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.