NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 9, 2020
Several teams begin Phase 2 training, current and former players of color form Hockey Diversity Alliance, and much more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL BEGINS PHASE TWO TRAINING PERIOD
NHL.COM: Several NHL clubs began limited voluntary small-group workouts on Monday at their team facilities as part of Phase 2 of the league’s return-to-play plan. The Edmonton Oilers, New York Islanders, Philadelphia Flyers, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Vegas Golden Knights opened their facilities yesterday.
The Pittsburgh Penguins and Tampa Bay Lightning are expected to have players on the ice today, while the Arizona Coyotes will open their training facilities on Thursday.
TSN: 16 teams are hoping to open their facilities this week for small-group training. The Montreal Canadiens are expected to open their doors on Thursday. The Vancouver Canucks, however, have no plans to reopen their facility for the foreseeable future. With only three Canucks in Vancouver with their own access to ice, it’s easier for them to continue working out on their own.
THE DENVER POST: The Avalanche won’t open their facilities until Wednesday or Thursday.
WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Bell MTS Place will remain closed for the time being as almost all of the Jets are currently at their off-season homes throughout North America and Europe.
SPORTSNET: The Calgary Flames and Columbus Blue Jackets are among the clubs expected to open later this week. The Carolina Hurricanes, Minnesota Wild, and St. Louis Blues are among those that will wait.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Because the small-group training is voluntary, the teams aren’t obligated to reopen their training facilities unless requested by the players. With many players at their off-season homes and the ongoing travel restrictions from the COVID-19 pandemic, their preference is to continue working out at their current locations.
SEVEN CURRENT AND FORMER NHL PLAYERS FORM HOCKEY DIVERSITY ALLIANCE
THE SCORE: Seven current and former black NHL players formed the Hockey Diversity Alliance. San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane and former player Akim Aliu will co-head the group. The executive committee includes Detroit Red Wings defenseman Trevor Daley, Minnesota Wild blueliner Matt Dumba, Buffalo Sabres winger Wayne Simmonds, former NHLer and current AHL player Chris Stewart, and former player Joel Ward.
The alliance will be an independent group seeking to eliminate racism and intolerance in hockey. It hopes to work closely with the NHL to bring about change.
IN OTHER NEWS…
TSN: NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said dialogue continues with the league and the Canadian government regarding the latter’s border quarantine issue. Daly said Edmonton, Toronto, and Vancouver remain among the league’s 10 options for two host cities for this summer’s 24-team return-to-play tournament.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Over the weekend, the Toronto Sun’s Steve Simmons reported it appeared those three cities were out as potential hubs. He claimed Las Vegas is almost certainly to be named as one of the host cities, with Los Angeles or Chicago as the other.
Pierre LeBrun reports the league and the NHL Players’ Association are hoping to open training camps in mid-July as part of Phase 3.
Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby and his wife Brandi have launched an auction to benefit Black Lives Matter DC and The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.
THE SCORE: Buffalo Sabres’ goaltender Carter Hutton revealed an ongoing vision issue plagued him during 2019-20. However, he doesn’t blame it for his poor performance at times.
TSN: Vancouver Canucks winger Micheal Ferland (concussion) has been cleared to resume skating. Teammate Josh Leivo (fractured knee cap) is unlikely to be ready in time for training camp in July.
ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes named Xavier A. Gutierrez as their new team president, CEO and alternate governor. He’s the first Latino president and CEO in NHL history.
AZCENTRAL.COM: Kent Somers reports Coyotes owner Alex Meruelo hinted he could have a new arena deal in place by the end of this year. Somers, however, remains skeptical.
If Meruelo has received a couple of “extremely attractive” offers from the East Valley, why hasn’t he taken them? What’s he waiting for? And what city or tribe is in position to make such an offer? Much less in the most difficult year (we hope) that most of us will experience?
NORTHJERSEY.COM: Josh Harris and David Blitzer, owners of the New Jersey Devils and the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers, may be interested in purchasing MLB’s New York Mets.