NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 12, 2019

by | Nov 12, 2019 | News, NHL | 48 comments

Sportsnet parts ways with Don Cherry, Jesse Puljujarvi to remain in Finland this season, the Coyotes extend GM John Chayka’s contract, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: The Arizona Coyotes blew a three-goal lead but went on to edge the Washington Capitals 4-3 on shootout goals by Nick Schmaltz and Conor Garland. Evgeny Kuznetsov scored twice for the Capitals. Earlier in the day, the Coyotes announced general manager John Chayka signed a contract extension.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Only 26 when hired as GM in 2016, Chayka’s made significant changes to the Coyotes roster. He re-signed Oliver Ekman-Larsson to an eight-year extension, acquired Schmaltz, Phil Kessel, Darcy Kuemper, Derek Stepan, Antti Raanta, Jason Demers, and Niklas Hjalmarsson, and drafted Clayton Keller and Jakob Chychrun. His moves appear to be paying off. The Coyotes look like a playoff contender this season.

Sebastian Aho scored twice and Joel Edmundson enjoyed a three-point performance as the Carolina Hurricanes thumped the Ottawa Senators 8-2. Andrei Svechnikov, Brett Pesce, Ryan Dzingel, Warren Foegele, and Martin Necas each collected two points.


SPORTSNET: announced yesterday Don Cherry was immediately stepping down from his role on Hockey Night in Canada. The move came after Cherry singled out new Canadian immigrants during Saturday’s Coach’s Corner segment for not wearing poppies to honor the country’s veterans and troops leading up to Remembrance Day. Cherry’s comments sparked considerable outrage in the press and social media, sparking apologies by Cherry’s co-host Ron MacLean, the network, and the NHL.

After 38 years, Don Cherry is no longer on Hockey Night in Canada (Photo via NHL.com).

In an interview with the Toronto Sun, Cherry refused to walk back his comments, insisting his remarks weren’t racial or bigoted but made out of respect for Canada’s troops. He also said he felt betrayed over the firing, adding he wasn’t going to be turned into a “tamed robot” to keep his job.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Regardless of what you think of Cherry, his departure from Hockey Night in Canada creates a void it could struggle to replace. He’d been on the show since 1981 and had his Coach’s Corner segment for over 35 years. Former NHL executive Brian Burke is rumored as a potential substitute.

Cherry’s dismissal drew considerable reaction among hockey fans and pundits. Some supported him while others are glad to see him go. He’s had a long history of making controversial statements on topics that had little or nothing to do with hockey. The latest proved to be a bridge too far, sparking an intense backlash the network and the league couldn’t ignore or gloss over with apologies.

TSN: Jesse Puljujarvi intends to spend the rest of this season playing in Finland. The 21-year-old restricted free agent opted to return to his home country to await a trade by the Oilers. The club still retains his NHL rights.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ll have more on Puljujarvi in the Rumors section.

Ottawa Senators goaltender Anders Nilsson, Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews, and Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Nov.10, 2019.

SPORTSNET: Columbus Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno received a three-game suspension by the league’s department of player safety for elbowing Colorado Avalanche forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare on Saturday.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby will miss at least one game with an undisclosed ailment. He didn’t join the team on its five-day trip to the New York area.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Bruins defenseman Torey Krug is sidelined with an upper-body injury. The club called up Uhro Vaakanainen on Monday.

WASHINGTON POST: Winger Richard Panik has returned to the Capitals after missing 10 games on long-term injury reserve.

THE DETROIT NEWS: Red Wings winger Justin Abdelkader is sidelined for three weeks with a mid-body injury.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: The Kings placed Trevor Lewis on injured reserve.

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs placed goaltender Michael Hutchinson on waivers and called up netminder Kasimir Kaskisuo.

STLTODAY.COM: The St. Louis Blues signed free agent forwards Troy Brouwer and Jamie McGinn to professional tryout offers.


  1. Ooof. 8-2. THAT is a serious s*&t-kicking. Back to the drawing board D.J. & Pierre.

    • It wasn’t as bad as the score indicated, George. The Hurricanes were clearly the better team yesterday, but not THAT much better. It was just one of those games where everything they threw at the net seemed to find a way in. And in one case, a pass found it’s way in.

