Headline Sports podcast with Mary Lisa Walsh: NHL and Players close to a new six year deal; Only pandemic stands in the way

NHL Players Association statement announcing that they and the NHL have reached an agreement for four years with a two year option (NHL Players Association and Return to Play Committee image)

On Headlines pod with Mary Lisa:

#1 The NHL Players Association has voted to start the regular season through the Return to Play Committee reaching to extend talks for the CBA. Negotiations for the most part went without a hitch as the players and NHL could come to peaceful agreement at some point.

#2 The players and NHL are working on a four year agreement with a two year option. The only issue that both sides were concerned about was if the virus would infect the game and players could still consider to opt out.

#3 The Stanley Cup Playoffs are scheduled to start on Aug 1st at the two bubbles Rogers Place in Edmonton will hold Western Conference playoffs and Scotiabank in Toronto will host the Eastern Conference games.

#4 Mary, the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Roman Polak and Vancouver forward Sven Baertschi have opted out from playing in the post season. The Canucks said that Baertschi opted out and Canucks GM Jim Benning said he knew it was a difficult choice but he understands.

#5 Mary, talk about the economic impact of losing hockey does to a city, we know working in downtown San Jose covering the Sharks that many taverns, retail, restaurants and food places that serve hockey fans are really feeling the hit with no hockey right now.

Mary Lisa is a San Jose Sharks beat writer and does Headline Sports every other Sunday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com



Headline Sports podcast with Mary Lisa Walsh: Rangers employees “terrified” as Covid-19 spreads at team facility; Lightning still shutdown until further notice; plus more

The New York Rangers Kakko Kaapo who has a underlying conditon is diabetic and is expected to and get back on the ice. New York Ranger employees said they are terrified about the spread of Covid-19 at the Rangers training facility (nhl.com photo)

Headlines pod with Mary Lisa:

#1 New York Rangers are quote “terrified” by the return of NHL play with safety concerns of health after several Rangers employees have tested positive for Covid 19. In an email to Rangers employees it was announced that a number of employees have come up positive.

#2  Rangers employees who wished not to be identified said that the fear is that an older  and pregnant employee could get sick and it would be serious end everything right there.

#3 Three team players and two staff members who had come up positive for Covid-19 at the Tampa Bay Lightning and closed their facilities two weeks ago have announced that the Lightning are in phase 2 and that they possibly reopen if no more positive tests come out.

#4 The Seattle NHL team has said they will announce the new team nickname soon enough team CEO Tom Tod Leiweke said he wanted to wait until the protests in Seattle and Covid-19 situation is settled and not be a distraction in announcing the new team name.

#5 Doug Wilson, Jarome Iginla, Marian Hosa, and Doug Lowe were named to the newest class of NHL Hall of Famers last Wednesday also named was Team Canada’s  Kim St Pierre who is the first woman goalie to be enshrined in the Hall.

Mary Lisa does Headline Sports podcasts every other Sunday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Headline Sports podcast with Mary Lisa Walsh: Stars GM Nill says “wheels are in motion”; Leafs Reilly hopes to get things going smoothly; plus more

The Montreal Canadiens and Pittsburgh Penguins will face off during the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and talk show host Mary Lisa tells you all about it and more on today’s podcast (You Tube photo)

On Headline Sports with Mary Lisa:

#1 Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill said now that training camp is open “the wheels are in motion” phase three of the NHL Return to Play Plan is about to start but first the safety conditions and how to approach play is in the next phase.

#2 Phase four is about the start date for starting the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Toronto Maple Leafs Morgan Reilly said he was looking forward to getting started July 10th and hoping the terms between the players and NHL go smoothly to get things started.

#3 The first set of games will feature 16 teams and five games for the NHL qualifiers, the two hub city bubbles have not been determined yet. Speculation is the hubs will be in Las Vegas for the Western Conference and Toronto for the Eastern Conference.

#4 Mary Lisa tells us about a couple of the match up on tap for the Playoffs first the Pittsburgh Penguins (40-23-6) against the Montreal Canadiens (31-31-9) the Pens Jake Guentzel who had shoulder surgery on Dec 21st is expected back and for the Habs forward Jonathan Drouin who suffered an ankle injury and forward Jonathan Tatar are expected back in the line up.

