Canadian Corner – September 28, 2011.

In today’s roundup of all Canadian NHL team news:  Leafs center Grabovski bounces back from a big hit to lead his team to victory…Cory Sarich hoping to return to Flames lineup soon…An injury could open the door for Senators center Mika Zibanejad…The Canucks will finally ice a veteran-laden team for a preseason game…Complaining the Canadiens haven’t played more veterans in preseason…Do or die for Jets bubble players.

TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs center Mikhail Grabovski bounced back from a hard hit from Senator Chris Neil to lead his team to a 5-3 win over the Senators.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Funny what a difference a year can make. Last season at this time, Grabovski was often the center of trade rumors involving the Leafs. Now, he’s been their best forward and there’s no mention of trading him away. Good on Grabovski for hanging tough and showing up his critics!

CALGARY HERALD: Flames defenseman Cory Sarich is keen to return to action after recovery from “osteitis pubis, a problem with his pelvis”.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sarich was often criticized before his condition was diagnosed for his poor play. It’ll be interesting to see if he’ll have any improvement.

EDMONTON SUN (VIA CALGARY SUN): Robert Tykchowski reports Ben Eager is making progress in his recovery from a recent concussion suffered in an inter-squad tournament.

OTTAWA SUN: reports an injury to Senators center Peter Regin could open the door for rookie Mika Zibanejad to make the roster.

VANCOUVER SUN: reports the Canucks will ice a veteran-laden lineup for the first time in this year’s preseason in a game tonight against the Anaheim Ducks.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Mike Boone is calling on the Canadiens to ice a more veteran lineup for their final preseason games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Honestly, I find the complaints about teams not icing more veterans in their preseason rosters to be pointless. Preseason is for teams to evaluate their young players and their roster strength and weaknesses, and is more of a warmup for veterans. It’s not about putting out a more entertaining show for the fans. If you’re going to plunk down big bucks to watch a preseason game, you have no business bitching about the quality of the lineup, especially if your favorite player isn’t part of the roster that night. Preseason isn’t about the fans! You pay your ticket for a preseason game, you take your chances. If anything, enjoy the opportunity to get your first glimpse at the promising talent in your team’s farm system, since it’s likely the only chance you’ll get to see almost all of them before they’re sent to the minors or back to junior.

WINNIPEG SUN: reports it’s getting down to “do or die” time for the Jets bubble players.


  1. Spec, couldn’t agree more about the pre-seson. I’d rather watch the youth and up and coming players than the veterans. Most of us already waste 82 nights a year (22%!!!) following our team, so we can all do with a bit of a different look to start the season.

  2. All your comments would be true IF there was an option to buy season tickets for a pre season game. I don’t know about other teams but in Vcr if you buy season tickets you MUST purchase the pre season games…at the very same price as you pay for a regular league game. Frankly if the team sets a price of “$x” for the season games and then charges the very same price to watch Juniors, ECHL and AHL players…then that’s just wrong

    • Malcolm, I agree that it stinks if they’re making their fans buy pre-season tickets as part of the package, and I don’t believe that’s fair. Still, preseason isn’t about entertaining fans, it’s about evaluating rosters and prospects. Again, pay your ticket, take your chances.

  3. I find the comment on preseason games to be rather short sighted. If you are a season ticket owner you have no choice in the matter….you have to buy the tickets regardless at FULL PRICE….It is a total rip off from the owners part, I do agree with the resting of regulars….why bother risking injury…they all come into camp in shape now…’s not really a training camp any more…it’s more for evaluating youth and fringe or aging talent.

  4. Well Lyle…being an Oilers fan, there is no difference between their “young” roster and their “veteran” roster…so I am gladly off to see my Oilers play in Vancouver on Sat night :)

  5. Boohoo. It’s hard to have a season ticket.
    The complaints would be even louder if an important player got hurt in pre-season.
    But this emphasizes the fact that the season should start earlier……the fanbase is ridiculously hungry, and that way summer vacation wouldn’t have to be put on hold for the Final.
    (82 games and 4 best of 7’s is sacred though; I shun any talk of lowering or increasing it.)

  6. Sharks did the same thing: charge a full $88 for preseason games. Thank goodness for Stubhub. Got my tickets for $21 with charges included. It’s great to see prospects try to earn a spot on the team. Lots of emotion out there!

  7. Disagree Lyle. You charge full price for an NHL preseason game you should provide entertainment. Otherwise, lower your prices. Of course, you are right in the great tradition of buyer beware and if someone did pay for any preseason Habs tickets then they have no one but themselves to blame, but I don’t think having a monopoly gives you the right to gouge. You can gouge, but then you are dirt. And everyone should be allowed to loudly proclaim you dirt. Whether they paid or won’t pay is irrelevant.