Still more reaction to Ilya Kovalchuk’s NHL retirement, Coyotes look to Mike Ribeiro as first line center, Ray Emery more mature in second stint with the Flyers, Mike Santorelli hopes for fresh start in Vancouver, and the Canadiens re-sign Ryan White.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks weighs in on Ilya Kovalchuk’s NHL retirement, claiming the recent NHL lockout was responsible for Kovalchuk’s decision to return to Russia. While the Devils do rid themselves of Kovalchuk’s lengthy cap hit, Brooks doesn’t believe the club is better for it, as they’re losing their best player.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: In the short term, yes, this hurts the Devils. Over the long-term, it rids them of a contract GM Lou Lamoriello obviously wasn’t comfortable with, freeing up a lengthy burden against his salary cap. Now, it’s up to Lamoriello, considered one of the shrewdest general managers in the league, to rebuild his team and find the next Devils star.
ARIZONA REPUBLIC: Sarah McLellan reports the Coyotes will be counting on newly-signed Mike Ribeiro to be the first-line center they’ve sought for the past two years.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If he doesn’t, at least they’ve committed only four years toward his contract.
PHILLY.COM: Sam Carchidi reports it’s a matured Ray Emery returning to the Flyers for a second stint between the pipes.
VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Former Florida Panthers forward Mike Santorelli is hoping to rejuvenate his career with the Canucks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Santorelli’s best season (20 goals, 41 points) came when he played with David Booth, so expect the Canucks to reunite those two in hopes they’ll rekindle their offensive chemistry.
LA PRESSE: The Montreal Canadiens have avoided arbitration with forward Ryan White by signing him to a one-year, $700K contract.