Erik Cole proud to be a Hab, Colby Armstrong’s healthy, a plea for the Senators to take their time developing their prospects, new Canuck Mike Duco apologizes for his controversial tweets, the Flames add toughness, adding seats to Rexall Place, and the Jets have a new head coach for their farm team.


MONTREAL GAZETTE: Pat Hickey reports new Canadiens forward Erik Cole made a solid first impression during his introductory interview to the Montreal media on Thursday:

“When he was asked Thursday whether he was prepared for the pressure which comes with playing for the Canadiens, Cole paused and said: “How can I put this?”

After another pause to collect his thoughts, he said: “Je suis fier de jouer pour l’équipe dont les fans sont si passionnés.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Because, to some folks in the Montreal media, it’s as important that you know how to speak French in your interviews as it is to perform well on the ice…;)


TORONTO SUN: Terry Koshan reports Maple Leafs forward Colby Armstrong, who was sidelined for 32 games last season, is healthy and looking forward to training camp.

“All told, Armstrong was on the sideline for 32 games. In the 50 he played, he had eight goals and 15 assists. When he was forced to the sideline, the Leafs missed his grit, tenacity and his ability to drive opponents up a wall.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If he can stay healthy, Armstrong might also have the opportunity to match or exceed his career best of 22 goals and 40 points back in 2008-09.


OTTAWA CITIZEN: Wayne Scanlan would prefer the Senators take their time in developing their prospects and avoid rushing them before they’re ready for NHL action.

“Stability at the top — and hopefully in the coaching department, if Paul MacLean can outlast his predecessors — means there is no rush to throw prospects to the lions in the name of Cup contention or saving someone’s job. There is every opportunity, and management is already displaying signs of it, to develop this recent surge of draft picks prudently.

Sure, some are bound to suggest that Ottawa’s recent sixth overall pick, Mika Zibanejad, should jump onto the roster immediately. With Mike Fisher and Chris Kelly gone after years of occupying the second- and third-line centre positions, the centre-ice spot is wide open after Jason Spezza.

But rush Zibanejad? Why? There is no need, not if he can benefit from another year of developing strength and experience against men at a slightly lower level, as he would in the Swedish Elite League.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Scanlan points out, rebuilding takes time, and it would be a mistake to rush kids like Zibanejad before they’re ready. Another year or two in junior, the AHL or in Europe would do them a world of good.


VANCOUVER SUN: Chris Toman reports new Canuck Mike Duco, who recently found himself in some hot water over barbs he tossed at Robert Luongo and the Sedins via Twitter during the playoffs, have apologized for those remarks and looks to move on.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t think Luongo or the Sedins will hold those remarks against him, especially if he should make the club and play well in a fourth line role.


EDMONTON JOURNAL: Andrea Sands reports plans to add 8,000 seats to Rexall Place could be blocked.

City councillors could block a Northlands plan to spend $770,000 on new seats in Rexall Place because talks about moving the Edmonton Oilers to a new downtown arena are still in the works, says the city’s chief financial officer.

Northlands’ director of government and public relations said the $770,000 budget item would pay to replace 8,000 aging seats in Rexall’s lower bowl.

“Northlands is going to be running events in that building for years to come and certainly we want to make sure that our patrons are quite comfortable,” said Cathy Kiss.

Northlands is not involved in negotiations about a new downtown arena going on between the city and the Katz Group, Kiss said. “We have a business to run and that’s what we’re doing.”


CALGARY HERALD: Vicki Hall reports the Flames added toughness yesterday by acquiring forward Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond in a trade with New Jersey yesterday.


WINNIPEG SUN: Ken Wiebe reports the Jets have a new head coach for their AHL affiliate, as Keith McCambridge has decided to accept the job, rather than an assistant coaching role with the Jets.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: McCambridge obviously has his eye on one day becoming an NHL head coach, and a good way to fast-track that plan is to do a good job in a head coaching role in the AHL.