NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 6, 2021

by | Oct 6, 2021 | News, NHL | 40 comments

Sweden names its first three players to its 2022 Olympic men’s hockey team, more potential trouble for Evander Kane, plus the latest on Robin Lehner, Tyler Bertuzzi and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad, Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman and Colorado Avalanche left wing Gabriel Landeskog are the first names submitted to be part of Sweden’s men’s ice hockey team at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. Participating countries were asked to declare their three players last month.

Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canada’s three were recently revealed as Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby, Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid, and Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alex Pietrangelo. We’ll likely learn more about the other nations’ early three players in the coming days or weeks.

SI.COM/THE HOCKEY NEWS: A report by A.J. Perez of Front Office Sports claims an investigation is underway of San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane over allegations he violated the NHL’s COVID-19 protocols by using a fake vaccination card. In the United States, those who buy a fake vaccination card face six months in jail and a $750K fine.

This news comes following recent reports claiming Kane was being investigated for violating the league’s COVID protocols. The winger was recently cleared of allegations by his estranged wife, Anna, claiming he bet on NHL games. However, they’re also investigating claims of spousal abuse made by Anna.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m assuming this latest report is tied to the earlier one about the league looking into the possibility Kane violated the COVID protocols. If he did use a fake vaccination card, that could become justification for the Sharks to terminate his contract.

LAS VEGAS SUN: Golden Knights goaltender Robin Lehner said he’s encouraged about bringing change in hockey following conversations he had with the league and the NHL Players Association. The league reached out to Lehner for an interview after he alleged many teams were giving prescription drugs to players without a doctor’s consent.

This weekend was a cry for help from this league, the league that I love, that has given me so much,” said Lehner. He added the motivation for his recent comments on social media was to protect younger players. Lehner also said he’s encouraged about future discussions on the subject.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As the old saying goes, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Lehner also received support from former NHL enforcer Tom Sestito, who claimed he was given and used “insane” amounts of the painkiller Toradol and Ambien, which is used to treat insomnia. Sestito said it took a year for him to sleep normally again after he stopped using Ambien. He also credited the Pittsburgh Penguins’ medical staff for helping to wean him off Torodol after he joined the club.

MLIVE.COM: Detroit Red Wings forward Tyler Bertuzzi still hasn’t suited up for a preseason game. The club is being cautious in his return to action after he underwent season-ending back surgery in April. It’s uncertain if he’ll see any preseason games before the season opens next week.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: Avalanche goaltender Pavel Francouz left last night’s preseason game against the Golden Knights with what appeared to be a lower-body injury. He missed all of last season with an injured hip but head coach Jared Bednar said it’s not related to his previous hip problems.

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets defenseman Logan Stanley is listed as day-to-day following a lower-body injury suffered in Sunday’s preseason contest with the Vancouver Canucks.

ESPN.COM: Los Angeles Kings prospect center Quinton Byfield injured his left leg during last name’s exhibition game with the Arizona Coyotes. Linesman Ryan Gibbons was stretchered from the ice following an accidental collision with Coyotes center Liam O’Brien following the national anthem. His condition is unknown.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan suffered a laceration to his forehead after being struck by a puck during last night’s preseason game against the Buffalo Sabres. He received several stitches and returned to his duties.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: Blackhawks defenseman Wyatt Kalynuk could be sidelined at least two weeks following an ankle injury suffered during practice yesterday.

TSN: The Coyotes signed Alex Galchenyuk to a one-year, $750K contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is Galchenyuk’s second stint with the Coyotes, having played for them in 2018-19 when he was traded to Arizona by the Montreal Canadiens for Max Domi.

NBC SPORTS: Several prospects are earning positive reviews for their preseason performance thus far. Among them are the Washington Capitals’ Hendrix Lapierre, the Carolina Hurricanes’ Seth Jarvis, and the Ottawa Senators’ Shane Pinto.


  1. That Evander Kane. What a loveable scamp!
    Wonder what he’ll do next?

    • SOP; guilty until proven innocent?

      • Certainly not, Caper. It just seems like he’s frequently mentioned when something is amiss.

