Latest on Tomas Plekanec, Dion Phaneuf, Blake Wheeler, Taylor Hall, Andrew Hammond, Micheal Ferland and Jake Virtanen.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Tomas Plekanec said his agent and Canadiens management haven’t started contract talks. Plekanec is eligible next July for unrestricted free agency.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin could wait until later in the season to open talks with the agent for the 32-year-old center, hoping to assess the latter’s performance. Plekanec is currently earning $5 million per season. Given his age, I doubt he’ll get a big raise from the Habs, who’ll likely offer around the same salary on a three-four year deal. 

Toronto Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf welcomes changes planned by new coach Mike Babcock.

Toronto Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf welcomes changes planned by new coach Mike Babcock.

TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf said he welcomes the changes new coach Mike Babcock has in store for the club this season.  Among them is giving Phaneuf a day off each week from speaking with the media.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sounds like a good idea. Phaneuf was roasted daily by the media over the course of the last two seasons. Giving him a break from questions about his leadership and why the team played so poorly could be a welcome respite. 

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Jets winger Blake Wheeler is looking forward to seeing his club build upon last season, when they reached the playoffs for the first time since moving to Winnipeg.

SPORTSNET: One reason Edmonton Oilers rookie Connor McDavid will live with Taylor Hall this season is management’s way of giving the latter an opportunity to take on more of a leadership role with the club.

OTTAWA CITIZEN: Senators goalie Andrew Hammond enters this season with renewed focus, intent on building upon last season’s stellar performance.

CALGARY SUN: Flames RFA winger Micheal Ferland believes there’s still time to get a new contract worked out with management before the upcoming start of training camp.

THE VANCOUVER SUN: Canucks prospect Jake Virtanen could be poised for a significant NHL debut.