NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 29, 2019
The Devils extended the Canadiens winless skid, Akim Aliu responds to Bill Peters’ letter of apology, Devan Dubnyk reveals his wife is dealing with medical issues, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: The New Jersey Devils defeated the Montreal Canadiens 6-4 to extend the latter’s winless skid to six games (0-4-2). Devils center Blake Coleman celebrated his birthday with two goals and two assists while teammate Mackenzie Blackwood made 44 saves.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens’ defensive woes continue to be their undoing. Too many costly turnovers, too many odd-man rushes, too many defensive breakdowns. Habs goaltender Carey Price usually offsets those issues when he’s on his game, something he hasn’t been throughout this slump. I’ll have more on the Canadiens this morning in the Rumors section.
TSN.CA: Former NHL player Akim Aliu responded to Calgary Flames head coach Bill Peters letter of apology to the organization, calling it “misleading, insincere, and concerning.” Peters was responding to Aliu’s allegation claiming the Flames coach hurled racial slurs at him during their time with the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs in 2009-10.
Aliu and his lawyer have met with the NHL Players Association and he has accepted an invitation to meet with the league regarding the situation. Until then, he’s declined further comment on the issue.
CALGARY SUN: A growing number of hockey fans are wondering what’s taking so long for the Flames to determine Peters’ future. According to sports legal expert Eric Macramalla, the club is sticking to the proper game-plan for handling this issue. “An investigation is absolutely part of the employment law playbook,” said Macramalla.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flames must conduct due diligence before deciding this matter. A hasty conclusion could prove costly. As Macramalla points out, if they fire Peters based on an allegation and it turns out to be false, he could file a multi-million dollar defamation lawsuit against the team.
TWINCITIES.COM: Minnesota Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk returned to practice yesterday after spending a week away with his ailing wife, Jennifer. Dubnyk didn’t elaborate on her condition, saying she was dealing with serious medical issues. Doctors hope to provide clarity on her condition after Thanksgiving. She is currently resting at home.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s hoping the doctors quickly find a solution and she makes a speedy recovery.
SPORTSNET: Edmonton Oilers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is sidelined for this weekend following a procedure on his hand. Teammate Alex Chiasson is in concussion protocol following a clean hit by Colorado Avalanche defenseman Ryan Graves during Wednesday’s game between the two clubs.
CBS SPORTS: Ottawa Senators goaltender Craig Anderson is on injured reserve with an upper-body injury. The earliest he could return to the lineup is Tuesday.
CBC NEWS: NHL free-agent defenseman Adam McQuaid is still recovering from head and neck injuries. He’s uncertain if he’s coming to the end of his playing career, noting he’s been in chronic pain for some time. McQuaid attributed his injuries to his style of play but he has no regrets. “You could say that it shortened my career or you could say that my career wouldn’t even have been as long as it was if I didn’t play the way I did,” he said.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: McQuaid’s doing the right thing putting his health first. Once he’s fully recovered, he’ll have to decide if he’ll continue his playing career. It’s easy for observers to advocate retirement, but it’s a difficult decision for a player to leave the only career they’ve known.