NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 28, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 28, 2017

Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan defended his team’s decision to accept an invitation to the White House.

Latest on the Penguins plus updates on P.K. Subban, Wayne Simmonds, Robby Fabbri & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan yesterday defended his team’s decision to visit the White House on Oct. 10 to commemorate their 2017 Stanley Cup championship.

Sullivan said the decision was not made to make a political statement. He also defended captain Sidney Crosby from criticism on this issue, calling it unfair that he should bear the brunt of responsibility for the team’s decision.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins made their intentions clear months ago but nobody voiced a word of opposition until President Trump’s critical comments against NFL players taking a knee during the anthem and his rescinding his invitation to the NBA’s Golden State Warriors.

 On June 13, Penguins president and CEO David Morehouse said the club would never turn down that invitation and would go as a team. A month later, co-owner Ron Burkle said he didn’t share many policy positions with President Trump, but felt the annual visit by a Stanley Cup champion was a tradition that should be honored regardless of the occupant of the White House. 

In the team’s recent statement announcing the event, they said the visit was in no way supportive of the president’s views or policies. 

THE TENNESSEAN: Nashville Predators defenseman P.K. Subban said he would “never kneel” during the playing of the national anthem. He reportedly made the comments onstage during a fundraiser at a Nashville comedy club. Subban subsequently said he and his teammates believe people are allowed to voice their opinions, but as a team they’ve decided not to take a knee during the anthem.

“I realize that being a black hockey player, people are going to recognize that. That’s fine,” Subban said. “But I want to be recognized as one of the best players in the league and the best player in the league. And that’s what I work for every day.

“At the end of the day, whether you’re born purple, black, white or brown, you don’t control that. All you can control is what you do. That’s how you’re judged in this world, by what you do and your work ethic and your character. That’s how I’ve been judged. … I’d like to hope that people aren’t being judged by the color of their skin and their ethnic background.”

PHILLY.COM: Philadelphia Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds and San Jose Sharks winger Joel Ward are undecided about taking a knee during the national anthem, but both say they’re considering it. Should they do so, both players have the support of their respective teams.

SPORTSNET: The NHLPA issued a statement in support of players’ peaceful protests.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Athletes taking a knee have repeatedly said they are protesting police brutality against the black community in America. They’re not doing it to be disrespectful to the anthem or the flag. 

TSN: Ottawa Senators captain Erik Karlsson said doctors removed half of his ankle bone in his left foot during surgery in June to repair torn tendons in that foot. He started skating again last week. Karlsson hasn’t played any preseason game but is eyeing a return for the club’s season opener on Oct. 5. 

STLTODAY.COM: St. Louis Blues forward Robby Fabbri will miss the entire 2017-18 season after re-injuring his surgically repaired left knee. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is an unfortunate blow for Fabbri, who was hoping to get back on track after missing the final weeks of the regular season and playoffs last season. Here’s hoping this doesn’t finish his playing career. His absence will also put a serious dent into the Blues’ forward lines. 

NBC SPORTS: Defenseman Jared Cowen was released from his professional tryout offer with the Colorado Avalanche. The Dallas Stars also released winger R.J. Umberger from his PTO. Meanwhile, former first-round picks Emerson Etem, Beau Bennett and Stefan Matteau were among several players placed on waivers yesterday. 

THE BUFFALO NEWS: The Sabres claimed forward Jordan Nolan off waivers from the Los Angeles Kings. Nolan is the son of former Sabres coach Ted Nolan. 

TSN: Michael Farber interviewed former NHL star Paul Kariya, who has largely dropped out of sight from the hockey community after concussions forced his retirement. Kariya, who will be inducted this fall into the Hockey Hall of Fame, explains what he’s been doing  and the toll his injuries took upon his life. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The eye-opening moment of this interview was when Kariya said he had no memory of getting knocked out in Game Six of the Stanley Cup Final or anything else that happened until two days after the series was over. Kariya returned to that game and scored a key goal that forced that series to a seventh and deciding game. 

 











NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 16, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 16, 2017

Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Kesler could be sidelined until Christmas.

