In today’s collection of notable NHL morning headlines: another update on Sidney Crosby…Vincent Lecavalier off to a strong start…Flyers attempt to muzzle outspoken Ilya Bryzgalov short-lived…Jaroslav Halak showing signs of improvement…Flyers and Penguins team up to fight realignment proposal…Lease extension for Predators arena likely…Canadians want head shot ban, but also love hockey fights.
POST-GAZETTE.COM: Penguins captain Sidney Crosby wouldn’t offer up a firm deadline for his long-awaited return from post-concussions symptoms. He traveled with the club on their Western road trip but ruled out returning to action during it. It’s rumored he could return on November 11th, the team first home game back from the road trip.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I know there will be folks who are weary of these “non-update” updates from Crosby, but this is what he and the Penguins have been reduced to, after being raked over the goals this summer by their silence on his status, which spurred wild speculation of premature retirement. It’s expected he could return at some point this month, but when is entirely up to Crosby and the Penguins.
TAMPA BAY ONLINE: Lightning captain Vincent Lecavalier, no longer hampered by injury or distracted by trade rumors, is off to a strong start to this season, with 8 points in 11 games.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lecavalier looked like he was returning to form down the stretch and into the playoffs last season. If he can avoid injury this season, he could post up his best numbers in years.
PHILLY.COM: The Flyers efforts to limit media access to loquacious goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov was short-lived after one of the Philadelphia hockey beat reporters complained to the Professional Hockey Writers Association. He’ll now be unavailable for interviews only during game mornings.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: They knew when they signed him that Bryzgalov was a talkative guy. Silly to try to limit access to him.
STLTODAY.COM: Blues struggling starter Jaroslav Halak showed improvement despite losing his last outing, a 4-2 decision to the Edmonton Oilers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Perhaps the possibility of losing his job to backup Brian Elliott, who has played very well recently, will spur Halak to improve his performance.
TIMESHERALD.COM: The Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins, arch-rivals on the ice, are teaming up to fight a proposed realignment plan which would shift the teams out of the same division, meaning they wouldn’t face each other as often during the regular season and playoffs.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I certainly understand their concern, but the league has to make divisional adjustments in the wake of the relocation of the Atlanta franchise to Winnipeg. Whatever move the league makes, they won’t please everybody, but eventually, they’ll get over it and accept whatever decision is made.
THE TENNESSEAN: The city of Nashville could end its annual incentive payments of $7.8 million to the Nashville Predators by serving notice at year’s end, but it’s expected the lease will be extended.
TORONTO STAR: A new poll finds 80 percent of Canadians, and 83 percent of those who consider themselves devoted hockey fans, want illegal head shots banned from the game, but only 43 percent of Canadians, and only 21 percent of those considered devoted fans, want fighting banned.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Most of us don’t want blindside hits in the game, but an overwhelming majority of us are okay with players pummeling their opponents in the head with their fists. Anyone else beside me find that result funny?