1. Kudos to Henrik Lundqvist who helped win a Gold for his native Sweden in the World Championships. Hank’s twin brother, Joel, captained the champion Swedes as well. Henrik stopped all four shots he faced in the shootout to produce the win.
2. One of Henrik’s teammates was none other than Blueshirts all-around forward Oscar Lindberg. By the way, The King’s twin joined Sven “Tumba” Johansson as the only members of the Swedish six to win three World Championship gold medals.
4. OK, if Lindberg does go I would like to see how Adam Tambellini shapes up in training camp. Tamby has the size, skating ability, and puck vision to possibly crack the Blueshirts’ lineup. Scouts say he needs to refine his finish.
5. In case you’ve forgotten, Adam was acquired 65th overall in the 2013 draft.
7. My sidekick, Hayley Cohen of Dix Hills, Long Island votes in the minority for Tough Tanner; “He’s aggressive and someone the Rangers need.” However, my buddy Ali Toumadj counters with this simple retort: “Glass is easily replaceable.”
9. Speaking of O’Reilly, he sure impressed Botterill during the World Championships with a clutch, game-tying goal in the Gold Medal match. The Sabres‘ center scored six goals and had three assists in 10 games. That and the Silver Medal should boost Ryan’s confidence entering the new season.
10. Off the ice, the Sabres are making a positive community mark. On June 24, the organization will participate in The Ride for Roswell to raise funds for cancer research and patient care.
12. I don’t envy Jeff Gorton’s job with all of the draft possibilities from which to choose — and dispose of. Here’s another For-Instance: What does he do about defenseman Nick Holden? Granted that Nick had a plus-minus playoff, but certainly a solid regular season.
14. As one who has admired the hockey knowledge of Sherry Ross — not to mention her ground-breaking work as a commentator and author — I will miss her behind the microphone doing Devils radio work.
15. Talking about puzzles, it’s really too early to tell how starry Josh Ho-Sang will become in the seasons ahead. It’s not a stretch to suggest that he instantly became ‘THE’ Islander to watch in the 21 games he played for Coach Doug Weight. All signs indicate that the whiz kid will go up up up in his arithmetic. Last year, he notched four goals and six assists while finishing with a plus-one.
16. One of the issues for Weight to resolve is whether Ho-Sang can work side-by-side with Mathew Barzal. I can see Barzal centering for Ho-Sang on the right wing. For sure, Ho-Sang has the ability to put up multi-point games.
17. Another question surrounds the Brooklynites’ 2016 No. 1 draft pick, Kieffer Bellows. The Hockey News has an encouraging scouting report on the left wing: “One of the most dangerous offensive players, Bellows has a killer shot that comes from a great release.”
18. Another guy I do not envy is Shero, especially when it comes to figuring out his defense and specifically the future of Damon Severson. As my Devils guru, Leo Scaglione, Jr. puts it about Severson: “He’s a smooth skater who sometimes gets lost in his own end, but did show signs of improvement. His breakout passing improved as well as his play as the other team enters the zone. I believe Shero will go for youth over someone like Ben Lovejoy.”
19. Writing in The Hockey News, Jared Clinton mentioned that Buffalo’s Cody Franson is a free agent who could wind up in Las Vegas. “The thought was Franson would be moved out by the deadline, but he ended up sticking around in Buffalo,” wrote Clinton. “It would be hard to see him doing so beyond this off-season.”
20. There seems to be no doubt that Kevin Shattenkirk will find the pot of gold somewhere and it could be anywhere from Buffalo to Brooklyn. Word is that the New Rochelle native “is after $7 million per season on a seven-year deal.”
21. Considering that the Blues did well without him and that Kevin wasn’t exactly gangbusters with Washington, you can figure that the defenseman will get more moolah than his past performance will merit. Then again, Vegas could try for a big splash and bring Shattenkirk to Nevada.
22. Comparing dynastic Islanders to current Maple Leafs, The Toronto Sun‘s Steve Simmons puts it this way: “In watching William Nylander playing alongside Nicklas Backstrom, I couldn’t help but wonder: Will Nylander be Mike Bossy to Auston Mathews’ Bryan Trottier for the next several seasons with Toronto?”
23. Many critics believe that Weight had his best playing years when he skated for the Oilers. That partly explains why his former Edmonton teammate, Luke Richardson, has moved to Brooklyn where he will be feeding his pal Doug morsels of advice.
24. Guaranteed to happen next season: The Eastern Conference should be a dogfight from opening night to the final game of the season. Gaining a playoff berth will be tougher than ever when you consider that the likes of the Flyers, Hurricanes, Panthers, Lightning and Sabres all figure to be improved.
25. Two issues that will have the NHL brain trust on Sixth Avenue working overtime include video review of infractions and concussion protocol. These challenges are easy to write about but tough to solve.
26. Ex-Rangers goalie — Hall of Famer Johnny Bower — is the NHL’s oldest living player at 92. Nicknamed “The China Wall,” Bower offers this quip about his age, “I love it. I now get 10 percent off at the supermarket!”