NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 10, 2012.

Scott Hartnell gets “Gordie Howe hat trick” in Flyers win over Maple Leafs…Tim Thomas declines to discuss his political views…Tomas Holmstrom to reach significant milestone…Former Red Wings captain won’t play in next year’s Winter Classic Alumni Game….Panthers and Capitals jockeying for first in the Southeast Division…Wild coach unhappy with his team’s performance…Blackhawks missing their chances…Coyotes win fourth straight…Ducks cannot afford to slide in race for playoffs.


Hartnell has big game against Maple Leafs.

PHILLYBURBS.COM: Flyers forward Scott Hartnell had a “Gordie Howe hat trick” helping his club down the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3.

BOSTON GLOBE: Bruins goalie Tim Thomas served warning to reporters he won’t discuss his political views in future interviews. Thomas has made headlines for his right wing political commentaries on his Facebook account.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s nothing wrong with Thomas voicing his political views on his Facebook account, as he has the right to free speech. However, there’s also freedom of the press, and they have the right to ask him about those views, something Thomas must’ve known would be coming after making them public via social media.

DETROIT FREE PRESS: Long time Red Wings forward Tomas Holmstrom will play his 1, 000th career NHL game when his club plays the Anaheim Ducks tonight.

MLIVE.COM: Former Red Wings captain Steve Yzerman said he would not participate in the 2013 Winter Classic Alumni Game.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to Holmstrom on his milestone. As for Yzerman, Red Wings fans shouldn’t be upset over his decision, which could be tied to the knee injuries he had during his career.

WASHINGTON POST/SUN-SENTINEL.COM: The Washington Capitals and Florida Panthers continue to jockey for first in the Southeast Division, as the Capitals fell out of first with a shootout loss to the Winnipeg Jets, while the Panthers regained top spot with a win over the LA Kings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It could take winning the division for one of those teams to make this year’s playoffs. Could make for an entertaining race down to the wire for these two teams.

STARTRIBUNE.COM: Minnesota Wild coach Mike Yeo vented his anger last night following his team’s 5-2 loss to the Vancouver Canucks, knocking the Wild out of a playoff berth in the Western Conference, upset over what he considered an unwillingness of his players to pay the price to win. “We stink”, said Yeo.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wild’s main problem, as always, is their inability to score, though injuries have played a significant factor in that area this season.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: One reason the Blackhawks have struggled of late is they’ve missed opportunities to score, especially in the third period.

ARIZONA REPUBLIC: The Phoenix Coyotes won their fourth straight game, downing the Calgary Flames in overtime 2-1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Trade speculation continues to dog Coyotes Shane Doan and Ray Whitney, but as long as Phoenix remains in playoff contention, don’t expect either guy to be dealt.

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks have gained significant ground in the past month, moving from 20 points out of a playoff berth in early January to ten points out today, but they still face a long road to reach a playoff berth.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Ducks hope to beat the odds and clinch a playoff berth, they cannot afford even a short losing streak.


  1. Cuddos to Holmstrom, one of the NHL’s greatest warriors…. a guy who plays the game the right way and has paid the price over his career for ultimate success. That is 1000 hard games.

    If Thomas continues to post his personal views on a public forum, then he better be ready to explain those views to the public. Why post on facebook and then remain silent? This guys is becoming more strange with each passing week. I can’t imagine that the Bruins Brass is happy with this.

    I with the Ducks would make it, but the odds are stacked heaily against them. I think they can only lose 3-5 more games all season (or something like that) if they want to make the playoffs… not going ot happen. (And no, they will not be rading a cornerstone player)

  2. NikK he doesn’t have to explain his views, or even discuss them with the public. He can say whatever he wants on his personal facebook page, the exception being talking ugly about the boss. But that’s universal for everyone. The difference is he’s a public figure, so he can and will be asked about it. But he doesn’t have to answer or explain his views. As far as the Bruins Brass goes, the Flyers tried to censor Bryzgalov in the HBO 24/7 series. How’d that work out for them? Freedom of Speech exists in America, as does the right to not discuss certain topics with the press. Why else would the phrase “No Comment” exist?

  3. chaas… if you dont want to publicly discuss your opinions, then my make them public on a public medium?

    I dont understand the logic of public statements being private. Are they public or not?

