NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 9, 2011.

Porter, Leino suspended…No supplemental discipline for Ovechkin…Wild and Kings heading in different directions…Flyers vault to first in East…Theodore blanks Bruins…Datsyuk injury not serious…Hossa reaches notable career milestone…Blues now fourth in West…Anisimov retires for goal-scoring gesture…Devils lose Greene to injury…Deal close for MLSE?

KUKLA’S KORNER: Colorado Avalanche forward Kevin Porter suspended four games for knee-on-knee hit to Vancouver’s David Booth.

NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: Buffalo Sabres forward Ville Leino suspended for one game for elbowing Philadelphia’s Matt Read in the head.

WASHINGTON POST: Capitals captain Alexander Ovechkin won’t face supplemental discipline for an apparent spear to Ottawa’s Chris Neil on Wednesday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A decision which will only stoke a growing opinion the NHL has one set of rules for disciplining its stars, and one for disciplining others. That, however, overlooks the fact Ovechkin has already been twice suspended in his NHL career. While I believe Ovechkin should’ve been penalized on the play, I also believe there’s no conclusive proof it was an intentional spear, which is likely why he’s not facing supplemental discipline.

Matt Hackett wins second straight start for Wild.

STARTRIBUNE.COM:Rookie Matt Hackett made 42 saves and got his second straight win in as many games, downing the LA Kings (who suffered their third straight loss since losing Mike Richards to injury) by a score of 4-2.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: For those who are wondering, Matt Hackett is related to former NHL goalie Jeff Hackett. Matt’s his nephew.

PHILLY.COM: The Flyers edged the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 to move into first overall in the Eastern Conference.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers strong performance of late, despite the absence of Chris Pronger, should silence talk of them making a trade for more blueline depth.

MIAMI HERALD: Jose Theodore made 40 saves en route to a 2-0 shutout of the Boston Bruins.

DETROIT FREE PRESS: Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock said a lower-body injury suffered by Pavel Datsyuk, which saw him sit out the third period of the Wings 5-2 win over the Phoenix Coyotes, isn’t serious and he’s not expected to miss any games.

SUNTIMES.COM: Marian Hossa scored his 400th career goal as the Chicago Blackhawks beat the NY Islanders in OT 3-2.

STLTODAY.COM: The Blues downed the Anaheim Ducks 4-2, giving them points in 13 of 15 games under head coach Ken Hitchcock,  moving them from 14th to 4th overall in the Western Conference.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hitchcock has done a terrific job with the Blues so far, as they’re finally playing up to expectations.

NEW YORK TIMES: Rangers forward Artem Anisimov apologized for pretending to fire his stick following a goal against the Tampa  Bay Lightning, which sparked a melee between the two clubs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: He’s not expected to be disciplined for the gesture.

NJ.COM: Devils defenseman Andy Greene will miss four weeks to a toe fracture.

CBC.CA: Bell Media, Rogers are reportedly close to a deal to purchase the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan shares of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This isn’t the first time Rogers was reportedly close to buying a majority stake in MLSE. Time will tell if, this time, it’s actually going to happen.

**UPDATE** Done deal, Rogers and Bell will get nearly an 80 percent stake in MLSE.


  1. No proof aside, a player has a responsibility for his stick. Just because he wasn’t looking at the player speared or tripped, or had no intention is like pleading ignorance on a speeding charge. It still happened, your stick did it, take the penalty for it. And until the NHL gets that concept in relation to its stars, then we’re never going to see proper enforcement of the rules, even if Ovechkin has been suspended before. After all a suspension is not based on what you have done in the past, but what your doing right now.

    As for MLSE and the Teachers Pension plan, I recall about a week or two ago where they floated the idea of selling, and then abruptly said that they now have no interest in selling. If this report by CBC is true, then it appears that the Ontario teachers are coming full circle when they are publicly full of crap in the media.

  2. How can anybody say there isn’t proof for Ovechkin. If you watch the replay, you can clearly see that while he is skating before and after the spear, Ovechkin’s stick sways to the movement but as he spears, the stick is completely still and pointing towards Neil. Isn’t that proof? I guess not.

    By the way, I still believe that the league has different rules for different players, it has just been more blatant since Shanahan. Also the two suspensions that Ovetchkin faced would have been far worse had they been by Matt Cooke or somebody like him.

  3. Umm who ever said they needed Blueline depth…even without Pronger they can roll out…Carle, Timmonen, Meszaros, Coburn…they are probably one of the deepest bluelines in the league and may only be contested by Pitt. The Flyers just need to be patient with what they got…nasty, deep team…like them to win a cup in the next 3 years.

  4. May only be contested by Pittsburgh? I just want to quickly counter that with

    Nashville: Weber, Suter, Klein, Blum, Josi, Hillen, Bouillon, Laasko, Ellis
    Boston: Chara, Boychuk, Corvo, Ferance, Seidnberg, McQuaid, Kampfer
    Washington: Green, Alzner, Carlson, Erskine, Hamrlik, Poti, Wideman, Schultz
    Los Angeles: Doughty, Johnson, Mitchell, Voyonov, Scuderi, Drewskie, Green, Martinez
    Detroit: Lindstrom, Rafalski, Commodore, Ericsson, Kidnl, Kronwall, Stuart, White

    Agreed Philly is deep … but a lot of teams are competing to be just as deep and just as talented on the blueline.

  5. The NYR/TBL game was an absolute circus. Really starting to dislike the whole HBO thing. Thinking it affects the way people act. Poor officiating (shock), a lot of nonsense culminating in a really silly celebration that I thought was awesome. NHL Hitz, baby! Two points of concern though.

    If Downie came off the bench after the melee began, does he get an automatic 10-game break? The MSG cameras and announcers certainly demonized him, and since the scrum happened by the penalty bench it was hard to determine when he left the bench, however it was clear it happened after the goal was scored.

    How did the Rangers ended up on a 5-on-3 in the aftermath of that though (They were already killing a penalty)? At best the situation should have remained a 5-on-4, but the refs continued to be bad by giving TBL their second 5-on-3 of the period. Dunno what they saw to make that decision but it looked to me like it should have been 4-on-4.

    The reaction itself was great, and I wish someone had reacted like that when Ovechkin pretended his stick was on fire. Gotta give big ups to Marc-Andre Bergeron for squaring off with Dubinsky, and big ups to Dubinsky for not tearing him in half like a phone book. Total mismatch. Best part of the game was the aftermath, where some folks were calling for supplemental discipline for Anisimov’s celebration.

  6. @AJ – I think it was just some posturing on both sides. The Teachers pension was asking for a lot and tried to say another group might be interested. Rogers had their price and said no dice and said they were going to walk away. Teachers Pension says they are no longer looking to sell so they don’t seem desperate to unload it and they work out a deal. It’s a decent deal for Bell and Rogers. They get Maple leafs, marlies, ACC, raptors, TFC plus all their real estate in toronto. Molson bought the habs for likew 530 million so that’s not a bad deal. I think they said it should pull in 80 to 90 million annually for them

  7. I think we are a small step closer to another team in toronto now also. I think Rogers and Bell would be much less opposed to having another team nearby seeing as they can likely control the TV viewing rights for it and they are all about building viewing content. You could have one team play on the other teams day off and have Toronto hockey every night.

    I am curious how this will effect hockey night in Canada once their TV contract runs out as right now Toronto plays most Saturdays.