By Allan Muir
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• Nazem Kadri finally woke up to the reality of his situation and signed a two-year deal with the Maple Leafs that ensures he'll be in camp as it gets underway this morning.
• Enjoy him while you can, Toronto fans. The relationship between Kadri and the Leafs is likely to be short term, writes Damien Cox.
• You have to think that Senators defenseman Jared Cowen will soon run smack up against the same wall that Kadri did. With no real leverage, he's better served by getting a bridge deal in hand and going to work on getting a big payday down the road.
• The Bruins didn't exactly blow up their roster after losing to the Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Final, but they will nevertheless ice a very different group when the season gets underway.
• The signing of Daniel Cleary shines a harsh light on the Flyers' salary cap issues. GM Paul Holmgren will certainly find his way out after opening night, but with 26 players on one-way deals, you have to wonder why he's in this mess in the first place.
• "It’s easy to look at him and say he’s out of shape," Jets captain Andrew Ladd said in a clumsy show of support for Dustin Byfuglien. The issue with the big defenseman, Ladd said, is his consistency, not his weight.
• Apparently there are politicians in Nassau County who believe there's still a chance to keep the Islanders on Long Island. Gotta love that clear-eyed optimism.
• Bruce Arthur knows all the ways that Canadian fans will overreact as camps get underway today.
• You don't often hear a GM say a player "probably earned more" than his current deal is paying him, so it's a good guess that Coyotes forward Radim Vrbata is in for a big raise. He is currently talking about an extension with Phoenix.
• Is this the end for Robert Luongo's Strombone Twitter account?
• You say that, under normal circumstances, you wouldn't pay a whole lot of attention to the 2014 AHL All-Star Game? Well, you might now.
• The monkey needs to find a new back on which to climb. Ilya Kovalchuk finally got his first KHL goal. • Sounds like Senators owner Eugene Melnyk just got back from a class at the opposite of charm school. It's only a matter of time before he's out of there, isn't it?