NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 26, 2017
Lightning to retire Vincent Lecavalier’s number plus updates on Jonathan Drouin, Brian Gionta & more in your NHL morning headlines.
TAMPA BAY TIMES: The Tampa Bay Lightning announced they will retire Vincent Lecavalier’s No. 4 when the Los Angeles Kings visit Amalie Arena on Feb. 10. Lecavalier spent 14 season with the Lightning, helping them win the Stanley Cup in 2004.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lecavalier remains the Lightning leader in games played (1,037), career goals (383) and points in a single season (108). He also won the Richard Trophy as the league’s top goal scorer in 2006-07 with 52 goals.
LA PRESSE: Montreal Canadiens forward Jonathan Drouin is listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury.
NBC SPORTS: New York Rangers forward Andrew Desjardins received a two-game preseason suspension for an illegal check to the head of New Jersey Devils winger Miles Wood.
WGR 550: Buffalo Sabres’ Evan Rodrigues is sidelined with a hand injury while Jake McCabe is week-to-week with an upper-body injury. Meanwhile, it appears increasingly likely former Sabres winger Brian Gionta will played for Team USA in the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gionta, 38, is an unrestricted free agent. If he doesn’t sign with an NHL club he’ll be free to participate in the Pyeonchang Games.
ARIZONA REPUBLIC: Coyotes goaltender Louie Domingue suffered an upper-body injury during Monday’s preseason loss to the Anaheim Ducks and left the game as a precautionary measure.
TSN: Several American-born NHL players weighed in with their thoughts on athletes taking a knee as a protest during the playing of a national anthem. Winnipeg Jets captain Blake Wheeler said he would support a teammate’s protest and Toronto Maple Leafs winger James van Riemsdyk agreed with Wheeler’s recent tweets taking U.S. President Donald Trump to task for scolding NFL players who staged such protests.
Others, such as van Riemsdyk teammate Auston Matthews and Boston Bruins winger David Backes, take a different view. Matthews said he supports athletes taking a stand but considers it a dishonor to the American flag to sit or kneel during the anthem, citing family members and friends who’ve served in the military. Backes believes there’s other ways to express a beef regarding social justice or other issues.
THE MERCURY NEWS: An early playoff exit and the departure of Patrick Marleau had little effect upon San Jose Sharks’ season ticket sales.
CALGARY SUN: Flames president Ken King said his team is now a “have-not” franchise, citing the revenue-sharing check they received from the league this year after 10 seasons as a revenue contributor. He made the remarks yesterday at the Calgary Chamber of Commerce. The Flames are currently in a standoff with the city of Calgary over plans and funding for a new arena. King also declined to answer a question about how the ticket surcharge revenue is Flames’ revenue towards arena costs.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I disagree with King’s claim that the Flames are playing in a “have-not” market. They are regularly among top-10 teams in NHL attendance and play in a hockey-mad market.
Calgary is also an oil town and the Flame’s dip in attendance last season was likely tied to the downturn in the local economy. Those numbers will rebound as the local economy inevitably improves.
That revenue-sharing check could also be tied to the decline in value of the Canadian dollar, which fell to around. 75 cents USD through most of 2016-17. If the Flames’ attendance remains steady and the current value of the “loonie” remains at its current level of .81 cents USD, they could once again become a revenue contributor for 2017-18.
YAHOO SPORTS: The Vegas Golden Knights have printed the names of their first season-ticket holders on the ice of their arena for their inaugural season.