NHL Canadian Corner – January 12, 2012.

Mike Cammalleri lashes out against Canadiens poor performance…Leafs GM responds to poll voting Dion Phaneuf “most over-rated”…Erik Karlsson to return to Senators Thursday…Flames Curtis Glencross red hot…David Booth feeling pressured to return…Time for the Oilers reclusive owner to speak up…Jets coach wants his team to mimic elite clubs.

LA PRESSE: Montreal Canadiens forward Mike Cammalleri spoke out about his team’s poor performance this season, saying they were playing like losers, whilst grumbling over his own reduction in playing time and the recent treatment he’s received from Canadiens fans.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ll have more on Cammalleri in the rumor section. Cammalleri has been inconsistent this season, leading to speculation he might be nursing a lingering injury. Whatever the reason, his comments are only going to stir up more controversy as the Canadiens season continues to slip away.

Leafs GM unimpressed with results of NHL player poll.

TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke had harsh words for players who voted Leafs defenseman Dion Phaneuf “most over-rated”.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My reaction to this on Twitter (I felt Burke over-reacted to a question about a silly poll) led to several indignant responses from Leafs fans defending his comments. Guess we know who Burke’s comments were truly meant for, as Leafs Nation showers Burke with huzzahs for “sticking up for his captain”. Nicely played, sir.

OTTAWA SUN: Defenseman Erik Karlsson is expected to return to the Senators lineup tonight against the NY Rangers.

CALGARY HERALD: A number of factors (maturity, new contract, second season playing with Olli Jokinen, more responsibility) may be behind Curtis Glencross’s new-found offensive consistency.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Glencross must maintain that consistency if the Flames hope to make the playoffs this season.

VANCOUVER SUN: Canucks winger David Booth may be feeling the pressure from the coaching staff to return from a knee injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If so, it’s a stupid move, rushing a player back before he’s fully healed. What’s better? Booth not fully recovered, susceptible to another, potentially season-ending knee injury? Or Booth taking a little more time to heal up properly, returning healthy and ready to go for the rest of the season and the playoffs, when you’ll need him the most?

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson called out reclusive Oilers owner Daryl Katz to publicly speak about his opinion on the team’s performance, and that of his GM and head coach.

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets coach Claude Noel wants his team to mimic the effort of elite clubs.


  1. As any Leaf fan knows Phaneuf is over rated so I don’t know why this is such a surprise other then the fact he came in number one in this competition.
    The real story is Burke’s over reaction to this article. He reminds me of Don Cherry just a big dumb fool with an old school mentality unless it suits him to change. I like most of what he has done with the team but someone else should handle all comments coming out of MLSE and that person should be Dave Poullin. Poullins comments are what you would expect from a professional GM taking the high road “A very simple answer for an anonymous poll,” said Leafs assistant GM Dave Poulin, “is that people tend to vote for players they don’t like to play against. Both individuals’ play speaks for itself.”

    Who would you rather have talking to the fans through the media, Poulin? or Burke with his stupid comments “Yes, players dumb enough to participate in polls designed to crap on fellow NHLPA members are not very bright,” said Leafs GM Brian Burke. “They can all go defecate in their chapeaus. I am thrilled to have both players on my team. “And by the way? Anyone who wants to tell Dion that in person should fly to Ottawa in about two weeks.”

    Maybe Burke can go rent a barn and Dion can fight all 161 players who participated in this poll one at a time. I’m sure Dion is thilled to have papa fighting his battles through the media. Some how I think Dion would have also taken the high road if he commented at all.

  2. I found it funny that Burke said anybody who thinks he’s over-rated should say that to Dion in two weeks in Ottawa. (ie. at the All Star game) I’m sorry, didn’t Leaf fans almost vote James Reimer as the starting goalie over Tim Thomas in that same All Star game? So what does that have to do with a player poll on over-rated players when it’s fan voting that gets Dion to the All-Star game and almost got Reimer with his pathetic numbers in too. I’m not even sure Reimer is Toronto’s starting goalie anymore, let alone deserving of an all star spot. As such, Dion getting voted in by fans, means nothing, sorry Burke but your bluster, once again, is ripe full of BS. Players voting Dion most over-rated, second year in a row (yes players, his peers) means one heck of a lot more than what fans think, at least in my opinion.

