The latest on John Tavares, Stephen Weiss, Mike Smith, Jason Pominville, Joni Pitkanen, Derek Roy, Jarret Stoll, Simon Gagne and more.

Captain Tavares?

Captain Tavares?

NEWSDAY’s Arthur Staple reported yesterday via Twitter the NY Islanders are expected next week to name John Tavares  as their new captain.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s been rumored for months Tavares would become the new Islanders captain. I believe he’s the logical choice.

DETROIT NEWS: After years with the Florida Panthers, Stephen Weiss is preparing for the “ultra-competitive” life of a Red Wing.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Weiss will face considerably more pressure with the Red Wings than he did with the Panthers. He’s slated to become their second-line center.

ARIZONA REPUBLIC: Phoenix Coyotes goalie Mike Smith is eager to make Team Canada’s roster for the Sochi Games. Meanwhile, there’s been no progress in the Coyotes contract stalemate with forward Mikkel Boedker.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Smith’s performance in the opening two months of this season will determine if he makes the team or not. As for Boedker, his agent remains optimistic a deal can be done before training camp opens next week. The sticking point seems to be the term of the contract, as he’s seeking a deal longer than two years.

STARTRIBUNE.COM: Contract talks between the Minnesota Wild and Jason Pominville continue. Pominville is eligible for unrestricted free agency next summer.

NEWSOBSERVER.COM: Chip Alexander reports Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Joni Pitkanen will miss the start of training camp recovering from a broken heel bone suffered late last season. Alexander also reports the Hurricanes have invited Radek Dvorak to training camp on a tryout basis.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If it appears Pitkanen will remain sidelined by the start of the regular season the Hurricanes could seek help via trade or free agency. Alexander speculates they’ll look first at some of the young blueliners within their system during the pre-season period.

STLTODAY.COM: New Blues center Derek Roy is expected to be ” the play-making middleman the club had been lacking.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: At this stage in Roy’s career that could be asking too much. His offensive production has steadily declined over the past five years.

NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: LA Kings center Jarret Stoll has no lingering effects from the seizure which hospitalized him in July. He’s received medical clearance to return to the ice.

PHILLY.COM: Flyers GM Paul Holmgren is kicking around the notion of inviting Simon Gagne to training camp on a tryout basis.  The Flyers are currently $1.1 million over the salary cap, but will get $4.9 million in cap relief when defenseman Chris Pronger is placed on LTIR to start the upcoming season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That will free up both cap space and a roster spot for Gagne if he’s willing to wait and he proves himself still a worthwhile addition to their roster during pre-season.

NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: The LA Kings have invited goaltender Mathieu Garon to training camp on a tryout basis, while the Phoenix Coyotes have extended a training camp tryout to Guilluame Latendresse.