NHL Canadian Corner – July 3, 2012.

Top free agents avoiding Toronto, speculation over Alfredsson’s plans, Yakupov entertaining Oilers fans at prospect camp, and the latest on the Jets, Flames and Canadiens.

TORONTO SUN: It appears top free agent players are giving the Maple Leafs a pass, unconvinced the club is building toward contention.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: What a difference a decade makes. Ten years ago, the Leafs had little difficulty attracting some of the best available UFA talent to come to Toronto. Not anymore, and it’s largely because of the Leafs lengthy playoff drought. Until the Leafs become a playoff contender again, this trend could continue.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators still await word from captain Daniel Alfredsson if he’ll return or retire.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m guessing he’ll return.

Should the Jets target Semin?

WINNIPEG SUN: Ken Wiebe wondered if Alexander Semin might be a worthwhile signing for the Jets.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This appeared to have been written prior to the Jets signing Olli Jokinen, which could be the biggest UFA signing they make.

CALGARY SUN: Flames GM Jay Feaster is thrilled over his signing of former Red Wings forward Jiri Hudler.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Time will tell if Feaster’s joy is justified.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers prospect Nail Yakupov entertain fans at the Oilers prospect development camp.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Don’t expect Canadiens legend Larry Robinson to return to the Habs in a coaching capacity.


  1. Hopefully, Alfredsson returns to Ottawa. A class act all the way, on and off the ice.

  2. I think the reason why Feaster is happy is because he signed a player that his stats are comparable to Jokinen but for less money, as well he comes from a “winning enviroment”. I was kind of shocked by the signing of Sarich though, considering he sat in the press box for a time last year and the Flames tried but had no luck in trading him. Overall, with the moves Feaster has made so far, the Flames are a better more rounded team. If they trade Bouemester which it still looks like there is takers, it will be interesting who they get in return.

  3. I don’t doubt that free agents want to avoid Toronto (I would, and I’m a fan!), but the article you linked to doesn’t provide any quotes or evidence to support that point, other than saying that Rick Nash has taken the Leafs off his list, which doesn’t say much.

    This is another example of a Toronto sportswriter enforcing his own opinion with generalizations that can’t be disproved, and it looks like you fell for it.

    • Yeah, dumb ol’ me, falling for that. Why, just a quick look at the top free agents coming to Toronto since the lockout disproves that theory…oh, wait…

      • Lol

      • His contrite closing aside, Matt does have a point. The article really is lacking any type of facts to back the headline up. How many other teams have not been able to attract top free agents? The list is quite long depending on how you define “top free agents”. Plus, Rick Nash has taken Toronto off his list…which would seem to indicate that the Leafs were on it therby disproving the one piece of evidence Longley offers. They were on the short list for Schultz – 24 other teams were not.

        The article works on the premise that Toronto has thrown all the money in the world at every free agent for the last 6 years and that it is the “intangible” reasons that force players into other organizations. But Longley offers not even one quote from an unnamed source to back up this premise. It is shoddy reporting, you cannot deny that.

        Having read the Toronto media pontificate for the last 10 years I have to wonder if articles like this are as much to blame for any players’ reluctance to join the Leafs as the organization itself.

  4. Apparently the Sens had one of the best offers for Nash.. but they were not on his list of destinations.

    In a way I’m glad.. as the Sens keep their goaltending depth.. and their upcoming young forwards who would have been part of the deal.

    On the other hand.. having Nash play with Spezza would have made the Sens a lot more competitive.. But it is what it is.

    These contending teams that get Suter, Nash, Parise, etc.. had better hope the salary cap does not go down…

  5. Sorry to sound snarky Lyle. I’m a big fan of your site and I didn’t mean to come across as snappy. My comment was directed against the article itself. With that having been said, I expect quality articles when I come to this site, and that was not one of them.