NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 18, 2011.

In today’s collection of notable NHL morning headlines: Gretzky contacted to be part of bid for Maple Leafs…Ilya Bryzgalov gets the win over the Coyotes…Tuukka Rask backstops Bruins to shootout win over Blue Jackets…Avalanache’s Paul Stastny fails to get a shot in loss to Wild…Predators rookies misses open net in spectacular fashion…Ducks fall to Kings…Islanders goalie Evgeni Nabokov sidelined by apparent groin injury…Sharks Marc-Edouard Vlasic shines in victory over Red Wings…Dwayne Roloson and Vincent Lecavalier lead Lightning to victory over Penguins.


Could "The Great One" own the Maple Leafs?

TORONTO STAR: NHL Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky confirmed yesterday to Sportsnet he’d been approached by “multiple firms” to be part of their bid for the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan shares of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, which owns the Toronto Maple Leafs, but a Gretzky spokesman said so far there’s been nothing happening involving the purchase of the Leafs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Perhaps the American equity firm interested in MLSE hopes putting Gretzky, a Canadian icon, as their front man will ease the willies of those in Leafs Nation who have their knickers in a twist over the possibility of Americans owning a Canadian NHL team. Oh, my stars, my poor widdle Canadian sensibilities are so shocked by this possibility, I might faint! Of course, the Montreal Canadiens being owned for a decade by an American didn’t do them any harm, and those freaking out over the possibility of Americans owning the Leafs seem to forget their current GM and top scorer are Americans. 

PHILLY.COM: Ilya Bryzgalov got the win in his first game against his former club, as the Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Phoenix Coyotes 2-1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The only down note was the Flyers lost Jaromir Jagr to an apparent groin injury, though it’s not believed serious and he could return to the lineup on Monday.

BOSTON GLOBE: Tuukka Rask made 30 saves in regulation and stood tall in overtime and the shootout, as the Bruins defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If not for Rask, the Blue Jackets might’ve upset the Bruins in that game. 

DENVER POST: Avalanche center Paul Stastny failed to generate a shot on goal in his club’s 1-0 loss to the Minnesota Wild.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ugly stat for the Avs’ highest paid player, which is likely to stoke the trade rumors which have recently popped up over Stastny.

PUCK DADDY: Nashville Predators rookie Craig Smith had an “epic fail” in an attempt to score what should’ve been an easy empty netter.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Everyone was shocked Smith missed in such a spectacular manner, but it’s the only blight in what’s been a strong debut season for Smith. I daresay he’ll face some goodnatured razzing from teammates over this one for a while.

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks struggles continued, falling 5-3 to the Los Angeles Kings last night.

NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: NY Islanders goaltender Evgeni Nabokov suffered an apparent groin injury in last night’s game against the Montreal Canadiens. He’ll be reevaluated today to determine the severity of the injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This could potentially dampen the trade rumors that have swirled about Nabokov over the past couple of weeks.

MERCURYNEWS.COM: Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic had a goal and three assists, powering his team to a 5-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pickle Power! See, because his last name is Vlasic, a well-known brand of pickles…oh, never mind…

TBO.COM:  Dwayne Roloson turned aside 33 shots, and Vincent Lecavalier scored twice, as the Tampa Bay Lightning downed the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1.


  1. A group of American’s owning the Leafs can’t be any worse than being own by the freaking Teachers’ Pension Plan. At least if Gretzky was involved he would actually care about how the team plays since his own reputation would be on the line.

    That said, Gretzky proved while he was with the Coyotes that he is terrible at running a team so any Laffs fans who think having Gretzky as a minority owner will somehow make their pitiful team better are beyond delusional and should probably quit watching hockey.

  2. Has Columbus found a goalie? Sanford, yes Curtis Sanford, kept the BJs in the game last night just as much as Tuukka did for the Bruins. It was surprising how well the Blue Jackets clogged up the middle and prevented Boston from getting quality shots. If it wasn’t the D, it was Sanford, if it wasn’t Sanford it was the post. Both teams combined to for 4or 5 bell ringers.

    I don’t think Gretzky’s involvement will include day to day operations. As Spec said, he’d be a figure head to ease Toronto’s Canadian-centric sensibilities.

    Craig Smith will soon shake those hot dog moves for the successful, easy play. His teammates will rag him but the coaches will let him know what they expect–results.

    Yay, pickle power!

  3. I don’t get why the Bruins play like crap in front of Rask. Completely different team depending on who’s between the pipes.

  4. Hey don’t lump is all under the same roof!! (Re Gretzky and American firm owning the Leafs) the last lot of “Canadian” owners has not exactly brought a flood of Stanley cups in the last 40 odd years! All I care about is the product on the ice! I, personally don’t care if the ownership is Canadian, American, European or anywhere else, as long as TML can can be in the thick of the fight!!!
    A Canadian and lifetime TML fan!!!

  5. The worst thing that could happen to the Leafs would be for Gretzky to be a part owner. He would probably appoint himself as semi-absentee head coach as he did in Phoenix.

    The man makes Dave Lewis look like Scot Bowman by comparison.

  6. Vlasic’s Garlic babies are awesome