Proteau’s Blog: Back from a break

After a couple weeks off, it’s nice to be back and blogging again. To get back on the horse, I’ll start with a quick recap of news that broke during my time off, then finish with the biggest NHL news of the first post-Labor Day Tuesday.

• On its own, the signing of Michael Peca won’t get the Columbus Blue Jackets into the post-season. What it will do is make the team’s dressing room a more focused, professional environment, which should help the team’s young players develop faster.

That said, if Peca is still with the Blue Jackets after the trade deadline, I’d be shocked. There is certainly value in older players like him, but an increasing part of that value seems to be as a late-season playoff rental.

• It appears I’m in the minority on this, but I quite like the redesigned Vancouver Canucks jerseys. The city’s name across the front, in particular, is a nice touch.

• As if the loss of Tomas Vokoun, Scott Hartnell, Paul Kariya and Kimmo Timonen wasn’t enough, now the Nashville Predators have to deal with another back surgery that will keep Steve Sullivan out of the lineup for as long as three months.

The right winger doesn’t get a ton of hype, but his absence is another bump in what is becoming an increasingly rocky road the Preds must travel to make it back to the post-season. And it’s another good chance for the St. Louis Blues to jump Nashville in the Central Division standings.

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• Non-hockey note: I saw Death Sentence, starring Kevin Bacon, when I was away. It was one of the worst movies I’ve ever suffered through – not only because Bacon improbably turns into a vigilante who resembles a cross between Sinead O’Connor and Nosferatu, but because former Penguins owner Howard Baldwin produced it, and inserted a storyline in which Bacon’s son aims to follow his NHL dreams by attending a “Canadian college.”

Yup, the Canadian college system is how most NHLers make it to the big show. Yeesh.

• Love whomever came up with the Dallas Stars’ new marketing campaign (click HERE to download the ads in .pdf format). Put those people in charge of the NHL’s image immediately!

• Finally, a tip of the hat to San Jose GM Doug Wilson for taking a chance and signing Jeremy Roenick to a one-year contract Tuesday.

The conventional hockey wisdom is that Roenick is an ego-driven, selfish dressing room menace. However, nobody plays the game with more passion than J.R. and he could be precisely what’s required for a Sharks team that has been accused of playing without it.