NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 16, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 16, 2020

A plan to resume the season could be coming soon, the latest on this year’s draft, P.K. Subban believes he’s still among the top defensemen, Ales Hemsky retires, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

LATEST ON THE NHL’S PLANS FOR THE SEASON AND THE DRAFT

TVA SPORTS: Renaud Lavoie reports a source claims the NHL and NHL Players’ Association could have a plan in place next week to determine what the remainder of the 2019-20 schedule will look like. Several issues must be worked out with the Canadian and American governments regarding travel, work vias, and self-quarantining. Decisions must also be reached determining the four hub cities and the type of playoff format. An NHL Board of Governors meeting is set tor Monday, which could shed more light on this plan.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars owner Tom Gaglardi believes “there’s a very high likelihood” the NHL will stage its postseason at some point this summer. “I expect we will play the season. I think we’re down to logistics, said Gaglardi. “I keep saying it, people that talk to me are tired of hearing it, but it really comes down to being able to test, effectively test on a timely basis. If we can test, I think the season is going to happen.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Calgary Flames general manager Brad Treliving also hinted this week that a decision on a return-to-play schedule could be coming soon. Whenever it does, we’ll get more details on how those other issues will be addressed. The host cities will be decided by local and state/provincial officials. Toronto mayor John Tory cautioned pro sports (even without fans) might not return to his city until this fall. That would take Toronto out of the running as a host city. 

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch scolds some NHL general managers for their resistance toward staging the 2020 Draft in June before the presumption of this season. The proposed draft lottery format based on points percentage, the risk of the draft lottery winner going on to win the Stanley Cup, the inability to trade established NHL players, and the possibility of non-contending Chicago Blackhawks and Montreal Canadiens being able to participate in an expanded playoff format are among their concerns.

New Jersey Devils defenseman P.K. Subban (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Garrioch believes those general managers are missing a golden opportunity to capitalize on the lack of live sports for big programming ratings by holding the draft in June.

I disagree.

As The Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson observed, the NFL got big ratings last month for its draft because more sports fans follow US college football than follow junior, college, and European hockey, which is where NHL prospects come from.

The possibility of a blockbuster trade involving established NHL stars generates as much excitement during the draft as the coverage of the opening round. Without those trades, many fans will probably tune out following the first round. 

IN OTHER NEWS…

NJ.COM: Despite a lousy performance this season, New Jersey Devils defenseman P.K. Subban still believes he’s among the NHL best defensemen. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Subban’s play has declined since 2017-18, prompting some to suggest that his best seasons are behind him, as well as stoking criticism that he’s putting more focus on his interests outside hockey. The 31-year-old’s confidence in his abilities remains unshakable, but he’ll need a strong performance next season to silence his doubters. 

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets winger Patrik Laine and goaltender Connor Hellebuyck are among the NHL stars taking part in an upcoming Fortnite tournament for charity. Others include Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon, Carolina’s Sebastian Aho, Ottawa’s Thomas Chabot, Toronto’s Mitch Marner, and Calgary’s Johnny Gaudreau.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno is regularly checking in with his teammates on their mental health. 

SPORTSNET: The minimum wage class-action lawsuit against the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) has been settled for $30 million. It brings to an end a six-year standoff with former players over whether “WHL, OHL, and QMJHL players are “employees” or “student-athletes.” 

TSN: The Washington Capitals extended its affiliation with the AHL’s Hershey Bears. 

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Former NHL winger Ales Hemsky announced his retirement. He spent nearly 11 of his 15 NHL seasons with the Edmonton Oilers, followed by stops with the Ottawa Senators, Dallas Stars, and Montreal Canadiens, amassing 174 goals and 572 points in 845 NHL games. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A slick playmaker, Hemsky’s best seasons were with the Oilers, which included two 70-plus point performances. He probably would’ve had more if not for injuries. Best of luck to him in his future endeavors. 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 2, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 2, 2018

Latest on John Tortorella, Roberto Luongo, Jonathan Drouin and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

SPORTSNET: Columbus Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella said he won’t allow the uncertainty over the futures of left wing Artemi Panarin and goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky become a distraction when the players return to the ice later this month. Panarin and Bobrovsky are slated to become unrestricted free agents next July but there’s been no progress in the club’s contract negotiations with the pair. 

