NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 9, 2020

by | Nov 9, 2020 | News, NHL | 15 comments

The latest on Alex Ovechkin, last season’s non-playoff clubs still waiting to find out when they’ll start training camps, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NBC SPORTS: Adam Gretz examined what Alex Ovechkin’s next contract with the Washington Capitals could look like. The 35-year-old winger is entering the final season of his 13-year, $124 million deal. He’s indicated he wants to finish his NHL career with the Capitals and they want to keep him. Gretz speculates a five-year, $50 million contract should be doable even under a flattened cap for the foreseeable future as it won’t dramatically alter the club’s salary-cap structure.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I can see Ovechkin signing for around the same annual average value ($9.538 million) as his current deal on a three-year deal if he’s keen to return to the KHL’s Dynamo Moscow to finish his playing career. I’ll be shocked if he and the Capitals failed to reach an agreement on an extension.

MLIVE.COM: The seven clubs that failed to make the playoffs last season, such as the Detroit Red Wings, could start training camp sooner than the other teams. However, it remains to be seen when that will take place. Many of the Wings have been working out and skating together, but they could go more than 10 months between games if the 2020-21 season begins in January.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wings and the rest of last season’s non-playoff teams (Anaheim, Buffalo, Los Angeles, New Jersey, Ottawa and San Jose) could be facing a long wait before they play their first meaningful games again. The NHL-NHLPA return-to-play committee has yet to meet, and there’s speculation the league’s tentative Jan.1 start date could be pushed into February or March.

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly acknowledged those non-playoff clubs will get a longer training camp period. The dates, however, won’t be announced until the league finally reveals the start date for the season.

THE SCORE: Seven Quebec Major Junior Hockey League teams located in COVID-19 red zones in Quebec will be playing games in Quebec City from Nov. 17 – 27. Each team will play six games there. The QMJHL is the only CHL branch to begin its 2020-21 season. The Western Hockey League (WHL) is set to begin on Jan. 8 while the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) has targeted Feb. 4 for its return.

NHL.COM: Former Toronto Maple Leaf and colorful hockey analyst Howie Meeker passed away on Sunday at age 97. Meeker spent his entire eight-year NHL career (1946-47 to 1953-54) with the Leafs, winning the Calder Memorial Trophy and four Stanley Cups. He was also the Leafs head coach for one season (1956-57) and briefly served as general manager.

Meeker went on to a 30-year career as a hockey analyst with CBC and TSN. He was honored by the Hockey Hall of Fame with the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award in 1998 and inducted into the Order of Canada and the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame in 2010.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Meeker was a Second World War veteran who overcame injuries from a grenade to reach the NHL. He was also a Progressive Conservative Member of Parliament for two years while playing with the Leafs. Meeker ran the popular series “Howie Meeker’s Hockey School” on CBC during the 1970s and wrote two books, including his autobiography in 1997. My condolences to his family, friends and former teammates.

NHL.COM: The NHL mourned the passing of Jeopardy host Alex Trebek, who died yesterday of pancreatic cancer. League commissioner Gary Bettman, Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk, Senators’ first-round pick Tim Stuetzle, New Jersey Devils defenseman P.K. Subban and the Montreal Canadiens organization were among those expressing condolences yesterday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Trebek frequently appeared in NHL functions such as the league’s award show. His last appearance for the league came during the 2020 NHL Draft last month when he announced the Senators’ selection of Stuetzle with their first-round pick. My condolences to his family, friends and many fans.


  1. RIP Alex and Howie

    Condolences out to the Trebek and Meeker families

    • You are such a mamby pamby …pathetic

      • Ed, you have the rest of your life to be an A-hole.
        Can you take a day off?

      • He’s one of those who has an image of himself as “tough” – fills his day to think he’s made his presence known – but a-holes like that are, in reality, all hat and no cattle

      • Well said, Ray. So well said, I will repeat it, with a small modification:

        Ed, you have the rest of your life to continue to be an A-hole. Take a year off.

      • He is a troll gentleman. Probably doesn’t even know what a hockey puck is. Here only to be a muckraker. Don’t respond.

      • Chisms, I gave the same advice to George re a certain poster, so it is good advice for all of us. Having let Ed know he is an insensitive jerk who adds nothing of value, I will refrain from taking his bait.


  2. I’m sure Ovi covets Gretzky’s record , so he’ll need to play 5 more seasons to get there.

    That said…. 5 years to start at 36 …. with a 35+ contract staying on the books if he retires (he said he wants to finish hockey as a Dynamo)…. to risky for Caps

    Negotiate a 3 year, then after that do the Chara 1 year ata time thing

    3 @ $10M…..

    $7 M SB, $1M Sal
    $10 M SB , $1M Sal
    $11M Sal

    The COVID escrow clawback in 21/22 & 22/23 only on $1M
    $11M year 3…. tough for him to walk away and retire even if he wanted to

  3. I guess if you’re going to give a 36yr old player 5yrs @ $10m per season Ovi would be the guy.

    Personally i don’t see it aging well. I agree with Lyle 3yrs.

    Lets see how this season pans out.

    • Factoid is that Meeker and Gordie Howe were both rookies in the same year.

      It was Meeker who won the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year.

      Life is strange.

      • Not really, rattus. Meeker had a better debut season. He had 27 goals and 45 points in 55 games, while Howe had 7 goals and 22 points in 58 games. Of course, Meeker was nearly 5 years older than Howe that season, which also likely factored into it.

  4. So whats the Caps window? Could they have a clause after maybe 3 years so that Ovi can jump ship if Washington is a non contender or start of a rebuild?

    • Could heavily front load it. Little in salary for last couple so if he is not still chasing Wayne or isn’t happy he retires. Unless he is too old for that kinda skullduggery

      • Hi Chrisms

        Front end loading is exactly what Caps can’t take a risk on

        He’s 35 so next contract if front end loaded ; AND he retires early…. Wash gets full cap hit until end if contract unless he is somehow injured… then LTIR

        I had thought that it could get wiped out with early retirement if contract was static or continued to rise…. but there is more…. SBs can only be in first year if contract…..see cut/paste below of new clause;

        “ 64. 35+ Year Old Rule for Cap Counting

        CBA §50.5(d)(i)(B)(5) shall have no application to a multi-year SPC that has: (1) total compensation (Player Salary and Bonuses) that is either the same as or increases from one League Year to the immediately subsequent League Year, and (2) a Signing Bonus, if any, that is payable in the first year of the SPC only.”

        So my suggestion earlier today ; would have to have no SB in year 2

        So his 3 year $10 M per Cap would need to be something like:

        $1M Sal; $7 M SB
        $11 M Sal
        $11 M sal

      • So skullduggery is out now. Thanks pengy.