      • I suppose – if one is looking for a silver lining in a nightmare. Nilsson goes from star of the week to getting pulled makes it look even uglier.

        But, hey, the Canes – a pretty good team – were coming off a 4-game losing street and finally back home so there was likely a lot of frustration being vented there as well – especially after the loss the night before in Ottawa where they clearly dominated the game over the second and third periods.

  2. Although more articulate than Cherry, Brian Burke can be just as unpredictable with his commentary. He’ll say essentially the same things but with more “polish.”

    • Earlier this year Burke said the Neal-Lucic trade wasn’t as bad as it looks because although Neal had 8 goals at the time, Lucic started 2 fights. File him under more of the same. IMO, Roberto Luongo or Kevin Bieksa would be a far better than Burke.

  3. Good riddance to Cherry! Long overdue! When someone is permitted to get away with the outrageous for so long, they think they can get away with anything and they always go too far. Hockey Night in Canada will be just fine without him. Now he’ll have time to learn to count to six. Yeah, us Habs fans will never let that go.

    As for a replacement, I think HNIC can do better that an old retreat like Burke. A fresh, young perspective would be much better. Roberto Luongo, anyone?

    • Guy I’d like to see is Jeremy Roeneke.

      • Get your feet off the table

      • LOL

    • Hi Howard

      Bobby Lou for sure would be very knowledgeable and quite entertaining. He is a card.

      I’m not sure how the dynamic would work out with RM; but Ron is versatile so I’m sure he could easily adapt to Bobby Lou

      As long as it’s not Burke … that would end my viewing for sure…100 %

      I watch all Leafs and all Pens games and parts (sometimes all) of others…. through PVR and FFWD through breaks and intermissions… the only non on ice I stop the FFWD for is Coach’s Corner …. I have always been entertained

      🙏🤞 not BB

  4. And let’s not forget one important fact. The game’s the thing. Not intermission.

    • Right on, Howard.

    • Yep. And when you get to be my age, the intermission is used for .. err .. satisfying urgent body messages. Besides, I had grown tired a long time ago of the constant catch-phrase “for all you kids out there …”

      As Pengy notes, when you’re pushing 86 – and firmly set in your ways (and biases) – it’s time to stop locking horns with the brutal dominance of the politically-correct. With him out of the way they can now turn their full attention to other priorities – such as getting Edmonton to change their nickname in the CFL to something other than “Eskimos”

  5. I did quite a lengthy post yesterday on Rememberance Day/Armistice Day/ Veterans’ Day, Poppies and Don Cherry

    WRT his firing; I would like to say that I believe the Network was just waiting for a chance to make another cut.

    To me , the jist of his message was a passionate plea to encourage everybody to support our beloved vets and current armed forces

    I guess I tune out his consistent bastardizing of European hickey names and misguided “speaking before thinking” rants and take in the big message.

    I’m white and Protestant and was born and raised in Canada. I can in no way put myself in the shoes and feelings of those who are new Canadians. My mother immigrated from the UK before I was born. That’s my closest experiential knowledge of what it is to be new here. Perhaps I’m blind to the message that Sportsnet has used to fire DC.

    Again , with my background ; perhaps I’m completely blind to what others are feeling ; I took it as a tirade by an oft ranter to scurry up waning support of those who have, are, and will make tremendous sacrifices for all of us

    I have enjoyed Coach’s Corner for years and the banter/babbling by Don countered by the quips/puns/admonishments by the more level headed and wry Ron provided great entertainment.

    It was nearing time for him to retire from this anyway (he’s nigh 86) but it is sad to see him go

    If he is replaced by the irascible monotoned BB…. I shan’t be watching

    If I’ve offended any new Canadians by my comments above, it was certainly not my intention … just my humble viewpoint; I truly apologize if my post has.



    • People like Cherry have this consuming need to draw attention to themselves and make everything about themselves. Passionate calls for people to support our veterans and contribute to help veterans in financial need is indeed noble. But recklessly pointing a finger of blame at immigrants, with absolutely no supporting evidence, is shameful.

      • Hi Howard

        Absolutely no challenge hear wrt DC and his ego and as you’ve said

        “consuming need to draw attention to themselves and make everything about themselves. ”

        No challenge at all

        Again just my opinion …. but my take (again I’m white , Protestant and born and raised here so my personal experience as a new Canadian is absolutely nil) is that his over-all heart felt message was to stir up more support for vets (living and passed) and current armed forces.

