Canadian Corner – December 18, 2011.

Winnipeg welcomes back Teemu Selanne… Jarome Iginla talks about his evolution as a goalscorer…Ales Hemsky’s frustrations continue…Mason Raymond’s back injury may have made him a better player…Jacques Martin a scapegoat?…How the Senators landed Kyle Turris…Forgotten Jeff Finger plays on with Leafs farm team.


Winnipeg fans welcomed back Selanne on Saturday.

WINNIPEG SUN: Former Jet Teemu Selanne received a warm welcome from the Winnipeg fans, which continued throughout the Jets-Anaheim Ducks game on Saturday night.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In the hearts of Winnipeg hockey fans, Selanne will be forever a Jet.

CALGARY SUN: Jarome Iginla on how he overcame his struggles early in his career to become one of the league’s most respected goalscorers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Back then, Iginla saw himself as a grinding, energy winger. Hard to imagine him in that role.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Ales Hemsky has been taken off the Oilers first power-play unit, and is refusing to change his stick as has been suggested by coach Tom Renney to help him regain his offensive touch.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hemsky’s frustrations appear to be mounting, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up on the trade block as early as next month.

VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Mason Raymond’s recuperation and rehab from back surgery has made him a better man.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s hoping Raymond can fully overcome that injury and go on to a long, productive NHL career.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Pat Hickey suggests fired Canadiens coach Jacques Martin was made the scapegoat for management’s mistakes and the poor performance of a few players.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If so, and the Habs fail to improve over the remainder of this season, GM Pierre Gauthier will be fired, and those players who didn’t buy into Martin’s system could also be gone.

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch on the Senators successful efforts to acquire Kyle Turris from Phoenix.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hopefully those efforts work out for the Senators. If Turris tanks and David Rundblad goes on to become a star with the Coyotes, this move will be cited by unhappy Senators fans as yet another reason for GM Bryan Murray to be fired.

TORONTO SUN: Forgotten defenseman Jeff Finger toils away in the minors during the final season of his contract with the Maple Leafs, and hopes he’ll be able to sign with another NHL team next season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Finger is often criticized for his situation, the suggestion being he should walk away from his contract, but under CBA rules, if he did that, he’d be suspended and couldn’t play in the NHL. So, he just has to make the best of the situation. Don’t blame him for his ridiculous contract, but rather former Leafs GM Cliff Fletcher.


  1. Martin may be the scape goat but he has never won anything with this style of coaching and players gradually tune out coaches that are not will to make positive changes. Market has made some poor decisions this year. Lets start with defence, benching Emelin for no apparent reason and playing Weber on defence in his place. Makes to sense. Playing PK for 26+ minutes which is too much for this young man and it has shown in his play this year. Leaving Eller centering players with no scoring talent for much of the first 30 games again a poor coaching decision. Having the team go into a defensive shell late in the game only to lose many leads and games in OT Of S. Out. these are all coaching issues. Putting a line of Plex Cammy and Gionta together is probably our worst line and poorest PLus minus on the team. Again a poor coaching mistake. Have Plecanec play the point on the power play again a poor coaching decision. There are many many more but these are the major ones. So sorry who will not find many habs fans who feel sorry for JM. He had to go it is only too bad the decision was not made two years ago when we had two good coaches in our system that we could have used to replace him.

  2. Sorry for the spelling mistakes.

  3. There is no doubt that PG is the next to go, He has Cammy and Gomez with 13M tied up and few goals. Not his choice but he has a the choice to make decisions on both. Gionta not playing up to par, and another 5M that could be better spent. He needs to find two wingers for Plecanec before he gets too frustrated. He is a better player than his records shows. Again we need more defenceman like young Emelin. this kid is the real deal and with some additional experience and mentoring I predict he will be our best defenceman in two years. So if PG wants to keep his job he is going to have to find a way out of the Gomez deal, Find a way to trade for guys like Bobby Ryan and find a way to get this team bigger both up front and on the blue line. This team has virtually no change of beating teams like Philly and Boston in a seven game series..If PG can address this issues he can save his job if not see ya!

  4. Hemsky should be traded to Phoenix, he could house sit Khabby’s place. Renney will be gone by the beginning of next season, Tambo too hopefully. They talk about making the playoffs and the Detroit model. All I see is the Islanders and Van Canucks for the 15 years prior to last season.

  5. BSeney: The only way Gomez goes is if he is sent to the minors and bought out in the summer. Cammy is struggling I think due to the shoulder injury. I agree though, if size and talent on wing is out there, Pg should grab it and Cammy should be in the mix along with Weber.

  6. I can’t blame Tambi for the oilers struggles, it’s all on renney at the moment. He’s lost this team, can’t decide who to play with who, keeps putting the wrong players with the wrong players. Horcoff and Belanger on the same line?!?!? Tambi needs to move out a few forwards, which i believe will be done in the new year. If renney is staying Hemsky will be gone, it’s clear they’re not on the same page, hemsky’s problems are more due to his shoulder injuries, he doesn’t have the strength. If the oilers are going to keep him they need a center for him to play with that doesn’t need to carry the puck in but instead focus’s his energy on getting open in the slot. They keep pairing him with players that don’t have a clue on how to play with him, after seeing what Phoenix got for turris, if Tambi plays his cards right gags should get a good return. I would mind a few trades, get a legit 2nd line center and a top 2 defenseman. If renney can’t find some sort of solution he’s gone at seasons end.

  7. Lyle, there will always be a few Murray haters but overall I believe most Sen’s fan’s and non Sen’s fans have been genuinely surprised at how well the team is playing so far this season. I give a lot of credit to Murray and the scouting staff for the good job they’ve done in year one of this rebuild. This team is starting to develop a personality and have a coach who has the players buying into his system. If the Turris trade doesn’t work out for the Sen’s it won’t be the end of the world. They have other D prospects in the system to bring up and the search will continue for that elusive # 2 centre.

  8. I read once that Fletcher signed Finger accidentally. He was under the impression he was signing a different player. I wonder if there is any truth to that?
    I would suspect there is but noone will ever admit it, especially Fletcher. I mean how could that happen. How could you throw around millions of dollars like that?

    These guys get paid way too much money and the IQ level of some of these GMs just doesnt seem to be high enough to deal with the salaries and dollars they are signing.