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SPORTSNET: Jonathan Willis believes the Toronto Maple Leafs screwed up by taking a lower-risk, short-term deal with Jonathan Bernier, rather than signing him for the long term at a reasonable price. Willis believes Bernier still has considerable upside and could prove far more difficult to retain should he reach or exceed expectations over the course of his two-year contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Time will surely tell if Willis is correct in his assessment. The Leafs have made their share of bad contract decisions in recent years, but this deal isn’t one of them. If Bernier shines over the next two years, the Leafs have the deep pockets to re-sign him to a more lucrative deal. If he struggles, the Leafs won’t be stuck trying to rid themselves of another long-term dud contract.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson has some questions about the Oilers for next season. Among them: is it a given that Cam Talbot and Ben Scrivens will be the Oilers’ goalies this season? Why is Ryan Nugent-Hopkins taking a back seat to Connor McDavid?
THE VANCOUVER SUN: Iain MacIntyre recently interviewed Canucks GM Jim Benning regarding his recent moves and the difficulty in changing the makeup of the Canucks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A year after Vancouver fans and pundits were singing Benning’s praises, his moves since the draft (trading away Kevin Bieksa and Eddie Lack for draft picks, dealing Zack Kassian and a draft pick to Montreal for Brandon Prust, swapping Nick Bonino, Adam Clendening and a second-round pick for Brandon Sutter and a third rounder) haven’t sat well with the Canucks faithful. It’s apparent Benning is trying to rebuild on the fly. It’ll be interesting to see how his moves pan out in 2015-16.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: The Canadiens’ ticket prices for 2015-16 have gone up, some by as much as 24 percent.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some fans are understandably upset, but the club is merely charging what their market can bear. That’s why ticket prices are so high in a hockey hotbed like Montreal and much lower in struggling markets.