An attempt to tie the salary cap to the Canucks ticket prices, updates on Andrew Ference and Zach Bogosian, and Canadiens legend Jean Beliveau recently turns 82.

VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Tony Gallagher blames the salary cap for Canucks fans paying more for the same product as Tampa Bay.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gallagher wonders why the NHL salary cap was set so artificially low for this season ($64.3 million) coming out of the lockout, blaming it for not only handcuffing the Canucks’ efforts to improve their roster, but also for making it so expensive for Canucks fans to attend games, compared to those in Tampa Bay.

Well, the cap was set to the level largely because of the expectation of reduced revenue for the lockout-shortened season, which would affect the cap for this upcoming season. The cap is also expected to rise significantly next summer, which will provide the Canucks with considerably more cap space to work with. If, for example, the cap increases to $70.3 million (an increase of $6 million over this year’s cap), the Canucks would have over $27 million in cap space. It’s up to management to decide upon the best way to invest that money.

Canucks management also knew a lockout was coming which could result in a reduced salary cap. It was up to them to find a way to work within it. They could’ve used their remaining compliance buyout to free up more salary. Even if they’d done that, there wasn’t much in this summer’s shallow UFA pool to help the Canucks this coming season.

As for ticket prices, it has absolutely nothing to do with the salary cap, and everything to do with what each market will bear. The Canucks charge what they do because there are people/companies willing to pay higher prices compared to those in Tampa Bay. 

Andrew Ference expected to be a good addition to the Oilers blueline.

Andrew Ference expected to be a good addition to the Oilers blueline.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson recently reported the Boston Bruins loss is the Edmonton Oilers gain in defenseman Andrew Ference, who signed with the Oilers as a free agent this summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ference is praised for his competitiveness, leadership, experience and work ethic. He’s a good depth addition for the Oilers, but he won’t fill their requirement for a skilled top-two defenseman to play alongside promising Justin Schultz.

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets defenseman Zach Bogosian refused to say if he spoke with NY Islanders forward and potential Team USA teammate Kyle Okposo regarding a concussion he received as a result of a head shot by Okposo during a game in April 2013. “I’ll leave that between us,” Bogosian said with a chuckle.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Happy birthday wishes to Canadiens legend Jean Beliveau, who celebrated his 82nd birthday on August 31.