NHL Canadian Corner – July 7, 2012.

Moving van Riemsdyk to center could mean another move for Leafs, Habs re-sign Eller, and the latest on the Jets, Senators and Flames.

TORONTO SUN: Terry Koshan suggests the Maple Leafs plan to move winger James van Riemsdyk to center could mean one of their current centers becomes expendable, citing Tyler Bozak as a potential trade candidate.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A number of folks who follow this site and post comments are Maple Leafs fans, so lemme hear what you think about this one!

Habs re-up Eller for two years.

LA PRESSE: The Montreal Canadiens have re-signed forward Lars Eller to a two-year, $2.65 million contract, for an average cap hit of $1.325 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A fair deal for both sides, one which take him up to what could be a more lucrative deal if he develops as expected.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Gary Lawless praises the Jets recent signings of Olli Jokinen and Alexei Ponikarovsky for addressing two of the club’s needs without burning up a lot of cap space.

OTTAWA CITIZEN: Allen Panzeri breaks down the Senators salary cap situation, observing they’re still over $4 million beneath the $54.2 million salary cap “floor”.

CALGARY HERALD: The Flames prospect development camp opens next week.


SPECTOR’S NOTE: For reaction to Roberto Luongo’s interview on Friday with a Vancouver radio station regarding his future, check out the “Rumors” section.


  1. I predict that Van Riemsdyk will be back on the wing before the end of training camp.

  2. Hope its true. Bozak has no place on this team. He get’s destroyed defensively (although the effort is there) and is not physical enough for a centre.

  3. Even if JVR doesn’t go to center they already have 6 possible centers. I’ve said use grabovski in a Ryan trade doubt it will happen but i like to think lol. I would say this year they need to have at least 1 of colborne, Kadri, frattin full time in the line up.

  4. I like the idea of JVR playing center. Give it a good look in training camp and pre-season, if it doesn;t work no harm done, he goes back to the wing. Grabbo isn’t going anywhere, he is a number 2 center, all the rest are dispensable.

  5. Frattin will likely be full time with the big club this season as soon as he comes back from injury. His new contract is a one way deal and Burke loves the kid.

  6. The Lars Eller deal is a good one. He is getting paid less than his entry level deal (w/bonuses) and he’s a very capable third line center right now. He is growing into his own, albeit a bit slowly but the Canadiens werent exactly run well last year. The two years is perfect in that after it the Canadiens have a lot of free cap space. That is when Gomez, Kaberle, Gionta Markov deals all expire and they can really invest in the guys who are staying and bring in new UFA talent.

  7. I love the thought of JvR being the #1 c with Lupol and Kessell. But instead of dealing Bozak i’d deal McCarthur and put Bozak with Grabs and Frattin. Bozak’s 52% face-off winning percentage would be an excellent #2 face-off man on the ice. He shows more than enough offence to be a second line winger and while he’s not an elite defensive forward he’s more aware than most on that team and you can never call his hustle into question. Kessel, JvR, Lupol line 1. Grabs, Frattin, Bozak line 2. McClement with Kadri and best kid in camp line 3. Line 4 Steckel with Brown and Lombardi.

    Move out Kulemin in trade for a prospect or so. Burke always seems to make great moves in this manner.

    • Brutel Suggestions

  8. JVR in the middle is worth a try. He’s big but not physical, could carlyle be thinking of trying to mold him into a Mats Sundin type of player? I would rather see Grabovski traded. His skills are great but he has his head down way too much…..gonna get caught one of these times.

  9. I think the JVR to center is just more Burke BS. He is saying this because he’s trying to tell the other GM’s he’s not desperate for a top line center and thereby trying to get them to drop their asking price. As we know every player is available for the right price which means every center in the league is available but at what cost.

    Yes, even Crosby is available although he would probably cost a team 10 first rounders…

    If Burke is desperate enough on opening day and hasn’t secured a top line center then he may try JVR in that position temporarily until the plan fails miserably.