By Allan Muir
An annotated guide to this morning’s short list of must-read hockey stories:
• John Tortorella will be “good for the Canucks,” according to Kevin Bieksa, a player clearly smart enough not to tick off the man who will be parceling out his ice time next season. The rawboned defender also had a few thoughts on the Robert Luongo situation. It also appears to be good.
• Kevin Allen offers up his list of 10 surefire predictions for the 2013-14 season. Not really sure that calling the Devils to miss the playoffs is a prediction as much as it is a statement, like “weekends are good,” but there are a couple of beauties in here.
• The Rangers got their Hobbit under contract yesterday, signing forward Mats Zuccarello to a new one-year. That leaves Derek Stepan to be inked up, but there’s nowhere near enough cap space to get that deal done. Expect a couple of moves, either trades or demotions, to clear up cap space.
• With Joe Pavelski under contract, the San Jose Sharks already are looking ahead to three key players who will be unrestricted after next season.
• Mike Chambers writes that it has been an an exciting offseason in Colorado, signalling a change in the way the team’s management does business.
• The Washington Capitals are playing hardball with RFA winger Marcus Johnasson. Nice to see GM George McPhee taking the prudent path here. Johansson may break out with a monster season, but he hasn’t proven himself worthy of a big payday just yet.
• The rebuilding Calgary Flames have become the land of opportunity for young players. Free agents looking for a fast track to the NHL are lining up to sign on. The latest: Union College forward Josh Jooris, who inked a deal Tuesday.
• Sounds like Milan Lucic is enjoying a pretty chill summer.
• People love lists, and this one’s sure to gore plenty of oxes: Puck Daddy’s top-10 NHL goalies.
• Rory Boylen writes that the Jets have committed to a roster of potential, not results. So it’s not so bad that they locked down these players, he says, but that they locked them down for so long.
• Whaddya know…apparently that Zach Bogosian deal isn’t so bad after all.
• Now that the Leafs have agreed to a new deal with Mark Fraser, there’s less than $5 million in the kitty to sign Nazem Kadri and Cody Franson. That means one or two defenders could be on the move, including Franson and/or John-Michael Liles.
• The Canucks have signed Latvian national team member Ronalds Kenins. The playmaking winger made an impression at the team’s rookie camp to earn the deal. Sounds like he’s tied to his current team, Zurich, for another year though, and may not be available this season.
• What does a team owner do for his day with the Stanley Cup? Rocky Wirtz flew it to Vegas, baby! My question is, how did Phil Pritchard miss out on this trip?
• Helene St. James looks back at the NHL debut of Danny DeKeyser and ponders what lies ahead for the promising defender. SPOILER ALERT: good things.
• Not sure why this is running in July instead of, you know, at the deadline, but here’s a piece from the Flyers’ site on the five best deadline deals in Philadelphia history. Any list that starts with Wayne Hicks for Art Stratton is one to be reckoned with.