NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 24, 2017

by | Sep 24, 2017 | News, NHL | 24 comments

Winnipeg Jets captain Blake Wheeler spoke out Saturday against US President Donald Trump’s comments against NFL players kneeling for the national anthem.

Latest on Blake Wheeler, Erik Karlsson, Oliver Ekman-Larsson & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets captain Blake Wheeler, an American citizen, took to Twitter on Saturday voicing his disappointment at U.S. President Donald Trump saying NFL players who kneel during the American national anthem should be fired. 

“It’s the First Amendment to our Constitution. The First one!!'” tweeted Wheeler. “Regardless of how it makes you feel individually, these are literally the principles the US was founded on. Come on, Mr. President.” 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wheeler is the first NHL player to publicly speak out on this issue, which was a hot topic on social media following’s Trump’s comments on Friday and Saturday. Some folks believe athletes should keep their personal views on politics and social issues to themselves and stick to sports. However, they have the same right to freedom of speech as the American President and can use the same medium as Trump to voice those opinions. 

OTTAWA SUN: Senators captain Erik Karlsson skated Saturday with his teammates during practice for the first time since undergoing foot surgery in June. There’s no timetable for Karlsson’s return but this could be seen as a positive sign he could rejoin the roster for their Oct. 5 season opener. 

AZCENTRAL.COM: Arizona Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson left Saturday’s preseason game against the San Jose Sharks with a lower-body injury. He’s to be reevaluated today. Meanwhile, Coyotes owner Andrew Barroway said the club will retire Shane Doan’s No. 19 “at a time that’s right for him.” He said Doan thinks it’s too early to retire his number this season. The two sides will discuss the topic at the end of next summer. 

SUNSENTINEL.COM: Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad made some lifestyle and diet changes during the offseason in hopes of bouncing back from his injury-shortened 2016-17 campaign. 

THE WASHINGTON POST: Capitals forward Tom Wilson was suspended from two preseason games for interference on St. Louis’ Robert Thomas. 

NBC SPORTS: Vancouver Canucks center Bo Horvat is expected to be sidelined for a week with an upper-body injury. 

MLIVE.COM: Detroit Red Wings forward Tyler Bertuzzi will miss three-four weeks with a wrist injury. 

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports the NHL will go dark on all NBC platforms during the network’s coverage of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea from Feb. 7-26. According to Brooks, this is “nothing less than the league’s U.S. national television rights-holder giving a symbolic middle finger to Gary Bettman and the Board of Governors for withholding its players from one of NBC’s most important properties.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: One wonders if this could become an issue between the league and the network when it’s time to discuss a possible extension of their current contract, which expires at the end of 2020-21. 



  1. I disagree, Lyle, with your take on the Trump-wheeler thing. Trump is a politician and, whether or not you or Wheeler or me – or anyone else for that matter – likes his brand of politics is irrelevant. The bottom line is, he can use whatever medium is at hand to spread his word. If more people don’t like it than those that do, he’ll be turfed in the next election. That’s how democracy works.

    However, while those whose job is to play sports or entertain are certainly entitled to their personal political opinions like anyone else,they should not use nationally televised events as their soapbox – something which is certainly NOT available to those of us among the great unwashed. Those events were NOT developed for the spread of political beliefs.

    Just my opinion.

    • those with access to those mediums not only have the right to use them but a responsibility to do so. If the great unwashed dont like it they can tune out in the future, thus affecting their ability to use said medium. in the nfl’s case if the protests result in loss of revenue then they will turn around and do something about it… where is whats his face playing now? thats how capitalism works.

    • Sorry George but we don’t give celebrities and athletes a platform, they are paid to entertain us, not try and influence us.

      • really? try telling Nike that.

      • This veteran has been insulted! Any entertainment on the field is offset by this blatant lack of respect for my country that I once volunteered to defend the freedoms that tend to be taken for granted. How many of those athletes can say they served? I choose to be in solidarity with My President and boycott the NFL, IMO, their premise to disrespect our nation is purely politics.

      • WHS-I served as well, and frankly, your comment offends me. I swore to defend the constitution, which, as much as it seems to trouble you, includes the first ammendment. I served to protect Blake’s right to speak as he wishes, not to shut him up.

      • Exactly stand for your Anthem and thank God every day that people fought for your country so you can make a lot of money playing a sport. Sports and Hollywood should stay out of Politics. I work hard so I can pay to be entertained I want to watch the event not a stance on politics or race or religion.

    • Sorry George, misread your post a bit:)

  2. uh-oh

  3. Interesting study I just came across today, not like I was not aware of this but it speaks volumes of the role media has played in making things dysfunctional.

