NHL Canadian Corner – May 29, 2014

Assessing this year’s Canadiens, the latest on the Senators, another Oiler heads to Europe and making the case for the Canucks to re-sign Mike Santorelli.

It's been a memorable spring for the Canadiens.

It’s been a memorable spring for the Canadiens.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Jack Todd sings the praises of this year’s Canadiens, who have now gone further in the playoffs than any previous incarnation since their 1993 Cup championship.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unlike the 2010 Habs which advanced to the Conference Final on the back of a hot goaltender, this year’s version is a deeper club with more promising talent. Their future seems bright, but it’s up to management to build on this for the long term and avoid short-sighted, quick-fix deals. 

OTTAWA SUN: Senators GM Bryan Murray is taking care of some minor signings before dealing with some major ones in the coming weeks. Speculation has it UFA Milan Michalek might return but not Ales Hemsky. Negotiations are ongoing with RFAs Mike Hoffman, Eric Gryba and Robin Lehner. It’s also believed Murray will entertain trade offers for captain Jason Spezza but won’t move him unless he gets an irresistible offer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s shaping up to be an interesting summer for the Senators. The moves they make in the coming weeks could have far-reaching consequences for their development. 

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers defenseman Philip Larsen has bolted for the KHL.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Larsen’s the third Oiler to do so this spring. Anton Belov and Roman Horak also flew the coop. These defections won’t hurt the Oilers’ roster, but it will raise questions over how the club is developing its players. 

VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Jason Botchford makes the case for the Canucks to re-sign center Mike Santorelli, one of the few brights spots in an otherwise miserable season for the club.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Santorelli should be an affordable re-signing for the Canucks.