NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 4, 2021

by | Oct 4, 2021 | News, NHL | 70 comments

Canada’s 2022 Olympic men’s hockey team names its first three players, the league reaches out to Robin Lehner over his social media accusations, Jake Guentzel tests positive for COVID-19, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

TSN: Team Canada general manager Doug Armstrong has notified Sidney Crosby, Connor McDavid and Alex Pietrangelo they will be part of the 2022 Olympic team. The move was made at the request of the International Ice Hockey Federation, the NHL, and the NHL Players Association.

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby (NHL Images).

This will be Crosby’s third Olympics, the second for Pietrangelo and the first for McDavid.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s no surprise seeing Crosby, McDavid and Pietrangelo being named to Canada’s squad. I daresay Crosby will be named team captain as he was in 2014. It remains to be seen when the rest of the roster will be named.

No word on which three players will be named to the other men’s Olympic ice hockey clubs. Perhaps those will be revealed in the coming days.

LAS VEGAS SUN: The NHL has reached out to Robin Lehner to set up an interview after the Vegas Golden Knights goaltender took to social media accusing several teams of giving players drugs without a doctor’s prescription.

Lehner claimed he knew several teams that gave players sedatives and anxiety pills with a doctor’s consent, singling out the Philadelphia Flyers and head coach Alain Vigneault. Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher issued a statement yesterday denying the allegation.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lehner claimed he had proof to back up his allegation against the Flyers though he never played for the club or Vigneault. As I said yesterday, he could end up in hot water if he cannot substantiate his claims. If he can, however, it could force the league to launch an investigation.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins winger Jake Guentzel tested positive for COVID-19 and has been placed in the NHL’s protocol for the coronavirus. He’s the second Penguin to test positive, joining forward Zach Aston-Reese.

Guentzel must remain in isolation for 10 days following his positive test. If he’s asymptomatic and fully vaccinated, he can be released from isolation if he receives two negative tests during that period.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers forward Josh Archibald has been diagnosed with COVID-related myocarditis. It’s the same heart ailment that sidelined Oilers goalie Alex Stalock.

Archibald had contracted COVID during the summer. The unvaccinated forward was in the midst of his 14-day quarantine after traveling to Edmonton from the United States for training camp when he began to not feel well.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Like Stalock, Archibald’s career is now in jeopardy. Myocarditis causes inflammation of the heart muscle which can prove fatal under physical exertion. Stalock is out for the upcoming season and Archibald could suffer the same fate.

TSN: The Vancouver Canucks officially signed Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes to their new contracts yesterday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly has the full details. It’s going to be expensive for the Canucks to re-sign Pettersson at the end of his three-year contract. He’ll earn $10.25 million in actual salary in the final season (2023-24) of that deal, meaning it’ll cost them that much to qualify his rights. Hughes, on the other hand, can become an unrestricted free agent at the end of his new six-year contract.

**UPDATE**: I’ve been reminded that rule for contracts signed after July 10, 2020, is now 120 percent of the contract’s annual average value. That means it’ll cost the Canucks $8.82 million to qualify Pettersson’s rights. Still expensive but not as much as $10.25 million. 

THE SCORE: The Tampa Bay Lightning have reportedly opened contract extension talks with head coach Jon Cooper. The club recently re-signed general manager Julien BriseBois.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cooper could become the NHL’s highest-paid coach after guiding the Lightning to consecutive Stanley Cup titles.

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: Capitals goaltender Ilya Samsonov missed yesterday’s practice with a lower-body injury. He’ll be re-evaluated today.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens signed checking-line forward Jake Evans to a three-year, $5.1 million contract extension. The annual average value is $1.7 million.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Sharks goalie Adin Hill left practice yesterday favoring his left wrist. His participation in today’s preseason game against the Anaheim Ducks is in doubt.


  1. Bruins News…..2015 1st rd pick Zach Senyshyn placed on waivers as much as you want to advoid it …….the 15 draft alwasy comes back to haunt the B’s……the draft that was suppose to get the Bruins the next core.

    • spell check

      • Zack was a terrible pick he wasn’t even a good ahler. That 2015 could be the curse that knocks Sweeney off his protective perch. Zorbil is another dud should have never gone even in the second round..

