* Houston will get a NHL team. I'm certain of it, and was before there was any interest expressed from Texas. Obviously the odds of a team have greatly increased, but don't expect anything imminently. Gary Bettman will tell Houston to sit patiently and they will get a team. The league likes to have interested groups with deep pockets and a ready arena hanging around as leverage. Ottawa and Calgary are going through tough negotiations to get a new arena. So are the New York Islanders and, well, the Arizona Coyotes are forever a mess. Watch Bettman use this to his benefit to clean up a couple of messes and then milk $500,000,000 out of Houston as an expansion team in 3 or 4 years.
* What ever happened to the Quebec group that wanted an expansion team. They've gone very quiet.
* Winnipeg's Blake Wheeler really reminds me of Trevor Linden in his heyday. Big bodies, great leaders. Wheeler has the same look when using his body in the slot to drive the net. But Wheeler is a much better skater.
* If I had to pick the Stanley Cup finalists for 2018 right now, Tampa and St. Louis would be my choices. By no coincidence, those teams boast the top defensemen in the league - Victor Hedman and Alex Pietrangelo.
* I'm still upset that Jeremy Jacobs is in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Good to see growing support for Fran Rider. She is a true builder of hockey.