NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 25, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 25, 2020

Some positive reaction to the league proposed 24-team return-to-play tournament, New York state allowing pro teams to resume training, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

**UPDATE** The NHL has published its framework for Phase 2 of its Phased Return To Sport Protocol. You can read the details by following this link. I’ll have more on this in tomorrow’s Morning Coffee Headlines. 

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Unlike some who feel the NHL’s return-to-play proposal could be a travesty, Mike McIntyre suggests it could be the most memorable Stanley Cup playoffs in our lifetime.

There won’t be any home-ice advantage, while the playing field will be level for the most part because many players have recovered from nagging injuries. It also provides for some potentially entertaining match-ups, such as the Calgary Flames and Winnipeg Jets squaring off in the best-of-five play-in series.

McIntyre doesn’t feel this tournament should become the new normal. Provided the health and safety of everyone involved can be assured, he thinks this could give sports fans starved for live events the opportunity to enjoy this unique tournament from the comfort of their homes.

STARTRIBUNE.COM: Jim Souhan acknowledged the daunting logistical hurdles the NHL must clear to safely stage this tournament, including COVID-19 testing, finding suitable hub cities, international travel issues, and the absence of the usual “sportstuff” that accompanies the game, such as fans and media scrums.

Nevertheless, Souhan suggests hungry sports fans should take what they can get, appreciate the players willing to take this risk, and hope the league is doing this because it can ensure the players’ safety. 

For Pittsburgh Penguins winger Patrick Marleau, the proposed 24-team tournament could be his last chance to play for the Stanley Cup (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The critics of this proposed tournament raised legitimate concerns. If the league cannot assure the health and safety of everyone involved, from the players, team and training staff, arena staff, broadcasting crews, plus all those involved in feeding, housing, and transporting those people, then no, this tournament shouldn’t happen.

On the other hand, the NHL will earn justifiable plaudits if they can pull this off, providing an example for other major professional sports leagues. I expect many of those voicing opposition to this tournament will tune in to follow the outcome. If this is done in careful steps, it’s worth a try.

TRIBLIVE.COM: For Patrick Marleau, this tournament could be his last shot at playing for the Stanley Cup. The 40-year-old Pittsburgh Penguins winger is in the twilight of his career and could retire after this season.

SPORTSNET: New York state governor Andrew Cuomo yesterday announced professional sports teams could resume training as of Sunday. Those include the New York Islanders and New York Rangers, as both clubs are eligible to participate in the proposed 24-team tournament.

NEW YORK POST: The league hasn’t told the Rangers (or Islanders) when they can reopen their facilities. We have yet to set a date on which clubs may reopen their facilities for training and, eventually, formal training camps,” NHL group VP of communications John Dellapina told The Post via email. “We are still working with the NHL Players’ Association (NHLPA) on a league-wide plan to return to play.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Phase 2 of the NHL’s return-to-play plan involves players returning to their respective NHL cities and taking part in small-group training in their team facilities. That could go into effect in early- or mid-June.

THE DETROIT NEWS: Representatives for Red Wings forward Dmytro Timoshov denied a recent report out of Russia claiming their client was close to signing with the KHL’s Dinamo Riga in Latvia.

NEWSDAY: Construction on the New York Islanders’ new arena at Belmont Park is expected to resume on Wednesday.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 24, 2020

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 24, 2020

Capitals defenseman John Carlson reaches a franchise milestone, the Detroit Red Wings trade Mike Green to the Edmonton Oilers. and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Washington Capitals snapped a four-game losing skid and regained sole possession of first place in the Metropolitan Division by downing the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-3. Carl Hagelin scored twice while John Carlson surpassed Calle Johansson for the most points (475) by a defenseman in Capitals history. Following the game, the Capitals acquired winger Ilya Kovalchuk from the Montreal Canadiens. The Penguins (80 points) sit two points behind the Capitals. Pittsburgh forward Dominik Kahun (leg injury) was a late scratch.

Detroit Red Wings trade Mike Green to the Edmonton Oilers (Photo via NHL Images).

Two goals by Andrew Mangiapane powered the Calgary Flames to a 4-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings. The Flames (70 points) hold the first Western Conference wild-card berth. Dylan Larkin scored twice for the Red Wings, who traded defenseman Mike Green to the Edmonton Oilers following the game for LTIR forward Kyle Brodziak and a conditional draft pick.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: An affordable move by the Oilers, bringing experienced depth to the defense corps as they push to secure a postseason berth. Green isn’t the offensive presence he once was and hasn’t had a good season with the floundering Wings, but his performance could improve with the Oilers.

The conditional pick is a fourth-rounder in the 2020 draft. If the Oilers reach the Western Conference Final and Green plays in half of the games, it becomes a third-rounder in 2021. The Wings also picked up half of Green’s $5.373-million salary-cap hit.

Speaking of the Oilers, Connor McDavid had a goal and two assists in his return from a quad injury as his club doubled up the Los Angeles Kings 4-2. The Oilers (73 points) moved past the Vancouver Canucks into second place in the Pacific Division.

Shea Theodore’s overtime goal lifted the Vegas Golden Knights over the Anaheim Ducks 6-5. William Karlsson tallied a hat trick for the Golden Knights, while Ducks forwards Adam Henrique and Nick Ritchie each scored two goals and collected two assists. The Golden Knights (76 points) opened a three-point lead over the Oilers for first place in the Pacific Division.

The St. Louis Blues picked up their fourth straight win by beating the Minnesota Wild 4-1. With the win, the Blues (82 points) opened a three-point lead over the Colorado Avalanche for the top spot in the Central Division and the Western Conference standings. It was also announced that both clubs will face off in Minnesota in the 2021 NHL Winter Classic at Target Field on New Year’s Day.

Anton Khudobin made 31 saves as the Dallas Stars edged the Chicago Blackhawks 2-1. Tyler Seguin tallied the game-winner for the Stars (78 points), who sit one point behind the Colorado Avalanche for second place in the Central Division.

Buffalo Sabres winger Kyle Okposo scored both goals in his club’s 2-1 victory over the Winnipeg Jets. The win moves the Sabres (66 points) within six points of the Toronto Maple Leafs for third in the Atlantic division. With 69 points, the Jets remain one point out of a wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

Anders Lee scored twice to lead the New York Islanders over the San Jose Sharks 4-1. The Isles (76 points) hold the first wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference.

CBS SPORTS: Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Brett Pesce could be sidelined long-term because of an upper-body injury suffered during Saturday’s win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

THE SCORE: Speaking of the Hurricanes, they intend to honor David Ayres, the emergecy goalie who backstopped them over the Leafs.

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes recalled goaltender Darcy Kuemper from his AHL conditioning stint.

SPORTSNET: The Maple Leafs placed forward Dmytro Timashov on waivers.