    • Keith Gretzky’s finger prints were all over that draft.

      • 10-4.

      • Agreed, too clever by half.

        The only one ranked where they were taken was Zboril, who I still think has a shot at a decent career.
        Make or break for him this year.

  2. Lyle I believe the rules for qualifying offer has changed to 120 percent of the average salary no longer is it based on the final year.

    • That’s correct, thanks hugh.

  3. Sid, McD, Petro on team Canada…. Logical/obvious…. Still great to hear

    Lehner…. Hard to think that he’d come up with theses statements unless there was some validity to it ….. but proof? Does he have a cell phone video/audio of this. If no “proof”….. I’d think he’s not only open to potential discipline from league but potential civil litigation (Flyers?)….Howard…yes? No?

    Guentzel with Covid now…. Another kick in the gnads to Pens… speedy recovery Jake

    Archibald and Myocarditis…. Not good…. Wishing him and Staylock speedy/full recoveries

    Fair signings IMHO, for ‘Nucks.

    Fair extension on Evans

    • I guess I’m now this site’s unofficial legal counsel.

      Lehner can certainly be subject to a civil lawsuit for slander, assuming the collective bargaining agreement does not block such a lawsuit, and I highly doubt it does. By the current US standard as to public figures, which the Flyers organization would be, it would have to be shown that Lehner showed a reckless disregard for the truth.

      • Thanks Howard

        Greatly appreciated

      • Self-given titles always stand out as a little curious, especially in the anonymity of the internet.

        When it comes to Lehner, if his “proof” is that he “heard one of his NHL buddies say it”, then he’s quickly going to become the guy that no one wants to tell anything to anymore. Also, “here-say” doesn’t quite cut it in the courts, so short of someone agreeing to say they said it to him, and testify to its veracity, Lehner is running the risk of running his mouth.

        Whistleblowers are essential, but if Lehner is going to be making strong statements with frequency I can foresee his team having that awkward kind of conversation with him to avoid becoming a “go-to” for comments on controversial items, while giving him kudos for using his platform to shine a light where it’s needed. (Never an easy conversation to strike the right balance on, but a conversation will happen nonetheless.)

    • myocarditis and pericarditis Are also known side affects of the MRNA covid vaccine, specifically in young men.

      This is recognized by the cdc, I’m not trying to open a debate on vaccinations.

      • As soon as we read the headlines Captain, we knew there would be a debate about it, so no worries. As long as we keep it out of the personal.

        Yes the CDC says there is likely a link to the cases reported, but they haven’t been able to prove it yet. But they don’t used the word “likely” lightly, so it is likely.
        It is also important to consider that this is lot more common in folks who have had Covid as it is caused by the bodies immune reaction to the virus, which is stronger than it is to the vaccine, and lasts way longer.

        Some important things to consider to put this in context by using the math as the denominators matter.

        Also from the CDC in June of this year: out of the 300 Million doses given there were 12.6 instances of heart inflammation per million.
        Most get better. So 3780 out of 300 million, again most get better.
        Covid – approx 44 million cases, approx 700,000 deaths. They don’t get better.

        For me anyway, it makes the decision way easier, and add in that I want be a responsible member of my community. I get the shot and encourage others to as well.

      • As Lyle stated Captain the Archibald is not vaccinated. So basically what I’m saying is what’s your point.

      • Ray, sorry m a bit confused by those numbers? The cdc only reports information on the 50 states and us jurisdictions.

        When they say 300 million, they mean 150 million people with 2 doses? There are only about 185 million in the US that are fully vaccinated, and only 330 million total Us population. And nearly 1/2 of those vaccinations would be females, which they’re not seeing these issues.

        Typically, these issues occur after the 2nd dose. I’m guessing that the numbers may be a bit higher / unreported cases of myocarditis and pericarditis than we’re thinking.

        Even if it’s what I’m thinking, it’s still a low chance. But worldwide the mortality rate to date for covid itself is roughly only 2%.

        If we break down the age and sex barrier of those reporting issues rather than an overall number of total doses, I think that number jumps much higher. Still a small fraction, but I’d imagine if you took those same demographics and applied it to the overall mortality %, that 2% covid mortality rate would significantly decrease.

