The latest on Phil Kessel, P.K. Subban, Erik Karlsson and more.
TORONTO SUN: Phil Kessel’s brother Blake is happy Leafs Nation is finally getting behind his brother, thanks to his improved performance last season. Blake acknowledge Phil’s reticent nature makes it difficult for him to connect with fans and media.
TORONTO STAR: The additions this summer of David Clarkson and Dave Bolland give the Maple Leafs two players from Toronto, and seven overall from Ontario.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Expect Don Cherry to take credit for that in his first “Coach’s Corner” segment of the upcoming season.
TSN.CA: Montreal Canadiens forward Lars Eller will be healthy and ready for training camp next month, while teammate P.K. Subban isn’t concerned about contract talks. Subban has one season remaining on his contract and will be a restricted free agent next summer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Subban and his agent are probably waiting until next summer, when he’ll get a considerable raise (between $7.5-$8 million per season) from the Canadiens or a rival club via offer sheet. Oh, yes, he’ll get that much. If Kris Letang, runner-up to Subban for the Norris last season, got $7.25 million per season, the 2013 Norris winner will get more than that.
SPORTSNET.CA: Ottawa Senators defenseman and 2012 Norris winner Erik Karlsson said he’s still feeling the after-effects of the sliced Achilles tendon which sidelined him for ten weeks last season. He does, however, expect to be 100 percent when training camp opens next month.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see if the after-effects of that injury hampers his performance. That he even returned to action last season was surprising, but his play clearly suffered as it was obvious he rushed back before he was full recovered.
VANCOUVER PROVINCE: The agent for UFA defenseman Douglas Murray claims he’s had on-and-off discussions with the Canucks this season. Though far from quick, Murray plays a physical style.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Murray could seek a multi-year deal while the Canucks could be interested in a one-year contract.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers fans remain concerned over their club’s depth at center.