In today’s collection of notable NHL morning headlines: The Kings place Drew Doughty on IR…Patrick Kane working out well as a center…Tomas Vokoun adjusting in Washington…Marcel Goc a pleasant surprise for the Panthers…Lightning face tough decision with rookie Brett Connolly…Flyers in no hurry to bring back Brayden Schenn.
LOS ANGELES TIMES: The Kings have placed defenseman Drew Doughty on injured reserve for an “upper body injury” (believed to be a shoulder injury) expected to sideline him for 7-10 days. Doughty was injured in Saturday’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: No, I don’t believe this injury is the result of poor conditioning from missing preseason to a contract holdout. Doughty could’ve been the fittest player on the team and still would’ve suffered the same injury from that hit from the Flyers Zac Rinaldo.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Patrick Kane is excelling in his move from right wing to center so far this season, leading the club with six points and tied for the team lead in plus-minus with +3. He’s even doing better on faceoffs than teammate Jonathan Toews.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Credit the maturation of Kane’s game for his adjustment to his new role. The Blackhawks had tried him very briefly at center early in his career but it didn’t work out. This time, he’ll be staying at center, probably for the remainder of his career.
WASHINGTON POST: Goaltender Tomas Vokoun claims to be adjusting to a less consistent workload with the Capitals compared to that he faced with the Florida Panthers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Believe it or not, but it is quite an adjustment mentally for a goalie to go from a team where he’s bombarded with shots to one where he could go long stretches before seeing some. If Vokoun struggles to adjust, however, expect backup Michal Neuvirth to see more playing time.
SUN-SENTINEL.COM: Marcel Goc, who joined the Florida Panthers as an unrestricted free agent this summer, has emerged as the club’s best all-round forward thus far.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s because Goc is the product of the San Jose Sharks and Nashville Predators, where players are expected to be responsible at both ends of the ice.
TAMPABAY.COM: The Lightning are facing a difficult decision with rookie Brett Connolly, who has played well but could be returned to his junior team before he plays his tenth NHL game.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It wouldn’t surprise me if the Lightning return him to Junior for one more season. I don’t think Steve Yzerman is the type of GM to rush his young players into service until he feels they’re fully prepared for the NHL.
PHILLY.COM: The Flyers aren’t in a hurry to recall center Brayden Schenn from the minors, though they have taken steps to ensure they have sufficient cap space to do so if the need arises later in the season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As the report indicates, the Flyers have a “roster logjam”, meaning Schenn will have to be patient until his eventual recall.