Update on the Ottawa Senators, plus the latest on Nazem Kadri, Lars Eller and Jim Slater in your NHL Canadian Corner.
NBC SPORTS: The Ottawa Senators are hoping to avoid the sophomore slump, especially second-year coach Dave Cameron and second-year players Andrew Hammond, Mark Stone and Mike Hoffman.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators improved noticeably after Cameron took over as head coach, though much of the credit for reaching the playoffs belongs to Hammond. Of the three Senators sophomores, Hammond could feel the most pressure in 2015-16. Then again, if starter Craig Anderson stays healthy and performs well, Hammond could spend much of this season riding the pine.
THE LONDON FREE PRESS: Toronto Maple Leafs center Nazem Kadri claims he’s “super-motivated and super-excited” heading into 2015-16. Kadri is on a one-year contract with the Leafs and can expect more playing time and responsibilities this season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kadri’s teased with his potential over the past three seasons but has yet to fully meet expectations. With the Leafs rebuilding, this is his best opportunity to step up and reach that potential. Otherwise, his future in Toronto beyond next season will be in doubt.
RDS.CA: Montreal Canadiens center Lars Eller spent most of this summer training in Montreal. He’s also happy with the club’s recent additions, especially winger Alexander Semin.
WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: It’s increasingly unlikely the Jets will bring back center Jim Slater, who remains an unrestricted free agent.