NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 8, 2020

by | Jun 8, 2020 | News, NHL | 23 comments

A synopsis of Phase 2 of the Return-To-Play Plan, NHLPA director Donald Fehr is proud of the players speaking out against racial injustice, a breakdown of the Stars’ goaltending tandem, & more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: Ed Graney provides a synopsis of Phase 2 of the NHL’s return-to-play plan which begins today. Among the key points:

Phase 2 of the NHL’s Return-To-Play Plan begins today.

A maximum of six players on the ice at one time,

Players who live in a city that they don’t play for can use local NHL facilities,

Any player traveling to his team facility from abroad by other than private jet must self-quarantine for 14 days. Carpooling is also discouraged,

Goaltenders can hire an individual coach for one-on-one training but he cannot be a team employee,

Social distancing protocols (handwashing, use of sanitizer, no sharing of towels or flip-flops, showering elsewhere, no shared use of food or water) must be maintained at the facility,

Colored badges will designate a player’s access and that for non-players.

Coronavirus testing will occur 48 hours before accessing the facility and twice weekly. Players and staff will also complete symptom and temperature checks before departure. A positive COVID-19 test will be treated as a hockey-related injury.

Players skating at a team facility are prohibited from skating at a separate public rink,

Coaches cannot participate in on-ice activity but can observe from the stands.

TORONTO STAR: Damien Cox considers Phase 2 as the NHL’s cautious, careful road toward resuming play at some point this summer. He believes this slow start-up allows the league to observe and learn from the experiences of other sports that have already returned to action.

This phase brings optimism for those hopeful of completing the season and crowning a Stanley Cup champion. Others believe there’s a long way to go before that can take place.

Cox also reported the Maple Leafs have about 20 players in the area, including several still under a two-week quarantine after crossing the border.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There is a sense of cautious optimism that the league might be able to pull this off. The next big test begins next month when the teams converge for training camps.

SPORTSNET: NHL Players’ Association director Donald Fehr said he’s “really proud” of the more than 100 players who’ve spoken out against racial injustice.

They understand it’s an important moment. They understand what the issues are, at least in the grand scope. And they’re making their voice heard. Not everybody, but quite a lot.

And that’s to their credit.”

TSN: NHL analyst and former goaltender Kevin Weekes said he won’t mention the Greater Toronto Hockey League on television again until the amateur league discloses statistics about how often players are penalized for making racial slurs.

I’m not mentioning the GTHL on the air if I can help it until there is reform,” he told TSN. “I’m on TV almost 200 days a year, on four different shows on the league network. I like to give credit both to players and to the organizations that help develop them. 

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars goaltending coach Jeff Reese recently broke down what makes Ben Bishop and Anton Khudobin potentially the best tandem in the league by examining five key saves by each netminder this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Thanks to Bishop and Khudobin, the Stars finished the regular season with the league’s second-best goals-against per game (2.52). They played a significant role in the Stars qualifying for the post-season tournament and will be crucial to the club’s Stanley Cup aspirations.

THE SCORE: Colby Cave’s AHL teammate Cooper Marody will release a song as a memorial tribute. The 25-year-old Edmonton Oilers forward died in April from a brain bleed following emergency surgery to remove a colloid cyst.


  1. Since those 7 teams that face the prospect of not being involved in a meaningful game for some lengthy period (possibly into 2021), why not designate a hub location for them to compete in a tournament which would see the TOP team at the end get the first pick in the draft, followed by the others in sequence down to the 7th pick. Definitely no tanking would be involved there.

    • George, that would go against the principle of the worst team needing the first pick. The lottery is in place to discourage/account for “tanking” for the first pick but still gives them the best odds. What you are suggesting is that the best team that didn’t make the playoffs should get the pick.

      • No, I’m suggesting that the team from among the bottom 7 that finishes on top of a tournament designed for that purpose should get the first pick. As I said, these teams face the prospect of not playing a meaningful game again until possibly some time in 2021. I bet they’d jump at the chance – maybe with the exception of Detroit who are so far back they couldn’t see the rest of the league without a telescope.

        The bottom 7 sit like this – pts followed by games left to play

        Buff -68-13
        NJ- 68- 13
        Ana- 67- 11
        LA – 64 – 12
        SJ – 63 – 12
        Ott – 62 – 11
        Det – 39 – 11

        So, 6 points separate the 25th place team (Buffalo) and the 30th place team (Ottawa). Who’s to say any one of Buffalo – or NJ – or Anaheim – or any of the others in that grouping wouldn’t have gone into a season-ending swoon and drop to 30th and thereby a chance at a better pick? By the same token, who’s to say any of them – especially Buffalo and NJ who sit just 3 back of Montreal with both having 2 games in hand, wouldn’t have caught fire and passed the Habs or even Chicago?

        But now, those two teams are allowed into the Cup hunt on the basis of where they stand while the others have to be satisfied with being involved in Phase I of a convoluted draft process.