Updates on Ryan Kesler, Zach Parise, Patric Hornqvist & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

TSN: Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Kesler remains sidelined as he recovers from offseason hip surgery. General manager Bob Murray said there’s no timeline whatsoever for his return, but he’s hopeful Kesler will be back by Christmas.

The Ducks will also open the season without defensemen Sami Vatanen and Hampus Lindholm, who both underwent offseason shoulder surgery. They’re expected back by November 1.

TWINCITIES.COM: Minnesota Wild winger Zach Parise missed the opening day of training camp with an undisclosed injury and is listed as day-to-day.

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Penguins forward Patric Hornqvist will miss the start of training camp because of offseason surgery on his right hand. He’s expected to participate in full workouts closer to the end of camp and is expected to be ready when the season opens in October.

THE DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche re-signed defenseman Nikita Zadorov to a two-year, $4.3 million contract. He’s expected to report to training camp on Saturday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier this summer, Zadorov had hinted at signing with a KHL team if unable to reach agreement on a new contract with the Avs by the end of July. It’s obvious that was a empty threat. 

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Contract talks between the Blue Jackets and free agent Josh Anderson have ceased and all offers are off the table, according to the winger’s agent, Darren Farris.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Anderson is apparently considering his options but those appear limited. He could sign with a European club or remain on the sidelines until he gets a new deal with the Jackets. Given the trade rumors linking the Jackets to Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene, one wonders if Anderson could become part of a package offer if his contract standoff continues. 

 

BSN DENVER: Defenseman Jared Cowen hopes to restart his NHL career with the Colorado Avalanche following his departure from the Toronto Maple Leafs. Cowen remains bitter over his treatment by the Leafs. “Basically, they got me, figured out that I was hurt, they didn’t want to deal with it and they got rid of me,” Cowen said.

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Sabres hopeful Alexander Nylander is week-to-week after suffering a lower-body injury during the Sabres’ Prospects Challenge last week. 

TSN/SPORTSNET: Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi said the city is willing to pay one-third of the cost of building a new arena for the Calgary Flames. However, Flames president and CEO Ken King rejected that side of the story, claiming the city’s proposal was essentially a loan that it would want repaid. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hunker down, Flames fans, looks like you’re in for weeks, perhaps months, of spin from both sides as they squabble over the cost of constructing a new arena. I believe this issue will eventually be resolve but you’ll have to endure a lot of jockeying on both sides as they attempt to sway public opinion.

 











NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 30, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 30, 2017

Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun.

An update on Jakob Chychrun, latest professional tryout offers & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

ARIZONA SPORTS: Coyotes general manager John Chayka said defenseman Jakob Chychrun’s knee injury is “definitely not season-ending.”  Chychrun suffered the injury during offseason training and is rehabbing in Philadelphia. Chayka doesn’t expect the blueliner to be ready for the Coyotes season opener on Oct. 5.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Chayka didn’t say how long Chychrun could be sidelined. He could seek an affordable short-term replacement for the young blueliner from within his system, or via trade or free agency. 

NHL.COM: The Montreal Canadiens invited former Colorado Avalanche defenseman Eric Gelina to training camp on a professional tryout offer.

Former Florida Panthers forward Brandon Pirri is back with the club on a professional tryout offer. He played parts of three seasons (2013-14 to 2015-16) with the Panthers. 

Former Ottawa Senators defenseman Jared Cowen has joined the Avalanche on a tryout basis. He missed all of last season rehabbing from hip surgery. 

The Vancouver Canucks signed forward Ryan White to a PTO. He split last season between the Arizona Coyotes and Minnesota Wild. 

NBC SPORTS: The Calgary Flames gave former New York Rangers enforcer Tanner Glass a professional tryout offer. 

THE ATHLETIC: Forward David Booth is expected to get a PTO from the Detroit Red Wings. He spent last season in the KHL. 

TSN: Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment agreed to a 20-year, $800-million sponsorship agreement with Scotiabank to rename the Air Canada Centre. 

 











NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 8, 2016



NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 8, 2016

Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom celebrates his overtime goal against the Boston Bruins with his teammates.

Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom celebrates his overtime goal against the Boston Bruins with his teammates.

Game recaps, injury updates, board of governors agenda and much more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: The Washington Capitals blew a three-goal lead but Nicklas Backstrom’s overtime goal gave them a 4-3 victory over the Boston Bruins. Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen left the game in the first period with an upper-body injury and didn’t return. 

