NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 19, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 19, 2020

NHL looking at 8-9 locations as potential neutral-site hubs, plus the latest on Mikko Lehtonen and Guy Lafleur in today’s morning coffee headlines,

NHL.COM: Commissioner Gary Bettman said the NHL is looking at “probably eight or nine different places” that can accommodate “a dozen or so teams in one location” as it continues to examine options to re-open the season. He also indicated there’s no fixed timetable yet for returning to action.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman (Photo via NHL.com).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The latter comment may have been aimed at the players. Cory Schneider, the New Jersey Devils’ NHLPA rep, said the players are wondering if there’s a drop-dead deadline for returning to play. The longer it takes to restart the season, the further the start of next season gets pushed ahead. 

“We have been working very hard since we took the pause on March 12 to make sure that whatever the timing is, whatever the sequencing is, whatever physical ability we have in terms of locations to play, that we’re in a position to execute any or all of those options. There is still a great deal of uncertainty,” said Bettman. He also indicated border and quarantine issues must also be resolved before the players return.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Toronto, Edmonton, and Vancouver have been mentioned as possible hosts. Having one of those hub locations in Canada would be more affordable for the league because of the lower value of the Canadian dollar. However, that depends upon whether there will be quarantine exemptions for NHL players. Anyone currently traveling to Canada must undergo a 14-day quarantine period. 

Bettman stressed the need to ensure an abundance of testing for all involved in NHL games.”(We) certainly can’t be jumping the line in front of medical needs.” Good game conditions must also be in place for the players. Everything the league does will be determined by medical and government authorities.

The commissioner said players and fans want the NHL to complete the season and award the Stanley Cup, even if it means playing through the summer and delaying the start of next season. The league remains committed to staging a full 82-games schedule for 2020-21.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Assuming the league returns in early-July with a 24-team playoff format, the Stanley Cup could be awarded by mid-September. The 2020 NHL Draft would be staged soon afterward (provided it isn’t held in June) with the freeze on player trades lifted, followed by the start of the 2020 free-agent period. Training camp could open in November and the regular season begin in early-December. 

THE HOCKEY NEWS’ Ken Campbell took to Twitter yesterday reporting almost nothing of substance came out of yesterday’s NHL Board of Governors’ meeting. “The league is still considering a host of options and will not commit to any one of them until absolutely necessary. Those close to the situation maintain the goalposts are still constantly moving.”

SPORTSNET: Newly-signed Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Mikko Lehtonen was named the KHL’s top rearguard for 2019-20. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs could have a blueline star on their hands if Lehtonen adapts well to the NHL game. 

TVA SPORTS: Montreal Canadiens legend Guy Lafleur is healthy enough to renew his helicopter pilot’s license after undergoing open-heart surgery and cancer surgery since last fall.  “They have to send all the doctors’ papers to Transport Canada and the Federal Aviation Administration because I also had a US license. They will give me permission to take my medical exam, which I need to do to get my license. I spoke to my doctor and he said it was okay,” said Lafleur.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Glad to hear Lafleur has fully recovered and ready to return to the skies. 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 8, 2016



NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 8, 2016

Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom celebrates his overtime goal against the Boston Bruins with his teammates.

Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom celebrates his overtime goal against the Boston Bruins with his teammates.

Game recaps, injury updates, board of governors agenda and much more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: The Washington Capitals blew a three-goal lead but Nicklas Backstrom’s overtime goal gave them a 4-3 victory over the Boston Bruins. Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen left the game in the first period with an upper-body injury and didn’t return. 

Third-period goals by Corey Perry and Nick Ritchie set the stage for Ondrej Kase’s overtime winner as the Anaheim Ducks rallied to defeat the Carolina Hurricanes 6-5. 

Devan Dubnyk made 35 saves and Eric Staal tallied the game winner as the Minnesota Wild edged the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2. The Leafs were a winner off the ice, as an arbitrator ruled in their favor in the Jared Cowen buyout case. The Leafs had bought out Cowen in June but the blueliner and his agent contested the move, claiming he was still suffering from injuries sustained during last season. 

Chris Kelly’s late goal was the winner as the Ottawa Senators doubled up the San Jose Sharks 4-2. 

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Nearly two weeks after collapsing on the ice before an AHL game, Tucson Roadrunners captain Craig Cunningham is starting to return to his old self. While Cunningham remains hospitalized and the cause of his condition is still unreported, he’s now conscious, alert and even cracking jokes with his teammates. The Roadrunners are the farm team of the Arizona Coyotes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cunningham’s future as a pro hockey player remains uncertain, but thankfully he’s out of his coma and appears to be on the road to recovery. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens center Alex Galchenyuk and David Desharnais are sidelined six-to-eight weeks by knee injuries. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Habs were already thin at center before these injuries. Losing these two, especially leading scorer Galchenyuk, will be difficult to overcome. 

NEW YORK POST: Rangers winger Rick Nash will be sidelined one week by a groin injury. Jimmy Vesey (arm injury) is day-to-day while Matt Puempel (concussion) was placed on injured reserve.

VANCOUVER SUN:  Canucks defenseman Philip Larsen suffered a concussion from the hit he received on Tuesday from New Jersey Devils winger Taylor Hall. However, he was alert and cleared to travel back to Vancouver. 

WINNIPEG SUN: Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toew donated $1 million to Winnipeg’s Dakota Community Centre. 

ESPN.COM:  Enforcer John Scott, who was voted by the fans into last season’s NHL All-Star Game, announced his retirement. The league has since passed a rule that forbids injured or demoted players from participating in the All-Star Game. Scott was toiling in the minors when he was voted into the ASG. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In 286 NHL games with the Minnesota Wild, Chicago Blackhawks, New York Rangers, Buffalo Sabres, San Jose Sharks, Arizona Coyotes and Montreal Canadiens, Scott collected 11 points and 544 PIMs. 

SPORTSNET: The salary cap, concussion spotters, goalie equipment and the Olympics will be some of the topics up for discussion during the NHL Board of Governors meetings today and Friday.

LAS VEGAS JOURNAL-REVIEW:  US patent office has denied the Vegas Golden Knights’ trademark application ” because of a “likelihood of confusion” with the registered mark of The College of Saint Rose. The Albany, New York, school also uses the Golden Knights nickname.” The team is preparing its response. 

TSN:  NHL suspensions are down 75 percent this season compared to the same point over the past three seasons. 

The NHL is close to finalizing a partnership with Apple that could see the company’s IPads and other technology being used on team benches.