NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 3, 2021

by | Oct 3, 2021 | News, NHL | 30 comments

Robin Lehner accuses several teams of medical malpractice plus the latest on Nicklas Backstrom, Jonathan Drouin, Jack Johnson and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

ESPN.COM: Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Robin Lehner alleged several NHL teams regularly gave players drugs such as benzodiazepines and Ambien without prescriptions. He said the Golden Knights weren’t among those clubs but implied he’d been on teams that had done so.

Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Robin Lehner (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lehner can expect a call by NHL HQ if he hasn’t already been contacted. He’ll be in hot water if he can’t substantiate his allegation. If he can, however, it could prompt an investigation by the league.

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom said his injured hip is improving but there’s no timetable for his return. The ailment doesn’t require surgery and he’s been rehabbing it at an offsite location. His status remains week-to-week, leaving him questionable to start the season.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Jonathan Drouin is the 2020-21 recipient of the Jean Beliveau Trophy, awarded annually to the Canadiens player who best exemplifies leadership qualifies in the community. Drouin’s been involved in numerous charities, including those helping children and sick people.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Drouin receiving this honor takes on greater significance when one remembers he took a leave of absence from the Canadiens last season to deal with anxiety. Despite that, he still maintained his charitable work.

The Canadiens announced defenseman Sami Niku is sidelined indefinitely after suffering a concussion in Friday’s preseason game against the Ottawa Senators.

TSN: The Canadiens also claimed goaltender Samuel Montembeault off waivers from the Florida Panthers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is seen as an insurance move by the Canadiens with starter Carey Price still recuperating from offseason knee injury. His status for the start of the season remains uncertain.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: Sources claim the Colorado Avalanche are expected to sign defenseman Jack Johnson, who’s in training camp on a professional tryout offer. With Devon Toews sidelined, he’s likely to fill a spot as the fifth or sixth blueliner to start the season.




  1. Obviously Sammy m is revenge for Florida claiming juulson last year. This move can’t possibly have any other motivation.

    • Not so. This just in from Mr. Dundon – “The idea they would do it for revenge, or to get even, is silly,”

    • i don’t see it as revenge. juulsen has had a series of misfortune.i believe he was recently waived. its really a shame as he looked to be developing prior to the series of injuries. and with price seemingly iffy for the start of the season its a low risk.saw him a bit last season and he was steady if not spectacular.i saw him get drafted at bbt (noe FLAlive arena). truly sad

    • Not a great medium for sarcasm. I should know better by now.

      • I thought it was quite humorous. I was thinking of posting something along the same lines myself.

      • It’s a serious crowd in here Chrism.

        Some of your stuff goes over my head; but, not that one.

      • Cool

      • I guess you didn’t pick up the humor in my response.

  2. I don’t see any reason Lehner would lie about something like that.

    I do hope that his allegations are taken seriously and he doesn’t get the typical league treatment of people who ‘rock the boat’ when they speak out when they are not happy with an uncomfortable situation for the league and get fined or whatever.

    I, for one, am proud of him for being so outspoken on issues like these as well as his own mental health struggles. It is still like a taboo subject to a lot of people and most who do struggle with mental health issues aren’t able to advocate for themselves.

    Kudo’s to Robert for being a strong and outspoken advocate. From personal experience I know how hard it is to deal with as well as the personal strength it takes to believe in taking a stand for both yourself and others.

    I don’t for one second think that some players have not been given drugs without prescriptions.

  3. Biggest surprise of the bruins camp? the infective play of Ullmark, Swayman has continued on from last season no problem there, but in the two games with Ullmark he has let in some goals that Swayman or any other established goalies could have and should have stopped. Forbort?!? hasn’t impressed me at all he’s been exactly what I thought he would be not very effective. Nosek nose for the net trouble is he can’t never bury it. Huala’s looked good. Studnicka’s been decent but he is obviously not a second line centre. And Senyshyn is about useless as they come career Ahler. Maybe Rask coming back isn’t as bad as I had originally thought.

