As the off season grows shorter, we dip into our video stockpile for a question and answer session with Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
This was taken the day before the NHL Awards show at the Palms in Las Vegas. Stamkos discusses sharing the Rocket Richard Trophy with Sidney Crosby, his first meeting with Steve Yzerman, having breakfast with the Lightning's new coach, Guy Boucher, and several other topics.
In Pred Nation...
The Predators signed free agent defenseman Aaron Johnson to a two-way deal on Tuesday afternoon. Johnson split last season between Edmonton and Calgary and appeared in 41 games and tallied four goals and added six assists.
And from @kcwilson: Aaron Johnson will follow in the footsteps of Rob Zettler, Dan Keczmer and Dan Hamhuis at Training Camp. He's wearing No. 2 That didn't take long to find a new number 2. Jay Levin speculates that Johnson could push Cody Franson for power play time.
Joshua Cooper arrives on the scene as the Tennessean's new Pred's beat writer with excerpts from interviews with Jon Blum and Chet Pickard from the Rookie Showcase in Toronto. He also has a few thoughts on Aaron Johnson's plus/minus stats in his career.
Mark Willoughby discusses "Fehr of the Unknown" in a well reasoned post at The View from 111. This is a must read for all, especially those who assume a strike is imminent.
Jim Diamond writes about Pred's Chief Amateur Scout, Jeff Kealty's short off-season. I don't know when this guy could take a vacation with all the summer activity with 17 year old players.
As Chet Pickard and Jon Blum pose for pictures today in Toronto, we get a preview of Chet's mask for this season from In Goal Magazine.
Kevin Klein is the player of the day at On the Forecheck.
Jeremy at Section 303 has his all-time Predators team. He also promises a second team soon.
Amanda at Pucklines has her weekly Central Division Shakedown. She also has an analysis of the Aaron Johnson signing.
Darren Dreger speculates on whether the Devils will receive an additional penalty from the league in the Kovalchuk situation.
Chris Wassel, the Devils Examiner, is growing impatient waiting on the NHL decision on Kovalchuk.
From @TGfireandice: According to @RealKyper, Kovy deal numbers: 6/6/11/11.3/11.3/11.6/11.8/10/7/4/1/1/1/3/4. Total 15 years. $100 mil. Rich Chere has the numbers in a more readable form.
Ryan Porth has a good post chronicling the 62 days of the Kovalchuk saga (so far).
Damien Cox looks back in the NHL's history to throw a little more gas on the Kovi fall out fire.
The first Tweet from the court room on the verdict for Khabibulin came from @azvibesports: Bulin sentenced to Min fine and min sentence and treatment. Here is his complete story.
Puck Daddy has more details on the Khabibulin conviction and sentencing. This isn't going away quickly or quietly. I doubt we see the Bulin wall anytime soon.
Derek Zona at Copper and Blue looks at potential immigration issues for Khabibulin.
Mark Spector also discusses the rough road ahead for the Oilers with the Khabibulin distraction.
Finally, the Battle of Alberta has the post to end all posts on the matter from @mc79hockey.
Around the NHL...
Chris Chelios officially retired and is moving to the Detroit front office. Craig Custance has video and a story about Chelios, who he feels is a top three best all-time American defensemen.
Trivia from @helenenothelen: Chris Chelios' retirement leaves only 2 players born in the 60s under NHL contracts: Mark Recchi (2/1/68) and Dwayne Roloson (10/12/69)
Ryan at the RLD starts his 30 teams in 30 days today with the New Jersey Devils today. An expansion of his team by team coverage will be available in a PDF book later this month. It is free to all so go here to order your copy in advance.
NHL.com finished their 30 in 30 feature. Here is the link to all 30 in one place.
Ken Campbell believes that the owners are finally showing restraint in one area that has led to a larger than usual amount of unsigned RFAs.
As the Mt. Puckmore series comes to an end, Puck Daddy lists the five biggest oversights.
Matt Reitz has a guide on how to survive the summer without hockey. Where was this in June?
Chemmy at Pension Plan Puppets has an interesting look at Lee Stemniak's shooting percentage. It is doubtful that the Yotes will get anywhere close to the production they saw from Stempniak at the end of last season.
As a follow-up to Mick Kern's visit to POTG Radio on Monday he announces " The War Room returns to NHL Home Ice (XM 204, Sirius 208) on Monday, September 27th...at 11 am Eastern, 8 am Pacific."
We have been pushing Rob Higgins new book, in which I wrote a chapter, and now here is a contest to have dinner with the HFI man himself. I think they want you to be Canadian to enter.
Doug Weight is returning to the Islanders for another year. It appears he will remain the captain as well.
As proof of how slow the hockey news is at this time of year, Henrik Lundqvist getting his name on a tour bus is a big deal.
Another slow news day story was the news conference yesterday in Chicago introducing Marty Turco to the locals.
Are "super pests" taking the place of enforcers in the NHL? Here is the story.
Odds and Ends...
NPR has a story on Down and Derby and interesting profiles of a few roller girls.
I've never followed or re-Tweeted anything from Ashton Kutcher before but this really is the coolest thing I have ever scene.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass