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What are you guys complaining about? Literally, I can barely remember the last hockey game I covered.

You want hockey? The Providence Bruins have been sold. In a summer in which the New York Islanders had raced headlong away from the conventional, they have hired a French Canadian goaltending coach to replace a Trinidad native. (Good luck to Sudsie Maharaj.) West Haven’s own Eric Boguniecki is a Columbus Blue Jacket, and let’s hope it stays so, because if he becomes a Syracuse Crunch, he’ll be a rumor like the rest of the West. The Detroit Freep says Nick Lidstrom is to be the next Red Wings captain, and jeez, really? We were expecting Josh Langfeld. As well-called by Jonathan Bombulie in the blog, Dan Bylsma gets to coach against Jack Capuano eight times this year; he’s the new assistant in Wilkes-Barre. Well-travelled Alex Westlund is back on this side of the earth, signing an AHL deal to complicate the Rangers’/Wolf Pack’s goaltending situation a little more. Not joining the European exodus is Thomas Pock, who re-signed with the Rangers. “Islanders fire GM Smith, hire Snow” is on the poll for “most intriguing offseason story,” which is really only a (granted, large) piece of the intrigue in this organization this summer, isn’t it? A quick pop through Google and (sparing you and me the links; seek ’em out if you want) shows the brothers Omicioli to HC Bolzano in Italy; Harlan Pratt unter einen Jahresvertrag with Augsburger Panther (joining Sturmer Travis Brigley and Verteidiger Kevin Bolibruck)*; Jeff Miles back to Columbia (not that one); T.J. Kemp back to Reading; and back to the Beast days, Mike “…and I’ve been developing for many years now” Fountain to Lada Togliatti (along with Maxim Kondratiev).

I could have done that all earlier, but dang it, I’m a softball and tennis writer.

Meanwhile, back in New Haven… The WTA is testing a rule this year that lets players request a conference with their coaches during changeovers. The coach sits next to them and, no doubt, imparts some deep advice. My guess: “Join the Nintendo Fun Club today, Mac.”**

Good laugh through the press room today when the day attendance was announced: 5,589, an increase over last year’s Thursday day session. An increase of three. The night session was a huge increase of 45.

Unrelated: You know it’s a once-in-a-generation season when even the Braves fans are building hilarious Mets references into landmark Flash toons.

And entirely unrelated***: I understand the mess that could come of the alternative definition proposed last week, but there has to be some kind of grandfather clause to keep Pluto a planet.

*-Neunundneunzig Luftballons/Auf ihrem Weg zum Horizont
**-Remember where Little Mac was from?
***-Not quite entirely: league member Lowell, Mass., is named for a member of the family of Pluto postulator Percival Lowell, is it not?

Michael Fornabaio