NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 24, 2012.

Tim Thomas’ boycott of the White House panned…Alexander Ovechkin suspended…Penguins still lacking secondary scoring…Updates on Jonathan Toews, Jamie Benn, Tomas Fleischmann and Peter Mueller…Red Wings win another at home…Kings Kyle Clifford has a big night in win over Senators…Dainius Zubrus looks into charges against former youth coach.


Thomas panned for snubbing White House ceremony.

BOSTON GLOBE/BOSTON HERALD/CSNNE.COM/ESPNBOSTON: panned the decision by Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas not to attend the White House ceremony yesterday honoring the Bruins Stanley Cup championship. NBCSPORTS.COM has a roundup of reaction amongst the punditry, most of which also wasn’t supportive of Thomas’ stance.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Thomas has the right to his political views, but his stance overshadowed what was the celebration of a team accomplishment.  I’ve read a few of Thomas’ supporters comparing his stance to that of Muhammad Ali’s refusal to be inducted into the US Army in the 1960s. Folks, there is no comparison. Ali sacrificed nearly four years of his professional life, risked prison, and suffered personal persecution for years for refusing to serve in the Army based on his religious beliefs. Thomas has risked nothing, except perhaps a scolding behind the scenes from the Bruins front office, and maybe a chiding from a few teammates, for putting personal politics ahead of the team.

KUKLA’S KORNER: The NHL has suspended Washington Capitals captain Alexander Ovechkin three games for his hit upon Pittsburgh Penguins’ defenseman Zbynek Michalek in a recent game.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No surprise, as his previous suspension history was taken into account.

POST-GAZETTE.COM: The Penguins may be rolling along with a six-game winning streak, but their lack of secondary scoring has them walking a fine line.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s likely to keep the Penguins in the rumor mill heading toward the trade deadline, especially if it appears Sidney Crosby and Jordan Staal might be sidelined beyond February 27th.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews will miss tonight’s game and perhaps the All-Star game to an arm injury, but it’s hoped he’ll be ready to return to action when the All-Star break is over.

DALLASNEWS.COM: Dallas Stars injured forward Jamie Benn is expected to play in the upcoming All-Star Game, while a contract extension might have to wait until season’s end.

DETROIT NEWS: The Red Wings won their seventeenth straight home down, downing the St. Louis Blues 3-1.

SUN-SENTINEL.COM: Tomas Fleischmann has rebounded from a medical condition to become one of the Florida Panthers top scorers.

DENVER POST: Peter Mueller, recently returned from a lengthy absence to post-concussion symptoms, continues to improve as his ice time and shots increase.

NJ.COM: Devils forward Dainius Zubrus is concerned over the arrest of his former youth coach for sexual acts with a teenage boy. “It makes you sick to your stomach that things like that could happen”, said Zubrus. “I’m a father myself. If anybody is guilty of that type of thing, he should be in jail.” Zubrus said nothing like that happened to him, or to anyone he’s spoken with who also played for that coach.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Coaches can become like father figures to many players, or at the very least, respected authority figures, so obviously Zubrus is shaken up by this news.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Kyle Clifford had a Gordie Howe hat trick as his Kings downed the Ottawa Senators 4-1.


  1. Kinda thinking that the Pens should shut down Crosby for the year. Let him get right again, if possible, and free up some money for them to bring in a player or two. Considering that after this and next season there are gonna be some tough choices to make contract wise, Crosby, Staal, Neal, Cooke, Dupuis, Niskanen and Kennedy all either RFA or FA. So this season and next may be the “closing of the window” for them to have all this talent available and be considered Cup contenders not just playoff contenders. Staal and Neal can command fairly hefty raises and one has to wonder is Crosby gonna sign for a lesser amount to allow them to keep some of these guys. I think you offer up a first and a prospect if needed to try and pull Selanne outta Anaheim and maybe a 2nd or 3rd for Prospal. Play Selanne, Malkin and Neal / Kunitz, Staal and Prospal / Jeffrey, Sullivan and Kennedy / Adams, Cooke and Dupuis. Defense wise they are in good shape, even Martin is starting to look like he is more comfortable with the system.

  2. If Crosby did come back this year ( big if) I could see Selanne oking a trade to Pitts to finish off his last year and giving him another shot at a cup. He could be reunited with former Duck line mate Chris Kunitz
    Kunitz / Crosby / Selanne – not a bad line.

  3. Even better, just not seeing Crosby back this year honestly if ever. In the games after he came back every time he checked someone or was checked you could just feel everyone cringe. Then the hit he took that put him back out seemed so slight. Would love to have him back but it’s just not worth it for him. Man has a cup and a gold medal, led the league in scoring.

