In today’s roundup of notable Canadian NHL team news: The reason why the Canucks aren’t playing their veterans as much in preseason…The Flames are coming off an awful weekend…Senators enforcer Matt Carkner talks about his participation in Derek Boogaard’s last fight…Oilers forward Linus Omark is adding grit to his game…Canadiens prospect Gallagher is looking good…Maple Leafs prospect defenseman Jake Gardiner shows promise…A reminder to Jets fans that preseason is about evaluation.
VANCOUVER SUN: reports the Canucks are using preseason to better evaluate their prospect talent, preferring to rest as many veterans as possible to save them for game which really matter.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given the Canucks had a much shorter summer than most teams because of the Stanley Cup Final, it only makes sense to use the preseason more to evaluate prospect talent rather than rushing the veterans back into action. If anything, the extra rest could do them good over the course of the season.
CALGARY SUN: reports the Flames had a weekend to forget, dropping “a couple of stinkers” this weekend, including a 3-0 loss to Edmonton. The line of Olli Jokinen, Curtis Glencross and David Moss (the only full veteran line in that game) didn’t accomplish much, while veteran center Matt Stajan hasn’t shown much improvement over last season despite improving his conditioning in the off-season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stajan’s performance has to be of concern for the Flames, especially given his contract. Hopefully, he’ll pick it up once the regular season begins.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: reports flashy young forward Linus Omark has added more grit and a conservative approach to his game in hopes of securing a roster spot.
LA PRESSE: Marc Antoine Godin reports Canadiens prospect forward Brian Gallagher has been a pleasant surprise for the Habs thus far in preseason play, earning kudos from veteran center Scott Gomez, who has had the youngster on his line in recent play.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gallagher will probably be returned to Junior, but his solid camp bodes well for his future with the Canadiens.
THE GLOBE AND MAIL: reports Maple Leafs young defenseman Jake Gardiner is making it tough for management to decide on his fate, as he’s been the Leafs best defenseman thus far in training camp and preseason. He’s expected to be demoted but could return to the Leafs by Christmas if there are injuries or an incumbent has a bad season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Mike Komisarek’s contract weren’t so expensive, and if Jeff Finger weren’t already riding the buses in the minors, he’d probably be the odd man out and the Leafs would keep Gardiner in the lineup to start the season. The Leafs already have Finger’s $3.5 million buried in the minors for this season, and likely don’t want to add Komisarek’s $4.5 million.
WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: reminds Jets fans getting wrapped up in the club’s preseason performance that this time of year is about evaluating talent, not wins and losses.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Advice which is worthwhile to fans of other NHL teams with a less-than-stellar preseason record. I’m talking to you, Canadiens, Flames and Blackhawks fans!