Happy 4th of July to our American readers, and to our Canadian friends, well, we hope your Canada Day hangovers aren't bothering you too badly today.
It was a busy night in the NHL, with the biggest news coming out of Minnesota, where the Wild traded Martin Havlat to the Sharks in exchange for Dany Heatley. The two former Senators swap, with one blamed for underperforming in the playoffs, and the other having not tasted the postseason during his entire run in the State of Hockey. Puck Daddy has a look at both sides of the trade - on the one hand, yes, the Wild become a more dangerous team, particularly with acquiring Setoguchi as well in the Brent Burns deal, but on the other, I think we can look at last season with the Jakcets for how well a team performs when they have one scoring line (well, maybe two?), and no offensive punch from their blue line...
On the Jackets' front, though Scott Howson is still seeking a d-man, and reportedly more interested in free agency than a trade at this point, he has made some solid moves to help Springfield, as promised, acquiring AHL all star Alexandre Giroux and Centre Nick Drazenovic on two way deals, and formally cutting ties with prospect Matt Rust.
After parting with Cody Franson and Matt Lombardi in a trade to the Maple Leafs for Brett Lebda and Robert Slaney to free up cap room (either for Shea Weber's new deal, or to help with fixing their RFA "oops", Nashville GM David Poille signs Niclas Bergfors in an attempt to turn rotten eggs into golden eggs once again.
Over at Jackets Report, Rob tries to answer the question "Are they better?"
Hockey Expressen over in Sweden is reporting former Jacket Anton Stralman may be waiting until October to find a new NHL job - if he can find one at all.
A story of a man who never was: The Taro Tsujimoto rookie card.
How excited is new Jackets' netminder Mark Dekanich? He's taking some new Blue Jackets gear with him on his honeymoon. Also check out his twitter feed, where he's been soliciting mask and pads ideas from CBJ fans.
What's stranger - a Ron Tugnutt signed appearance sheet from a Pontiac dealership, or that within 3-4 years, there will be people who never heard of Pontiacs?
A look from PHT at the Buffalo Sabres and Washington Capitals, who are already under a cap crunch and still have to deal with their RFA players. If Scott Howson does decide to go for a d-man via trade, they seem like very likely targets.
Stay safe today, remember to stand and remove your hat when the color guard brings the flag through, and let the pros play with the fireworks. We'll see you tomorrow!