NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 25, 2017

by | Sep 25, 2017 | News, NHL | 26 comments

The Pittsburgh Penguins visited the White House in 2016.

Penguins accept White House invitation plus updates on Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Robby Fabbri & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

TRIBLIVE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins yesterday issued a statement announcing their intention to accept an invitation to the White House to commemorate their 2017 Stanley Cup championship.

This comes a day after President Donald Trump rescinded an invitation to the NBA’s Golden State Warrior after star Steph Curry said he and his teammates didn’t want to go. It was also in the midst of NFL protests Sunday over Trump’s derisive comments against players who take a knee during the national anthem in protest over police brutality against the African-American community. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: What was once merely a formality has become a heated subject. From what I saw yesterday on social media, the Penguins’ announcement was largely condemned by pundits and bloggers but received a mixed reaction among NHL fans. The Penguins organization are taking pains to stress they’re accepting the invitation out of tradition and is not in any way supportive of President Trump’s views, but that hasn’t appeased critics of their decision. 

ARIZONA SPORTS: Coyotes captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson suffered no structural damage to his left knee and is listed as day-to-day. He suffered the injury during a preseason game on Saturday against the San Jose Sharks. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Coyotes are understandably relieved that Ekman-Larsson won’t be sidelined for a lengthy period. They’re already missing Jakub Chychrun (knee injury) from their blueline. Losing their best rearguard would’ve been a serious blow. 

STLTODAY.COM: Blues forward Robby Fabbri re-injured his surgically repaired left knee and is sidelined for the remainder of the preseason. He will be reevaluated in 10 days. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A disappointing setback for Fabbri, who was hoping for a bounce-back performance this season. 

OTTAWA SUN: Senators defenseman Dion Phaneuf is looking forward to playing a preseason game in Summerside, Prince Edward Island tonight. The Sens face off in a preseason match against the New Jersey Devils in the Kraft Hockeyville Game. Phaneuf’s parents are originally from Summerside and he spends the offseason living near Cavendish, PEI. The town of O’Leary, PEI won the Hockeyville competition but the game is being played in Summerside’s Credit Union Place. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE:  A league review of NHL score sheets from 1917 to 1987 resulted in Canadiens legend Maurice (Rocket) Richard being credited with an additional assist, raising his career points total to 966. 

THE ATHLETIC: Montreal Canadiens assistant GM Rick Dudley, Columbus Blue Jackets assistant coach Brad Shaw, former NHL coach Steve Ludzik and former Buffalo Sabre Peter Ciavaglia were among several notables who took part in Craig Custance’s fascinating oral history of the now-defunct IHL’s Detroit Vipers. 



  1. I applaud the Pens decision. You don’t have to agree with any presidents politics. I haven’t been a fan of most presidents in my lifetime, nor have I blindly gone along with any or all of their decisions or politics. But the position should be respected. The ridiculousness surrounding the NFL and NBA (specially the warriors) is out of control. I don’t think 90% of these players even know what they’re protesting anymore.

    • Agree totally. The stance taken by pro athletes is ridiculous. It’s a tradition regardless of who happens to be in the White House. I’m sure there have been liberal-minded players who had to grit their teeth in the presence of a Republican president, just as there have been conservative thinkers cringing at the sigh of a Democrat president. What these clowns are suggesting is that, from now on, tradition be damned if the president of the day wasn’t your choice at the polls.

      • Hey, there, boys, whatever! Get over yourselves.
        George, at least you call peaceful protesters “clowns,” unlike the clown in the White House who called them “sons of bitches.”
        And, Nyr4life, the Warriors cancellation was by you-know-who, not the team. Try to keep up.

      • Actually bcleaf fan, BOTH Curry and Durant said they would not attend regardless of the team meeting outcome!

        Once again, keep your idiotic opinions north of the border!

        How many times on this site have the Canadian contributors complained about the lack of Canadian players coming back north come free agency? How many Canadians went nuts over guys like Nash saying he wouldn’t waive his ntc for ANY Canadian team! How many said “he should never play for team Canada”? Which is your right!

        You have no clue or vested interest of what’s going on in this Country… hence why that ” Clown” is in the office! You don’t live here, you don’t pay taxes here, you are ineligible to vote here, your opinion means less than zero here!

        Maybe, just maybe he few are getting tired of carrying the many!

        If I made these type of comments about Canadian politics, politicians, voters etc. I’d get banned!

