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Quick questions and thoughts

Tuesday, 07.29.2008 / 12:00 PM / Blog Central

It is the end of July, and we have another 45 days to endure before we can look forward to training camps opening in mid-September. But that doesn’t stop us from thinking hockey, every day. 
 
We have the Mats Sundin situation to keep us busy. Will he play again, if so, which team suddenly improves drastically?
 
We follow the Brendan Shanahan talk, will he re-sign with the New York Rangers, or will he add his leadership and goal-scoring qualities to another dressing room?
 
We’ve followed the big splash in Tampa closely this summer. Are there more surprises coming from the Bolts or are they set for training camp?
 
What will the L.A. Kings do to reach the salary-cap floor? They need to add salary and are a team to watch in the coming month.
 

The New York Islanders need a coach and have been in the interview process the last few weeks. Will they hire an established NHL coach, or surprise us with a name we may not be very familiar with?
 
What about the Detroit Red Wings? Will they be able to come to contract terms with Henrik Zetterberg and Johan Franzen (both UFAs on July 1, 2009), or will the contract talks drag on through the season, causing many anxious moments for Wings fans?
 
Chicago Blackhawks fans are wondering if they will go into the season with more than $12 million worth of goalies. Cristobal Huet and Nikolai Khabibulin make up a great tandem, but will that still be the case when the season rolls around? While talking Blackhawks, one major key to their season is a healthy Martin Havlat.
 
We haven’t heard much on the “shrinking” of goalie equipment.  If it is happening, the manufactures of the equipment need some time to make the necessary adjustments.
 
There has been some online chatter that the Boston Bruins need some offensive help. If Patrice Bergeron can return from a serious concussion, well, they may have found their offensive threat.
 
I am wondering if they are going to have a coin toss at the Winter Classic II in Chicago. My first choice would be to decide which way the wind is blowing and skate with the wind for two periods!
 
One request from me -- Can the hockey writers throughout North America please come back from vacation? I am getting tired of searching for hockey news from European Web sites, my online translator program is spitting out the word “sheep” whenever I do a translation from Swedish to English!
 
I am lucky enough to get CBC in the Detroit area.  I tuned in recently and caught Jim Hughson doing play-by-play of a baseball game. I was expecting, “Great Save Luongo,” but….
 
A dream of mine -- Since the Stanley Cup should be back in the Detroit soon, I wonder if the Keeper of the Cup can call me. I would love to be able to sit on my front porch with “Lord Stanley” for about an hour. The reaction from my neighbors and the looks I would get from the people driving by would be priceless!
 
Quick quiz
-- During the last eight seasons, this NHL player has not scored more than 30 goals, but has had at least 20 goals a season during that time period. He also plays for my surprise team for the upcoming season.  Any guesses?
 
If you need to watch some hockey, a great opportunity exists by checking out the NHL Network.  They are in the process of replaying every playoff game of the past season.
 
Did you know you can now stream NHL Home Ice on XM204 on your computer?  Get more subscription information here.

Quote of the Day

We think that Randy is a very good coach. Our players think that Randy is a very good coach. We think that he's going to get the most out of this group. With the addition of the two assistants, a bit of a different dynamic, we're very comfortable that this is a quality coaching staff that's going to maximize the potential of this team.

— Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis on head coach Randy Carlyle and his staff