NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 12, 2013.

Some key dates on the NHL schedule revealed, plus the latest on Drew Doughty, Nicklas Backstrom, John Tavares,  Adam Henrique and more.

SPORTSNET.CA: Mark Spector predicts the new NHL CBA will lead either to relocation or contraction of some struggling US-based franchises.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I believe he’s right. Key is the lack of significant improvement in revenue-sharing. Unless those franchises can significantly reverse their fortunes over the course of this CBA, two or more could be relocated. Contraction is possible, but the league will fight that tooth and nail, preferring to move franchises.

Luke Fox recently posted significant dates on the upcoming NHL schedule. The regular season, of course, is slated to begin January 19 and end on April 27. The Stanley Cup playoffs would begin May 1, with the final game ending on June 28.  It’s believed the NHL trade deadline could be Wednesday, April 3. The NHL Entry Draft is slated for June 28-29 in New Jersey, though it’s speculated those dates could be pushed into July.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There should be more details when the league officially releases its schedule on Sunday. It’s been rumored the trade deadline could be April 5, but that’s on a Friday, and traditionally it’s been held at mid-week. I’ve also heard the playoffs could end on June 25, in which case there might not be any need to change the dates of the entry draft. Nothing confirmed yet as to when the start of free agency would be. I suspect it”s remain July 1, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the date were changed to mid-July if the entry draft is moved into that month. Stay tuned.

THE SPORTING NEWS: Sean Gentille doesn’t see selling NHL merchandise at a reduced rate is less about winning back fans and more about some teams trying to clear merchandise which didn’t move over the Christmas period because of the lockout.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I agree. If NHL teams truly wish to convey their sincere apologies to their fans for the lockout, they should offer up ticket discounts or reduced prices for concessions. Most won’t, of course, because they’re scrambling to make as much money as they can from this shortened season.

Doughty prepared to take next step in his development.

Doughty prepared to take next step in his development.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Kings defenseman Drew Doughty is prepared to take the next time toward becoming a Norris contending defenseman, reporting for training camp physically and mentally prepared for the upcoming shortened season.

NATIONAL POST: Sean Pronger, promoting his new book “Journeyman”, believes the career of his brother Chris has been ended by concussion symptoms.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sean isn’t speaking for Chris, but this is the first time someone close to the Flyers former captain has stated what many observers believe about Pronger’s status.

ANAHEIM DUCKS: yesterday officially announced former captain Scott Niedermayer has joined the Ducks as an assistant coach.

WASHINGTON TIMES: Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom was cleared for a concussion by a neurologist, and skated Friday at the club’s practice facility, declaring himself fully recovered from a neck injury suffered recently in the KHL.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Capitals fans, you may now exhale in relief.

NEW YORK POST: Islanders star John Tavares is glad he spent the lockout playing in Switzerland.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Most of those players who spent the lockout performing in other leagues will be better prepared for the upcoming shortened season than those who spent time at home training and practicing.

NJ.COM: Injured Devils sophomore Adam Henrique hopes to return from a thumb injury by early-February.

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Jochen Hecht has agreed to a one-year contract with the Sabres and is returning to the club this weekend.

MIAMI HERALD: Enforcer George Parros hopes to bring leadership and experience, as well as toughness, to the Florida Panthers. Parros signed with the Panthers last summer as an unrestricted free agent.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Anders Lindback has made a full recovery from stitches on his right knee suffered last month during a practice in Finland.

BOSTON GLOBE: The Bruins have invited veteran forward Jay Pandolfo to training camp for a tryout.

5 Comments

  1. Its not Burkes fault Toronto has not won a cup in forever. Its Bettman’s fault. Its a shame the fans in TO support the Leafs to the tune of $300 million a year in profits and because Bettman wants to “protect” his sunbelt teams, only allows TO to spend $63 Million of that profit on players. Just imagine if there was no cap. There would be less teams (I could care less if about 10 teams fold) and Toronto could afford to put players like Nash, Getzlaf, Thornton, Iginla on 3rd and 4th lines….hypothetically of course. So as it stands now, no one wants to play in Toronto because taxes are higher there and they would be in the spotlight which they don’t want to be because the team is not competitive and they would feel like the team would be on there shoulders. Drop the cap and the Leafs are the team to beat year after year. I’m not a Leafs fan but Just wanted to state my point that its the league and their stupid rules that are beating the Leafs into the ground Success wise.

    • I actually agree with you in a way about the league as a whole being better without a salary cap. Without a cap it would basically be like Major League Baseball with all teams able to spend whatever they felt they could afford. Instead of capping spending in baseball what they do as far as trying to level the playing field is impose a luxury tax on teams that spend over a certain amount.
      While big market teams in the NHL like the Rangers and the Leafs could sign players to big dollar contracts and even afford the luxury tax hit because of their TV deals and sold out arenas, smaller market teams could sign players to lesser contracts but include great incentive bonuses. That is one thing I really do like about MLB contracts and that could very well be the answer for teams like Florida, Columbus and Phoenix. Those teams could sign players to lower dollar contracts but make it so that if those players achieve certain objectives, and that could include making the playoffs, they could earn millions of dollars more. That would mean the smaller market teams making the playoffs would earn playoff revenue and thereby be able to afford to pay the big bonuses.
      Or you could go the way of the NFL and have non-guaranteed contracts, which I am not a big fan of but understand, which would allow teams to cut underperforming players and replace them with someone from their so called practice squad, which would be their AHL team. Montreal would not have had to eat Scottie Gomez’s contract, the Rangers could have dumped wade Redden and so on.
      Their are a lot of different formulas that could have worked but I believe the owners went for the salary cap because it allows the big market teams/owners to pocket a lot of money and in essence appears to give the small market teams a fighting chance.
      Bottom line is that the NHL has a cap system and every team must come up with a way to best utilize it.

  2. So every superstar in the league would join Toronto Dwayne? Only in your dreams, or a video game

  3. Jason…you REALLY missed the point.

  4. dwayne your premise that if there was no cap toronto would actually have a chance at winning a cup is ridiculous, how is it other teams under the very same rules can win a stanley cup, its not the cap that hinders teams like toronto its their managment and coaching, end of story, money doesnt win cups, ask the new york rangers how that worked out after signing millions of dollars to high end players…just sayin…