NHL Canadian Corner – Tuesday, June 25, 2013.

Canucks to formally announce John Tortorella as their new coach, Jets re-sign coach Claude Noel to a contract extension, Leafs working on a contract for Jonathan Bernier, Daniel Alfredsson’s future still uncertain, Oilers have interest in Cal Clutterbuck, and cleanup is underway at the Saddledome.

TSN.CA: The Vancouver Canucks have called a press conference for today to formally announce the hiring of John Tortorella as their new head coach.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m interested in who he hires as his assistants. It’ll also be interesting to see how the Canucks respond to Tortorella’s no-nonsense coaching style and his emphasis on defensive hockey.

Jets ink coach Claude Noel to contract extension.

Jets ink coach Claude Noel to contract extension.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: The Jets have re-signed coach Claude Noel to a one-year contract extension through 2014-15.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Noel won’t be a lame duck coach next season, but he’s got a narrow window to get the Jets into the playoffs.

TORONTO SUN: Lance Hornby reports Pat Brisson, the agent for Jonathan Bernier, expects contract talks with the Maple Leafs to pick up when he and Leafs GM Dave Nonis meet this weekend during the NHL Draft. Bernier is a restricted free agent on July 5 and earn $1.25 million this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I doubt the two sides will waste much time getting a deal done. I’ve been asked by some readers if Bernier could be a “sign-and-trade” or if James Reimer is now on the block. No to both questions, especially the first one. Sure, it’s possible Reimer could be dealt, especially if the Leafs get a terrific offer, but I believe their intent is for Reimer and Bernier to battle for the starter’s job this fall.

OTTAWA SUN: Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson headed back to Sweden on Sunday without giving the club any word if he’ll return or retire.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators will give Alfredsson all the time he needs, and will find the cap space if he decides to return for one more season.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples cited a report out of Minnesota claiming the Oilers have interest in Wild forward Cal Clutterbuck, who was injured earlier this season by a questionable hit from Oilers forward Taylor Hall.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Oilers do land Clutterbuck, there won’t be any issues between he and Hall. Indeed, I don’t expect that to be a factor at all if the Oilers pursue him. Expectation out of Minnesota is the Wild could move Clutterbuck as they cannot afford to re-sign him. I believe he’ll be moved, either to the Oilers or elsewhere.

CALGARY HERALD: The cleanup in Calgary following the recent floods in that city is well underway. Over 30 million gallons of water was pumped out of the Saddledome, the Flames home arena.


  1. Physical players who can play a regular shift, don’t hurt you defensively and chip in a goal now and again are worth their weight in gold, or should I say, silver, as in Stanley Cup silver. Witness the war of attrition that was the Cup final. My thoughts are that should Minny move Clutterbuck, the fan favourite would likely end up in the east where the Wild and their fans would see less of him. While personally I would be reluctant to move him, for all that he brings to the table, I think Fletcher could net himself a tidy return for the hard working forward.

  2. Vancouver has made a big mistake in hiring Tortorella as the head coach and this will be Gillis s demise.
    Most Canadians that follow hockey are not a big fan of Torts and if the Canucks stay the course and Torts is bombastic has he always is the fan base will take the players side when he calls them out as he does ….this is a ticking time bomb and I can not for the life of me see how ownership in that proud city let this happen, Gillis has to go!

    The Oilers will need a lot more than Cal Clutterbuck thats for sure …if anyone watched this years playoffs you have to see that skill is fine but size does matter and the Oilers do not have that anywhere on that roster, they will need to make a serious trade to upgrade on the defense side of the puck and need to go after some decent size wingers that play gritty in the corners hockey and go to the net or they will have the same fate as they did this year. Why they let Hartikainenen go back to Europe is a head scratcher , Yakupov had more value last year and he should be the carrot Mactavish should dangle along with another piece and draft pick to get Tinordi and Prust out of Montreal.

    James Reimer has played more games and has a Stanley Cup series on Bernier in the NHL, Bernier is unproven and a former high draft pick just like Raycroft, Id trade Bernier at his high value right now for a top 1st line center and or a top 1st line big defensive Defenseman, Reimer doesn’t need to be pushed and the Leafs have bigger wholes in the top 2 lines in both defense and forwards then the problem in net.
    They ned size and skill up front and a smart defender who plays physical.

    • As a Habs fan, I cannot speak to the Canucks team psychology or how a coach like Tortorella can actually plug into it but I don`t think Tortorella is an elite coach. He is no MacLean in Ottawa who did something with nothing. Tortorella won with a stacked deck in TB and has done a fair job of guiding very talented teams. Now Vancouver has that level of talent, to be sure, but how is he going to handle the pressure of the Canadian hockey media when he could barely deal with Larry Brooks … aneurism candidate to be sure.

  3. Agree with the vancouver and torts comments. But I think gillis’s days are numbered anyway. This move is just a going all in with hoping torts can get the most out of the players before he wears his welcome out.
    Edmonton has to make some moves. They are a team of high skill but not much else. Need to surround the players with guys like horton, clarkson, bickell, even matt cooke if he comes available.
    Sounds like leafs and bernier are looking at a long term deal? If its anything over 3 or 4 years that’s a little rediculous. I’d hope for a 2 year deal to leat him prove himself by that time the cap goes back up and you have more young guys like percy, reilly, biggs, finn, around to keep the numbers down anyway.
    Does anyone have much knowledge on the leafs young d prospects? Percy? Blacker? Are these guys possiblilities for the team next year? Just curious as to if the phanuef rumurs and if a trade happens who they have to take some minutes.

    • The Leafs actually do have some good prospects but not a #1 d-man replacement. It would have to be either Franson or Gardner to take his place and that is scary.

      • I think they do have a potential #1 D-man in Morgan Rielly who may or may not be ready for action. He wouldn’t be getting 28 min a game that is for sure. Gardner is right now a 2nd pairing guy as is Franson.
        I doubt that Dionne will be moved at all.

  4. Bryan Murray said in an radio interview this morning.. that they should know by the end of this week if Alfie is retiring or not.

    He also doesn’t think he will be able to move up in the draft. Lots of teams are trying to move up… The cost will be outrageous to do so.