NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 11, 2020

by | Aug 11, 2020 | News, NHL | 72 comments

The Rangers win the 2020 draft lottery, the Panthers formally part company with Dale Tallon, the opening round of the 2020 playoffs begin today and more in the NHL morning coffee headlines.

  NHL.COM: The New York Rangers won Phase 2 of the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery yesterday, giving them the first-overall pick and the opportunity to select top prospect Alexis Lafreniere of the QMJHL’s Rimouski Oceanic.


1. New York Rangers

2. Los Angeles Kings

3. Ottawa Senators (from San Jose Sharks)

4. Detroit Red Wings

5. Ottawa Senators

6. Anaheim Ducks

7. New Jersey Devils

8. Buffalo Sabres

9. Minnesota Wild

10. Winnipeg Jets

11. Nashville Predators

12. Florida Panthers

13. Carolina Hurricanes (from Toronto Maple Leafs)

14. Edmonton Oilers

15. Pittsburgh Penguins

The Hurricanes received the Leafs pick as part of the return in last June’s Patrick Marleau trade.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was 24 hours of suck for the Maple Leafs. They would’ve kept that pick had they won the lottery.

As a result of the Penguins acquiring Jason Zucker in February from the Wild, Pens general manager Jim Rutherford has seven days to decide if he’ll send this year’s first-rounder to the Wild or defer the pick to 2021.

SUN-SENTINEL.COM: The Florida Panthers have parted ways with general manager Dale Tallon. He’d been with the club for 10 years, most of that period as GM. The club issued a statement indicating the decision was mutual. It’s believed they’ll look outside the organization for a replacement. Assistant GM Eric Joyce takes over on an interim basis.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Panthers made little progress toward their goal of becoming a Stanley Cup contender during Tallon’s tenure. His replacement must build around the club’s core talent (Aleksander Barkov, Jonathan Huberdeau, Aaron Ekblad), addressing their weaknesses (such as their poor defensive play), and change the culture of losing that’s dogged this franchise for over two decades. 

NHL.COM: The opening round of the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs begins today with four games. The Columbus Blue Jackets face off against the Tampa Bay Lightning (3 pm ET), the Calgary Flames meet the Dallas Stars (5:30 pm ET), the Carolina Hurricanes square off against the Boston Bruins (8 pm ET), and the Chicago Blackhawks go up against the Vegas Golden Knights (10:30 pm ET).

SPORTSNET: Blue Jackets goaltender Elvis Merzlikins is sidelined indefinitely. As per league protocols, no information was revealed regarding his condition.

CBS SPORTS: Philadelphia Flyers winger Jakub Voracek (undisclosed) will be a game-day decision when his club faces off with the Canadiens in Game 1 of their opening-round series on Wednesday.

STLTODAY.COM: Blues winger Sammy Blais could miss the start of his club’s opening-round series against the Vancouver Canucks. He suffered an apparent leg injury during Sunday’s round-robin loss to the Dallas Stars.

TSN: The NHL reported no positive COVID-19 tests in its first two weeks in their secure zones in Edmonton and Toronto.

NHL.COM: The Hockey Hall of Fame has postponed its Induction Weekend ceremonies (Nov. 13-16) because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rescheduling plans will be made during the board of directors meeting on Oct. 29.

TSN: Long-time NHL insider Bob McKenzie is scaling back his schedule in what he deemed a “soft retirement”. He’ll still appear in special events like the World Juniors and the NHL Trade Deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: McKenzie is the best-connected man in hockey and the most trusted insider. Best wishes in his future endeavors.


  1. “As a result of the Penguins acquiring Jason Zucker in February from the Wild, Pens general manager Jim Rutherford has seven days to decide if he’ll send this year’s first-rounder to the Wild or defer the pick to 2021.”

    His decision will reveal a lot about how he sees his team’s chances in the upcoming season. If he relinquishes this year’s pick at # 15 it could mean he sees the very real possibility of the Pens picking even higher next year.

    Personally, looking at that roster and its potential – with some key changes – I see him keeping this year’s pick. There are still a lot of very good talent on that team.