  2. I am uncomfortable with the idea of being required to carry a card to prove you’ve been given a vaccine that, increasingly, is being required by employers and various levels of government. Big Brother is watching.

    • No, those concerned with overflowing hospitals and ICUs are watching. And praying.

      • Amen George!

      • George O some hospital are understaff because there is a large number of nurses refusing to be vaccinated and have either transfer out of the covid wing or quit because they refuse to be vaccinated.

      • Understaffed is one thing – filled to over-flowing is quite something else and has nothing to do with the dearth of staff … it’s because infections are rising dramatically among the unvaccinated – of all ages – and many of those are requiring intensive care.

      • In Pittsburgh it’s very small the percentage of nurses refusing the vaccine. The staffing shortage is because of several reasons

        An expected shortage due to retirement that was exacerbated by covid. Lack of support in the form of hazard pay and incentives to work in the hospitals right now.

        The more nurses work under staffed the quicker they burn out and turnover increases.

        It’s a bad cycle

    • Kinda like a SIN card? Like the one issued to us at birth?
      Big brother already knows where we are and what we’re doing.
      I do believe every mobile phone has some sort of tracking device as well.
      We’re folks this paranoid when the polio shots were being dispersed back in the mid 50’s?

      • Not that I can recall Shoreorrpark. All you had to do back then was see people in Iron Lungs, confined to wheelchairs. etc., and you couldn’t wait to get the Salk vaccine.

        Yes, there were those objecting on things like “religious grounds” (i.e., someone’s unique interpretation of various scriptures) and many eventually became infected and were either crippled for life or dead. Much the same, I imagine, with smallpox and diphtheria.

      • I certainly wasn’t there but I watched some documentaries comparing polio to COVID and there was supposedly a bunch of conspiracies and groups protesting. My guess why it is bigger now?

        Social media.

      • No need to guess Chrisms, it is social media, they even make money off it as do those promoting it. And not just Covid and vaccines.

        Back then if there was 10 guys wearing Adidas track suits with heavy Russian accents running around shouting provocative ideas, you would see who they were and suspect something might be amiss.

        Or a well tanned guy flogging “vitamins and supplements” on the corner while shouting conspiracy theories or “just asking questions” regarding vaccines, one might suspect an ulterior motive.

        Over 50% of the population identifies Facebook as their primary source for news, yet they aren’t subject to the same liabilities and standards as other publishers or actual news organizations.

        Getting you riled up keeps you on the screen and increases revenue. It is intentional.

      • On that subject, I cannot – for the life of me – understand how “religious objections” can be allowed to stand in the way of general public health and well-being.

        If they’re pointing to ancient scriptures I’d like to see one where the term “vaccine” is used and described as a no-no. It’s someone’s interpretation of an already vague direction and is utterly ridiculous in the 21st Century.

    • I am uncomfortable with people who think their “personal choice” to endanger others is more important than the “personal choice” of the majority, who don’t want their lives to be endangered.

      • Hear hear!!!!!

    • Paul, this is not the first time you have chaffed at vaccination related requirements.

      You are a military veteran, right (I tip my hat).

      Think of it this way:

      There were just over 400,000 US military deaths in WW II.

      There have been more than 700,000 US deaths due to covid in this pandemic.

      What more could one say, except: Broken Arrow!

      • Ridiculous disingenuous bs from Paul, US and Canadian military have a laundry list of required, mandatory vaccines. If he’s indeed a vet, he’s been vaccinated for all sorts of things.

    • Utter paranoid nonsense. If millions of cases worldwide don’t convince you, there’s nothing anyone can say. It’s all on you.

  3. Just read about a soccer player in Northern Ireland who has had covid twice and still refuses to be vaccinated. I wonder about his family and friends.

  4. With regard to Lehner, I think the role of the players is being overlooked. While it’s likely true that teams pushed pain killers on the injured players, I doubt that the players were unwilling participants. I was in Montreal a couple of days ago and I heard Aaron Ward’s report on Melnick in the Afternoon on TSN 690. He said that most players are more than willing to use painkillers. The time for athletes to be rewarded for their talents is so short that they will do everything they can to avoid missing too many games.

