NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 27, 2017

by | Sep 27, 2017 | News, NHL | 41 comments

San Jose Sharks winger Joel Ward could consider taking a knee during the national anthem.

Latest on Joel Ward, Kyle Okposo, Jaromir Jagr and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

THE MERCURY NEWS: San Jose Sharks winger Joel Ward isn’t ruling out the possibility of taking a knee during the national anthem in an upcoming Sharks game.

 “I’ve experienced a lot of racism myself in hockey and on a day-to-day occurrence. I haven’t really sat down to think about it too much yet, but I definitely wouldn’t say no to it.”

Ward points out such protests aren’t disrespecting the flag but simply to raise awareness of police brutality toward the black community. Sharks head coach Pete DeBoer said he would support Ward if he decides to take a knee during the anthem this season.

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Sabres winger Kyle Okposo said he won’t kneel for the anthem but supports those athletes exercising their First Amendment rights. He also wishes people would spend more time listening to each other and less time yelling. 

“To be honest with you, I think every little thing is getting so magnified now and people are starting to talk about every little bit and piece that we’re kind of forgetting what brings us together as Americans: That’s togetherness and being together and working to help out one another.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ward and Okposo are among the 30 black players in the NHL. I believe Ward has the right to take a knee during the anthem if he wants. His team obviously supports him if that’s what he wants to do. I also agree with Okposo that folks should listen more instead of shouting at each other. 

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Free agent winger Jaromir Jagr will play for Kladno (his hometown team) in the Czech second division this weekend. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jagr is still angling for a National Hockey League contract. As the NHL regular season hasn’t started yet, playing for Kladno during the upcoming weekend won’t affect those efforts. 

THE ATHLETIC:  Los Angeles Kings forward Jordan Nolan, Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Frankie Corrado and Dallas Stars center Brian Flynn were among the notables hitting the NHL waiver wire yesterday. Others included Calgary Flames forward Hunter Shinkaruk and Kings goalie Jeff Zatkoff. 

NBC SPORTS: There’s a chance that an early breakthrough in CTE testing can be conducted on living athletes. The condition is currently identified only by studying the brains of deceased athletes. Should such testing be available to active NHL players, however, they could be reluctant to undergo the process as it could threaten their playing careers.



  1. I believe Ward has zero right to take a knee. I believe Canadian players should take a knee on the subject to be honest. Is he also taking a knee during the Canadian anthem when he Plays in Montreal, Toronto etc.? And if he does, are Canadian fans still standing behind his decision? Or he has only “experienced” racism in the United States? I don’t necessarily blame Ward, of course the media will be jamming mics down the throats of every minority’s throat they can find. But really, “no comment” would be great at this point.

    Ward takes a knee, the US should take his visa!

    • Relax pal

    • What people believe/feel doesn’t really matter when it comes to constitutional law. The US constitution protects a right to protest during the US national anthem – free from government (public) intervention. The US constitution does not protect a right to protest from employer (private) intervention, which is one reason why Kaepernick doesn’t have a contract anymore. The US government cannot take Ward’s visa away for this sort of protest.

      There are different reasons for protesting – one of which is spreading awareness of the institution of racism. I’m sure if Ward lived/experienced racism in Canada then he might consider protesting here too. I’m sure he would have allies in Canada and I’m sure he would have detractors as well, but there would be less noise, because… you know… Canada.


      • I’ll start off with Kaepernick…. he doesn’t have a job because he is absolutely terrible! Awful by any standard.

        He actually had a chance to sign with the Ravens, but his girlfriend ruined it by sending out a racist tweet. The real funny part of this story is him opting out of the NFL he had in San Francisco! What an idiot! The guy was raised by upper middle class white parents, exactly how much persecution has he actually endured in life?

        Now I’ll go into what’s acceptable from an employee.
        Most US companies now monitor social media, and have included clauses that protect them from people stating view, opinions, pictures etc. that can have a negative effect on the company. Even a random drunk tweet made from your couch off the clock is subject to discipline or termination of employment.