    • No doubt they keep it george. Ain’t picked this high in some time and team should be a snankey cup playoff team meaning the pick is higher next year. Plus a draft expert on local radio yesterday pointed out that Covid is expected to muck up the scouting this year due to travel issues and potential disruptions to college junior and euro seasons. And pens have no second this year.

    • I think it’s time for the pens to take a serious look at themselves. How do you see a cup contender from a team that has gone down hill over the last 3 years if you’re the gm?

      I think they keep the pick regardless at this years draft this team is absolutely barren of any young talent in the pipeline

      This team is aging, and not anywhere near what they were 3-5 years ago.

      This team needs to quickly decide a better approach. As we’ve seen numerous times in bad years ( unlike the Rangers , Leafs, Knicks and Jets 🤪) “fans” will start doing the Sidney shuffle out the door and Pittsburgh will be once again bankrupt and or elsewhere.

      • I didn’t say cup contender I said playoff team. I still believe the core gets them to the playoffs. Once in and the style of play changes…? I currently lack confidence. And the so called shuffle will only happen if the team stops spending to the cap and stops trying to win. Pitt fans have too much pride in their sports todo more than nominally support teams that don’t show they care. A whole lot of sports fan bases in the nhl could learn a thing or two.

      • Didn’t you say not long ago on this site you didn’t support this team during those sell tank years?

        That is exactly what happened to Pittsburgh last time. People stopped showing up. Jagrs last year they ranked 16th in attendance, the year after he was traded 22nd, the following year… dead last 30th.

        If other franchises could learn a thing or two from Pittsburgh it would be support your team win or lose. Or you’ll find yourself with a team on the verge of financial ruin and facing relocation.

        The Pens have not been a good example of fan loyalty.

      • The pens haven’t always been a team fans should be loyal to. We are the paying consumers. If your product is poor why should we pay? That’s pride. It wasn’t losing that that contributed to the drop in attendance… it was owners that couldn’t or wouldn’t spend money on the team and tried to sell Rico fata and dick tarnstrom as jagr and coffee. A pens team that puts its best team on the ice and still loses would have support. But don’t try to put gold dust on a turd and call it a nugget cause Pittsburgh fans will tell them jag offs to go red up their act

      • Oh. I actually enjoyed some of the bad years ny. 20 buck student tickets. Best seat in the house remaining couple of hours prior to face off. Sat in what are now several hundred dollar seats for those 20 bucks.

      • Nyr4life..dude its a retool not a rebuild they hsd 86 points 3 points back of PHILADELPHIA when the season was halted..

        They will unload alot of player..they have 7 solid forwRds Crosby Guentzel Zucker Tanev Malkin Rust…McCann

        Add to young marino dumoulin letang..

        Jarry good back up.

        Penguins have Forward poulin coming defenders 21 year old pierre oliver joseph 22 defenseman william riley captain RPI Hockey team.. we do have 15rh overall good player to be had there.

        Good UFAS

        I hear you but that rebuild is 2 years away
        Crosby was nicked up in training camp still great player..

  2. Bettman always gets his way…..

    • Why would Bettman help the Rangers? It’s well known he and Rangers owner James Dolan don’t get along.

      • Because there were too many of the favorites to help this year he couldn’t choose sides?

      • Simple- covid, nhl lost a lot of $$$, big market in NY, scr*w the rest. It was obvious that rangers will land 1st. Nhl is as big mafia as fifa and uefa. Only $$ matters.
        F Rangers and uncle Gary

      • We’ll just file this away under “Weak unfounded conspiracy theories”…

      • Hello Lyle, Follow the money. We were sick of seeing Chicago in every outdoor game, now it will be the big market Ranger’s team for the next 5 years. Its not about liking Dolan – nobody does. Its about where can I make the most money. This play-in series and the structure of the lottery was stupid/suspect from the get go.

      • Chicago was in so many outdoor games because they drew well at the gate and the ratings. The same goes for the Capitals, who appeared in the second-most.