    • Saved me from saying Howard.

    • Are they doing so with informed consent, Howard? You are the designated lawyer here, and would know about any duty to inform players of potential side effects. Some players have likely shrugged information about side effects off. Tom Sestito claims he wasn’t.

      • I obviously have no idea what the players are being told. Medical professionals certainly have the duty to inform of all consequences. Obviously none of us are privy to what any players are told. But based on what former longtime NHLer Aaron Ward said the other day, most players don’t need convincing. They’ll live with the risks if it means more opportunity to earn big money plying their talent in what is a competitively short career.

      • That may be so, Howard.

        Just as it is easy to imagine a player willingly taking a pain prescription in the name of his career, it is easy to imagine a trainer being cajoled and even prodded to give a player something like oxycontin.

        And as in Canada at least even private party hosts have an obligation to not over serve guests, surely there is a similar obligation for team employees to not “over serve” players. It is, IMO, also easy to imagine that trainers who do so would have little or no knowledge of the dangers or the amount a player is taking.

        So there are shared responsibilities here and it would not be surprising to see a practice of fast and loose dispensing of drugs in pro sports. Your colleagues would have a field day in examination.

      • I miss this hockey site….. call me when the medical students leave and the hockey pundits return. It’s hockey season , time to return to some form of normality

      • Sure YarmouthClipper, the worldwide pandemic, like nothing any of us have seen in our lifetime – and with no end in sight with hospitals overflowing and less than 20% of Third World populations vaccinated have nothing to do with pro sports and a return to “normalcy.”

        Let’s all just play ostrich and pretend it is never going to affect NHL schedules again – crowds will return and they’ll all be magically protected from contracting or spreading the virus, as will the players. Variants? Nah. Yeah, that’ll work.

      • George O, i think you completely missed Yarmouth clipper points.

        If you want to start a covid site by all means go ahead.

        Because someone wants to escape the conversation for a few minutes and discuss hockey, doesn’t mean they have their head in the sand.

        Maybe some folks want to talk about it all day everyday.

        Not for everyone; really for a healthy mind, it shouldn’t be for anyone.

      • Whether you, I or the Pope like it or not Caper, Covid and pro sports are now – and will for some time to come – going hand-in-hand with the pandemic. To discuss things like trades, match-ups, waivers, schedules and above all, salary caps, without factoring in the potential effects of the pandemic is just whistling past the graveyard.

        Why is it OK to involve illicit or banned substances, or compulsive gambling, or domestic abuse – but not the potential effects of a widespread virus?

  5. I know not mentioned here; and it is pre-season…. But 4 pts and +5 last night… Peyton Krebs should be “leaping” up the depth chart on Knights

  6. I might be way of base and a victim of recency bias but is seems like there are a lot more injuries than usual this preseason.

    Anybody else have the same feeling?

    • I’m beginning to wonder habfan30. Two Cs down in Ottawa, including Colin White who could be lost for the year.

  7. How many pounds of baggage is a goal worth?

    It seems that none of the remaining charges against Kane would lead to his banishment from the NHL, even though the Sharks could terminate his contract because of a COVID protocol violation. If Kane becomes a free agent, I’ll be watching to see how forgiving teams can become if they are able to add the Sharks’ leading goal scorer to their rosters at a discount price.

  8. Add Lucas Raymond to the list of impressive prospects. He has six points in three pee-season games, and looks like he belongs in the NHL.

  9. Are the rules for everyone on the planet EXCEPT evander kane??? We’ll see.

  10. Can anybody tell me who Colorado’s starting goalie will be this year?

  11. Their number 1 goalie, Darcy Kuemper

    • And Francouz wasn’t bad as a back-up during the season with 34gp, a 2.41gaa and 0.923 save %. Rough playoffs, mind you, but the guy went into those with just 36 NHL games under his belt and a not great performance by some of the players in front of him and had to play 6 games..

  12. GeorgeO

    Those stats are from 2019-20

    Francouz missed all of last year with 2 hip and knee surgery and has a “lower body injury” in pre-season.

    • Oops. Thanks. So, who do they have in their system as back-up?