Senators owner Eugene Melnyk requires a liver transplant, plus the latest on the Canadiens, Canucks and Jets.
NHL.COM: The Ottawa Senators yesterday announced team owner Eugene Melnyk has been hospitalized and requires an emergency liver transplant. “Mr. Melnyk’s family has actively reached out to his close friends and broader family with the hope of identifying someone who could be a “live liver donor”. This process involves the removal of a portion of the living donor’s liver so it can be transplanted into the recipient patient.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Anyone interested in being a liver donor for Mr. Melnyk should follow the information provided in the above link. Here’s hoping a suitable donor can be found in time.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens players cleaned out their lockers and met with the media yesterday. Among the highlights: Left wing Max Pacioretty suffered a “brain injury” (widely believed to be a concussion) prior to the playoffs, but his condition improved and he didn’t feel rushed to return to action. Defenseman Andrei Markov denied he was injured or fatigued during the playoffs. Forward Alex Galchenyuk prefers to play center. Forward Lars Eller didn’t seem happy with his role this season. Defenseman Jeff Petry, an unrestricted free agent, is open to re-signing with the Canadiens.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some pundits and fans are blaming head coach Michel Therrien for the club’s lack of offense and the disappointing playoff exit, openly calling for GM Marc Bergevin to replace Therrien with Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock. I don’t believe that will happen. Therrien signed a four-year contract extension last summer which begins next season. He’s not going anywhere.
It is clear, however, the Canadiens must improve their play at both ends of the ice. They need a first-line center, another scoring winger and a proven shutdown defenseman. They could move Galchenyuk to center next season. Eller’s relationship with Therrien could bear watching, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he becomes trade bait this summer. I’ll have my thoughts on Petry in the “Rumors” section.
WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Gary Lawless believes the Jets won’t overspend to re-sign pending UFA winger Michael Frolik. Lawless suggests a four-year deal worth an annual cap hit of $4 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given the lack of depth in this summer’s UFA market, Frolik might get more than that. It’ll be interesting to see how his contract situation pans out.
THE VANCOUVER SUN: The Canucks yesterday announced the signing of prospect defenseman Jordan Subban to a three-year entry-level contract. Subban, 20, was selected 115th overall by the Canucks in the 2013 NHL draft.