NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 28, 2011.

Shea Weber out with concussion…Rangers keep rolling despite injuries…Capitals still seek consistency… Devils Adam Henrique among league’s best rookies…Lightning lose two defensemen…Dead duck hurled during Ducks-Sharks game…Winter Classic means big bucks for Philadelphia…Could NHL consider contract amnesty?…Updated list of concussions and suspensions…Former NHL player/coach Johnny Wilson passes away.

THE TENNESSEAN: Nashville Predators captain Shea Weber is out with a concussion, but he’ll attempt to return for this Friday’s game against St. Louis.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I guess this would be classified as a “mild” concussion if he’s thinking of returning on Friday.

NEW YORK POST: Injuries to several players (Marc Staal, Steve Eminger, Michael Sauer, Jeff Woywitka and Stu Bickel) haven’t slowed the Rangers, who remain one of the hottest teams in the league this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Staal is reportedly now skating in contact drills with his teammates. Fortunately for the Rangers, Staal is the only one of their best players who’s been sidelined for a significant period of time.

WASHINGTON POST: One month into Dale Hunter’s tenure as head coach, the Capitals continue to struggle with consistency.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: They’ve been consistently inconsistent this season, hinting at deeper problems which a coaching change cannot fix.

Henrique among league's top rookies.

NEW YORK POST: Devils center Adam Henrique has been scoring at a point-per-game clip, placing him third in Devils scoring, among the top rookies in the league, and could keep him centering their first line.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Henrique has been a pleasant surprise for the Devils this season, one of the reasons they’re playing better than expected.

TAMPABAY.COM: The already injury-depleted Lightning defense lost two more blueliners last night, as Eric Brewer and Victor Hedman both left last night’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Brewer did return to action, but he and Hedman will receive further assessment and treatment today. The Bolts cannot afford to lose either guy, let alone both.

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: A fan smuggled a dead duck into Monday’s Anaheim Ducks-San Jose Sharks game and tossed it onto the ice to mock the struggling Ducks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: While not a wise thing to do, one has to admire the effort, as well as the joke.

PHILLY.COM: This year’s Winter Classic in Philadelphia could exceed the $22 million generated in Pittsburgh for last season’s Winter Classic.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As long as the Winter Classic remains a lucrative money-maker for the host cities, we can expect these New Year’s Day games to continue.

VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Tony Gallagher wonders if the NHL in the next CBA might adopt a one-time-only amnesty buyout for teams wishing to dump expensive contracts.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the majority of the team owners want it, we’ll probably see it.

CBC.CA: An updated list of concussions and suspensions this season.

TORONTO SUN: Rest in peace, Johnny Wilson.


  1. The weird thing about Anaheim / San Jose is that Anaheim has won 3 games against SJ this year and only 7 games against the rest of the league

  2. Something is up with the Sharks this year – they’re just not the powerhouse I thought they would be. Havlat is a bust and they just aren’t scoring as much or something – I just can’t put my finger on it. A part of me believes that Big Joe is becoming as stale as he was in Boston when he was traded and that the team needs some fresh leadership – another part of me believes it is coaching and that McLellen just isn’t the answer (to get the Sharks to the next level). Anyway, they’re in the playoff hunt and I guess thats all that matters right now.

  3. Thornton wasn’t stale in Boston, Steve. Boston was horribly mismanaged until Chiarelli and Neely took over the front office. Between 97 and 05 they had a dozen head coach changes. When he was traded, he was scoring at a ridiculous point and a half a game, and nobody was even close to him on the Bruins. They never brought in supporting players for him. Prior to the trade, his best linemate was Glen Murray, and he was barely earning minutes courtesy of the GAS line and questionable coaching strategies. Ftorek threw the “C” on his chest before he was captain material. He still may not be captain material, the jury’s still out on that one. Regardless, Boston is not known for having an understanding fanbase when the team struggles. He was made a scapegoat when O’Connell traded him.

    Dunno what hurts more, knowing that I am a Rangers fan or knowing that I know more about the Bruins’ recent history than some of the Bruins fans I call my friends …

  4. Chaas – thanks for bringing me up to speed on Thornton – I think you are right about “captain material” – I know when SJ got him, I was stunned as I thought he would never be traded from Boston, so that is why I used the word “stale”. I think wearing the C takes a certain personality and I think for San Jose, Boyle or Murray, would have been a good choice – maybe even Clowe. But, I still don’t think McLellan will take them all the way to the cup and I also think they are missing something. So it will be interesting to see who thye pick up in the New Year.