NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 24, 2017
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.