NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 15, 2020

by | Jul 15, 2020 | News, NHL | 11 comments

Ted Lindsay Award nominees announced, exhibition and Stanley Cup qualifying round schedules revealed, plus the latest on Johnny Gaudreau, Shea Weber, Pierre-Luc Dubois, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHLPA.COM: Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl, Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon, and New York Rangers winger Artemi Panarin are the 2020 finalists for the Ted Lindsay Award, presented annually to the NHL’s most outstanding player as voted by the NHL Players Association membership.

Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon is among the finalists for the 2019-20 Ted Lindsay Award (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: All are worthy finalists. They could also be in the running for the Hart Memorial Trophy. The finalists for that award will be announced on July 21.

NHL.COM: The league released its schedule of exhibition games and the Stanley Cup qualifiers schedule for Phase 4 of its return-to-play plan. All Western Conference games will be played at Rogers Place in Edmonton and all Eastern Conference games at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto.

SPORTSNET: Johnny Gaudreau’s separation from his linemates and the main group during the opening two days of the Calgary Flames’ training camp is raising eyebrows. Flames coach Geoff Ward claimed the move was due to “circumstances that became apparent last week.” He declined to elaborate.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The first-line winger continues to participate in the Flames’ practices with a smaller group, and Ward suggested he could be reunited with his linemates at some point. The NHL’s tight controls over the players’ medical status could cause imaginations to run wild over Gaudreau’s situation. If he were suffering COVID-19 symptoms, he wouldn’t be at practice. Perhaps he’s nursing a recent injury.

TSN: Montreal Canadiens captain Shea Weber was “unable to practice” yesterday but took to the ice afterward with assistant coach Luke Richardson for some individual work. Canadiens coach Claude Julien anticipates Weber will return to practice on Wednesday.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets center Pierre-Luc Dubois missed practice yesterday with what is believed to be a minor issue. Because of the league’s return-to-play rules, the team didn’t provide details.

STLTODAY.COM: Blues defenseman Colton Parayko returned to the ice yesterday with his teammates after missing the first day of training camp. Teammate Robert Bortuzzo remained absent. Both are believed to have recently tested positive for COVID-19. Blues coach Craig Berube expects Bortuzzo will return soon.

THE WASHINGTON POST: Capitals forwards Lars Eller and Carl Hagelin intend to leave the protective bubble during the playoffs to be with their expectant wives. Eller’s wife is due to give birth on Aug. 8 while Hagelin’s spouse is due in September. Both players must isolate and test negative for four consecutive days before returning to the lineup.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Players are allowed to leave and return to the host cities for family reasons.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Blackhawks defenseman Calvin de Haan missed practice yesterday for a family emergency. Teammate Corey Crawford remains “unfit to play” for the second straight day.

WGR550.COM: Buffalo Sabres winger Michael Frolik has reportedly received a contract offer from KHL team Avangard Omsk. The 32-year-old is an unrestricted free agent at season’s end.

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks re-signed winger Troy Terry to a three-year, $4.35-million contract extension. Terry, 22, is completing his entry-level contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Terry is among several promising youngsters the Ducks hope to rebuild around over the next several years. He’s tallied eight goals and 28 points in 81 games over the past three seasons.

NHL.COM: The Vancouver Canucks signed prospect defenseman Jack Rathbone to an entry-level contract.

SPORTSLOGO.NET: cites The Athletic reporting the Ottawa Senators will be switching to a slightly modified version of the 2d Senator Head logo they wore from 1997 to 2007.


  1. Good morning everyone.

    It’s so Great having Hockey back!

  2. Gotta think Leon wins the Lindsay and Hart

    • I’m still a purist on the Hart being Most Valuable to the Team and in that sense, I gotta go with MacKinnon for the Hart. That team had so many injuries to top line players for extended periods and N.M. was completely dominant. Leon had a beast of a season and is well deserving of the Lindsay, but I think N.M. meant more to his team this year.

      Though, that is not how the Hart is typically awarded anymore and Leon will probably take it; and I wouldn’t be upset to see it. Great season.

    • If Leon Draisaitl win the Hart he will be the first player in NHL history to do so while having a negative +/- (-7)

      • Hi SCJ

        Also a purist here

        The wording of Hart and Lindsay slightly differ. Hart as you said most valuable to team.

        I do see your point re Mac K… by far the most valuable to his team; huge over the rest and tons of injuries

        Drais also most valuable to his team this year

        Col a much better team

        …. But the PHWA per MacKenzie, Friedman ; and many others…tends to vote for “ Most valuable to the League”

        So … if the majority vote with their usual mindset…. that’s why I was expecting Drais to get the Hart

        I have to think with the wording and being awarded by players…. Drais will get Lyndsay

        I just can’t see Panarin getting it

        Re ROOKIE…

        Makar (D) … 57 GP…. 12-38 – 50… + 12 …. 5on5/PP60 …. a little more than 1.90

        Hughes (D)… 68 GP…. 8-45-53… – 10…. 5on5/PP60 …. a little shy of 1.4

        Kubalik (W) ..68 GP… 30-16-46 …. +2 …. 5on5/PP60 …. about 2.6

        This was Makar’s to lose at the mid-point; but Kubalik was on fire with goals and was on full season pace for 36 G … 55 Pts

        Makar’s full season pace was … 17 G and 72 points… for a rookie D-Man !

        This still should go to Makar but Kubalik will certainly get a look

  3. It would be nice to see Panarin win it, I don’t think he has a snowballs chance in hell.

    He’s doing what he’s doing with Fast and Strome.

    • Looking forward to seeing Panarin in August.
      Interesting that Alain Vigneault is suddenly a top coach again – he’s done that twice now.

  4. Phase III so far so good. We might see Hockey this season

    • Mark


  5. The argument most valuable to his team, is very vague?

    What does it even mean?

    Boston Bruins most valuable to his team is Patrice Bergeron but he isn’t the one that was being considered for the Hart, that belong to David Pastrnak.

    Panarin by that definition was most valuable to his team, but, not most valuable to the league.

    Would anyone take any of the players mentioned for the hart over Connor McDavid; probably not, he is the most valuable to his team. League i’m not sure, yes in Canadian arena but does he put bums in the seat in US markets? I believe that may belong to Ovie.

    Just because your deemed most valuable to your team doesn’t mean you should win the hart, it simply could mean that you don’t have the supporting cast around you to provide adequate support.

    David Pastrnak, got no love because he plays with Bergeron and Marchand but yet he finished tied for the Rocket Richard award.

    Nathan MacKinnon had 62 even strength point, Draisaitl 56; Panarin had 71

    I believe you team must have a level of success, I like what Panarin done and was clearly the most valuable to the Rangers.

    Nathan MacKinnon led hiss team to second place in the western conference with Landeskog missing 16 games, Rantanen missing 28 games and Kadri missing 19 games out of a 70 game schedule and was still able to finish with a +/- of +13

    Nathan Mackinnon was the most valuable player to his team and was the best player in the league this season.

  6. MacKinnon is also the guy who made Jonathan Drouin look like a top draft pick out of Halifax. Kinda like Sidney Crosby has done at the NHL level for otherwise ordinary players.