NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 22, 2020

by | Jul 22, 2020 | News, NHL | 3 comments

Hart Trophy Finalists revealed, plus the latest on Tuukka Rask, Jonathan Toews, Carter Hart, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl, Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon, and New York Rangers winger Artemi Panarin are this season’s finalist for the Hart Memorial Trophy, awarded by the Professional Hockey Writers Association to the player adjudged most valuable to his team.

Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl is among the finalists for the Hart Trophy (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: These three are also the finalists for the Ted Lindsay Award honoring the most valuable player as voted by the NHL Players Association membership.


THE BOSTON GLOBE: Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask has a small fracture in one of the fingers on his left hand but he doesn’t believe that will impede his play. He said the injury happened several weeks ago and it’s feeling much better.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nevertheless, you can bet opposing players will test that hand by firing more shots to his glove hand wherever possible.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews left practice early on Monday and was out for Tuesday’s scrimmages. Coach Jeremy Colliton said Toews was “unfit to participate”, citing league protocols.

Meanwhile, Corey Crawford’s chances of returning to the ice before the Blackhawks head to Edmonton on Sunday appear to be dwindling. Teams are allowed to bring 31 players to the upcoming playoff tournament. The club isn’t ruling out saving a roster spot for Crawford.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Crawford hasn’t participated in Phase 3 training, sparking speculation he’s nursing an injury. Without their starting goaltender, the Blackhawks could face long odds of upsetting the favored Edmonton Oilers in their qualifying round tournament.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Flyers goaltender Carter Hart left the ice during the first period of a three-period scrimmage yesterday and didn’t return. Because of league injury protocols, the Flyers provided no details for Hart’s departure. Local broadcaster Colby Cohen said he was told Hart experienced minor back spasms and could return in a day or two.

CBS SPORTS: Toronto Maple Leafs winger Zach Hyman returned to the ice Tuesday after missing a pair of practices to a leg injury suffered when he blocked a shot on Friday.

TSN: St. Louis Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester won’t be traveling with the club to Edmonton for the upcoming playoff tournament. He’s been sidelined since suffering a cardiac incident on Feb. 11 during a game with the Anaheim Ducks.

Speaking of the Blues, STLTODAY.COM reports Ivan Barbashev will miss one or two round-robin games and the start of the opening round of the playoffs to attend the birth of his child. He’ll have to test negative for COVID-19 four times in four days before he can rejoin his teammates in Edmonton.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Washington Capitals forward Lars Eller and Carl Hagelin will also be departing the quarantine bubble in Toronto to be with their wives when they give birth. They’ll have to go through the same testing before rejoining the Capitals.

TSN: Darren Dreger reports every player traveling to the bubble cities in Edmonton and Toronto for the upcoming playoff tournament must have three negative COVID-19 tests within a 48-hour period.


  1. McDavid called out the media voters when supporting Leon’s bid for the Hart. Have to wonder if that is going to stick in their minds when casting their votes. I still think MacK was more valuable to his team, but Leon was the best player this season.

  2. Re Hart

    With you SCJ

    As has been pointed out many times (TSN; SN; and previously on CBC) the PHWA tend NOT to vote for this award per its actual meaning …. I.e. “most valuable to HIS team” … and tend (not all, but several) to vote on MVP … “of league”

    I’m guessing that they will end up voting 1st, 2nd , 3rd…. Leon, Mac K; Breadman

    I can certainly see the Lindsay (voted on by players) and Hart (PHWA) going to two different players

    Stellar year for Breadman (and with a new cast of teammates BTW); but me thinks he gets third by players (Lindsay) and PHWA ( Hart)

    • Agreed. Breadman had a great season with not a lot of help (though Zibanajad had a breakout season) and should be in the conversation more than he maybe is. A lot of what I see kind of has him as more of an also-mentioned behind MacK and Leon.

      I think Leon wins the Lindsay hands down. I would love to see MacK win the Hart (but I am admittedly biased having watched him in Halifax and biased against Leon being a Flames fan).