NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 29, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 29, 2017

San Jose Sharks’ Joel Ward opted not to take a knee during the anthem before last night’s preseason game.

Latest on Joel Ward, Wayne Simmonds, Tyler Toffoli and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

THE MERCURY NEWS: San Jose Sharks winger Joel Ward did not join the social protest sweeping the NFL by kneeling during the national anthem during last night’s game against the Anaheim Ducks. Earlier in the day, he issued a statement via Twitter saying he believed the original meaning of the protest – bringing attention toward racial inequality and police brutality – had been lost.

Ward believes there are other ways to address the issue. “We need to be working on bridging the gap between people of all color, and between law enforcement and minorities. How can we be part of the solution and not part of the problem — or be another distraction from what the real issues are?”

CSNPHILLY.COM: Philadelphia Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds shared Ward’s opinion on the subject.

“All anyone wants to talk about right now is why they’re kneeling,” Simmonds said. “And if you’re disrespecting the Army or the national anthem or whatever it might be. People fail to see what the real issue is, or why Colin Kaepernick actually started this protest, and that he actually talked with an armed force member who was actually on CNN last night discussing all of these issues on a panel as to why he used the national anthem as a vehicle to get this out.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ward and Simmonds are right. Most folks are so obsessed with kneeling during the anthem that it’s overshadowed the original message about racial inequality, preventing a genuine discussion on how to address that issue. 

SPORTSNET: The NHL’s Board of Governors recently discussed the playing of national anthems before the start of games. The consensus opinion was the anthems have a place in the overall event of NHL games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, the playing of the American and Canadian anthems before NHL games will continue. Some folks feel the practice should be discontinued but it’s a longstanding tradition in the NHL and one I believe should continue. 

LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS: A healthy Tyler Toffoli could provide a significant boost to the Kings’ offense this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Toffoli missed 19 games last season to a knee injury and struggled through the final half of the schedule. The decline in his production contributed to the drop in the Kings’ offense in 2016-17. 

NJ.COM: New Jersey Devils center Brian Boyle could be in the lineup for the club’s season opener on Oct. 7. Boyle was recently diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia and hasn’t played or practiced during preseason. He’s receiving treatment for the disease and is expected to make a full recovery.

NBC SPORTS: Ottawa Senators goaltender Andrew Hammond and New York Rangers forward Matt Puempel were among the notables on waivers yesterday.

THE TENNESSEAN: The Nashville Predators donated a record-setting check for over $442,000 to a local children’s hospital.

NEWSDAY: The New York Islanders have submitted plan to construct a new arena at Belmont Park.