        The Rangers have been the top NHL team in Forbes’ evaluation of franchise values for five straight years. Getting the first-overall pick won’t change that. Even in a pandemic, the Rangers were gonna be fine whether they won the lottery or not.

        But, of course, if Toronto, Edmonton or Pittsburgh would’ve won the draft, somebody would’ve had a conspiracy theory for those. At least those would’ve been more entertaining. The Rangers’ one, besides being totally baseless, is boring.

      • Lyle, chances are that many of these people were also part of the crowd storming Area 51 a couple of years back demanding to see the “alien spacecraft” the government was busy reverse-engineering.

      • George O
        Wow, just wow. You must be right, also you must be this funny guy at the parties.

      • Not at all Gary – just logical and pragmatic. That is to say – not prone to fantasies.

  3. We all knew that the lottery first overall was headed to either the Habs, Rangers, Hawks, or Leafs. That much was pretty much already decided, we just had to wait to see which of those teams were lottery eligible.

    • We did? How did we know that? Get over it.
      Lyle, I thought Leafs pick was top 10 protected. Being eliminated gave them their only shot at keeping it. I think you’re confusing it with conditional pick Rangers got from Carolina?
      And yes, you can’t go soft retirement! I’ve been home from work since March. Appreciate coming here every day. The best!

      • We just did. No way was it going to Detroit or Ottawa – smaller market teams that don’t add much to overall league revenue like some of the others. And this league is all about growing $$$.

      • The remember when “large “ markets like Edmonton, Buffalo, NJ , Tampa and Pittsburgh were given first overall or multiple like it was yesterday!

      • George O, last years lottery was all 15 non playoff teams. Ottawa had worst record.Av’s had their pick and ended up dropping to 4th just like Detroit this year. Last few years teams have moved up into top 3. If playoffs weren’t expanded, Rangers would’ve been in lottery. Only “flaw” I see, is that Jets would’ve got pick If they just had the one draw. That and I think they should’ve weighted odds for 2nd draw. Only travesty would’ve been if Pitt or Edm got top pick.

    • Iago. Brian Burke’s contention that the way the # 1 was handled this year is that it was ludicrous. Every team with a shot projected, over a full 82 games, to reach at least 91 points. And NEVER has a team finishing with that many points been awarded the # 1 pick.

      So, yes, the whole formula was flawed, especially when the bottom teams (most of whom, by the way, had a much better % shot at the # 1 pick) were excluded from extending THEIR seasons through the play-in.

      But that’s the way the league decided to go so everyone lived with it. There is no conspiracy. It’s just a badly-flawed formula that doesn’t withstand the smell test.

      Would I have liked to see Ottawa, for example, get # 1? Of course. They’ve had a few good cracks at # 1 in recent years but those damned ping-pong balls of theirs kept getting lost in the shuffle. C’est la vie.

      The hue and cry over the NYR winning the lottery is misplaced. They haven’t picked # 1 in 55 years and, since the draft was implemented, they have missed out many times with a chance % a lot higher than this year’s 12.8 (or whatever it was).

      Imagine the hue and cry had it fallen to Edmonton, Pittsburgh or Toronto? Led by me!

      • since in NY you have issue with understanding.
        Oilers- dysfunctional management.
        Buffalo- big in mid 2000’s, from NY state, time to help them.
        Tampa- new market in the state where ice you have in your tea only, you need stars to bring fans
        Now he needs more money so rangers it is.
        On the other hand
        Ott- small market. Owner wants to sell it
        Det- few fans, city is a trash can
        Mtl- big market, doesn’t matter the results, stuoid fans will generate $$.

      • Lmfao, get that tinfoil hat back on Gary! You’re beyond reaching!

      • And just for the record…. it’s okay to be dysfunctional and rewarded….? And some of these other excuses…. Buffalo big?

        But you can’t be rewarded by sheer luck…. because you’re a big market? Got it! Clear as mud! Makes perfect tinfoil hat sense to me now!

      • Gary when you say “big market, doesn’t matter the results, stupid fans will generate $$” you could also be talking about Toronto

      • I understand that, while toilet paper may still be running low at most locales, you can still get aluminum foil in abundance at Walmart.

