Canadian Corner – October 23, 2011.

In today’s roundup of notable NHL Canadian team news: Four player trade surprises Canucks player…Canadiens head coach Jacques Martin could pay the price for Habs poor start…Taylor Hall believes Ryan Nugent-Hopkins should keep playing…Matthew Lombardi impresses with Maple Leafs…Chris Mason stepping up in goal for Jets…Senators pot two late goals to defeat Columbus…Flames head coach Brent Sutter happy with his team’s work ethic.

VANCOUVER SUN: Canucks players respond with shock to last night’s news Mikael Samuelsson and Marco Sturm were shipped to Florida for David Booth and Steven Reinprecht.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a good move by Canucks GM Mike Gillis. Samuelsson is still hampered from off-season surgery, and Sturm is on his last legs. They need a decent second liner winger for Ryan Kesler’s line, and while Booth hasn’t been the same since suffering a concussion two years ago, he’s still capable of potting 25-goals per season, perhaps more with a better caliber linemate like Kesler.

SPORTING NEWS: Jesse Spector suggests Montreal Canadiens head coach Jacques Martin could pay for his team’s poor start if things don’t soon improve.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The absence of Andrei Markov and Chris Campoli to injury haven’t helped their defensive game, some fans feel the team misses former assistant coach Kirk Muller, who is now coaching in the AHL. Center Scott Gomez showed no signs of improvement this season prior to a recent injury, and free agent addition Erik Cole has been a non-factor. There probably isn’t a trade management can make at this point which can bolster their defense, bring more skilled size to their forward lines, or clear Gomez’s contract off their books. If things don’t improve over the next couple of weeks, heck, the next couple of games, Martin could lose his job.

EDMONTON SUN: Oilers sophomore Taylor Hall doesn’t believe the club should make his linemate, rookie Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, a healthy scratch to determine how the team would perform with the youngster.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nugent-Hopkins leads the Oilers in goals (5) and points (7) after seven games. He’s been a terrific fit with Hall and Jordan Eberle. While I agree it remains to be seen how well “RNH” will perform over the rest of the season, I believe he’s played well enough to earn his shot this season. Keep him on the roster.

Lombardi playing well for Leafs.

TORONTO SUN: Center Matthew Lombardi may have been the “throw-in” when the Leafs acquired Cody Franson this summer from the Nashville Predators, but it’s been Lombardi who has been impressive so far, while Franson struggles to gain a roster spot.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I knew if Lombardi could make a full recovery from post-concussion symptoms he’d be a terrific addition to the Leafs. It remains to be seen how well Franson makes out, but Lombardi’s play has certainly made the Leafs the clear winners of that trade.

WINNIPEG SUN: Backup Chris Mason replaced struggling starter Ondrej Pavelec early in the first period, and the move paid off, as he backstopped the Jets to a 5-3 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes.

OTTAWA SUN: Jason Spezza and Milan Michalek’s goals in the final 36 seconds carried the Senators to a come-from-behind 4-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

CALGARY HERALD: Flames head coach Brent Sutter acknowledged his club still has some problem areas, but defended their work ethic following their 2-0 loss to the Nashville Predators.


  1. I do not think Gauthier will panic just yet and dump Martin. Spacek is coming back soon and I think the GM will see if he helps steady the line. At the moment, AK46 is a bright spot on the Habs and on pace (if, big if) he can keep it up he is on pace for a career year so I do not think he will be shipped out for a quick fix. If he can be had for cheap, maybe McCabe??????? is a better option than a hasty trade.

  2. i think the habs are crumbling… last year they had unbelievable goaltending (price shoulda been up for the vezina) and they had a way better D corps… When they picked up erik cole i kinda scratched my head… Unless Price starts playing vezina worthy hockey again montreal isnt a good enough team anymore… not that price is playing bad hes still play great just not at the level he was last year

  3. Burke stole lombardi from Nashville
    Just another example of building a winner.
    I hope gustavson starts the next game, after getting the monkey off his back, and takes a page out of reimers book-chill out!

  4. Feeling sorry is not really what I do for teams but I’m starting to feel sorry for the Blue Jackets and their fans. Not sure where you’d start to address their woes but the replacement of Chris Mason might be a good start. It almost appears they’re holding off on this option until Dekanich returns from injury.

  5. Alex its steve mason and I don’t think their ready to give up on their former calder trophy winner. Who ever the goalie coach is in columbus seems to have dropped the ball with a guy who has all of the intangible abilities but needs to learn positioning and consitency two things that can be taught

  6. I generally like Jacques Martin, but watching 2 too many men penalties in Saturday’s game makes it hard not to complain about the constant revolving lines. No one knows when the heck they are supposed to be on the ice. Also, he has poorly managed Cole. Never mind the power play. Darche? I love the guy, but knock off playing him out of his depth.