In today’s collection of notable NHL morning headlines: Six of seven Canadian based NHL teams charge highest prices…Edmonton city council approves new arena deal…Bruins accused of being “too comfortable…Wild’s top line sputtering…Blue Jackets’ Mason tries to ignore criticism…Former Flyers great to play at Winter Classic Alumni game…Rangers to finally play their home opener.
LONDON FREE PRESS: Six Canadian teams – Toronto, Winnipeg, Montreal, Edmonton, Vancouver and Calgary – charge the highest ticket prices in the NHL. Ottawa comes in 15th overall.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yep, that salary cap sure did a great job making ticket prices affordable. It’s the market, not the players salaries, that determines ticket prices. A Canadian dollar at par with the American dollar is also a factor.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Edmonton City council voted 10-3 to move ahead with a new downtown arena.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: And with that, we can shelve the latest round of “Oilers could relocate to Hamilton/Quebec City/Toronto/Houston/Kansas City/Jupiter’s fifth moon” rumors.
BOSTON GLOBE: Kevin Paul Dupont accuses the defending Stanley Cup champion Bruins of being “too comfortable”, pointing to a lack of urgency among the players for their 3-5 start to the season, and suggesting management needs to get over its reluctance to tinker with its roster to shake it out of its complacency.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s not surprising the Bruins are off to a slow start to this season. I’d go so far to say it was expected. While I agree their current malaise cannot go on much longer, I’d also argue there’s no need to panic, there’s still a lot of hockey to be played, and plenty of time for this club to snap out of it. They went through a long, draining process to win the Cup, enjoyed the celebration and the accolades, and now are finding it difficult to get back into the mindset which got them to the championship. It takes time, but they’ll get over it.
STARTRIBUNE.COM: The Minnesota Wild’s first line of Mikko Koivu, Dany Heatley and Devin Setoguchi is off to a sputtering start to the regular season after lighting it up in preseason, especially Koivu, who has no goals and three asssists thus far.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Looks like Setoguchi could be moved to the second line with Cal Clutterbuck taking his place. Perhaps that might be the spark to get that first line going.
COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Embattled Blue Jackets goalie Steve Mason is trying to ignore growing criticism and focus on his game.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jackets management gambled on Mason regaining the form of his rookie season in 2008-09, when he backstopped the club to its first and only playoff appearance. So far, it doesn’t appear to be paying off.
PHILLY.COM: Former Flyers captain Eric Lindros confirmed he’ll appear in the Winter Classic alumni game between the Flyers and NY Rangers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Glad to see Lindros put aside the differences with the organization which led to his departure all those years ago. Here’s hoping he gets a good welcome from the Flyers faithful.
NEW YORK POST: Three weeks after the start of this season, the New York Rangers will finally make their home debut.