NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 13, 2021
The Jets avoid arbitration with Andrew Copp, the NHL won’t pay for players’ COVID insurance at 2022 Beijing Olympics, several Canadian teams prepare for full capacity this season and more in today’s morning coffee headlines.
WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets avoided salary arbitration with Andrew Copp, reaching an agreement on a one-year, $3.64 million contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly shows the Jets sitting $5.797 million over the $81.5 million salary cap. Teams are allowed to sit above the cap by 10 percent during the offseason but must be compliant when the season opens in October.
One way could be putting sidelined center Bryan Little ($5.291 million) on long-term injury reserve but that still leaves him over the cap. They could also attempt to trade someone like Nathan Beaulieu, trade or demote Sami Niku and demote Ville Heinola and/or Dylan Samberg.
NEW YORK POST’s Larry Brooks tweeted the NHL Players Association has alerted its members the NHL won’t pay for COVID insurance at the 2022 Winter Olympics or Olympic qualifiers. “League position is that players will not be paid for games they miss because of COVID if contracted at Olympic events.”
Brooks also indicated the PA has presented the International Ice Hockey Federation the cost of insurance but was told international federations wouldn’t pay. He said the PA “strongly advises players not to participate in Olympic qualifying events.” He said talks are ongoing.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Don’t expect this to drag on for long. A decision on NHL participation in the 2022 Games is supposedly expected by the end of August.
SPORTSNET: The Winnipeg Jets will require all fans to be fully vaccinated to attend games at Canada Life Centre this season. The club’s parent company said season ticket holders made it clear that this was their preference. They intend to fill the arena for the Jets’ home games. Fans will also be required to wear masks in the arena.
THE PROVINCE: The Vancouver Canucks are considering measures similar to those of the Jets for access to their home games at Rogers Arena this season.
OTTAWA SUN: The Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs expect to have full capacity for this season. They’re awaiting the green light from Ontario’s health minister.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Access to arenas of Canadian NHL clubs will depend upon provincial health guidelines. The piece indicates the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers have no restrictions on attendance in their arenas. The Montreal Canadiens are expected to be close to capacity to start the season. Their plans could be affected by the rising number of COVID-19 Delta variant cases.
TSN: Former Chicago Blackhawks skills coach Paul Vincent gave investigators his account of abuse allegations leveled by two players against former video coach Bradley Aldrich. Vincent said he first heard of the allegations from Blackhawks defenseman Nick Boynton when the club was in San Jose for the 2010 Western Conference Final.
After speaking with Boynton, Vincent said he spoke with the two alleged victims for 10 minutes and shared the allegations with the club’s sports psychologist, James Gary, and security officer Brian Higgins. Higgins’ lawyer told TSN his client did work at the United Center during the 2009-10 season but didn’t officially start working for the Blackhawks until October 2010. The lawyer said Vincent’s statement that he informed his client of the allegations was false but Vincent is sticking to his story.
Vincent also said he was subsequently called into a meeting with team officials including Gary, team president John McDonough, general manager Stan Bowman, and vice-president of hockey operations Al MacIsaac. He said he was informed by MacIsaac the team was looking into the matter and he didn’t have to worry about it anymore.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: You can read the full story at the link above. It comes with a caution that it contains references to sexual assault. The internal investigation by the Blackhawks is ongoing and details will be publicly shared upon its completion.
THE ATHLETIC: The lawsuits and the investigation into the Blackhawks’ handling of the sexual assault allegations have some of their fans evaluating their loyalty to the club.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers signed defenseman Slater Koekkoek to a two-year contract with an annual average value of $925K.
THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: The Walt Disney Company will pay the NHL $350 million to buy its 10 percent stake in Disney Streaming Services.
OTTAWA SUN: Charges have been withdrawn against an Ontario Provincial Police officer accused of fraud in the sale of a hockey stick once used by Wayne Gretzky.