NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 16, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 16, 2020

Updates on negotiations for the 2020-21 season, two people arrested for stealing Wayne Gretzky memorabilia, Mark Messier loses money on a cannabis investment deal, the latest on Oskar Lindblom and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

TSN: Darren Dreger reports issues such as roster size and taxi squads are slowing down negotiations between the NHL and NHLPA aimed at starting the 2020-21 season on Jan. 13. Frank Seravalli said the effect on the salary cap of transferring a player between the roster and the taxi squad is also part of the discussion. At this point, it would be handled similar to the rules regarding a demotion to the AHL.

Pierre LeBrun points out teams are at the mercy of local health restrictions, especially in Canada. As of Tuesday, the Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators each have over 30 players that have returned, while the Winnipeg Jets have nine, the Montreal Canadiens under 10, the Edmonton Oilers have 12 and the Calgary Flames 26.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Those health restrictions vary from city to city and province to province. It’s affecting quarantine rules and use of training facilities, which could explain why the Jets and Canadiens have a low number of players in their respective cities.

Dreger reports the league is looking into allowing a limited number of fans to attend games in select markets depending on the restrictions of each city in each state. Seravalli points out that will be only if the league can open in all 31 of its cities. That remains in doubt as some teams, like the San Jose Sharks, are planning to open training camp in Arizona because of restrictions in their own market.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: Adrian Dater reports sources are saying the concept of hub cities is no longer on the drawing board. He said each team will play their regular-season home games in their own buildings with travel limited only to games within a team’s division.

Because of the new COVID-19 vaccines, the NHL feels confident it can stage a regular season in which teams travel from city to city despite the strict protocols. The league remains adamant it will not attempt to jump the queue to obtain vaccinations ahead of others.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This NH season is going to open but the projected Jan. 13 start date could change. A vote approving the format for ’20-’21 needs a vote of approval by the league board of governors and the NHLPA’s 31-member executive. It’s required by the end of this week to meet the timeline for a Jan. 13 start. That date could be pushed into late January if more time is required to work out the details.

SPORTSNET: Two people were arrested by Brantford, Ontario police after Wayne Gretzky memorabilia was stolen from his father’s home. A three-month investigation involving searches of homes in Ontario and Alberta by police (including the RCMP and Ontario Provincial Police) recovered several items with an estimated combined value of over $500K USD. The investigation is ongoing.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Walter Gretzky is the world’s most famous hockey dad and among the kindest people in hockey. Shame on those people for stealing from him.

YAHOO SPORTS: Hockey Hall-of-Famer Mark Messier is suing the CEO of an Alberta cannabis company after he allegedly lost his $500K investment. Messier claimed the company also used his celebrity to raise $30 million in funding.

THE SCORE: Philadelphia Flyers winger Oskar Lindblom is cancer-free just over a year after being diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma. He finished his treatments on July 2 and suited up with the Flyers in the 2020 playoffs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s hoping Lindblom enjoys a long, cancer-free life.

TSN: cites The Athletic’s Michael Russo reporting the Minnesota Wild are close to signing free-agent goaltender Andrew Hammond. He speculates this could mean Wild backup Alex Stalock could be hurt entering training camp. Stalock reportedly hasn’t been on the ice.

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: Former San Jose Sharks forward Melker Karlsson has signed with Swedish club Skelleftea AIK for the remainder of the 2020-21 season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No indication if Karlsson has an out-clause if he signs with an NHL club. The report indicating it’s for the remainder of the season suggests he didn’t get any NHL offers to his liking. The flattened salary cap for this season could be a factor, which doesn’t bode well for comparable players still available in the UFA market.

STLTODAY.COM: The Blues have promoted Ryan Miller (no, not the NHL goaltender) as their new assistant general manager.

WHL.COM: The Western Hockey League has delayed the start of its 2020-21 season because of public health restrictions across Western Canada and the US Pacific Northwest. The board of governors will meet in January to discuss possible start dates.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That could affect the development of WHL players hoping to be selected in the 2021 NHL Draft.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 28, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 28, 2017

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby celebrates one of his two goals against the Washington Capitals in Game 1 of their second-round playoff series.

Game recaps, Messier Leadership Award finalists revealed & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Sidney Crosby scored twice and Nick Bonino netted the game winner as the Pittsburgh Penguins edged the Washington Capitals 3-2 in Game 1 of the second-round series. Marc-Andre Fleury made 33 saves for the win. Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov scored for the Capitals. 

Erik Karlsson’s late third-goal gave the Ottawa Senators a 2-1 victory over the New York Rangers in the first game of their second-round series. The goaltending was superb as the Rangers’ Henrik Lundqvist made 41 saves and the Senators’ Craig Anderson kicked out 34. The game wasn’t a sellout, as there was almost 2,500 empty seats at the Canadian Tire Centre. 

Columbus Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno, Calgary Flames captain Mark Giordano and Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf are this year’s finalists for the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award

ESPN.COM: Nashville Predators forward Kevin Fiala suffered a broken left femur in Game 1 of his club’s second-round series against the St. Louis Blues. 

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Anaheim Ducks defensemen Kevin Bieksa (lower-body injury) and Sami Vatanen (upper-body injury) remain questionable for Game 2 of their club’s series against the Edmonton Oilers. 

DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Stars re-signed center Mattias Janmark to a one-year, $700K contract. Janmark, 24, missed the entire season recovering from a rare bone condition called osteochondritis dissecans.

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Arizona Coyotes have fired assistant coach Newell Brown and Tucson Roadrunners GM Doug Soetaert. “The contracts for pro scouts David MacLean and Jim Roque would not be renewed.”

TSN.CA: The NHL lost its bid to force CTE researchers to hand over medical data related to their research which included six former NHL players.

DETROIT FREE PRESS: Former Detroit Red Wings team doctor John Finley passed away at age 88. He was the Wings doctor from 1957 to 2002. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Condolences to Finley’s family, friends and the Wings organization.