A few Pucks On The 'Net prior to free agency day:
- Prediction #1: Should Roberto Luongo's annual slow start occur this October, the gong show in Vancouver will fully rear it's ugly head again. I hope that does not impact how Team Canada looks at him for Sochi 2014. In my mind Luongo is the only lock for the Olympic team among Canadian goalies, though he is not a lock as the starter.
- Prediction #2: John Tortorella will be the coach who breaks up the Sedin twins for an extended period of time, though I suspect they will reunite for every power play. I've never been a proponent of the idea, as Vancouver's success has a direct link with the Sedins success. But I am open to it.
- Congratulations goes out to life long coach Clare Drake on his being named to the Order of Canada. He is one of the great teachers of the game.
- There was a time when Vincent Lecavalier was, in my mind, the best player in the game. He is still a fave of mine, though he has not been at that level in some time. I wish him all the best in Philadelphia.
- By the way, are we sure there is a salary cap? Because it seems the Flyers sign pretty much everybody - except goaltenders. And now Claude Giroux's extension is rumoured to be as high as $8.3 million!
- Free agency will no doubt be another few days of lunacy in the NHL. But now more than ever I suspect free agency is going to be like a game of high stakes musical chairs. Players that do not sign early may find themselves without "a chair" or at least without a chair with their desired price tag. Teams that are patient should be able to find should be able to find some nice bargains in a few weeks.
- That being said, this may be the weakest year for UFAs in quite some time. Does that make RFA offer sheets more likely?
- Speaking of free agents - it seems new Maple Leafs boss Tim Leiweke is very interested in bring in Wayne Gretzky in some sort of executive role. Wayne's return to NHL prominence is over-due, but I'm not sure Wayne will be satisfied with any role not directly involving the game.