**I wonder if Mikael Samuelsson will be as good in Vancouver as he was in Detroit, or if the Red Wings magic will run dry. Look at his stats: http://www.nhl.com/ice/player.htm?id=8467463
Not good anywhere before Detroit, then solid production in Motown. Did he simply not get a chance in those other places, or was there something about playing in the Wings' potent lineup that rubbed off on him? The Canucks have $7.5 million riding on the former.
**Karma, thy name is Hossa? First, he didn't get what he expected from his one year in Detroit (he can say all he wants about how he still had a great season; sorry, Marian, you went there solely to win the Cup, you didn't, therefore, not a great season.) Then, he signed in Chicago, promptly stating lines such as, and I'm paraphrasing here as I don't have the exact quotes in front of me, "It's nice to go to a hockey town to play on a young, exciting team."
A double slap to Detroit, similar to the slap he dealt Pittsburgh after rejecting a lucrative contract offer from the Penguins.
Now, news comes that Hossa had a shoulder injury, possibly first suffered in the 2008 final with Pittsburgh, and will have surgery that will keep him out for at least the first two months of next season. Ouch. Good luck with the rest of that contract, Chicago. The injury might not matter in the long run, and probably won't, but what's next on the list?
(As for anyone saying, "Guess that's why Hossa didn't do anything in the final." Well, Max Talbot also had shoulder surgery and will miss the first month of the season or longer, but he still managed to score four goals against Detroit, including two in Game 7. Just saying.)
**Lesson No. 1 if you're going to hand out a contract that is slated to last 10 years or more: Make a pact with whatever devil or demon spirit your religion anti-worships to ensure the health of the player you're signing.
This week, the Islanders signed Martin Biron to a one-year contract. Earlier, New York inked Dwayne Roloson for two seasons. If you're counting at home, that's two starters from last season - with the Flyers and Oilers respectively - that Garth Snow has signed for the club.
Whither, DiPietro? Rick's contract - signed in the fall of 2006 and still has 12 freaking years remaining - is really looking like a bad idea. I can't imagine Biron or Roloson would be willing to play in the AHL at some point, so it's probably logical to assume DiPietro won't be healthy. Twelve more years, Isles fans. Hopefully John Tavares distracts people from that.
**I know this is partially beating a dead horse, and that nothing can be done about it, but I wonder if Minnesota made the right choice in signing Niklas Backstrom to an extension. If Josh Harding is as good as to be believed, Doug Risebrough should have looked into trading Backstrom at the deadline and roll with Harding as the No. 1. Maybe Risebrough tried and didn't get anything he liked. But again, that's in the past. I felt Backstrom was their biggest trade chip as the deadline approached, before and after Backstrom's extension.
**Back to Chicago briefly for this Dale Tallon-Stan Bowman-John McDonough mess. It's become common knowledge that the Blackhawks are in trouble with the salary cap. Then there was the qualifying offer snafu. Based on what I've read, Bowman was the team's capologist and held responsibilities that include dealing with qualifying offers. Yet he's now the one in charge of the ship?
I've seen McDonough praised for things he did in his previous job with the Chicago Cubs. No one seemed to mention the number of championships he won with the Cubs. (Hint: It's zero.) I hope this ends well for Blackhawks fans.
(Well, assuming they don't ever meet the Penguins in the final.)
**Don't look now, but the Lightning management is showing some signs of knowing what the heck they're doing. I know, I'm scared too.
**Is the signing of Nik Antropov enough for Ilya Kovalchuk to sign an extension in Atlanta? Either way, the Thrashers' top two lines aren't bad with players like Bryan Little, Todd White, Slava Kozlov, Kovalchuk and Antropov. Kari Lehtonen is going to have to step up for Atlanta though, or they need to find someone who can man the pipes.
**Is it still summer? Ye gods this season is long. I might as well wrap this up now and go find something to do until it's hockey time again.