In this morning’s roundup of NHL headlines: Find out what Sidney Crosby, Bryce Salvadore and Peter Mueller have in common…Shea Weber talks about this summer’s arbitration hearing…Jagr hopes to give the Flyers his best shot…A call for Zach Parise to become the Devils new captain…A goaltending battle may be brewing in Phoenix…Ales Kotalik hopes to stick with the Sabres…Jonathan Cheechoo hopes to make a comeback in St. Louis.
PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: reported Sidney Crosby returned to practice with his Penguins teammates for the first time since suffering a concussion in January, participating in non-contract drills.
NJ.COM: reports Devils defenseman Bryce Salvador has returned to the lineup following a full recovery from a concussion which sidelined him for all of last season.
DENVER POST: reports Peter Mueller enjoyed his first day of practice with the Avalanche, returning from a concussion which sidelined him for the entire 2010-11 season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Good news for all three players, here’s hoping they return to action and have made full recoveries.
THE TENNESSEAN: reports Nashville Predators defenseman and captain Shea Weber acknowledged the difficulty of going through the salary arbitration process with management this summer, but said he wasn’t dwelling upon it and was looking forward to this upcoming season. Weber was awarded a one-year, $7.5 million contract for this season, and will become eligible for RFA status again next July.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Seems to me Weber’s being diplomatic. It remains to be seen what shadow this arbitration process will cast over his contract negotiations with the Predators this season or next summer.
PHILLY.COM: reports Jaromir Jagr acknowledged he won’t be the superstar he once was but said he’ll be giving the Flyers his best shot this season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s all the Flyers want from him. At his best now, Jagr might be capable of 20 goals and 55 points.
NEW YORK POST: Mark Everson calls upon Devils management to name Zach Parise their new captain.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s a thought: why not do it the old-fashioned way and let the players decide?
ARIZONA REPUBLIC: reports there could be a goaltending battle brewing between new Coyotes goalie Mike Smith and backup Jason LaBarbera.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I doubt either guy can fill the big shoes of departed starter Ilya Bryzgalov. I will say if Smith can stay healthy, he could provide the Coyotes with quality goaltending.
THE BUFFALO NEWS: reports forward Ales Kotalik figures to be in a four way battle with Cody McCormick, Matt Ellis or Luke Adam for a roster spot on the Sabres this season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s believed Kotalik might also be trade-bait or a candidate for demotion in order for the Sabres, who are currently nearly $3.6 million over the salary cap, to become cap compliant.
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH: reports former 56-goal scorer Jonathan Cheechoo is hoping to land a spot with the Blues this season as he attempts to return to the NHL.