    • If I may …..Forbort is going to be a bad sign ….they Bruins have absolutely no toughness to protect their VIP players, which I think I said more than once …. They are begging Frederic to play with more of a edge but the problem is he can’t

      • Agree with you Joe, Forbort?!? has done exactly what I thought he would do nothing, I read he was good at blocking shots, I haven’t seen any evidence of that, in fact for a big guy he has looked a bit timid out there. I’ve said it before and some have been all over me like white on rye, Frederick is not much better than Senyshyn . Right now my biggest concern is the POOR play of Ullmark. Halak last year looked better. As of this moment Sweeney looks like he’s about as sharpe as a bingo dabber. I want to see that fool fired!

      • A few things, of I may……If Forbert can make it through the season without standing out in either a negative or positive way, that’s a win. Low event hockey from your middle/low pairing defensemen is what you’re looking for. The only time McQuaid was noticeable was when he was pummeling guys, and that was a pretty great thing in itself, but he played low event hockey and it worked out well for us.
        Ulmark has played a game and a half. He hasn’t looked comfortable to me as of yet, but there’s lots of time for him to find his game, as we’re merely in the preseason so far. I’m hoping he does, cause I was advocating for signing him back in January.
        Freddy is still a youngster. Again, plenty of time for him to develop that nasty streak which you fellas covet so. I’d bet he gets there sooner than later.
        Senyshyn just may be a bust. You win some, you lose some. Oh, what could have been!
        Lastly, is it white on Rye, or white on Rice?

  4. Samuel Montembeault is organizational depth in case Michael McNiven is claimed on waivers as he was released yesterday.

    Jonathan Drouin has been giving personally and endorsing charities in Montreal since he arrived but it has always been under reported. He has always made the charities and his foundation front and centre not himself.

    PK Subban on the other established a foundation and made himself central to the point of letting it be believed that he personally was donating millions.

    Cross checks are the theme this year but Sami Niku was hit in the numbers face first into the boards/glass and left the ice with a bloodied face shield and the penalty was zero.

    There’s buzz in Montreal that the Habs should claim Noah Juulsen off waivers, I’m thinking they should claim Cale Fleury who was put on waivers by Seattle.

    • Here is PK’s statement from Sept 16 when this was announced and he was asked the question.
      From NHL.com:

      Subban was asked why he decided to give so much money to the hospital; he answered with another question.

      “Why not?” he said. “You know what? For me, it’s taking the step forward, it’s taking the initiative to lead by example. It’s not about the money; it’s about leading by example and bringing a community together. In Montreal, this is my city just as much as it’s yours. It’s my job as well to make a commitment to this city that everyone can understand. If because I play for the Montreal Canadiens and people know me because of that and I can use that to raise money for the hospital, that’s my responsibility. I feel that.”

      Seems pretty clear to me.

      How much of his own has he donated? I have no idea.

    • Good comment on Niku. No league review either. I wonder if the Habs talked to the league about it. If they did, then once again we have the department of player safety led by people who couldn’t organize a drunk in a pub.

      Even if the league was not contacted about it they have already suspended at least one player for a bad pre-season hit so why isn’t an on the numbers hit creating a concussion penalized? Player safety might just as well wear red noses.

      Cale Fleury? If he couldn’t play for the Habs last year, and was cut now by a team with an expansion defence roster, what more needs to be said?

      PK Subban. Ed has it right. If the money comes in is it less helpful if brought in by someone the lime light?

      • Sorry, that should have been Ray has it right. Still working on my first coffee.

      • Let’s see, Habfan30:

        8. The Highest: Giving money, a loan, your time or whatever else it takes to enable an individual to be self-reliant.

        Which fits Subban’s raising money for charity very well. So it isn’t me or Ray who are misunderstanding.

        Once again you distinguish yourself as a quarrelsome blowhard who can’t respond with civility to even the mildest of responses – while criticizing others who “chafe for the sake of chafing.” Your hypocrisy is fluorescent.

        I ask rhetorically, why you bother posting on a site where the purpose is to exchange thoughts and ideas with others on a shared passion. You clearly see yourself as superior and there is an angry contempt for those who don’t agree with you. You are alone in your self admiration.

      • LJ,

        The 8 rungs of charity are based on Maimonides defining 8 levels of charity, each one higher than the one preceding it.

        The highest form of charity is to help sustain a person before they become impoverished by offering a substantial gift in a dignified manner, or by extending a suitable loan, or by helping them find employment or establish themselves in business so as to make it unnecessary for them to become dependent on others.