      • What the heck,

        If you don’t understand my point , which is pretty obvious (no pun intended) . I’m not sure how to more clearly explain myself to you.

        I’m saying, this is also a known side affect of covid vaccinations.

      • In the past, Josh Archibald has tweeted about Covid-19 calling it a “plandemic”, like it’s a government plan to erode the rights of individuals. Guess what Josh, it’s real and it’s deadly.

      • Correct Captain, 300 million doses.
        So 150 2nd shots, or approx, and ya 2nd shot is where they see it most often.
        The other are J&J I would guess.

    • Sorry, Pengy, but it’s a good signing for the Canucks. It would have been nice to lock up Pettersson for longer but it would have cost north of 8mil/year and they didn’t quite have the cap space.

      • Hi TFV

        Sorry if I inferred otherwise…certainly not intended that way….. I meant “fair” deal (term/$’s) both sides…. So …. “Good” signing for ‘Nucks org and players

      • Sorry again, Pengy. I tried to correct myself right a way with another post but I got a response back that said “low down, you are posting to quickly.” What the heck was that? So I lost my apology to you.

        I thought you said it was NOT a good signing.

      • Since Archibald was unvaccinated, it’s impossible for him to be suffering a side effect to a vaccine.

        That was his point Captain Obvious. For a guy not wanting to start a debate, you sure seem like a guy wanting to start a debate.

      • Pete,

        Saying a side affect of the vaccine is a / could be the same side affect of the virus isn’t a debate, it’s a statement. This isn’t debatable.

        Not sure ho that wasn’t clear to him, or why you feel the need to be his mouth piece?

        The overall point (which is VERY relevant) is the outcome could have been the same either way.

        If it were from the vaccine, (which obviously it’s not) would there even be a discussion?

  4. When I was a kid the Olympics were for amateurs … they have become a joke

    • Ed–Didn’t that change because the distinction between amateurism and professionalism had become a joke?

    • Not if the athletes were from the Soviet Union or East Germany, to your point Francis.
      IMO the Olympics should be best on best, they were for all sports that did not have pro leagues, so why shouldn’t they be for the sports that do.

      IMO the Olympics are way better today from a strictly competitive level, than they were before pros could compete. The exception being sports that have artistic interpretations as part of the judging. Seems like that could, and was, be abused by some countries.

      The rest of the Olympic crap, looking at you IOC, I would agree Ed.

    • The joke is that the Olympics are actually going to be in China this go around.

      I’m probably sounding like a broken record on this subject now but I won’t be watching any of the Olympics this time, including my favorite part, Hockey.

    • When you was a kid Jesse Owens was tearing up Berlin.

  5. Heard on Team 1200 this morning that the main RFA signings to date total something like $119 mil – but that the TOTAL in signing bonuses did not exceed $7 mil. Also heard that most “insiders” believe that the hold-up on Brady Tkachuk’s signing has nothing to do with signing bonuses, that the offer from Dorion is “more than fair” and that, if this does not get settled by mid-week, it could turn into a long stalemate. It was even suggested that calls could soon start regarding a trade scenario, especially with the emergence of Formenton currently performing better than expected in Tkachuk’s spot.

    Stay tuned on this one.

    • Hi George

      If they are saying the hold up is “nothing to do with signing bonuses” and offer is “more than fair”…. What are they citing/perceiving IS the hold up?

      I’ve posted before that he s not more important than the team as a whole

      Whether it is him, his dad, his agent or a combo of that… they are pushing Dorion in a corner

      Dubas was pushed; capitulated (WW) …. and that grossly affected his negotiating power (basically lost it all) when it came to Mathews and Marner

      I agree with Burke (a rarity) , that the capitulation should never have happened; and because of it… Leafs paid (collectively for the three) about $4M to $5M per (which could have been much more logically spent on D or depth at FWD); AND it got AM walking out of a Leafs uniform at 26 (no Capitulation on WW, Dubas in other words sits WW that year; has negotiation power over AM… gets another year on the AM contract)

      If Dorion caves to the Tkachuck camp pressure ….. he’s lost negotiating power when it comes to future contract extensions …. Jimmy/Tim Stutzle etc

