NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 3, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 3, 2020

Updates on the return-to-play and CBA extension talks, Edmonton could host Stanley Cup Final and the latest on Oskar Lindblom and Mike Ribeiro in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


TSN: Bob McKenzie last night reported the NHL and NHL Players Association continue to work toward finalizing a return-to-play plan and an extension to the collective bargaining agreement. A joint announcement by the two sides could come soon, though it will require ratification by the league board of governors and the PA membership, with the latter vote likely to take two or three days. McKenzie anticipates it could be approved by early next week.

The NHL and NHLPA could be close to a return-to-play and CBA extension agreement (Image via NHL.com).

A potential timeline could look like this:

July 13 – Phase 3 (training camp) opens,

July 26 – Approximate travel date for teams to head to their respective hub cities (Edmonton or Toronto),

Aug. 1 – Phase 4 begins with the best-of-five qualifying round,

Aug. 10 – Approximate date for the second and final phase of the NHL Draft Lottery to determine the club that gets the first-overall pick,

Early October – Stanley Cup awarded,

Mid-October – 2020 NHL Draft is held, and

Nov. 1 – The first business day of 2020-21 begins as the free-agent market opens.

McKenzie also reported it sounds like Edmonton will host the Conference Finals and the Stanley Cup Final, likely because of public health/safety/numbers.

TVA SPORTS: Louis Jean reports the initial plan to have all 24 teams play two exhibition games could be reduced to one game apiece.

SPORTSNET: Eric Engels reports it sounds like families won’t be allowed with players in the hub cities, though it’s not yet official.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: We’re getting closer to a deal when we see a potential timeline for completing the season. The time crunch to begin Phase 4 explains the reduction in the exhibition games.

Barring families from the host-city bubbles will be challenging for the players. It won’t be so bad for those on teams eliminated from the qualifying round as they could be apart from their loved ones for between one-two weeks, while those eliminated from the first round of the playoffs could be apart from their families for between three-four weeks.

The further a club advances, however, the longer the separation. Some players whose spouses/partners have health conditions (pregnancy, illness, etc) could opt-out of the tournament.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Ken Campbell reports a source claims the NHL and NHLPA have essentially agreed to a memorandum of understanding on all issues about the return-to-play plan and an extension to the collective bargaining agreement.

Campbell focuses on the CBA, claiming the deal would be extended by three years to the end of 2024-25. The framework of the extension would be as follows:

The salary cap would be frozen at $81.5 million for 2020-21 and 2021-22, rising to $82.5 million in 2022-23 and $83.5 million in 2023-24. For the first time since 2005-06, the cap will be delinked from league revenue, though it could re-link in 2024-25,

An escrow cap will be implemented for 2020-21 to a maximum of 20 percent regardless of revenue, though it could end up being less. There will also be a 10 percent deferral of salary and signing bonuses for each player for ’20-’21, which will be returned to them in equal installments (subject to the escrow) over the final three years of the extension. “So in reality, players will have 30 percent deducted from their pay for next season”, writes Campbell.

The escrow cap for 2021-22 would be up to 18 percent, dropping to 12 percent in 2022-23, and nine percent by 2023-24,

Participation in the 2022 and 2026 Winter Olympics is part of the deal, and

Any player can opt-out of the playoff tournament for any reason without penalty.

Because revenues are split 50-50 between the owners and players, Campbell points out the players could be looking at being $400 million in arrears for this season and potentially as high as $1 billion after next season. If all goes well, the players could pay that all back within three years if league revenue increase with a new US TV deal and a new franchise in Seattle.

Campbell believes the players and NHLPA director Donald Fehr probably hate this deal, but it’s the best they can get under the circumstance. If they reject it, next season’s cap could plummet to $66 million while escrow clawbacks could be 55 and 75 percent, setting the stage for what Campbell calls “the mother of all lockouts” when the current agreement expires in 2022. It would hurt the owners in the short term but they’re in a better position to ride this out over the long term.

TSN’s Bob McKenzie reports amnesty buyouts will not be part of the CBA extension.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s not a great deal for the players, and in normal circumstances, they wouldn’t take it. They could still vote to reject it, but as Campbell points out, it would lead to potential labor strife during a period when the league will be coping with the economic fallout from COVID-19.

That explains why the extension could be only three years, the league’s shift toward Olympic participation, and other reported lifestyle benefits (such as increased post-retirement health care benefits, mortgage/rental reimbursements for traded or reassigned players) for the players. The league had to give the players something to make this bitter pill a little more palatable.

