NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 5, 2021

by | Oct 5, 2021 | News, NHL | 12 comments

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.

Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Robin Lehner (NHL Images).

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.


  1. Swayman looked fabulous lastnight if it wasn’t for him the score would have been out of control it was almost like throwing someone out in the lions den you knew sooner or later you were getting devoured but Jeremy kept them in it I have Never seen someone covering the angles better since Jacque Plant I never want to See Kuhlman, Anton Blidh with the big club again they are useless. Studnicka looked good still not convinced he’s the centre for the b’s ahcan may be ready to step in with big club excellent rusher, good defensively a little on the small side Lauko also honourable mention.

    • That Sweeney has put together a heck of a team huh?

      • Yeah Chrisms, he has. Especially when you evaluate the team in preseason and the first line consists of 4th liners Blidh, Kuhlman and Frederic.

  2. If Lehner is correct about some teams you have to wonder what the “drug du jour” is these days. Back in the late 1950s/early 1960s when I played some football in the QRFU, “uppers” and “downers” were widely used and one team owner/coach who went by the nickname “Doc” (he was actually a veterinarian) freely administered pain killer shots.

    Of course, being young and stupid and only wishing not to miss a game, many of us went along with it … and it usually worked well enough to get through the game. But holy crap, when it wore off later that day.

    There was no cure for stupid then, either.

    • That’s really funny …. There is no cure for stupid nowadays either. The season grind that professional players go through is amazing. I know they get paid good money and all of that but the toll that it takes on the body must be excruciating. I can see why eventually an athlete would “give in” if you will. I would bet good money this practice of handing out whatever for what ails you has been going on for decades in all sports. Like the Good Book says….there is nothing new under the sun !!

    • Damn. The crap we took way back when went under the name “No-Doze” or something like that, and others the name of which I can’t recall. I remember a couple of guys barfing in the huddle and us asking the officials time to “move the huddle.”

      • That was Lehner’s point. To get attention. He dwells on that. Of course, the media loves this as they love all controversy. Amazing how he backtracked on the Vigneault allegations. And who is he to criticize Vigneault’s handling of players when he never played for him. If he’s nor careful with the way he shoots off his tweets, he’ll wind up in hot water.

      • If he hasn’t already!

      • Black Betty

  3. I wonder if Vegas is second-guessing their goaltending decision.

  4. Good thing Lehner never played for Scotty Bowman , of whom Steve Shutt said :

    “You hated him 364 days years, and on the 365th day you got your Stanley Cup ring.”