NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 27, 2020
The latest on the league’s plans to reopen the season, an update on Zdeno Chara, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports the NHL’s attempt to complete the 2019-20 season would satisfy some of its sponsorship agreements, recouping roughly half of the $1.1 billion it could lose by canceling the season. Pushing back the start of next season to mid-November could also work in the league’s favor. Physical distancing measures could be reduced or lifted in some NHL cities by that time, allowing teams to sell tickets again.
TORONTO STAR: Damien Cox reports canceling the season could see the NHL’s television contracts with Rogers Sportsnet and NBC Sports carry over for another year. The deal with NBC expires at the end of the 2020-21 playoffs, meaning the league would have to wait another year to negotiate a more lucrative contract.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Despite social distancing measures, Terry Jones believes the city of Edmonton would support being a divisional neutral-site host even if fans would be prohibited from attending games at Rogers Place arena. “I already know of people making preliminary plans to set up big-screen TVs and LED boards in parking lots to watch the games in their cars, drive-in-movie style,” writes Jones.
STLTODAY.COM: Jim Thomas reports Blues president and CEO Chris Zimmerman would love for the league to choose St. Louis as a divisional host city.
THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Elliott Teaford reports Rutgers University professor Dr. Mitchel Rosen is skeptical of the NHL’s plans to resume action this summer. Citing the potential spread of the coronavirus by personnel in close quarters, the Rangers’ season ticket holder recommends shutting down the season. “We should wait to have more tests available with rapid results, as well as proven, effective treatments,” said Rosen.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dr. Rosen’s approach is the sensible one. Like all businesses affected by this pandemic, however, the NHL is trying to find the best option to resume operations at the earliest date while ensuring the safety and health of its employees.
THE SCORE: The current pause in the schedule doesn’t have Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara pondering retirement. The 43-year-old defenseman said he still loves playing the game and his current focus is playing some sort of hockey this season. The only active player from the 1996 draft class, Chara will become an unrestricted free agent at season’s end.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I anticipate Chara will sign another one-year, bonus-laden deal with the Bruins for next season. As long as he remains an effective member of their defense corps, the Bruins will keep him in the lineup.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some of the players on these lists might surprise you.