      Perhaps the trade route is a better path…..Tkachuck in or out this year will not win them the cup this year, and I believe they (Sens) are still 1 year away from playoffs… so his presence in lineup this year not crucial at all

      I still say Tkachuck/Zaitsev for Parayko/Vlad (sundry pick/prospect to balance trade) is a win/win for both teams

      I know you are against “doing BT a favour”…. But it would be doing Sens a big favour…. Which is more important

      That trade ……

      and having Parayko /Chabot as top pairing for 7 years 👍👍👍👍Wow

      Moves on from what already is a great detractor to the team (the hold out)

      Allows Dorion to have strength in negotiating in future (Stutzle etc)

      Saves $’s

      Allows Vlad to be moved at TDL for assets

      Blues get a coveted player at the expense of Parayko over Zaitzev differential; save in Cap this year and next

      If Dorion capitulates on this; and Stutzle has anywhere near the expected Sophmore year he is trending towards… he’ll ask for …. Demand (and rightfully so) more $’s (than BT) and at least the same in SBs

      Trade, move on

      Other options I’ve posted before….

      Ducks…. Comtois as main piece coming over

      Kings …. Byfield as main piece coming over

      • Could well be any of those trade scenarios, Pengy. According to one pundit Dorion wants to hold the line at $8 mil per over 8 years whereas the Tkachuk camp wants “in excess of $8.4 mil AND a NMC” – which Dorion abhors.

        I really believe if push comes to shove it will boil down to two options – a trade (and very soon), or call his bluff and hold the line until December 21 – at which point he can skate somewhere in Michigan until Hell freezes over.

        Another possibility is to SJ for, among other commodities, Hertl. Long shot, I know, but better chance than L.A. ever relinquishing Byfield.

        And I agree about their prospects this season. I really believe they are going to be a handful – and a surprise – to many opponents, even without Tkachuk as it looks like Formenton, just as big and a whole lot faster, is ready to take that step at LW, and sometime in the spring, look to see Jake Sanderson making his NHL debut. No, they likely won’t make the playoffs – but when it all ends, they’ll be damned close.

      • I’m not sure how trading the player = winning? What stops future contracts like Stutzle from taking the same road?

        If Tkachuck gets traded ( zero chance blues are trading Parayko who the just signed to a 6.5 per deal for a winger wanting 8 per)and Tkachuck signs an 8 per deal , what message does that send to future Ottawa Rfa’s?

        Hold out until you’re traded and get exactly what Dorion wouldn’t give you?

        Sorry, terrible message, terrible idea. And no way does it send a good message going forward. And no way a win. Realistically, that trade proposal isn’t happening, nor will anything remotely resembling it.

        Dorions best play is hold the player out until they can come to some sort of agreement. Period.

      • Well, that’s your opinion. Others differ. We’ll see I guess.

  6. There are dribs and drabs of players names coming out with covid related issues, some of them career threatening or who knows, maybe more.

    The NHL should take the bull by the horns and call out the “personal choice” nonsense.
    Society demands laws for the “community” that individuals need to respect all the time, rules that aren’t tyrannical.

    Hockey is a sport, entertainment, there’s no excuse for players, ancillary parties, fans to be endangered at all.

    Jake Evans signing will be a gem even before it kicks in next year. The kid is a coach’s dream and my guess is he’ll show his offence this year.

    I believe Jon Cooper is the best coach in the NHL for a few years now. Yes he has talent to work with but unlike most, he can’t be pigeonholed to a style.
    He adapts on the fly, between seasons, games and periods.

    Canucks did well in their signings, imo their sleeper signing is Halak, he’s a great goalie and gives them a very high tandem in goal BB will regret letting him go

    • When u informed comments dribble in. Personal choice is not nonsense. Nonsense is the belief that one player getting poked somehow helps another. It only helps the player who got poked and their employer. Poked or not you still carry and spread. Do you not recall the mumps.oitbreak a few years back in the NHL? Do they freak out about that? Teams want their players poked because of.border rules and to have their product in tact like a factory owner wanting all.the machines operational and working. They do routine maintenance to keep them running like they want the players poked to keep them going. Simple as that.

