Updates on Tomas Vokoun, Brad Richards, Marian Hossa, Michael Grabner, Jose Theodore, Ryan Whitney and more.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Agent Allan Walsh, who represents Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Tomas Vokoun, denied a report from a Czech paper his client nearly died from a blood clot in his pelvis and wouldn’t play in the NHL again, calling the report an embellishment. Vokoun is now out of hospital but there’s no timetable for his recovery and return.

Brad Richards under pressure to improve this season.

Brad Richards under pressure to improve this season.

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Rangers center Brad Richards is being patient over his slow early start and isn’t over-analyzing his game.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given his huge salary and last season’s disappointing performance, Richards enters this season under considerable pressure to improve. 

CSNCHICAGO.COM: Years of wear and tear could force Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa to adopt measures to maintain optimum health, including taking some practices off.

NEWSDAY: Michael Grabner’s versatility makes him an invaluable part of the Islanders roster.

NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: cited a report out of Russian claiming free agent goalie Jose Theodore has signed a one-year deal with the KHL’s Avangard Omsk.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier this week it was reported Theodore had talks with the Penguins, Predators and Sharks, but if he’s decided to take the KHL offer nothing must have come from his talks with those NHL teams.

NHL.COM: The St. Louis Blues have released defenseman Ryan Whitney from his PTO contract.

TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild have released center Dave Steckel from his PTO contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No word yet if their preseason play attracted the interest of other clubs.

THE GLOBE & MAIL: James Mirtle reports on a new CBA twist which allows teams with less than 20 roster players to recall players who wouldn’t count against the cap, though it comes with stipulations (teams must have less cap room than league minimum salary – $550K – plus $100K, a player must become unfit to play or suspended, a team is unable to recall a player using LTIR provision, team played its last game with less than 20 players).  Eric Duhatschuk, meanwhile, believes the Winnipeg Jets and Dallas Stars could benefit the most from the new divisional alignments.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: We might not see that new CBA “wrinkle” employed often but it is something noteworthy to keep in mind as an option for teams with limited cap space with roster spots to fill. 

MIAMI HERALD/SUNSENTINEL.COM: New Florida Panthers owner Vincent Viola promises he’s committed to turning the Panthers into a winner.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Talk is cheap, and long-suffering Panthers fans have heard this before. It’s how much he’s willing to invest in the roster, and how well management spends that money, which will determine if the Panthers build into a winner.

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