NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 23, 2011.

In this morning’s collection of notable NHL headlines: The Bruins and Sabres to face off in first game since the “Lucic-Miller” incident…Will Crosby’s return spark Alexander Ovechkin?…How will Capitals forward Alexander Semin respond to being benched in a recent game?…Eric Lindros and Bob Clarke to be teammates at Winter Classic…Panthers top line fueling club’s strong performance…Blues’ special teams still struggling…Will a proposed arena mean a second NHL franchise in Toronto?


Bruins & Sabres to face off for first time since this incident a week ago.

BOSTON GLOBE/BUFFALO NEWS: offers up the perspective of the Bruins and Sabres as they prepare for tonight’s game, their first since  Bruins forward Milan Lucic steamrolled Sabres goalie Ryan Miller over ten days ago.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Will the Sabres seek revenge for Lucic’s hit on Miller? Is Lucic prepared? Could the Sabres surprise and just focus on winning the game? Tune in tonight for the answers!

OTTAWA CITIZEN: Wayne Scanlan wonders if the return of Sidney Crosby might serve as inspiration for his rival Alexander Ovechkin.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With all due respect to Mr. Scanlan and others who are floating the theory of Crosby’s return possibly serving as “motivation” or “inspiration” for Ovechkin, I think the Capitals captain couldn’t give a damn about the Penguins captain. Ovechkin’s concerns won’t be addressed by the return of his great rival.

WASHINGTON POST: How will Alexander Semin respond after being benched in a recent game. Will he step up and play a more disciplined style, or sulk and continue to play selfishly.  Trading him doesn’t appear to be an option as his stock is at an all-time low, plus he’s carrying a salary of $6.75 million for this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Semin’s performance alone this season makes him tough to move if the Capitals try to go that route. Factor in Semin’s salary and his UFA status next summer, and I can’t see anyone being desperate enough to take a chance on him. If Semin keeps playing as poorly as he has this season, he could be seeing time in the press box, big contract be damned.

PHILLY.COM: Eric Lindros and Bob Clarke will be teammates at the Alumni Game prior to this season’s Winter Classic. Both say they’ve put their differences of a decade ago behind them.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Despite the bitter way Lindros left the Flyers, Clarke considers him worthy of the Hockey Hall of Fame. It’ll be fun to see them together as teammates.

MIAMI HERALD: The Panthers top line of Stephen Weiss, Kris Versteeg and Tomas Fleischmann has fueled the club’s strong start to this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m not a Panthers fan, but I must confess I’m impressed with their performance so far this season, especially their top line. If they can maintain their offensive production throughout this season, Weiss could finally see post-season action with the Panthers.

BND.COM: Despite the improvement of the St. Louis Blues under new head coach Ken Hitchcock, their special teams continue to struggle, especially their power-play, which is currently 3 for 25 under Hitchcock.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Expect Hitchcock to focus on those problems going forward. 

TORONTO SUN: A proposed arena in Markham could rival the Air Canada Centre in downtown Toronto.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s reportedly wouldn’t be built solely to attract an NHL franchise, but if it is eventually constructed, it might provide the league a viable option for a relocated or expansion team; provided, of course, they could overcome the strong resistance from the Toronto Maple Leafs, who will fight such a move tooth and nail.


  1. Ummm, Toronto and Buffalo on all reports weren’t really worried about stopping the move to Hamilton when it was rumored. I don’t think that placing a franchise existing or new in Markham would affect the Toronto fan base one bit. Those proposed arena spots are a solid 45-50 minutes away from each other.

    Markham would end up serving as more of an arena for people who can’t afford Toronto ticket prices and for the area of Markham, Pickering, Ajax, Oshawa and again the Greater Toronto/Durham Region as opposed to to Toronto itself. As a resident of the area … just my $.02

  2. I agree JJB… living in Toronto, I see no reason why both arenas would not sell out every game.

  3. Another team in Toronto could also play out of the ACC and would sell out. This would give MLSE a lease agrement that financially compensates them for their territory rights. i see no problem in that either, esspecially when a new arena (as they always are) will be funded with some sort of government dollars. Leave the tax payers out of this one.

  4. Toronto fully claimed territorial rights during the Balsille speculation. There were previous incidents in the Nashville discussion and then documents presented to the court in the Phoenix discussion.
    “filed a letter in U.S. Bankruptcy Court on Friday that shows that the Leafs do not agree with the NHL’s position, which is that a veto does not exist”

  5. I cannot see Buffalo doing anything in this game. Should they try and fight Lucic whoever steps up will be manhandled and it will look even worse. If they cheap shot him or any other player the league will come down hard on them because it will be a planned thing, and they do not want another Bertuzzi incident on their hands. Not to mention it will look bad on them for no stepping up in the game where Miller went down, and then come back with a cheap shot this game. Their best bet is to pull out all the stops and try to win and play hard finishing all their checks.

  6. Typical Wayne Scanlan type of piece. The guy is nothing more than a backwater excuse of a sports reporter(I could say the same for the citizen as well) and everyone in Ottawa here knows it. Basically folks, Wayne is telling us that he has done absolutely nothing this week and has absolutely nothing worthwhile to write about, so in order to continue getting paid, he throws speculation crap about how Ovechkin feels of Crosby’s return. I am with Lyle, he doesn’t care unless they’re playing the Penguins in the next week. Everyone goes on about the Crosby vs Ovechkin, when things couldn’t be further from the truth. Once again Wayne Scanlan proves he’s a bandwagon jumper.