Canadian Corner – August 31, 2011.

The Canucks slowly return to the ice… the Kings file a grievance against the Oilers…new Maple Leaf Matthew Lombardi almost ready to return to action… Bryan Little offers up insight into his Jets teammates…Habs prospect Aaron Palushaj waits in the wings…Young Senators prepare for round-robin rookie tournament.


VANCOUVER SUN: Iain MacIntyre reports Canucks players are slowly returning to the ice following a very short summer break. MacIntyre wondered if the Canucks might be plagued by Stanley Cup Final hangover.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fans and pundits will be closely watching the Canucks start, looking for signs of mental or physical fatigue.


EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples reports LA Kings GM Dean Lombardi has finally filed a grievance against the Edmonton Oilers over the trade in which they sent Ryan Smyth back to the Oilers in exchange for Colin Fraser, whom the Kings claim is still recovering from injuries misdiagnosed by the Oilers medical staff. Staples doubts there’ll be any strong action taken against the Oilers, if any at all.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll come down to how the Oilers team doctors treated Fraser, and if their records indicate they treated him for his injuries to the best of their knowledge and skills, the Kings won’t have a leg to stand on.


TORONTO STAR: Kevin McGran reports center Matthew Lombardi, acquired by the Maple Leafs from Nashville over the summer, has been declared free of concussion symptoms, but GM Brian Burke warns he could still miss the start of training camp, suggesting Lombardi still must build up his fitness level. Burke however said he was pleased with Lombardi’s progress.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Lombardi returns at some point this season, he could provide a significant boost to the Leafs depth at center.


WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Ed Tait reports Jets forward Bryan Little provided some insight into the makeup of the Jets players, claiming Eric Boulton was the biggest pranksters, Alexander Burmistrov the best dresser, Jim Slater the worst dresser, Dustin Byfuglien the toughest player and had the hardest shot, Zach Bogosian the best athlete and fastest skater, and Andrew Ladd the voice of reason.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Little was among the first Jets players to arrive in Winnipeg so it’s only natural he’ll be pumped for information about the team. So far, I’d say he’s made a positive first impression.


MONTREAL GAZETTE: Pat Hickey reports Canadiens prospect forward Aaron Palushaj is hoping to make the Habs roster this season, having improved his conditioning over the summer. He’s also drawn inspiration from his former Hamilton teammates David Desharnais, Max Pacioretty and Ryan White, who were called up last season and earned roster spots on the team.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Palushaj will have his work cut out for him, as the Canadiens already have Brian Gionta, Erik Cole, Andrei Kostitsyn and White playing right wing.


OTTAWA SUN: reports young Senators prospects are gearing up for an upcoming rookie tournament, which will also feature prospects from the Chicago Blackhawks, Pittsburgh Penguins and Toronto Maple Leafs.


  1. Aaron Palushaj, may get his chance if ever Gauthier could find a team to take on Kostitsyn’s contract or if Kostitsyn is not playing up Martin’s liking. This is where Cunneyworth will earn his $$, he coached Palushaj in Hamilton last year, and knows his potential, he can push him and encourage him to work hard. So, that he will be among the first to be called up in case of injury.

  2. I think Palushaj should do like Pacioretty did last year. Being DOMINANT in the AHL on the first line, having lots of minutes. Then come back in an offensive role, when he will be call up to fill a spot due to injuries. He’s got offensive upside for sure, he was one of the most dominant prospects at Montreal’s training camp in Brossard last year. I remember he scored a Hat-Trick in a pre-season game. He has a nose for driving the net. Hopefully, he filled out his frame and learn to play a better two-way game, thats the key to earn a spot on Montreal offensive squad.

    I think Hamilton first line will look like this Avtsyn-Leblanc-Palushaj . By the way i LOVE the way Pierre Gauthier is managing his team, the team never had that much young talent since atleast 20 years.He keeps his key guy’s and let go the old wood. And Thank God ! Spacek Gill Moen will all be gone next year. Hopefully that Mexican guy gets trade too at the end of next year