P.K. Subban makes a lucrative pledge to a Montreal children’s hospital, plus the latest on Connor McDavid, Jonas Hiller, Jacob Markstrom and more in your NHL Canadian Corner.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban yesterday announced a $10 million, seven-year pledge to the Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation. “The $10 million is a combination of a personal donation from Subban — in the seven-figure range — as well as funds from the P.K. Subban Foundation and fundraising activities using his name and brand over the next seven years.” Subban said the inspiration to give back to the community came from his idol, Canadiens legend Jean Beliveau.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Say what you will about Subban as a player – and there are those who don’t like his style – but the man has a huge heart and is very active in charitable causes. With all the news lately involving several NHL players running afoul of the law, Subban stands as a reminder that many of them are good people who give back to their communities. Well done, PK!
TORONTO SUN: Steve Simmons observes that, despite all the front office changes this summer by the Maple Leafs, the “same players who quit on themselves, their jerseys, their fans, are back”, noting all the key players except for Phil Kessel remain.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think the Leafs are commencing their rebuild the right way by making significant changes behind the bench and in the front office before significantly overhauling the roster. I don’t doubt the marginal increase in the salary cap affected efforts to move out other players, but it’s still worthwhile to change those running the club first before doing a clean sweep of the roster. The new group will take this season to evaluate the roster and determine those worth keeping and those to ship out. This could actually speed up the rebuilding process. Yes, it means a potentially ugly season of hockey, but Leafs Nation expects this and should be more supportive compared to last season.
WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Once again, Jets fans are wondering if the goaltending tandem of Ondrej Pavelec and Michael Hutchinson is good enough to lead the club into the playoffs.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: They did it last season, though both struggled at times. With more consistency, they should be able to backstop the Jets into the postseason again.
EDMONTON SUN: Connor McDavid tallied three assists to lead the Oilers’ rookies to a 6-3 win over the University of Alberta Golden Bears.
CALGARY SUN: Could Jonas Hiller become the odd man out in goal for the Flames this season? He’ll enter training camp hoping to fend off Karri Ramo and Joni Ortio for the starter’s job. The Flames also invited former Colorado Avalanche defenseman Ryan Wilson to camp on a professional tryout offer.
OTTAWA SUN: The performances of defenseman Jared Cowen and winger Colin Greening are among the notable storylines for the Ottawa Senators as they enter training camp. Both were disappointments last season.
THE PROVINCE: Armed with a two-year, one-way contract, Vancouver Canucks goaltender Jacob Markstrom is eager to proven himself as an NHL-worthy netminder.