        Why would NFL, MLB, NHL, or NBA employees be treated differently?

        Bottom line, until I see Ward take that stance in his own country, he needs to shut his yap! I don’t believe for one second he hasn’t seen as much or more racism in Canada than he has here.
        Canada’s minority population as a country is probably less than that of any one of NY, Atlanta, Birmingham etc.

      • Nyr4life when people say missed the boat they show a picture of you. Everyone has the right to protest, to stand up what they feel is right, just like you are with your poor opinion.

        A white privileged person like yourself, maybe has never been pulled over by police with their guns drawn, asked questions that are like the type you’d love to answer, none of your business, on what seems to be weekly occurrence. How would you feel doing nothing wrong but being singled out because of the color of your skin?

        You’re obviously fine with that but most people are not. This is a big problem and unfortunately people like yourself are hung up on who and how someone is protesting and ignoring the real issue which is what America is always known for and that is racism. It hasn’t gone away and I don’t think it will anytime soon.

        As for Keapernick, here’s a person who basically gave up his career for something he believed in, something he couldn’t sit idly by and accept what was going on while most of us, did and are doing squat!

      • Ron Moore, obviously you know even less about me and racism and the US than you think.

        First of all, how many white peiple are also gunned down by law enforcement in the US? Zero? How many cops have been murdered executions style the last 12-18 months? Zero? How many of these media driven black males being shot by law enforcers were in the middle of a felony or 2 and or armed while gunned down? White , black…. don’t commit felonies or draw down on a guy that is trained to put one between your eyes…. maybe?

        Now let’s touch on the “real issues” look up homicides how many are white on black, vs black on black, vs black on white….. if you look at those numbers I’m pretty sure you’ll see where the “real problems are”

      • And if you think whites cannot be targeted, or victims of racism you’re even more clueless than I imagined!

        Have a white guy stroll down avenue I in Birmingham Alabama at 1am or 10am , or 630 pm!

      • Ny4life: Kaepenick being raised by a white middle class family does not change the fact that he is a black skinned man and seen and treated as such.

        Also you mention it here and on another post that somehow Canada is less diverse than the US. I’m guessing you have never been to Toronto, the third largest city in North America. Joel Ward is from Toronto, North York specifically but that is now part of greater Toronto, like Brooklyn is essentially part of New York. Toronto is as diverse as any US city including New York.

      • The person who is acting like knowing the most on this page is actual the one who is the most clueless and close minded.

      • Habs fan, when I say diverse, I didn’t necessarily mean white and black. I mean Muslim, Jewish, Christian, white, Black, Asian , Latin, Arab … religious, and national background.

        In 2001 Canada had a .99% of black populated. Granted it’s 16 years ago and I’m sure the number has grown but I wouldn’t say by leaps and bounds either. Ny alone the number is about 16%. When I said more diverse, I meant was by sheer numbers alone…. we have about 360 million (documented citizens) in this country. Another 12-15 million illegal immigrants ( no, that’s not racist, it’s a fact) Canada has about 1/10 of that population. Or roughy about as many as California, NY, and Florida alone. Nevermind the other states.
        So of course we would be a bit more diverse than Canada. It’s truly not an insult.


      • Ntr4life, your stats are for all of Canada and not Toronto specifically. Toronto, where Joel Ward is from, is not the same demographics as northern Alberta etc. You are right about general size comparisons. Toronto has, older numbers which have absolutely changed with those fleeing the US and the large welcoming of Syrian refugees of %43.7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Toronto#Demographics
        We should not get into a spitting contest over population breakdown or numbers in general. They are not the point. I took issue with the seeming suggestion that Canada and Toronto is a white monolith culturally,ethnically, and demographically.

      • That’s not really what I meant about being more diverse. It wasn’t meant to be insulting. Or meant to mean Canada is all white at all. I’ve been to Toronto, Montreal, Banff national park. Which is one of the most beautiful places I’ve been. Always felt welcome and comfortable no matter where I went.

