Jason Spezza gears up for the upcoming season, the Canucks send a lifeline to two veteran players, fake Jets gear hits the market, and the Habs invite an undrafted goalie prospect to training camp.


OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Senators veteran forward Jason Spezza is looking forward to the upcoming season, but warned the club, which is rebuilding with young talent, could go through some growing pains, especially playing in the Northeast Division, which has gotten tougher as their rivals have improved their rosters this summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  Spezza will be looked upon as one of the club’s veteran leaders. He’ll be looking toward having a healthy campaign, as the last two seasons he missed an average of 21 games per season to injuries. Having a key player like Spezza out of the lineup for lengthy periods was a key reason for the club’s recent decline. A healthy Spezza improves their chances of qualifying for a playoff spot.


VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Jason Botchford recently reports the Canucks have thrown a tryout lifeline for veteran forward Owen Nolan and Todd Fedoruk. Nolan, who spent last season playing in Switzerland, believes he can still play in the NHL, seeing himself perhaps filling a role like the recently-retired Mark Recchi in recent years with the Boston Bruins.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s no guarantee these two will make the Canucks, but for a team facing the start of the upcoming season with several key forwards sidelined by injuries, it’s not a bad option to give them a shot. Besides, it’s possible if they don’t stick with the Canucks, they could be signed by another club if they play well during training camp and pre-season.


WINNIPEG SUN: Ross Romaniuk reports of counterfeit Winnipeg Jets merchandise creeping into the market weeks before the club will release their official new merchandise for sale.

“On sales website Alibaba.com, a white Jets jersey described as “authentic” with the new emblem has been advertised at a price ranging from $28 to little more than $50 — far below the approximately $129 generally charged by legitimate retailers for licensed replica NHL jerseys.

Cpl. John Montgomery of the RCMP federal enforcement section pointed out that certain firms have exclusive rights to deal in official NHL apparel and souvenirs, “and Alibaba is not one of them.”

“I want to sit down with the merchandise guys, and the merchandise guys are going to have their input in how we handle this,” Brown said.

“We have been very careful to warn the consumers about dealing with people on the secondary market, whether it’s in tickets, merchandise — anything to do with buying something.”

Montgomery noted that identifying fake merchandise is usually easy, if one knows what to look for in items sold through websites such as Kijiji, Craigslist, “or out of the back of a car.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Use common sense, folks. If a deal seems too good to be true, it usually is. If you think you’re getting a great deal on a Winnipeg Jets jersey, or of any other NHL team, odds are, it’s a fake, and you’re being hosed.


RDS.CA: reports QMJHL goaltender Robin Gusse, who plays for the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, will be invited to Montreal Canadiens training camp. The 18-year-old Gusse was not selected in this year’s NHL entry draft.