Canadian Corner – December 17, 2011.

Canadiens facing a cap crunch…Jets are Selanne fans…Senators down the Penguins…Flames spoil another solid performance by their goaltenders…Oilers demote Paajarvi…Cody Hodgson looking forward to playing in Toronto…Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf could face possible hearing/suspension.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens could face a possible cap crunch next summer, with only $21 million in available cap space to re-sign key players like Carey Price, Josh Gorges, P.K. Subban and perhaps Andrei Kostitsyn.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canadiens management will likely hope for a one-time-only, penalty-free contract buyout period in the next CBA akin to that at the start of the current one. If so, they’ll shed Scott Gomez’s $7 million-plus. Otherwise, Gomez could be buried in the minors if needed to create more cap space. If Markov remains on LTIR, that frees up over $5 million. Granted, that’s merely speculation, but the situation may not be as dire as the article suggests.

Selanne returning to Winnipeg tonight.

WINNIPEG SUN: Former Jet Teemu Selanne will return to Winnipeg on Saturday for the first time since the old Jets were moved to Phoenix, and several current Jets are looking forward to playing against him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The notion of the Ducks trading Selanne to Winnipeg to finish his final season is fantasy (Ducks management dismissed the idea), but this return tonight will be the next-best thing, giving Winnipeg fans a chance to honor “The Finnish Flash”.

OTTAWA CITIZEN: Jason Spezza and Jared Cowen had  four-point nights, while Daniel Alfredsson and Erik Karlsson had three points each, as the Senators downed the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-4.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Flashback to the Senators glory years for Spezza and Alfredsson, when multi-point nights were more common than they are now.

TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf earned a five minute major and a game misconduct for boarding Sabres forward Zach Kassian in last night’s loss to the Buffalo Sabres.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: He could earn a suspension for his actions, though the media consensus suggests otherwise.

CALGARY HERALD: The Flames squandered yet another strong performance by one of their goalies, this time Leland Irving’s 39-save effort, losing 3-2 in a shootout to the Florida Panthers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Same old, same old for the Flames.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers have demoted forward Magnus Paajarvi to the minors.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Paajarvi joins Linus Omark, another young forward who failed to play up to expectations this season. Bet their names start popping up in the trade rumor mill after the trade freeze ends later this month.

VANCOUVER SUN: Canucks forward Cody Hodgson is looking forward to playing his first NHL game in his hometown when he and his teammates square off against the Maple Leafs tonight in Toronto.


  1. Meanwhile, the Habs fired Jacques Martin… :o)

  2. I would think if Gauthier was willing to take on Kaberles 4 mill a year then he knows Gomez will not be on the books next year. Then Cammy will be evaluated during next season and if he’s not playing well they will trade him too (if he makes it beyond this season). Then it will be about third line talent with size. Martin is now out and hopefully this gives them a boost and a renewed interest in performing because they just didn’t seem to be consistent or ready for games. Plus the PP is horrible and needs to get better. Anyways, go habs go and merry Christmas to everyone. Enjoy the holidays, safely of course. :)

  3. The Flames now have a “Keeper” & a “Kipper” as tenders.

  4. Last nights game showed the Flames are missing Giordano alot. Calgary just does not have a stud defensive core on their team.Smith has been a nice addition considering he was a career minor leaguer till no, but Hannan and Butler and Bouwmeester just look weak sometimes. There is no shut down defenseman on their team this year, and it’s hurting them badly

  5. Omark and Paajarvi make sense to me if the Oilers choose to shop some of their young guys. You aren’t moving Eberle, Hall, or Hopkins … I’d love to see the Oilers package Pajjarvi + Hemsky or Omark + Gagne near the trade deadline for a good return, hopefully for help on defense! I know it won’t happen but if Nashville struggles Pajjarvi, Gagne, Peckam for Weber … Pajjarvi and Gagne have a lot of potential and sometimes you have to pay for that and Peckam is a young solid physical guy. Maybe cost more, but a guy can dream (and understand it will NEVER happen).