    You want to keep your coments private? Write them in a journal and read them to youself every night. The second you put them on facebook (***with obvious intent to share that content with the world***) you are making them public. Facebook is not a storage space for private thoughts. It is not as if someone overheard a private conversation, or invaved his privacy to collect this content. This was Thomas coming right out and posting things on his facebook page which is “liked” and followed by fans of his, the Bruins, and the NHL alike.

    The first issue of missing the whitehouse visit i have no issue with (aside from upsetting your teammates). He didnt go and simply said that his political views are such and he chose not to go. Fine.. he had no comment aside from silent protest to begin with . He explained it, and moved on.

    Now, he comes to the forefront with comments that are politically motivated, directed at the general population, are completely non-contextual and then refuses to shed light on their meaning or explain the context to their significance. Again, why post on a public space if they are private thoughts?

  4. Huge win for the ‘Peg last night. If they only could continue winning on the road. Beating their division rivals is key. Pavelec is clearly the best goalie in the division. Now would be a good time for Kane and Wheeler to get hot. A little secondary scoring and they just might take the southeast (ha! Winnipeg- southeast).

  5. Is the press in the locker room for hockey purposes or political commentary purposes? If they are allowed access for hockey purposes then Thomas can refuse to speak about other topics. If they are allowed in for general reporting with no specifics then Thomas will have to keep telling ppl no comment. Big deal. He didn’t hurt anybody.

  6. SmielmaN: It’s naive to assume Thomas’ comments aren’t angering some fans and his conduct is starting to border on unprofessional. Keep in mind that hockey players have a professional conduct clause in their contracts, which is why Sean Avery was suspended for his comments about Phaneuf and his ex-girlfriend. I’m not suggesting that Thomas’ comments are similar to Avery’s, but hockey players need to focus on hockey and winning games. The distraction Thomas’ comments are creating are detrimental to the Bruins, his teammates, the dressing room atmosphere, and Thomas himself. The man is an exceptional goaltender but a poor political commentator. He should keep his views to himself unless willing to discuss them with the media. It’s obtuse for fans to expect the media to leave him alone after making controversial statements such as his. This is the third time he’s done or said something controversial and refused to discuss it. Like it or not, Thomas is a public figure and anything he does in public will be scrutinized.

  7. “However, there’s also freedom of the press, and they have the right to ask him about those views”
    C’mon SPECTOR, You have to know that freedom of the press has nothing to do with asking Thomas about his political views. It guarantees Americans the right to express themselves without interference from the government. Yeah the press can ask but he doesn’t have an obligation to answer. Amendment I – Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

  8. Thomas might not have to explain himself, but he’s becoming a distraction. I used to think the bruins had a good shot at repeating, if he keeps this up they’re out in the 1st or 2nd round of the playoffs

  9. Tony D: Thomas is a public figure, who chose to make his political views public. The press, under the First Amendment, has the right to ask him about those views.He doesn’t have to answer their questions, but that doesn’t mean the press is out of bounds to ask him about them.

  10. Spector, you are right on.
    Thomas is a coward for throwing his politics out there for everyone and turtling when questioned about it. Sports writers are journalists. Yes they focus on Sports stories but if you speak to them it is the same as facing off with Dan rather or the like.. They are professionally duty bound (IMO) to pursue what Thomas publicaly throws out there.

    I am also begining to wonder is thinking of his post hockey career. A few more comments like that should get him a spot as a talking head like Limbaugh, Beck or Carlson.

  11. All I’m saying is that he has strong political beliefs and he, while be a public figure, will respond however he wants. By him making social media posts, then not discussing it on a more personal level he has brought a lot of attention. Who knows how TT feels about his public perception, but I’m guessing because he is continuing to do this he is happy with the attention. Maybe he feels te attention is good for him and his beliefs. Everyone’s talking about it so maybe he is getting what he wants.

    I’m not saying that it is a good situation for his team but he has given himself to make a political statement and he did. Some agree, some don’t, he obviously doesn’t mind drawing the attention. If team management has a issue then they can address it with him and impose some kind of penalty for his social networking. I bet that won’t happen so if ppl don’t like what he’s saying, then don’t listen.

  12. Thomas is a hypocrite, he proved it last year in the playoffs when he hit Henrik Sedin OUTSIDE his crease after complaining about players bumping him in the same area and now he’s refusing to comment on political statements he’s made. there’s a simple way around this play hockey and don’t use your celebrity as a platform for political statements that have Nothing to do with hockey (let’s see how he feels about female contraception when his daughters reach puberty!).