NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 29, 2020

by | Sep 29, 2020 | News, NHL | 50 comments

The Tampa Bay Lightning are the 2020 Stanley Cup champions, Victor Hedman wins the Conn Smythe Trophy, plus the latest on the Flyers, Blackhawks, Golden Knights and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Tampa Bay Lightning are the Stanley Cup champions after blanking the Dallas Stars 2-0 in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final, winning the series four games to two. Andrei Vasilevskiy turned in a 22-save shutout while Brayden Point and Blake Coleman were the goal scorers. Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.

Tampa Bay Lightning are the 2020 Stanley Cup Champions (NHL.com).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to the Lightning for a well-deserved championship run under quarantine conditions in Toronto and Edmonton. The Bolts just get better as the playoffs progressed, using their deep roster and solid defensive play to defeat their opponents They never suffered consecutive losses during this postseason. Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov finished with 34 points to lead all playoff scorers while linemate Brayden Point was the goal-scoring leader with 14 goals.

Give the Stars credit for getting this far. They gave everything they had against a strong Lightning club in this series but seemed to run out of gas in Game 6.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Interim Stars coach Rick Bowness deflected questions during the post-game press conference over whether he’ll return as Dallas’ bench boss. However, he said he still has the passion to coach.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stars owner Tom Gaglardi and general manager Jim Nill said Bowness earned the right to return as their full-time coach next season. I’ll be very surprised if he doesn’t. Bowness did a fine job guiding the Stars to their first Stanley Cup Final in 20 years.

SPORTSNET: For the ninth straight week, the NHL reported no positive COVID-19 tests.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Everyone involved in the NHL return-to-play plan deserves a big round of applause. Their collective goal was to stage a safe environment for a playoff tournament to crown a Stanley Cup champion. Mission accomplished.

TSN: NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr doesn’t expect to see all of next season played under playoff quarantine conditions. However, he suggested the possibility of a hybrid bubble to start next season.

Frank Seravalli reports the league and the PA will meet soon to begin discussions. One concept could be starting the season in four-to-six bubbles in various locations, preferably cities where fans can be allowed into the arenas. At least one bubble would be in Canada, given the current restrictions at the Canada-US border.

Seravalli said the plan could see teams start the season in hybrid bubbles and gradually progress toward teams hosting games in their home arenas and cities with limited capacity before hopefully ramping up to full capacity in time for the playoffs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The league and the PA won’t rush into anything. As they did with the return-to-play plan, they’ll take their time to evaluate all their options as they formulate a workable schedule for next season. They’ll also likely evaluate how the NFL and US college football handles their games with fans in the stands. As with the playoff tournament, player safety will be the priority.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: The Flyers re-signed defenseman Robert Hagg to a two-year, $3.2 million contract extension. Hagg, 25, was a restricted free agent with arbitration rights. The Flyers also hired recently-retired forward Chris Stewart as a player development coach.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: The Blackhawks traded forward Dylan Sikura to the Vegas Golden Knights for forward Brandon Pirri.


  1. Sad but true. Bettman is happy, that’s the most important thing. His creation in Florida won 2nd Stanley cup. Thank god they didn’t need 3 blind mice, but let’s be honest at least the cup stays in the USA

    • I don’t get it.

      • Neither does he

      • LOL!

  2. Congrats Bolts

    Congrats Hed

    Game started of with many missed passes; flubs; disjointed plays…both sides looked nervous

    Finally settled in late first… and Bolts dominated

    Weird celebration…. I’m not buying into what Gary said… That Tampa had decided to do it a different way…. strange how Tampa had also strategically put the fireworks right behind the table with the trophy

    Atta go Hed … great tournament. I wouldn’t have been surprised or disappointed if it had gone to Point… both had an excellent playoffs

    Thank you Paquette… saved my bacon in the pool. Had a one point lead heading into last night’s game… then Kuch got an assist… tying one of my buddies with me… but he would have won as he had the tie breaker (most goals by his players)

    I had only had Gourde and Paquette left (Paquette my 10th and final pick)… and he assists on Coleman’s goal…👍👍

    • Lol… not like Mike Meyers playing his own Character’s dad in “How I Married an Axe Murderer”… “ Head… move”… LOL… “I’m not kidding , it’s like Sputnik” “It’s a planetoid”… no not “Head”…

      … but “Hed”

      What the broadcasters were calling (at least saying some of his teammates calling ) Hedman… “Hed”

  3. Maybe it’s time to make this league equal? But why Bettman would want that, who would benefit from stronger Canadian teams?

    • k, Tampa and Ottawa came into the league the same year – since then TB has won two cups to Ottawa’s 0. Yet, if you look at playoff series appearances, it’s something like 185 for TB and 175 for Ottawa – not much difference there … except TB was able to win more “clutch” games obviously.

