In today’s roundup of notable NHL morning headlines: Vertigo concerns fading for Jonas Hiller…Three-way goalie battle for the Islanders…Sabres hope for more production from Boyes…Matt Niskanen showing improvement with Penguins…Jason Arnott out a week for minor eye surgery…Panthers lose Santorelli to shoulder injury…NHL suspends Flyers’ Sesito for two games…Infamous “banana tosser” claims action wasn’t racially motivated.
ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Lingering concerns over a possible return of Jonas Hiller’s vertigo-like symptoms are fading after two solid preseason performances by the goaltender.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A couple of preseason games don’t make an entire season, but if you’re a Ducks fan, you have to be feeling some relief over this news, and it does bode well for Hiller and his teammates heading into this season. Let’s hope he’s put that problem behind him.
NEW YORK POST: It appears the Islanders will start this season with Rick DiPietro, Evgeni Nabokov and Al Montoya battling it out for the two goalie spots.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cynics will suggest it won’t be much of a battle if DiPietro gets hurt again, but if he stays healthy and plays well, it’ll come down to Nabokov and Montoya, and one of them could end up shopped later this season. It could be Nabokov, as he would probably have more value, but if he and DiPietro are forming a strong tandem, one which might help the club contend for a post-season berth, they could retain Nabokov and demote Montoya, or perhaps move the latter.
THE BUFFALO NEWS: The Sabres are hoping for more offensive consistency from forward Brad Boyes this season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Boyes looked terrific when he joined the Sabres down the stretch last season, but was a disappointment in the playoffs. He’s in a contract year and needs a solid effort if he hopes to boost his stock.
PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: After struggling through a season split between Dallas and Pittsburgh, defenseman Matt Niskanen has been a pleasant surprise for the Penguins during preseason.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There was speculation Niskanen could be dealt but if he’s playing well to start the season the Pens will likely retain him, at least for the first half of the season. He would be a valuable depth blueliner, especially if any on the top four struggle or are sidelined by injury.
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH: Forward Jason Arnott is expected to miss a week following cataract surgery on his right eye.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s minor surgery and not expected to have any lingering after-effects.
SUN-SENTINEL.COM: Center Mike Santorelli could miss between 3-4 weeks to a shoulder injury.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tough break for Santorelli, who was among the few bright spots for the Panthers last season. Here’s hoping he makes a full recovery.
TSN.CA: The NHL has suspended Philadelphia Flyers forward Tom Sesito for the remainder of the preseason and two regular season games for hitting NY Rangers forward Andre Deveaux from behind.
LONDON FREE PRESS: Christopher Moorhouse, 26, was arrested and charged with engaging in a banned activity under the Ontario Trespass Act, for tossing a banana at Philadelphia Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds in a recent preseason game in London, Ontario. Moorhouse denied the move was racially motivated.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It remains to be seen what the outcome of this is for Moorhouse, but I’m guessing he’ll