NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 24, 2013.

Results of Wednesday’s NHL games, plus the latest on Jamie Benn, Jeff Skinner, Cory Conacher, Dany Heatley, Brent Burns, Willie Mitchell and more.

Gaborik's hat trick leads Rangers to first win of the season.

Gaborik’s hat trick leads Rangers to first win of the season.

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS/BOSTON HERALD: Marian Gaborik netted a hat-trick, including the game-winning goal, powering the NY Rangers to their first victory of the season, a 4-3 OT win over the Boston Bruins. Nathan Horton was among the goal-scorers for the Bruins, potting his first since returning from a concussion.

AZCENTRAL/COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Steve Sullivan scored a hat trick to lead the Phoenix Coyotes to a 5-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. It was the Coyotes first win of the season, but came at a price, as starting goalie Mike Smith left the game in the first period with a lower-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Results of the Maple Leafs-Penguins and Canucks-Flames games can be found in “Canadian Corner”.

PHILLY.COM: The Flyers face the NY Rangers tonight without Scott Hartnell (foot injury – indefinitely) and Brayden Schenn (one-game suspension).

DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Mike Heika reports patience is required in the contract negotiations between Jamie Benn and the Dallas Stars.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Of the trio of notable unsigned RFAs (Montreal’s PK Subban and Colorado’s Ryan O’Reilly being the others), it’s been suggested Benn could be the first to agree to a new deal. Perhaps, but it’s apparent it’s still going to take time to get it done.

NEWSOBSERVER.COM: Carolina Hurricanes star forward Jeff Skinner is working on improving his defensive play.

TAMPA TRIBUNE: Lightning rookie Cory Conacher isn’t getting as much press as other notable NHL rookies, but he’s currently tied for the rookie scoring lead with five points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Keep your eye on Conacher, he could be a contender for the Calder Trophy this season.

STARTRIBUNE.COM: Minnesota Wild forward Dany Heatley is healthy and happy, and hoping to put last season’s dismal performance behind him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Heatley’s best seasons (50 goals, 100 points) seem behind him, but he could still be an effective offensive player for the Wild. 30-35 goals and 70-75 points aren’t out of reach for him.

CSN BAY AREA: The San Jose Sharks have placed defenseman Brent Burns (foot injury) on injured reserve to make room for the recently signed Scott Gomez.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Kings coach Darryl Sutter believes veteran defenseman Willie Mitchell is fully recovered from knee surgery, but Mitchell would prefer to take a little longer with his recovery.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sutter’s an old-school coach whose club is off to a slow start and has already lost Matt Greene to a back injury, so of course he wants Mitchell to hurry back to the lineup. That, however, could be a mistake. Rushing Mitchell’s return could aggravate that knee, hampering or sidelining him again.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Blackhawks defenseman Johnny Oduya spent a month during the lockout playing hockey in Bangkok. That’s not a typo. Bangkok. As in Thailand.

DETROIT NEWS: The play of rookie forward Damien Brunner has been among the few bright spots in an otherwise slow, painful start for the Red Wings.

CBC.CA: Wayne Gretzky denied rumors he would be taking over the role of president of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

TORONTO SUN: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman is grateful hockey fan didn’t abandon the league because of the recent lockout. He praised local markets for their efforts in reaching out to disgruntled fans.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: “Greatest fans in the world”. That loyalty will be tested again in about eight years time, when the NHL could use its “opt-out” option to stage yet another lockout. They’ll do it without any concern of fan revolt. The numbers will back them up. So much for fan protests and boycotts. Empty threats carry no weight. Remember that.


  1. The sad thing is, I kept my word and have stayed away. As I have said before, it takes more than one person to make a statement. I agree in about 8 years time, there will more than likely be another lockout.

    To the people who didn’t stand up and went running back in the door for the first game and didn’t cancel season tickets, I won’t feel sorry for them when they complain about another lockout. Harsh, yes, but they really have no room to argue about it.

    • I’m with you Sarah. I’m staying away, too. The only word Bettman left out in his “Greatest fans in the world” statement, was FOOLS.
      As both you and Shaun stated, the NHL will do it all over again in 8 years, and I won’t care.

    • Not everyone felt the need to “Stand up” in the end the NHL is entertainment and people will choose to watch it or not watch it. You have made the choice to go elsewhere even though you are clearly still interested in the NHL. While I am not going to judge someone for walking away, I won’t accept the opinion that fans needed to walk away.

  2. You are bang on with your “Greatest Fans In The World” post Spector. It will be another lockout in eight years as the combination of the economy, poorly located franchises, and poorly run teams will converge. The new unwritten corporate motto is that of that of “privatized profits” and “socialized losses”. In other words, when things are going well, its all mine. But if things aren’t working, not only are you now a partner, but you probably will be the sole reason and solution to get the “House back in order”. This is the positon that the players will yet again find themselves in and I hope that this time, the media coverage will have realized that NHL owners, like the rest of the International Corporate Cartels, will not be satisfied untill employees are working for nothing. This is a fact that has been playing out across all so called developed nations over the past decade and I want to commend the players for at least marginally standing up to the owners. They better be ready to do it again in eight years and I hope that this time, they will be recognized for their efforts to stand against tyranny or Corpratism or whatever they are calling it then.

    • yup..the players are gonna work for nothing…totally see that happening.

  3. If the owners were right and the players were getting paid too much, then what good would boycotting have done?

    I predicted years ago rightly: the NFL would have no lockout, the NBA would have a short one, the NHL’s season would be in trouble. I saw it coming back when Jersey was bombing and I was checking up on other sports back in 2011. People can give many excuses as to why these lockouts took place, but I only see one main reason.

    Years ago a man started predicting the weather based on the patterns of solar radiation and he was more accurate than weather satellites. The sun affects the weather more than the tides of both wind and water does. In the very same way, money affects a league’s lockout situation more than all other contributing factors combined. If the NHL is prosperous, there will be no lockout.

    So what would taking money away from it do?

    Well the NHL’s system was in trouble and it needed to be fixed, and the players wanted no part of that. The owners were then forced to lockout the players “for the good of the game”. If this wasn’t true, then it wouldn’t have happened and we’d have been watching hockey since October.

    Now I’m not saying this as though it’s absolutely true: nobody but the owners and the commissioner really knows, but even if it’s not, we must give them the benefit of the doubt that it is. Because the good of the game can’t afford for its fans to be wrong.

    Otherwise, if you actually do stage a boycott and you take even more money away from the game, what you “might” get is a shorter lockout, but you absolutely will get is people who are in a hurry to stitch together a bad CBA (vs. a good one) and forcing the league to fold about five of its teams and become a non-par league again with only about 10 of those 25 clubs competing because the players were paid too much money and the owners would have had to give in to their demands. Then growth and expansion of the NHL would have been impossible because no other city (not even Canadian ones) could ice competitive hockey markets, and because of that, revenue also stands still.

    If, however, the NHL is prosperous and both owners and players are making money, lockouts don’t happen. Boycotts are great for the right reasons, but a boycott to a sport that is attempting to expand its market (and it serves all of its membership, not just the bottom tier, as it maintains continent-wide interest in the game) is simply to stop it from expanding and growing into the most competitive league in ANY pro sport.

    I say yes, hockey fans are the greatest fans in the world… and it’s not because we don’t boycott a lockout that was probably necessary due to the complacency of players behind a greedy lawyer who doesn’t give a hoot about hockey. It’s because we’re fans of a league where 26 of the 30 teams have a theoretical chance of winning the cup every year, and the league’s last place team can win the Cup five or less years later (Chicago and Pittsburgh).

    If I were to boycott anyone, it would be player agents. Take them out and have hockey players negotiate their own contracts, then we’ll see if there are any lockouts anymore.

    • Face it, let’s just admit we’re hooked and there’s no real alternative if you’re a fan of hockey. Two tickets please…

  4. HEY Guys, Habinator here, famous as Gilles Poisson, Cournoyer12, Puck Daddy’s favorite Habs1-Zsa Zsa..
    Couple of quick comments, The Scott Gomez fiasco never ends for us..How bad was That trade, you ask??
    Well, the Habs can probably get a Courtier and a fisrt rounder from the Flyers right now for PK Subban, but since Gainey gave away Ryan McDonagh to the Rangers., the Habs feel they are short on defensemen until a couple of prospects can be groomed, so Montreal, in Dire need of young fowards, is in a corner right now..I also demanded an “Order of Protection” against Scott Gomez, so he can Never come to Montreal, again..