      • k, the league is as equal as it can be with a salary cap and floor in place. As a Canadian fan, I anxiously await the day I see a (non-Toronto) Canadian team hoist the cup; but there are 7 Canadian teams and 24 American teams, there’s going to be more wins south of the border. League is still more than half Canadian’s and a Canadian was still the first to lift the cup this year.

        Sad fact is that a lot of players prefer to play for a US teams for a variety of reasons: taxes, less pressure, climate, etc. The league parity has never been better and the on-ice product is typically excellent.

        If I can pinpoint one thing that results in Canadian teams not making it; it is that when a Canadian team has a bad season or post-season, everyone calls for trades a firings. Look at Tampa, more than a few times they could have fired people and traded players, but they didn’t. Meanwhile in Toronto, fans want their starting G traded after a “bad” playoff (.936 save %) and the GM fired. Calgary wants their #1 player traded; Montreal is a carousel; and Edmonton is…well…Edmonton; they cursed themselves when they traded Gretz and Mess.

      • I’m with SCJ. The Canadian teams lack patience. Is that because many of the fans also lack patience?
        Would Cooper have lasted in Toronto, Montreal or any Canadian market after getting punted in 4 straight to CLB in rd 1 last year?
        I have my doubts.

      • Totally agree Ray & SCJ. But that got me to thinking – is there really much more patience among U.S.-based teams when it comes to head coaching turnovers. So I went back (arbitrarily) to 1993 – the last time a Canadian-based team rook home the Cup (Montreal) and, not counting Winnipeg who have only been back since 2011 (in which time they’ve only had 2) – the average is 12.5 per team: Ottawa (15); Calgary (14), Edmonton (13), Montreal (13), Vancouver (10), Toronto (10).

        In the U.S. (not counting Nashville – only been around since 1998 in which time they’ve had 3 – Colorado (around since 1995 during which they’ve had 8 – and Arizona (around since 1996 during which time they’ve had 7), the average is not that much different at 11.1): Detroit (6); Carolina (6); Buffalo (8); TB (9); Columbus (9); Dallas (9); Boston (10); St. Louis (10); Pittsburgh (10); SJ (10); Anaheim (11); Chicago (11); Washington (11); NYR (12); L.A. (12); Pha (14); Florida (16); NYI (18); NJD (19)

        Some in the U.S. have been clearly way more patient than others!

      • Taxes bro Taxes

      • George O, there is no pressure in Tampa, if this team will be trash no one would care anyway. It’s hockey in Florida.
        Perfect place for Bettman to build two teams, low taxes, sun, 0 pressure from anyone (like they know what ice hockey is). Players will come, will earn good money, why they should play in Canada, where even blind child knows about hockey more then 50 Tampa fans. It’s sad what this donkey did to this league. But for sure no Canadian team will win the cup under Bettman. This donkey won’t even work for equal pay. Good for yankees, not necessarily for the rest of the world

    • Give your head a shake k. There are many reasons that Canada hasn’t had a Stanley Cup champ since Whitney Houston topped the charts. First being most players don’t want to live in a fishbowl. Lower taxes and warmer weather as well play roles in this. I could go on for a bit here

      • Yep. Any doubt Montreal, Edmonton and the Peg are on every no trade list in the NHL, while lower tax teams like Dallas, Tampa and Florida are likely not?

      • if you can’t play under pressure, maybe you shouldn’t be a “pro”. That could be a reason why they are not playing soccer/football (in the rest of the world), because they would be able to handle this stress. And someone said that soccer player are soft (LOL)

  4. I like the way they described the hybrid bubble scenarios last night… 2 weeks in, one home to be with Fam… 12-14 games a month… possible 60 game season done by end of May… start playoffs then… to make sure the Cup is awarded before the start of the Olympics… late July… because of TV contracts

    No fans to start..
    .. move to more and more fans through season

    That whole plan sounds tough to organize and get all agreeing, but it does make sense IMHO

    re Vegas/Chi trade… don’t get the urgency in the trade… both played more AHL than NHL this year, both basically the same Sal…only $25 K diff. Both play RW, LW, and C.

    Pirri the better player, but Sekura 4 years younger; and will be RFA on renewal

    I don’t see Sekura necessarily cracking the Knight’s 23 man; and if Chi is trying to get younger and even if they expect Pirri to play; why trade the same piece to get 4 years older?

    Is there something I’m missing on these two?

    • Struck me as odd too, Pengy. Maybe the Hawks have some sort of sentimental affinity for a guy they drafted in Round 2 some 11 years ago. Since then he’s been around the horn with 4 other organizations and has become a poster boy for the term “journeyman” – he was with the AHL Chicago Wolves this past season (strange that they’re the AHL outlet for the Carolina Hurricanes and not the Hawks – go figure).

