NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 29, 2017

by | Sep 29, 2017 | News, NHL | 9 comments

San Jose Sharks’ Joel Ward opted not to take a knee during the anthem before last night’s preseason game.

Latest on Joel Ward, Wayne Simmonds, Tyler Toffoli and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

THE MERCURY NEWS: San Jose Sharks winger Joel Ward did not join the social protest sweeping the NFL by kneeling during the national anthem during last night’s game against the Anaheim Ducks. Earlier in the day, he issued a statement via Twitter saying he believed the original meaning of the protest – bringing attention toward racial inequality and police brutality – had been lost.

Ward believes there are other ways to address the issue. “We need to be working on bridging the gap between people of all color, and between law enforcement and minorities. How can we be part of the solution and not part of the problem — or be another distraction from what the real issues are?”

CSNPHILLY.COM: Philadelphia Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds shared Ward’s opinion on the subject.

“All anyone wants to talk about right now is why they’re kneeling,” Simmonds said. “And if you’re disrespecting the Army or the national anthem or whatever it might be. People fail to see what the real issue is, or why Colin Kaepernick actually started this protest, and that he actually talked with an armed force member who was actually on CNN last night discussing all of these issues on a panel as to why he used the national anthem as a vehicle to get this out.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ward and Simmonds are right. Most folks are so obsessed with kneeling during the anthem that it’s overshadowed the original message about racial inequality, preventing a genuine discussion on how to address that issue. 

SPORTSNET: The NHL’s Board of Governors recently discussed the playing of national anthems before the start of games. The consensus opinion was the anthems have a place in the overall event of NHL games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, the playing of the American and Canadian anthems before NHL games will continue. Some folks feel the practice should be discontinued but it’s a longstanding tradition in the NHL and one I believe should continue. 

LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS: A healthy Tyler Toffoli could provide a significant boost to the Kings’ offense this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Toffoli missed 19 games last season to a knee injury and struggled through the final half of the schedule. The decline in his production contributed to the drop in the Kings’ offense in 2016-17. 

NJ.COM: New Jersey Devils center Brian Boyle could be in the lineup for the club’s season opener on Oct. 7. Boyle was recently diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia and hasn’t played or practiced during preseason. He’s receiving treatment for the disease and is expected to make a full recovery.

NBC SPORTS: Ottawa Senators goaltender Andrew Hammond and New York Rangers forward Matt Puempel were among the notables on waivers yesterday.

THE TENNESSEAN: The Nashville Predators donated a record-setting check for over $442,000 to a local children’s hospital.

NEWSDAY: The New York Islanders have submitted plan to construct a new arena at Belmont Park.




  1. “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder”, referencing a series of events that led to the Black Lives Matter movement and adding that he would continue to protest until he feels like “[the American flag] represents what it’s supposed to represent”.

    It was about not respecting the flag, for the reasons he stated. I can understand the grievances, but this was not a well thought out plan or a very productive way to achieve solutions.

  2. Disagree with the use of the national anthems played before games. Sports are nothing more than a source of entertainment, just like TV, movies, concerts and theater. We don’t play them then why for sports? They don’t anywhere other than North America and it’s not a long tradition either.
    No one has been able to convince me of a reason for having them before games.

    • It’s been in baseball for about 100 years. I’m pretty sure it exists n soccer internationally.

      But if there is no place in sports for anthems, imagine where personal beliefs and opinions of the players fall?

      • I have to agree with Ron Moore. Have always felt that anthems before a game serves absolutely NO purpose. I can recall when they were played in movie theatres – that stopped sometime in the early 1960s.

        I always felt that the old Red Army team had a great advantage when the Soviet anthem went on forever – something they were used to – putting the legs of the opposition to sleep.

      • I don’t know. To me, it’s a symbol of a bunch of people coming together for our national past times. Why not celebrate our national pride? And maybe even more in international games. Why have international games like the Olympics if there isn’t some sort of national pride behind it? Why not just the best athletes and no raising of a flag at the medal ceremony? Why even have the Olympics at all?

        Like I said, if there is no room for patriotism, there is definitely no need for players personal opinions or views. And certainly no need for celebration like the world just watch Odell Beckham Jr. pull off.

      • I thought we were just talking about pro sports. Yes, where the Olympics are concerned anthems are very much a part of the spectacle where athletes are representing their country.

        But pro sports teams from cricket to hockey to basketball to baseball to soccer to football are made up of multiple nationalities and I just don’t see what it accomplishes at those games. Maybe play the host anthem on opening night of each season and that’s it.

  3. Your telling me that everyone’s goaltending is good enough that Hammond clears waivers untouched…. seems legit….

    • Hammond is crap

      • That’s a bit harsh. Are all journymen goalies “crap” in your eyes?