Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while not loving Game of Thrones doling out cameos to the likes of Ed Sheeran.
*So what can the Montreal Canadiens reasonably expect from Jonathan Drouin as he joins them for next season?
*PHT writer Joey Alfieri veteran NHL defenseman Brian Campbell retiring and getting set to join the Chicago Blackhawks organization in his post-playing career.
*Ben Bishop is the biggest name to change in the goaltending situation for the Dallas Stars, but it feels like there’s been an organizational shift in Dallas to start improving things in that department. That’s definitely a good thing.
*Interesting stuff and insight with FOH (Friend of Haggs) Josh Cooper, who has lived an interesting sports journalism life covering the Predators beat and writing for Puck Daddy over the last five years.
*Has the offseason for the Los Angeles Kings been brilliant or an unmitigated disaster? It feels like a couple of pretty wide extremes to me, but that’s what the Hockey News is asking.
*Love the Georges Laraque insight on Edmonton’s newfound toughness, and how it relates to the success that the Oilers had last season. This all ties back to Milan Lucic, Patrick Maroon, Darnell Nurse and Zack Kassian
*For something completely different: Boy, wouldn’t it be a crying shame if we see Gillette Stadium just filled with thousands of clown T-shirts on opening night of the NFL season?
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while waiting for the big frenzy to begin.
*The Chicago Blackhawks reunion tour continues with Patrick Sharp expected to return to Chicago on a one-year deal.
*While it’s still early in the process, the St. Louis Blues like what they see so far out of their Russian first-round pick.
*Eric Lindros had his NHL career derailed by concussions and continues to make that issue part of his life’s work.
*Jaromir Jagr headed to unrestricted free agent market after the Florida Panthers have cut ties with him after a couple of strong seasons. It won’t be too long before you’ve got to add another member to the Traveling Jagr group.
*The Winds of Change are blowing ahead of NHL free agency as players change NHL addresses and shift the balance of power. Also, a great Scorpions song by the way.
*Per my friends at CSN Philly, first-round pick Nolan Patrick is going to miss Flyers development camp after another surgery. Boy, you sure hope this kid can get past the injury stuff and turn into the player he’s mean to be.
*For something completely different: Love hearing that Quicksilver is returning for the "Dark Phoenix" movie along with the bulk of the X-Men cast.
The Vegas oddsmakers don’t think the Boston Bruins are one of the heavy favorites to win a Stanley Cup next season, and that’s probably not a huge surprise for anybody around the Black and Gold scene. But the Bruins have actually lost ground from last season, according to Bovada as Boston sits at 33-to-1 odds to win the Cup next season after things were decided between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Nashville Predators on Sunday night.
The Bruins were at 25-to-1 odds to win the Cup at this time a year ago, and stand with the same odds entering the offseason as a couple of fellow playoff teams, the Calgary Flames and Ottawa Senators. It feels a bit odd for the Bruins to have longer odds next season after qualifying for the playoffs for the first time in three seasons, and doing so while introducing exciting young players like David Pastrnak, Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo into the lineup while reloading their NHL roster.
But then again the Vegas numbers guys have the Tampa Bay Lightning at 12-to-1 to win the Cup next season, and that means Vegas thinks there will be at least an Eastern team or two hops past the B's next season.
Not surprisingly, the reigning Cup champ Pittsburgh Penguins are the Vegas favorites to win it all again at 9-to-1 odds to hoist the Cup at the end of the 2017-18 season.
The Penguins defeated the Nashville Predators in six games and became the first NHL team in the salary cap era to win back-to-back titles with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin driving the bus for the Pens in a big, big way. Here are the complete odds for all 31 NHL teams with the Vegas Golden Knights included as a 150-to-1 longest-of-longshots as an NHL expansion team joining the mix out West next season after this month’s expansion draft:
Pittsburgh Penguins 9/1
Chicago Blackhawks 12/1
Edmonton Oilers 12/1
Tampa Bay Lightning 12/1
Washington Capitals 12/1
Anaheim Ducks 14/1
Nashville Predators 14/1
Dallas Stars 16/1
Minnesota Wild 16/1
Montreal Canadiens 16/1
New York Rangers 16/1
Toronto Maple Leafs 16/1
Los Angeles Kings 18/1
Columbus Blue Jackets 20/1
San Jose Sharks 22/1
St. Louis Blues 28/1
Boston Bruins 33/1
Calgary Flames 33/1
Ottawa Senators 33/1
Florida Panthers 40/1
New York Islanders 40/1
Philadelphia Flyers 40/1
Winnipeg Jets 40/1
Arizona Coyotes 66/1
Buffalo Sabres 66/1
Carolina Hurricanes 66/1
Detroit Red Wings 66/1
Colorado Avalanche 75/1
New Jersey Devils 75/1
Vancouver Canucks 75/1
Las Vegas Golden Knights 150/1