Summertime. Attention span short. Too many distractions…umm…outside window. Here’s blog, in spurts:
• The American League is experimenting with a one-minute penalty rule in overtime next season, a modification Anaheim GM Brian Burke, among others, has been promoting.
The logic is basic: the overtime punishment doesn’t fit the crime, at least not proportionately. If the application is successful, I’d like to see the ‘A’ try one-minute penalties for lesser infractions during regulation time, such as clearing the puck over the glass.
As things stand, a two-minute minor for that transgression is too strict when compared to a two-minute minor for, say, a hook that nullifies a scoring chance.
• Phoenix re-made its image, to an extent, by signing noted fighters Brian McGrattan and Todd Fedoruk. With NHL 2007-08 PIMs leader Dan Carcillo already in the lineup, the Coyotes will be ready to rumble on a nightly basis.
The question is, will it help fill seats? And will it help fill the ‘W’ column?
• There’s some support in our office for an Ottawa rebound in 2008-09, due in part to their subtractions (namely Ray Emery and Wade Redden) and additions (namely Jason Smith and Jarkko Ruutu).
I’m not feeling it, not yet. Watching the Sens roll over in the second half of this season and die in the first round of the playoffs, I wonder if they’ve done enough to exorcise their ghosts.
• Four near-the-end-of-the-line superstars are still deciding whether they want to play next season. Given your druthers, who would you choose for your team for 2008-09? Here’s my order of preference, listed with their ages:
1. Mats Sundin, 37
2. Joe Sakic, 39
3. Teemu Selanne, 38
4. Peter Forsberg, 35 (on July 20)
As for career distinction, this would be my reshuffle:
• For the second consecutive summer, the Nashville Predators have an ownership mess, underscored by a dearth of activity in free agency (as in zero this year).
While GM David Poile, head coach Barry Trotz and their staffs deserve heaps of credit for prevailing under difficult circumstances, the constant franchise turmoil is unseemly and telling.
While there is a faction of concentrated, good fans in the region, NHL hockey still isn’t working in Music City.
• The Chicago Blackhawks say they intend to start the season with Cristobal Huet and Nikolai Khabibulin sharing the workload in goal.
Really? Maybe they have to promote that front for political reasons – and what if Huet gets hurt or crashes? – but the scenario feels an awful lot like the Vesa Toskala/Andrew Raycroft situation last summer in Toronto.
Everyone knew the Maple Leafs acquired Toskala to be the No. 1 and that Raycroft’s days in Toronto were numbered, even if management wouldn’t admit it.
• With the Red Wings having big contracts to sort out for 2009-10 – Henrik Zetterberg and Johan Franzen among them – my question is will they be able to afford goalie Ryan Miller, too?
There has been significant buzz the Lansing, Mich., native will eventually go home as an unrestricted free agent, but GM Ken Holland will have to do some fancy cap dancing to make it happen.
Jason Kay is the editor in chief of The Hockey News and a regular contributor to THN.com. His blog normally appears every weekend.
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