Senators change stars
Longtime Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson scoffed at a contract extension to remain in Ottawa for a chance to win the Stanley Cup in Detroit. The Red Wings also signed former Florida Panther Stephen Weiss. After years of rumors, Anaheim finally traded Bobby Ryan, to Ottawa as General Manager Bryan Murray reacted immediately to losing Alfredsson by acquiring the younger goal scorer.
Bruins juggle it up
As part of a blockbuster package, Boston dealt young, talented Tyler Seguin to Dallas for Loui Eriksson. Nathan Horton left Boston for the quiet confines of Columbus.
Leafs address the net
The Toronto Maple Leafs finally got their goalie in Jonathan Bernier, signed David Clarkson from New Jersey (he’s suspended the first 10 games) and traded with Chicago for Dave Bolland.
The Wild traded Devin Setoguchi to Winnipeg, Cal Clutterbuck to the Islanders, let Matt Cullen leave via free agency and signed notorious Matt Cooke and acquired Nino Niederreiter. Cullen went to Nashville, which also signed Viktor Stalberg, Matt Hendricks and Eric Nystrom. Pierre-Marc Bouchard also is now an Isle.
Tampa Bay Lightning captain Vincent Lecavalier (left) was bought out and signed with the Flyers. Mike Ribeiro is a Coyote, Brenden Morrow a Blue, and the Oilers got David Perron from St. Louis. Oh, and Ilya Kovalchuk “retired” from the Devils, who signed Ryane Clowe, Jaromir Jagr and Damien Brunner.
We’ll see about that
Essentially, John Tortorella (right) and Alain Vigneault (far right) were traded for each other. Tortorella was fired by the Rangers and hired by the Vancouver Canucks; Vigneault was fired by the Canucks and hired by the Rangers. Tortorella said he’ll be kindler, gentler with the media, except when cellphones go off in news conferences. Then he vows to “walk.”
Longtime Buffalo Sabres coach Lindy Ruff went to Dallas, hired by new GM Jim Nill, long an influence with the Red Wings brass. Hall of Fame goalie Patrick Roy will coach Colorado. Dallas Eakins is now in Edmonton with former coach Craig MacTavish running the show. Jon Cooper now coaches Tampa Bay, and Brian Burke is now President in Calgary, meaning GM Jay Feaster is clearly on the hot seat.
ABOUT THAT PLAYOFF FORMAT
• There are 14 teams in the West, 16 in the East. Eight from each conference will make the postseason.
• There are four divisions — the Pacific, Central, Atlantic (that bizarrely includes none of the five former Atlantic teams) and the absurdly-named Metropolitan. The top three teams from each division qualify for the playoffs. The two additional playoff spots in each conference, designated as wild cards, will be awarded to the next two highest-placed finishers in each conference, ranked on the basis of regular-season points and regardless of division.
• So, theoretically in each conference, you can have five playoff qualifiers from one division and three from the other. The first round of the playoffs is purely in-division. The second-round will be, too, provided four teams from a division make the playoffs.