No amnesty buyouts will squeeze those NHL clubs with limited salary cap space. Thirteen clubs have cap payrolls exceeding $70 million for next season. That 10 percent deferral should provide a little relief, but some clubs could still face significant cost-cutting off-season decisions.

This deal would guarantee five years of labor peace, but those economic issues could become the seeds for another work stoppage in 2025.


NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA: Flyers winger Oskar Lindblom completed his chemotherapy treatments for a rare form of bone cancer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Lindblom as he works toward continuing his life and NHL career. He won’t be participating in the 24-team playoff tournament with his teammates.

LA PRESSE: Former NHL player Mike Ribeiro said turning 40 recently forced him to change his lifestyle. He’s been sober for months since undergoing therapy earlier this year and is now dedicating his life to his children in Nashville.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ribeiro was heading down a dark path for a while. Good to see he’s turned his life around.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 25, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 25, 2017

Game recaps, Carey Price off injured reserve, waiver updates and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: On the night the Dallas Stars retired Jere Lehtinen’s No. 26, Tyler Seguin tallied a hat trick to lead the Stars to a 6-4 victory over the Calgary Flames. Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan each had three points in a losing cause for the Flames. 

David Pastrnak scored the game winner, David Krejci had a goal and an assist and backup goalie Anton Khudobin remains unbeaten in regulation (7-0-2) as the Boston Bruins edged the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3. Sidney Crosby had a goal and an assist for the Penguins. 

Alex Ovechkin scored his 573rd career goal to tie Mike Bossy for 21st on the NHL’s all-time goal leader list as the Washington Capitals beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-1. Jay Beagle also collected his 100th career point in the win. Earlier in the day, the Lightning claimed Chris DiDomenico off waivers from the Ottawa Senators. 

Nikolaj Ehlers scored twice in the opening five minutes of the first period as the Winnipeg Jets downed the Anaheim Ducks 4-1. Bryan Little collected three points for the Jets, who’ve won six of their last seven games. 

The Vegas Golden Knights blew a three-goal lead but defeated the San Jose Sharks 5-4 on an overtime goal by Jonathan Marchessault. Vegas remains in first place in the Pacific Division, holding a two-point lead over the Los Angeles Kings. 

Speaking of the Kings, they lost for the seventh time in eight games as Christian Fischer scored in overtime to give the Arizona Coyotes a 3-2 victory for their fourth victory in five games. Earlier in the day, the Kings placed forward Brooks Laich on waivers. Meanwhile, the man who appears at Kings games as their mascot “Bailey” is being sued for inappropriate behavior. 

Cam Atkinson scored twice as the Columbus Blue Jackets defeated the Ottawa Senators 5-2. It was the Jackets sixth straight win and the Senators fifth consecutive loss. Former Senators center Chris Kelly signed a PTO contract earlier in the day with the Senators AHL affiliate in Belleville, Ontario. 

Nino Niederreiter tied a club record with a goal in six consecutive games as the Minnesota Wild beat the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 in a shootout. 

Pekka Rinne turned in a 34-save shutout performance as the Nashville Predators blanked the St. Louis Blues 2-0. 

The New York Islanders overcame a 4-2 deficit to upset the Philadelphia Flyers in overtime 5-4. Jordan Eberle, Mathew Barzal and Andrew Ladd each had a goal and an assist for the Isles, while Flyers Claude Giroux, Sean Couturier and Shayne Gostisbehere also each tallied a goal and an assist. 

Henrik Lundqvist made 40 saves and Mats Zuccarello sniped the winner in overtime to lift the New York Rangers to a 2-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings, giving the Blueshirts their seventh straight home victory. 

Taylor Hall had a goal and two assists and Brian Boyle scored on Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness Night to give the New Jersey Devils a 3-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks. Boyle was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia two months ago.

A four-goal second period helped the Toronto Maple Leafs hold off the Carolina Hurricanes 5-4. Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen made 43 saves while James van Riemsdyk and Ron Hainsey each had a goal and an assist. 

Kyle Okposo had a goal and an assist and Robin Lehner made 29 saves as the Buffalo Sabres snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 3-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers, handing the latter their fourth loss in five games. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens activated goaltender Carey Price off injured reserve and returned backup Charlie Lindgren to their AHL affiliate in Laval. Price missed the last 10 games with a lower-body injury. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless Price also returns to his usual stellar form, he won’t snap the Canadiens out of their two-month funk. He wasn’t playing well prior to being sidelined and Lindgren had better stats during his eight games between the pipes. 

