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.