#5 In the Western Conference the Edmonton Oilers (37-25-9) and the Chicago Blackhawks (32-30-8) for the Oilers defenceman Mike Green who had a knee injury and forward Joakim Nygard are back on ice. For the Hawks defenceman Calvin de Haan was out with a shoulder injury and forwards Andrew Shaw (concussion) and Zack Smith (hand) are all expected back.

Mary Lisa does Headline Sports every other Sunday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Headline Sports podcast with Mary Lisa Walsh: Panthers-Isles hope to put on a decent show in playoffs; Oilers suck it up to play in qualifiers; plus more

nhl.com file photo: The Florida Panthers hosting the New York Islanders earlier this season will be meeting each other for the Extended Qualifying Rounds of the Stanley Cup Playoffs

On Headline Sports podcast with Mary Lisa:

#1 Florida Panthers and New York Islanders are scheduled to face off in a five game qualifying series round. Both teams struggled towards the end of the regular season with the Panther losing 12 of their last 18 games and the Isles losing nine of their last 11. Given the numbers and two months off from the shutdown will you see rusty play or will both teams be able to salvage some fire in their bellies and make it an interesting post season?

#2 How strange is it that the Edmonton Oilers are the only team that is in the qualifier division. The Oilers finished second in the Pacific Division but under the Return to Play plan the Oilers are seeded fifth and will play the 12th seeded Chicago Blackhawks. Oilers team captain Conner McDavid said the Oilers have to look it as a sacrifice to be in the play in round although the team had a good record. They are not only taking it for the team but for the league as well.

#3 The Phoenix Coyotes are looking to wearing their throwback jerseys once the qualifying rounds start. The Yotes are wearing their 1996-97 through 2003-04 jerseys something the fans look forward to seeing. The Coyotes are schedule to play the Nashville Predators in the qualifying round.

#4 The Montreal Canadiens look at being in the qualifying round against the Pittsburgh Penguins as a second chance. The Habs were 10 games out of a playoff position when play was suspended March 12th the Canadiens had the lowest points percentage and 31-31-9 record.

#5 The San Jose Sharks Evander Kane says that white athletes need to speak out against systematic racism in the US. Kane said high profile players in different sports like the Tampa Bay Bucs quarterback Tom Brady and the Pittsburgh Penguins Sydney Crosby need to join in to support the fight.

Join Mary Lisa every other Sunday for Headline Sports at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Headline Sports podcast with Mary Lisa Walsh: How opening Georgia up is a bad idea for the sports world; NHL considering the neutral site game; plus more

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said that neutral game sites are still on the table but nothing has been determined yet since shelter in place is still a policy (file photo from hockeynews.com)

On Headline Sports with Mary Lisa:

#1 Mary Lisa we just wanted to talk to you about Georgia opening up. Atlanta magazine called the idea “a life and death decision” and that “the data to open up doesn’t add up. Georgia governor Brian Kemp is basically opening up because the economic problem is bigger than Coronavirus. The opening means no social distancing and sheltering in is not being forced, gyms, dinning in with others, and retail are all opened up again in Georgia.

#2 NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman says games could be held in neutral sites and there would be up to three games a day with fans. Bettman said it was still on the table and that “we don’t live in a world of perfect anymore” also local games are on the table but with no fans.

#3 Nonetheless the Toronto Maple Leafs Auston Matthews and Frederick Anderson are working out at Matthews Arizona home. Anderson is self quarantined in Matthews house and they taking shots and practicing without any ice at the house.

#4 How important is it for the Columbus Blue Jackets to have signed goalie Elvis Merzlinkins to a two year deal

#5 The Pittsburgh Penguins Sydney Crosby express condolences to his hometown Cole Harbour Nova Scotia after 16 people were shot by a man dressed like a Royal Mounted Police officer.

Mary Lisa is filling in for Matt for Headline Sports which is podcasted each Saturday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com