TSN: Speaking of the Canadiens, their poor start has generated some empty seats at the usually full Bell Centre. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Well, that’s it, fans won’t turn out to support the team, time to move the franchise to a real hockey market. I’m joking, of course, but if the Habs played in a Sun Belt market, some chuckleheads would seriously make that suggestion. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Former NHL forward Mike Ribeiro was arrested for trespassing last month in Miami Beach. In recent months, reports emerged claiming the 37-year-old Ribeiro was battling alcoholism. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s hoping Ribeiro gets the help he needs. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 3, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 3, 2017

Dallas Stars forward Jason Spezza could see less time at center this season.

Updates on Jason Spezza, Patrick Maroon, Mike Ribeiro and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

 NHL.COM: Dallas Stars head coach Ken Hitchcock said Jason Spezza will see split duty this season at center and left wing as Martin Hanzal, acquired as a free agent in July, will be a full-time center. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hitchcock doesn’t expect Spezza and Hanzal to play on the same line, suggesting Radek Faksa to skate alongside Hanzal. I’m assuming he’s referring to the third line while Spezza plays on the second line. That makes sense if he’s to play center and some wing as Hitchcock proposes.  

NBC SPORTS: Edmonton Oilers left wing Patrick Maroon hopes to repeat last season’s success playing alongside Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. Maroon, 29, tallied a career-best 27 goals and 42 points in 2016-17. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Maroon sticks with those guys he could reach 30-goal, 50-point territory this season. 

LA PRESSE: Mike Ribeiro’s agent, Bob Perno, said the troubled center has agreed to return to the NHL’s rehabilitation program. Last week, Perno expressed concern over his client, who is still struggling with alcohol abuse and is expected to retire after not receiving a contract offer. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s hoping Ribeiro gets the help he needs and gets his life back on track. 

STLTODAY.COM: St. Louis City Hall is siding with the St. Louis Blues as the club’s deal to renovate Scottrade Center faces a legal challenge over the public financing agreement. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 1, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 1, 2017

After being traded to Columbus this summer, Artemi Panarin hopes to continue his offensive success with his new club.

Latest on Artemi Panarin, David Pastrnak, Mike Ribeiro and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Having been dealt by the Blackhawks in June to the Columbus Blue Jackets, winger Artemi Panarin is out to prove himself without Patrick Kane on his wing. “Nobody remembers how I played prior to the last couple of years. I am used to it and I am not paying attention to it. I get a little bit angry at it,” said Panarin.

Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said he acquire the skilled Russian winger in part to bolster his club’s offense after they struggled to score against the Pittsburgh Penguins in last spring’s playoffs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Panarin is likely slotted to skate on the Jackets’ top line alongside center Alexander Wennberg. If the duo play well together it should sufficiently address the club’s need for additional offensive punch. 

BOSTON HERALD: Bruins president Cam Neely said there hasn’t been much dialogue of late with agent J.P. Barry, who represents restricted free agent winger David Pastrnak. Barry said the two sides will speak again today, saying his client is interested in an eight-year contract. Neely mentioned there’s been no talk yet of a shorter term bridge deal. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier this summer, the Bruins reportedly pitched offers of six or seven years for around $6 million annually to the Pastrnak camp. Talk of a bridge deal has originated from pundits musing over what it might take to get a deal done. If talks remain stalled as training camp nears, perhaps the two sides will consider a short-term contract. 

NBC SPORTS: Mike Ribeiro’s NHL career is over as he continues to struggle with substance abuse. “He doesn’t train anymore and he doesn’t go out on the ice anymore. He’s going to retire,” said Perno. He adds no NHL or European team has attempted to contact the 37-year-old center regarding a contract.

Perno said Ribeiro has stopped training, is estranged from his wife and apparently dropped out of sight. He spent last season split between the Nashville Predators and the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals. In 2015, Ribeiro settled a sexual assault case filed against him by a former nanny of his children and entered the NHL’s substance abuse treatment program. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ribeiro’s playing career may be over but he still has the rest of his life ahead of him. I don’t condone his actions but I hope he gets the help he obviously needs. 

TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild invited former NHL forward Ryan Malone to training camp on a tryout offer. The 37-year-old Malone last played in the NHL in 2014-15. 

SUN-SENTINEL.COM: The Florida Panthers signed former Nashville Predators forward Harry Zolnierczyk to a professional tryout offer.

ESPN.COM: Professional hockey players remain reluctant to donate their brains for posthumous concussion studies. Only 19 players have done so thus far, of which nine were found to have suffered chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). All six of those from NHL players were found to have CTE.


