NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 12, 2020

by | Jul 12, 2020 | News, NHL | 18 comments

Steven Stamkos to miss training camp, Mike Green and Karl Alzner opt-out of return-to-play plan, more tidbits from the new CBA extension, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Diana C. Nearhos reports Lightning captain Steven Stamkos suffered a leg injury during recent voluntary workouts and won’t be a full participant when the clubs begin training camp on Monday. General manager Julien BriseBois said Stamkos is expected to be ready when the Bolts begin round-robin play on August 3 in Toronto.

Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos (Photo via NHL Images).

​SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stamkos’ recent injury history will be a concern for the Lightning during the playoff tournament. Nearhos points out he suffered three previous injuries (including two confirmed lower-body) this season.

TSN: Citing family health reasons, Edmonton Oilers defenseman Mike Green has decided to opt-out of the return-to-play tournament.

SPORTSNET’s Chris Johnston reports Montreal Canadiens defenseman Karl Alzner is also opting out. 

NBC SPORTS BOSTON:  The Bruins’ Steven Kampfer is also opting out over family health reasons..

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Calgary Flames blueliner Travis Hamonic, Dallas Stars rearguard Roman Polak, and Vancouver Canucks winger Sven Baertschi are also giving it a pass. Players wishing to opt-out without penalty for whatever reason have until 5 pm ET on Monday to so do in writing to the NHLPA and NHL Central Registry.

SPORTSNET: Minnesota Wild defenseman Greg Pateryn is sidelined indefinitely with an upper-body injury.

THE SCORE: Teams participating in the return-to-play plan aren’t permitted to disclose information regarding player injuries or illness. The NHL cites the unique circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. They and the NHLPA are doing so out of respect for an individual player’s right to medical privacy.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That decision will generate plenty of unwanted speculation over a player’s health when he mysteriously goes missing from a game or two or an entire series or the entire tournament, especially if it’s a superstar like Edmonton’s Connor McDavid or Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby. I wouldn’t be surprised if this becomes something that carries over beyond this season.

LAS VEGAS SUN: Jesse Granger reports NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said Las Vegas was excluded as a host city for the return-to-play tournament because of rising COVID-19 cases in Nevada.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Daly confirmed what many of us already suspected.

TSN: Mark Masters reports the Toronto Maple Leafs and Edmonton Oilers canceled video conferences scheduled for today to discuss their selection as NHL host cities. The postponement was because the league still has some final details to work out with the Canadian government.

PUCKPEDIA: There’s a special arbitration wrinkle for this off-season only. Within four days of a team walking away from an arbitration award, the team and the player can agree to a contract equal to the offer the team presented at the arbitration hearing. This might give the player an opportunity to rethink things if the arbiter’s award was higher than what the team can afford.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Brad Alberts is the new CEO and president of the Dallas Stars. Former CEO Jim Lites becomes the club’s chairman.

SPORTSNET: The Minnesota Wild hired Judd Brackett as their new director of amateur scouting. Brackett previously held a similar role with the Vancouver Canucks from 2015 until this year, helping them select Elias Petterssen, Brock Boeser, and Quinn Hughes.


  1. “Lightning captain Steven Stamkos suffered a leg injury during recent voluntary workouts and won’t be a full participant when the clubs begin training camp on Monday …”

    I have a feeling that, once the workouts start in earnest, their relatively short duration, followed not by exhibition games and October loosy-goosy hockey but rather the intensity of the playoffs, that this will prove to be the tip if the iceberg where injuries are concerned. No one will have played meaningful hockey for 5 months!

    • Hi George


      Not to play Captain obvious here; but I think those injuries (especially muscle related ) are going to be skewed to the “older” players

      These are all toned athletes; but a 22 year old’s body rebound and ability to ramp up to where they left off should be in average; much more resilient and faster than a player 10-12 years older

      IMO…Where the “seasoned” players have the advantage early is their maturity and hockey IQ…. early on they may be a step out but see the play developing before the “youngster”

      I’m talking of course in generalities

      I expect many mistakes over the play ins and this may slide into round 1

      The most vulnerable to “rust” may be the goalies…. I would not be surprised to see quite a few softies in the playins and a few goalies pulled

      Will be interesting

      • Lots of hamstring, calf and groin muscle injuries… could be the difference in the play in rounds

    • But this is probably more than balanced off by all the players having lots of time to fully recover from nagging injuries they would have carried into the playoffs any normal year. This is likely to be the healthiest and most aggressively contested playoffs maybe ever.

    • Maybe we will actually see real hockey in the playoffs now! If it resembles oct hockey it could be the best playoffs ever. Teams playing to win… not playing to not lose. Refs won’t swallow the whistles… could be beautiful.

  2. Any chance that Alzner opts out of the next two years as well? One can only hope.

    • We don’t know Alzner’s situation, there might be a close family member he is worried about.

      But it does seem to say he doesn’t see a meaningful role for him in this year’s playoffs.

      I know what you mean, Howard, but everything I have heard is that Alzner has been very professional about his situation. I don’t mind him in the AHL, mentoring the Laval defensive prospects.

      • I was obviously being sarcastic. He has handled the matter well but his cap hit is a burden

      • Howard & LJ

        Can I interest you in Alzner for JJ & Ruhweedel? 2 for 1 @ less Cap!!


  3. An interesting change to the arbitration process for this year, allowing a player to consider an offer they turned down. That has to be the impact of the frozen cap, and one more indication that players, their agents and teams are all going to be looking at offers differently.

    While the provision is only for this year, the effect of the cap will extend beyond.

  4. Question
    If a player opts out and that team wins the cup, does that player get his name on the cup ?

    • Might depend on how many regular season games they played

    • Does it not depend if they were on the playoff roster???

      If so, then no they would not have their name placed on the SC.

    • Hi Boom/Bust …. not necessarily automatic ; but can

      From NHL.com

      “ To have one’s name engraved on the Stanley Cup certain requirements must be met. A player must have at least 41 games played with the club or one game played in the Stanley Cup Finals. However, in 1994 a stipulation was added to allow a team to petition the Commissioner for permission to have players’ names put on the Cup if extenuating circumstances prevented them from being available to play.”

      So … looks like 41 reg season games WITH the SC champs; or a successful petition by team

      When Bruins last won cup I believe their petition to get Savard’s name on the cup was successful…. he had season ending injury before 41 games played

      • Thank You ALL
        Interesting Alzner opted out, he been trying to get back into NHL and just “opted” his chance to
        maybe shows he’s got some gas left in the tank..

    • Unless the team applies and receives approval, no.

  5. Not sure the odds makers in Vegas will be happy if the non-disclosure of injuries lasts beyond this tournament/post season. This post-season is a crap shoot anyway so no biggie that way but going forward? Not so sure. Th league was making noise about the revenue increase generated by betting…….