NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 13, 2017

by | Sep 13, 2017 | News, NHL | 11 comments

Calgary Flames announce they won’t pursue a new arena deal with the city.

Flames not pursuing new arena deal plus latest on Marc-Andre Fleury, Kris Letang and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

CALGARY SUN: Flames president and CEO Ken King said Tuesday the team’s ownership will no longer pursue a new arena deal with the city of Calgary. The club will continue playing in the 34-year-old Scotiabank Saddledome but will no longer invest in the building.  “We’ll just go on and run our business and do what we can to operate and try and figure out what the future will look like at some point later,” said King.

League commissioner Gary Bettman believes there would be long-term consequences, suggesting Calgarians make their voice heard on the subject in the upcoming municipal election. Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi is seeking a third term and has clashed several times with King over a new arena.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flames ownership looked north to Edmonton, saw the Oilers get a brand new, state of the art arena with the city picking up half the cost and want the same thing. The city of Calgary, however, was reportedly willing to front $200 million of a proposed $890 million arena project.

In my opinion, the timing of King’s announcement and Bettman’s talk of consequences are designed to to turn the arena issue into an election topic in hopes of either bringing about a change of municipal leadership or forcing the current one to bend on the issue.

NBC SPORTS: The city of Seattle was scheduled yesterday to hold a press conference announcing the unveiling of a new NHL-friendly $660 million arena. However, the presser was cancelled as Seattle mayor Ed Murray resigned over sexual abuse allegations. It’s unclear how Murray’s resignation affects these plans.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If this proposal goes through you can bet Seattle will be linked to the Flames as a relocation option if there’s no resolution to that club’s arena issues. 

OTTAWA SUN:  Senators president Tom Anselmi predicts it could take four to five years for his club to move to a proposed downtown arena at LeBreton Flats.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators are reducing their seating at Canadian Tire Centre this season because of lower than expected attendance last season. One has to wonder if that will affect the seating in their proposed new venue. 

SPORTSNET: Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury said he was willing to waive his no-trade clause for the Calgary Flames before last season’s trade deadline. Fleury, however, hoped to finish the season with the Pittsburgh Penguins and the club opted to keep him. By the time the playoffs were over, it was a foregone conclusion he was going to the Vegas Golden Knights. Fleury said he’s fine with how things turned out. 

TRIBLIVE.COM: Speaking of the Penguins, defenseman Kris Letang is cleared to join his teammates in training camp. He underwent neck surgery last April that sidelined him from the 2017 playoffs. 

NHL.COM: The Minnesota Wild are bringing free-agent forward Daniel Winnik to training camp on a tryout basis. 

NBC SPORTS: New York Islanders forward Alan Quine will miss the next four-six weeks with an upper-body injury. 

ARIZONA SPORTS: Former Coyotes star Shane Doan is among the 2017 inductees into the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame. 

SUNSENTINEL.COM: The Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning partnered with the NHL and NHLPA to donate $2.7 million for Hurricane Irma relief. 

CSN MIDATLANTIC: The International Ice Hockey Federation assured the NHL that it won’t allow players under NHL contract to participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. 



  1. That bit about Ottawa’s attendance drop is culled from an article by someone named Stinson who clearly knows of just one “Phoenix” – the one in Arizona. One of the BIGGEST reasons for the downturn in attendance over the past season is the federal boondoggle known as “the Phoenix pay system.” When you haven’t been paid for over a year – and thousands have been affected – attending an effing hockey game falls way WAY down the priority list.

    • Bingo. Thats all everyone at work thinks as well. The current arena location is just Melnyk pushing his own agenda. What no one can tell me is what the difference was between this years playoffs and 10 years ago when they were in the final. It was packed then and not now. The only thing that has changed is that Melnyk jacked the parking costs, put desired teams like the Leafs and Habs within “game packs” (so you have have to buy in 2 other games to get your Leafs tickets), added lane on the 417 and the bus situation fully worked out.
      Mind you it doesn’t matter how easier it is to get there when you have no money to pay for tickets….

    • George, I hear you loud and clear. The Phoenix pay system is definitely an issue.
      That shouldn’t be the only concern here though, the location of the CTC is just terrible, I’m not sure where you live but as an Orleans resident it’s an absolute hike to get there.
      Similarly people on downtown aren’t used to so much travel time, thats why they live in there.
      Its 2 hours from my place to the Canadian Tire center ONE WAY by transit – the same if I drive and hit 417 traffic.

      The on ice product is not to blame, there are some crazy dynamic players on the sens and the story of the year in Craig Anderson. The location is a joke. For anyone who has a full time job or a family, attending games is a real challenge unless you live in Kanata.

      • Aj and Taz – I agree with the jacking around of the packages – needless manipulation, and who cares who the fans are cheering for that particular night as long as each seat has an ass in it? Besides, I always though that simply gave the Sens players of the time an added incentive to shut them up by outscoring them – like last year’s opener when Matthews scored 4 and had them going crazy only to see Ottawa get 5, including the winner when the rookie made a fatal defensive error. But that’s what it’s all about. Competition.

        And arena location is a real spot – can’t imagine driving from Orleans or even further east (or from Buckingham and other centres on the Quebec side – in a snowstorm in Jan-Feb in order to take in Colorado, NJ, Arizona, Carolina and a few other unmentionables. That. too, is a factor that will only be resolved when a new downtown arena is built and the light-rail system completed.

      • all this being said this should absolutely put a sock in the mouths of the canadians ripping into the growing us teams and the bettman expansion. it wont shut em up but it should

  2. The International Hockey Federation edict provides a convenient and face-saving escape from an embarrassing confrontation between the NHL and players (e.g., Alex Ovechkin) who avow to join their country’s Olympic team regardless of League proscription. There is no issue if fhe Federation won’t accept those players..

  3. & the rhetoric over a new arena in Calgary is under way. Calgary isn’t moving, ever. They are in the top 10 for operating revenue in the NHL.

    Give a new team to Quebec City just before the next lock out so owners don’t have to share the expansion revenue under the current CBA. They can enter the league post lock out, then move Carolina to Seattle. Carolina will be able to afford to opt out of their lease after the 2020-21 season.

    A 32 team league, 16 in the East, 16 in the west.

  4. I guess the Calgary’s city councillors haven’t ever heard of the old saying “built it and they will come”.