      • Just two questions BCLeafsFan – just to get an idea where you stand so we can avoid further debate on something that has NO place in sports – do you call those alt-left protesters who burn cars and smash shop windows at every G8/G10 conference “peaceful protesters” or “sons of bitches” and, are you saying there were none of those types among the “peaceful” protesters??

    • I disagree with the Pens decision however, I do agree athletes should be present and stand for the Anthem as it’s the professional thing to do.

      Aren’t professionals taught that unless you hold a position of relevancy towards religion or politics it should be left at the door?

      Also, no one in the Pens organization thought that this would prove to be a negative distraction to the team either internally or externally?

      I get it, it’s tradition but seems like needless risk to me

  2. George, give me a break! Check out Trump’s comments at the rally in Alabama- the guy still needs rallies! – and stop confusing his targets there with the criminals you describe. I’m talking about football players, and team owners, who chose to protest Trump’s comments peacefully. Remember Colin Kaepernick? He took a knee and has been blacklisted – so other NFL players didn’t make their decisions lightly.
    Any hockey news today?

    • Lol, Kapernick opted out of his deal and he was a backup qb who was god awful!

      The rally in Alabama was actually a rally supporting a local senator which is common among standing presidents to keep the house and senate in their majority favor! Especially for mid term elections.

      Did you want to keep on about American politics, basketball, and horrible NFL players? Or are you done looking clueless?

      Side note, anything he said during that rally is protected under the same 1st amendment these NFL players are hiding behind! Or are they the ONLY ones protected under it because they’re special?

      • Also, he could have had a job with the Ravens…. until his girlfriend sent out a racist tweet.

        Ray Lewis: “When me and Steve Bisciotti were talking, this is what we were talking about, Judy. We were talking about giving this kid an opportunity to get back in the National Football League. Look, this is what I wanted to share with people. I have been fighting for this kid behind the table like nobody has … I’ve never been against Colin Kaepernick. But I am against the way he’s done it.
        “Then, his girl [Colin Kaepernick’s girlfriend] goes out and put out this racist gesture and doesn’t know we are in the back office about to try to get this guy signed. Steve Bisciotti has said it himself, ‘How can you crucify Ray Lewis when Ray Lewis is the one calling for Colin Kaepernick?’ …

      • I’m done and good luck, my friend – the free world is depending on your wisdom.
        Go Leafs!

      • Obviously, They’d be better served with mine than yours. How many times can you swing and miss?
        Go Rangers!

  3. Yuck

    What I don’t get is all the people who think that not kneeling at the anthem is such a disrespect to the troops. Do they seriously think our American heros on the forces are so thin skinned a bunch of knuckleheads taking a knee would hurt their feelings? That is so much more disrespectful to the integrity of our troops than the kneeling in the first place.

    • The flag doesn’t represent the troops, or the president or whoever. It represents us all! All people, all races, backgrounds, from president to ditch digger!

      It’s a complete embarrassment! Especially when it’s done on foreign soil, and then to stand and respect their anthem and flag!

      I can’t wait to see how this will knock football even further down. Specifically the Jaguars who have struggled as a franchise over the years. They live and play in a heavily military populated area. We’ll see how offended the military is after that. Not only should they be offended, we should all be offended!

      • Nyr4life: With respect, I think you are missing the point. You are spot on as to what the flag and anthem represent. Sadly the ample evidence and shared experience that all those qualities you have said the flag and anthem stand apply lopsidedly only to white people. Taking a knee by the footballers is a silent and peaceful way of pointing this out.

        Yes I am Canadian no vote etc. all very true. What is also equally true is your volatile president is honest steering the whole world toward nuclear war. Such an action puts Canadian lives at risk because radiation does not respect borders. Even a nuclear detonation is the high atmosphere over the Pacific would create an EM pulse that would knock out electronics of ALL types in both Canada and the US. So yes, we have a right to call him out in hopes enough of our US friends will stand up in every election and circumstance to try and get him to realize the pain, misery, and life-threatening situations he is putting all of us in. Just because something is tradition does not make it right. The running of the bulls is a tradition but it is still stupid to deliberately put yourself before charging bulls for no reason.

      • I disagree on so many points on so many levels. I’ll start with the flag only apply to white people. We are a country of all races, cultures, religion etc. We are ALL (legal citizens) protected under the constitution.

        these same guys taking a knee, white, black or any other are all people afforded college education (free ride) and afforded making millions ( some billions or hundreds of millions) to play a game. A game that we pay for! NBA, NFL and MLB.

