Latest on Connor McDavid, John Tavares, Jaromir Jagr, Mark Stone and Dustin Byfuglien, plus updates on the Penguins, Coyotes and more.
NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid is your NHL rookie of the month for October 2015.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: McDavid got off to a slow start but improved over the course of October. My choice would’ve been Arizona’s Max Domi, but I have no problem with McDavid getting the honor.
SI.COM: Columbus Blue Jackets’ center Ryan Johansen and Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby were among October’s biggest duds.
NEWSDAY: New York Islanders captain John Tavares (undisclosed illness) will likely miss Tuesday’s game against the New Jersey Devils.
MIAMI HERALD: The Florida Panthers are hopeful Jaromir Jagr (lower-body injury) will return to action Wednesday against the Anaheim Ducks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jagr, at 43, is the Panthers’ leading scorer. That doesn’t mean the Panthers are a lousy team, but merely another example of Jagr’s amazing offensive skills while approaching his mid-40s.
OTTAWA CITIZEN: Senators forward Mark Stone was suspended two games for a hit to the head of Detroit Red Wings’ forward Landon Ferraro.
WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien faces a hearing with the league’s department of player safety today for his hit on Montreal’s Brendan Gallagher.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: The Blackhawks have demoted winger Bryan Bickell and called up winger Marko Dano.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blackhawks unsuccessfully attempted to trade the struggling Bickell and his $4 million annual cap hit. They’ll only receive $950K in cap relief while he’s in the minors. A contract buyout next June is a possibility.
THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks placed winger Tim Jackman on waivers.
THE VANCOUVER SUN: Canucks center Jake Virtanen scored his first NHL goal as his club downed the Philadelphia Flyers 4-1.
TRIBLIVE.COM: The Pittsburgh Penguins are 24th in goals per games (2.65) but rank fifth in shots per game (31.5) and fourth in scoring chances.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Those numbers are undoubtedly affected by Sidney Crosby’s early-season slump. The goals per game should increase significantly once he regains his range.
YAHOO SPORTS: Greg Wyshynski believes the new coach’s challenge to overturn calls has given referees “a mechanism designed to reverse their bad calls to make even worse calls.”
THE DENVER POST: Tonight’s game between the Colorado Avalanche and Calgary Flames pits two struggling teams coaches by the past two Jack Adams Trophy winners, Colorado’s Patrick Roy (2014) and Calgary’s Bob Hartley (2015).
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The article asks if there’s a Jack Adams jinx at work here, but doesn’t answer that question. It’s not a jinx, just a fact that those two clubs overachieved during the rookie years of Roy and Hartley, which hid the fact they weren’t very good in defensively or in puck possession.
The Avs’ success in 2013-14 was largely due to goalie Semyon Varlamov’s outstanding play, while many of the Flames victories last season was due to their ability to steal victories with third-period rallies. With Varlamov not playing as well as he did two years ago, and with the Flames unable to work their late-game magic this season, their weaknesses are now glaringly apparent.
ARIZONA SPORTS: The Arizona Coyotes are in discussions with with several groups on a new arena in Phoenix. Unless there’s a change in the Glendale city council, they’re finished dealing with them regarding future lease agreements on the Gila River Arena. “Arizona Sports has learned that there are at least three significant possibilities for the Coyotes to remain in the Valley when their agreement with Glendale expires after the 2016-17 season.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Coyotes are certain to relocate before the end of this decade, but it appears ownership wants to do all it can to keep the team as close to Phoenix as possible. In other words, a move out of Arizona is not a certainty.