        Part of his rant centred on little support in downtown T.O. … which I took to be a jab at white collar mid to upper class vs. hard working blue collar workers (I’m part of the former, my late father , the latter)

        If I drill down his narrative I do see how others have interpreted it…, I’m not oblivious to their position

        I just stick with my viewpoint that it was a passionate speech by a mumble mouthed “speak before you think” 85 year old that truly sought more attention and respect for the armed forces (past, present , and future)

        I’m just one with an opinion and respect all others’ opinions

        It’s just the way I read it

        Is he snarky, snarly , opinionated, me first …. yep

        Strong willed and no back down …. yep

        Is he outdated … yep

        Is it in good timing for him to retire …. yep

        Do I challenge his support of vets ; police and firefighters …. no I don’t

        Again … with my zero experience as a new Canadian …. I interpreted his rant as a passionate speech with one intention that he hastily mis-worded and it’s cost him his job

        His spewed diatribe muffled his overall messaging IMHO

        Again , Just my opinion

    • Don cherry has needed to go for a long time. His rants have usually been insulting and demeaning to large groups of people for far too often.

      He’s and out of touch fossil, and I’m glad he’s gone. He rarely has had anything good or semi intelligent to say about about hockey in a long time.

      • Very well said, Ice Bear

      • The one thing he has harped on in the past – and with which I do agree – is the “suit-of-armour” approach to certain elements of the hockey gear – like elbow pads – which are at the root cause of a lot of head trauma.

  6. The things new immigrants have to endure are horrible!
    Instant and free Health Care, Unemployment benefits, free education… how do they do it?

    These are different times. New immigrants never had it so good and all we do is apologize for (maybe) hurting their feelings.

    Cherry should’ve been gone mostly because he’s annoying, now we’ve gone and given the firing a righteous tone… Lincoln would be proud of that!

    • Immigrants to Canada and the US are certainly very fortunate to be able to settle in a free society where they are afforded opportunity they never previously had. They will be the first to say that. But if you think they have it easy you’re wrong. Settling in a new country is never easy, especially since most of them have no money and have to learn the language. They are indeed fortunate and many succeed greatly, but only after much work and hardship.
      My father came to Canada as a refugee after WW2, a young man alone having lost family members and friends. He made good and was very successful. He was indeed one of the lucky ones in escaping with his life when 6 million of our people did not. But those first years were far from easy, as it is even for today’s refugees.

      • A free society? What are you smoking? There is nothing free about this society. You need a license or a permit to do anything. You can’t even play the guitar in front of 7 eleven without a permit. You need a license to fish and to hunt. You’re not even free to kill yourself if you’ve had enough. There is nothing free about this society.

      • A think freedom of speech and a free society get a little mixed up when spoken about.

        You are free to express any opinion you want …. when you’re on your own time. When you’re dealing with a workplace, social media or even a Spectorshockey page… you are speaking under their policies….. not freedom of speech. Hence all those disclaimers on any page you can post on.

        Freedom of speech also doesn’t mean that unpopular speech will go without consequence….. .. you’re not free from consequences of what you say…. especially when dealing with a company or organization. Doesn’t even have to be when you’re on the clock. My company has a policy…. you make a statement on social media , email, publicly that reflects badly upon the company…. and they reserve the right to discipline or terminate you. 100% within the law and their right. My answer….? I do not have the company I work for associated to any social media etc.

        Side note, I think people are free to take their own lives…. what possible consequences could someone face from their government or at all…. other than death …. that they provided.

      • Agree Nyr4life, Mr Cherry can still say whatever he wants. He can get on twitter, start a podcast, etc. Sportsnet just aren’t going to pay him to say whatever he wants.
        Which they are free to do.

      • Deee, when I think about being free it isn’t about a hunting or fishing license, of course you need one or we wouldn’t have many fish left for those who actually do it responsibly.
        You can play a guitar in a public park, but not in front of a 7-11 as that is private property. Just like your front yard. You want folks hanging out there?
        Is our democracy free for all or just those who contribute large sums of $$ to campaigns in exchange for changes to the tax code and regulations?
        Now that is a worthwhile discussion regarding freedom of our society.

