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Did I Miss Anything?

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Well, I'm back at the helm after a week of vacation, spent mostly without any internet access or hockey viewing (the Little Forecheckers got their first taste of Disney World). I wanted to get a few quick thoughts out here before getting back to a regular posting schedule:

1. I love what Atlanta's doing on the trade front. Many bloggers (Paul Kukla and Tom Benjamin, for example) decry the "rent-a-player" aspect of the NHL, but I think it only hightens the excitement of the final portion of the season, and gives bottom-dwelling teams a chance to get a jump on building towards next season.

2. Here's to hoping we see an Ottawa-Buffalo matchup in the 2nd round of the playoffs.

3. Does anybody really want to win the Northwest division? The way I see it, a 3rd seed in the West means a likely matchup with either Dallas or San Jose. The 7th position, on the other hand, presents a matchup with Anaheim, which has cooled off after its torrid start. Take away the overtime loss "bonus points", and they'd be behind both the Sharks and Stars in the Pacific standings.

4. Oh my, the NHL is looking at distributing the Center Ice TV package over broadband? I might take a serious look at that. I've been a loyal DirecTV customer for almost 10 years, but they're new DVR's are a horrible replacement for the Tivo units that were previously available. Without the hook of Center Ice, I'd be tempted to ditch the dish and go with a cheaper cable alternative.

5. Everyone's got a solution to the problem of selling the NHL in the US, and the first item on most people's list is to get the NHL back on ESPN. You know what? I don't think that would help all that much. Another option to consider would be to tie into the two Superstations, WGN and TBS, to get Chicago Blackhawks and Atlanta Thrashers games televised. Of course, getting the Blackhawks to do anything to build fan interest may require the other owners to send Bill Wirtz for a waterboarding session, but hey, whatever it takes, right?