Four games on the slate tonight. Real games. Not color-vs-color scrimmages or retreads-vs-neverweres or kids-vs-old bastards. Hockey is back, everyone.
- A disappointed Anders Lee and an injured Ryan Pulock were sent to Bridgeport yesterday to get the Islanders down to 23-players. [LHH, New$day, Lee takes the demotion in stride]
- Speaking of Sound Tigers, Aaron Ness is their new captain. [CT Post, BST release]
- Garik works his magic on the fancystats of Johnny Boychuk and Nick Leddy.
BrentChad Johnson is happy to see Boychuk's face on his new team. [IPB]
- Brett Cyrgalis sees the playoffs for the Islanders, but not a long stay there. [NY Post]
- Sean Gentille of The Sporting News makes his predictions and sees a Jack for Jack.
- The commissioner was on with Mike Francessa and said the Islanders and the league are doing great. No word on if the Sports Pope stayed awake the entire time. [IPB, CBS NY]
- Video: Barry Melrose likes the look of the Islanders this year. [NHL.com]
- John Tavares is New York's secret star. Let's change that. [Daily News]
- Wall Street Journal laments the loss of the NHL's "ol' barns" like Nassau Coliseum and yet, somehow, interviews exactly no one connected with the Islanders. Cool Clarence Campbell story, tho.
- The final opening night tailgating party at the Coliseum is approaching. RSVP now. [FanPost]
- As of this moment, what are your expectations of the Islanders? [FanPost in Va]
- You thought a night honoring the Fisherman jersey was weird? Check out the Nino Niederreiter celebration planned for the Coliseum this year. [Zeitgeist]
Around the NHL
- More injury news for the Blue Jackets, who lose Brandon Dubinsky indefinitely with a lower body ailment. [NHL.com]
- The Coyotes were a hair's breath from moving to Seattle before their lease agreement with Glendale was signed. [SB Nation]
- How NHL teams are built using free agency, waivers and the draft. [About.com]
- Down Goes Brown predicts the NHL's end of season awards, Vegas Style. [Grantland]
- "Lazy, coach-killing enigma" Alex Ovechkin spent a day with a 10-year old fan and made memories for her (and us) that will last a lifetime. If you read one link here, make it this one. [Russian Machine]
- Uncle Bob McKenzie and Darren "Leaf Throat" Dreger will join NBC Sports NHL broadcasts and the network will produce its own NHL draft coverage for the first time this year. This is big news for us stateside. [Awful Announcing 1, Awful Announcing 2]
- Meanwhile, confrontational Denver sportswriter Adrian Dater made some ill-advised comments on Twitter and will sit it out the first two weeks of the season. Bees, honey and all that. [Denver Post]
- Video: Steven Stamkos remembers goals like my mother remembers projects my dad never finished. [Deadspin]
- Brian Gionta is the Sabres captain this year, with Josh Gorges and Matt Moulson as alternates. [DBTB]
- The Devils have to be better at shootouts this year because they sure as hell couldn't be any worse. But will it be enough? [ILWT]
I don't know what year this Panthers promo video is from, but I hope it lives forever.