In today’s collections of notable Canadian NHL team news: Dion Phaneuf introduces a Senators rookie to the NHL…Five things the Senators must address this season…Five questions for the rebooted Winnipeg Jets…Tom Gilbert facing more responsibilities on an injured-ravaged Oilers blueline…Bad news for Habs defenseman Chris Campoli…Cory Sarich rocks Matt Cooke…Canucks Keith Ballard hopes for a bounce-back season.
TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs defenseman Dion Phaneuf introduced himself to Ottawa Senators center Stephane Da Costa during the Leafs 6-5 win over the Ottawa Senators on Saturday.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Check out the video here. See, it is possible to level a player with a good, hard, clean bodycheck without going for his head. Da Costa was shaken up but otherwise fine from the hit. Welcome to the NHL regular season!
OTTAWA SUN: Jason York with five things the Senators need to address this season to accelerate their rebuilding process. Among them: their veteran blueliners improve over last season’s woeful performances, and Nick Foligno needs to take his game to the next level.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I might be wrong, but I think the best we’ll see from Foligno is being a good checking line forward. No disrespect intended, it’s just that he doesn’t appear to me to be a top-six forward.
WINNIPEG SUN: Ken Wiebe has five questions for the rebooted Jets. Among them: Can rookie Mark Scheifele stick for the season, and can Blake Wheeler reach his potential?
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The answer to the first remains to be seen, but I believe Wheeler is poised for a breakout season.
EDMONTON SUN: Tom Gilbert will be expected carry more of the load for the injury-ravaged Oilers defense corps to start the season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s a tall order for Gilbert, and he’ll do his best, but it remains to be seen if his best will be enough
LA PRESSE: Chris Campoli’s hamstring injury is much worse than previously believed, as Canadiens head coach Jacques Martin yesterday said Campoli could be sidelined for months, rather than weeks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless GM Pierre Gauthier can find another experienced puck-moving defenseman, looks like they’ll have to rely on PK Subban to carry the load, and give Yannick Weber more opportunities. Andrei Markov has no timetable for his return, so they’ll likely have to stick with what they’ve got for the time being.
CALGARY HERALD: Cory Sarich provided the Flames with the only positive highlight of the night with his crunching check on Penguins forward Matt Cooke. The Flames fell to the Penguins 5-3 on Saturday.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sarich won’t be suspended for the hit, as it’s clear it wasn’t a targeted hit to Cooke’s head, nor did the latter’s head absorb full force of the check.
VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Canucks defenseman Keith Ballard is off to a good start his season, and hopes to bounce back from last season’s injury-hampered performance.