NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 25, 2020

by | Oct 25, 2020 | News, NHL | 17 comments

More details on what next season might look like, update salary-arbitration schedule, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks provides more tidbitS on what next season might look like following the NHL’s meeting with general managers on Friday.

When will the NHL return with full arenas? (NHL.com)

The objective remains to start on Jan. 1 and playing a full 82-game schedule with full arenas but the league knows that’s unlikely. It will continue monitoring the course of COVID-19, travel restrictions between Canada and the United States, and regulations regarding large indoor gatherings to determine which teams could allow fans in arenas and how many.

A shorter schedule and playing in several hub cities require authorization from the league and the NHL Players’ Association. Players and staff wouldn’t be segregated from the general public but could be expected to follow protocols similar to those of Major League Baseball during their 2020 season.

Groups of teams could shuttle into designated hub cities for two-three weeks, then return to their home cities for a week of practice before heading to the next hub. There could be a geographical realignment of divisions, including an all-Canadian division.

Training camps would be 14 days and limited to 35 players. The seven clubs that didn’t qualify for the 2020 return-to-play would have an additional seven-to-10 days. Each team would play three to four exhibition games.

Brooks also reported team facilities are currently allowed to be open under Phase 2 restrictions for up to 12 players on the ice at the same time. Players would be tested twice weekly and are asked not to skate in other arenas once they’re “in-market”. Most players have yet to be “in-market” because they’re training at home awaiting definitive word on the training camp schedule.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nothing has been decided yet for training camp or next season’s schedule. That’s to be determined by a return-to-play committee involving the league and the PA which is expected to begin meeting soon. Brooks’ report, and those from TSN, Sportsnet and The Athletic since Friday give us at least some idea of what’s under consideration.

NHLPA: Twelve of the 26 players who filed for salary arbitration have avoided hearings by reaching agreement on new contracts with their respective teams. Those still scheduled for hearings include Detroit’s Tyler Bertuzzi (today), Buffalo’s Linus Ullmark, Sam Reinhart and Victor Olofsson, Colorado’s Devon Toews, the New York Rangers’ Ryan Strome and the New York Islanders’ Ryan Pulock. The final date of hearings is Nov. 8.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman yesterday reported Ullmark seeks $4.1 million while the Sabres countered with $1.8 million. Big gap to close there.

CALGARY SUN: The Flames signed free-agent winger Josh Leivo to a one-year, $875K contract. He joins former Vancouver Canucks teammates Jacob Markstrom, Chris Tanev and Louis Domingue who signed with the Flames this month.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ladies and gentlemen, your Calgary Canucks, er, Flames!


  1. I like this Leivo signing

    Reasonable and if utilized properly this can be a big win

    IMHO , if they can find a reg home for him on the third line ; I think he will shine

  2. Re next season…. I just don’t see a 1/1 start

    I agree, shortened season , with maybe 1/2 start, in the quasi bubble cities , 3 weeks in, 1 off, has traction

    I like the Can Div idea…. that might get good chunk of season done by end of winter Covid surge

  3. Leivo fan here too, Pengy, he had a good thing going in Vancouver until his knee injury.
    A good honest player with one helluva shot.

  4. I could see a division realignment into hubs for one season, shortened to 40ish games. A Canadian, US West, Central, and East. Two with 7 teams 2 with 8 teams, you play each team 6-7 times, top 4 in each division have a mini playoff, then a hub for the top team from each division to play for the cup.

    Would be less exciting then a regular season for sure. But most affordable way to get home how key played with the current restrictions.

  5. Regardless of hubs, you needs fans in the seats for clubs to break even. Teams need time and ability to practice particularly in a shortened season when there is less time to work out new kinks.

    Realistically we are looking at a new spike in covid and deaths not a decrease and other “entertainment” industries are shutting down eg AMC theatres, maybe permanently.

  6. I wonder how a protracted cessation in North American hockey operations could affect the next NHL entry draft–whenever that might be. Will scouts shy away from North American players they haven’t seen play since they were sixteen or seventeen or for however long it turns out to be since leagues were operational? Will a preponderance of top selections come from operational European leagues? Will a draft be skipped for a following draft composed of 18- and 19-year old (etc.) players? If held on schedule, will it lead to an unprecedented number of early round flops because of too much guesswork in player evaluation?

  7. As I haven’t seen anything yet, about a possible VACCINE(s)… I’m wondering if anyone knows more about this??
    Of course THAT could be a game changer! For arguments sake, so much of the drastic changes proposed would be unlikely, or diminished!
    Possibly some changes might be kept for convenience reasons, rather than out of desperation!

  8. I have a hard time seeing the season happening. If teams need people in seats to make money, that isn’t going to happen in the U.S. for a while. Best case scenario, Biden and the Dems take over in late January and start taking Covid-19 more seriously, but that isn’t going to change things overnight. The daily infection rate in the U.S. is higher than it’s ever been and will get worse before it gets better. Things may start to improve by April, but probably won’t get better enough to make it safe for public gatherings until May or June at the earliest.

    NBC has the broadcast rights for next summer’s Olympics and will want the hockey season done by then.

    Most teams will probably lose a lot less money by just canceling the season.

  9. I’ve deleted several comments because of insulting behavior. There’s no reason to resort to childish taunts because you disagree with someone’s opinion.

  10. Lyle, I thought you didn’t like political comments…?? Concistancy?

    • I also have little time for trolls.

  11. Reinhard avoided arbitration by signing a 1-year $5.2 mil deal. He’s an RFA again next year – with arbitration again.

  12. Lyle, what is your definition of “TROLL”… anyone who disagrees with YOUR POLITICS? I have never criticized anyone here, but your selective use of deleting posts, and calling ME a troll, when I pointed out your bias must have hit a nerve, eh?!!
    JUST BECAUSE I seldom post, doesn’t mean I don’t read this daily. If you prefer to NEVER BE CRITICIZED, then I can find other places to read about hockey!

    • The reference toward a troll was not intended at you, randycane. My apologies if you took it that way.

      I have never posted anything about my politics here because I prefer to keep the comments about the topics at hand, specifically, hockey. You probably don’t even know what my politics are and I prefer to keep it that way.

      I only delete posts when they are abusive, insulting, or veer far off-topic. I also give a fair amount of leeway but sometimes comments can reach the point where they serve no purpose but to denigrate others simply because they disagree. I also have no issue with folks criticizing what I write, but when it becomes personal or insulting, that’s not being critical, that’s just being abusive for the sake of doing so.

      Hopefully, that clarifies things for you.

  13. Lyle, thanks for your response, my bad!
    I clearly misunderstood!

    • No worries, randycane. Cheers!