        What people forget, these are businesses! My company and my wife’s company have strict rules as far as voicing your personal beliefs on company time. And if you attach their name to social media, they reserve the right to monitor, discipline or even terminate due to comments , or views that could be damaging or negatively effect their business. Why are these people given a mulligan?

        As far as this president steering the world toward nuclear war…. who are we talking about? Iran? North Korea? Do you really believe North Korea only became a threat since January? Their leader is a madman! That has or will kill anyone that opposes him. Including his own family! He has threatened Japan, Guam, the US etc. This is nothing new from him or his father before him.

        It’s our governments fault this madman has threatened us with nuclear war?

        Iran? Sold uranium by prior administrations. Allowed to operate and funded under prior administrations to develop this technology. This coming from a country that has adamantly denied the holocaust, has threatened the annihilation of Israel, and anyone else not willing to go along.

        If you, our friends and neighbors to the north think ignoring all this was the answer, than Hillary was the answer. But ignoring it is why we’re here today.

        The reason Trump is in office today is because people here are tired, over taxed, and tired of our industries, business, being shipped to every corner of the globe , while dependency of welfare, healthcare is overpowering the working class!

        By the last census in 2012, There were 105 million full time people working (including almost 18 million government employees) and 109 million people on welfare or some sort of public assistance….. not counting undocumented , or illegal immigrants. Do that math…. 120-125 MILLION people to support, educate, feed, provide health care, Housing, and even the bare necessities like ….. cell phones and internet (sarcasm). While we watch our industry, jobs, factories go everywhere else and make ghost towns out of the Detroits, Pittsburghs etc. Add on the “affordable health care” that has raised everyone’s premiums and deductibles through the roof! Which the government has so kindly exempted themselves from, while punishing (unconstitutionaly) those who can’t afford it!

        This country is split, fractured, but not broken. Maybe his style, brash way is not very appealing to some. But this is 50-60 years in the making. Rich politicians selling our country down the drain and leaving us in financial ruin for generations to come. Even ones like Clinton and Sanders who pretend to relate to the common folk and blame rich white people for everything.

        Clinton, who said they were broke leaving the White House …. but somehow amassed MILLIONS while serving in public office as a senator!

      • To clarify, I was referring to North Korea. I do not disagree with and support all your points regarding the North Korean (and Iran as well) problem. My point is that putting out a fire by spraying jet fuel everywhere is a bad idea and that is what Trump is doing.

        As for healthcare, the problem would be hell of a lot better if you folks worked collectively as an entire country to negotiate for fairer drug costs. I have MS. Without insurance my meds cost $35 000 Cnd. The same meds from the same company produced at the same factory cost you folks $62 000 USd. With currency adjustment you folks are paying roughly an extra twenty percent on top of that. Whose making money off that? CEOs whose severance packages would set their families up for generations. These are the same CEOs who decide to close factories and put workers out of work. Trump will only be able to bring those jobs back if he allows companies to lower wages, meaning even lower prosperity for his supporters.

        You maybe misunderstand what I am the players are saying. All those ideals you speak of are fantastic ideals. People of colour do not see it/feel it in practice. I am brown and have no desire to go to the US for, in part, fear of what is happening in your country (oh and to anyone reading and thinking ‘good, we don’t need you here anyway” let me point out I would be a tourist pumping my hard earned cash into your economy putting Americans to work).

        I also realize that we in Canada are not perfect either. That we too have our flaws and we have to look at ourselves as well. We can all do better and it pains us when our neighbors are not achieving when they should.

      • First off, let me start off by saying. I guarantee there is not one person here that’s thinking “good , you’re not coming” We are probably more diverse than Canada. I was born and raised in NY. I come from a family of Irish immigrants on both sides…. and I was the minority where I come from. It was never an issue.

        I now reside in the south US. Florida specifically. I have worked all over the US. And contrary to popular belief or “news” nobody is burning crosses or holding Klan rallies in the south ! I’ve been to Birmingham, Atlanta etc where once again I was the minority. there were plenty of times made to feel unwelcome by my presence in certain neighborhoods. Even asked to leave a bar in Birmingham ( me a a Snow White contractor and friend from Utah) because of my skin color.

        You seem tilted to right side propaganda! 10 stories of people getting shot.9.5 while committing violent crimes . Or pulling a weapon , or appearing to pull a weapon! What about the other side? The 5 cops in Dallas executed by opposing people? The ones in Ny? ….. nothing? Zero? How about the HUNDREDS killed in Chicago? Black on black crime? It kills THOUSANDS while they focus on the…. 10-12? Not a problem? Or not a convienent problem? Where are all the usual mouth pieces here?

