NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 28, 2017

by | Sep 28, 2017 | News, NHL | 7 comments

Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan defended his team’s decision to accept an invitation to the White House.

Latest on the Penguins plus updates on P.K. Subban, Wayne Simmonds, Robby Fabbri & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan yesterday defended his team’s decision to visit the White House on Oct. 10 to commemorate their 2017 Stanley Cup championship.

Sullivan said the decision was not made to make a political statement. He also defended captain Sidney Crosby from criticism on this issue, calling it unfair that he should bear the brunt of responsibility for the team’s decision.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins made their intentions clear months ago but nobody voiced a word of opposition until President Trump’s critical comments against NFL players taking a knee during the anthem and his rescinding his invitation to the NBA’s Golden State Warriors.

 On June 13, Penguins president and CEO David Morehouse said the club would never turn down that invitation and would go as a team. A month later, co-owner Ron Burkle said he didn’t share many policy positions with President Trump, but felt the annual visit by a Stanley Cup champion was a tradition that should be honored regardless of the occupant of the White House. 

In the team’s recent statement announcing the event, they said the visit was in no way supportive of the president’s views or policies. 

THE TENNESSEAN: Nashville Predators defenseman P.K. Subban said he would “never kneel” during the playing of the national anthem. He reportedly made the comments onstage during a fundraiser at a Nashville comedy club. Subban subsequently said he and his teammates believe people are allowed to voice their opinions, but as a team they’ve decided not to take a knee during the anthem.

“I realize that being a black hockey player, people are going to recognize that. That’s fine,” Subban said. “But I want to be recognized as one of the best players in the league and the best player in the league. And that’s what I work for every day.

“At the end of the day, whether you’re born purple, black, white or brown, you don’t control that. All you can control is what you do. That’s how you’re judged in this world, by what you do and your work ethic and your character. That’s how I’ve been judged. … I’d like to hope that people aren’t being judged by the color of their skin and their ethnic background.”

PHILLY.COM: Philadelphia Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds and San Jose Sharks winger Joel Ward are undecided about taking a knee during the national anthem, but both say they’re considering it. Should they do so, both players have the support of their respective teams.

SPORTSNET: The NHLPA issued a statement in support of players’ peaceful protests.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Athletes taking a knee have repeatedly said they are protesting police brutality against the black community in America. They’re not doing it to be disrespectful to the anthem or the flag. 

TSN: Ottawa Senators captain Erik Karlsson said doctors removed half of his ankle bone in his left foot during surgery in June to repair torn tendons in that foot. He started skating again last week. Karlsson hasn’t played any preseason game but is eyeing a return for the club’s season opener on Oct. 5. 

STLTODAY.COM: St. Louis Blues forward Robby Fabbri will miss the entire 2017-18 season after re-injuring his surgically repaired left knee. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is an unfortunate blow for Fabbri, who was hoping to get back on track after missing the final weeks of the regular season and playoffs last season. Here’s hoping this doesn’t finish his playing career. His absence will also put a serious dent into the Blues’ forward lines. 

NBC SPORTS: Defenseman Jared Cowen was released from his professional tryout offer with the Colorado Avalanche. The Dallas Stars also released winger R.J. Umberger from his PTO. Meanwhile, former first-round picks Emerson Etem, Beau Bennett and Stefan Matteau were among several players placed on waivers yesterday. 

THE BUFFALO NEWS: The Sabres claimed forward Jordan Nolan off waivers from the Los Angeles Kings. Nolan is the son of former Sabres coach Ted Nolan. 

TSN: Michael Farber interviewed former NHL star Paul Kariya, who has largely dropped out of sight from the hockey community after concussions forced his retirement. Kariya, who will be inducted this fall into the Hockey Hall of Fame, explains what he’s been doing  and the toll his injuries took upon his life. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The eye-opening moment of this interview was when Kariya said he had no memory of getting knocked out in Game Six of the Stanley Cup Final or anything else that happened until two days after the series was over. Kariya returned to that game and scored a key goal that forced that series to a seventh and deciding game. 



  1. good for sully. its equally ridiculous to denigrate a team for attending the white house as it is for denigrating a man for making a political statement.

    • It’s just ridiculous at this point. People taking it personally that the team as an organization doesn’t side with their politics. The right play, as a team and an organization, is to not pick a side. Why can’t people realize this? Everyone thinks they are special now. It a negative byproduct of social media. It’s not the Penguins place to publicly pick a side. They are for everyone that wants to be a fan. Yes ice hockey is not really for everyone. It’s maybe the most expensive sport to play. The cost of equipment and league fees unfortunately excludes a big number of the population from being able to play. But anyone can be a fan and the Pens and any other team should remain neutral so they don’t alienate any of their fan base. Plus Ron Burkle and Trump have been friendly since the 80s. And it’s his call more than anyone’s.

  2. way to go penguins..it should not even be an issue…he’s the president of the u.s. if you get an invitation,YOU GO!!!

    • Unless you’re a poor loser liberal, some of who function under the delusion that they were ordained to rule forever and whose noses get so far out of joint they will stop at nothing to re-attain power.

      • It’s why the conservative old people die off every generation. To make room for the next generation of old men to ridicule the younger generation. I sincerely hope I live long enough to be as wrong as your old behind George.

      • I’ve been anti-liberal – instinctively – for as long as I can remember. And I defy anyone to point to a liberal government anywhere where taxes did not rise, size of government increased, and jobs lost over the long haul.

      • If you are not a liberal at 25, you have no heart … if you are not a conservative at 35 you have no brain.

        I guess I was totally heartless.