Your NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – Tuesday, September 13, 2011.

In this morning’s morning coffee headlines: The New Jersey Devils deny a NY Post report claiming they’re on the verge of bankruptcy…Chicago’s Patrick Sharp undergoes emergency appendectomy…Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin ready for leadership role…Nashville’s Pekka Rinne adjusting as elite goalie…Marc Savard will get his name on the Stanley Cup.

NJ.COM/ESPN.COM: reports the New Jersey Devils released a statement yesterday afternoon denying a report which appeared in yesterday’s NY Post claiming the team was on the verge of bankrupcty. The Post claimed, among other things, the Devils missed a $100 million loan payment on September 1st, which the team strongly denied, calling the Post report “patently untrue”.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks however reports “there was no one disputing” the team failed to make its loan payment. Jeff Vanderbeek, the Devils primary owner, has been in negotiations to sell 47 percent of the shares owned by Ray Chambers, who went public in February about wanting out. Brooks goes on to report the team is seeking to restructure its debt and ownership, and also suggested these reports might not provide much solace to Zach Parise, who can become a UFA next summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: According to, two sources claim “the deadline for the loan payment had been pushed back almost two months and an agreement to sell a 47 percent share of the NHL club to someone other than Devils chairman Jeff Vanderbeek could be completed in the next 40 to 45 days.”  If so, that’s not the same thing as missing a loan payment. As for how this could impact Parise, if the team is still willing to pay him well to remain with the Devils long-term, it won’t be an issue. Should be interesting to see how this unfolds in the coming days.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Adam L. Jahns reported Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp underwent an emergency appendectomy last night and is expected to miss most of training camp and pre-season. It’s also possible he could miss the club’s season opener on October 7th if he should require four weeks to recover.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Sharp for a speedy recovery. 

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Sam Werner reports Penguins star Evgeni Malkin is ready to step up as the team’s leader if team captain Sidney Crosby is unable to start the season due to his recovery from post-concussion symptoms.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s not like Malkin hasn’t done it before when Crosby was sidelined, or when he was neutralized by strong checking from opponents. A healthy, focused and more mature Malkin should help the Penguins off to a good start, with or without Crosby.

THE TENNESSEAN: Josh Cooper reports Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne is adjusting to his new status as one of the NHL’s elite goalies, including the pressure of expectations to meet or exceed last season’s performance.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: While there’s always a possibility of a letdown, I think Rinne – at long as he stays healthy – will play at least as well as he did last season.

BOSTON HERALD: reports the NHL has approved the Bruins request for center Marc Savard to have his name engraved on the Stanley Cup. League rules state a player must play in 41 regular season games or one NHL playoff game in a season to have his name engraved on the Cup, but since 1994 a team can petition the commissioner to request a player who doesn’t meet that criteria to have an injured player included. Savard played 38 games last season, missing the rest to concussion.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Classy move by the league. 


  1. If the Devils are having money problems or even if its just an ongoing speculation in the media it could effect Parise signing regardless of what they offer him. He probably would not want to be on a team making 8 million or whatever he’ll get and not have the team be able to afford anyone else talented enough to make the team competitive.

  2. This a make-or-break season for the Devils or what?

  3. can i start stirring the Parise to nucks pot yet??

  4. Anyone else getting flash backs to the Penguins going into the lockout? Storied franchise, on the brink of bankruptcy, needing new ownership, with an amazing talent available in the draft next year, and going into a new cba negotiation. I know they lost their 1st rounder due to Kovy’s contract, but I can see shady ass bettman puling some BS once again to land them a center finally, and get NJ rolling again.

  5. Never Fear! Larry Brooks is on the case! He’ll get to the bottom of this and then make something up that sounds better than the truth!

  6. Thats complete crap. You need to look at the situation with the Pens before the lockout from 1999 and onward. First they have a deadbeat owner – could happen to anyone. Owes Mario loads of cash. Into the 2000’s Mario buys the team when the guy defaults on his payments to Mario because Mario wants to protect his income. Mario’s group was expecting to hold onto the team for a short while and move it where he’d recoup at least some of his salary owed, plus put the franchise he starred with into the hands of someone more capable. Enter Jim Ballsilie. Eventually Mario keeps the team and slowly is able to general more capital to pump back into it, buying better internal staff (makes a huge difference, look at Detroit) and equipment which would have been dumped between 1998 and 2004. Meanwhile after the 2000 run the team starts dumping the stars from Jagr on up in an effort to cut salary costs and save money. This culminated into the 2004 roster with Dick Tarnstrom as the leading scorer with 42 points followed by Ryan Malone’s rookie campaign. The lockout followed and by pure happenstance they were able to draft Crosby with the 1st overall in the next draft. However had the lockout not occurred, they would have drafted 1st overall THE YEAR BEFORE. This was complete luck and things falling into place to create the perfect storm so to speak – it could have just as easily been Washington with the 1st overall that year. The lockout occurred for may reasons, but I can assure you that we did not loose a full year of hockey simply because of some conspiracy to ensure that the Penguins received the 1st overall the following year or that everyone was looking ahead 2 drafts to see when Crosby will be coming up.
    As for NJ, they shot themselves into the foot and why would Bettman want to specifically risk his career, worsen his already bad name and be seen as a cheat for the rest of his life to somehow manufacture a 1st rounder for a team he has clearly no personal interest vested in?