NHL Canadian Corner – July 4, 2014

Canucks re-sign Zack Kassian, Flames re-sign Paul Byron, plus updates on the other Canadian NHL clubs. 

Canucks re-sign winger Zack Kassian.

Canucks re-sign winger Zack Kassian.

VANCOUVER SUN: The Canucks have re-signed winger Zack Kassian to a two-year, $3.5 million contract.

CALGARY HERALD: The Flames have re-signed Paul Byron to a one-year, one-way contract.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers coach Dallas Eakins believes the club’s recent additions are a step in the right direction.

OTTAWA CITIZEN: Mark Stone faces challenge of earning a roster spot on the Senators crowded right wing.

TORONTO SUN: Recently reacquired Maple Leaf Matt Frattin isn’t haunted by his missed opportunity to help the club clinch a victory in Game 7 of last year’s Conference quarterfinal against Boston.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Leafs fans certainly remain haunted by that game. 

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Jets 2014 first-round pick Nikolaj Ehlers will attend their prospect camp, which opens Monday at the MTS Centre.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens have invited 50 prospects to their development camp, held next week in Brossard.


  1. Maybe finnaly the Leafs are exorcizing some of those demons, I think that was a big issue with last summer, and season everybody from players to management thought they were closer than they actually were and tried to put the final touches for a run on this team, when really they were lucky to get that far and should have continued building with some depth and capspace so they could possibly address a need or 2 if injuries or abetter player became available via trade, instead they solely relyed on a top line and questionable D. So far it looks like maybe they figured that out. This team dosent look “sexy” with the expensive variety of experience grit and leadership but its built better, if they do have some success they can pick that up latter along the way.

  2. I see a change in Leafland and not for the better. Seems like they’re doing an Edmonton. Having trouble getting players to join the club. Signing are left overs & ex KHL players…or Clarkson types lured by over the top salary. What’s happening and why ?

    • Not sure if I agree with not for the better, again if you look at the issues the club had with depth last year at one point they had Jay McClement Smithson and Kulimen or JVR playing center, hoorible depth at c, a d corps that consisted of a pair of Kids Phaneuf, Ranger a guy who hasnt been in the league for a while Gleason a 4.5 mill 6 or 7 d man and Gunnarrsson, yet they were still over the cap. Now I know the guys they picked up are not big stars but 1 they are affordable and 2 they are better options then the ones mentioned above which could leave some space to address another need down the road, like secondary scoring if guys like Clarkson and Lupul struggle or possibly a better d man to play in the top 4. If they or the Oilers want to attract tje sexy type names the best way to do it is win.

  3. Seems to me that the leafs are tanking for McDavid. They are never this quiet and content. I find it difficult to believe that they are just staying the course because they like the way the team is going. I think they really want McDavid and will sacrifice this year to get him.

    • Again I see this team as better built than last year, and if they were interested in tanking for picks they would be moving guys like JVR Kessel and Kadri for more picks, not Gunnarsson and letting guys like Bolland McClemment and Kulimen walk. The UFA class was terrible could have more to do with not throwing money around trying to make a big splash, then thinking they are tanking because they didnt overpay for guys like Orpik. If an 8th last place team was going to tank would it not mske more sense to get rid of the good players and keep some of the cheap bad ones, than let the cheap bad ones go and keep the guys who could be moved for more high picks and drop the team further in the standings?

      • Tanking is actually a tough thing to do. You will probably be in competition with other teams tanking, AND even if you win last place, it’s still a lottery. I think Leaf’s will be better this year then last as well.

  4. The Leafs’ recent spate of signings certainly hasn’t shifted the balance of power in the east, but they were part of a necessary step going forward. It’s all about building up the depth in their bottom six. Clearly Carlyle had little confidence in his bottom forwards as witnessed by the miniscule ice time they received. Nonis has at least provided him with some healthy options other then a pair of face punchers nailed to the bench for 58 minutes of the game.
    Two areas of concern for me, would be face-offs and penalty killing. As bad as it was last year, a good portion of the team’s PK were given their walking papers (perhaps deservedly so) on July 1. Not sure if the new additions will help in this area. May need to be addressed at some point.
    As for face-offs, without McClement, Bozak is seen as the club’s only primo face-off man.
    On a totally separate issue, does anyone know if Peter Mueller is drawing any interest from around the league? If his concussion issues are truly behind him, he could be a nice pick-up for someone.

    • I think a few teams are currently looking at Mueller. If he can stay healthy, he should be a good depth signing for somebody. As for the Leafs, I still think they need a RW and a couple more defensive d-men. Something like, Forwards: JVR/BOZAK/KESSEL. LUPUL/KADRI/SETOGUCHI. KOMAROV/KONTIOLA/CLARKSON. BODIE/SANTORELLI/FRATTIN. HOLLAND. Defensemen: PHANEUF/POLAK. GARDINER/ODUYA. REILY/ROBIDAS. MCQUIAD.