  3. Cammy doesn’t want to be dealt. This is not the first time a vet on the Canadiens has spoken out about the teams “preparation”. Preparation, IMO, is all about the coaching and player management. This team does not like it’s coaches. Letting Muller leave was a MASSIVE mistake. He motivated the players, spoke to them on the bench, helped them off the ice, etc. There’s two contracts the Habs have to shed: Gomez and Markov. That’s almost 13 million right there. That would enable the team to pick up blueline depth, a impact forward, and depth. The simple truth is this is a team that has underachieved. The coaches are not liked, and it’s evident by how the team is playing. What’s also evident is that there is no new coaching staff coming this season and that the team is going to ride this out until the end of the year. My only fear is that they trade away a good player or first round pick. The only players I can see being traded are: Gill, Campoli, Kaberle, Kostitsyn, Moen (hope not), and Plekanec. If they do trade Cammy we better be getting a first rounder and a blue chip prospect or player for him.

    Also, if I was Price after that game vs St. Louis I would be tearing strips of everyone in that locker room. Halak comes to town and they can’t even muster 20 shots??? That game was one for Prices pride and confidence. He didn’t demand to remain in Montreal, or be traded, but the organization picked him to stay. The rest of the team should have out all their pouty play bullshit on the back burner and go into that game like a game 7. Instead, they were embarrassed on home ice and no price has to deal with that defeat in his mind. I was livid just looking at the score, no wonder Cammalleri caleed the team a bunch of losers the next day. Atleast it shows someone actually cared about that game and was just as mad as us fans.

    This team won’t make the playoffs this year, I’m certain of it now. So, here’s hoping for a top five pick and no stupid trades. Oh, and I’m starting to teeter over to the “Patrick Roy” for coach OR general manager. He’s proven he knows what hes doing in the Q. Give him his shot at the NHL. He has instant Legend status which gives him the respect of his team. Also, try and get Muller back for gods sakes. If not, then add Carbo as a assistant to whoever comes in. Top 5 pick! Yay! :/

  4. @ FireWilson…..Great post. I agree. Burke should take himself less seriously and delegate the talking. His pronouncement, “you all should be ashamed that I’m waiving Orr”, is utterly senile.
    It’s not that Phaneuf is a bad Dman, but maybe on one night of the year does he absolutely play at his peak and even begin to approach the hype. I got a good look at him in Calgary; the fans there loved him for his devastating hits, even though they always resulted in a 2-on-1. Basically, enthusiasm over his physical play has always covered up series shortcomings in his game. But Calgary is one place where they’ll take hitting over hands any day. That said, the Toronto blueline is a lot better since he got there.
    Regarding Booth, he really wanted in Florida, so I’m pretty sure he’s not being rushed back.
    Regarding Cammalieri….I’ll stand by saying that he is one of the best players in the league. I don’t know what is wrong this year other than having no help and a dysfunctional coaching operation. But in my opinion, disgruntled fans should not be pointing any fingers at him.

  5. series=serious
    Booth wanted TO PLAY…(i meant)

    ps Patrick Roy seems like a very bad idea. Can you say, loose cannon egomaniac?

  6. To be honest I think the Sun’s commentary on Booth being rushed back by the coaching staff is bs. What the heck for? The team is sitting in the standings amongst the league leaders and the schedule over the next few weeks is sparse with games (due to the Canucks having played more games earlier on). I realize they have to sell newspapers but stuff like this degrades the credibility of their “sources”.

  7. I’m a Leafs fan and I am confused to the talk about the Phanueuf hype and over rated … I am unsure when he got super hyped like everyone is saying. He is a solid D guy and has a booming shot and great offensive game and if he plays peaked all season he could compete for a Norris. But I wouldn’t put him in as one of the top 5 D in the league. I could maybe see somewhere in the top 10-15 though.

  8. @JJB…..that right there is the hype. Saying he’s top 10-15. I can come up with 20 better dmen without even thinking about it. He does not have an excellent offensive game, unless he’s got someone like Liles to do the stick-handling and table setting.

  9. They can all go defecate in their chapeaus. – an instant classic. I wonder if its true that dumb people dislike people smarter than them. I mean in all honesty, Burke is 100% right… ESPN doesn’t know squat about hockey, this poll is baseless, out of what was it 160 unnamed players, 24% = about 35 players voted Dion #1… I wonder if any of them like playing against him or not… in short dumb poll that really has no merit but yet some folks, I guess the way their brain works, ignore that and regurgitate the same ol’ same old all the while retreading the same boring and unfounded opinions regardless…. yawn.

  10. No comment on Phaneuf as a player however Burke should know better than to launch into a diatribe. All he did was draw attention to a poll that most of us would have forgotten in a day. He always seems to want to be the centre of attention…