      • Not one person? You saw the tiki torch march in Charlettesville right? Bold statement to saw “no one”. You, personally, sure, obviously, but no one? Black on black crime, or crime of any sort is wrong. It is different when agents of the state are breaking laws they are charged to uphold. Your president told these agents of the state to be judge and jury authorizing them to ram suspects heads into car door frames. These are people that have yet to appear before a judge nor be formally charged. He pardoned a convicted violator of the Constitution before sentencing. All indications that the law and constitution of the US do not apply equally to every one. Hence the issue.
        The shootings of police in Dallas and NY was horrible. Not supporting the actions, however I’ll point out that these are exactly what the Second amendment extremists scream about to justify their gun possession. The idea of defense against the government. The police represent the government and have been seen to impose the law unfairly. Do you really believe that it is only occurred 10 times? You are missing the point. These American citizens are trying to get people to realize that incidents like the Rodney King incident, the Baltimore evidence planting, Ferguson (not Chris Brown, the DOJ report on the systemic race issues and violations throughout the system) etc are happening everyday in the US (sadly, in Canada too but due to our gun laws, no resulting in nearly as many fatalities). The ‘taking a knee’ is a way of getting people to see the world through different eyes.

      • By the way Ny4life, where did you get your census data? I search for the census data you mentioned and I found you over estimated. The numbers I found suggested 52.2 million people or %21.3. Deep dive on this and roughly a third where on temporarily, less than a year. here is where I saw this: https://www.census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2015/cb15-97.html

    • Then that makes you the thin skinned one ny. Who cares what these bozos do. Your outrage only validates them.

      • No, my outrage, along with others have their ratings plummeting. Before this weekend. And I truly believe this is more damaging than good for the NFL. Which hopefully gives the NHL a nice boost and starts taking away from the 10 billion dollar a year machine that is the NFL!

        So glad to see some of the NHL players coming out on the other side. If the NHL has half a marketing brain… they’ll embrace this opportunity!

        But I will agree they are bozos! I think it’s the 1st time we’ve ever agreed!

      • You are right. Capitalism will determine what these businesses do. Bottom line. And no publicity is bad publicity. The NFL juggernaut will take at most a ding but people tuning in for the drama drummed up by talking heads will make up for it. More power to you if you stop watching. I won’t cause I don’t care what they do. They could moon the flag and it means nothing. The only thing that means anything about the flag is what I believe… not some stranger in a jersey. Not broadcasting companies creaming their jeans over this media buzz. But your outrage only feeds into the goals of the ordeal. To create a spectacle.

      • Well, maybe one reason he should care (those of us north of the border as well) is that their national prominence on a huge stage (and those in Hollywood as well who use national events like the Emmys and Academy Awards to voice THEIR political views) allows them to reach the gullible who don’t think much for themselves and instead worship the ground on which these athletes and so-called “stars” walk. And don’t think for a fleeting second that there aren’t millions of that type out there.

      • Works both ways. Could be stars and actors or it could be people in Macedonia making up stories on the internet. Most people don’t look to these individuals to develop their own opinions but to reinforce their current views. Which is why people should ignore them. I support their right to do it so long as the NFL oks it. And the NFL will follow the money

  4. Whether or not “taking a knee” has become a political issue, it began as a social issue–the black athletes’s protest over perceived use of excessive force by police against black Americans. I say “perceived” knowing that all police are not good guys, but aware that neither are the protesters.. Many of those kneeling have been suspended, arrested, and jailed while in college and as pros. as pros. It’s safe to say that they have little respect for government and legal autshority, and it’s likely that they hold a grudge against police officers for detaining them. Penguins mangement was wise to decide that their team shoud kneel for police officers like Canadian Royal Mouted Policef officer Dave Ross and Pittsburgh Pollice officers Paul Sciullo,Eric Kelly and Stephen Mayhle, all slain in the line of dusty. rather than with guys likeJoey Porter, Pac Man Jones, and, yes, Ben Roethlisberger.

  5. As a Canadian I don’t agree with most of what our Prime Minister does but I will always stand for our Anthem and always be proud to be a Canadian. Every morning when I awake I thank God I am in a free and wonderful Country. I am a huge sports fan but slowly but surely they are losing me I’m not sure how much more of this craziness I can take. Entertain me please don’t preach to me don’t tell me who to pray for or how to vote.