Kings management aren’t pleased with the Oilers, the reasons the Leafs have been fairly quiet in the free agent market, Eric Fehr on his trade from Washington to Winnipeg, the Senators add Mark Parrish, plus the latest from the Flames, Canadiens and Canucks prospect camps.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples commented on reports out of Los Angeles that Kings GM Dean Lombardi wasn’t pleased with Oilers management by shipping him “damaged goods” in the form of center Colin Fraser during the Ryan Smyth trade a couple of weeks ago. Lombardi knew Fraser was recovering from injury but claimed he was led to believe by Oilers management Fraser was days away from full recovery, whereas instead he’ll now need corrective surgery which could sideline him for another four months. Lombardi is now suggesting the club could consider their legal options. Staples responds:
“And then came from the money quote from Lombardi: “The bottom line for me, I would have rather invested my money with Bernie Madoff than invest in Edmonton’s word.”
Good stuff from Elliott, and a great feud here, almost as good as Burke-Lowe.
My take is there’s plenty of room for medical specialists to disagree about an injury, and to do so in good conscience. If Lombardi has a real complaint, he can take it to the NHL. He’s apparently known for shooting off his mouth about the integrity of others.”
Staples suggests until the Kings take formal action, Lombardi’s comments are merely a “snit fit” from a GM unaccustomed to a star player demanding a trade to a specific location.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The bluster and sniping aside, it’s possible Lombardi and the Kings could have a case here, but if Oilers management was operating on the word of their team doctors, there might be little Lombardi can do. He would have to prove Oilers GM Steve Tambellini hid the seriousness of Fraser’s condition from Lombardi, and that would be difficult to do. It’ll likely come down to the diagnosis of the Oilers team doctors, and if that indicates Fraser was, to the best of their knowledge, close to completing his recovery, the Oilers therefore wouldn’t have done anything wrong.
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS.
TORONTO SUN: Lance Hornby lists the reasons the Maple Leafs made such few notable free agent signings this summer, citing reasons other than money, including the Leafs record of futility since 2004, the caustic reputation of head coach Ron Wilson, the fishbowl existence of playing in Toronto, and the fact not every Canadian-born player aspires to be a Maple Leaf.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some of this sounds a lot like what the Montreal Canadiens went through about a decade ago. The Habs were going through a painful period of mediocrity back then, plus then as now playing in Montreal can be a turn-off for many players, and most Quebec-born NHL players don’t have a hard-on to join the Habs. Of course, there’s nothing like winning, or at the very least making the playoffs consistently, to change some of those problems. The Leafs a decade ago had no trouble attracting top free agent talent because they were among the better teams in the league. I daresay their current woes in attracting free agents would change if the Leafs become a consistent playoff team again.
WINNIPEG SUN: Ken Wiebe reports right winger Eric Fehr was shocked when he learned he’d been traded on Friday from the Washington Capitals to the Winnipeg Jets, but professed he was happy to join the Jets. He’s currently recovering from off-season shoulder surgery and said he wouldn’t be ready for the start of training camp but would be able to play the majority of next season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given Fehr’s injury status, the Capitals were fortunate to move him. I daresay his shock came from going from a potential Cup contender to a rebuilding, relocated team, but if he makes a full recovery Fehr could be a solid addition for the Jets.
OTTAWA SUN: Don Brennan reported the Senators added to their organizational depth by signing veteran winger Mark Parrish to a one-year, two-way contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Parrish will likely spend next season playing for their AHL affiliate.
CALGARY SUN: Steve MacFarlane observed the Flames management has done a good job of restocking their once-empty prospects cupboard, noting most of the kids in their prospects camp won’t be NHL-ready for a year or two, but their improvement offers hopes down the road for the ageing Flames roster.
“There are skilled forwards who project to top-six roles — guys like Sven Baertschi, Max Reinhart, Ryan Howse and Paul Byron — and others who, at the very least, appear capable of providing energy and responsibility along with the potential to put the occasional puck in the net — Lance Bouma, Patrick Holland and Carter Bancks are among those.
Along with the smooth-skating T.J. Brodie and still-young John Negrin who can move the puck and join the rush regularly, there are your strong and steady blueliners like Chris Breen and John Ramage progressing.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was only a couple of years ago the Flames lack of depth within their system was a real concern. They still have a ways to go but as MacFarlane pointed out, things aren’t as dire as they once were.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Pat Hickey reports undrafted QMJHL forward Etienne Brodeur is hoping to land himself a spot somewhere, either as an overage junior, or perhaps within the Canadiens organization, after landing a tryout following a 53-goal performance last season in the “Q” with the now-defunct Lewiston Maineiacs.
VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Jim Jamieson reports Canucks prospect Nicklas Jensen is hoping his ability to use his 6-2, 202 frame to protect the puck along the boards and in the corners might enhance his chances of making it to the NHL. Jansen, 18, already has experience playing with men in the top pro league in Denmark as a 16-year-old, and the Canucks scouts were impressed with his maturity.