Updates on the Maple Leafs, Senators, Oilers, Canadiens, Flames and Canucks.


Leafs GM Burke responds to criticism from his former goalie coach.

TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke responded to criticisms of the Leafs organization by former team goalie coach Francois Allaire, acknowledging there was interference from the staff over Allaire’s coaching, but  it was done because his style was “out of date”.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Burke didn’t appear to have any problem with Allaire’s style when the coach faced criticism for the Leafs struggling goaltending over the past couple of years. I think if Allaire hadn’t gone public with his criticism of the organization, Burke wouldn’t have responded as he did. Sadly, this is just another chapter in the long, sad soap opera that is the Toronto Maple Leafs.

 OTTAWA SUN: Senators defenseman Chris Phillips is pondering a charity game involving locked out Senators and Maple Leafs.

EDMONTON SUN: Nail Yakupov’s agent Igor Larionov denies reports claiming the IIHF is blocking his client’s attempts to return to the KHL during the lockout, suggesting the delay is merely clerical, given the high number of locked out NHL players currently heading to Europe.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That jibes with a statement from an IIHF press agent, who responded to a recent report suggesting the organization wouldn’t issue international transfer cards to locked out players. That led to speculation the NHL was trying to block attempts by its locked out players to play in Europe this season, but it appears the problem is merely administrative.

CANOE.CA: Canadiens defenseman Yannick Weber is returning to Switzerland, where he’ll play out the lockout for Genève-Servette HC..

CALGARY HERALD: Several Flames, including defenseman Jay Bouwmeester, plus Washington Capitals’ Jeff Schultz and Karl Alzner, and UFA Brendan Morrison,  were working out at Winsports Ice Complex in Calgary. Jarome Iginla ,Mikael Backlund and Sven Baertschi skated there earlier in the day.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flames players, like the rest of their NHLPA brethren, aren’t allowed to use their respective team’s practice facilities and have to find other options.

VANCOUVER SUN: Canucks defenseman Dan Hamhuis is using the lockout to work on his skating.