Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while the NHL pre-July 1 wooing period is underway.
*Another draft pick has snubbed the team that selected him after their college career, and this time it’s the Buffalo Sabres.
*It’s a shame to see the demise of the CTV sports staff in Montreal. Brian Wilde is a friend and a colleague, and a voice on the Habs that deserved to be heart up in that city.
*In an emotional letter penned to the only NHL city that he’d ever played in, Marc-Andre Fleury has plenty to say about Pittsburgh.
*The Edmonton Oilers and Peter Chiarelli have signed rugged power forward Zack Kassian to a three-year, $5.85 million contract. Interesting risk here for a player that might be a fourth line guy, and has had some issues toeing the line in the past, but Kassian has been pretty effective for the Oil since they stuck out their neck for him.
*Teemu Selanne is a no-brainer for this season’s Hockey Hall of Fame class, and that’s great. But it will be a crime if three-time Stanley Cup champion and high-ranking lifetime scorer Mark Recchi doesn’t finally get into the Hall this season. Seriously, Recchi has the credentials statistically, he has the Stanley Cups, he has the time playing with some of the greatest players of his generation during his NHL career and he also happens to have been a great person and leader on top of all that. If former Bruins winger Recchi doesn’t hear his name announced this season then something is seriously flawed with the process.
*How exactly will the return of Brandon Saad impact both Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane over the next few seasons? One would imagine it’s going to be a positive impact.
*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Elliotte Friedman thinks that the Columbus Blue Jackets are making a push to be contenders, and will be in the mix for Ilya Kovalchuk.
*Speaking of Blackhawks former Cup champs, Niklas Hjalmarsson is bringing that winning tradition, experience and leadership to the Arizona Coyotes now that he’s been traded.
*For something completely different: What a crazy story this Han Solo movie intrigue has turned into, with reports that the movie’s crew “broke into applause” when it was announced that Ron Howard was taking over direction of the movie.