Hockey Blog Beat – September 4, 2011.

Seven NHL teams which didn’t do enough this off-season…Wondering if Mike Smith can fill Bryzgalov’s shoes in Phoenix…Examining Andrej Meszaros’ value to the Flyers blueline…A look at some myths about the NHL/CHL agreement…Hockey historian Joe Pelletier releases a new book.

BLEACHER REPORT: Robert Demmett recently listed seven NHL teams he believed didn’t do enough to improve themselves this season. Among them: the 2011 Stanley Cup finalists.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A big reason why most on this list didn’t do more is because they simply couldn’t afford to. That’s reality in a salary cap world, whether you’re a team trying to stay under the cap ceiling, or to reach the cap floor.

SIN BIN SPORTS BLOG: Eric Roberts notes former Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Mike Smith has some big shoes to fill in Phoenix in replacing the departed Ilya Bryzgalov, but doesn’t write off Smith’s chances.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It wasn’t that long ago, around the time when the OK Hockey circus was running the Lightning, Smith was the only player keeping the then-hapless Bolts in most of the games they lost. Injuries hampered his performance over the past couple of years, but he looked good in brief relief of Dwayne Roloson in last year’s playoffs, and if he can stay healthy this season, might surprise those critics writing off the Coyotes chances.

THE HOCKEY GUYS: Anthony Mingioni examines the value of Andrej Meszaros to the Philadelphia Flyers defense, and points out it’s far more important that many folks realize.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: After several up-and-down years with Ottawa and Tampa Bay, Meszaros appears to have found his niche with the Flyers.

LITTER BOX CATS: debunks a myth the NHL/CHL agreement has age restrictions.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I can’t do it enough justice with a short description, but it’s worthwhile reading to determine why some young players are sent back to Junior rather than to the AHL.

GREATEST HOCKEY LEGENDS: Hockey historian Joe Pelletier will be releasing “Pucks on the ‘Net” -his third book, and his first in e-book form – in October 2011.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Just follow the link above. Joe’s the best only hockey historian around, and his work is well worth checking out.