Morning Skate: Tuesday, Oct. 9

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Morning Skate: Tuesday, Oct. 9

The NHL has cancelled all visits to Ann Arbor this month to check out the Big House in advance of Januarys Winter Classic, according to the Detroit Free Press. So that would certainly push some to make the leap that the Winter Classic is in danger of getting pulled into the undertow amid the NHL lockout. Uh-oh.

Providence Bruins forward and UMass-Lowell alum Bobby Robins has his own websiteblog, and its pretty damned entertaining. Good writing from a scrappy kid that can also fight. Who would have thought?

Does it make sense for Markham, Ontario to build a major arena without a pro sports team already in place to support the facility? Probably not, but it makes you wonder what kind of certainty they have about getting a franchise in the future, doesnt it?

Some fun facts about the WHA, but this link is really all about a funny picture of an 18-year-old Wane Gretzky blowing out the candles on a birthday cake.

Dominik Hasek retires at 47 years old after not getting any interest from the NHL when he announced his comeback. This is Haseks third retirement announcement. This is not a recording.

Good piece by Roy MacGregor detailing that its not always pucks at play in NHL labor talks, and many times it comes down to owners and high-powered execs on massive ego trips. Shocking? Well, not really.

For something completely different: John Cusack joined Peter Gabriel on stage at the Hollywood Bowl this weekend and was carrying a boombox when Gabriel went into In Your Eyes. Thats pretty cool for anyone that digs the 1980s.

Morning Skate: Former PC coach Army on Avs' rough year

Morning Skate: Former PC coach Army on Avs' rough year

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Star Wars being released today. Amazing that the power and influence of the best movie franchise in cinematic history are just as strong today as it was four decades ago. I still remember my first time seeing it as a very little kid with my parents at the dearly departed Starlight Drive-In in North Reading.

*Good guy and recently fired Colorado Avalanche assistant coach Tim Army talks about a rough past season with the Avs, and some of the difficulties they faced in a truly terrible season. The former Providence College head coach and good hockey man shouldn’t have much trouble finding his next gig.

*A great move by the Arizona Coyotes, who have hired former Bruins forward Craig Cunningham as a pro scout after his awful medical situation last season that resulted in his leg getting amputated. Cunningham is a hard worker and a hockey lifer, and that’s exactly the kind of traits that the best scouts have in huge amounts.

*The New Jersey Devils have fired a number of employees after a rough season, including a groundbreaking radio analyst.

*With the ultra-competitive demand for an edge in NHL player development, teams are beginning to look to Europe for more and more diamonds in the rough. The Bruins tried that with Joonas Kemppainen, but it didn’t work out so well.

*One of the real big advantages of the Nashville Predators getting to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time is a national spotlight getting flashed on PK Subban, who shows off his personality in a rare ESPN interview of a hockey player featured on the network's magazine show.

*Ryan Johansen isn’t done talking smack to Ryan Kesler after the Predators prevailed over the Ducks, and it’s some delicious playoff hatred.

*Is the NHL ready to draft another goaltender with the last name DiPietro in the first round? Inquiring minds want to know, but I’d recommend the New York Islanders take a pass just in the name of avoiding a repeat of some bad history for them.

*Taylor Hall sounds pretty bitter about the whole “Edmonton Oilers getting into the playoff without him” thing, doesn’t he?

*For something completely different: As mentioned above, it’s a milestone birthday for the Star Wars franchise hitting 40 years old today. Boy, this Boston Globe movie review was right on the money back in 1977.