        And for the record, I usually am the 1st one to say, let’s move on from politics on this board. Usually because I know there are a few “friends ” north of the border that can’t help but spit on our politics, country, players etc. It must be nice to sit back and judge from their ivory towers in the land of no problems!

        Unfortunately, politics have found a topic on this board. I truly wish they had not, but the main stream media, is going to be the main steam media. More divisive , corrupt, and misinformed than most politicians or players taking a knee…. agenda , agenda , agenda.

        Problems, yes we have some. No different than Canada or anywhere else.

        We are a diverse, nation that does care about other races, religions etc as we’ve all just witnessed through a few natural disasters.

        We’re far from perfect, but we’re also far from the rich, greedy, arrogant country full of hate that so many other nations would like to paint us.
        After all, we did just have a black president for 8 years …. I don’t think we became this hateful nation since November

      • Nyr, I hear what you are saying. In my younger and dumber days I was guilty of being overly harsh on the US. I am older and wiser now. Every place does have their issue; what is frustrating is the US seems to always keep its best foot behind and shove its dirty sticky foot forward. We all have such a foot, just try not to lead with it. I had a lot of issues with George W Bush but i’d trade 9 + months of Trump for 4 terms of George W any day of the week an twice on Sunday. It hurts me that my friends, American and Canadian ex-pats are living through this.

        Sorry all, enough rants from me, hockey only from now on. Thanks Lyle for letting these discussions go on, it really is the only opportunity I have seen/heard for a reasonably respectful conversation

      • I appreciate your opinion.And I’ve been on the record saying I’m not a Trump fan at all. But I’m certainly no Obama, or Clinton fan either. Obama trampled over the constitution like no president ever, and Clinton ultimately started a landslide of trade issues and sense of santa in the office that has lead to gross entitlement among our youth.

        I’d take 50 years of George W over 1 year of most of our presidents! When George left the office, Iran wasn’t nuclear capable, and North Korea didn’t have a missle that was equivalent to a bottle rocket! Ignoring all this, and helping Iran reach where they are was a serious problem! Every president we’ve had has a ton of blame in where we’re at! Now we have North Korea threatening our annihilation. Iran not far behind. Iraq wasn’t in chaos from a premature withdrawal, we weren’t unconstitutionally forced into healthcare….. People here grew tired! Tired of more and more free stuff that we’re forced to pay for the people that don’t want to contribute.

        Personally, I’m tired of sitting behind someone in a grocery store that is texting away on a 800.00 cell phone and sliding an ebt card for their grocerys and getting into a 30-40k car in the parking lot. Something had to give in American politics! And the present we inherited was Trump! But at least he said the right things, instead of pandering for votes with the promise of buying more free stuff on my dime!

        My hope is tomorrow I wake up without American politics on the center stage on this board…. or at least a mention of Rob Ford if there is! Lol

    • Your daily comments are an absolute joke. Maybe the world will stay out of America’s business when they stay out of the world’s? lol

      • When we want the opinion of any foreigners on our politics, political leaders etc…. we’ll send you a voter registration. Until then…. we don’t really give a rats behind about them! “Lol”

        Also, everyone loves the US when we’re sending them checks , jobs, or military aid, disaster aid, more checks… when we take on the majority costs of the UN and others just sit at the table with alligator arms when it’s time to pay the tab!

        I’ve seen the Canadian people here weigh in on Canadian players that don’t want to come home….. or Rick Nash’s refusal to waive his NTC for any Canadian team…. ” he should never play for Canada again” etc. I guess he has no rights ? Or is it just different because it offends you?

        Jon McGill…. as I CLEARLY stated above 99.9 % of people who work for US companies don’t have the right to openly speak their minds….. why do pro athletes?

        Do you have to be a certain color to understand racism? Or is it a one way street? White people can’t be discriminated against? I never said I was an expert, but obviously by your statement you’re not even a novice on the subject!

      • Just because your ignorant of foreign policy, other countries, and your own country doesn’t mean everyone else is. Don’t bother replying, I won’t be checking this thread again.