  5. No talk of how three guys did not lift the stick of Point to stop him getting his own rebound?

  6. The LeAfs will win the Cup for Canada shortly.

    BOLTS manner of win confirms the way to go is get as much premier talents as possible and hope they perform at same time. There should hopefully be no more NeanderthalIic comments on this site that so and so team needs bigger and grittier wingers and more toughness on 3rd pair defense. Idiotic.

    TB win was entirely due to Point, Kucherov, Hedman and Vasilevskiy. They were so good the absence of Stamkos didn’t matter.

    TB wasn’t stupid enough to trade any premier players for a stay at home D and a big tough winger

    Dubas is following the same template and won’t be stupid enough to trade the core 4 or Rielly. He knows he needs a better hoalie and will get one and add a premier RHD to finish it off using interchangeable 2nd tier players in bulk like johnsson kerfoot dermott 15th overall etc. Because there are still lots of Cro Magnon GMs to dupe.

    Leafs will reach summit quicker than the almost decade it took TB.

    GO LEAFS GO!!!

    • Wendell it’s not everyone else , it’s you bud . About as bright as a burnt out lightbulb

    • Typical delusional Maple Loaves fan boy …

      • … who conveniently overlooks the fact that the 6 top cap hits on the Leafs cost a cumulative $51,114,000 – or 62.7% of the flat cap while the top 6 on TB cost $44,375,000 – or 54.4% of the cap

        That close to $7 mil difference could go a long way to shoring up a generally weak D. But hey, what do we plebes know when the greatest franchise on Earth never makes a mistake.

      • and small difference, they could get less in their salary if not taxes again. Maybe Bettman should do some real job, instead of build some teams god knows where.

    • Hi W17H

      Setting aside the gritty/tenacious additions comments; and just looking at your two key points… top tier RHD ; replace Freddy with better starter

      Replacing Freddy… to go up in value let’s call it +$1M in Cap; Top RHD… $7.5 M

      That then has Leafs with 3 D; 2 G’s and Leafs top 4 …. at close to of $66.5 M… leaving at best $15 M for 14 players

      Round out the top 6 with 2 players each at $2M and *4th D @$2M (this scenario not feasible but for arguments sake we’ll go with it)… that leaves $9M … so spending right to the cap… 11 players at League min… and League min players are typically journeymen , 13th/14th forwards or 7th/8th D

      This also means moving Hyman , Kerfoot, Johnson , and Dermott (as their Sals now or in Dermott’s case; will, not within the above parameters. It also means the $2M 2RD is Holl… certainly not a cup winning team’s 2RD

      so …. exploring a top RHD like let’s say Petro… AND keeping top 4… just can’t end with a cup…. you can’t win Cup with 11 league min players

      I agree … top level RHD a priority… so to get… one of top 4 has to go and it won’t be AM or JT

      At MM … very very few suitors who CAN and WANT to take him at his cap AND have the top RHD needed AND willing to give him up

      I can dream about MM for Seth Jones until the cows come home but it ain’t,t happenin’

      WW with only $2.5 M cash owed for this year AND effective cash outlay averaging only ~ $5 M per for balance of contract… is much more tradable and could more readily get a 22-25 year old top 3 RHD ; with term and at less cap

      That’s the starting point IMHO


    • Ok. Now I get it. It’s nothing more than a troll job by Wendel.
      No one can be that ignorant to the facts that so clearly laid themselves out.
      Congratulations to the fans of the TB Lightning. That was as dominant of a run as we’ve seen in decades. Yzerman built a heck of a team. Brisebois filled it out nicely.

      It’s been more than 6,000 days since the leafs have won a playoff round. 6,000!
      I believe with last night’s championship by the Lightning, the Leafs no longer even have their name on the cup.

      It live in Canada, yet cheer for the Bruins. Makes no difference to me if a team based in Canada wins a cup or not.
      We all know who has historically supplied the league with talent, but that’s been changing as the years go by. Like it or not, the game is growing and we’re seeing guys from nontraditional markets make an impact.
      I for ine welcome it.
      Good job Gary Bettman.

    • Wendel, the LAST time the Leafs won a playoff round – never mind a cup – was 2004 – and guess who were the Cup champions then? Yup – TB. To put that gap into some sort of perspective that perhaps your small mind can embrace, the President was George W and the PM was Paul Martin. The Top 10 points producers that year were Martin St. Louis, Ilya Kovalchuk, Joe Sakic, Markus Naslund, Marian Hossa, Patrik Elias, Daniel Alfredsson, Cory Stillman, Robert Lang, Brad Richards. All retired.

      And speaking of Stanley Cups, here’s some perspective to help you grasp the reality of a 53-year gap: 53 years before the last Leafs cup WW I was still 4 months away from starting and the Titanic had only been on the bottom for 2 years.

