Various players were in Toronto today for the BioSteel Camp, which gave savvy media members a chance to talk to them individually and away from the normal post-game scrum. One of them, Luke Fox of Sportsnet, caught up with Florida Panthers defenseman Jason Demers and asked about the report from earlier this summer that he blocked a trade to the Vancouver Canucks. Demers definitely didn’t deny the report, saying that Pierre LeBrun of TSN has “got his sources.”
Regardless, Demers is still playing in Florida this season and is getting ready to try and bounce back from what was a disappointing year. The right-handed defenseman was one of the best two-way options on the open market in 2016 when the Panthers snatched him up for five years and $22.5MM but scored just 28 points and wasn’t as effective in his own end. It will be interesting to see if he becomes available once again if the Panthers get off to a bad start, or if the right deal comes along to pry him out of Florida. His no-trade clause covers just eight teams around the league.
- Scottie Upshall is waiting for another NHL opportunity after scoring 18 points last season for the St. Louis Blues, and he told John Matisz of Postmedia that he already has offers from the KHL and Europe in hand. Upshall, like James Wisniewski earlier today, still believes he can help an NHL team, but is also excited about the possibility of playing in the Olympics should he be playing in a European league come February. Upshall never did reach the high potential he showed to be selected sixth overall, but has been a solid contributor and fan favorite for nearly 700 games. Only 33-years old, he could be in for a professional tryout like in 2015 when he ended up signing with the Blues on October 5th.
- Of course, no media day would be complete without talking to the reigning league MVP Connor McDavid, and Kristen Shilton of TSN asked him several questions at the BioSteel camp. When asked about being called the best player in the league, McDavid immediately deflected the praise to Sidney Crosby, saying that “at the end of the day everyone knows who the best player in the league is, and it’s not me.” Many fans would disagree with that, but McDavid went on to say that he wants to work on the things that make Crosby so dangerous, namely scoring from in tight and on deflections. Edmonton Oilers fans will be happy to hear that the $100MM contract he signed hasn’t made McDavid rest on his laurels, and that he’s working to come back even stronger next season.