      • @George if I’m San Jose I lose that tournament since I would be playing for another team to pick.

      • Hmmm – yeah, there’s THAT point too Roger. Damn. Ahh well, it was just an idle thought to see if there was some way to get every team involved to some degree to avoid those 7 being idle for upwards of 11 month (or more).

      • I’ll try this response again – the site is getting harder and harder to negotiate with repeated “time out” notices or indications that a response/post has gone through – but simply don’t appear.

        Roger, yeah, that aspect I overlooked. Good point. Damn. Ahh well, it was just an idle thought about ways to get the 7 teams involved some way since they face the prospect of not having done anything for upwards of 11 months.

      • NOW the original one appears!! LOL.

      • Sounds good george. But no. What is the motivation for the bottom six and bottom pair players to play in a meaningless game if it means winning the right to draft a player who will take one of their spots?

  2. I actually think those 7 teams should have to play . Not have the games mean anything.
    They should be putting their players in the same situation as the rest of the teams.
    They voted for the rest of the teams to play and to be in isolation.
    Maybe the 7 teams could clean the locker rooms.
    Do the time in the penalty boxes.
    I agree they should be in a complex away from their families as well.
    It would make it fair to the rest of the teams.

  3. Phase 2 might be all the further the NHL gets in this endeavor. These protests are occurring in the most population dense areas of the country. The pictures I have seen are a COVID public health nightmare at a time when we were just starting to be able to loosen restrictions. I can’t help but see some irony in the overwhelming support for BLM (which I agree with) that may end causing an early “second wave” and the end to the NHL, NBA, and MLB seasons. I guess we have to wait a couple weeks and hopefully everything is still ok.

  4. Hi Lyle

    Question re Graney’s synopsis

    “ Players who live in a city that they don’t play for can use local NHL facilities,”

    I was keying in on “can”…. is that the directive “can” meaning “must” or truly “can” meaning it is an option for them.

    My pedantic question arises that if it is “must”…. then what about the players at home who do not live in an NHL city

    Sorry…. tough weekend , and idiotically being picayune 🤓

    • Pengy: If a player from another NHL club asks to use the facility, the team will make it available to him.

      • Hi Lyle

        Sorry I was not communicating properly …. my age becomes me 🤪… yes I knew re a player residing in his home that IS an NHL city that isn’t his home team; I meant those in a non NHL city…. say their home is Regina or Halifax etc. …., can they negotiate with local rink owners or do they have to be NHL sanctioned rinks?

  5. I have to agree with Marco, a tournament for non-playoff teams (where the winner receives the first pick) changes the percentages as follows:
    FROM Detroit having the best chance at the 1st pick TO Detroit having the worst chance at the 1st pick

    That’s opposite from what the lottery system tries to accomplish.

  6. I believe the season has likely been suspended.
    If that is the case all 31 teams will have their hats thrown in for an equal shot at the draft.
    That would be the only fair way to do it.
    A suspended season is not a complete season.

    • Yep, give Boston, with 100 points, the same odds as Detroit, with 39 – because, if the season were completed, Detroit might catch Boston. Makes perfect sense.

      • @lago although i completely see and agree with your point some teams traded and spent money on UFA’s for a shot at the cup and other teams traded there players and made steps to get a high pick based on this season. If this season doesn’t finish then it doesn’t finish and all teams should get the same shot at the 1st overall. Why should the teams that were going for the Stanley cup be published for a canceled season.

  7. Old Hockey Fan on June 8, 2020 at 11:51 am

    This site is usually filled with many, many prognosticators….who is in…who is out…how many will he score…will he be resigned…should he be paid that much….and the list goes on and on.
    ……….So weigh in on this one……
    The pendulum on the race issue has begun to swing….
    1…Far far will it go ???
    2…What will it look like when it stops swinging ????
    3…Are you prepared for that ???

    • Seems like a simple answer to me Old Hockey Fan, but of course it isn’t as it needs to be implemented and enforced by people.
      I don’t think it should be a pendulum and all anyone is asking for is for is no pendulum, just fair and equal and no special treatment.
      For those of any race and for those in positions of power.
      Just like it says above the main doors of the US supreme court.
      “Equal Justice Under Law”
      Am I prepared for that? Of course. Seems like a win win for everybody to me. Just because someone else makes gains doesn’t mean somebody else loses. This is not a zero sum game.

  8. Unfortunately I don’t see the race issue ever being resolved.
    There has always been race issues just as there has always been wars and bloodshed over religion.
    Unfortunately humans love to harm one another
    Humans love to think they are right and the other person is wrong.
    This has been going on since the dawn of time.
    All we can do is try to understand and learn more about each other

    • This. Is the least dumb thing you ever said.

  9. …gentleman!

  10. Wait. Am I the only one who read about the players sharing flip flops… and TOWELS?