    • BadCowboyDan, I think I understand what you are saying, but not sure.
      So you don’t like immigrants because Canada and the USA are better countries than the ones they came from?
      Uhhh, ya?
      Lincoln would be proud because the Cherry firing had a righteous tone? I have no idea what that is about.
      Please enlighten us.

      • Where did I say I didn’t like immigrants?

        enlighten me…

        As for the Lincoln comment, you’ll have to read a few books…

      • If you want to be politically correct be sure to use the preferred pronoun.

      • Fair enough BadCowboyDan, perhaps I misread the “all we do is apologize for hurting their feelings” as some sort grievance you had against them. The we vs. them part. To me we are all on the same team as a country of immigrants.
        My bad and my apologies if I was wrong.
        Maybe just a sign of the times where they are used as a scapegoat for advantage by some folks in politics, that now gets repeated too often IMO.

    • I believe you are confused between immigrants and refugees.

      For anyone who has migrated through the normal channels, you go through a process and that costs money, you also need to prove that you are productive – Canada doesn’t just let any immigrant in, if anything there is brain drain in other countries when the more accomplished and educated folks move here.

      I don’t see you as the apologizing type, I see you are someone uninformed who has an opinion.

      • Taz, that is bang on.
        In the past year I have hired 2 recent immigrants, both engineers with the very specific credentials we were looking for. Both are doing very well so far. Professional guys who take their work seriously, but also work well with everybody.
        Here in Alberta we had a significant shortage of qualified people for skilled positions before Oil dropped. Fort Mac, contrary to popular perception, may have been, and might still be, the most diverse city in the country as recruitment for these positions became expansive.
        Diversity of cultures and thought make organizations stronger, and I believe makes our country stronger.
        Happy to have you.
        Even if you don’t know sh** about hockey!

  7. Howard you seem to know a lot about nothing are you Seinfeld or our current Prime Minister.

  8. I don’t think Cheery got fired because of the backlash, there is more out there that support him then don’t. There is a reason why he was still on the air at the age of 85 because people still tuned into watch.

    Cherry didn’t get fired until yesterday, why because Sportsnet wanted him to walk back him comment which he refused to do and that left them with little choice.

    Those who watched Cherry over the years know exactly what he meant. Just by reading come comments like Howard, Chrism and Taz, they didn’t want Cherry gone because of his comment on Saturday, they simply jumped on the cause of the day because they never liked Cherry and always wanted him gone and that has a lot to do with the overall decision.

    • Speaking for me that’s essentially correct. If that was cherrys first misstep I wouldn’t give it a second thought exempt maybe an oops… coulda phrased that better. I believe in the nhl and it’s future growth. The game has little room for growth in Canada so some hero of the vocal minority is unnecessary. But for the game to grow in areas that are not traditional hockey hot spots you have to kill off the impression that hockey is a second tier sport. Kill the image of mustached goons staging planned fights while the Benny hill theme plays behind them. And cherry was a poster child for why the game shouldn’t be taken seriously. Him and milbury.

      • That puts it in a perspective that is impossible to refute. Too bad the U.S. outlets couldn’t find justification for dumping Milbury … and Pierre Maguire.

      • Chrism you’re still WRONG! it’s the vocal minority that are loud and clear. Chrism do you get coaches corner in the US? CBC is a Canadian broadcasting i sure most people in the US don’t know the name Don Cherry your comment is a little reaching.

        When speaking of the NHL it’s soft in the regular season and turns into the sport it was meant to be in the playoffs. You may like the skill and no hitting. Personally i like both and yes i agree with you don’t need goons or stage fights.

        I don’t think you know what you’re talking about in respect to Cherry. You don’t like him that fine, but it’s obvious with that comment you don’t know his content other then when he has misspoken.

        If the NHL has an image problem maybe because it’s not diversified, how many minorities are represented in the NHL, on TV Networks, who’s on the bench, behind the bench, in the front office, the media scrums. Maybe the NHL and media coverage need to be more diversified and more inclusive to draw more minorities to the game of hockey.