    • I love conspiracies, and feel the financial burden the pandemic has caused, the nhl , would have a big market win the lottery, after they made a decision to include the losing play in teams.
      Once Chicago and Montreal won, it was the NYR who were the next lowest big market team.
      Funny how when they took out the NYR ball, it fell before they could confirm it?? Weighted ball, conspiracy.

      • Errr – wouldn’t a weighted ball be more resistant to air pressure pushing it up a tube?

      • Good catch George.
        You know I was never sure if the conspiracy posts were sarcastic or actual beliefs. Which is why I just came out and asked yesterday.
        Seems like folks actually believe it, which is kind of scary but also explains why we are were we are these days.
        While the internet and social media have had some positives, I think we can safely say it has made us a more ignorant society.

      • Don’t go making sense George! Plus Dolan paid God to defy gravity!

        Gods in on it too!

        Here’s where logic gets tossed out the window…. in 2020 if they wanted to rig it…couldn’t they come up with a better way than a “dropped weighted “ ball?

        Seriously, this 💩 is getting out of control, but also a good source of morning entertainment!!!!

        I am literally lmfao at some of these suggestions have m seeing here.

        50+ years of zero luck erased by stupidity!

        If Edmonton won for the 46th time in the last 10 years (that’s right 46 in 10, I don’t think there would be this much outcry!

      • Yes there would be NYR, just different justification given.
        Is Bettman growing a mullet?

      • Gary, I take offense with your description of Detroit. What is the deal? Wings have had a loyal following for the last two decades or more. So where does the statement come form that there is no fans? Yes the team is down, but after what 24 straight cup runs they need to rebuild.

        Also the city is a trash can? Wow bagging on Detroit seems trendy but why? I have lived in the Metro Detroit area all my life and they have the same issues that other cities have, yes they filed for bankruptcy, but that was due to auto industry issues and poor leadership. Not sure where you are from but, guess it must be heaven there.

      • Is aluminium foil kinda fetish in the states or only in NY?

      • Mike A, way back when I worked at Immigration HQ in Ottawa and spent a lot of time at border ports of entry as part of my job, I always made a point of crossing from Windsor to Detroit via the tunnel to go to some of my favorite restaurants – American Coney Island and Jacoby’s German Biergarten to name a couple.

        Always liked Detroit and when I could I’d also visit Tiger Stadium in the summer and The Joe during hockey season. Hell, way WAY back I have also taken in some games at the old Olympia with its green-tinted ice.

        We’re not all boors.

    • Habs hahahaha.
      Habs even when they are on the bottom, can get “onky 3rd” max.
      Nice try bro

  4. Hey, Lyle, none of that “soft retirement” stuff from you, ok? There’s a big group here that depend on your unbiased journalism.
    Keep it going, mate.

    • Not going anywhere anytime soon!

      • Take off this tinfoil from your head, you have stupid ideas

  5. Beyond bizarre that people think getting lucky once in 6 decades is a conspiracy! Smfh!

    People need to take off those tinfoil hats and go back to bed.

    • Enjoy Kakko and your 1st overall NYR. If you had won more than 1 cup in the last 80 years, you wouldn’t need the help.

      • Well maybe they have one cup in 80 years because they lacked that kind of luck and help?

        Who’s your team again? Ya know …. the one that’s won multiple cups with no high first rounders?

      • Careful, that egg on your face could be massive when 6′ 3″ 200 lb Kakko enters his second NHL season with a bit more confidence and familiarity with the North American game – and a 6′ 1″ 200 lb left winger centered by 6′ 2″ 201 lb Zibanejad.

      • you traded your 1st couple of times.
        Help? Refs lift your team in the play offs several times
        Don’t talk about bad luck

      • Well, there where you’re wrong again. NY has NEVER traded a top 3 pick in those years…. what else you got?

        Trading 15-30 isn’t exactly the same thing is it? If it is… wtf are people complaining about? I mean ….. you will have those lower picks!

        Can’t have it both ways!

        So seriously…. what else do you have now?

