Canucks Roberto Luongo hoping to take care of “unfinished business”…An update on Dustin Byfuglien’s recent brush with the law…Canadiens Scott Gomez hoping for bounce-back season…Nikolai Khabibulin talks about his recent jail time…Blackhawks Corey Crawford hopes to prove he’s no one-year wonder…Rick DiPietro presses on…A new group may be interested in buying the Blues…Hope for improved KHL-NHL relationship.
VANCOUVER SUN: reports Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo returns to Vancouver hoping for get another shot at the Stanley Cup.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Luongo will face the most pressure of all the Canucks this season. A number of Canucks fans blame his inconsistency in last spring’s Cup Final for his team’s inability to defeat the Bruins.
WINNIPEG SUN: reports Dustin Byfuglien’s lawyer claims his client passed a breathalyzer test, and it was his client’s refusal to submit a urine sample which landed him in hot water with authorities in Minnesota, leading to charges of suspected drunken boating.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The report goes on to say Byfuglien probably won’t face a stiff penalty if convicted. You can bet, however, fans in other NHL cities will likely use this to find creative ways to taunt Byfuglien when the Jets come to town.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: reports Canadiens center Scott Gomez is hoping for a bounce-back performance this season after a career-worst 38-point effort in 2010-11.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That performance was bad enough, but what grinds Habs fans gears is he’s being paid over $7 million per season. For that kind of money, much more is expected of him.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: reports Oilers goalie Nikolai Khabibulin is hoping for a better performance this season after putting the drunk-driving condition which dogged him throughout last season. Khabibulin was sentenced to 15 days in Arizona’s infamous “Tent City” this summer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: While his legal troubles undoubtedly factored into Khabibulin’s poor performance last season, it’s his age (38) which may have been more of a contributing factor.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: reports Blackhawks sophomore netminder Corey Crawford is out to prove his strong rookie performance was no fluke.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: He’ll face additional pressure now that he’s earned a new three-year contract based on last season’s efforts, but if he retains the focus he had last season, Crawford should be fine.
NEW YORK POST: Brett Cyrgalis has a lenghty, interesting piece on NY Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro, who continues to soldier on despite being waylaid by years of injuries.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: While DiPietro’s injury history has become the butt of jokes over the years, I still find myself hoping he can finally have an injury-free season. If it weren’t for bad luck, he’d have none at all.
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH: reports a new group has emerged with interest in purchasing the St. Louis Blues.
ASSOCIATED PRESS (VIA NY POST): reports the shared sense of tragedy between the KHL and NHL regarding last week’s plane crash in Russia which killed the entire Yaroslavl Lokomotiv roster has KHL president Alexander Medvedev suggesting it could lead to more cooperation and better relations between the two leagues.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It would be great for hockey if that were to happen.