NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 30, 2017
Metropolitan Division wins All-Star Game final, Simmonds named MVP & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.com: Two goals five seconds apart by Cam Atkinson and Wayne Simmonds gave the Metropolitan Division a 4-3 victory over the Pacific Division in the All-Star Game final, winning the $1 million prize.
The game’s turning point came when Metropolitan coach Wayne Gretzky successfully challenged a Ryan Kesler goal that would’ve given the Pacific a 4-2 lead when review showed Connor McDavid was offside. Simmonds was named the most valuable player.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I though the final game of this tournament was more competitive and entertaining than the semifinals. Heck, at one point late in the game, Washington’s Alex Ovechkin blocked a shot, something rarely seen in an All-Star game. Obviously the competitive juices kick in when a million bucks in on the line. Ovechkin, in my opinion, was the most entertaining player, as he was clearly enjoying himself throughout this tournament. Simmonds and Atkinson, who replaced sidelined Pittsburgh Penguins star Evgeni Malkin, were the offensive standouts.
NBC SPORTS: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman reiterated his criticism of the International Olympic Committee, saying the league owes it to its fans to ensure Olympic participation doesn’t adversely affect the NHL product. “Subjecting the game to players who might get injured more often, or are more tired because they’ve got more back-to-backs, so they’re playing five games in seven nights — that’s what you get when you disrupt the schedule.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: With all due respect, Mr. Commissioner, I call bullshit. You and the team owners have no problem with Olympic participation when its held in North America. The concerns only seem to arise whenever the Olympics are staged elsewhere. And if previous reports are to be believed, the league wants to participate in the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing as a means of establishing a footprint in China. But because the 2018 Winter Olympics are being staged in a much smaller market (South Korea), the league doesn’t seem to believe it’s worthwhile participating in those games.
If the NHL is to grow its product, it must do so outside the tapped-out North America market. That means taking part in the Winter Olympics, regardless of where they’re staged. The players are obviously keen to take part so there’s no issue with them.
Ultimately, this comes down to money for the league. If the IOC was willing to give the NHL a bigger cut of the revenue generated by the league’s top players taking part in the Olympics, this would probably be a different story.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Hockey Hall of Fame goaltender Ken Dryden believes the NHL should do more to protect its goalies.
STLTODAY: The St. Louis Blue will retire former defenseman Bob Plager’s No. 5 in a ceremony prior to their Feb. 2 game against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
LOS ANGELES TIMES: Long-time LA Kings broadcaster Bob Miller suffered a mild stroke during the All-Star weekend. He is reportedly under the care of specialized physicians and is in good spirits.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: The Blackhawks placed defenseman Michal Rozsival on injured reserve.
THE NEWS & OBSERVER: The Carolina Hurricanes have recalled goalie Eddie Lack from his conditioning stint in the minors.