NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 22, 2020
The latest return-to-play news and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
TORONTO SUN: Steve Simmons believes the infighting between the NHL and NHL Players Association over the league’s requests for higher escrow and salary deferral rates puts the start of the 2020-21 season into question. He feels league commissioner Gary Bettman faces a difficult challenge, attempting to negotiate during a pandemic with the owners angry and divided and the players unwilling to budge over further cuts to their salaries.
NEWSDAY: Andrew Gross suggests additional salary deferral could be a way out of this mess despite the initial shock and anger from the players. Unlike escrow, deferrals will at some point find their way back to the players. Another is the desire by Bettman and the PA to start the season as soon as possible.
The league and PA prefer a start date of Jan. 1. With the clock ticking, however, Gross thinks that might have to be pushed back to around Feb. 1. He feels a realistic start date for the season should become clearer by the end of the upcoming American Thanksgiving weekend.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: We can probably forget about a Jan. 1 start to the season if an agreement between the league and the PA isn’t reached by Monday, Nov, 30. Many players still haven’t joined their teams. The league wants a 14-day training camp leading up to the start of the season, with last season’s seven non-playoff clubs getting an additional seven-to-10 days as promised.
ESPN.COM: A recent survey of American sports fans indicates two-thirds of the respondents will await the arrival of a COVID-19 vaccine before returning to arenas and stadiums.
THE MERCURY NEWS: San Jose Sharks president Jonathan Becher said the club will have to hold its training camp outside of Santa Clara county if local health officials won’t allow players to skate in large numbers at its training facility in San Jose.
NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: Blackhawks star Patrick Kane and his girlfriend Amanda recently announced the birth of their first child. Patrick Timothy Kane III arrived on Nov. 12.
TSN: Fred Saskamoose, one of the first Indigenous players to skate in the NHL, tested positive for COVID-19 and has been hospitalized. He played 11 games with the Chicago Blackhawks in 1953-54. Following his playing career, he was extensively involved in developing sports programs for Indigenous youth. Saskamoose was named to the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame in 2007 and received the Order of Canada in 2017.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Saskamoose for a speedy recovery.