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.
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.