Monday morning means back to work for most of us, but for Mark Dekanich it's the first day of the new job. Welcome to Columbus, Dex. Welcome home.
Believe it or not, the goal of creating parity in the NHL is working. The NHL leads all major North American sports leagues in championship parity in the 21st century.
Over at DBJ, he's thrilled at the results of the offseason evaluation and planning sessions conducted by the Jackets. LTL has a similar reaction, but he's concentrating less on the plans, and more on the attitude behind them. I said in the past that J.P. McConnell appeared to be slowly stepping into more of an active ownership role as he dealt with the many areas affected by his father's passing. It seems that he's now fully invested as an owner and leader for the organization, and I look forward to it.
Part of the reason there is an incredible vibe of excitement in Buffalo isn't just that Terry Pegula was willing to pull out his checkbook, it's that he's a fan, he wants to see the team win, and he has a visible energy and excitement that comes across every time he speaks about the club. People are excited because HE is excited, and it makes all the difference.
Though I think he has a somewhat quieter way of handling the day to day operations, I believe that J.P. Mac is exactly the same kind of owner. He's a fan (hell, he used to play the game!), he loves the city, he loves this team, and he has given the mandate that winning is the goal, and opened up his checkbook to help make it happen. He's been doing the right things to get this team going in the direction it needs to go, and though I will always be indebted and respectful to his father for bringing us this team and starting them on the road, I think J.P. might go down in their history as the man who lead them to glory.
Ryan Malone wants to turn back the clock and get back to being a 20 goal scorer. First step - go back to Pittsburgh and play on Malkin's line again...
The guys at Fantasy Hockey Scouts asked me to do a Blogger Breakout for the Jackets. Take a look!
Remember when MTV did videos? No? Remember when MTV at least had cool cartoons? Yeah. Now we have Lady Gaga in drag pretending to be Roberto Luongo for the VMAs, which is kind of like getting the cool cartoons back. Except not. And she probably needed a small ocean of product. But. Y'know. Anyhow.
Puck Daddy talks a bit about the NHL's coaching landscape, and how the "old guard" really keeps changing more often than we think.
Over at New Jackets Fan, Chris sets an expectation for what he knows about the game. Now we can go in and "educate" him. Chris, if you're reading this, remember that a player is offsides if he enters the offensive zone without the puck, unless he is in pursuit of the golden snitch.
NHLPA rep Daniel Paille doesn't think we need to worry about labor issues when the next CBA comes up. Interesting and smart that they're watching how the NFL handled their situation, and the current NBA drama.
PHT takes another look at Ilya Bryzgalov, and if he is really the answer in Philadelphia.
Last but not least - we salute hockey moms.