Jeff. F*@$ing. CARTER.Of course.
OK, I didn't just take the day off because of rage issues - in truth, I'm on the road for work this week and was mostly occupied with traveling to the paradise that is Pikesville, MD. (OK, so it's not exactly paradise - but I can get some pretty good deli food delivered to my hotel. Why is nobody in Columbus delivering pastrami on rye? There has to be a market...)
Anyhow, you're not here to read about my globe hopping adventures, you're here to talk some hockey.
One of the most interesting developments today as the confirmation that Tim Thomas plans to take the 2012-2013 season off. Claiming a need to refocus on his family, one wonders if this could be the groundwork for retirement. Thomas is, after all, 38 years old, and while the Bruins would probably appreciate trading his $5 million cap hit to another club in the right circumstances, it's worth asking just how much the Conn Smythe winner has in his tank.
The move also puts the Bruins in an interesting spot - while Tuukka Rask is certainly capable of taking over in net, the Finnish goaltender still needs a new contract, and his price likely went up. The repercussions could easily be felt in the goaltending free agent market, and makes Scott Howson's goal of securing a new #1 netminder for the Blue Jackets that much more difficult.
Speaking of Howson, the General Manager has been busy working with Tyler Wright on the NHL combine this past week, the subject of several posts from Puck Rakers, including the official decision to pass on 2010 draft pick Mathieu Corbeil and a "summer scuttlebutt" post that includes updates on the Rick Nash situation. (Mostly that there are no updates on the Rick Nash situation...)
Over at the Union Blue, Jas talks about Corbeil's weak showing at the Memorial Cup vs. Michael Chaput's MVP performance, while The Coach offers some bold ideas for an offseason game plan.
Do I agree with all of his ideas? No. But it's certainly some interesting ways that the team COULD be reshaped, and would certainly bring home a heightened sense of urgency for the franchise.
Speaking of which, DBJ has a worthwhile read on expectations. Again, I don't agree with all of his points, but it's quite worth considering, and the overall message - that the team's supposed "refocusing" has yet to be more than words - is valid, but I think we're likely to start seeing the "big changes" over the next few months.
Finally, back to the world at large - check out Backhand Shelf for players who offer fans a "secret pain", Puck Daddy highlights another amazing deli (I wonder how they'd react to a Jackets fan walking in?), the Rangers are looking at Alexander Radulov as a possible option while Marian Gaborik is sidelined (that, or the price on Nash went up...), the Kings feel they've reclaimed an identity, Scotty Bowman dislikes the current shape of the game, and Nicklas Lidstrom is, again, incredibly classy.
Hope you had a great weekend. We'll be back later!