    • NY4. Had to know as soon as that guy dropped ball the conspiracy theories where coming!

      • There was actually a thing about it in the ny post last night. No matter what, people were just going to have an issue with it.

        It started here days ago. Smh. How dare Lady Luck shine on NY after 50+ years!

      • Nyr4life, I just hope the fans at MSG don’t expect another McDavid or Crosby or Lemieux-type of dominant force and consequently pout undue pressure on the kid. He is, from having seen him quite a few times over his junior days (much of it in locally-televised games of the Gatineau Olympiques across the river on the Quebec side), and from reports from a friend in Nova Scotia who has seen him a lot more) going to be a very good NHLer more in the vein of a Nathan McKinnon or Patrick Kane. And there ain’t anything wrong with that.

      • “put” not “pout” 🙂 – although that would be a natural reaction if they put there expectations that high

      • I don’t think so George. I think most fans have been patient with Kakko. And will be here as well.
        And NY can shelter him behind Panarin and Kreider.

        I just see it as another nice piece to build around, nothing more.

        Hell, even McDavid himself has been no type of savior. I don’t think NY fans should expect that from Lafreniere.

  6. I agree that it was certainly 24 hours of suck for the Leafs. But why would they have kept the pick had they advanced?

  7. Here’s a question….if the Pens give up their pick to the Wild which gives them 2 picks in the top 15 of a deep draft, would those 2 picks (#9 and #15) be enough to swap with the Rangers for #1?
    The Rangers have Panarin and Kreider at LW, and need defensive help more than AL, so would they be inclined to deal and pick up Jake Sanderson and Kaiden Guhle instead?
    It could be a win-win for both teams.

    • Ny has Trouba, Fox , DeAngelo, Lindgren, Hajek, Miller , Robertson, Lundkvist…. they’re not trading that #1 pick.

      • We all saw how they played in the playin round, poor lundquist had a hard enough time stopping the puck when his d wasn’t giving up quality scoring chances

      • You saw how Miller , Lundkvist, Hajek, Robertson, Rykoff play? Hmmmm that’s interesting. Since most weren’t even eligible to play.

        Staal, Smith aren’t exactly the young d men I was mentioning. This d is young. Outside of those 2. They’ve yet to sniff the nhl.

        Price would have been out of the playoffs if Kreider did his sweet Price smash slide ! Lol

      • It’s a young core of d-men… they’re not supposed to be Norris candidates just yet!

      • Ya NYR, they do have promising depth on the blue line, in goal, and stacked on the wing assuming they draft Lafreniere.
        They have a #1 C with Zib.
        Only hole I see is 2C, and that is assuming Strome simply benefited with playing on Panarin’s line hence the spike in production.
        The D should continue to improve over next couple years and should score.
        Will be interesting to see if they eventually deal from some of that depth to get a C or roll with Strome.

      • Rangers need a center for sure… Chytil should play on the wing imho as should Strome. Hard to matchup with a team like Carolina.
        Bottom 6 forwards that you can trust on the ice are also needed

        Dont forget they had Smith on wing most of the season…

        some pieces probably moved to add a ‘younger vet’ on D and even 2 centers.
        Kratsov available?

      • I forgot it was you that was going on about price being overrated when year after year the players vote him the best…….sorry forgot you know more than the players! And those young dmen are not as good as you say you’re starting to sound like a leaf fan

    • Lmao. I didn’t forget I said it. And all those players that beat Price on a pretty consistent basis know it as well.

      How do you know those d-man are not good? It’s obvious not good = I don’t like in that little mind of yours. You go on forever about how the “leafs suck”. To the point of ridiculousness.

      Did I ever say “ every one of those d man will be the next Doughty? Nah…. never even hinted that ANY of them will be full time nhlers. My point was they have a LOT of young untapped talent. No idea how they turn out … hence why I ALWAYS say “we’ll see” about every single Rangers prospect…. or anyone else’s prospects”… but somehow YOU know they are all worthless?

      Can every one of them fail? Well in that little mind probably.

      Go back to trolling Toronto fans.
      Like a lot of fans out there , you’re a bit delusional about anyone not on your team….

