Latest on Ben Bishop, Paul Stastny, Jaromir Jagr, Johan Franzen, Micheal Ferland and Nikita Zadorov in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Ken Campbell profiles Ben Bishop’s long and winding road to NHL stardom with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
NBC SPORTS: Approaching his second season with the St. Louis Blues, center Paul Stastny is ready to take on a leadership role.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stastny’s first season with the Blues was somewhat disappointing. An early-season injury hampered his performance, limiting him to 46 points in 74 games. Those were his lowest totals over a full NHL season in his career. He and the Blues will obviously look forward to a better season in 2015-16.
CBS SPORTS: Jaromir Jagr could be a difference maker for the Florida Panthers in 2015-16. He made an immediate positive impact upon their roster following his late-season arrival via trade in 2014-15 and should continue to do so this coming season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Agreed. Jagr meshed well almost immediately with rising young stars Jonathan Huberdeau and Aleksander Barkov. He won’t have to carry the Panthers’ offense, but his experience, skills and leadership should be invaluable to their hopes of qualifying for the playoffs this season.
DETROIT FREE PRESS: Given the concussion history of Detroit Red Wings forward Johan Franzen, it may be best for his health if he retired.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: According to the report, Franzen’s suffered at least four concussions, with the last one seriously affecting his quality of life for a time earlier this year. While I appreciate his desire to return to the game, it’s not worth the risk of permanent serious brain injury. Ultimately, that decision rest with Franzen, his doctor and the Red Wings front office.
SPORTSNET’s Roger Millions took to Twitter with the following on Calgary Flames’ restricted free agent forward Micheal Ferland: I hear
#Flames and Micheal Ferland getting closer to deal. A little. Talked this week. Both sides may have to give in more than they want
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ferland earned an annual cap hit of $797,500 on an entry-level contract. Re-signing him won’t be expensive for the Flames, but Ferland could seek something around $1 million annually on a two-year deal.
THE DENVER POST: A profile of young Colorado Avalanche defenseman Nikita Zadorov, acquired from the Buffalo Sabres as part of the Ryan O’Reilly trade in June.