NHL Canadian Corner – September 27, 2013.

The secret life of Senators forward Bobby Ryan, the Leafs shift their contract focus to Phil Kessel, pressing questions for the Oilers, and much more.

Bobby Ryan spent part of his childhood on the run with his family from the FBI.

Bobby Ryan spent part of his childhood on the run with his family from the FBI.

SPORTSNET: Gare Joyce with a fascinating profile on Bobby Ryan’s turbulent childhood with his family on the run from the FBI and how he’s coped with those memories.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I strongly recommend all hockey fans check out this story, which will also be televised on Sportsnet on September 28 at 8.30 pm ET. It’s amazing how he was able to keep his family’s past a secret during his pro career.

TORONTO STAR: With the Maple Leafs having re-signed Cody Franson, Damien Cox reports their focus will shift toward Phil Kessel, who will be an unrestricted free agent next summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I maintain it’ll take an eight-year deal worth between $8-$8.5 million to keep Kessel in Toronto. If the Leafs don’t pay it ( a huge mistake if they don’t), another NHL team happily will. Kessel is the Leafs best player, and their future as a possible Cup contender rests with him. He’s arguably the most under-rated and under-appreciated scorer in Leafs history. The team’s leading scorer in every season he’s been a Leaf, as well as among the NHL’s top ten scorers the past two seasons. That, folks, is worth top dollar.

VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Roberto Luongo shines with a 41-save performance and Henrik Sedin scored twice as the Canucks blank the NY Rangers 5-0 in preseason play.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers face five pressing questions entering this season. Among the questions is how they’ll fare in the opening month of this season without sidelined centers Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Sam Ganger.

CALGARY HERALD: The rebuilding Flames will lean heavily this season on a number one line of Curtis Glencross, Lee Stempniak and Matt Stajan.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Prospect defenseman Jacob Trouba may have played his way onto the Jets roster.

LA PRESSE: Promising Montreal Canadiens prospects Michael Bournival and Jarred Tinordi survived the club’s final round of training camp cuts.


  1. Agreed with Lyle Kessel is a must.
    Calgary’s top line is horrible looking but ya never know the past couple years strange things have happened, Florida looked ok a couple years ago when every one wrote them off and of course those pesky Sens and their injury troubles last year and the great job Mac Lean has done there. Still hoping the Leafs can somehow get them to take Colborne (who could center a third line there at least until some of their great center prospects are ready to go a season or so from now) and Liles…well just because.

    Still not sure what to think of Van Ive watched a few preseason games and they look awful or pretty decent depending on the night.

    Eakins gets the Oil in to the playoffs even with out RNH and Gagner early. Ive got to see quite a few Marlies games the past couple years and the style he gets his teams to play and the players hes got there suit each other almost perfectly. If they buy in early they will surprise some people in the west.

  2. I wouldn’t say he kept it a secret for all this time because alot of people knew and truthfully its not that big of a story that sportsnet is over dramatizing. Its terrible that that was Bobby Ryan’s childhood but as a story its not that huge. All it took was to come for a Canadian Hockey market for the story to become something to report.

  3. I don’t think the issue is Kessel’s abilities…it boils down to whether the leafs can afford him.

  4. Clarkson will jump in the negotions for Kessel to make sure Kessel doesn’t get taken advantage of! (Down Goes Brown reference intended).

  5. … That Flames line … is … soooo bad!