  8. High First round picks don’t always work out for the team drafting them in the dressing room. I was extatic when my Bruins drafted Joe Thornton and Tyler Seguin with top picks but was just as happy when they showed them the door. I would rather have a team of Bergeron,s and Marchand,s any day and Pasta was a late first round pick. Won’t be to many more years I will be watching Boston break it down and start over in a different way that will be exciting to but right now go Bruins go

  9. it’s not a weighed ball, it’s a lighter ball and quite easily done. As that theory has been proven over and over again.

    Congrats to the Rangers for the Win.

    Yes the draft lottery was flawed it should’ve went to one of the teams not in the playin round; which also could’ve easily been done.

    The unfortunate part nothing about what the NHL has done to have their Covid Cup tournament was about being fair or just. There was two reason only. 1. Cut our losses by $500,000,000 and 2. How do we generate as much interest and excitement as possible to get as many fans watching the games.

    By a team not winning the first overall pick in the first lottery draft was and is wrong, the whole reason for the draft is to help the bottom teams get better, in the cases the NHL is helping a better team distance themselves from the bottom of the pack. If NHL know this and this is why the Rangers don’t get the 1st pick of the second round because they don’t deserve it. None of the 8 teams in the draw yesterday deserve it.

    For me and purely selfish reasoning , I wanted Winnipeg to win but didn’t want Edmonton, Pittsburgh or Toronto to win. I’m OK with the Rangers.

    Don’t like the format of any of it, but i accept it as it is and will watch and hope Boston win the Covid Cup because there is no Stanley Cup winner for 2019 – 2020.

    • Agree with some of that Caper, the process for the lottery was flawed. If they can play for the Stanley Cup during a pandemic, they should. So far so good as far as pulling it off without infections.
      That is a success in itself. Not perfect but was never gonna be. The NHL deserves praise overall, and if we have to do this again, learn from it.
      There will be a SC winner and they will have deserved it.
      Any format chosen for the playoffs would have had critics, personally I would simply have had the top 16 in win % make it, and hold the lottery the same way you did the year previously. But I understand why they did it the way they did.
      Long term I wouldn’t even have anyone outside the bottom 5 or 6 eligible to win the lottery.

  10. This is a fun forum today. FYI. The tin foil thing was a lame comeback the first time it was used. Let’s step it up a bit guys. Get those creative juices flowin! The conspiracy theorists sure are using their imaginations!

    • Well we needed our resident jokester to come and belt out some tunes or some corny 80s jokes / puns for inspiration!!!!

      Where have you been? Please lead the way! Come on! Give us your best Obe the ostrich one line !!!!

      I’ve been anxiously awaiting my next snooze!

      • 🎼At first I was afraid, I was petrified🎼
        🎤Kept thinking I could never live without you by my side🎤….

  11. This is why we all have our own opinions; some agree and some don’t.

    As far a exciting hockey; not so much. The round robin was a tune up that had no energy or excitement.

    Personally they could’ve done a much better and fairer format. 16 teams only was the only right decision

    • Caper, I have only watched 2 teams play every game. Boston and Edmonton, saw the last 3 of the TOR CLB series.. Bruins have been flat and frankly look brutal compared to where they were when the season ended. The Oiler series was exciting but the Oil made mistakes they weren’t making in the reg season. Seems like everyone cost them too.
      We agree on the 16 for the tourney, but how about the lottery?
      I am more of the opinion that just the worst go in a lottery, say bottom 5. To avoid the total tank give all 5 a 20% chance at the #1.
      Do you think the B’s can flip the switch and get it going tonight? I am skeptical as they have been so bad.

      • That’s a veteran-laden team Ray – they know what it takes to up the intensity. Look for Marchand to be the catalyst tonight.

      • Hope your right George!
        I have always been a paranoid Bruins fan, but they looked slow in the seeding round, and very few chance from home plate. No intensity, no crispness etc. Carolina will eat them for lunch if they don’t step it up.
        Maybe it takes the older guys a bit longer to get their legs. Here’s hoping.