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 Penguins cap situation opens the door for a promising group of blueliners who are hoping to do more than make a good impression at camp.
• David Clarkson admits that he thought about quitting hockey while struggling in juniors, but a current member of the Maple Leafs organization helped him find his way.
• 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.
• Red Wings GM Ken Holland says his offer to Cleary wasn't anywhere near what the veteran forward wanted, so cutting ties was the only real option for both sides.
• Toronto hopeful Joe Colborne talks about a man in a canoe getting a ticket while trying to rescue a cat. It makes sense if you read the story.
• "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.
• Ottawa winger Milan Michalek underwent a pretty radical procedure to get himself back on the ice in time for camp.
• 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.
• Are the kids ready to step up for the Ducks? And just how much does Teemu Selanne have left in the tank?
• Scott Cruikshank lists nine burning questions that the Flames are must answer. He probably could have ended the list at one: Who will they take with the first overall pick next June?
• A summer of self-reflection has the NHL's youngest coach ready for a make-or-break season with the Wild.
• Aaron Portzline writes that expectations have never been higher for the Blue Jackets, but also cautions that there are reasons to tap the brakes.
• Martin St. Louis says he's ready to wear the C if called upon by the Lightning.
• 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.
• New Oilers coach Dallas Eakins warned his players to be ready for a high-intensity experience at training camp. If they avoid puking over the boards today, we'll know they were paying attention.
• Is this the end for Robert Luongo's Strombone Twitter account?
• Erstwhile Islanders' first liner Brad Boyes has finally found a place to play hockey this season. Maybe.
• 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?