      • Lol. I’m sure you will! Ignorant? What foreign policy? The wars we’ve been involved in? The ones Canada was also involved in? Or you just conveniently forget that? Or … Canada gets a mulligan? I guess we forced Canada to get involved?

    • My guess is that you are white and so now an expert on racism and the rights of players, in or outside of Canada. Why should players lose their right to speak their minds> Why “no comment”? Is it that you are offended or that you actually don’t believe in the rights of players to be political?

      • I believe he, like me, feels that of COURSE they have the right to their political opinion – BUT, that using a national stage NOT designed or intended for such demonstrations (same with so-called “stars” in Hollywood mouthing off their political biases at world-televised events) is not the way to go about it. They want to voice their opinions? Do it in letters to the editor or in social media like the rest of us.

      • Exactly George!

        They can do as they wish on their time. Nobody is paying them $200 a ticket for their opinion!

        One thing 99% will not do …. do anything to make a difference on their own time, or reach into their pockets for their cause.

      • One thing you have to realize, Nyr4Life, is that Canadians are among the world leaders when it comes to self-righteous my-s*^t-don’t-stink assertions.

        Ron Moore – and it doesn’t matter if he’s Canadian or not – should heed the wise person who observed “the minute you think you have the right to belittle others because you THINK you’re better than them, is the same minute you’ve proven you’re worse.”

      • George and Ny4life: based on the restrictions to voicing ones opinions when can a person do so? Tweets from home are out apparently, letter to the editor should be out for same reason unless you send them anonymously. So when/where? Perhaps only in a closet with the door closed? Employees IMO are being denied unfairly their right to free speech by those clauses you mentioned Ny4life. I get if you start spouting of about the company you work for, your boss or co-worker or clients. I get consequences illegal behaviour. I also feel that if SO many people are speaking out there must be a fire causing all this smoke. I get that there will be groups of nut-jobs out there. There are also larger groups of intelligent people out there. Most disagreements are usually caused by one side or the other misunderstanding the other. It is only free and respectful discussion that can solve it. The more free speech the better.

      • Habsfan.
        I may have misspoke a little bit.
        To be clear, If I choose to attach my company name to my personal social media like Facebook, they can monitor what I say, and I can be disciplined or terminated. Or if I were to choose to keep my profile public …. even without attaching their name .

        I obviously choose to keep them private, and not attatch their name. These days most things people say or feel or misconstrued into something racial or inappropriate. You say “we need welfare reform” someone cries racist….. because obviously all white people are rich devils! I kid I kid ….

      • Nyr4life, I get your point, fair enough. So tell me, could you be misconstruing the folks who take a knee?

      • Thanks habsfan,
        To answer your question….
        No. And here’s why.
        People in the country are massively confused by the 1st amendment and what it means. People think it’s there so they can say whatever they wish and skate away. They’re wrong!
        The 1st amendment is there to protect you from criminal and or civil persecution. From the government. It does not protect you from opinion of people, private organizations at all.

        It’s there so you can say “Trumps an idiot ” or Obamas an idiot” without being persecuted or imprisoned. As Long as it’s not threatening, or slanderous. You’re good. It’s not there to protect you from being fired, or disliked for your opinion.

        These players have the name recognition and money to do plenty of things on their own without insulting more than half the people in the country. The Ravens, Steelers, Sharks, Rangers are private organizations that should not stand or tolerate these type of tactics on their time. They’ve had no problems in the past taking a hardline with players or teams on other matters. They refused to let a player wear 9-11 cleats, they refused the cowboys to pay tribute to 5 police officers killer in Texas by protesters….. why bend now?

        Again, people go to games to get away from this BS of politics. They pay 100-300 per ticket , 50 for parking, 27 per beer…. not to be insulted. And obviously by the reactions in a lot of crowds Sunday, they have insulted people. People instead of just booing, should have walked out the gates.

  2. Most NHL teams are blind when it comes to the waiver wire.

    Waiver Wire is at Noon everyday.