      • I just read that the last time TML won a Stanley Cup was the same year that Super Bowl I was played…that is amazing.

        Ronald Reagan was the brand new governor of California.

        Also, the Big Mac was first offered by McDonald’s.

    • Ha! Most of their big players were home-grown, not poached from other teams. Many of them were also not 1st round picks. Tampa developed their own players, they didn’t buy them. They did such a great job, in fact, that they’re going to lose some good ones since they can’t afford them all but they’ll still be competitive.

      • YUP – 13 played in the Tampa Minors

    • The Leafs have not reached the summit since 1967

    • Wendel, my God do you ever paint that “Leaf fan” to a T. You are part of the problem we get that label. Smh

    • An incremental process carried out over several years with good tenure throughout the organization, a very supportive owner, a loyal and supportive fan base, a coach not so stubborn he won’t change, and, as such things usually go, a couple of failures before ultimate success (unlike 2004 which was a happy accident). And a shout out to Nigel Kerwin, probably to longest tenured coach in the NHL, who could have jumped into the spotlight but chose to just do his job, and we love him in Tampa.

  7. Haha James Is back and the envy is real . The facts like usual , are absent . The template didn’t begin with overpaying your stars and gutting the depth in Tampa did it ? Tampa won because they got great goaltending , great play from the d , great play from the stars and great play from the depth .balance . You want to trade Fred for a bag of pucks , and feel depth doesn’t factor in . Dead wrong . As per usual .

    • so if the stars and TB switched their roster aside from the top 4 players on each team you think the stars would have won??!!

      TB would have won in 6 games just like they did with their slugs. And to suggest differently is embarrassing.

      • Man, do I ever wish this guy would shut up

      • FD, I think this whole schtick is just to deliberately get a rise out of others and that he no more believes 99% of the crap he writes than he does in the existence of the Easter Bunny (well, maybe not THAT far – don’t want to poke a hole in his fanciful balloon). The worst thing – the absolute worst thing – that they fear is to be totally ignored. Let him spout the same crap over and over without a reaction. Even that sort eventually gets tired of being ignored.

  8. Cograts to Tampa; I picked Hedman for the Conn Smythe but could’ve went to Point.

    To be honest, the game was boring, the series was mostly boring, only one and half game had any excitement.

    Turned off last night game to watch paint dry.

    Bogosian done the Hainsey thing 12 season first playoff and get the Cup.

    • Dallas plays boring hockey. They got where they were with remarkable goaltending and a good deal of puck luck plus running into an injury-ravaged Avs team that they almost collapsed against. Still nice to see the best team win.

      • Bitter? They got that far because veterans like Perry, Pavelski, Benn, Comeau and Seguin could smell one last crack at the cup and played their hearts out – and a guy named Khudobin who stood tall.

  9. Its good to see the hockey universe is as it should be, morning after cup and God’s team is carrying the water for the site. Amen.

    CHEERS! lol

  10. I’ve had to delete several comments that strayed far off-topic into politics and religion, as well as posts involving personal insults aimed at other commenters. This is a hockey site. Please stick to talking hockey and be respectful toward your fellow fans. Thank you.

    • Thanks Lyle, I like my hockey without Polictics but also understand that sometimes it creeps into the conversation.

      Keep deleting im good with that.

      A while back it was so bad, I left the site for 2 weeks, nothing productive came out of them.

      • My apologies were sincere. Not sure what the response was as I missed it.
        Sorry everyone, especially Lyle.
        And that’s all I have to say about that.

      • Deleted along with my simple agreement that it has no place using a world stage covering international events not available to ordinary Joes.

    • Apologies to all. I typically try to avoid replying to politically charged posts. In replying to one today, I contributed to what must have escalated into something quite unpleasant. I did not see the evolution of the discussion, but knowing what I posted and peoples general feelings toward politics, I can easily see how it would have spiralled.

  11. I’m in the US but never think of whether a team is from Canada or from the states, they’re all hockey teams to me.
    There are lots of teams I AM a big fan of north and south of the border. And there are a couple of teams I’m not really a big fan of north and south but never think of the NHL as the US vs. Canada.

  12. NY4, Tampa Bay played a tremendous team game throughout the playoffs. Their depth was unmatched and the trade deadline deals certainly paid off.
    As I mentioned yesterday, huge credit should also go to their scouting staff. People need only look back through the draft record for this team and they will realize what a job the franchise did in finding good NHL players after the first round – best in the league.
    Draft and develop – what a unique concept.

  13. Read Andrew Berkshire post today in sportsnet app. DO NOT PANIC. Leafs are well on their way following Bolts. Stay the course and don’t subtract from the core. Nice read.enjoy. GO LEAFS GO

  14. Is there a full moon???

    Holy guacamole folks, did the crazy train crash into this site???