NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 14, 2020
A roundup of notable news from the opening day of Phase 3 training camp, including the latest on Auston Matthews, David Pastrnak, Corey Crawford, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NOTES FROM DAY ONE OF TRAINING CAMP
NHL.COM: The league revealed a total of 30 positive COVID-19 tests from 4,934 tests administered to over 600 players taking part in the Phase 2 voluntary training period (June 8 to July 12). They’re also aware of an additional 13 players who tested positive outside the Phase 2 training. All players who tested positive were/have been self-isolated and followed CDC and Health Canada protocols.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The league will continue testing players in Phase 3 and will release weekly updates. Bear in mind this doesn’t mean all the players with positive tests remain sidelined. A number of them may have already recovered.
TSN: Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews confirmed he tested positive for COVID-19 last month. He said he was asymptomatic during his two weeks of self-quarantine at his Arizona home and is now fully healthy. Matthews indicated he couldn’t really pinpoint how and when he contracted the virus.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Matthews remains the only player to be publicly identified as testing positive for the Coronavirus.
NBC SPORTS BOSTON: David Pastrnak and Ondrej Kase were missing from the opening day of Bruins’ training camp. Their absence was due to their quarantine period since returning from the Czech Republic. They’re expected to join their teammates within the next couple of days.
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford missed practice yesterday and was declared “unfit to play” by head coach Jeremy Colliton. Under the NHL’s return-to-play protocols, the Blackhawks cannot disclose the reason behind Crawford’s absence or how long he’ll be away. Center Zack Smith (back injury) was also absent.
TSN: Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw opted out of participating in the return-to-play plan to recover from ongoing concussion symptoms. He hopes to return to action for the 2020-21 season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The deadline for opting out was 5:30 pm ET yesterday.
STLTODAY.COM: Blues defenseman Colton Parayko and forward Robert Bortuzzo were absent from practice yesterday. General manager Doug Armstrong said he expects the duo will return soon.
TRIBLIVE.COM: Patric Hornqvist is among 11 players absent from Penguins practice yesterday The others include forwards Anthony Angello, Adam Johnson, Sam Miletic, Sam Poulin, Phil Varone, defensemen Pierre-Olivier Joseph, Juuso Riikola, goaltenders Casey DeSmith, Alex D’Orio, and Emil Larmi.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nine of the players were reportedly sidelined because of exposure with a person who has been in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, though the teams didn’t identify them as per league protocols. They won’t be participating in practices until they’ve passed additional screenings.
THE TENNESSEAN: Nashville Predators defenseman Roman Josi and forward Colton Sissons weren’t with the main group at practice but skated earlier in the day.
THE ATHLETIC: Vancouver Canucks winger Micheal Ferland was listed as unfit to play yesterday. It’s believed linked to post-concussion symptoms related to a head injury suffered nine months ago.
THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Martin Necas was the notable absence from the Carolina Hurricanes practice yesterday.
THE ATHLETIC’s Arpon Basu updated his story on three Montreal Canadiens reportedly testing positive for COVID-19, indicating two of those players tested were false positives.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: reported Brett Kulak, Xavier Ouellet, and Josh Brook missed practice yesterday. Max Domi is taking 7-10 days to decide if he’ll rejoin his teammates because he’s a type-1 diabetic with celiac disease.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers defenseman Caleb Jones was listed unfit to play with the main group yesterday, but would skate with a smaller group working with extra goaltenders.
CALGARY SUN: Flames forwards Dillon Dube and Buddy Robinson were absent from yesterday’s practice.
TSN: Florida Panthers assistant coach Mike Kitchen opted out of the return-to-play plan.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: We better get used to this lack of information regarding the absence of players throughout the return-to-play plan. Don’t be surprised if this trend continues beyond the return-to-play period. It could make one yearn for the days when a player was absent because of an “upper-body” or “lower-body” injury.
CBS SPORTS: Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Shayne Gotisbehere underwent arthroscopic knee surgery during the league’s hiatus. He was at training camp yesterday but admitted he’s not fully 100 percent.
TSN: Speaking of the Flyers, Nolan Patrick remains sidelined with a migraine disorder. He’s not expected to participate in the return-to-play plan.
IN OTHER NEWS…
MONTREAL GAZETTE/NEW YORK POST/TWINCITIES.COM: Montreal Canadiens defenseman Alexander Romanov, New York Islanders goaltender Ilya Sorokin, and Minnesota Wild forward Kirill Kaprizov signed their entry-level contracts (ELC) yesterday. They’re allowed to practice with their new clubs but cannot participate in the upcoming playoff tournament in Phase 4 of the return-to-play plan. They will also burn off the first year of their ELCs.
TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild removed the interim label from head coach Dean Evason’s title, signing him to a two-year contract extension.
SPORTSNET: Mikhail Grigorenko is returning to the NHL in 2020-21, signing a one-year, $1.2-million contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets. He spent the past three seasons in the KHL.
TORONTO SUN: Canadian broadcasters are unhappy over NBC Sports serving as the world feed for all NHL games played in the hub city of Toronto. Sportsnet will provide the world feed for the hub city of Edmonton. The Stanley Cup Final, to be held in Edmonton, will have Canadian and American feeds for the individual rights-holders.
1/2 The NHL will release player awards finalists on these days.
July 14: Ted Lindsay Award
July 15: Jack Adams Award, Calder Trophy
July 16: Lady Byng Trophy, Masterton Trophy
July 17: Willie O’Ree Award, Vezina Trophy
July 20: Norris Trophy, Selke Trophy
July 21: Hart Trophy
— Jason Gregor (@JasonGregor) July 10, 2020