Florida Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo hopes to help his club reach its Stanley Cup potential. (Photo via NHL Images)

  NHL.COM: At 39, goaltender Roberto Luongo hopes to avoid injury this season and help the Florida Panthers reach their Stanley Cup potential.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Despite his age, Luongo’s proven he’s still a reliable starter when he’s healthy. However, he’s been hampered by injuries in recent years. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE:  Despite his struggles at center last season, Canadiens forward Jonathan Drouin hopes for better result filling that position in 2018-19.  

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Drouin showed some improvement at center during the second half of 2017-18. Perhaps that’ll carry over into this season. The Canadiens need all the help they can get at that position. 

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: The Capitals signed free-agent forward Sergei Shumakov to a one-year, two-way contract worth $925K at the NHL level. Shumakov, 26, spent the past six seasons in the KHL.

NBC SPORTS: James O’Brien considers it quaint that some hockey teams are fearful over their players taking up too much of their spare time playing video games such as Fortnite. He feels it’s much ado about nothing. 

 











NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 30, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 30, 2018

Latest on Martin Brodeur, Wayne Simmonds, Jack Johnson, Brett Connolly and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NJ.COM: The New Jersey Devils yesterday announced Martin Brodeur was returning to the club as their new executive vice president of business development. Brodeur spent all but one of his 22 NHL seasons with the Devils during his Hall of Fame career. He recently left the St. Louis Blues after spending several seasons as their assistant general manager.

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Flyers winger Wayne Simmonds believes his agent and Flyers GM Ron Hextall have had preliminary discussions regarding a new contract. For now, he’s focusing on returning healthy for the upcoming season after recovering from offseason pelvic surgery. Hextall has said several times he’d like to re-sign Simmonds, who’s eligible to become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

Philadelphia Flyers winger Wayne Simmonds is unconcerned over lack of progress in contract extension talks (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers could take a “wait-and-see” approach with Simmonds to assess his performance in the coming season before getting down to serious contract talks. 

THE ATHLETIC (Subscription required): Defenseman Jack Johnson is keeping mum over his final days with the Columbus Blue Jackets but he’s very happy to be a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins, who signed him as an unrestricted free agent earlier this summer. Johnson was a healthy scratch during the Blue Jackets first-round playoff series last spring against the Washington Capitals.

WASHINGTON POST: Capitals winger Brett Connolly said he won’t be joining his teammates during their visit to the White House commemorating their Stanley Cup championship. Connolly said it had nothing to do with politics, adding he wouldn’t be surprised if several other teammates also didn’t go. Connolly joins Devante Smith-Pelly in skipping the event. The Capitals have yet to receive a formal invitation from the White House. “Everyone is entitled to their opinion,” said Connolly, who added his decision was “about what’s right and what’s wrong and we’ll leave it at that.”

CALGARY SUN: Former Flames forward Matt Stajan has signed with Red Bull Munchen of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga. Stajan spent 15 NHL seasons with the Flames and Toronto Maple Leafs.

THE SCORE: Former San Jose Sharks winger Joel Ward remains hopeful of landing with another NHL club when training camp opens in two weeks time. Heading to Europe isn’t something he’s put at the top of his minds. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Age and injuries took a toll on the 37-year-old Ward last season. He could end up on a professional tryout offer if he hopes to secure an NHL job for 2018-19. 

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Tod Leiweke, the president and CEO of the group heading up Seattle’s NHL bid, said they will be meeting with league executives in early-October to begin the process of getting approval to become the NHL’s 32nd franchise. If all goes well, the y could make their pitch before the league board of governors in December. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If approved, the first season for a Seattle franchise would be 2020-21. 

SPORTSNET: NHL teams apparently take a dim view of players spending too much of their free time playing video games, especially the game Fortnite. Excessive gaming is considered an unnecessary addictive distraction that hampers a player’s development.