      • Throughout various elements of society there are a number of vaccines which have saved countless millions of lives, and before the eradication of the virus in the 1960s, and likely the deadliest of them all, smallpox. Today these are

        Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Measles, Mumps,
        Rubella, Polio (IPV), Hib, Hepatitis B, Varicella, Hepatitis A, Pneumococcal, Influenza, Rotavirus

        Only a damned fool would ignore the shots and right at the moment, in the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan, the Covid delta variant is filling up hospitals and ICUs to the breaking point, primarily because there are the two with the lowest per capita vaccination rates. Yes, there are some who have had both shots and who are getting the virus nonetheless, but in the VAST majority of these cases the effects do not require hospitalization.

        And that fact is prevalent throughout the other provinces in whatever positive cases are popping up there – albeit on a much smaller scale than Alberta and Saskatchewan.

        I imagine the same sort of wildly varying degrees of infection exist in the U.S., with some States nearing hospital saturation simply because of the high numbers of unvaccinated.

        When does a “right” give way to common sense?

      • George O

        right on

        Personal choice isn’t nonsense, yet in context of being vaccinated or not it’s a red herring.

        Societal regulations routinely come before personal choice almost by definition and they are accepted.

        There wouldn’t be a legal system or laws at all if “personal choice” justified any activity.

        This needs to go beyond common sense, just like the vaccines needed by children before school and summer camp.

      • Well I have a buddy who has Acromegaly I bring it up as it address the community responsibility issue and it causes an enlarged heart.
        It has also required he gets both his hips replaced (has one done), and once he walking good again, he can then replace his shoulders. Crazy.

        His Dr. highly recommended he get the shot as quickly as possible due to the heart, and how it is effected by Covid. He did, he’s fine.

        He lives in Sask and has had his 2nd hip replacement postponed due to the hospitals being filled up, which will add time to his living in constant pain as he doesn’t want to take an opioid pain killer for that long. Can’t blame him for that.

        I live in AB and we are seeing it here over, and over again as well.
        So ya, this doesn’t just effect you if you get Covid and end up in the hospital, or infect someone else who does.

        NHL players have the same responsibility to the community as well as their team mates.

      • I’m sure most of the players have been vaccinated as children. Our kids are about 30 years old and we had to show their vaccinations were up-to-date before they could attend school. It appears people are just anti this vaccine.

      • Just so we put this anti vaccine/personal choice nonsense to bed once and for all, George, Ray and Habfan30 have it right, AZ.

        The only way personal choice works is if the people who decline vaccination all stay away from the rest of society that are vaccinated.

        Given that this is virtually impossible then those – such as Hamonic, apparently – expect others (vaccinated or not) to assume the risk of greater infection by covid as consequence of their individual choice.

        The science is clear, the choices are clear: get vaccinated for the sake of one’s self and others or …

        Refuse vaccination, prolonging the epidemic with the death that this guarantees in the name of personal freedom.

        Despicable is the word that comes to mind.

      • Az it can help others. If vac you can carry the virus sure but contagious period is decreased. So you are less likely to infect others.

      • George and Ray. Here in Alaska, we have the highest infection rate in the US. Our hospitals have implemented crisis care because our hospitals and staff are overwhelmed. Crisis care means hospital staff can ration care to those most likely to recover. The state had to contract with an outside company to bring 450 medical staff to supplement our health care workers.
        With Alaska’s low population density and vast open spaces you’d think we were ideally set up to combat infectious diseases. However only 63% of the population over 12 years old is vaccinated.
        Coincidentally, I had both hips replaced this year. The second one in August. Had that surgery been scheduled two weeks later it likely would have been delayed due to hospital staff and their availability.
        To all, please get vaccinated.

      • Yeah, Mike. You highlight what I can’t wrap my head around. And that is, how can these anti-vaccine boneheads – who willingly made their choice – suddenly surge to the head of the hospital/ICU lines, bumping cancer and heart patients who contracted their diseases through no fault of their own? What makes THEIR situation any more critical? If it means stalling the treatment of someone with those diseases, tell them to go home and take a flipping aspirin or something.

        I’m not being callous here – if there’s room in the hospital/ICU, sure, by all means treat them. But if there is room only if someone else with an equally deadly condition gets bumped … well, to hell with them. It then becomes the consequences of their choice.

