Canucks GM vows changes are coming for his club this summer, Canadiens and Senators coaches bury the hatchet, Wendel Clark defends Dion Phaneuf, and more.
VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Canucks GM Mike Gillis vows to hit the “re-set” button for his club, which suffered its second straight first round playoff exit. Speculation abounds Alain Vigneault could lose his job as head coach.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ve already detailed the changes I believe could happen for the Canucks in my Soapbox. There’s ongoing trade, buyout and free agent speculation about them in my Rumors section. Expect the Canucks to be prominent in this summer’s rumor mill.
OTTAWA CITIZEN: Senators head coach Paul MacLean and Canadien bench boss Michel Therrien had grudging words of respect for each other following the end of the often-nasty Senators-Canadiens series last night.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Dave Stubbs points out the Canadiens, despite their disappointing playoff series against Ottawa, have a bright future.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Considering the Habs finished dead last in the Eastern Conference last season, the fact they finished second overall and clinched the playoffs when many experts wrote them off this season is significant improvement. Lars Eller had a breakout performance, rookies Alexander Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher were pleasant surprises, and PK Subban had a Norris-contending season. Lots to build on for next season.
TORONTO SUN: Former Maple Leafs captain Wendel Clark defended current captain Dion Phaneuf, pointing out Phaneuf’s acceptance of full blame for his defensive blunder leading to the Bruins overtime goal in Game Four demonstrates leadership.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Phaneuf deserved criticism, but not the over-the-top denigration from some denizens of Leafs Nation.
WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Gary Lawless believes Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff could face a choice between keeping Claude Noel or hiring Alain Vigneault if he’s fired by the Canucks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cheveldayoff doesn’t strike me as the type to just dump a coach because another becomes available. I believe he’ll stick with Noel, at least for next season.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: The play of Oilers prospects Anton Lander and Teemu Hartikainen are taking steps toward making the big club next season with their play for their farm club in the AHL playoffs.