Heartbreak and mourning in Russia and Czech Republic…Looking forward to the new NHL season…Roster spots up for grabs with Penguins…Kristian Huselius gets good news on injury recovery…Alexander Ovechkin participates in Capitals rookie practice…Jets as excited as their fans…Panthers rookie shining.
USA TODAY: cites an AP report of thousands packing a central square in Prague to honour the memory of three Czech players – Karel Rachunek, Jan Marek and Josef Vasicek – who perished in last week’s plane crash which killed all members of KHL team Lokomotiv Yaroslavl in Russia.
BOSTON HERALD: cited an AP report that the only player who survived last week’s plane crash, Alexander Galimov, has succumbed to his injuries, bringing the death toll to 44. Tens of thousand had flocked to Yaroslavl on Saturday for a memorial service to the victims of the crash.
OTTAWA CITIZEN: Ken Warren suggests the upcoming NHL season and its interesting storylines will have hockey fans heal from a summer of tragedy, which included the Lokomotiv plane crash and the deaths over the summer of Derek Boogaard, Rick Rypien and Wade Belak.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Galimov’s family. These recent tragedies have me looking forward to a new NHL season more than ever. After a summer of sadness, it’s time to live again.
PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Dave Molinari reports Penguins coach Dan Bylsma there could be two or three roster spots up for grabs when his club opens training camp this week. He also expects James Neal will be penciled in on the right side of a line with Sidney Crosby (depending on his health) and Chris Kunitz, Tyler Kennedy will get a spot on the second line with Evgeni Malkin and Steve Sullivan, and last season’s under-achieving power-play will be overhauled.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The big question, of course, is what this club will look like without Crosby if he’s unable to start the season.
TSN.CA: cited a Columbus Dispatch report noting Blue Jackets winger Kristian Huselius is recuperating well from off-season surgery to repair a torn pectoral muscle. He’s hoping to return in early December.
WASHINGTON POST: Katie Carrera reports Capitals superstar Alexander Ovechkin joined the club’s on-ice rookie session yesterday.
SPECTOR’S NOTE; That’s one way for a captain to lead by example.
WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Tim Campbell reports Jets players are as excited as their fans in Winnipeg as they prepared for the start of training camp and the upcoming season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The excitement over the return of the Jets will be reaching a crescendo between now and their season opener in early October. This is going to be one of the early “good news” stories of the season for the NHL.
MIAMI HERALD: George Richards reports highly-touted Panthers prospect Jonathan Huberdeau, the third overall pick in the 2011 entry draft, has already created a stir by scoring a goal in the Panthers 4-2 victory over Tampa Bay on Sunday in a rookie tournament game. It’ s possible Huberdeau could start the season with the Panthers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Panthers must be careful not to rush this kid, but if he’s earns his spurs in pre-season, he could be worth at least a ten-game look to open the season.