  4. I hope Crosby recovers fully, as he’s a great player, and a solid person. The league needs him. Shut him down for the year so he can recover.

    As for TT, for the first time in over 45 years as Broons’ fan, I am ashamed. His act was very selfish.

  5. I wonder how Thomas enjoyed his time playing in Sweden… Us having 33% income tax and free dental care, free health care, free (plus roughly 480$ in support/month) education and other scaaaary socialistic ideas… :)

  6. I still don’t understand why Thomas not going to the White House is such a big deal? He already has his ring and his name on the Cup. I can imagine that is more important to him than a picture with the President, who he doesn’t see eye to eye with. This is a non-story.

  7. good for tim thomas for recognizing that rights and freedom are more important than hockey and pro sports.

  8. Ovechkin is sitting out of the ASG, and toews is also because of injury

  9. I like what Thomas did. Politics have tainted north American society over the last 25 years by getting big, out of touch, and greedy. Clinton opened up trade agreements that made it legal for amercia. Companies to pay children $2 a day to make a product they sell to you for $150. They opened immigration floodgates and made sure all of them knew “who brought you here” by planting little political flags in their welcome bags, give away tax payer money to them for having done nothing for society yet, and let them start to dictate that prayers ins chill is offensive and some have even tried to get rid of our national anthem. Ppeople like my grandparents fought for the rights I enjoy today only to have seen our politicians let everyone in for political gain, increase taxes, give more money to those who refuse to work or have a “disability” ( both original citizens and immigrants, the new trend is being bipolar at 18 so you collect $1000 a month from the gov with subsidized housing”. Liberal/democrat politics have made our countries weaker. Ask the people who have lived (and their fathers/grandfather/etc.) in flint michigan, where Thomas is from, how they feel about government and they will all probably reiterate Thomas’s twitter post explanation. If I was offered to meet Paul Martin or Dalton mcguinty I would decline too, because I might tear a strip off them and punch them in the gut. Oh, and I don’t want to hear any “then why don’t you run for politics smart guy?!?” comments because the rich have made it virtually impossible for a Everyman to get involved. They’ve made it so that rich businessmen can do it and keep it their boys/girls club so that those lucrative gov contracts keep making them and their friends rich. Ask the ppl of Quebec where those arenas are that we’re signed off as “built” at a cost a of a few million dollars years ago. There isn’t even a shovel mark (see:Gomery inquiry). Ugh… Good for Thomas for speaking up for what he believes, God knows if his last name was reflective of middle eastern/central euro/African area and he was a newer citizen people would be applauding him. Hopefully because he a through and through American people respect that he spoke his mind without having PC fear. And yes, I know this country way back was founded on immigration, but there’s a huge difference when people of those times wanted to become Canadian by embracing the culture/religion/values or atleast understanding that these things helped make this country great, even if you don’t embrace the religion. The things I see nowadays make me think we have a huge downward spiral that won’t be stopped anytime soon.

  10. I am A Bruins fan and growing up Cam Neely was someone I loved to watch but the Bruins are off base here. The fact Chiarelli/Neely tried to “reason” with Thomas in my mind is not right. Some things are bigger than hockey and good for Thomas expressing his issues. Again this was not a stance against Obama (thats OK too). This was a stance against the direction our nation is going in. As far as being a distraction to his team Thomas would have been far more of a distraction had he gone and expressed his displeasure or went with a puss on his face. Thomas politely declined. This should have been a non-story but he is getting killed here in Boston for his decision and believe he shouldn’t be. Its amazing to me how many people skip out on Bush era events at the White House because of political views and no one said boo. Thomas declines an invite from President Obama and its like the world is going to end. Also Spector I haven’t heard anyone compare Thomas’ stance to Ali’s but you are 110% correct there is no comparison anyone who really thinks so is an idiot.

  11. Thomas pulled a stupid stunt by his boycott. This isn’t a political rally and so politics should have no place in it. A national recognition of the team’s accomplishment is not the place to pout and try to make a statement.

    He embarrassed himself and his team. He deserves all the grief he is getting and his image is certainly much lower in my eyes.

  12. Well Robert good thing guys like Tim Thomas don’t care about image or how they are perceived.

  13. We get it SmielmaN, you hate immigrants.

  14. no doubt the puppets in the media will try and hang TT at all costs. they will make it sound like hes unamerican and a hypocrite for suiting up for team usa. its pretty clear that hes not happy with the government but loves what america was and should be. huge respect from this habs fan!

  15. @ Frank Brophy

    Whoah, Frank, strange take on SmielmaN’s comments. This is not a immigrant issue, or an issue of what party you side with. That’s the point.

