Ranking Kevin Bieksa’s performance last season, Carey Price at the rodeo, honoring the Jets history, Clarke MacArthur is no fan of arbitration, and the latest on the Senators and Oilers prospect players.


VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Gordon McIntyre reports TSN’s Scott Cullen crunched some numbers and discovered Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa was the third best defenseman last season at take-aways. Fellow Canucks blueliner Dan Hamhuis was 16th.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yet another reason why the Canucks re-sign Bieksa.


MONTREAL GAZETTE: Mike Boone reports via Hockey Inside/Out Canadiens star goaltender Carey Price continues to think hockey while he practices his roping for the upcoming 45th Annual Quesnel, BC, Rodeo.

“Price has been roping for three years and he revealed the hardest part was learning how to stay on the horse. “I think if you are going to rope it’s best if you learn how to ride first instead of trying to learn to rope and ride at the same time,” he said. “When you’re watching, it doesn’t look that hard. You see guys doing it over and over again, it seems repetitious and that makes it seem real easy. But once you pick up a rope, never mind throwing it, just trying to figure out how to build a loop is tough enough.”

The Habs goalie also spoke about the disappointment in falling to the Boston Bruins in overtime of Game Seven of their Conference quarterfinal series, and said his best save of his NHL career so far was one he made in a pre-season game against the Detroit Red Wings in 2009.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I just think it’s cool that Price isn’t your typical NHL player, and finds other ways to relax and enjoy his off-season. Not many NHLer’s participate in rodeos these days.


WINNIPEG SUN: Ted Wyman reports of the difficulty the new Jets franchise would have honoring their past, as the Phoenix Coyotes own the records of the previous Jets, but suggests the club should still honor past Jets greats by retiring their numbers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see what the new Jets will do to honor their past stars, but as noted yesterday, if a player like Evander Kane wants to wear Number 9, and Jets great Bobby Hull, who also wore that number, has no problem with it, then it should be allowed. They can still honor the number with a banner without having to retire it.


TORONTO SUN: Terry Koshan reports Maple Leafs forward Clarke MacArthur is no fan of the salary arbitration process. He became an unrestricted free agent last summer after the Atlanta Thrashers walked away from his arbiter-awarded one-year, $2.4 million contract, and avoided the process again this year with the Leafs, agreeing to a two-year contract.

“Going to arbitration, it’s just a bad deal all together,” MacArthur said during a telephone interview on Thursday. “Teams have to downplay you. I know you have to have that in the system, but it’s just something you don’t want to have to go through.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Judging by the low number of players who actually go through the arbitration hearing in recent years, and especially so far this summer, it’s obvious Armstrong isn’t the only one who feels that way. Wonder if the players would put up a big fight in the next round of collective bargaining if the league were to attempt to take away their arbitration rights?


OTTAWA SUN: Don Brennan reports Ottawa-area natives Corey Cowick and Mark Borowiecki, who were part of the Binghamton Senators Calder Cup championship lineup this year, are hoping to crack the Ottawa lineup this coming season, though Borowiecki is setting his sights higher with his determination to make the big club, while Cowick is willing to be “a contributing factor in Binghamton”.


EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples reports Hockey Prospectus has released their list of the top ten Oilers prospects, with 2011 first overall pick Ryan Nugent-Hopkins topping the list.