Today is “Hockey Day in Canada”. Catch up on the latest on Roberto Luongo, Jason Spezza, Dion Phaneuf, Justin Schultz and more.
VANCOUVER SUN: Brad Ziemer reports if teams want goaltender Roberto Luongo, they must pay the asking price of Canucks GM Mike Gillis. Luongo’s strong play this season has increased his trade value. It’s also possible the Canucks could retain Luongo for the rest of this season. Gillis dismissed the notion Luongo’s presence would be an unnecessary distraction.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out, but it’s clear Gillis won’t move Luongo until he gets what he wants for a return. Reports vary as to what that could be, but it’s believed a good young second line center, a promising winger or defenseman, and either a first or second round draft pick.
OTTAWA SUN: Senators center Jason Spezza hopes to return from back surgery before the end of the regular season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: He might be careful not to push too hard for an earlier comeback as that could do more harm than good.
TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf acknowledges he must improve his offensive play if his club is to make the playoffs.
WINNIPEG SUN: In hopes of bolstering their struggling offense, the Jets have reunited Bryan Little, Andrew Ladd and Blake Wheeler.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: While Oilers rookie defenseman Justin Schultz’s stock is on the rise, veteran Oilers blueliner Ryan Whitney’s is on the decline.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Whitney hasn’t been the same since ankle surgery a couple of years ago. He’s an unrestricted free agent this summer, and if he fails to improve, not only won’t he be re-signed, but the Oilers could try to move him (despite his NTC) near the trade deadline.
CALGARY HERALD: Flames center Mikael Backlund has been sidelined four-to-six weeks with a knee sprain.
LA PRESSE: Montreal Canadiens forward Ryan White acknowledged his undisciplined play cost his team points in two recent games. He’s expected to be a healthy scratch for today’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs.