NHL Blog Beat – March 8, 2012.

Henrik Lundqvist’s “heady season”…The tasks facing Leafs GM Brian Burke this summer…Pros and cons of the Flames re-signing Olli Jokinen…What it could take to make the Oilers competitive next season…The challenges facing a potential new GM of the Canadiens…Did removing the red line make the NHL dumber and dangerous?…Could coaches and GMs hold back player development for contract purposes?… The Predators improved attendance figures…Picking Team Canada 2014…Footage of the NHL in the early 1950s.

 

Lundqvist can also use his head to make saves.

GRANTLAND.COM: Katie Baker looks at how NY Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist uses his head – literally – to make some saves this season. Hey, the mask ain’t just there for protection, y’know!

PENSION PLAN PUPPETS: Six major tasks facing Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke this summer. Firing the coach isn’t among them.

MATCHSTICKS AND GASOLINE: Mitch Smith on the pros and cons of the Calgary Flames potentially re-signing Olli Jokinen, and the cost.

THE COPPER & BLUE: Alan Hull looks at what it’ll take to make the Edmonton Oilers more competitive next season. A better starting goalie and improved defense should do it.

HABS EYES ON THE PRIZE: Andrew Birkshire examines the task facing the next GM of the Montreal Canadiens to unravel the mess made by Pierre Gauthier. Unless, of course, the Habs decide to keep Gauthier on the job another season…

PUCK DADDY: Greg Wyshynski explores the theory that taking out the red line made NHL players dumber, and the game more dangerous.

BACKHAND SHELF: Justin Bourne wonders if some NHL coaches and general managers hold back development of younger players to ensure a more affordable contract when they come out of their entry level deals. Tough to prove, but certainly food for thought.

ON THE FORECHECK: Dirk Hoag on the improved attendance figures of the Nashville Predators, which puts to rest the stupid myth Nashville wouldn’t embrace hockey.

DIRTY DANGLE: A look at the players who could form Team Canada 2014. Enough talent available to make a fantasy GM drool.

GREATEST HOCKEY LEGENDS: Joe Pelletier finds a clip of NHL action in the early 1950s, including Jean Beliveau’s first NHL game in 1952.