NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 9, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 9, 2020

Several teams begin Phase 2 training, current and former players of color form Hockey Diversity Alliance, and much more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL BEGINS PHASE TWO TRAINING PERIOD

NHL.COM: Several NHL clubs began limited voluntary small-group workouts on Monday at their team facilities as part of Phase 2 of the league’s return-to-play plan. The Edmonton Oilers, New York Islanders, Philadelphia Flyers, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Vegas Golden Knights opened their facilities yesterday.

A handful of Oilers take part in small-group training on Monday (Photo via Edmonton Oilers).

The Pittsburgh Penguins and Tampa Bay Lightning are expected to have players on the ice today, while the Arizona Coyotes will open their training facilities on Thursday.

TSN: 16 teams are hoping to open their facilities this week for small-group training. The Montreal Canadiens are expected to open their doors on Thursday. The Vancouver Canucks, however, have no plans to reopen their facility for the foreseeable future. With only three Canucks in Vancouver with their own access to ice, it’s easier for them to continue working out on their own.

THE DENVER POST: The Avalanche won’t open their facilities until Wednesday or Thursday.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Bell MTS Place will remain closed for the time being as almost all of the Jets are currently at their off-season homes throughout North America and Europe.

SPORTSNET: The Calgary Flames and Columbus Blue Jackets are among the clubs expected to open later this week. The Carolina Hurricanes, Minnesota Wild, and St. Louis Blues are among those that will wait.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Because the small-group training is voluntary, the teams aren’t obligated to reopen their training facilities unless requested by the players. With many players at their off-season homes and the ongoing travel restrictions from the COVID-19 pandemic, their preference is to continue working out at their current locations.

SEVEN CURRENT AND FORMER NHL PLAYERS FORM HOCKEY DIVERSITY ALLIANCE

THE SCORE: Seven current and former black NHL players formed the Hockey Diversity Alliance. San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane and former player Akim Aliu will co-head the group. The executive committee includes Detroit Red Wings defenseman Trevor Daley, Minnesota Wild blueliner Matt Dumba, Buffalo Sabres winger Wayne Simmonds, former NHLer and current AHL player Chris Stewart, and former player Joel Ward.

The alliance will be an independent group seeking to eliminate racism and intolerance in hockey. It hopes to work closely with the NHL to bring about change.

IN OTHER NEWS…

TSN: NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said dialogue continues with the league and the Canadian government regarding the latter’s border quarantine issue. Daly said Edmonton, Toronto, and Vancouver remain among the league’s 10 options for two host cities for this summer’s 24-team return-to-play tournament.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Over the weekend, the Toronto Sun’s Steve Simmons reported it appeared those three cities were out as potential hubs. He claimed Las Vegas is almost certainly to be named as one of the host cities, with Los Angeles or Chicago as the other. 

Pierre LeBrun reports the league and the NHL Players’ Association are hoping to open training camps in mid-July as part of Phase 3.

Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby and his wife Brandi have launched an auction to benefit Black Lives Matter DC and The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.

THE SCORE: Buffalo Sabres’ goaltender Carter Hutton revealed an ongoing vision issue plagued him during 2019-20. However, he doesn’t blame it for his poor performance at times.

TSN: Vancouver Canucks winger Micheal Ferland (concussion) has been cleared to resume skating. Teammate Josh Leivo (fractured knee cap) is unlikely to be ready in time for training camp in July.

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes named Xavier A. Gutierrez as their new team president, CEO and alternate governor. He’s the first Latino president and CEO in NHL history.

AZCENTRAL.COM: Kent Somers reports Coyotes owner Alex Meruelo hinted he could have a new arena deal in place by the end of this year. Somers, however, remains skeptical.

If Meruelo has received a couple of “extremely attractive” offers from the East Valley, why hasn’t he taken them? What’s he waiting for? And what city or tribe is in position to make such an offer? Much less in the most difficult year (we hope) that most of us will experience?

NORTHJERSEY.COM: Josh Harris and David Blitzer, owners of the New Jersey Devils and the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers, may be interested in purchasing MLB’s New York Mets.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 17, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 17, 2020

Potential revenue streams for playing in empty arenas, plus the latest on Alex Ovechkin, Wayne Gretzky, Connor Hellebuyck and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports the NHL could make between $400 million and $500 million USD through various media deals and sponsorships if the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs were staged in empty arenas.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: And that, folks, is why the NHL and the NHL Players’ Association are examining every option to safely resume this season during the summer. Last month, the league reportedly informed the PA of potential losses up to $1.1 billion if the entire season was scrapped. If it’s at all possible to cut those losses in half, they’ll look into it.

ESPN.COM: Colorado Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said the three Avs players who tested positive for COVID-19 are feeling better. The trio adhered to the guidelines and self-isolated.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin (Photo via NHL Images).

SPORTSNET: Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin will face off against Wayne Gretzky in an NHL 20 game broadcast live on the Capitals’ Twitch channel on April 22, with the proceeds going toward COVID-19 relief benefits.

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: Speaking of virtual hockey, Golden Knights winger Alex Tuch is among several NHL players to team up with professional esports gamers to hold a 14-day live streaming virtual hockey marathon called Hockey2Help to benefit the coronavirus relief efforts. Chicago’s Alex DeBrincat, Toronto’s Mitch Marner, Columbus’ Zach Werenski and the New York Rangers’ Mika Zibanejad are among the participants.

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck is considered the front-runner to win the 2020 Vezina Trophy, but he’d rather have a chance to win the Stanley Cup. “It would be a great milestone and it would definitely be one of my goals achieved but at the end of the day, what I truthfully want is the Stanley Cup and a chance to win it,” he said.

STLTODAY.COM: The Blues re-signed defenseman Marco Scandella to a four-year, $13.1-million contract extension. Scandella, 30, appeared in just 11 games with the Blues after being acquired in February from the Montreal Canadiens.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Despite Scandella’s small body of work with the Blues, general manager Doug Armstrong was impressed enough to pay the veteran blueliner $3.275 million annually over the next four seasons. The 30-year-old rearguard took a pay cut from his current $4 million AAV but he obviously felt it was worthwhile sticking with the defending Stanley Cup champion. Given the uncertainty over the effect of the pandemic upon league revenue and this summer’s free-agent market, it was probably a wise decision.

The problem, however, is the Blues now have over $78.5 million invested in 19 players for 2020-21, with captain Alex Pietrangelo slated to become an unrestricted free agent in the off-season. Either Armstrong intends to let Pietrangelo depart, or he’ll have to make a cost-cutting trade and/or buyout to free up sufficient cap payroll to keep his captain in the fold.

TVA SPORTS: Former Montreal Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov has announced his retirement as a professional player. He spent his entire 16-year NHL career with the Canadiens, tallying 119 goals and 453 assists for 572 points, as well as 32 points in 89 playoff contests. He spent the past three seasons in the KHL. Markov sits sixth among the Canadiens’ all-time leaders in games played. He’s also tied with Guy Lapointe for second in all-time points among Habs defensemen and sits second among their blueliners in all-time assists.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Markov in his future endeavors.