        I repeat, if you knew, understood or participated you would understand.

        You might consider not reading or responding to my posts .

        I really don’t care what your opinion is of me and am pretty sure you don’t care what my opinion is of you 🙂

      • You are right about one thing, Habfan30. I do not understand how you can criticize Subban and his charity work, especially in referencing the ladder. The site Jewish Learning quotes the ladder’s steps and philosophy and makes specific reference to the importance of good grace in giving.

        The Hockey Writers site mentions that in addition to Subban committing to raising 10 million for charity, this:

        “In Feb. 2018, when the Predators were in Montreal for a game against the Canadiens, Subban and six of his Predators teammates went back to the hospital to spend time with some of the children and their families. He followed that up in August by hosting a hockey camp in Montreal for children with the proceeds going to the hospital.”

        There is much good grace in that. I see no grace whatsoever in your comments about Subban. And, I wager, you have made nowhere near the charitable commitments Subban has. So no charity to be found in you either.

        Here is something else to think about. Those that post here understand that their comments are subject to response. It is my choice alone as to whether to respond to your comments. You don’t care what I say, but then you don’t seem to care what anyone says.

        So that is another thing I don’t understand, which is why you bother to post at all. If you just sent yourself emails and cut the rest of us out then you would avoid having people disagree with you. You would finally have the adoring audience you see. And you would avoid continually insulting people.

        Good grace there.

      • LJ.

        I don’t care for your incessant questioning of why I come here or your sophomoric commentary on things you have no knowledge other than instant “google research” followed by a display of your infantile grasp of the material.

        There are plenty here who’s opinions I respect and it isn’t dependant on whether I agree or disagree with their expressed opinions.

        I don’t hound you over your gibberish, in fact I rarely comment on your opinion on anything. If you would leave me be you probably wouldn’t hear from me at all 🙂

        I have asked you to stay away but you just keep on like a moth obsessed with a lamp.

      • Actually, you respond all the time. But you never answer questions based on your posts. Your stock in trade is some sarcastic dismissal about not understanding.

        Moth to a lamp? You shed no light.

        Again, if you don’t accept people responding, then don’t post.

    • Perhaps if you knew, understood or participated in the 8 rungs of charity you’d understand the difference.

      It seems pretty clear to me.

      • HF30, you never fail to outdo yourself.

      • BCLeafFan,

        With regard to Samuel Montembeault, McNiven, Drouin, Niku or Fleury?

        Or emulating others who chafe for the sake of chafing .

  5. Sitting here sipping my 2nd cup of BRC ….reading tidbits that Linus Ullmark has looked slow in the net and also heard a rumor or two the Bruins might try to move him in a trade ….. anyone seen him play this preseason or hear these rumors

  6. With each of their teams playing Avs at least 5 times this season; Chevy, Nill, Bowman; the Army bros; Billy G, Poile all hope those rumours re Sackic’s next signing are true

    • Hi Slick

      Sackic has made some prudent and smart moves in the past…. This (if he goes threw with the signing) will not be one of them.

      There has to be at least 8 UFA LDs out there that are massively better than JJ

      Sackic, for the sake of the Avs , don’t do it

      Even if Toews out for a very long time…. In house LDs…. Byram, Gerard, Murray, MacDermid, all MASSIVELY MASSIVELY better than JJ

      They also have Gilbert, MacDonald, Middleton as options

      There is zero logic in signing JJ

      The only way would be if he signs an AHL contract (still not worth it) or worse still, a 2-way

      Sackic has 5 NHL LDs right now, 1 (Toews) may be out a bit and Sackic is thinking of signing JJ ??

      I am not joking when I said above that the other Central GMs are loving the idea

      There is zero chance that MacK OR Landeskog, or Ratenen are happy with this potential, not in any way

      Keumper and Francouz are likely in tears over this possibility

  7. How does the analytic crowd feel about a SC contender signing Jack Johnson? Seems to me coaches think more of him than the blogs. Or Pengy

  8. I remember when Brendan Gallagher was asked a question about PK Subban.

    Gallagher replied “why don’t you ask PK because nobody likes to talk about Pk more then PK”