An absence

So the Islanders’ reserve list alphabetically now goes DiBenedetto, Diamond, Donovan. Weird not to see that name in the middle.

Along the lines of what Garth Snow said in the Islanders’ release, Rick DiPietro is one of the most competitive guys I’ve ever been around. Don’t know what the body will let him do, or who’ll let him do it, but can’t help but hope things work out for him. Arthur Staple caught up with him.

Looking ahead, NHL free agency is more or less on, with the new talking period. Contracts can be signed Friday afternoon. (We’ll post the Bridgeport lists then, as usual.) In the meantime, Jonathan Bombulie has produced the first draft, with help from Michael Cignoli, of his annual AHL free agents list. We should really just start using those numbers as pure reference. “Bridgeport doesn’t have an unrestricted free agent higher than Bombulie 79.” Simple.

Nathan Lawson re-upped with Ottawa. Boyd Kane goes off to join Mark French in the KHL. (Alan Letang just re-signed there.) Taking advantage of the fact that AHL contracts expired June 30 as usual, Syracuse signed Joey Mormina to a two-year AHL deal.

New coach in Toronto:

TEAM Old New
HER Mark French (5/17)  Mike Haviland (6/18) 
TOR Dallas Eakins (EDM head, 6/10) Steve Spott (7/3)
IOW John Torchetti (CSKA, 6/24)
SA Chuck Weber (Dir. hockey ops, 6/25)  Peter Horachek (6/25)
CHI-a  Scott Arniel (NYR ass’t, 7/2)

a-affiliation change, not that that necessarily makes a difference.

And Alex Ovechkin, like Willie Mays, plays all fields.

Michael Fornabaio