NHL Canadian Corner – January 14, 2013.

Canadiens send Scott Gomez home, injuries hamper Jarome Iginla and Nik Antropov, the Canucks sign Cam Barker, and the latest on Nikolai Khabibulin, James Reimer and Senators prospect Jakob Silfverberg.

Gomez is gone.

Gomez is gone.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens have sent forward Scott Gomez home for the remainder of the season with the intent of buying out the remainder of his contract this summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens had no choice. Gomez’s performance had declined so much he was no longer worth the $7.357 million cap hit. His salary will still count against the Habs cap, which they can afford to carry this season, but with the cap declining to $64.3 million next season, they must rid themselves of his salary to free up cap space. The reason they’re sending him home is they cannot risk him suffering a long-term injury in NHL play this season, which could make him ineligible for a compliance buyout this summer.

TSN.CA: A groin injury kept Calgary Flames captain Jarome Iginla off the ice during the opening of Flames training camp yesterday. The move was said to be “precautionary”, in hopes he’ll overcome it later this week and be ready for the team’s season-opener on January 20.

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets forward Nik Antropov failed to pass his training camp medical owing to an “upper body injury”, which could sideline him for the start of the season.

EDMONTON SUN: 40-year-old goalie Nikolai Khabibulin is looking forward to the shortened schedule and helping the Oilers any way he can.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I expect Khabibulin will start this season as Devan Dubnyk’s backup.

TORONTO SUN: New Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis continues to stand by his current goaltender, especially starter James Reimer, saying there’s no need to make a move for a goaltending upgrade.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Looks like Nonis will start the season with Reimer and Ben Scrivens, but if they struggle, that’ll ramp up the pressure to land Roberto Luongo, provided he’s still available.

VANCOUVER PROVINCE: The Canucks signed defenseman Cam Barker to a one-year contract.

OTTAWA SUN: Swedish prospect Jakob Silfverberg will get a shot at cracking the Senators roster.


  1. I wonder if Gomez can b traded if the habs pay half the salary for the team taking him…. Long shot, I know. He reportedly nix a deal the the NYI last year. Would he turn down another deal just for the chance to play? Either way he’s finally out of his misery in MTL. I can’t even described my anxiousness and anticipation for the season. It’s so good to know I’ll have hockey to watch :).

  2. Habs already said they wouldn’t likely do that as it defeats the purpose of what they are trying to do. Gomez has added zero value to the team in recent years, so its not like losing him for ‘nothing’ affects the team at all.

  3. Imagine the tremendous pressure certain members of the Maple Leafs are under. Komisarek being one that is rumoured to be getting one last chance to prove his worth. James Reimer just has to let in one bad goal or have one bad game and Ben Scrivens will be sent out to replace him. If Ben Scrivens has a bad game he will not be afforded the opportunity to be Reimer’s back-up but will be sent down to spend another year in the AHL as Leafs management will have to pull the trigger on a goalie deal.
    This year with the shortened season and pretty much every game being a must win or shoot out loss the pressure on every team will be incredible but moreso in Canada’s biggest city. I have no idea what Nonis’s marching orders from ownership are but suffice it to say getting revenue from playoff games has been the topic of a number of conversations.
    How long Carlyle will wait to replace Komisarek or yank Reimer and how long Scrivens remains in the NHL will be dependent upon wins and two or three losses in a row will dictate if and when a young defenseman gets his chance or when a new netminder graces the crease in Toronto.
    Quality goalies and good defensemen are not a dime a dozen, and if two or three playoff contending teams start off slow, the players coveted by the Leafs may not be around and if GM’s wait too long the chance to make the playoffs may disappear until next year, again.

  4. This just sums up the NHL today – Montreal will pay a player $7.5 million not to play so they can buy out his contract in the summer. Think about that.
    Send in the clowns – don’t bother; they’re here.

  5. Does Gomez hold any value next season? I could see him taking a low value contract and playing 4th line minutes, while still collecting big $$ from the Habs. I understand that he doesn’t score many goals any more, but could he serve as a defensively solid vet on a grind line?

  6. My plan if I was Gomez. Go home collect my Millions and get into crazy good shape and practice up everyday. Take the buyout sign a 1 year deal cheap next summer and make as much of a mark as possible and try to cash in. If it does not go well ride off into the sunset knowing Montreal will be paying him for another few years.