Latest on the Canucks, Canadiens, Flames and Senators.

Updates on the coaching situations of the Canucks, Canadiens and Flames,Carey Price heads into a pivotal summer, and the latest on Senators forwards Daniel Alfredsson and Nikita Filatov.

VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Ben Kuzma reports Canucks GM Mike Gillis is expected to give head coach Alain Vigneault a vote of confidence, ensuring Vigneault will return behind the Canucks bench next season.

Price unconcerned over contract talks with Habs.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens goalie Carey Price is fully recovered from his late-season injuries and relaxed working on his farm in BC, remaining confident of getting a new contract worked out with new Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin.

CALGARY HERALD: Troy Ward, head coach of the Flames farm club Abbotsford Heat, is considered among the candidates for the Flames vacant head coaching job.

TSN.CA: Bob McKenzie reports the Canadiens are “in the process of touching base with potential head coach candidates including Michel Therrien, Guy Carbonneau, Marc Crawford, and Bob Hartley”, while the Flames have pared down their list of ten-twelve candidates to six, of which Ward and Hartley are prominent.

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Sportsnet analyst Doug MacLean believes Daniel Alfredsson owes it to the Senators to return and play out the final season of his contract, while Nikita Filatov has signed a two year deal with a KHL team.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With all due respect to MacLean, Alfredsson doesn’t owe the Senators a damn thing. He’s given them the best years of his life, often playing through pain doing so. If “Alfie” decides it’s time to retire as an NHL player, it’s his right to do so. As for Filatov, no great loss, and I doubt we’ll ever see him in the NHL again.


  1. To begin with I totally and whole heartedly agree with Spector regarding his comments about Alfredsson and MacLean. Alfredsson has been an ideal employee of the Ottawa Senators and has gone above and beyond what was expected of him throughout his career with them.
    MacLean as a former GM should know exactly what loyalty counts for with NHL management types and that is absolutely nothing, unless it is used to guilt a player at contract time or when he should be resting an injury and the coach or GM wants him in the line up. No matter how loyal a player has been and how many times he has “taken one for the team” management would trade him or dump him in a heartbeat if they thought it would benefit the team.
    Hockey is a business but the difference that sets it apart from most other businesses is that it has humans as its marketable commodity and those humans have hearts and minds, which owner’s, GM’s and coach’s at times try manipulating to their ideals and benefit.
    In the bad old days you had owners such as the Leafs Harold Ballard who didn’t care what happened health or safety wise to a player as long as the team won. Thankfully those days have been put behind us but there are still people in management that think like that and when their job or success (ego) is on the line they will not hesitate to use every tool at their disposal, including guilting a player to bend to their will.
    I do believe Alfredsson will return but it will be because he wants to go out in style rather than as MacLean says…because he owes them.

  2. In fairness to Maclean at least he actually knows a bit about the team, unlike the majority of commentator’s that tend to only focus on the larger market teams. My guess is that Maclean’s comment was meant to be taken lightly. Truly Alfredsson doesn’t owe the Senator’s anything other than perhaps not to drag the decision out for too long. The two concussions he suffered this season must be weighing on him.
    The shame about Filatov is that he seems to have offensive skills potential but doesn’t have the heart or courage to play in the NHL, at least not at this point in his life.

  3. Actually, the reason Maclean feels that Alfredson “owes” the Senators has nothing to do with loyalty, but with front loaded contracts. Instead of signing an evenly balanced contract, Alfredson asked for it to be front loaded, including bonuses, and that the fact he is only due to make $1 million this year instead of the average of $4.8 mill, Maclean feels that Alfredson in good faith owes the Senators that last year of service, since the 4.8 remains on the cap.

  4. So what? It was Murray and Melnyk who agreed to that contract. Again, Alfredsson owes them nothing, especially if he physically feels he cannot play at his best in that final season. The Senators front office knew the risks going in. If Alfie can’t play and chooses to retire, they’ll have to accept the consequences. He has to do what’s best for himself. Remember, he suffered two concussions this season, and after seeing others getting their brains scrambled far worse than he did, might not wish to risk it.

    If he returns, it’s a moot point, but if he doesn’t,then his decision is to be respected. He’s more than held up his share of the deal. If he physically feels he has one more year left, fine. If not, then he’s doing the right thing for himself, his family and for his teammates.

  5. Maclean has been saying that for weeks on the Fan590 also. I never really heard his whole description why he thinks that. Some of the reasons I can think of is that the Sens made great progress this year and it could kill them if their captain does not come back. Another would be if his cap hit will count against the cap even with him retired. I can’t remember if he signed it before or after he turned 35.

    I also think Alfie owes the Sens nothing. The only thing he owes is to himself. He will think health and family first, then if he is okay with that he plays. Personally I think he comes back. I hate the sens, and hate Alfie because he’s a Sen, but I respect him and he’s been great for Ottawa and the Game. And I think he will come back for one more ride.

  6. Even if Alfie isn’t on the ice he’ll have a front office job! Alfie is the most respected hockey player in the history of Ottawa and not even his most die hard fans will want him to play if he can’t. I hope we see him for one more season, one of my favorite players and he is still showing he had the strength to compete in the Worlds after an NHL season.

    I believe Alfie has one more NHL season left in him and I believe he may even stay in shape and possibly sign on to play at the olympics as well following next season.

  7. Please don’t hire Hartley, Feaster! I’m curious as to who the other candidates are, besides Hartley and Ward. Have you heard anything, Lyle?

  8. Vigneault, Alfredsson, and Price will all be back with their respective clubs next year and eventually the Flames & Canadiens will hire head coaches. i would bet there isn’t anywhere near this kind of interest in ANY of the American teams out of the playoffs by their fan base and the NHL needs to realize where their core support is and start treating them a little better. what’s passing for the NHL playoffs his year has to be getting the worst television ratings ever as it’s dull crappy hockey and the NHL head office would do well to remember they’re in the entertainment business and 1-0 games where you have one team surrounding the net blocking shots don’t sell beyond the one market, it’s gotten to the point where they might have to consider an “illegal defense” call where they only allow as many defensive players in a zone in front of the net as there are offensive players. blocked shots don’t sell games in the way that goals do and calling playoffs a war and negating the effectiveness of smaller more creative types by not calling penalties on the larger more marginally skilled types takes things right back to the hooking and holding era that almost killed hockey.

  9. I think Alfy returns for one last try, but I think he also asks management to do their best to put a stellar team together for a post season run.

    Glad to hear Price is good and healthy. I’m glad to hear Carbo’s name back in the mix for coach. He was let go after one slump and didn’t really get a chance to redeem himself. Imagine Carbo and Robinson on the bench? maybe even Roy? That would be sweet. Then take down the glass behind the home bench and lets bring classy back =)