NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – Tuesday, August 13, 2013.

Player agent Bill Zito joins Blue Jackets management, ten NHLers who must step up this coming season, an update on Gregory Campbell, and more.

COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Player agent Bill Zito, whose clients included Tim Thomas, Brian Rafalski, Sami Salo, Kimmo Timonen, Ville Leino, Vallteri Filppula, Tuukka Rask and James Wisniewski, has joined the Columbus Blue Jackets as head of their pro scouting department.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ll have more on Zito move and how it might affect one of his now-former clients in the Rumors section.

Marian Gaborik is among 10 players who must step up this coming season.

Marian Gaborik is among 10 players who must step up this coming season.

SPORTSNET.CA: Patrick Hoffman listed Montreal’s Carey Price, Boston’s Milan Lucic, Columbus’ Marian Gaborik, New Jersey’s Travis Zajac, Ottawa’s Jason Spezza and Bobby Ryan , Carolina’s Jeff Skinner, Toronto’s Tyler Bozak, Buffalo’s Drew Stafford and NY Rangers’ Brad Richards as ten players who, for various reasons, must step up this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Hoffman noted, some are struggling to overcome injuries, unusually poor performances last season,  adjusting to new teams or the heightened expectations which come with a big new contract.

DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Mike Heika profiled new Stars center Tyler Seguin.

CSNNE.COM: Boston Bruins forward Gregory Campbell is on track for the start of training camp after recovering from a broken right leg suffered during this year’s Stanley Cup Eastern Conference Final.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Campbell forever ingrained himself into Bruins lore, as well as the pantheon of gutsy NHL playoff performers, by completing his penalty killing shift despite his broken leg during an Eastern Conference Final game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

CSNCHICAGO.COM: The Blackhawks have hired Steve Weeks as their new goalie coach.

PUCK DADDY: Boston mobster and convicted killer  James “Whitey” Bulger could end up keeping the 1986 Stanley Cup ring he is rumored to have received from former Montreal Canadiens (and Boston native) Chris Nilan.

CBC SPORTS: QMJHL prospect Jordan Boyd died while training with the Acadie-Bathurst Titan. An autopsy will be performed to determine the cause of death. Boyd complained of discomfort and collapsed during an individual training session. Boyd was only 16 years old.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Boyd’s family and friends.

ARIZONA REPUBLIC: Remembering Jim Gintonio, former beat writer for the Phoenix Coyotes, who recently passed away from lung cancer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Gintonio’s family and friends. I followed his work for years and corresponded with him a couple of times regarding the Coyotes. He was always kind, helpful and encouraging.


  1. Of those players who were listed to step up their games, the only one that I see that has to step-it-up, is Carey Price. Even his previous goaltending coach had come out to the media and stated that Price’s game is deteriorating. I still think Montreal should of kept Halak, and gotten a great return for Price. However, this Halak trade was a John-Furguson-Jr move by PG13 = Pierre Gauthier.

  2. Seems like Price’s name has been coming up every year for the past 4 years as a player that ‘needs to step up’ (even losing his starting job). Before last year’s playoffs, the major Montreal headline was that this was Price’s opportunity to prove himself. Result? GAA of 3.26, S% of 0.894. Albeit Budaj did not do better, but then, Budaj is not making 6M a year.

    My guess? At the beginning of next season (September 2014), Price will be coming off an average season, with a poor performance in the playoffs, and will really need to step it up…