Welcome to the Outdoor Life Network, NHL. Sporting giant ESPN took a pass on your new brand and so the home of the Tour de Lance takes over. Which will draw higher ratings in the U.S.? More evidence of the work the league must do to win back even the corporate fans.
Will the rule changes help? In Edmonton, Paul Coffey, who will have his No. 7 retired in October, thinks the game will be better and the onus will be on the defencemen to move the puck.
Will the salary cap help? Perhaps fans in places like Nashville will watch closer, now that the big spenders have been brought back to the pack.
But we digress.
Sorry Leaf fans, you wanted Anson Carter, and for a million bucks, (about one-third of an Alexander Mogilny) he probably would've been worth it. But Carter chose Vancouver where he'll tutor the Sedin twins.
"I just think their explosive lineup attracted me the most," he said.
How will the Maple Leafs do this year? Are the playoffs just a dream? Or will they march into the spring on another playoff run? Click the comments link below and tell us what you think.
Off we go:
Looking east to Ottawa, the Senators and sniper Marian Hossa still can't agree on who their franchise player is. An arbitrator may have to decide. Meanwhile, the rumour mill yesterday had the Sens working to trade defenceman Wade Redden because he wouldn't fit under the cap. But both Redden and the Senators want him in Ottawa.
In Tampa, the defending champs (yes, still) have Vincent Lecavalier locked up, now they'll try and keep MVP Martin St. Louis and later Brad Richards in town. But the salary cap won't make it an easy task. Just ask general manager Jay Feaster.
"In the long term, this system will be good for our franchise," Feaster said. "But right now, with the players we have at the age they are, it's killing us."
How does Richards feel about the penny-pinching that's already cost the Bolts goalie Nikolai Khabibulin?