The Flames finally showed signs of life last week, emerging from their month and a half long organizational "review" (which I can only imagine entailed Darryl Sutter and Ken King holed up in the Saddledome playing card games and venturing out for the occasional round of golf ) with, well, no news at all really. After receiving public confirmation that his job was safe on Thursday, Sutter celebrated by signing a defenceman. The only real news items to come out of last week were the announcement that Calgary would finally get its chance to play host to an outdoor game, and that one or more hirings to fill the vacant role of assistant GM should be announced shortly--both of which had been subject to speculation prior to their confirmation.
As tomorrow marks the beginning of June (as strange as that may seem for those of us living in the Prairies/the majority of Western Canada) the summer's main events in the draft and free agency are rapidly approaching. In the next little while, I'll begin looking at draft prospects and what are (hopefully) realistic free-agent targets for the Flames. For now however, here are your links for this, the last day of May.
Regardless of the lack of a Canadian team in the Stanley Cup Final, the Cup will return to Canada--even if it's in statue form [The Globe and Mail]
The pit-falls of plus-minus [The Cult of Hockey]
Colby Cosh weighs in on the Taylor vs. Tyler debate [Macleans.ca]
The declaration of Black Thursday at Hit the Post, as the Sutter dismissal countdown was officially called off
Just in case you were wondering what Theo Fleury was up to, he'll be Jamie Sale's dance partner in the new season of Battle of the Blades airing this fall [Metro Calgary]
Some people are catching onto the Iginla trade rumours a little too late [Bleacher Report] [The Hockey News]
Are more Canadian hockey players bolting for the border? [The Globe and Mail]
The Thrashers have offered Max Afinogenov a one-year deal, and may also be prepared to let Colby Armstrong walk...[AJC]
Neidermayer and Selanne are pondering their respective futures yet again [Crash the Crease], but what of Paul Kariya?
Is the goalie change a worthwhile strategy? [Behind the Net]
Dan Carcillo will draw back into the lineup for the Flyers tonight in place of James van Riemsdyk; because the lack of a pest/enforcer was clearly Philly's problem in game one. Michael Leighton will get the start for the Flyers while Andrew Ladd is still not quite ready to return to the Hawks lineup.
The Oilers fired another long-serving member of their organization today in scout Chris McCarthy [Coming Down the Pipe]; The Candiens also released six members of their scouting staff today [Toronto Sun]
Why trading Langkow is a bad idea, especially if you're going to replace him with Backlund [FlamesNation]
Surprisingly, Marian Hossa isn't the only seemingly cursed European hockey player [Puck Daddy]
Game two goes tonight at 6PM MT/8ET on CBC. Enjoy the game and pray for a return to summer for Western Canada in the comments.