NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 10, 2020
Updates on the Return-to-Play plan and CBA extension, the Devils officially announced Lindy Ruff as their new head coach and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
RETURN-TO-PLAY PLAN & CBA EXTENSION UPDATES
TSN: Bob McKenzie reports the return-to-play plan and CBA extension could be ratified by Friday night. The results of the NHLPA membership vote will be completed by 6 pm ET while the NHL Board of Governors will hold a conference call at 4 PM ET.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The BoG call is expected to be a rubber stamp. Despite several recent reports of player unhappiness leading up to this week, media consensus is the PA membership is expected to vote its approval.
McKenzie wonders if there will be a big spike in positive COVID-19 tests as Phase 3 commences Monday with mandatory training camps at NHL facilities.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ve repeatedly said Phase 3 will determine if Phase 4 (the playoff tournament) takes place. McKenzie points out the league has a fighting chance to pull this off once the teams are quarantined in Edmonton and Toronto. Getting to that point, however, could be a challenge.
During Phase 4, the Eastern Conference clubs will be housed at Hotel X on the CNE grounds and the Royal York in downtown Toronto. In Edmonton, the Western Conference teams will be housed at the JW Marriott alongside the arena and the Sutton Place hotel downtown.
The playoff games are slated for 12, 4, and 8 pm local time daily, but McKenzie indicates the Edmonton schedule could be tweaked more depending on the needs of broadcasters.
Some teams are leaning toward bringing three goalies to the tournament but more are considering bringing four. They’re also mulling whether to bring 31 players or reduced those numbers to allow for an extra staff member or two.
DEVILS HIRE RUFF AS HEAD COACH, MAKE FITZGERALD THEIR FULL-TIME GM
NJ.COM: The New Jersey Devils made it official yesterday, announcing Lindy Ruff will become their new head coach starting next season and removed the interim tag from general manager Tom Fitzgerald’s title.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ruff is known for his defensive systems, but those expecting a boring trapping style could be in for a surprise. “We played a super-fast possession type of game, which is the same type of game I’d like to bring to this Devils team with a lot of puck pressure using the skills we have to own the puck,” he told NJ.com. “And I want a team that can dominate with speed and possession, but at the same time knowing that defending is a passion that we’re going to have.”