In this morning’s collection of notable NHL morning headlines: The CBC doesn’t share Don Cherry’s viewpoints on suspensions…Cory Sarich’s check on Matt Cooke: headshot or clean hit?…The Winnipeg Jets prepare for their season opener…Peter Forsberg honored by the Avalanche…Five things to watch this season…Ducks acquired Cumiskey from Avalanche.
TORONTO SUN: The CBC issued a statement yesterday distancing itself from Don Cherry’s recent comments regarding the league’s crackdown on head shots and slamming former enforcers for perceived comments against fighting.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That would explain Cherry’s contrite (for him) attitude on Coach’s Corner last night. That, and the backlash he received from many quarters for his October 6th rant, including from former enforcers Chris Nilan, Stu Grimson and Jim Thomson, whom Cherry had singled out. Cherry never apologizes, but his subdued follow-up on Saturday’s HNiC broadcast is as close as it gets.
PUCK DADDY: Sean Leahy posted a video of Calgary’s Cory Sarich’s hit on Pittsburgh’s Matt Cooke, noting the league had analyzed the video and concluded Sarich didn’t deliberately target Cooke’s head on the play.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is where camera angles are so important. When you look at the video from one angle, it appears Sarich nailed Cooke in the head, possibly with his elbow, but when seen from another, clearer angle, it’s clear that he didn’t. Still, I wouldn’t be surprised if Cooke fans go the conspiracy theory route, suggesting his previous transgressions is why the league didn’t suspend Sarich.
TORONTO STAR: Damien Cox reports on the NHL’s long road back to Winnipeg as the Jets prepare for their season-opener today at home against the Montreal Canadiens.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Whether or not you believe this version of the Jets can survive long-term in Winnipeg (and I’m among those who has doubts), you have to be glad for hockey fans in Winnipeg and throughout Manitoba that they’ve got an NHL team again. Here’s hoping for a long, happy existence for Jets 2.0 in Winnipeg.
PUCK DADDY: Greg Wyshysnski on how Atlanta Thrashers fans being courted by Nashville and Carolina are being screwed over by blackouts in their region of Predators and Hurricanes games.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bad enough they lose their team, now they can’t watch games of teams which are close by? Talks about kicking a fan base when it’s down. Oh, and for those who’ll say Thrashers fans got what they deserved because they didn’t support their team, it was the ownership group Atlanta Spirit which is to blame, not the fans. When the Thrashers actually iced a decent team, they drew well. Not sell-out well, but certainly better than in their final years, when it was clear ownership had washed its hands of the franchise. And I hope there aren’t any fans in Winnipeg or Manitoba gloating about this. Remember how much it hurt when you lost the Jets? Thrashers fans – and they did exist, and in larger numbers than you believe – are feeling the same pain you did.
DENVER POST: Adrian Dater reports Peter Forsberg was “overwhelmed” during last night’s ceremony in which the Colorado Avalanche honored him by retiring his jersey.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Forsberg was one of the greatest players of the NHL’s “Dead Puck Era”. Had he been in his prime in today’s game, he would’ve posted up bigger numbers.
WASHINGTON POST: Tarik El-Bashir with five things to watch this NHL season, including Brendan Shanahan’s crackdown on illegal hits to the head, and how the Philadelphia Flyers will fare this season after an off-season of considerable change.
DENVER POST: The Avalanche also trade defenseman Kyle Cumiskey to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for defenseman Jake Newton and a conditional draft pick.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: No surprise here, as injuries hampered Cumiskey throughout his tenure with the Avalanche. Hopefully he’ll have better luck with the Ducks.