance at fog in Vegas…. desert…. basically zero humidity so fog inside arena in Vegas when outside temps are 105 is less likely than fog inside the ACC when the GTA is in the mid 80’s

        Remember that they had playoffs there a couple of years ago when the outside temp got to 107 and there was no fog then

        My bad for not clarifying that

        Logistically T.O. could handle all 24 as hotels are not an issue, transportation not an issue; and games could be played at ACC; MLG and Coca Cola Coliseum; with an additional option if Copps…. but it ain’t happenin’ even with a miraculous Covid numbers plummeting

        This really (IMHO) is going to come down to Ottawa deciding on any relaxing/modifying/exempting re 14 days

        That doesn’t happen ; I’d be absolutely floored if Vegas isn’t a hub

      • I think covid concerns are gone. There have been mass gatherings everywhere for the last week plus.

        Why not just have every team play at home?

    • Agree with Pengy about the humidity. I used to live in South Florida and ice was just as good at night as it was in morning. Recall playing in adult rec league when rink had issues with humidifier, causing fog to take over rink. Vegas should be fine. Low humidity +new rink+ no fans.

  4. If Canada can figure out a way to reduce the quarantine time or restrictions in the next few weeks I could see it all be in Canada. Weak dollar would save money plus Vancouver and Edmonton are low risk at this point for Covid . Plus ice conditions will be better.That being said I think Bettman will have that as a 0 % chance it will be to inconvenient for NBC we all know that is Garys baby

  5. Good on the players who have taken some risk of personal criticism and alienating themselves from some fans and perhaps some organizations.

    One way pro athletes can make a tangible difference relatively quickly is by using their voices to spur changing names of teams such as Blackhawks, Eskimos, Redskins and others. Isn’t it time?

  6. In a serious bromance with Bergeron. Besides being one of the very best, ie he’ll always be accepted on my all star team basically since he entered the league. And now we read how he literally but his money where his mouth is. That is a good man. <3

    Nyr4life, said to hear your thoughts and how you feel. We can all agree senseless killings are awful…but to really feel that, one has to seek an understanding and some times the answers suck. We are in a suck.

    I know by your reaction, you hate the phrase white privilege. I also know it bothers many people including me. The phase white privilege can be summed up in one simple sentence and that is, no matter how hard or bad your life was or is or how tough you have or had to endure, thankfully for you, the color of your skin didn’t and cannot make things harder or worse for you. Not so true – as we all are witnessing – if your a person of color.

    That’s all from me on this. I hope god shows you the way.

    • Ron, I’m not a god guy but respect those of faith. Like my entire family.
      Gotta say you nailed it with that post.
      Well done.

    • Since it’s been asked and (ignored) to stay on topic. I’d prefer you not directly address me or what you “think” are my views or how you’ve chosen to interpret my views.

      I don’t wish to be topic of conversation when I can’t defend my thoughts , opinions etc.

      Its a bit one sided.

      I’ve provided an email address above if you feel the need to continue. If you don’t , just as good.

      Respect Lyles wishes and this site by not carrying on this one way conversation.


  7. Props to Subban and Bergeron.
    Pro Athletes are at really high risk of succumbing to the ego-trip.
    These guys didn’t.


  8. Nyr4life , sometimes on this site you become the villain. Don’t worry about it and carry on
    I know of what I talk. I actually think you scolded me a couple of times.
    Have a good evening