Canadian Corner – August 24, 2011.

A healthy Taylor Hall suggests the playoffs could be possible for the Oilers, Blake Wheelers debuts the Jets hockey pants, a healthy Cody Hodgson could be a factor in the Canucks plans this season, and promising Russian blueliner Alexei Emelin considers playing in the NHL his only option this season.


EDMONTON SUN: Derek Van Diest reports Oilers sophomore star Taylor Hall is rested and recovered from the ankle injury that ended his rookie season. He’s also hopeful the Oilers will challenge for a playoff berth this season, and doesn’t believe the club will finish last again.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s a good possibility the Oilers, with promising young talent like Hall in the lineup, won’t finish in the basement again this season, but the huge question marks which hang over their goaltending and defensive play could prevent them from challenging for a post-season spot.


WINNIPEG SUN: reports Jets forward Blake Wheeler posted a picture on his Twitter account of the Jets new hockey pants, asking his followers what they thought.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Look like hockey pants to me.


VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Tony Gallagher reports a healthy Cody Hodgson could figure prominently in the Canucks plans this season. Hodgson hasn’t allowed his inability in recent seasons to stick with the roster full time to get him down, and has spent this summer training with former NHL star Gary Roberts, and Hodgson agent is upbeat over his client’s future with the club.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With Ryan Kesler, Mason Raymond and Mikael Sameulsson recovering from injuries suffered last season, Hodgson will have a good chance to finally make his mark with the Canucks.


LE JOURNAL DE MONTREAL: Slava Malamud reports former KHL defenseman and Canadiens prospect Alexei Emelin, 25, is confident he’ll make the Habs roster this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Emelin is a good mix of physical and offensive skill, and his maturity and years playing in the KHL, and in international tournaments, might give him the boost he needs to crack the Canadiens roster. 


  1. Emelin will get plenty of rope, that’s for sure, since the alternative is returning to the KHL. With no option to demote him to Hamilton for demotion, I suspect there will be plenty of motivation to develop him in Montreal. Another project for Markov and Gill.

  2. Yes, the addition of RNH, and a healhty Ryan Whitney will really improve the Oilers defensively enough that they will make the playoffs this season (if you could see the sarcasm on my face, you would find it funny too). For sure they are last in their division. Whether or not it is last in the West, thats a different debate since Dallas and Phoenix look pretty bad too. It is unfortunate, as I would like to see the Oilers do well, but it is a couple of seasons too soon to be hopeful.

  3. I completely disagree, who do the avs have in net? How old are the flames? How beat up are the nucks? How boring are the wild? The northwest is no where yet determined, and as much as I dislike khabby, what if he has one last season in him? This is the second year of renneys coaching tenure, second year the systems are in place, I think the players that have been on this team for a few years now are going to be playing with a chip on their shoulders, while the youthful passion of the young guys will dominate everything in that locker room, oilers will be .500 hockey club this season.

  4. The Oilers need a goalie. They will be very limited until they deal with this major hole in their roster.

  5. Oilersfan,
    Without defence or a superstar goalie, there is no way there are .500 this season, sorry.
    Please dont say that any vancouver hangover puts them in the same category as the Oilers. The Canucks are loaded with Superstars, while the Oilers have none (yet. dont get your tights in a knot).
    I would take Sedin, Sedin, Kessler, Burrows, Luongo if i had juniors as the rest of the guys over 82 games vs the Oilers roster.

    And i dont hate the Oilers… but you can’t expect .500 out of 1st and 2nd year players.

  6. cant wait for yemelin to break some bones. First on the list phil kessel, then brad marchand, followed by Tim connoly. To finish it up, patrice bergron will get another concussion kovalchuk or parise will be eaten up by Yemelin for dessert.
    Stamkos will be a project to be mark and certainly another chip tooth for martin St. Louis. A couple of guys will get concussions from Yemelin– the next Scott stevens.

  7. Oilers play other teams then just Vancouver, is Vancouver a better team right now.. yes. But they are going into this upcoming season with holes and question marks themselves… yes. And you don’t need to have a superstar goalie to win in the regular season in the NHL. In the playoff yes. Further more the Oilers are not just 1st and 2nd year players.. RNH will be the possibly only 1st year player on this team, Hall, and Ebs are not your typical 2nd year players. Smyth, Hemsky, Horcoff, Eager, Gagner, Belanger, Jones, Whitney, Smid, Sutton, Gilbert, Dubnyk, Khabby, Peck, are all beyond 2nd year players, I believe Khabby is the only goalie in the NW division with a cup ring?? the oilers have addressed their need to be tougher, they have added Barker, and Sutton to the defense. I’m not saying they will make the playoffs, but following them this offseason, seeing the shape the Hall is coming into training camp in, Smyth back in the fold, this team will be pushing the .500 mark this season. That’s not a 40 win season. That’s a 35-35-12 season, it’s not out of reach for this roster. I’m not dreaming or wishing when I say any of this, just looking at what other teams have done in the west, they will not be a basement dwelling team by seasons end.

  8. The nhl should start a king clancy tournament for the end of the season like the GTHL does (bottom 4 teams compete for the best of the worst. That’ll give Oilerfan something to realistic to strive for for the next 5 years. Haha

  9. millerpee we would all be fortunate if someone broke you bones and concussed you! ya moron