Updates on Eric Staal and Stephen Weiss, the lasting legacy of the Hartford Whalers and more. 

Eric Staal returns to the ice following offseason surgery.

Eric Staal returns to the ice following offseason surgery.

NEWSOBSERVER.COM: Carolina Hurricanes captain Eric Staal showed no lingering after-effects from offseason abdominal surgery during a recent informal skate.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: For the Hurricanes to have a shot at a playoff berth they’ll need Eric Staal healthy and at his best this season. 

CANADIAN PRESS (VIA YAHOO! SPORTS): Speaking of the Hurricanes, the retirement of J.S. Giguere prompted Stephen Whyno to reflect on the lasting legacy of the Hurricanes former incarnation as the Hartford Whalers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: For all the talk of expansion and returning franchises to former NHL locations there’s no talk of a return to Hartford. That’s a shame, because the Whalers still have a die-hard core of fans. However, as Whyno points out, Hartford must build an NHL-ready arena and need deep-pocketed prospective owners to entice the league. Neither appears likely to happen. 

DETROIT FREE PRESS: Stephen Weiss needs to put his injury-hampered debut with the Red Wings behind him this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A healthier Weiss could have a solid bounce-back season with the Wings. Given the rise of several promising Wings forwards last season, he probably won’t face as much pressure this season. There will also be more focus on aging stars Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg and (if he returns) Daniel Alfredsson. 

DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Stars are still in negotiations with restricted free agents Cody Eakin and Brenden Dillon.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The duo are coming out of entry-level contracts with no arbitration rights. I expect both will be re-upped before training camp opens on September 18.

NBC SPORTS: The Moore-Bertuzzi lawsuits, scheduled for September 8, has been removed from the court docket.

BOSTON GLOBE: The Bruins recently hired former player Jay Pandolfo as a development coach.