Hockey Groundhogs

How do you know hockey is almost back?
Jeremy Roenick has emerged to start complaining again.
Once we hear from Brett Hull you can expect hockey to re-start in a matter of days. It’s a rule. Those two only talk when hockey is close. They’re almost like groundhogs. But they predict NHL action instead of winter. Although they might also predict winter, too. I haven’t really looked into that.
Tim Panaccio reports the Flyers are going to make a run at Devils defenseman Scott Niedermayer (login info.). Why wouldn’t they? He’s a great defenseman and he’ll be a free agent. Isn’t that a standard thing?
Larry Brooks discusses a cap that might be flexible enough to allow stars to sign low-money extensions, making the deals worth less per season (login info.). He goes on to guess Devils goalie Martin Brodeur might be willing to do this to keep Niedermayer, whom the Devils dissed in arbitration right before the lockout.
Over in Anaheim, the Ducks are dumping the Mighty part of their name (login info.). Yeah. You have a defense-minded coach and an offense-minded GM, so the first thing new owners need to address is the name?
I hope they tackle the mascot next. That’s a huge issue, too.
Finally, the Leafs told the Toronto Sun the new cap won’t pose a problem to them: they’re going to keep their team at nine players, which should hold them just under the cap.