18 September 2011

Burning Questions - Western Conference

Arriving unexpectedly within a week of the Eastern Conference preview - timing Matt Cooke would call "a damn hurry" - presenting...er, the Western Conference:

Anaheim Ducks
Why is there all this talk about the anticipation over the long-awaited return of the veteran winger with the $4m cap hit to the Canadian city where he was so beloved, when the schedule says that the Ducks and Jason Blake don't even play in Toronto this year? 

Calgary Flames
Does the close proximity of the words "no movement clause" to the words "Curtis Glencross" elicit the same confusion in everyone else as it does with me? 

Chicago Blackhawks
Will universally popular new recruit Dan Carcillo finally prove that he is not dumber than he looks in the only possible way - by tattooing "Nah, I looks dummah" on his forehead? 

Colorado Avalanche
Might there be one or two flaws apparent in Greg Sherman's strategy of adding Shane O'Brien to Ryan O'Reilly and Ryan O'Byrne in the hope of making the Colorad O'Avalanche the most attractive destination when much-coveted Irish sniper, Alex O'Vechkin, hits free agency in 2021? 

Columbus Blue Jackets
Will James Wisniewski seize the opportunity to be a #1 defenseman, or will he blow it? 

Dallas Stars
Will the suffering of the fans through an almost-inevitable non-playoff season be compensated to some degree by the optimism given by the bushel of prospects and picks acquired in the Brad Richards trade at last year's deadline? 

Detroit Red Wings
Is Mike Commodore's sentiment in not cheapening the game by associating his jersey with a consumer electronics brand shared by newly-named team-mate Jakub Kindle? 

Edmonton Oilers

Los Angeles Kings
Is the Drew Doughty contract impasse due to Dean Lombardi's unwillingness to pay him more than An┼że Kopitar or his nagging doubt that Mike Richards' offer to take him to a Christian book reading evening to celebrate the eventual contract signing isn't all that it seems? 

Minnesota Wild
Can we assume this was the trade to a non-contending, cold-climate NW Division team that Dany Heatley has been looking for his whole career? 

Nashville Predators
Should the NHL fear another lockout when Brian Burke relents and accepts Ryan Ellis as a sweetener for having to take on Shea Weber's contract in exchange for Jay Rosehill, Joey Crabb and a napkin autographed by Lonny Bohonos? 

Phoenix Coyotes
By replacing Ilya Bryzgalov with Mike Smith, can we expect reports on the Coyotes to feature the phrase "huge losses" even more than normal? 

San Jose Sharks
Can Doug Wilson continue to pry the most successful parts out of the Minnesota franchise by acquiring the rights to Jacques Lemaire and the year 2003? 

St. Louis Blues
Does Nikita Nikitin possess the best smoking-related name in the NHL since Zdeno Ciger? 

Vancouver Canucks
What will the fans' reception be like at the home opener, when the team shows up there for the first time since Game Five of the Cup Final?

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