NHL Morning Headlines – Monday, September 12, 2011.

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.



  1. Let me preface this first of all by saying I am not from the Atlanta area. Not everyone is excited to see hockey open up in another Canadian city at the expense of a US market. My family and I enjoyed making the eight hour trip to Atlanta to support our St Louis Blues when they played in Atlanta. I have had the privilege of visiting six different venues and Atlanta’s Philips Arena is a first class venue and some of the nicest people you will ever find worked there for the Thrashers organization. For Winnipeg to not retain some of the key people in that organization is appalling to me. Why not keep on the scouts and GM that scouted the talent and watched the players mature especially when it is so close to a turn around. With that being said, just remember that when the Jets make the post season this year, it will have had nothing to do with new management or fan support. It will be the Atlanta Thrashers management that led to your success this year. They pulled the trades for Byfuglien, Ladd, Oduya and other players on that roster. I will conclude by saying this, Winnipeg better pray for the US economy to stay in the tank for a long time (which it won’t) because once it does recover and the Candian dollar falls again as Lyle has pointed out many times before, you will be in the same situation you were in 1996. Rising costs, a declining currency, a mediocre roster due to lack of money to keep free agents or attract talent, will contribute to you losing another NHL franchise. I give you 15 years tops.

  2. hckyfan1026, that is one serious case of sour grapes.

    You make some fair points regarding the change in management, but I suspect many of the staff didn’t want to uproot their families and move to Winnipeg where the nearest US broadcast is Detroit. Plus the Jets have plenty of talented front office candidates right in their home town – why wouldn’t you get them on-board? And finally, In spite of all the so called management success the Thrashers have had, they still have only made the playoffs once. No exactly a strong track record.

    However, I for one believe there should always be a team in Atlanta. It’s an excellent launching pad for other teams to move north (Calgary the first time, now Winnipeg.)

    Cheer up chum, perhaps Atlanta will get the Coyotes. I mean, third time lucky…right? (Yay Hamilton!)

  3. It’s not winnipegs fault that the thrashers ownership/management didn’t put the proper investment of cash and management to make that team successful and bring fans in. If I bought a company that was borderline folding I sure wouldn’t keep the same ppl who were running that ship into the ground. I would approach ppl in the pro hockey circles that have good reputations and known work ethic and respect to run my team. And, to be honest, a blues v. Thrashers game couldn’t have been the most popular thing going on in ATL. At least with a Canadian team back in the fold that is practically sold out for three years is good for the league as a whole. Next the coyotes should be heading to Quebec and things will be right again. There should never have a NHL team in phoenix or Atlanta (let alone Florida, Carolina) anyway. Rich US owners view NHL teams as tax write offs until their economy crashed because everything is a giant fuckin’ ponzi scheme that only the rich can play in anyways! Ok, I’m ranting and getting fired up. Looking forward to October 9th!!! Jets v. Canadiens!!! On my birthday!!! Oh ya, hey guys check out Canadiens.com and go to social Media fan of the day. I’m on there for september 9th!!! I could use some “likes” for a chance to win some Canadiens tix! Lol. Please!!!

  4. Honestly, I think Bylsma is underestimating the roster spots open. From what I count we have quite a few more than he’s letting on. Especially since we’re gonna be starting without Sid, mark my words. In that case, we’ll need about 5 fill ins. (And we’ll probably be one regular fill-in down with Jeffrey still recovering. I’d expect Park will fill his role, over Williams.)

  5. Candian arrogance at its worse nahatapetapetalong.

  6. Canadian arrogance at its worse nahatapetapetalong.