Reaction to the Calgary Flames hiring Brian Burke, Evander Kane fined for outstanding traffic tickets, the Senators prepare for training camp without Jared Cowen, and more.
CALGARY HERALD/CALGARY SUN/NATIONAL POST: Can Brian Burke, the new president of hockey operations for the Calgary Flames, stay in the background and allow GM Jay Feaster to manage the roster? Burke claims he can, but his critics – citing his fiery, outspoken personality – have their doubts.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ll give Burke the benefit of the doubt. He’s never been in this sort of position before, where he’s not involved in the day-to-day activities as he was as a general manager. Still, his hiring has many observers doubting he and Feaster can peacefully co-exist over the long run. Time will tell. Given Burke’s experience and varying degrees of success with Vancouver, Anaheim and Toronto, I still believe he’s a good hire for a club entering a lengthy rebuilding period.
WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Evander Kane has paid two outstanding traffic tickets totaling over $650 after the province of Manitoba “filed a Court of Queen’s Bench motion to garnishee his wages”. Kane said he merely forgot about the tickets and is moving on.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Expect Kane’s critics (especially those in the Winnipeg media) to use this as ammunition in their quest to pressure Jets management to trade him.
OTTAWA SUN: Senators management hope to re-sign defenseman Jared Cowen before training camp opens next week. Failing that, they’re confident they have enough depth in their system to off-set his absence.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cowen missed most of last season to injury, so the Senators are used to playing without him. Another leverage point in the team’s favor in their contract negotiations with the young defenseman.
LA PRESSE: Lars Eller and David Desharnais aren’t concerned about the Canadiens logjam at center. The pair will be competing with Tomas Plekanec, Alexander Galchenyuk and recently-acquired Daniel Briere for spots on the top three lines.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Of the five, Desharnais could be odd-man out. Eller played on the wing before, though his performance last season suggests he’s a better fit at center. Plekanec was the subject of trade speculation last season, which could resurface if he struggles offensively this season. The promising Galchenyuk (who plays center and left wing) is entering his sophomore season and his performance could also push him into centering one of those three lines.
VANCOUVER SUN: Canucks prospect Hunter Shinkaruk hopes to make his hometown Calgary Flames pay for not selecting him in this year’s draft.
TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs prospect Morgan Rielly hopes to crack the roster this season.