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 19, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 19, 2017

Anaheim Ducks winger Corey Perry (10) celebrates his overtime goal against the Nashville Predators in Game 4 of the 2017 Western Conference Final.

Ducks even Western Conference Final at 2 games apiece, plus updates on the Senators, Penguins & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Corey Perry’s overtime goal gave the Anaheim Ducks a 3-2 victory over the Nashville Predators in Game 4 of the Western Conference Final, knotting the series at two games apiece and handing the Predators their first home-ice loss in the 2017 postseason.

The Predators overcame a 2-0 deficit on third-period goals by P.K. Subban and Filip Forsberg to force overtime. Predators captain Mike Fisher left the game in the third period with a possible head injury and didn’t return. 

TRIBLIVE.COM/OTTAWA SUN: Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan isn’t tipping his hand on whether he’ll start Marc-Andre Fleury or Matt Murray in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final tonight. The Ottawa Senators, however, aren’t concerned over who they face in the Penguins net. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Game 4 could prove the crucial one in this series. The Senators hold a 2-1 series lead, holding the usually lethal Penguins offense to just three goals. If the injury-battered Pens can’t find a way to overcome Ottawa’s smothering defensive system tonight, they’ll be returning to Pittsburgh facing elimination in Game 5.

TSN;  Minnesota Wild owner Craig Leipold expressed buyer’s remorse over his club acquiring center Martin Hanzal from the Arizona Coyotes before the trade deadline. Hanzal’s presence didn’t help the Wild avoid first-round elimination in the 2017 playoffs. 

 YAHOO SPORTS: The agent for Nashville Predators center Mike Ribeiro said his client suffered an alcohol relapse before the Christmas holidays. He’s currently resting at home in Nashville hoping to get better and could make a decision on his hockey future soon. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hopefully Ribeiro finds the help he needs to continue his recovery. The 37-year-old’s NHL career is probably over. His performance significantly declined this season and the Preds couldn’t find any takers when he submitted a trade request. He was placed on waivers in February and finished the season in the AHL. 

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman is interested in bringing back goaltender Peter Budaj next season. Budaj is eligible for unrestricted free agency in July. 

NEWSDAY: The New York Islanders named Luke Richardson as an assistant coach. 

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Arizona Coyotes promoted Steve Sullivan to assistant general manager. 

THE DENVER POST: Lee Hee-beom, head of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics organizing committee, said his group is ready to cooperate with the NHL in hopes the league will allow its players to participate in the Games. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I believe that ship has sailed. The team owners appear adamant against participating in the 2018 Winter Olympics. It’ll take significant concessions from the IOC to change their minds. 


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 6, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 6, 2017

Washington Capitals goalie Philipp Grubauer makes one of his 38 saves in a 5-0 win over the LA Kings.

Game recaps, Fabbri out for the season, Ribeiro clears waivers & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Philipp Grubauer made 38 saves as the Washington Capitals blanked the Los Angeles Kings 5-0, snapping the Kings’ five-game win streak. Brett Connolly and Marcus Johansson each had a goal and an assist. Earlier in the day, the Kings announced forward Jordan Nolan was placed on injured reserve with a lower-body injury. 

Cam Talbot made 22 saves in regulation and overtime and Leon Draisaitl scored the game’s only goal in a shootout as the Edmonton Oilers edged the Montreal Canadiens 1-0. Al Montoya made 32 saves in a losing cause for the Habs.

Michael Grabner scored and set up another and Henrik Lundqvist made 28 saves to give the New York Rangers a 4-3 victory over the Calgary Flames. 

THE TENNESSEAN: Nashville Predators center Mike Ribeiro passed unclaimed through waivers over the weekend. Adam Vingan noted the 36-year-old Ribeiro had requested a trade, but clearing waivers indicates there’s no interest in his services from a rival club. The plan now is for Ribeiro to join the Preds’ AHL affiliate in Milwaukee today. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Not only is Ribeiro’s time with the Preds likely over (he’s a free agent this summer), but this probably also spells the end of his NHL playing days. 

STLTODAY.COM:  Blues winger Robby Fabbri is out for the remainder of the season with a torn ACL in his left knee. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A significant blow for a team struggling to remain in playoff contention. With 29 points in 51 games, Fabbri was on pace to exceed his 37-point NHL debut last season and within striking distance of 45 points. 

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Nashville Predators center (and former Sabre) Derek Grant is on waivers.