The dog days of the NHL off-season are in full bloom, which makes the oppressive weather seem even more stifling than it actually is. So while we huddle around Twitter hoping for any sign of life from the furthest reaches of the hockey universe like the screen-watchers at SETI, here are some interesting links for your reading pleasure.
ISLANDERS/ATLANTIC DIVISION NEWS
- Michael Fornabaio talks with Anders Lee about his debut last season and what he expects to accomplish next year.
- Tim Panacco of CSN Philly sees the Flyers as the most improved team in the (old/new) Atlantic Division this off-season. Here's the totality of his review of the Islanders:
And what of the Islanders?
GM Garth Snow’s biggest move was to re-sign goalie Evgeni Nabokov and ink right wing Pierre-Marc Bouchard from Minnesota, who got $2 million for scoring eight goals last season after scoring just nine the year before.
Good job good effort, Tim. (h/t to Keith for tweeting that story)
GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN
- Monday, it became official: Ilya Kovalchuk is now a member of SKA St. Petersburg of the KHL.
- Let's face it: once the "retirement" was announced, everyone wanted to hear what Don Cherry had to say about it. Well, here's Grapes on honor, happiness, Christmas and Kovalchuk.
- Larry Brooks also offers his theory on why Kovalchuk chose to return to his homeland. Larry thinks it's...well, it's not because...actually, I have no idea what his point is.
- The Devils have some work to do to fill out their roster, and it appears they're closing in on Red Wings winger Damien Brunner.
AROUND THE NHL
- The Sabres have two excellent players that will both be unrestricted free agents at the end of the next season. But for now, Thomas Vanek and Ryan Miller are still on the roster and probably not going anywhere (at least, not yet).
- Habs Eyes on the Prize throws out some ideas for a better NHL.
- Ty Conklin, unlikely folk hero and a former Oiler, Penguin, Red Wing and a few other things has signed on to be a development coach for the Blues.
Finally, Sunday was Bastille Day. I know how I celebrated: