NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 12, 2011.

In this morning’s collection of notable NHL headlines: Jeremy Roenick speaks out against Crosby updates…Escrow set for this season…Hull warns the Jets not to lose their fans again…An excerpt from a new book on former NHL’er Mike Danton…Thomas Vanek off to a good start…Veteran blueliner Sean O’Donnell soldiers ons…Is a lawsuit against Don Cherry worthwhile?

TSN.CA: Former NHL player and current analyst Jeremy Roenick is growing tired of the constant media updates on Sidney Crosby’s recovery from post-concussion symptoms.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hey, J.R., how do ya think Crosby feels? He’s as sick of being asked the same tired questions as you are of hearing them.

ESPN.COM: The NHL has set the player escrow rate for this season at 8.5 percent.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s down from what it was at over the past couple of seasons, when it was set between 12-15 percent to open the season.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Former Winnipeg Jets great Bobby Hull warns the new version of the Jets not to make the same mistakes as the previous team and take the fans for granted, or make decisions which alienates them.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It wasn’t just questionable decisions which drove the original Jets to Phoenix, but they were contributing factors, and the new Jets ownership would be wise to heed the advice of “The Golden Jet”.

Poised for a big season?

TORONTO SUN: presents an excerpt from columnist Steve Simmons’ new book, “The Lost Dream”, which chronicles the troubled life of former NHL player Mike Danton.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This biography doesn’t have Danton’s blessing, and he’s apparently not too happy about the book.

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Sabres forward Thomas Vanek is off to a terrific start, with five points in his first two games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Vanek is a very talented player, with the skills to become one of the league’s most dominant players, yet in recent seasons he’s always seemed to leave Sabres fans wanting more with his play. To be fair, he’s also been hampered by injuries, but if he could play up to his full abilities, he could be one of the dominant players in this season’s scoring race.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: 40-year-old Blackhawks defenseman Sean O’Donnell continues to soldier on despite his age, saying he’ll continue to play as long as he’s still having fun, and until no other NHL teams wish to sign him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That day may be coming soon for O’Donnell, but for this season, he’ll remain a key part of the Blackhawks defense corps.

TORONTO STAR: Damien Cox calls on both sides in the “Don Cherry” spat to “grow up”, telling the former players (Stu Grimson, Chris Nilan and Jim Thomson) mulling a lawsuit against Cherry for what they consider his defamatory remarks against them to continue picking apart Cherry’s arguments without directly engaging the popular CBC personality.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Part of the reason why Cherry has been able to say what he wants for so long is because few have directly challenged him. Ignoring him and hoping he’ll go away hasn’t worked for the past 30-plus years, so why expect it to work now? Cherry could resolve this situation easily by simply being a man, admitting he was wrong to criticize Grimson, Nilan and Thomson as he did, and moving on. That’s all those three want, nothing more, but Cherry has the misguided perception that apologies are a sign of weakness, which is why those three are left with little recourse but to consider a lasuit. Perhaps a “shot across the bow” will be something he understands. There’s no shame in admitting you made a mistake, Don. Man up and do the right thing, no one will think less of you for doing so.


  1. Don doesn’t need to apologize to anybody for his opinion. Honestly this fake outrage seems like nothing more than three former useless players, who have become even more useless after their playing careers (at least in the case of Thomson and Nilan), looking for one last bit of attention before they fade back into irrelevancy yet again.

  2. It’s very irrelevant that three players died this summer by their own hands, right mike?

    Don Cherry is a racist idiot and needs to man up and apologize for slandering these three.

  3. I’m growing tired of Jeremy Roenick flapping his gums in a sad attempt to stay in the spotlight, but you don’t see me giving quotes to TSN complaining about it

  4. People take this whole “Freedom of Speech” thing to far. Maybe out on the street we wouldn’t consider lawsuit, but what was said was across national television. I don’t believe a lawsuit should be had, but you can’t broadcast an opinion like that out across TV. It could have easily been stated and made to point without singling out three people, that is the issue. Why single out three people? I keep hearing everyone say that they are just seeking to get back into the spotlight, but the fact is those three aren’t the ones who brought their names into it, Don Cherry is.

    Lawsuit is ridiculous, not apologizing is the same.

  5. Jeremy Roenick is a never was. I don’t even know why his opinion counts as anything, if Sid retired today he would be hall of fame. Yeah Roenick has a good amount of points, but he couldn’t even Ray Bourque it at the end of his career. Closest he got was when the Pens hoisted it in front of him way back in his early years. Point being Sid is the face of the league, Roenick above average at best.

  6. Dabroons FYI Cherry had nothing to do with those deaths and there is yet a proven link that fighting or being a fighter in the league was a factor in those deaths. Mike is right about fake outrage. Its in the very fabric of this pansy society we live in. The only thing Cherry can get nailed on is when he called those players by name, that they were alcoholics or drug abusers if they weren’t but we all know that those three themselves admitted to drug and alcohol abuse.

    JJB Yes you can state opinions on TV as dumb or “wrong” as they may be. Journalist do it all the time (which they shouldn’t) but it happens. Do you really think the news you read from sports writers is fact? Most of it is speculation and opinion and some is actual fact reporting.

    I don’t even think Cherry has to apologize for what he said because I don’t think he is wrong in what he said. The method or the way he said what he said was crass and perhaps in poor taste (seen his suits?) but that’s why he on TV anyway, to bring that rough side to the show.

    We cant start muzzling everyone that says stuff we don’t like because its the right thing to do, its not. The right thing to do is to not watch them.

  7. I’ve been sick of Cherry for about a decade now. It’s guys like him that keep the game from growing properly because they hate change (except for no touch icing, and I deeply respect honoring our soldiers and Police that fall in the line of duty). He has been called out for his opinion this time and that’s never happened before outside of his telecast partner. Cherry should be looking at this situation as a whole including all these deaths, their roles in hockey, the other players that have come out and shared personal horror stories, and the opinion of these three guys who lived it. Cherry played one NHL game and he wasn’t the greatest coach in the world. He’s made his living off being a loud mouth, pushing his views on everyone, and being flamboyant. He really has no right to berate three former NHL fighters for what they believe, on national TV, as if it’s fact. It’s time to get Hrudy in his spot, or maybe Roenick if people need a loud mouth in their intermission time, and let Cherry ride off into the sunset. I don’t think there’s much of a chance Cherry apologizes, but it’s been clear for years that he is way beyond his best before date. His broadcasts are incredibly biased towards the Leafs and Bruins. He will talk about junior players before he provides kudos to any other Canadian NHL team on hockey night in Canada. Time to go Don.

  8. A. Donnybrook is a pedophile*.

    Should I prove my ‘opinion’ or can I just leave blanket statements about people without any factual supporting arguments?

    *Having no idea who A. Donnybrook actually is, there is a statistical chance they are a pedo.

  9. Lyle i am forced to disagree with you on the Cherry situation, why should someone be forced to apologize when they are right. He has had plenty of controversial statements in the past, which did not stop him from being voted 7th greatest Canadian, by the people. Higher even than Gretzky. by this reason i would infer that Cherry is more than just a hockey commentator. It’s true he gets blasted by the media, due to the fact today’s journalists are over committed to political correctness and liberal bias. Grimson’s article was about the biggest load of croc I have ever read… here is a sample his views on being an enforcer:
    ‘it might be the hardest job in professional sports. I know I had a hard time playing that role. The threat of losing, the physical suffering, the humiliation of defeat — none of that is easy”
    Nobody forced him to fight, he could have walked away but he chose to make a career of fighting. To say this is like a thief stating burglary is wrong. And common its Grimson, in terms of hockey villains he was hardly above Sean Avery!
    Cherry is right!
    if you don’t like him don’t watch him!
    Stop the elitist media attitude!

  10. Kyle: Saying nobody forced him is only partially fair. The fact is, these fighters were signed and allowed to enter the NHL and make decent money because they fought. Period. They did not have skills (other than fighting) which a bunch other guys trying to make it didn’t have. So the choice was fight and go to the NHL or walk away from hockey completely (beer league excluded).
    As for Cherry, he is lucky not to be a CBC employee as he would have been fired by now. (As I understand it, he owns Coach’s Corner and hired Maclean to co-host. This is why a few years ago CBC could do nothing to him for his comments as he pays for the time slot.)

  11. Sick of Don Cherry? He’s 80 ish and still going strong! I read that some 20% or so of U.S. Satellite watching nhl fans switch to the CBC feed in the first intermission to watch Cherry. Ya he’s crazy, a little racist and says stupid things….but so is “Family Guy”! If you don’t like it….don’t watch! After all….its a crazy old man talking hockey….