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LHinks: Bits and bytes post-woodland retreat

We won't often go quiet for a weekend -- so sorry about that -- but I just returned from an annual trip into the woods, delightfully relaxed, overfed and unplugged from the outside world. It was priceless time and laughter with friends -- too short, yet conveniently placed in the break between NHL playoff rounds. Still feeling a little zen-like and non-digital.

I returned to find THN's annual Draft Preview (shocker: Tavares is #1!) in my mailbox. But before we get back to our regularly scheduled theses and missives on random hockey topics, some of the news I missed, in a Monty Python state of mind:

"What ... is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?" -- John Tavares begins the cycle of the Islanders quietly bringing the Big Three draft candidates in for one-on-one meetings with Islanders brass, where he was surely peppered with incisive questions.

"I'm not dead yet." -- Because no land development news happens without a "how does this relate to the Islanders?" angle: Another hurdle surpassed for the Atlantic Yards development (and the quest to move the New Jersey Nets -- which I am told is a "basket-ball" team) -- to Brooklyn. There has been a long, hard-fought effort to stop this development, but if it ever launches -- now October is the target -- calls will renew for that to be the Lighthouse alternative for the Long Island Brooklyn Islanders.

"'Tis only a flesh wound." -- Seems I've written five Mike Sillinger career eulogies, but Greg Logan says Sillinger indeed intends to test his post-double-hip surgery body to make a comeback attempt. He admits it's a longshot and likely wouldn't come with the youth-focused Islanders. I wish this classy veteran all the best, but I fear the greatest problem is his game is so dependent on his speed, and it would be nearly miraculous for him to get that speed back at a post-op' 38 years of age.

"But can you not also build bridges out of stone?" -- Nick of the resourceful Lighthouse-tracking blog Let There be Light(house) scores an interview with sports economist Andrew Zimbalist. Nick finishes with his own conclusions about how the Lighthouse Project is unique (in mostly positive ways) from your average "Brother, can you spare an arena?" sports development plans.

"Lancelot, Galahad and I wait until nightfall, then leap out of the rabbit" -- James Mirtle had a couple of good posts on the Phoenix/Balsillie (and now Vegas?) situation. I don't mind the league seeing its expansion effort through, and I don't mind the league picking its partners (It's a club with limited membership, after all). But I do mind when they pretend everything is fine, or when they pretend there aren't a hundred reasons to consider a second team in Toronto/Southern Ontario.

But enough of that. The East final finally begins tonight. I enjoyed the transcript of the fairly interesting Brothers Staal conference call -- sometimes it's nice to see player quotes in unedited form.