By amuir29
September 11, 2013

Nazem Kadri of the Toronto Maple Leafs The next two years will likely determine Nazem Kadri's future with the Maple Leafs. (Graig Abel/Getty Images)

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.

Senators the opposite of charm school.

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