The Big Assist V / notes

I thought Li’l Sharp in his arms Monday night on the ice was the cutest thing in history. WRONG.

Links accumulating, and since I’ll be a little out of touch today and the draft (you may’ve heard) is tomorrow, let’s link ’em along:

They’re up to the Fifth Annual version of The Big Assist, a charity hockey game at Terry Conners Rink in Stamford, typically filled with locals and other pros. It benefits the Obie Harrington-Howes Foundation, and it was a good time for a good cause when I went. July 10 this year. Details at the link.

Kevin Colley leaves Utah for Arizona of the Central League. Mark Messier leaves the Rangers for Kingsbridge. Joel Rechlicz stays with the Washington organization.

An off-ice surprise from Worcester, where the Sharks let team president Mike Mudd go. Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena gets a big facelift.

The Blackhawks take out a full-page thank-you ad… in the Boston Globe.

Neat story from ESPN on how USA Hockey is encouraging young players to diversify. (It’s a good idea no matter what sport you’re playing, but anyway.) (Hat tip: Jason Iacona.)

Jokerit of Helsinki will leave Finland’s top league for the KHL after this year.

Alan Sepinwall on James Gandolfini’s memorial, including David Chase’s eulogy.

And RIP, Don Baizley and Justin Miller.

Michael Fornabaio