NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 28, 2021
Nikita Kucherov denies he was injured in the semifinals, Joel Armia in COVID protocol again, Jean-Gabriel Pageau faces surgery, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
SPORTSNET: Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov denied suffering an injury during Game 6 of the semifinal series against the New York Islanders. He left the game early following a hit by Islanders defenseman Scott Mayfield and didn’t return. He was back in the lineup for the Lightning’s series-clinching win in Game 7. “There was no injury, I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said during yesterday’s media conference.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kucherov left that game in obvious pain and didn’t return. Lightning coach Jon Cooper wasn’t sure if his leading scorer would return for Game 7. So yes, he suffered an injury, though it wasn’t serious enough to keep him out of the lineup for the final game of that series. He logged the fourth-most ice time among Lightning forwards in Game 7.
TSN: Montreal Canadiens winger Joel Armia missed practice on Sunday and didn’t travel with the team to Tampa Bay after being placed in COVID-19 protocol. The club will release more details on Armia’s status today.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Armia was placed on the COVID protocol list back in March and missed eight games.
SI.COM/THE HOCKEY NEWS: Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin said he was not aware of sexual assault allegations made during the 2010 playoffs by a former player during his tenure as the club’s director of pro personnel.
“It came out recently,” said Bergevin. “There was a meeting that I’ve heard was done in Chicago. I was not part of any meeting and I was not part of any decision based on that. I was not aware of what was going on at the time. You can go on the record with that.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bergevin was not among the Blackhawks senior front office personnel listed by TSN to have attended that meeting to address the allegations. A former Blackhawks marketing official recently said the alleged sexual assault of two players was an open secret among the staff within and outside the organization.
THE ATHLETIC: Arthur Staple reports a league source claims New York Islanders forward Jean-Gabriel Pageau deal with multiple injuries during the semifinal series against Tampa Bay. One of them will likely require surgery.
NEW YORK POST: Islanders captain Anders Lee said he’s ahead of his initial recovery timeline and expects to join his teammates for the start of training camp in September. He underwent season-ending knee surgery in March.