By Allan Muir
An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:
• While teams around the league are holding the line and signing their young but unproven stars to two-year bridge contracts, the Sabres decided they’d seen enough of Cody Hodgson to ink him to a stunning six-year, $25.5 million deal. GM Darcy Regier was under no pressure to make this kind of commitment, but he clearly placed a premium on continuity over Hodgson’s limited track record — and distressingly lax attitude toward his defensive responsibilities. This deal might work out just fine over time, but it was a financial risk the Sabres didn’t need to take.
• Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau had a ticket for one of the flights that was hijacked on 9/11. Here’s how he survived.
• The Florida Panthers have spoken with Tim Thomas, Ilya Bryzgalov and Jose Theodore about coming to camp on professional tryout contracts. No one is happier about this news than the guy who runs the @_FloridaMan Twitter feed.
• Patrick Roy proved he could be a winner while wearing the tools of ignorance. Now, Adrian Dater writes, comes his chance to show he can do the same while wearing a suit and tie.
• Gotta love Doug Armstrong’s take on the Blues’ failed contract talks with Alex Pietrangelo. Teams move on without injured players all the time — he pointed to Pittsburgh’s success while Sidney Crosby was in the press box last season — and that’s exactly how the Blues will deal with their star defender’s absence. No worries here. There’s lots of time to get a deal done, but the longer it takes, the tougher it will be for Pietrangelo to get off to the strong start he needs to impress Team Canada’s brass.
• Great news for Cory Schneider: Martin Brodeur isn’t ready to retire just yet. But hang in there, bud, because Brodeur is sure you’ll be the No. 1 guy in Jersey “within a few years.”