Hearsay: Phaneuf respects Leafs’ additions

Dion Phaneuf is excited with the Toronto Maple Leafs' off-season additions.

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Dion Phaneuf shared his reaction with The Toronto Sun to the news that he had been named to the orientation camp roster for Canada’s Olympic hockey team.

His Leafs, meanwhile, needed some winning experience, and Phaneuf knows the newly-acquired Dave Bolland and David Clarkson can provide that.

“Clarkson is a guy who plays extremely hard night and night out, I have a lot of respect for the way he plays the game and I think he is really going to add to our team,” Phaneuf said.

“Bolland is a guy who has won (the Stanley Cup) a couple of times and he knows what it takes. I played against him a lot when I was out west (as a member of the Calgary Flames) and I know how hard he plays, too. I think we have added two guys there that really bring a lot up front and in our locker room. They are older guys, that have experience.

“Getting Bernier, I got to play with him at the world championship (in 2011), and I think he is going to fit in well with our group.”

On the stunning way his team was bounced from the playoffs: “We went through it and we have to learn from it. It was a tough way to be eliminated from the playoffs and we have to learn from it as a group.”


The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has a worthwhile look at how David Perron and the Blues were often an uneasy fit, with the winger potentially being misunderstood at times.

On some nights, former Blue Keith Tkachuk would have a trainer alert Perron to meet him in a closed-door room in between periods.

“I was probably one who kind of had to straighten him out,” Tkachuk said. “I was hard on him, but I did it for a reason. It was tough, but you want to make sure everybody respects the game and he did.

“It was a difficult position for a kid to be put in, but I thought he did a great job. He could barely speak English, but he wanted to learn. One thing about him, he wanted to get better and he loved the game of hockey, so it made it easier to deal with him.”

Perron wasn’t sure of Tkachuk’s intentions early on.

“You think he hates you for a year or so and you realize two or three years later that he loves you that much and that’s why he was so hard on you,” Perron said.

Was Perron a good player who was misunderstood?

“Yeah, I think he was,” Tkachuk said. “We were all at fault at times, but in the end, he’s a better player and a better person for what he’s learned for the last five or six years. I sent him a text after the trade and I wished him all the best. He’s going to do an excellent job. He probably needs a change of scenery. He’s had to grow up pretty fast and that’s hard to do.”


The Montreal Gazette spoke with P.K. Subban following his invitation to Team Canada’s pre-Olympic orientation camp next month

“To be invited, obviously it’s a very cool honour,” Subban said. “And it would be even a better honour if I was on the team headed to Sochi because what an opportunity it would be to represent my country again,” said Subban, who has previously played for Canada at the world juniors and world championships.

“The two times at the world juniors, both winning gold medals, was obviously a lot of fun. So I definitely want to keep that trend going and hopefully it starts as early as … Sochi,” Subban said.

“It would be extremely fun to be able to represent my country again.”

Subban said he’s right where he thought he would be at this point with his training. Because of the extended training last summer due to the lockout, Subban said: “I’m miles ahead of where I would be at the beginning of July.”

“I’m happy where I’m at in my training. Obviously we’re going to make sure that we’re peaking at the right time going into camp. But I don’t think that we’re even going to get on the ice for this camp. I don’t think there’s an on-ice portion to it. So I think it’s just going to be kind of an orientation thing,” said Subban, who hadn’t received the details yet.


The Vancouver Province asserts new Canucks head coach John Tortorella will be the polar opposite of Alain Vigneault.

“I’m excited about it,” Dan Hamhuis said Monday. “It’s a new voice and hearing new things, a different approach. I wouldn’t say anything bad about Alain (Vigneault). Some guys had him as a coach for seven or eight years. That can get stale. I think (the change) is going to be good for the whole team.”

Hamhuis said he’s not concerned about Tortorella’s legendary volcanic temperament.

“He has a certain impression that’s come from the media, but I’ve a lot of good things about him, too,” said Hamhuis. “I’m looking forward to meeting him.”


The Ottawa Citizen believes just Marc Methot’s selection to the Team Canada Orientation Camp is a huge achievement, considering was drafted 168th overall back in 2003. Still, his stock has long been on the rise and he made a case for himself as a solid member of Team Canada at both the 2011 and 2012 world championships.

“I think I turned a lot of heads with my play on the big (ice) surface,” said Methot. “I think a big season is because of how I played on the big surface. A lot of it is about skating, and having my skating ability mixed in with the defensive game surely helped.

“Aside from being able to wear the Senators jersey in my hometown, I can’t think of a better thing (than) to be on the world stage. It’s a high pressure situation and, as players, we feed on that. Going there for Canada, anything short of a gold is a disappointment. Playing with all those great players would be awesome … if I get that opportunity.”


The Edmonton Sun indicates that for the most part, Oilers general manager MacTavish likes the way things have developed for his team this summer.

“We’re reasonably happy right now,” he said. “I’m optimistic that we’re going to be a very good team. We’ve certainly have a chance to be a good team.”

MacTavish also would not be against seeing winger Ales Hemsky at training camp, if he’s unable to move him this summer.

“I’m comfortable with that,” MacTavish said. “Given the circumstances, Ales certainly has the game that would help us moving forward. He’s on a one-year deal and I think both sides would be motivated to make it a very successful year.”


The Winnipeg Free Press notes the Jets announced Monday afternoon they have signed 25-year-old centre Bryan Little —  drafted 12th overall by the Atlanta Thrashers seven years ago — to a new five-year deal worth $23.5 million.

“It’s something we talked about right away… I kinda wanted to stay in Winnipeg. I’ve been part of that organization since I was drafted,” said Little Monday in a conference call. “Even though we moved to Winnipeg in the last couple of years it was something I wanted to be a part of still. It wasn’t hard for me. I’ve been through a lot of rough times in Atlanta, but I think this organization’s best days are ahead of them in the very near future.

“I wanted to stay to be a part of that. It wasn’t really hard for me to make the decision to stay with Winnipeg for a long time.


The Calgary Herald notes with performance incentives — worth up to $850,000 yearly — Sean Monahan’s new entry-level contract with the Flames carries a potential average annual value of $1.775 million.

“There really wasn’t much to negotiate,” said Monahan, who turns 19 in October. “The contract (finalization) is over. Now the real work is still there . . . a lot of hard work to prove why I got the contract.”

In a preview of sorts, Monahan had appeared at the Flames’ development jamboree last week. One of five first-round picks on the ice, he was nonetheless blown away by a fourth-rounder, Johnny Gaudreau, who had been his linemate for both scrimmages.

“A real special player,” said Monahan, “and it was just awesome being able to play with him.”











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