      • Not wrong caper. Your comment about only really hearing him when he misspoke is accurate… for me and much of the rest of the world outside Canada. Which he did frequently. I still hear his voice on sports radio here in Pittsburgh frequently… as a way to poke fun at “the silly goofy Canadian hockey fan.” And that is how he is portrayed other places I’ve traveled. I am extrapolating that my experience with his image… and that image being attached to the league I love, is fairly representative of most of the nhl fans outside of, in that context, is the vocal minority coming out of Canada.

        It may have been a Canadian show but it’s highlights when played around the world disparaged the nhl in most circumstances. The nhl is a better place now that he is gone.

        Solidpoint on the diversity issue.

    • Good points Caper.

      I have always enjoyed Don Cherry. He has arguably had more influence on the game than anyone else over his time at the CBC. Voted one of Canada’s greatest Canadians.

      Showed the game a little differently and very intelligently. Played the clown.

      So many people have failed to see how intelligent Cherry is and how knowledgeable of the game he is.

      Sometimes he has said dumb things. He is stubborn. This time too dumb and too stubborn.

      I will miss him.

      • I respect Don Cherry more than I respect Ron McLean

        And I will be watching NHL hockey on TSN

      • Caper, “misspoken” doesn’t mean what you think. Rather it means the wrong word was uttered to communicate the intended thought. I never had the impression DC misspoke. It’s just his vantage point has passed.
        Not sure if the politically appropriate vantage point will pass muster over time.
        Still DC didn’t misspeak; said exactly what he thought.

    • And I 100% disagree. I played hockey last night with 15 guys not one of which has watched a coach’s corner in years and all are passionate hockey watchers and mostly Leafs fans — not sure that last part is relevant. And not one of them would bother to voice their lack of interest in or support of Don Cherry. Vocal minorities are a lousy way to take the pulse of anything. Squeaky wheels not withstanding.

    • Caper, your assumption is incorrect. I was completely indifferent about Don Cherry, I for one don’t even watch his segment. Intermission for me is to do other things, like help my wife with dishes or play with my daughter, among other things.
      I wasn’t on social media tweeting that he should get fired or crying from a balcony, I believe what he did was wrong and he got what he deserved.

      Its cool that you hold him in high regard for his entertainment and hockey value, but for you to feel that comment is no big deal shows how out of touch you are with the trials of being an immigrant and facing racism.

      For Don to say such a thing shows his ignorance. not only to social norms but actual history. India and Pakistan, the two countries that make up the majority of immigrants in Mississauga were part of the allies, the death toll for them far exceeds the death tolls for Canadians. These ‘immigrants’ also had forefathers that went to war for the same cause. When he says ‘show some respect’ maybe he should do the same?

      He should not be on a public platform sharing a message of division. The irony of him getting fired on memorial day provides for some delicious irony.

  9. Well said Caper your 100 percent right.

  10. As a lifetime US citizen and living in the same town (pop 10,000) for all 59 years, my favorite Canadian programs are being essentially eliminated.
    Hockey Central at Noon has turned into “the life and times of Anthony Stewart” who played a few seasons as a 3rd and 4th liner with the rest of the time spent in the minors. Who cares about Stewart or his childhood, limited experiences and brother Chris who is in the press box at Philly (but Chris has always taken the night off – sometimes when playing and sometimes officially in the press box). And I certainly don’t want to listen to the geek Marek. So … I’m looking programming with real experienced and longing for the days with Doug McLean, Gord Stellick, John Shannon, etc. Thank goodness Brian Burke still occupies a spot on Fridays!!!
    Now Coach’s Corner is essentially ruined without Don Cherry. I record all the games and sometimes the only pause I make is for the intermissions. Chris Johnston, Elloitt Friedman are the BEST! But Coach’s Corner will never, ever be the same without DC.

    Hockey Night in Canada

  11. If Cherry’s comments were directed at a group of people who didn’t wear poppies in willful irreverence of Canadian heroes and as a show of their disdain for Canadian traditiion, his outrage is justified. If everybody at the hockey game stands for O Canada, even a new citizen there can’t plead ignorance for not standing..

    However, if the people Cherry criticized were simply uninured, Cherry is certainly guilty of rash judgement and deserving of its consequences.

    It always makes sense, though, for a guest to take off his shoes before entering the home of a friend whose custom is to not wear shoes inside the house.

    • I like this.

      • Yep

      • He really should post more.