NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 5, 2021
Check out the latest on Robin Lehner, Carey Price, Auston Matthews, Anders Lee and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
SPORTSNET: Robin Lehner clarified comments he made on Twitter Sunday accusing several NHL teams of distributing medication to players without a doctor’s prescription. He said he was not accusing Philadelphia Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault of doing this but was instead criticizing how he handled his players. Vigneault, meanwhile, denied Lehner’s claim mistreated his players.
Meanwhile, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said he takes Lehner’s comments seriously and expects to speak with him in short order to hear his concerns and follow up to determine what merit there may be. He added Lehner could’ve contacted the league directly rather than taking to Twitter.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Say this for Lehner, he got everyone’s attention with his tweets. It’ll be interesting to see what comes of this after his interview with Bettman.
Bettman also spoke about the current standoff between the Buffalo Sabres and Jack Eichel regarding medical treatment for his injured neck. He indicated the league is “up to speed” on the current situation, adding there’s legitimate disagreement among doctors as to which course of treatment Eichel should undergo.
“It’s a terrible situation,” said Bettman. “I don’t think it’s fair to point the finger at anybody in terms of who’s right or who’s wrong.” He felt both sides are approaching this issue with “the best intention, ” adding people “need to be a little more patient.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, don’t expect a resolution to this story anytime soon.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Montreal Canadiens coach Dominique Ducharme said Carey Price was absent from Monday’s practice to a non-COVID illness. He said they’re less confident the 34-year-old goaltender will start the season on time as he continues to recover from offseason knee surgery.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a tad optimistic expecting Price to be at full strength when the season opens next week. The Habs would be wise to continue giving their franchise player more time to get into game shape.
The Canadiens got some good news as rookie winger Cole Caufield has resumed practice after missing the past week with an upper-body injury.
TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews participated in full practice yesterday for the first time since undergoing wrist surgery during the offseason. It’s uncertain if he’ll take part in a preseason game.
TSN: Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau is fine after leaving Monday’s preseason game against the Edmonton Oilers in the third period for precautionary reasons.
NYI HOCKEY NOW: Islanders captain Anders Lee could make his preseason debut tonight against the Philadelphia Flyers. It would be his first game since undergoing knee surgery in March.
THE ATHLETIC: Seattle Kraken center Yanni Gourde took part in practice for the first time since undergoing offseason shoulder surgery. The timeline for his return remains uncertain. He’ll be evaluated in a couple of weeks.
TSN: Ottawa Senators center Colin White could be sidelined for a while after leaving Monday’s preseason game against the Toronto Maple Leafs with an upper-body injury.
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: Golden Knights defenseman Shea Theodore and forwards Nicolas Roy and Brett Howden are listed as day-to-day.
TSN: Nashville Predators assistant coach Todd Richards is recovering from a heart attack. He suffered the attack on Friday but has been released from hospital and is resting at home.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Richards for a swift and full recovery.
CAP FRIENDLY: Free agent defenseman Ben Hutton has signed a professional tryout offer with the Anaheim Ducks.