Third-period goals by Corey Perry and Nick Ritchie set the stage for Ondrej Kase’s overtime winner as the Anaheim Ducks rallied to defeat the Carolina Hurricanes 6-5. 

Devan Dubnyk made 35 saves and Eric Staal tallied the game winner as the Minnesota Wild edged the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2. The Leafs were a winner off the ice, as an arbitrator ruled in their favor in the Jared Cowen buyout case. The Leafs had bought out Cowen in June but the blueliner and his agent contested the move, claiming he was still suffering from injuries sustained during last season. 

Chris Kelly’s late goal was the winner as the Ottawa Senators doubled up the San Jose Sharks 4-2. 

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Nearly two weeks after collapsing on the ice before an AHL game, Tucson Roadrunners captain Craig Cunningham is starting to return to his old self. While Cunningham remains hospitalized and the cause of his condition is still unreported, he’s now conscious, alert and even cracking jokes with his teammates. The Roadrunners are the farm team of the Arizona Coyotes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cunningham’s future as a pro hockey player remains uncertain, but thankfully he’s out of his coma and appears to be on the road to recovery. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens center Alex Galchenyuk and David Desharnais are sidelined six-to-eight weeks by knee injuries. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Habs were already thin at center before these injuries. Losing these two, especially leading scorer Galchenyuk, will be difficult to overcome. 

NEW YORK POST: Rangers winger Rick Nash will be sidelined one week by a groin injury. Jimmy Vesey (arm injury) is day-to-day while Matt Puempel (concussion) was placed on injured reserve.

VANCOUVER SUN:  Canucks defenseman Philip Larsen suffered a concussion from the hit he received on Tuesday from New Jersey Devils winger Taylor Hall. However, he was alert and cleared to travel back to Vancouver. 

WINNIPEG SUN: Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toew donated $1 million to Winnipeg’s Dakota Community Centre. 

ESPN.COM:  Enforcer John Scott, who was voted by the fans into last season’s NHL All-Star Game, announced his retirement. The league has since passed a rule that forbids injured or demoted players from participating in the All-Star Game. Scott was toiling in the minors when he was voted into the ASG. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In 286 NHL games with the Minnesota Wild, Chicago Blackhawks, New York Rangers, Buffalo Sabres, San Jose Sharks, Arizona Coyotes and Montreal Canadiens, Scott collected 11 points and 544 PIMs. 

SPORTSNET: The salary cap, concussion spotters, goalie equipment and the Olympics will be some of the topics up for discussion during the NHL Board of Governors meetings today and Friday.

LAS VEGAS JOURNAL-REVIEW:  US patent office has denied the Vegas Golden Knights’ trademark application ” because of a “likelihood of confusion” with the registered mark of The College of Saint Rose. The Albany, New York, school also uses the Golden Knights nickname.” The team is preparing its response. 

TSN:  NHL suspensions are down 75 percent this season compared to the same point over the past three seasons. 

The NHL is close to finalizing a partnership with Apple that could see the company’s IPads and other technology being used on team benches. 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 20, 2016



NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 20, 2016

Winnipeg Jets rookie Patrik Laine (29) celebrates his overtime goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Winnipeg Jets rookie Patrik Laine (29) celebrates his overtime goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Game recaps plus updates on Jonathan Quick, Mike Smith & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Winnipeg Jets rookie Patrik Laine scored twice in the third period and netted the winner in overtime to give his club a 5-4 come-from-behind victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs, who at one point led the Jets 4-0.  Nazem Kadri scored twice and William Nylander had a goal and an assists for the Leafs, while their rookie star Auston Matthews collected an assist. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  That was an impressive performance by Laine, who is considered a future star for the Jets. The media is already playing up a so-called rivalry between Matthews, the first-overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, and Laine, the second-overall selection, trying to make it this generation’s “Crosby-Ovechkin”. However, it’s far too early to start making that comparison. 

Goaltender Jimmy Howard made 32 saves to backstop the Detroit Red Wings to a 2-1 win over the New York Rangers, who dominated the play through the first 40 minutes. Thomas Vanek and Drew Miller scored as the Wings overcame a 1-0 deficit. Mika Zibanejad tallied the Rangers’ only goal. 

