After Canada destroyed Russia 8-1 on Tuesday night in Winnipeg, one has to wonder why this tournament was put together in the first place. Now, I understand the long standing relationship between Canada/Russia dating back to the storied 1972 Summit Series, but that was 35 years ago, in a fierce political climate that no longer exists between the two countries. Since September 28, 1972, Canada has played Russia in a number of hockey championships, but it is not as if any of those games were more heated than say games against the United States. In fact, with Canada's close battles with the United States over the past couple of years, maybe they would have been better off staying on this continent and playing an eight game series throughout North America. I can guarantee you one thing, that series would not be this one-sided.
On to the morning papers:
- Craig Custance of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution discusses the negotiations that lie ahead for Don Waddell. Both Kari Lehtonen and Marian Hossa will be free agents in the summer of 2008.
- Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun provides an honest opinion for why the league has come out with new uniforms across the board.
- While Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun has the story behind Andrei Taratukhin heading back to Russia before his entry-level contract has been completed. Let's just say it is not like Darryl Sutter is going to lose too much sleep.
- A sense of excitement is percolating throughout the Columbus Blue Jackets dressing room, prompting one player to say the "dark ages are over." Maybe this is the year the Blue Jackets finally make the playoffs...
- Once a top prospect of the Detroit Red Wings, it appears Igor Grigorenko has made it all the way back from a serious car accident in 2003 writes George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press.
- Devastating news out of Edmonton last night, and as Terry Jones explains, Fernando Pisani's health is far more important than any on-ice results.
- Almost under the radar, Panthers' defenseman Jay Bouwmeester pleaded guilty of DWI on Tuesday in Edmonton. Let's hope that is the last time we hear about an NHL player and the law for the rest of the season.
- Excitement is abound for the newest Montreal Canadiens, says Pat Hickey in this morning's Montreal Gazette.
- The Predators have already sold 9,000 season tickets around 1,000 more than they had at the same time last year. Was everyone too quick to write off Nashville as a viable hockey market?
- Apparently Sens' goalie Ray Emery will be ready for the beginning of the regular season, but maybe not before that.
- The San Jose Mercury News previews the Jeremy Roenick era in the Bay Area and one has to wonder whether the Sharks would have been better off standing pat for the rest of the off-season.
- I'm sure it won't take Vesa Toskala long to realize that he isn't playing in San Jose anymore. Both Paul Hunter of the Star and Mike Zeisberger of the Sun have interesting pieces about the Finnish netminder and the challenges that await him in the pressure cooker that is Toronto.
- With all the troubles Mark Bell has gone through recently, according to the Toronto Sun he may yet be in the line-up to start the season.
- While Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province wonders if maybe this is the year Brad Isbister finally reaches his potential? Yours truly wonders, maybe not....