Reaction to the Spezza trade, the Canucks signing Ryan Miller, and the moves made by the other Canadian teams during the opening day of the NHL’s free-agent period.
OTTAWA CITIZEN: Wayne Scanlan reports the Senators trading Jason Spezza to Dallas leaves a gaping hole in their point production. It also continues the “end of an era” as another remnant of the once-dominant Senators is gone.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Once again, the Senators are a budget team, and while management promises a hard-working, entertaining team going forward, their development could be hampered by ownership’s inability to keep pace with a rising salary cap. They’re still stocked with promising players, but it will be difficult to augment that talent with skilled veterans.
VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Jason Botchford suggests the Canucks signing Ryan Miller could set up a potential goalie controversy with backup Eddie Lack.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It becomes a controversy only if Lack outplays Miller over the next three years. If he doesn’t, signing Miller could prove a wise investment.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens have added P.A. Parenteau, Tom Gilbert and Manny Malhotra while parting ways with Daniel Briere, Brian Gionta and Josh Gorges. GM Marc Bergevin acknowledged trading away Gorges won’t be popular but said he’s not in the job to be popular.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Parenteau should bolster their scoring and Malhotra is strong on faceoffs. Gilbert could also provide offense from the blueline, but he won’t replace Gorges’ defensive skills. They cleared cap space by trading Gorges for a draft pick but that’s about the only good thing about that swap.
THE GLOBE & MAIL: James Mirtle notes the limited moves by the Toronto Maple Leafs during the opening day of free agency. While the good news is they didn’t overspend and still have $7 million in cap space for other additions, the bad news is the roster remains pretty much the same one which fell out of playoff contention last season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Mirtle points out, it appears as though the Leafs are hoping this roster can regain the form which got them into the playoffs in 2013. Better that, I guess, than blowing their budget on another overpriced, overrated free agent.
EDMONTON SUN: Oilers GM Craig MacTavish believes his club still has room for improvement but he feels his recent additions (Leon Draisaitl, Teddy Purcell, Nikita Nikitin, Benoit Pouliot, Mark Fayne, Keith Aulie) makes the Oilers a more well-rounded team.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The additions of Purcell, Nikitin and Fayne should help, as could Draisaitl if he proves to be NHL-ready this fall. It remains to be seen how Pouliot pans out. If he plays as well as he did for the Rangers, this too could be a worthwhile addition.
CALGARY HERALD: Flames GM Brad Treliving will continue to look for further opportunities this summer to improve his club. Yesterday he signed Jonas Hiller, Mason Raymond and Deryk Engelland.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I like the addition of Hiller, but I’m concerned about Raymond’s inconsistency. They also grossly overpaid Engelland (there-years at $2.9 million per season).
WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets addressed their need for a third-line center by signing Mathieu Perreault.