Canadiens send Scott Gomez home, injuries hamper Jarome Iginla and Nik Antropov, the Canucks sign Cam Barker, and the latest on Nikolai Khabibulin, James Reimer and Senators prospect Jakob Silfverberg.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens have sent forward Scott Gomez home for the remainder of the season with the intent of buying out the remainder of his contract this summer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens had no choice. Gomez’s performance had declined so much he was no longer worth the $7.357 million cap hit. His salary will still count against the Habs cap, which they can afford to carry this season, but with the cap declining to $64.3 million next season, they must rid themselves of his salary to free up cap space. The reason they’re sending him home is they cannot risk him suffering a long-term injury in NHL play this season, which could make him ineligible for a compliance buyout this summer.
TSN.CA: A groin injury kept Calgary Flames captain Jarome Iginla off the ice during the opening of Flames training camp yesterday. The move was said to be “precautionary”, in hopes he’ll overcome it later this week and be ready for the team’s season-opener on January 20.
WINNIPEG SUN: Jets forward Nik Antropov failed to pass his training camp medical owing to an “upper body injury”, which could sideline him for the start of the season.
EDMONTON SUN: 40-year-old goalie Nikolai Khabibulin is looking forward to the shortened schedule and helping the Oilers any way he can.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I expect Khabibulin will start this season as Devan Dubnyk’s backup.
TORONTO SUN: New Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis continues to stand by his current goaltender, especially starter James Reimer, saying there’s no need to make a move for a goaltending upgrade.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Looks like Nonis will start the season with Reimer and Ben Scrivens, but if they struggle, that’ll ramp up the pressure to land Roberto Luongo, provided he’s still available.
VANCOUVER PROVINCE: The Canucks signed defenseman Cam Barker to a one-year contract.
OTTAWA SUN: Swedish prospect Jakob Silfverberg will get a shot at cracking the Senators roster.