NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 10, 2020
Update on the NHL’s plans to resume the season if possible, plus the latest on Colby Cave, Dougie Hamilton and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
TSN: While NHL commissioner Gary Bettman recently acknowledged the possibility of the league having to scrap the rest of the regular-season schedule, Pierre LeBrun reports the priority remains to hold regular-season contests before the playoffs. “Whether that’s 82 (games) – probably not – 78, 76, 74, all possibilities mentioned on that call,” said LeBrun.
Darren Dreger reported a flash poll of NHL general managers found 20 GMs supported a best-of-five series from the opening round through the Conference Finals, but they’d still want a best-of-seven Stanley Cup Final.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Most NHL fans and pundits (including myself) believe this season is likely over in its entirety. I daresay those at NHL headquarters and the brain trust at the NHL Players Association understands this could happen.
But as I’ve frequently pointed out, as long as there’s a chance to salvage part of this season to recoup some of their lost revenue and crown a Stanley Cup champion, the league and the PA – with the full blessing of the team owners and the players – will consider every option.
ESPN.COM: Greg Wyshynski reports Carolina Hurricanes GM Don Waddell said his club is looking into staging home games that would include a limited number of fans should the regular-season resume later this year. Waddell indicated it’s part of several options the club is exploring, including returning with no fans in the building.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes probably aren’t the only NHL club considering such choices.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Ken Campbell wonders what the NHL will do about this season’s conditional trades if the season prematurely ends and those conditions can’t be met.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Plenty of speculation and suggestions from some in the media, but the league insists it’s too early to address that issue. Nevertheless, I expect that will become a larger issue if it becomes apparent the rest of the season could be canceled.
NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: Santa Clara County executive officer Dr. Jeffrey Smith recently told the county’s Board of Supervisors he didn’t expect sports to resume until at least the American Thanksgiving weekend in November. That would mean no games for the San Jose Sharks and the NFL’s San Francisco ’49ers, among others.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If that turns out to be the case, kiss the 2019-20 NHL season goodbye.
SPORTSNET: Edmonton Oilers forward Colby Cave remains in a medically induced coma following surgery on Tuesday to remove a colloid cyst that was causing pressure on his brain.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s hoping Cave pulls through and makes a complete recovery.
Hurricanes defenseman Dougie Hamilton would be ready to play if the NHL seasons resumes later this year. Hamilton suffered a broken left leg in January.
OTTAWA SUN: Senators defenseman Mark Borowiecki said he expects to be able to play his club’s remaining regular-season games if the schedule should resume. He was sidelined by an ankle injury when the league went on hiatus because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Rather than return to the Oilers, forward Anton Slepyshev re-signed a two-year deal with the KHL’s CSKA Moscow.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Journal’s Jim Matheson speculated the Oilers were offering up a one-year deal. Looks like Shepyshev wants the security of a multi-year deal. He also probably received more money to stay in Moscow than he would’ve got from the Oilers.
NBC SPORTS: After adopting the ’80s hit “Gloria” as a theme song last season, the St. Louis Blues players have opted this year for the Eddie Murphy tune “Party All The Time.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: You can bet that’s what they’ll do if they repeat as Stanley Cup champions.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Former Blackhawks captain Pat Stapleton suffered a stroke on Wednesday and passed away at the age of 79. “Whitey”, as he was nicknamed, spent eight seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks from 1965-66 to 1972-73, and was a member of Team Canada in the 1972 Summit Series against the Soviet Union. He also spent five seasons in the WHA. In 10 NHL seasons, Stapleton tallied 43 goals and 337 points in 635 games.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Stapleton’s family, friends, and former teammates.