Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while the fog officially rolled in this morning.
*NBC Sports announced their 109-game schedule for the NHL season, and it all starts with the Bruins season opener on Oct. 3 against the Washington Capitals. The Wednesday Night Rivalry games will be done away with and in its place Wednesday Night Hockey is going to feature a more diverse collection of teams and locations featuring non-traditional markets. It’s a great idea and completely called for given the emergence of teams like the Nashville Predators and Vegas Golden Knights.
*Good piece by FOH (Friend of Haggs) Tracey Myers on the lasting legacy of the recently passed Chicago Blackhawks great Stan Mikita when it comes to his work in the community.
*Dylan Larkin got a pretty good deal from the Detroit Red Wings that was deserved given his youth and his production to this point. So why on Earth are we writing 1,000 word think pieces on this? Yeah, I don’t know either.
*Speaking of the Red Wings, it sounds like Henrik Zetterberg may be a giant question mark for this upcoming NHL season based on his health. While it’s a big blog to the Red Wings competitiveness for next season, it might be the best thing for a team that’s still nowhere near competing for a Stanley Cup at this point.
*Three big questions facing the Edmonton Oilers as they ready for a massive season that will undoubtedly have jobs on the line based on an expected return to the playoffs.
*For something completely different: Well, this is one way to discourage cruise ships from going by your coastal home.
DALLAS - It’s more smoke than fire, hours ahead of the first round of the NHL draft at the American Airlines Center in Dallas on Friday night, but the rumblings involving Oscar Klefbom and the Bruins are out there in hockey circles.
Klefbom, 24, the Edmonton Oilers defenseman, would certainly be at the top of the list of available players that would fit a need for the Black and Gold. He would definitely fit Boston’s longstanding need for a frontline, top-four, left shot D-man that can play in all situations. Sure, he had a down season with five goals and 21 points in 66 games along with a minus-12 rating for the Oil last year, but he still was an absolute horse with 22:51 of ice time per game at an ideal 6-foot-3, 220-pound size.
Klefbom is also just a year removed from 12 goals and 38 points while playing in all 82 games and clearly he has the pedigree as a former first-round pick. There’s also the fact that he’s signed for four more years at just $4.167 million and would become a major salary-cap bargain if he can bounce back and continue to be a reliable top-4 D-man.
Torey Krug’s name has been speculated on multiple occasions to be involved as a power-play quarterback D-man who would fit a glaring need for Edmonton and there’s also obviously plenty of knowledge of Krug’s game with former Bruins management Peter Chiarelli and Keith Gretzky running things in Oil Country.
No confirmation as of yet with plenty of names being tossed around hours ahead of the draft, but this one should be something for Bruins fans to keep an eye on as teams begin closing trades this weekend.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while it’s, "game on!" tonight at TD Garden.
*It sounds like Peter Chiarelli knows the heat is on him to get the Edmonton Oilers back into the playoffs next season. Boy, that pressure cooker is building in Oil City.
*Speaking of Chiarelli, he also still very much believes in Milan Lucic. Which I hope he should given the contract he signed him to a couple of years ago.
*A piece in the San Jose Mercury News about whether or not Evander Kane deserves his bad boy rep. I don’t know him so I can’t say firsthand, but I’d say there’s enough smoke there for it to be true.
*Pro Hockey Talk discusses whether or not the Montreal Canadiens dressing room needs an attitude adjustment. I’d say that might be something to explore.
*Taylor Hall is embracing a star, leadership role with the New Jersey Devils after finding it hard to get that kind of traction in Edmonton.
*For something completely different: Eight awesome women from the comics are a good way to start your Thursday.