Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while all armed and ready for tonight’s return of Game of Thrones.
*Funny video as Jonathan Drouin goes undercover in Montreal to see how many Habs fans might know who he is. I don’t think he’ll be able to do this so anonymously next summer after his first season in Montreal.
*Milan Lucic gave the Oilers some major street cred and was a big part of their skill players getting the room to operate, but there is already noise being made about his contract. Did Peter Chiarelli know that the Oilers were probably going to be stuck with an overpriced Lucic in the final couple of years of that contract? Yeah, I think so. But there is zero doubt in my mind that Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl don’t have the kind of breakthrough seasons that they had offensively if Lucic, Patrick Maroon and guys like them weren’t regularly in the lineup for Edmonton. They are a tough team to play against, and that’s exactly what Chiarelli’s blueprint has been for team-building in his time as a GM in the NHL. This is the cost of doing business if you’re the Oilers, and there’s no point in whining and crying about that contract while Edmonton is building toward a Cup contender. If they win, nobody should be complaining.
*It sure looks like John Tortorella is going to be in line for a big pay raise out in Columbus given some of the other coaching salaries around the league.
*It’s an interesting question to ask how the Arizona Coyotes are going to play under new head coach Rick Tocchet.
*Here are four ways that a brand new ownership group could be a very good thing for the Carolina Hurricanes.
*With the retirement of Andrew Ference, here’s a look at other steals in the ninth round of the NHL Draft that no longer exists.
*For something completely different: A fun piece about which missing Game of Thrones characters will return this season. I’ve expected to see Gendry again toward the end, so I’m not surprised to see him toward the top of the list.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while trying to stay out of the heat. It’s a scorcher in Boston when it gets to 95 degrees before noontime.
*Jeremy Roenick had quite the man on the street odyssey for NBC Sports during the Stanley Cup Final as he ate hot chicken, got milk in his eyes and was tossed off a mechanical bull among other things.
*I wholly agree with Pro Hockey Talk that other NHL teams can’t “model” their blueprint for success off what the Penguins have done over the last couple of seasons. It’s an extremely flawed premise with Pittsburgh. It all starts with having the best player in the world in Sidney Crosby, and you can’t copycat that next season, or the season after, or anytime soon unless you get really fortunate in the draft. You probably also have to bottom out to get that kind of lottery pick in the first place, and then make some really good choices on the roster. The Pens had no business winning a Cup without Kris Letang, and you won’t see any other teams doing it without a bona fide, stud No. 1 defenseman in his prime anytime soon.
*The Golden Knights give you a “cribs style” tour of their new practice facility, which should be up and running once the season gets going.
*PHT writer Joey Alfieri says that Montreal defenseman Nathan Beaulieu might not be long for the Habs organization. He doesn’t feel like the kind of defenseman that’s going to be of much use to Claude Julien and his preference for big, strong D’s that can handle business at the point of attack.
*The Columbus Blue Jackets will not be subjecting Scott Hartnell to the NHL expansion draft as he wasn’t approached about his no-movement clause.
*Here’s a really good piece on Scott Darling and his ability to overcome alcoholism and social anxiety while working his way up the ladder to the NHL. He has some really kind words for hockey agent Matt Keator as well, a great guy and obviously a loyal agent sticking with Darling through the tough times on his way to becoming a No. 1 goalie with the Carolina Hurricanes.
*Looks like the Denver University hockey program is going to have another strong season with a talented incoming class after last year’s successful campaign.
*For something completely different: Mark Hamill doesn’t know what his life would be like without Star Wars. Well, that makes two of us.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while everybody is working for NHL All-Star weekend.
*Oh, the things that you can hear when an NHL referee keeps his microphone on while barking at players.
*Famous animal lover John Tortorella left his Blue Jackets team prior to the All-Star break because one of his dogs is ailing.
*PHT writer Cam Tucker gives the rundown on the Edmonton Oilers and the sustained success they’re enjoying.
*Jaromir Jagr has been named one of the NHL’s top-100 players, and is appreciative of the honor in the twilight of his career.
*All-Star New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh continues to grow into the role of captain for the Blueshirts.
*Tommy Wingels jumped right into the lineup for the Ottawa Senators, and pushed Chris Neil into healthy scratch status.
*The Hockey News’ Ken Campbell has Doug Wilson ready to join an exclusive club as the general manager of the San Jose Sharks.
*For something completely different: apparently Carrie Fisher wanted Harrison Ford to sing at her “In Memorial” after she passed away.