NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 8, 2020

by | Jul 8, 2020 | News, NHL | 18 comments

NHLPA executive board approves tentative CBA, three games per day are planned for the playoff tournament, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHLPA: announced its executive board (which includes the 31 player representatives) approved the tentative extension to the collective bargaining agreement. It moves today to a ratification vote by the full PA membership. The results will be announced on Friday, July, 10.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The CBA extension is packaged with the return-to-play plan that requires the approval of the players and the NHL board of governors. A simple majority by the PA membership is needed to approve the CBA extension. Despite recent reports suggesting some players weren’t happy with the process of negotiations, this package is expected to be approved.

No word yet when the board of governors will vote. That will require a two-thirds majority but it is also expected to sail through.

TSN: Bob McKenzie reports the return-to-play plan will see three games a day in both Edmonton and Toronto with local start times at noon, 4 pm and 8 pm. Given the two-hour time difference between those cities, it means six games spread over 15 hours per day, perhaps longer if games go into overtime.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Talk about hockey overdose! My wife is telling me to enjoy the rest of this month because she knows she won’t see much of me in August and September. That’s assuming COVID-19 doesn’t derail the planned tournament. 

The seeding games involving the top-four clubs in each conference during the qualifying round won’t go into unlimited overtime to decide a winner. They’ll instead follow the regular season rules of a brief overtime period followed by a shootout if necessary.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The 16 teams involved in the qualifying round will be under playoff overtime rules.

Will players with pre-existing medical conditions, like Montreal’s Max Domi, be prevented from skating in the upcoming playoff tournament? (Photo via NHL Images)

McKenzie also reports the league has the power to deem players unfit to play if they think there’s a higher risk of that player becoming extremely ill if they contract COVID-19. He cites Montreal Canadiens’ center Max Domi and New York Rangers winger Kaapo Kakko as examples. Both are type 1 diabetics with celiac disease. To the best of McKenzie’s knowledge, Domi and Kakko intend to play, but doctors will have to sign off on that first.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Carolina Hurricanes winger Justin Williams has concerns over the coronavirus, but he’s still keen to contend for the Stanley Cup. “I didn’t come back to play 20 games,” said Williams during a video media call. “I came back for a chance to win the Stanley Cup.”

Williams also stressed the need for the players to take responsibility to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19.

You need to tighten up the bubble of people you’re hanging out with,” Williams said. “You need make your inner circle is pretty darn small because what you do affects everybody else.

That’s pretty much the basis of what a team is anyway. You’re only as strong as your weakest link, but at this point your weakest link can take down your whole team.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s probably going to be the approach for all the teams throughout Phase 3. Despite the increase in detection, disinfection, and social-distancing protocols during the phase, the players will still be at risk because they’re still living at home, traveling to and from their team arenas and training facilities, and still in contact with the general public.

PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW: Seth Rorabaugh provides further details about the league’s protocols for Phases 3 and 4.

Some of the noteworthy Phase 3 rules include the independent media being allowed at team facilities but prohibited from direct contact with the players, the players being discouraged from socializing with one another outside team facilities, and tighter restrictions on commonly-used items and food.

In Phase 4, everyone must use league-provided and approved transportation with the secure zone. There are detailed guidelines on the use of masks and face coverings, and a limited number of media allowed access to the games, with interviews conducted remotely. Speaking of the media…

CBC: Broadcasters and print journalists still have questions over how they’re going to cover the playoff tournament in the two host cities. Rob Corte, VP of Sportsnet and NHL Production, said those details have yet to be finalized. Frank Seravalli, president of the Professional Hockey Writers Association, said the situation remains in flux.

It’s believed the broadcasts will be handled like the Olympics, with only cameramen, technicians, and production staff allowed inside the bubble while commentators call the games elsewhere from a live feed.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The media won’t have the usual access during these two phases that they enjoy in normal situations. It will be challenging to provide the usual in-depth coverage. The teams might prefer the absence of media intrusion, especially during and immediately following the games.

ESPN.COM: Rene Fasel, president of the International Ice Hockey Federation, doesn’t expect any hurdles in negotiations with the league regarding its intention to return to the Winter Olympics. Issues such as health insurance, travel costs, and marketing rights must be worked out before NHL players can participate.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The IIHF desperately wanted the NHL to take part in the 2018 Winter Games, even offering to pick up the tab for travel, insurance, and so on. 


CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: The Blackhawks released a statement indicating they intend to keep their name and logo but are committed to raising the bar even higher in their efforts to increase awareness of Native American culture. The statement comes amid discussions by the NFL’s Washington Redskins and MLB’s Cleveland Indians about changing their names.

TSN: The NHLPA will be in court today attempting to dismiss a lawsuit by a former employee alleging the cover-up of more than $100K from union funds by one of its executives between 2008 and 2019.


  1. Justin Williams came back for another season to “win the Stanley Cup”? Hmmmmm, he really thinks/believes that Carolina was the best bet? I know anything can happen…but come on Justin!

    • They did go to the eastern finals last year. While “contenders” like Tampa, Pittsburgh, Washington … not so much.

      Tampa and Pittsburgh both swept in the 1st round.

      Maybe Williams knows something the rest of us don’t?

      • Right, but then the Canes were swept in the ECF.

        There’s little chance Justin Williams thinks he has a better chance of hoisting that cup in Carolina than if he played in Tampa, Pittsburgh, or Washington.

        Not hating on the Canes. I’m just excited to see hockey again. I (almost) don’t care who wins

  2. 10% of Canadians and 8.5% of Americans shave asthma. I would think Covid 19 poses a very serious risk to them. If hockey players are a representative sample, there may be 8-10% of the players wondering if playing hockey this summer is worth the risk.

    • Maybe players with asthma or type 1 diabetes won’t be allow to play due to their higher risk. Is it possible that the league says “sorry Max you can’t play.”

      • on the other hand the phase 4 bubble might be the safest place in the world for Domi due to less interaction with the public and ever present medical care who are actively looking for covid risks and symptoms. I think they will play.

  3. imo – keep the name and change the logo.

    If a group of people don’t wish an image of their cultural stereotype being used as a sporting team logo, then I’m OK with that.

    Though I personally do not see this logo as being as disrespectful as some (?Chief Wahoo?!? – you gotta be kidding).

    It’s what some people have to live with that counts, not what others’ impression of their experience.

    There is already a very nice alternate logo out there:


    I like it.


    • Rattus it’s certainly different times; i have a circle of family and friends who are Aboriginals and not one of them are offended by Washington, Cleveland or Chicago.

      This isn’t to say some are not offended i just know in my network there not, but make me wondering who is leading these campaign.

      • Caper,

        I don’t really think there is a conspiracy “leading the campaign”, it’s probably quite amorphous.

        And I do get that some are more sensitive to things than others.

        My wife (and therefore my sons) are living the “visible minority” experience.

        Living the reality is a long way from thinking about things in the abstract, to that I can bear witness, however well-intentioned people may be.

        Times change, attitudes change, perspectives change.


      • Rattus, i’m not saying conspiracy, I’m saying this isn’t being driven by the Aboriginal communities. I live on 13 different reserve over 20yrs and my wife is native and i can tell you she or her family have zero issues with the team names and don’t see it as derogatory.

        My point is i don’t believe it’s the aboriginals driving the narrative, well intention people are putting their concerns were there isn’t one and don’t have any idea of what the aboriginals or their people are about.

        Then again my family and friends don’t speak for everyone and this is more US driven then Canada.

      • Caper makes a valid point.
        The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

      • The same debate is going on in Edmonton regarding the Eskimos. To their credit the team has done outreach to some in the Inuit community but haven’t made the details public and they haven’t reached out to the majority of that community.
        I didn’t even think the term Eskimo was a derogatory term But after some research learned that it wasn’t that simple and there is conflicting evidence amongst the groups.
        In fact some Inuit owned companies are sponsors of the team like Canadian North Airlines. So they are fine with it.
        From my understanding they will now do a comprehensive outreach.
        Basically if you are offending a significant portion of that community and have the ability not too, then you should stop. If you are not, then I am with Caper, don’t make an issue of something that isn’t one and ignore twitter.

    • I think it is great the media will have very limited access. Hopefully no more hugely boring cliche filled player interviews. Now we need to find a way to get rid of colour commentators who never stop talking about the obvious.

      • Hi Wendell17Higgins

        Not having Pierre Maguire between the benches put a big smile on my face 😁

  4. I would never deign to call professional athletes “essential” workers…they’re clearly Not…but The populace NEEDS something to cheer for.
    NHL: Make this as safe as you possibly can
    NHLPA: We *Need* you

  5. Playing in a bubble atmosphere players have less chance of getting Covid than going to shop or a restaurant. Many pictures and videos of players from many sports on beach’s partying golfing and in crowds.

    • Yep.