Sunday, March 9, 2014
By ED BARKOWITZ Philadelphia Daily News
After four months of posturing and pouting, itching and moaning, and just plain silliness, there will be hockey again.
Here's a refresher on what transpired as well as some of the comings and goings since the Kings thumped the Devils to win their first title.
BIGGEST TRADE: The Columbus Blue Jackets sent perennial 30-goal scorer Rick Nash to the Rangers for three players and a first-round pick.
THREE OTHER NOTABLE MOVES:
• Minnesota signed free-agent defenseman Ryan Suter (from Nashville) and forward Zach Parise (New Jersey).
• The departure of Suter essentially compelled Nashville to match the Flyers' offer sheet for star free-agent defenseman Shea Weber.
The 14-year, $110 million deal was the largest offer sheet in history.
• Carolina traded for Pittsburgh forward Jordan Staal and signed free agent Alexander Semin. Staal's brother, Eric Staal, is the captain of the Hurricanes.
FIVE THINGS TO EXPECT RIGHT AWAY:
• Choppy play as players struggle early to develop chemistry.
• Plenty of fatigue and mental mistakes, which will result in wild, come-from-behind wins.
• The Canucks to trade goaltender Roberto Luongo, who is making $6.7 million annually, but was benched in the playoffs. Florida and Toronto are the two likeliest suitors.
• Jarome Iginla to become the subject of trade talks.
The Flames' captain leads an interesting group of potential free agents following this season that includes Anaheim forwards Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, Vancouver defenseman Alexander Edler and Phoenix goalie Mike Smith.
• Dallas to re-sign restricted free agent Jamie Benn (26 goals last season).
HOW'S SID? Penguins star Sidney Crosby, who has missed most of the last two seasons because of concussion symptoms, did not play during the lockout.
He skated frequently with teammates, however, and is expected back.
BRING THE HAMMER:
The most anticipated debut will be Edmonton's Nail Yakupov, the Russian forward who was the No. 1 overall pick in June.
WHERE'S TIM? Flighty Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas is taking a one-year hiatus from the game.
That means Tuukka Rask will be Boston's starter.
Thomas turns 39 in April.