The latest on Ales Hemsky, Nail Yakupov, Tim Connolly, Craig Anderson, Alex Burmistrov, Rene Bourque, and Mikael Backlund, plus the Canucks sign UFA defenseman Jim Vandermeer.

Could Hemsky be paired with Yakupov this season?

Could Hemsky be paired with Yakupov this season?

EDMONTON SUN: The Oilers projected second line would pair veteran playmaker Ales Hemsky with rookie sniper Nail Yakupov.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If that duo clicks, the Oilers will have two lethal scoring lines.

TORONTO SUN: Center Tim Connolly is trying to find his place with the Maple Leafs. They’d signed Connolly two years ago hoping he might address their first line center need, buthe  has since slid down the depth chart.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The signing of Connolly won’t be remembered among former GM Brian Burke’s better moves.

OTTAWA SUN: Senators head coach Paul MacLean insists veteran goalie Craig Anderson remains the club’s starter. Robin Lehner and Ben Bishop are expected to battle for the backup role.

WINNIPEG SUN: Alex Burmistrov hopes the time he spent during the lockout playing with the Jets AHL farm team will have him well-prepared for this season.

LA PRESSE: Rene Bourque acknowledged his first season with the Montreal Canadiens was a disappointment, and hopes for significant improvement this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Considering he’s signed through 2016 at over $3.3 million per season, the Habs are also hoping for significant improvement. Otherwise, Bourque could become a compliance buyout candidate this summer.

CALGARY SUN: Mikael Backlund still has a shot of securing the first line center role with the Flames.

VANCOUVER PROVINCE: The Canucks yesterday signed UFA defenseman Jim Vandermeer to a one-year, two-way deal worth a pro-rated $600K at the NHL level.