Remember the good old days when it was Lidstrom winning the Norris, then there was everyone else? Just utter domination. He could be one of the top three most complete hockey players our generation will witness.I never saw Orr, but the way old-timers talk about him, I sure hold him in high regard. I believe we will do the same to the youngings that never had the pleasure of watching old Saint Nik. When he retired last year,I was more than pleased. Me, along with a lot of other people, were expecting the imminent collapse of the Red Wing Empire. It was looking like they would miss the dance for the first time in 21 years, as well, late into the season, until Henrik Zetterburg woke up. Now? They look like the 2008/09 Wings that went to the Finals two years in a row. Speaking of which….

Cue the Dream Team from out east. The Penguins look even more loaded than the team that met the Wings back to back just four years ago. Kris Letang is doing his best Brian Leetch impression, and Crosby/Malkin look all-world. Neal and Iginla are playing great, and Dupuis and Kunitz are keeping up with thier regular season pace. M.A. Fleury looks great on the bench, with Voukoun putting up some crazy numbers in the net. Just a scary, scary team. Whoever wins between Boston(ahem…any time now) and New York is in real tough…..

I guess what I’m trying to get at,is I kinda see a Detroit v Pittsburgh final coming up. Now,of course I reserve the right to change my mind if San Jose comes into the west final, and blows the doors off someone. Logan Couture is taking it to another level,and the refs seem to have it in for LA, for whatever reason.Annti Niemi is very, very underrated as well. All I’m hoping for is some good conference finals and a seven game final. Too much? 

So……if Brad Richards is bought out, do you take a chance and sign him to a 2-3 million/year contract? I know he was never lightning on skates, but I’m willing to bet being a big player on the negotiating team for the CBA over the summer hindered his training a wee bit. Plus, old Torts isn’t afraid to make a roster move like that, even if its his old buddy from TBay. I don’t think he would be much worse than Horcoff as a third line center, plus he could play PP and has much better offence. Something to think about….

With the salary cap being in place for almost a decade, we are finally starting to see the effects on free agency. Not a lot of big names get there anymore, and I doubt that will change any time soon. Teams just can’t afford to let those guys go,because you don’t know what else you’ll be able to get. A win for fans of a lot of teams, but TSN needs some ratings in July and this is not helping….

Craig ‘MBA” MacTavish had a conference call with season ticket holders a few days ago, and laid out a few things for the upcoming season. I’ll admit, I was wary of him coming in, but the more I hear and read, the more okay I am with it. He sounds focused and determined. While that doesn’t pay the bills, its a fresh look from what Oiler fans are used to. Example: MacT didn’t mention ‘poise’ once. Ahhhhhhh. Like fresh cut grass on a sunny morning. Laid out some plans for the draft, mentioned moving the pick, talked about signing Gagner, and the need on defence. Motivated his goalie very Jedi mind tricky like. All good stuff. I think this draft might be more interesting than the last few……And I can not wait to see the Oilers opening night roster next year…….



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