    Notables for today are:

    Andre Benoit
    Christian Thomas
    Frank Corrado
    Jared Tinordi
    Zach Trotman
    Ty Rattie
    Mackenzie Blackwood
    Spencer Foo

    Previous Notables unclaimed:

    Rocco Grimaldi
    Viktor Svedberg
    Michael Leighton
    Chris DiDomenico
    TJ Brennan
    Kevin Porter
    Bobby Butler
    Jordan Subban
    Zach Redmond
    Antoine Bibeau
    Francois Beauchemin

  3. So if you pluck a guy off waiver he must stay on your NHL club all season or you need to offer him back right? Something like that? Which means no one takes a bubble guy unless they need to and no one dumps a top six guy. Do I have that right? Not familiar with waiver process at all.

    • Yes. You have the meat & potatoes of it correct.

      If a player clears waivers & is called up he can then be sent down with out having to clear waivers unless he plays a certain # of games. If he achieves that # then he would have to clear waivers again.

      • Thank you AZ and striker for getting us back to hockey! I have not checked yet but I would be minorly surprised if someone did not to a shot at Shinkaruk(sp?), seems like a decent prospect to me.

      • Sorry, and Delvechio too!

  4. This is a free world if guys don’t wanna stand who cares? Let them kneel, let’s be honest trump is an idiot who should not be in the position he is. The media is making a big deal of it and it shouldn’t be

    • Let’s be really honest, when you are wearing a uniform or a company shirt, you’re no longer under the protection of the 1st amendment.

      And I’m not a Trump fan, but did we really need 4-8 more years of Santa in the White House?
      My paycheck says no…. we didn’t! Along with my increases in health premiums, deductibles etc. We are seriously at a breaking point!

  5. Politics have no business in sports. A player wearing a uniform in any sport, represents that team as long as he wears the uniform. If someone wants to exercise their first ammendmants rights, they should do it out of uniform. As soon as they do it while wearing the uniform they are bringing politics into sports.

    • teams decision and they said go for it.

    • Then why are you commenting about politics in sports? If you don’t like it, don’t watch.

      • That simplistic response (to many things) has been shot full of so many holes it makes Swiss cheese look like a brick.

        I watch it – and I will continue to complain to those in charge for turning a blind-eye to others using their TV production – directed at the general public – as a platform for opposing POLITICAL views which have absolutely nothing to do with what they are advertising. Otherwise, let it become a political free-for-all and make the event secondary.

  6. Minority athletes about to take a knee in protest should take a look beforehand—a look at the people in the seats. They will see an audience composed mostly of non-minorities, but one that roots and cheers for them without discrimination. One that has paid dearly to see them perform, and has made them rich. by doing so. If they look long enough, they might realize that that audience majority could become disturbed and insulted if it keeps being assured that it and those like it are biased and cruel.

    In turn, a person in the audience majority should understand that kneeling players are not admonishing everybody but him. Rather, they are addressing him as one of a class of people who they feel wrong them. The protest certainly is not directed at those in the player’s minority group. Now, that is rashness as well as bias

    Good sense should be the rule when one chooses to use his right of expression. I have a right to wear sandals to work, but the boss has a right to send me home if he thinks I am dressed inappropriately.

    • Well said!

  7. I recommend an article in today’s Toronto Sun – “Blue Jays’ Rowley Brings Sanity to anthem debate.”
    Rowley is a pitcher for Toronto, a graduate of West Point and a former first lieutenant in the US army. His comments are measured, thoughtful and worth considering.

    • I have to disagree.

      “Absolutely not,” he said in an interview Monday as the controversy raged on. “The majority of the athletes who are kneeling have made it very, very clear that they mean no disrespect and that they love their country and that they’re not disrespecting the flag or the service members. ”

      Nobody here is hearing that…. at all! Certainly not out loud. Maybe page 27 of the Jonestown examiner. But it’s certainly not being displayed on main stream media.

      And again, it’s not just about the military, or the president, or anyone specific. It’s about all of us as a country! #standup!