      • Sorry Nut, you don’t have the right to “not stop at a stop sign”, etc. There’s rules. Anti-vaxxers kill people with bad information and poor logic.

        We’ve been living with Covid for over a year and a half. Everyone has had the time to get informed and get vaxxed.

        If you chose not to get vaccinated, and you contract Covid, please don’t run to your nearest overwhelmed hospital and exacerbate the crowded ICU problem. Just record your video expressing how you wished you’d just gotten vaccinated in the first place.

        This is now a pandemic of the unvaccinated. Playing hockey isn’t a right. If players like Archibald don’t want a vaccination then they shouldn’t be near anyone, including their (former) NHL team.

      • Hope this lines up correctly in the comments.
        You’re right George. But we’re asking the unvaccinated to understand shared responsibility and the consequences of one’s actions. Clearly both concepts are beyond their grasp.

      • Sorry Pete and George Not how it works. Human beings make bad choices and hospitals are there to help. That includes those not vaxing. You used cancer and heart disease George. There absolutely are those that contract those diseases without any fault of their own. But the majority of those people made poor choices that led to the illnesses. Making poor diet choices poor life style choices etc are over time the root cause of most cases of those Illnesses George and Pete. As a nurse if it wasn’t for poor choices I would have a real hard time finding work.

      • Aww bulls*&t. There are many forms of cancer that medical authorities have no clue as to cause. Like Hodgkins. Brain tumors. Same with heart disease. Yes, there will be a myriad of differing opinions – mine is to hell with the idiots. There’s no cure for that.

      • Those are awful words George. I hope you or a loved one arnt in a situation where they made a poor decision and were refused medical care. I hope the er docs don’t say to hell with this idiot.

      • CHRISMS – I thought you made a great counterpoint. Well-done, and full respect to nurses. I know these are hard times to be on the front line. Respect.

        My niece’s brain surgery was delayed twice because ICU’s were full of Covid patients. (Most weren’t vaccinated of course.) After a year and a half, and the data we’ve accumulated, it is simply unconscionable to not be vaccinated. How many more deathbed conversion videos do people need to see?

  7. Lehner has either totally lost it or his accusations are fixing to open up a can of worms. Why would he put his career in jeopardy with false information? I know he suffers with bipolar disorder, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as well as addiction issues. That’s a heavy burden to deal with. I sure hope he and the league make it through all of this because his accusations are quite serious. It’s kind of weird how all this has come out starting with the Eichel issue. I wish the league would have stepped in and allowed Eichel to seek whatever treatment he chose with the caveat if it ends your career that’s on you. This impasse has gotten really screwed up!!

  8. Well said, George O. The anti-vax/pro choice crowd make a valid point except they ignore the other half of the equation, which is responsibilities.

    • Something else I heard on CBC News, Mark Allan, was that.worldwide, some 4,818,348 people have died from Covid as of today, and while that is still a far cry from the global death toll related to the Spanish Flu (an estimated 17.4 to 100 million), in the U.S., the total number of Covid-related deaths (705,904) has now exceeded that due to the Spanish Flu in that country (about 675,000)! You’d think that that alone would galvanize the hesitant.

      If the proliferation continues, and hospitals in many areas can no longer cope, I simply cannot see how pro sports will be allowed to continue to play before large gatherings in those States/Provinces. Quebec, for example, has decreed a maximum of 3,500 for hockey whereas Alberta, one of the hardest hit, has set no such limit. Has it boiled down to “economy concerns trump health concerns?”

      • And the more the virus is allowed to spread, the more likely it is to lead to more variants. Some of which may not be as responsive to the vaccine.

      • Good valid point. This one seems to be able to adapt to changing conditions quite rapidly.

      • Also take into consideration that the current numbers globally would be higher than stated for this one if several countries didn’t outright lie about the number of those infected.

      • For sure. I seriously doubt we’re getting the true picture of the situation in China, for example. And yet here we are, anxious and ready to send athletes to the Winter Olympics because to not do so “would be a hardship to the poor athletes.”

