Updates on Eric Staal and Stephen Weiss, picking new NHL captains, Predators coach calls for a rivalry with the Wild, the salary cap could reach $80 million in four years, the CMA slams NHL owners over hockey violence and more.
NEWSOBSERVER.COM: Carolina Hurricanes captain Eric Staal said his right knee (injured during this spring’s World Championships) feels fine. He suffered a third-degree sprain of his right medial collateral ligament (MCL). Staal didn’t require surgery but underwent several month of rehab. He won’t require a knee brace to skate.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Staal was very fortunate to avoid surgery for that injury. Hurricanes fans are undoubtedly breathing a sigh of relief.
NATIONAL POST: Michael Traikos wonders which Stephen Weiss the Detroit Red Wings will be getting.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Prior to last season, Weiss averaged over 74 games per season, was a four-time 20-plus goal-scorer and never went below 42 points during that period. And he accomplished that with Florida Panthers teams which weren’t very good. On a deeper Red Wings team, he could flirt with 30 goals and 65 points.
SPORTING NEWS: Eight NHL teams – Buffalo Sabres, Calgary Flames, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, Edmonton Oilers, NY Islanders, Ottawa Senators and Tampa Bay Lightning – must name new captains before the upcoming season begins.
NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: Nashville Predators coach Barry Trotz wants to start a rivalry with the Minnesota Wild for “stealing” Ryan Suter. The former Predators defenseman signed a lucrative long-term contract with the Wild last summer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll take more than that to get the Predators players developing a hatred for the Wild.
THE SCORE: CBC’s Elliotte Friedman recently speculated the NHL salary cap could rise to $80 million in four years.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s not surprising. I anticipate the cap will rebound to $70 million for 2014-15, and if league revenue increases on the average it did during the last CBA (between $5-$6 million per season), it could reach $80 million in three years.
THE GLOBE AND MAIL: The Canadian Medical Association slammed NHL owners for being too accepting of violence in the sport.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That may be true, but don’t expect the NHL to do anything about it.