NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 30, 2020

by | Jul 30, 2020 | News, NHL | 32 comments

Recaps of the second day of exhibition games, an update on John Chayka’s departure from the Coyotes, the Blackhawks announce initiatives to honor Native American culture, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: The line of Brayden Point, Nikita Kucherov, and Ondrej Palat combined for 10 points as the Tampa Bay Lightning blanked the Florida Panthers 5-0. Point led the way with two goals and two assists. Andrei Vasilevskiy picked up the shutout with a 26-save performance.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky gave up five goals on 34 shots, but he was hung out to dry by his teammates. The Panthers must improve their defensive play before they face off against the New York Islanders in their qualifying round series.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin (NHL Images).

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin tallied twice and set up another to lead his club over the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2. Capitals defenseman John Carlson left the game in the final 10 minutes as a precautionary measure after crashing awkwardly into the boards. An update on his condition is expected today. Hurricanes goalie Petr Mrazek gave up three goals on 16 shots before being replaced by James Reimer.

Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck kicked out 37 shots in a 4-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks. Jets captain Blake Wheeler had a goal and an assist. Teammate Nikolaj Ehlers also scored, but left the game in the third period with an apparent lower-body injury. No word yet as to his status.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Looks like the long layoff had little effect on Hellebuyck’s performance. The Vezina Trophy finalist was on top of his game against the Canucks. Ehlers may have aggravated an ailment that nagged him throughout training camp.

Dominik Kubalik scored twice and added an assist as the Chicago Blackhawks blanked the St. Louis Blues 4-0. Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford made 11 saves through two periods.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Crawford looked sharp in this contest after missing most of the Blackhawks’ training camp when he tested positive for COVID-19. His performance against the Blues is a good sign as he and his teammates face the Edmonton Oilers in the qualifying round.

Colorado Avalanche forwards Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog, and Joonas Donskoi were the goal scorers as their club edged the Minnesota Wild 3-2. Wild center Eric Staal had a goal and an assist. The Avs killed off seven of eight penalties.

Semyon Varlamov and Thomas Greiss combined for 26 saves as the New York Islanders held off the New York Rangers 2-1. Anthony Beauvillier and Devon Toews scored for the Isles. Rangers defenseman Marc Staal left the game in the second period for precautionary reasons and isn’t expected to miss their qualifying series against the Hurricanes.


NEW YORK POST: Howie Kussoy cites multiple reports claiming former Arizona Coyotes general manager John Chayka’s relationship with the club’s ownership was irrevocably damaged when he lied about having a job interview with the New Jersey Devils, who then were uninterested in hiring him. Chayka resigned from the Coyotes last weekend as the club was preparing to head to Edmonton for Phase 4 of the return-to-play plan.

An NHL team approached Coyotes owner Alex Meruelo about a month ago seeking permission to speak to Chayka, which Meruelo rejected. Chayka then reportedly lied to Meruelo about the Devils’ interest, only to subsequently request his contract be terminated so he could pursue an opportunity within the Devils ownership’s sports portfolio.

Meruelo felt betrayed but wanted to wait until the season ended to discuss this with Chayka, but the latter felt that was unreasonable. The situation quickly deteriorated, culminating in Chayka’s departure from the team.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This has degenerated into a messy they-said/he said situation with each side blaming the other. If Chayka lied about the Devils interview, it could damage his reputation and his efforts to find employment elsewhere in the NHL.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: The Blackhawks are taking steps designed to honor Native American culture. They’ve banned headdresses at their games and intend to incorporate Native American culture and education into their arena and the games there. The club has resisted calls to change its nickname and logo after the NFL’s Washington Redskins announced they were moving on from their nickname.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: The Bruins re-signed forward Anders Bjork to a three-year, $4.8-million contract extension. The annual average value is $1.6 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates the Bruins now have over $65.1 million invested in 19 players for 2020-21. Torey Krug, Jake DeBrusk, Matt Grzelcyk, and team captain Zdeno Chara are among the notables still to be re-signed.

TSN: Former Toronto Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock has taken on a volunteer advisory role with the Vermont Catamounts coaching staff.

LA PRESSE: Montreal Canadiens winger Dale Weise denied a report out of Switzerland claiming he signed a contract with Swiss club HC Lausanne.


  1. If Chayka interviewed with NJ w/o getting permission…. breach of contract ? Y? N?

    • I think that’s why the Coyotes owner wants Gary Bettman to step in and adjudicate.

      • Makes sense now if the Story by Coyotes is right.

        Last week I was buying into Chayka’s side of the story

      • Wouldn’t it be great if a liar’s pants really DID catch on fire?

      • After reading this https://www.espn.com/nhl/story/_/id/29555087/why-were-arizona-coyotes-angry-gm-john-chayka-quit it seems Chayka is upset because he doesn’t understand why the Yotes won’t release him from his newly signed contract that has a no compete clause which is basically you can’t work in the same field ie sports management or nhl management for x amount of years if you quit and sometimes also included for a reduced term if you were fired.
        I think after signing a new contract it’s kinda s#itty move on Chayka’s part. I can understand a change of heart and some people would understand but it does seem shady and question the Hall trade and have Bettman look into that trade too.

      • Totally agree Ron.

    • Pengy, shouldn’t Devils be in trouble too? Possibly some compensation to Arizona. Give them back the Hall 1st rounder.

      • Slick62,
        I don’t believe the job was with the NJD. I believe it was a position with the entertainment group, which owns the 3 teams.
        Something to do with overseeing each analytical department.

  2. Is this the future for Babcock…… advisory capacity at the small University of Vermont?

    • It would be like Steve Wozniak taking a volunteer job as an advisor to The Source store in Yellowknife or at a Radio Shack in Great Falls Montana

      • Probably because he knows someone there or has a family member there?

  3. Watched parts of games yesterday. Wouldn’t put too much stock in the outcomes. Definitely looked like pre season hockey. It’s going to be hard to turn it up a level in a couple days. I think the teams not in play in round will be at a disadvantage. Could take a couple rounds to see the high skilled, high intensity levels of play.

    • Agreed. Still, the Blackhawks have to be heartened by Crawford’s performance after missing most of training camp. It’s apparent Hellebuyck remains in Vezina form. The Panthers defensive play has been an issue all season.

  4. Jesse Puljujarvi, said he is open to the ideal of returning to Edmonton; reported that JP had a conference call with Holland and Tippet and the call went well.

    Sound like JP might be back in a Oilers uniform next season.

    Next question will Edmonton protect or expose him in the expansion draft.

    • Regarding JP, just to the naysayers who said dump him and move on, take scraps back as a return; I hate to say I told you so…. wait I am enjoying saying I told you so!
      Especially when I have been wrong so many times.
      I hope he reboots what was once a promising career and if he still wants out, he is at least a player who will get a decent return.
      IMO he is a good guy, who needed to mature and perhaps got some bad advice.
      The Oiler MGT at the time didn’t help.

      • Ray what has J.P. done other than being a high draft pick to make you or anyone else think he’s worth more than scraps. He’s had a chance in the nhl and ahl to prove himself and failed miserably. The league he’s playing in now isn’t even as good as the AHL. It’s a 3rd rate league. Even if he comes back and plays for the Oilers I bet you he will be below average like he’s shown to be so far. He’s like a bratty child who’s been told he’s great but needs someone to blame because he’s not more than mediocre. He’s had opportunities to show he can play at the nhl level and he can’t. I love the way everyone says he’ll be taken in the expansion draft. Why would Seattle want him. Edmonton will have way better players unprotected Just because you’re a high draft pick doesn’t make you an nhl star. There are many and I mean many examples of that. Columbus knew what they were doing when they passed on him.

      • Wow, plenty of assumptions made there Roger. You talk like you know him, which you don’t.
        I will go with Hitchcock who last coached him in Edmonton – he is an NHL player and I have no problem throwing him over the boards. I paraphrase as it was on the radio and was a while ago.
        He was rushed, he pouted when getting sent down and wanted top 6 minutes he hadn’t yet earned. One of many just more public.
        Big boy who skates really well for a big man. He is 4th line all day, and IMO 3rd line today with upside. Needs to learn English and work hard.
        Could be a bottom 6, could be top 6, we will see, but my only point is he is a better risk than a mid round pick which was rumored to be the offers.
        Judging by the events, looks like Holland agrees.
        Caper – Holland has been here one year. They finished 5th in the west. Cap strapped and he added quality vets to the bottom 6 which he found from every where which has obviously helped as they improved.
        Trash him all you like, so far so good. He has calmed things down and stabilized a dysfunctional organization.
        I wish them both the best.