LOS ANGELES TIMES:  Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick underwent a non-surgical procedure to strength a groin tendon and could be sidelined for up to three months. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That leaves the Kings goaltending duties to backup Jeff Zatkoff and call-up Peter Budaj. Could be worth keeping an eye on their performances. If they struggle, Kings management could be forced into the trade market for help.

ARIZONA SPORTS: Coyotes goalie Mike Smith is listed as day-to-day with an injured left leg. 

TRIBLIVE.COM:  Kris Letang (upper-body injury) and Conor Sheary (facial injury) are listed as day-to-day, but aren’t expected to be sidelined for long.

STLTODAY.COM: The St. Louis Blues placed center Jori Lehtera (upper-body injury) on injured reserve. The earliest he could return is Oct. 25 against the Calgary Flames.

PHILLY.COM: Philadelphia Flyers winger Michael Raffl (upper-body injury) is out for 10-14 days. 

NEWSDAY:  The New York Islanders called up defenseman Ryan Pulock on an emergency basis. 

TORONTO STAR: The Maple Leafs and defenseman Jared Cowen are awaiting an arbiter’s decision on the club’s attempt to buy out the remainder of his contract. Cowen claims he was still suffering the effects of injury when the Leafs tried to buy him out in June. Under the CBA, players still hampered by injuries suffered from game action during the season cannot be bought out.

USA TODAY: Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby’s Tragically Hip-themed mask raised $27K, which will be donated to lead singer Gord Downie’s charities. Downie suffers from inoperable brain cancer.

TODAY’S SLAPSHOT: NHL veteran forward Dave Moss yesterday announced his retirement. He spent nine seasons with the Calgary Flames and Arizona Coyotes, netting 178 points in 501 career NHL games. 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 29, 2016



NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 29, 2016

The Anaheim Ducks are reportedly at an impasse with RFAs Hampus Lindholm (above) and Rickard Rakell.

The Anaheim Ducks are reportedly at an impasse with RFAs Hampus Lindholm (above) and Rickard Rakell.

Latest free-agent news plus updates on Aaron Ekblad, Andrew Shaw & more in this morning’s NHL headlines. 

NEWSDAY: The New York Islanders signed unrestricted free agent defenseman Dennis Seidenberg to a one-year, $1 million contract. 

NJ.COM:  The New Jersey Devils signed UFA blueliner Kyle Quincey to a one-year, $1.25 million contract. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  Two good, affordable short-term moves by the Isles and Devils to bolster their respective bluelines. These signings also likely remove two potential destinations for UFA rearguard Kris Russell, though he reportedly prefers to sign with a Western Conference club. 

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks contract talks with restricted free agents Hampus Lindholm and Rickard Rakell remain at an impasse, though the Ducks are believed closer to a potential deal with Rakell. He’s thought to be seeking a deal comparable to the six-year, $24 million contract of Carolina’s Victor Rask.

Lindholm, meanwhile, is reportedly seeking a six-year deal worth $6 million per season, while the Ducks apparently wish to give him an annual cap hit comparable to Columbus’ Seth Jones ($5.4 million) and Toronto’s Morgan Rielly ($5 million). The Ducks have no interest in signing either player to two-year bridge contracts, as that could possibly open the door to much larger deals once the bridge contracts expire. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s also worth noting that the Ducks currently have just over $7.5 million in cap space. Whatever they eventually pay Lindholm and Rakell will mean making a salary-dumping deal to clear cap room for those two. Defenseman Cam Fowler ($4 million annual cap hit) is frequently mentioned as a possible trade candidate. 

NBC SPORTS: Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad (neck injury) has been medically cleared by team doctors to return to action, Ekblad suffered the injury playing for Team North America in the World Cup of Hockey. 

TSN:  Montreal Canadiens forward Andrew Shaw faces a telephone hearing today with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety after boarding Washington Capitals defenseman Connor Hobbs in a preseason game on Tuesday. 

Bob McKenzie reports Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Jared Cowen’s grievance hearing with an independent arbitrator is set for Oct. 19. Cowen is grieving the Leafs buyout of his contract.