    I hate the Bruins, I’m a Canucks fan, But I do commend him on standing up and stating what many of the working class have been saying for years. There IS a class war going on, and his comments, while maybe not the best example are not off base in a broader argument. One only needs to look at the High value Vancouver real Estate and the Micro market that seems to be happening. Strange at first glance, stranger when you start to know who the buyers are and where that cash came from.

    We need more people with visiability to do such things.

    Wikipedia and the likes didn;t shut down for a day just for fun- it was a protest against some very Un-America legislation.

    This isn;t even a Hockey issue, I doubt his teammates give a rat’s a**- half are Canadians, some Europeans etc etc.

    There is some very serious issues afoot in America and really through-out the world- If half the people on this site bashing him would do a little homework, you might just be angry enough to put your foot down, it;s a better place to out it than your mouth.

  16. Agree that people are blowing this way out of proportion. I’m a far left liberal and I see no problem with him exercising his rights. If he’s happy with the Tea Party and plays like he has, all the best to him. It does make me wonder however if the pressure from the club to attend has affected his play. These last couple of weeks TT has not been his normal stellar self. I think his politics are deluded but the job he gets paid for, that which matters most, he has been the NHL’s best in 2 of the last 3 years.

  17. Yeah it is a shame SmielmaN. All those immigrants entering the country, taking all the jobs and forcing indians to live on small reservations. It’s a true shame they were let in.

    Oh wait…..

  18. Thomas is lucky he only insulted Obama, If he would have insulted a Kennedy, he would have been stuffed in a car and run off the Chappaquididdck bridge

  19. As far the Thomas decision goes. I take it this way. He made a decision as an adult, as we all do. End of story. For me anyways.

  20. I hear a lot of people talking about Tim Thomas exercising his right to boycot the ceremony…But I disagree with those people…This was not a political function. This had nothing to do with political party loyalties or rallies. The whole meaning of this event was for the Boston Bruin Stanley Cup winning team to be honored by the leader of the country.

    This should have been treated as a team function like any other mandatory team function that is organized by the Bruins.

    This was not a political scheme that was created by Obama…it was an annual event hosted by the sitting president, as far back as I can remember. It wasn’t intended to be political…Tim Thomas made it political. Lets keep politics out of sports.

    oh…and Ovechkin bowing out of the All Star Game? Probably scared that he might be chosen last. I’m sure your whole sum of 50 fans would appreciate that…Nice.

  21. TJ, I agree there are huge issues and Thomas’s decision to turn down his visit with the president hopefully has nothing to do with immigrants, but SmielmaN clearly hates immigrants. In a post where nothing had been discussed about immigrants, Thomas said nothing about them. I didn’t read all the articles about it, but I assume that wasn’t a huge issue in most of them, SmielmaN’s post says:

    – opened immigration floodgates
    – give away tax payer money to them for having done nothing for society yet
    – let them start to dictate that prayers ins chill is offensive
    – some have even tried to get rid of our national anthem.
    – people like my grandparents (i.e. I’m not an immigrant)
    – both original citizens and immigrants (clarifying that even those born here would do such a thing)
    -God knows if his last name was reflective of middle eastern/central euro/African area and he was a newer citizen people would be applauding him
    – there’s a huge difference when people of those times wanted to become Canadian by embracing the culture/religion/values or atleast understanding that these things helped make this country great, even if you don’t embrace the religion.

    It’s a lot of immigrant hating to get into out of nowhere and it’s based on the premise that his/her (probably a his) culture and religion are superior, and most likely believes that God made it that way.

  22. Despite my dislike for Obama, I probably would have gone to the event just for the team unity aspect of it. But if Thomas felt like he just didn’t want to do it, then good for him.

    The reason Thomas is getting flack from the press is because most of the press, including the sports press, tends to be way left of center in their political leanings. As someone else mentioned earlier, there have been people who refused to go to events like this when Bush was President, but no one made a big deal about it then.

  23. I am extremely left wing and if I were American I would not have gone too. Obama’s presidency from an outside perspective has looked like a forehand-backhand move in a shootout -> fake left, go right.

  24. @Mats,

    Given that you deliberately misinforming people about taxes, he probably hated it. The effective tax rate for a guy with his income is well over 60%. He was forced to pay into a pension system he can’t collect and you seem to confuse free health care with good health care. With all the vacation, better diet and all the rest you don’t live much longer than an American. I lived there myself, and seeing how crappy government service is for a small country with no excuse, let alone one 50 times bigger, it no doubt it fueled Thomas’s hatred of those crap systems you are brainwashed to love. The boring arrogant people with no emotion probably didn’t help either. Other than that I am sure he loved it.