Greetings. It's a Monday, so it's probably time for you to catch up on reading while pretending to work. We would like to help. (With the reading. Not the work.)
The official site confirms, and elaborates quite nicely, on why Ville Pokka wasn't at prospect camp earlier this month: Great story on his obligatory military training. I hear the Finnish armed services teach you how to kill urban Rangers.
Via DavidSweden, a hockeysverige piece on Islanders dynasty figure Stefan Persson. [Google Translate action here]
Via Kevin Schultz of IPB, Lubomir Visnovsky isn't at Slovakia's Olympic camp, due to an a malady that requires physical therapy. That info is pretty low in the story though, so ... I wouldn't worry too much? I say 36-year-olds shouldn't have to attend summer Olympic camps anyway. Update: Kevin finds more, with bonus pictures of Lubo
being Lubo biking. Not to worry, I think, is the message here.
CBS/WFAN profiles the Islanders Army of Section 329.
Hockey's Future reviews the Islanders' draft.
Read this Columbus "meet the new neighbors" piece on the Isles and spot the hilarious error in judgment.
In case you
missed it were on vacation: IPB sifts through the spate of woe-is-Brenden Kichton pieces | FanPosts: Why the DP deal was always bad, plus looks at the Isles schedule and whether the Hamonic-MacDonald pairing is getting it done. There was also some musical debate in comments amid the re-signings of Bailey and Hickey, but...
- Speaking of the Olympics, U.S. and Canadian invitations are expected today or soon, with Mike Babcock expected to officially be named Canada coach again today. I can't be arsed to think much about the Olympics in the middle of summer -- wake me up when it's time to name the real rosters -- but by all means muse away in comments about who should be where.
- Also on the Olympics: The usual "time is running out and this is way over budget" Olympic story, except the corruption in this one goes up to eleven. Or however you say "eleven" in Russian.
- Of more urgent NHL-related importance: Arbitration hearings begin today. If Sam Gagner's case reaches a hearing today, he's expected to be seeking $5.5 million. Worse for the Oilers, he'll be a UFA when this year is over, so the leverage to demand a long-term deal is in his hands. UPDATE: Gagner signs, three years, $14.4 million.
- The Blues avoided arbitration with Chris Stewart by reaching a two-year, $8.3 million deal.
- Other arbitration stuff: Winnipeg Jets sign Paul Postma to two-year $1.425MM deal - Arctic Ice Hockey | Nashville Predators News: Nick Spaling Agrees To 1-Year Contract - On the Forecheck |
- Not arbitration, but contract extensions include a really nice one for the Flyers and Sean Couturier.
- Of potential NHL news, the Devils may be licking their Kovalchuk wound with a shot of Jagr.
- Curiosities of the NHL schedule include the Smurfs spending the first nine games away from the Garden due to further
- Funny from Down Goes Brown at Grantland: The Faker's Guide to Advanced Stats in the NHL - The Triangle Blog - Grantland
- Oh, eh, we gotta funny guy here, is that right? Rich Clune: One of the Funniest Hockey Players on Twitter - Sunbelt Hockey Journal
- The Tennessee jock tax is like tax money direct to stadium owners, except it's athletes' tax money.
- This tiny Tolchinsky guys made waves at Canes camp, so look for someone to offer the undrafted Russian a deal, maybe.
- Mostly not hockey-related, but the SI sports media column is great and covers most sports.
Did I mention musical debates? Meh, we won't revisit those anytime soon...