In this morning’s roundup of early morning NHL headlines: Jaromir Jagr is winning over Flyers fans…Matt Duchene discusses his contract status with the Avalanche…The ageless Teemu Selanne…Wild’s new acquisitions failing so far to attract crowds…Mike Fisher sidelined for the start of the season…Matt D’Agostini hoping for more consistency…Panthers send Huberdeau back to Juniors…Sharks sign Winchester.
PHILLY.COM: Jaromir Jagr’s impressive preseason play has helped him win over Flyers fans, as well as his teammates.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: True, it was only preseason, but Jagr did look good in the games he played, and that could bode well heading into this season.
DENVER POST: Matt Duchene acknowledged fellow 2009 first round draft pick John Tavares recently signed an extension with the Islanders before his current deal expired, but while his agent hasn’t spoken with the Avs yet about a contract extension, claimed to be unconcerned about the situation.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Every team does things differently, and while Avs fans would probably prefer the club lock up Duchene now, it’s not unusual for teams to wait until season’s end to talk contract extension with their pending free agents. Duchene will be re-signed by the Avalanche at some point between now and next summer.
LOS ANGELES TIMES: Entering what he claims will be his final NHL season, Anaheim Ducks winger Teemu Selanne reflects on his long career and his expectation of the reception he’ll receive in Finland as the Ducks play an exhibition game with Jokerit and their NHL season opener against Buffalo in Helsenki.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Selanne is a fine example of class, fitness and talent. Here’s hoping his final NHL season is a productive one.
STARTRIBUNE.COM: The Minnesota Wild’s off-season acqusitions of Dany Heatley and Devin Setoguchi has yet to translate into increased ticket sales for the club.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Maybe if the Wild were in a city or state where they supported hockey….ok, just kidding, little shot there at those who love to squawk about fans who don’t come out and support their team through thick or thin as not being true hockey fans.
Seriously, Wild fans have been disappointed too often in recent years and have a sense the team’s front office was just spinning its wheels, rather than doing anything productive to improve the club. Yes, they addressed their need for more offense this summer, but it appears, as the article suggests, Wild fans are in a “wait-and-see” mode. If the Wild end up playing a more exciting, competitive style, which puts them into playoff contention, the fans will come back.
THE TENNESSEAN: Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher will miss the club’s season opener, and likely more games, as he’s yet to be cleared for contact and has no timetable for his return following off-season shoulder surgery.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: And I picked him in one of my fantasy teams. Hurry back, Mike! Actually, it’s wise that he not rush things. Better he takes the time he needs now to return healthy, perhaps by late October or sometime in November.
STLTODAY.COM: Blues forward Matt D’Agostini hopes for a more consistent performance this season.
MIAMI HERALD: The Florida Panthers have decided to send promising forward Jonathan Huberdeau back to Junior for another season.
TSN.CA: The San Jose Sharks have signed forward Brad Winchester to a one-year contract. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.