Updates on Eric Staal and Stephen Weiss, picking new NHL captains, Predators coach calls for a rivalry with the Wild, the salary cap could reach $80 million in four years, the CMA slams NHL owners over hockey violence and more.

Hurricanes captain Eric Staal has recovered from last spring's knee injury.

Hurricanes captain Eric Staal has recovered from last spring’s knee injury.

NEWSOBSERVER.COM: Carolina Hurricanes captain Eric Staal said his right knee (injured during this spring’s World Championships) feels fine. He suffered a third-degree sprain of his right medial collateral ligament (MCL). Staal didn’t require surgery but underwent several month of rehab. He won’t require a knee brace to skate.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Staal was very fortunate to avoid surgery for that injury. Hurricanes fans are undoubtedly breathing a sigh of relief.

NATIONAL POST: Michael Traikos wonders which Stephen Weiss the Detroit Red Wings will be getting.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Prior to last season, Weiss averaged over 74 games per season, was a four-time 20-plus goal-scorer and never went below 42 points during that period. And he accomplished that with Florida Panthers teams which weren’t very good. On a deeper Red Wings team, he could flirt with 30 goals and 65 points.

SPORTING NEWS: Eight NHL teams – Buffalo Sabres, Calgary Flames, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, Edmonton Oilers, NY Islanders, Ottawa Senators and Tampa Bay Lightning – must name new captains before the upcoming season begins.

NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: Nashville Predators coach Barry Trotz wants to start a rivalry with the Minnesota Wild for “stealing” Ryan Suter. The former Predators defenseman signed a lucrative long-term contract with the Wild last summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll take more than that to get the Predators players developing a hatred for the Wild.

THE SCORE: CBC’s Elliotte Friedman recently speculated the NHL salary cap could rise to $80 million in four years.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s not surprising. I anticipate the cap will rebound to $70 million for 2014-15, and if league revenue increases on the average it did during the last CBA (between $5-$6 million per season), it could reach $80 million in three years.  

THE GLOBE AND MAIL: The Canadian Medical Association slammed NHL owners for being too accepting of violence in the sport.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That may be true, but don’t expect the NHL to do anything about it.