        Say what? So, even with the delta variant running rampant everywhere, and if there’s a new variant springing up in China – not out of the realm of impossibility – about which we’ll never be informed by that two-faced lying military dictatorship (currently provoking Taiwan), no matter: not sending a group to China would be “harsh and cruel.” Poor Syd and Conor – can’t take away their “glory” in the name of common sense.

        Holy crap! Have we dumbed down to that pathetic level?

      • Absolutely, George. This is about economics trumping health concerns or more accurately in this instance, politics and economy trumping health concerns.

      • I think our AB Premier has finally realized that Covid outbreaks are bad for the economy, and that until we get this under control long term, it will continue to drag it down. Duh?

        Places like Denmark have removed all restrictions, are predicting higher GDP growth and consumer confidence is higher than 2019. And things are getting back to normal right now.

        Side note – I noticed they are also predicting a budget surplus. Those darn radical leftists.

  9. I hope alain vigneault lawyers up and sues Lehner for slander …

    • Well Ed, if he can prove he won’t. It ain’t slander if it’s true, it’s just true. Don’t even need Howard, our in house counsel, to confirm.
      If he can’t, he shouldn’t have said it, and then it’s up to Vigneault.

    • Why would you hope that?

      Lehner isn’t like you, bashing everyone for no reason. He always seems to have a reason, and usually pretty good ones when speaking out.

      Are you suggesting things like this do not go on?

      You of all people who don’t think good of just about everyone?

      It seems like you have nothing positive to say about any player so is it that you are taking the coaches side or you just like Vignneault belter than Lehner?

      Of course I don’t expect you to answer my questions.

      You never answer for any of your absurd statements.

  10. Previously the reason to not send a hockey team was outrage on account of two Canadians, Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig being imprisoned.

    As predicted, when Huawei founders daughter Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou was released, Spavor and Kovrig were released and flown to Canada.

    The modern Olympics have always had cultural, financial and political implications.

    Canada’s moral record isn’t so clean, National Day for Truth and Reconciliation was less than a week ago and lets not pretend we don’t have other issues.

    The USA has more racial issues, than you can shake a stick at.

    As for health issues, the USA still can’t get behind vaccinations and open sports venues to capacity without proof of vaccination or masking.

    I’m not saying or suggesting that China has clean hands or as clean as the West’s but the West’s hands aren’t clean.

    Crosby, McDavid and Pietrangelo are great choices to represent Canada.
    I hope Price isn’t selected and that he turns it down if he is.

    • But my point was, and as you say China’s hands are hardly “clean” – in any aspect – how can we trust their Covid situation? Not only don’t I believe they’ll ever be truthful about their death stats, if there is another variant even deadlier than the delta ripping through their society, they’ll never admit it. Not with the fate of THEIR Olympics hanging in the balance. So what if thousands go there from all over the world and inadvertently track it home? No skin off their ass.

      So, is seeing Olympic hockey worth that risk? Or do we just adopt the attitude that, down deep, China is not governed by a lying deceitful “screw the rest of the world” military dictatorship – they’re just “misunderstood?”

      Naive is not part of my make-up.

    • I got $10 that says you couldn’t have this conversation online in China if the Gov got word of it. Headed in a more autocratic direction, not less.
      Nobody is perfectly clean, but they are covered head to toe compared to US and Canada. Not even a comparison worth making.

      Not a fan of boycotting Olympics, as it usually has no impact on anything other than the athletes get punished of which NHL players are the least of my concern.

      There are other ways than the symbolism of an Olympic boycott.

      The Covid reason, I get that, but I have no idea what the protocols are for the athletes or spectators, workers etc. Would be curious to know.

    • China, by nature of its system is uniquely positioned to be the safest possible venue.

      There is no crocodile tear “personal choice” element funded by they who shall not be named who fight vaccination, masking, cleaning etc.

      They literally shut down cities.

      I trust their shut downs more than I trust Florida, Texas etc and Alberta here, and if nothing else I don’t mistrust them more.

      • So, like another prominent twit, you “admire them?”

      • Holy ‘insert literally anything _________________ Batman.’

      • lol, be serious,
        I said China can and has literally shut down cities, not that I admire them for it.

      • You said safest possible venue. There is nothing safe about China. Absolutely nothing. Our players should not be going there. Neither should anyone else’s.