—The Calgary Flames signed Devan Setoguchi over the weekend. I have long been singing his praise, despite diminished offensive numbers. He still managed 12 goals last season with the Jets, but wasn’t resigned. Calgary snagged the 27 year old player for only 750,000. He may be a true bargain, as the 2.6 million combined for Matt Hendricks and Luke Gazdic won’t generate as many points as he will over a full season on his own. A good signing by the Flames. He’s no Mike Cammaleri, but he will make them better.
—Dustin Penner is still unsigned. While Richard Cloutier posited that he should be given a chance as our 2nd line centre, or as a pivot in the line up somewhere, I think he might be a good option down the line elsewhere. It’s likely the two time Cup winner will get signed somewhere by season’s start but if he isn’t, the Oilers might want to keep him on the tether. He isn’t the 30 goal scorer he was before he left but I’d sooner have him on the ice than Tyler Pitlick. He isn’t likely to sign here, but should injury strike, I’d be on the phones.
—If the Oilers struggle out of the gate at center, there a still a few serviceable options available through free agency. Don’t get me wrong, these guys are not anyone’s first choice for a variety of reasons, but they have NHL pedigree and have shown talent previously. These guys are: Scott Gomez, Michal Handzus, David Steckel, Zenon Kenopka, Keith Aucoin and Jeff Halpern. Yes, these guys are on a steep decline. But, if they show to be a better fit than Mark Arcobello or Anton Lander, and Leon Draisaitl is not ready for the big show, I’m betting they’d sign a bargain contract in a heartbeat. I think one of them gets signed, even if only for a time.
—Tickets are gone for the big ‘ol reunion at Rexall Place. Understandably, the fans are chomping at the bit to see their bygone heroes. Other festivities are planned, but you’re probably going to have to camp out in front of Daryl Katz’ driveway to see any of these dudes up close.
—Another week, another row of losses for the East in the CFL. Some say the dispersal draft to Ottawa thinned the ranks, as well as facility and practice fields under duress out east are factors, but, yikes. Still only SIX combined wins out there. Brutal. Can’t wait for the NHL season to start, especially considering this dreck they are churning out.