NHL Canadian Corner – January 18, 2014

Latest on Erik Karlsson, Mark Giordano, Nail Yakupov, David Clarkson, Zach Kassian and Grant Clitsome, plus concern over the Canadiens power-play.

OTTAWA SUN: Erik Karlsson explained his recent brief sabbatical from speaking to the press.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Maybe the real reason is he got bored with the same cliched answers to the same old questions.

Mark Giordano earns praise for his leadership on the rebuilding Flames.

Mark Giordano earns praise for his leadership on the rebuilding Flames.

CALGARY HERALD: Flames captain Mark Giordano earned praise from coach Bob Hartley for his leadership through a difficult season for the club.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: He deserves the praise. It can’t be easy being the captain of a rebuilding club. 

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers winger Nail Yakupov (concussion protocol) won’t be in the lineup today when his club faces the Jets. The Oilers yesterday made another trade, this time a four-player swap of minor leaguers with the Florida Panthers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Remains to be seen how serious Yakupov’s condition. It’s expected he’ll be sidelined a week.

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs placed winger David Clarkson (elbow) on injured reserve.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Injuries and suspensions have made Clarkson’s first season as a Leaf one to forget. 

VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Zack Kassian continues to “excite, frustrate and test the patience of his coach” John Tortorella.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: At times Kassian shows promise as a power forward. At others, he does more harm than good.

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets defenseman Grant Clitsome underwent season-ending back surgery on Thursday.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens struggling power-play remains a concern.


  1. Interesting article in the Toronto star this morning on how the Leafs would look if they made no trades from the year Rask was traded forward. Just drafting and UFA’s

    MacArthur-Tyler Bozak-Steen
    David Clarkson-Seguin-Eller
    Stalberg-Nazem Kadri-Nik Kulemin
    Jay McClement-Stajan-Tlusty

    Morgan Rielly-Schenn
    Beauchemin-Paul Ranger
    Carl Gunnarsson-Hamilton

    Rask, James Reimer, Scrivens

    Extras: Colton Orr, Troy Bodie, Jerry D’Amigo, Josh Leivo, Frattin, Spencer Abbott, Frazer McLaren

    Not much better if not worse then the current line up.

    • This line up stinks. That is by far (which is saying something) a way worse D and team than they got now.
      Still think Burke and Nonis suck?

      • Buddy you know I have always said Burke and Nonis have been very good at trades I have expressed this time and again. My only issue with Nonis is contract negotiations/ future cap management.

        So take it back…

        • Not to mention the Leafs probably wouldn’t have picked Hamilton and may not have picked Eller either so this line up could be way worse.

          • Seguin and Kessel equal themselves out in the deal as per point production ….non point anymore …Seguin does not play a physical game but is a beast in points so even trade ….HOWEVER …Leafs got Phaneuf in a lopsided deal where they gave up nothing of value or need to the team to get him and he replaces Hamilton and Leafs drafted very well in Schenn who was the best D man at the time in the draft so that denies that fact …..

            Rask may have never been what he is now if he had not had Chiara Ferrence , Wideman, McQuaid and so on and so on on the back end …he would have struggled in a Leafs uniform anyways as we have never had any good defense in that timeline ……its all none sense ….

            Leafs are underachieving as they are better now per player than they have been in the last 5 years ….they are not producing from 2nd 3rd and 4th line ….NO CONTRIBUTIONS !!!

          • But that is kind of the point if they dont sign deals like Kessel and Phaneuf thats the type of lineup you get, a hodge podge of guys who make 4-5 million bucks not really bad players but, definitely not a very competitive team. If you are going to trade for that type of player and give up assets to get them you keep some of them around even tho its going to cost you. Not everybody is going to draft and develop guys like Stamkos and Crosby. Sometimes even tho it might not be the perfect player you have to pay them just to stay competitive, the Sharks are a great example with guys like Boyle Thorton and Neimmi who had some flaws to their game were moved out of other teams but they keep them around pay them good contracts and build around them and even tho they havent won a cup look at how often they make the playoffs. You cant just ship guys out because they are about to sign a big deal, the perfect player doesnt exist.

          • That’s one area we disagree on. Just a difference of opinion. There comes a point when you have to make the big signings I just don’t think it’s while you are in building mode. I believe you make those Kessel/Phaneuf deals when you are a contender and have no choice in order to keep the team you have built together. Until that point you set a limit (say Lupul’s deal) and stick with it as your ceiling. If anyone wants the big dough you peddle them out the door for younger and cheaper guys who will be just as good as those players within a few years but are cap friendly for many more years to come. It’s a longer process but in the end I think you ice a power house for numerous years when you finally get there.