In today’s roundup of notable Canadian NHL headlines: Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov’s continuing knee woes…Tim Connolly hopes for a fresh start with Toronto…Five things the Senators need to make the playoffs…The Jets expensive defense corps…Owen Nolan hopes to prove he’s still NHL fit…Josh Green returns to the Oilers…Flames GM says performance will dictate who plays.
RDS.CA: reports Montreal Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov has a swollen right knee, the result of apparent over-training, which could delay his return to the ice. Apparently Markov had the knee drained three weeks ago in the US, and Canadiens management were upset to learn he’d hurt his knee again.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Regardless of the severity or the opinion of Habs management, the fact Markov could be delayed returning to action is only going to increase concerns among the Habs faithful over his status for the upcoming season, as well as ramp up second-guessing over management’s decision to re-sign him this summer.
TORONTO STAR: reports former Buffalo Sabre center Tim Connolly is anxious for a fresh start with the Maple Leafs, whom he joined this summer as a free agent. Connolly’s been plagued by injuries over the past six seasons, forcing him to miss 190 games.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yes, the Leafs are taking a chance, but if he can play at least 70 games this season, it could be a worthwhile investment.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch lists five things the Senators must do to make the 2012 playoffs, four of which concern veterans Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Spezza, Sergei Gonchar and Craig Anderson.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Even if those four have terrific seasons, the Senators lack of experienced depth makes their playoff hopes seem thin for this season.
WINNIPEG SUN: reports the Jets re-signing of Zach Bogosian yesterday to a two-year, $5 million deal now means more than 40 percent of their payroll is invested in their defense, for a total of $22.5 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Provided Dustin Byfuglien performs as well as he did last season, Bogosian makes real improvement, and Ron Hainsey regains his form, the Jets could have themselves a solid defense corps.
VANCOUVER SUN: reports former NHL veteran forward Owen Nolan, who’s currently attending Canucks training camp on a tryout basis, believes he still has “lots in the tank”. The club could look to him to provide “a blend of grit and character”.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: His days as a top power forward are long gone, but it’s possible Nolan could be a good addition to their checking lines.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: reports well-traveled forward Josh Green, who’s played for seven NHL teams, six AHL teams and two European clubs, is back for another go with either the Oilers or their farm team.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gotta give Green credit, he’s logged a helluva lotta miles to keep his pro career alive.
CALGARY HERALD: reports Flames GM Jay Feaster said it’ll be performance which will determine the ice time of Flames players this season, regardless of salary, experience or reputation.