The trouble with great players…five players to avoid in your fantasy draft…Teemu Selanne’s performance at the Fedorin Cup…. a suggested fix for the next CBA…the impact of local players on the Canadiens…Expectations for the Oilers…pre-season NHL rankings…Praise for Kings ownership…Why Brad Richards will be a bust with the Rangers.

IN LOU WE TRUST: John Fischer examines a downside to having great players, pointing out Devils fans might’ve appreciate Colin White more if he hadn’t followed Scott Stevens and Ken Daneyko,  or that Paul Martin and Andy Greene didn’t get a fair shake following in the footsteps of Scott Niedermayer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s always going to be an inevitable letdown when a great player departs via trade, free agency or retirement, making it tough for the players who following in their shadows to measure up.

RED LIGHT DISTRICT HOCKEY: Ryan Porth listed five “red flag players” fantasy league GMs might wish to avoid in their upcoming drafts.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m not going to spoil things by revealing them here, just follow the link to find out. Here’s one hint: the player atop this list is a Chicago Blackhawk.

ANAHEIM CALLING: “Sticks.Gloves.Shirt’ checked out the Ducks “Fedorin Cup” charity game, and has good things to say about Teemu Selanne’s performance.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yes, it was only a charity game played at half speed, but for Ducks fans concerned about Selanne’s recovery from off-season knee surgery, his participation in this event is encourage.

HOCKEYBUZZ.COM: Peter Tessier examines the currently flawed NHL CBA, suggesting the next round of labor negotiations should be about “revenue certainty” (as a means of preventing franchises from losing money) to “cost certainty”.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Excellent suggestion by Tessier. The NHL can only keep trying to slash the players’ share so far before it’s no longer feasible without risking another serious labor war. At some point, the team owners must find a way to improve revenue sharing, if they hope to save teams which are currently struggling.

THE INSTIGATOR WITH HABSTERIX: examines the declining number of Quebec born players on the Canadiens in recent years, and points to the limited number of Quebec-born players in the league, suggesting the fault lies with Hockey Quebec for not following suit with the changes made by Hockey Canada. He also suggested the Canadiens should get more involved in supporting young players.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hockey Quebec has only itself to blame for the declining number of Quebec-born players in the NHL. It’s time they followed what Hockey Canada did to improve the skills and development of their young players.

MC79HOCKEY.COM: Tyler Dellow examines the expectations and measuring progress of the Oilers, suggesting another 30th place finish would be considered a failure by management, raising questions about “what they’re doing and how they’re doing it”.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I would suggest finishing in the bottom ten overall will raise serious questions about the Oilers development. I have concerns about their goaltending and their blueline depth heading into this season.

ARMCHAIR HOCKEY: Jason Chen offers up pre-season rankings of the 30 NHL teams.

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  If hockey publications can do it, why not bloggers?  

SURLY & SCRIBE: Howard Roark offers praise for LA Kings ownership for listening to GM Dean Lombardi’s requests for more investment into scouting and player development, plus a willingness to spend up toward the salary cap on this season’s roster.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It wasn’t that long ago when the Kings didn’t invest as much as they should’ve in those categories, and the result was very apparent on the ice. They’ve certainly turned things around, because of the wise use of their investments.

RANTSPORTS: Johnny Machurek “fully believes” Brad Richards will be beneficial to the NY Rangers, but players devil’s advocate nevertheless to offer up reasons why Richards could be a bust.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers do have a history of spending big bucks on free agents who ultimately failed to play up to lofty expectations. Will Richards join that list? Or will he buck the trend? This coming season should go a long way toward answering that question.