    “Not only were both sides equally likely to seek out attitude confirming scientific conclusions, both were also willing to work harder and longer when doing so got them to a conclusion that fit with their existing attitudes,” says Washburn, the lead author of the study. “And when the correct interpretation of the results did not confirm participants’ attitudes, they were more likely to view the researchers involved with the study as less trustworthy, less knowledgeable, and disagreed with their conclusions more.”

    These effects were constant no matter what issue was under consideration, which included six social issues — immigration, gun control, climate change, health care reform, nuclear power and same sex marriage — and one control issue — skin rash treatment.


    • I’d like to argue it wasn’t “the media” that did that but “social media.” everything stated going down hill with myspace then fell off a cliff with twtter and facebook

      • Absolutely thats part of it chrisms and a large part no doubt as ‘real fake news’ can easily be spread that way as Facebook has virtually no controls in place.

  4. I can tell you that they actually do not have the right as it is generally interpreted. Voicing your opinion as such is protected however when doing so while employed the rules change. The conduct becomes governed under the employment contract. You see because the employer might not agree with your opinion and/or the customers and when you do something that takes away the value of the employers company now you can get fired as well as sued. It happens all the time and no the first amendment does not protect you from that net effect. So where you agree or disagree with Mr wheeler or Mr President what matters is where his bosses like the outcome to their wallet should there be on up or down.
    Personally I could care less. I’d rather just see good hockey and have a beer.

    • I totally agree. And if and when I tune in to the Emmys or Acadamy Awards, Olympics, World Series, Super Bowl etc., the LAST thing I want to see/hear is the political stance of an actor/actress or athlete. That certainly won’t stop them from doing it – but it can (and has) resulted in some sudden career downturns.

      • Your point of view makes sense in a “normal” world, George, where, for example, the President is presidential but things are anything but normal these days and social media is a big part of that. I don’t see this kind of atmosphere improving any time soon and you can expect more of the same until there is a change in leadership style south of the border.

      • with millions of voters having cast their ballots for that blustering style of politics maybe, just maybe, the old style of politics is headed the way of the dodo.

      • I’m not about to place actor Mark Wahlberg on any form of pedestal as the ultimate in opinion about why celebrities (and, by inference, pro athletes)should not use nationally-televised events to air their beliefs and opinions, but what he said after the U.S. elections made sense:

        “celebrities should keep their political opinions to themselves … they live in a bubble and have no real understanding of the issues faced by others.”

        “When asked why he did not get involved or actively endorse anyone throughout the 18-month campaign, Wahlberg said he didn’t feel in a position to do so because of his own privilege.

        “A lot of celebrities, did, do and shouldn’t (give their political opinions)” he told Task and Purpose magazine, which is aimed at US veterans. “You know, it just goes to show that people aren’t listening to that anyway. They might buy your CD or watch your movie but you don’t put food on their table. You don’t pay their bills. A lot of Hollywood is living in a bubble. They’re pretty out of touch with the common person, the everyday guy out there providing for their family.”

        And that applies to pro athletes as well – even more so considering what they get paid to do their jobs.

      • BCleafan Its not the style of leadership, sure the twitter bs is different but its like we have gone back to the old style of politics as George mentioned I think.

        We have been inundated with politically correct politics for the last 20 or so years and that there crap is evil as far as I am concerned.

        Sorry Lyle for the politics but its a current event to be sure and really people should be talking because I for one believe the next and last great war is coming at some point in time.

      • BCleaffan. I don’t really think you have any idea of what this country needs.

        The people of this country spoke loudly on Election Day. And people were tired of where this country has gone and still going!

        The past administration drove this country into the ground, and we as a country didn’t want 4-8 more years of the same.

        Is Trump the ideal guy? Probably not. But Hillary Clinton certainly wasn’t the right “guy” either.

    • With you all the way to the good hockey and a beer. Blake Wheeler doesn’t seem to understand the First Amendment, but neither do most people. Thank you for educating.

      • Just checked back in and, wow – Nyr4life – not sure what point you’re making but I do know that more citizens of the USA voted for someone other than you-know-who. My point is about the leadership style of the current President and how it invites strong reactions – for example, check out today’s NFL games at which owners and players were united in their response to comments made.
        I think Blake Wheeler has the same right to use Twitter as anyone else and I commend him for speaking up. I just hope he’s on Twitter when the Leafs play the Jets.

      • I mean as a non citizen, you don’t really have any right to voice your opinion on American politics. They simply don’t affect you.

        This all started under the prior administration.

        As a Canadian, how would you feel if Canadian players on Canadian teams sat during your anthem, and stood for ours? Which is exactly what happened at the London game today

        The Jaguars live and play in a very big military town, it won’t be forgotten!

        People go to games to get away from BS, players just need to shut their mouths and play their game.

        Taking a knee helps who’s cause?

      • And yes, more citizens voted the other way. About 2.8 million, mostly from two states, which is why we have the electoral college.

        Otherwise basically 4 states would determine every election.