      • Well Ray since you used the I told you so reference I can’t wait to say when J.P. amounts to nothing warranting better than a mid round I will gladly point it out. Even though he’s played over 100 nhl games already I guess it will take more to prove it. What do you think a 4rth liner is worth lol nothing more than a mid round pick. A bottom 6 player is not worth a first round pick. J.P. is exactly what he’s shown to be and that’s why no other GM offered Holland anything more. Don’t you think if another GM in the league thought he had top 6 potential they would have taken that risk. Go ahead and take what a coach says on the radio because they would never lie but I’ll take what he’s done. Till he does more he’s not worth more.

      • Roger, again, my only point is that Holland was better off keeping JP than trading him for a mid round pick.
        FYI most mid round picks don’t play 100 games in the NHL, let alone before they are 21. Most 2nd rounders don’t either.
        JP is an NHL player today. The Oil didn’t cut him, he left on his own accord. Kind of a key point you seem to be ignoring. He had a spot on the roster. He walked from it, that is the concern for other GM’s.
        I also argued on this site that he should have never played in the NHL as an 18 yr old, probably even as a 19 yr old.
        He was the MVP of the WJC before he was drafted. The others were Jagr, Gretzky and LIndros. Not comparing, but also no small feat.
        Holland made the right call, again, my point.
        If you would give up on a kid like this for a 3rd RD pick or Lias Anderson, well we disagree. He is an above average NHL skater with size, and still young. Who was dominant for his age group.
        I will bet you he plays more than 300 NHL games and carves out a solid NHL career. Either in Edmonton or somewhere else.

    • Ray without knowing the offers, i still think Holland was a D#@K and he is greatly benefitting from what PC did in Edmonton.

      I believe JP is saying the right things but doesn’t want to play in Edmonton, hoping Seattle claims him.

  5. I know it’s only $1.6m per year at 3yrs but it still feel like an over payment for Bjork at this time. I would’ve been happier with $1.1 or $1.2 every $ counts in the salary cap.

    • Perhaps, but if Bjork plays up to expectation, that cap hit could have long-term value. It’s hardly an overpayment.

      • Lyle i’m cheap, what can i say. But $1.6 for a player with a career year of 9 goals on pace for 12 is an overpayment.

        Next season i could be saying its a great value contract.

        There is a picture of me out there diving into a garbage can to get a nickel; but, it’s my nickel now.

      • Agreed, Lyle. I think there’s great value in that signing.
        Sweeney’s strong negotiating skills is his greatest attribute.
        Only one that bothers me is the McAvoy deal, and thats only because of the 7.3 mil ending/starting point on his next contract.
        We just might sign Krug or Hall after all.
        Bruins play today!

  6. There was a Fight yesterday.

    A FIGHT!!

    Man, I love this sport

  7. That’s great, Mark. BTW did you ever play the game?

  8. Anyone else believe the Blackhawks are NOT taking steps designed to honor Native American culture by banning headdresses at their games?
    Actually, I think this is the opposite of honoring and would be similar to taking down the statue of Bobby Orr outside the TD Garden.
    Politically correct is getting to be ridiculous. Comments please?

    • Do catholics feel honored when ‘madonna’ dresses like a nun?

    • Headdresses in Native cultures of the kind people wear to sports games are worn by elders and/or warriors of great respect. So banning random drunkards from wearing them at a sports game is certainly taking a step to honour Native culture.

  9. It appears like a commendable effort by Chicago to build bridges with first nations people by ending wearing of the headdress and providing education concerning correctable issues that have divided native people and mainstream culture.

    I feel that it has potential to be a good thing but fear it is too late as for many fans the lines are drawn and the bridges burned. There will be those who make a mockery of what is sacred to others and those who never trust that real effort is being made to honor this part of native american culture. Still others are committed to the idea that there is no respectful way to continue using the current Chicago mascot and moniker.

    The proposed olive branch is unlikely to be enough in the long run as this issue has the feel of one that will keep returning until the name is changed.

    • Among the most boring logos in the game. I don’t particularly care about the pc part of it but if it results in a change then everybody wins.

    • Monumental long lasting change happens in the smallest steps. As long as the steps are in the right direction we should acknowledge that and take the next step whenever and whatever that is.