Could Andrei Markov’s knee troubles force the Canadiens into the trade market again?…Could the Senators spend more later this season? …Could John Tavares’ new contract have an impact upon a future deal for Edmonton’s Taylor Hall? …What’s the latest on Steve Staios and Wade Redden?
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Pat Hickey reports on the latest news regarding Andrei Markov’s ongoing recovery from knee surgery. Markov recently suffered a slight setback when there was some swelling in his knee due to over-training, but he remains hopeful of being in the lineup for the team’s season-opener next month. Hickey suggested if Markov is out for an extended period, GM Pierre Gauthier might have to go shopping again for a replacement as he did last season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before going that far, I believe Gauthier will evaluate the performance of young blueliner Yannick Weber, Alexei Yemelin and Rafael Diaz before jumping into the trade market again.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Senators owner Eugene Melnyk said he’d be willing to spend if GM Bryan Murray believes by February his club needs another piece to their roster to get to the second round of the playoffs.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Melnyk’s mantra is that to break even on the season, the Senators need to reach the second round, so if there’s a possibility the club is in position to make the playoffs by the trade deadline, and if a good player can be had by then to help their chances, he’ll give the green light to Murray to make a deal. If they’re not in that position, it won’t happen.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson speculated over the potential impact the new contract for NY Islanders forward John Tavares ($5.5 million per season) will have upon the Oilers efforts to re-sign Taylor Hall.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Hall has a strong sophomore season, I daresay it’ll have a significant impact.
ESPN.COM: reports Steve Staios will be attending NY Islanders training camp on a tryout basis.
NHL.com’s Darren Rosen reports Wade Redden is not on the NY Rangers training camp roster.