Canadian Corner – September 22, 2011.

In today’s roundup of notable NHL Canadian team news: Maple Leafs Darryl Boyce bounces back from a facial rearrangement…Oiler Ben Eager recovering from concussion…Veteran Anders Eriksson hopes to stick with the Canucks…Jets prospect Mark Scheifele making a case to stick with the club…Senators prospect Mika Zibanajed comes though in OT…Canadiens prospect Nathan Beaulieu gets playing time with Subban and Gorges…Smallish forward Paul Byron working hard to stay with Flames.

TORONTO SUN: reported Maple Leaf Darryl Boyce quickly returned to action in last night’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers despite suffering a broken nose after getting hit from behind into the end boards by Flyer Jody Shelley.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It remains to be seen if Boyce’s toughness helps him earn a regular spot with the Leafs. As for Shelley, he could be facing a suspension for that hit.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: reports Oilers defenseman Ben Eager suffered a concussion following a recent collision with teammate Kirill Tulupov on Sunday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Doesn’t sound as though he’ll be out for long. He’s lucky.

VANCOUVER SUN: reports well-traveled veteran defenseman Anders Eriksson is hoping his training camp tryout with the Canucks results in a job.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I have my doubts he’ll make the Canucks, but perhaps another team might sign him if he has a good pre-season.

WINNIPEG SUN: Paul Friesen believes prospect Mark Scheifele is a keeper for the Jets and is too good to send back to Junior.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Scheifele had a solid pre-season debut, a four-point effort in a split-squad victory over Columbus. I have no doubt the kid’s talented, but I prefer to see how well he plays against tougher competition before suggesting he’s ready to become an NHL regular.

OTTAWA CITIZEN: reports Senators prospect Mika Zibanajed came through for the Senators last night, netting the OT winner in his club’s 2-1 victory over the Boston Bruins, stealing the thunder of promising teammate David Rundblad.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: reports Canadiens prospect defenseman Nathan Beaulieu got to play a regular shift with veteran Josh Gorges, plus saw PP time with P.K. Subban in the Habs 3-1 pre-season loss to Buffalo last night.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Beaulieu isn’t expected to make the Canadiens roster this season, but the experience he got playing with Gorges and Subban could prove invaluable in his development.

CALGARY HERALD: reports 5-10, 180lb forward Paul Byron’s hockey smarts and speed could earn him a spot with the Flames this season.


  1. Watched most of the Canadiens preseason game yesterday. Beaulieu looked alright. He needs to mature physically before he can make the jump. Needs probably 10-20 lbs of muscle on that frame. He got pushed off the puck a bit. However, desharnais looked pretty good between gionta and pacioretty. man that guy can slip out and make some nifty plays. Overall this is fine for the Canadiens. I would rather have ten play less regulars and work out the kinks with young guys. It reinforces the coaches teachings and helps them identify areas of improvement. Would I be mad if they won a few games? Obviously not, but it’s preseason and it really doesn’t matter. Glorified practices.

  2. Always hard to tell in the pre-season who is truly NHL ready. As you say Beaulieu needs to pack on some muscle. He did look poised with the puck though. Nice to have Gorges back this year. Hopefully Markov is ready soon too. Those two along with Subban playing big minutes should help keep Gill’s ice time lower this year. He’s looking even slower this year. Didn’t think that was possible :)

  3. I Agree I would rather see Beaulieu sent back down, have him mature and give him a nine game call up to show him a what NHL games feel like. Honourable mention to Brendan Gallagher, while I think he need another couple of years to fill out and work more on his skating (not knocking his current skatin ability, just a guy that size needs to be the fastest player on any given tem to survive in the NHL, aka : M St Louis, Gio…)