Are the Penguins contenders without Crosby?…Is Drew Doughty worth big money?…Analysis of the Jets signing Kyle Wellwood…A look at teams the Dallas Stars could catch in the Western Conference this season…The benefits of a defense which can score…Top five tweets of Ilya Bryzgalov…The NHL’s previous plans for world domination.

HOUSES OF THE HOCKEY: Rick Moldovanji wonders if the Pittsburgh Penguins can still be a contender without Sidney Crosby.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cup contenders? No. Playoff contenders? Certainly, especially if Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal remains healthy.

RANT SPORTS: Randy Holt wonders if Drew Doughty is really worth the money’s he’s demanding from the LA Kings, believing he hasn’t done enough yet to earn the kind of salary  per season which Shea Weber will be getting this season ($7.5 million), but suggested the Kings will probably pay up.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Doughty does get what he’s seeking from the Kings, he’ll be under considerable pressure to play up to that money. Granted, he has the skills, but he also now has a concussion history, and that has to be of concern to the Kings management. Still, they’re prepared to offer him quite lengthy deals, believe worth the same as the $6.8 million per season teammate Anze Kopitar is getting, which could be why his agent is pushing for more.

ARCTIC ICE HOCKEY: “Bettman’s Nightmare” (SPECTOR’S NOTE – I LOVE that nickname!) approves of the Jets inking Kyle Wellwood to a  one-year, $700K contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This could also put an end to some of the wilder trade rumors swirling about the Jets of late. They were in the market for more depth at center, and this move appears in the short term to address that need.

THE COPPER & BLUE: Scott Reynolds provides some convincing statistics to prove the value of a defense which can also score to a team with playoff aspirations.

DEFENDING BIG D: Brandon Bibb looks at the teams the Dallas Stars may need to overtake if they’re to make the playoffs this season, singling out the Ducks and Coyotes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s bound to provoke some rebuttals from Ducks fans. Coyotes fan, maybe not so much, as there are considerable questions about their playoff hopes without Ilya Bryzgalov in goal. And speaking of Bryzgalov…

THE BATTLE OF CALIFORNIA: “Megaladon” presents: the top five “tweets” of Ilya Bryzgalov!

SILVER SEVEN: Peter Raaymakers looks back forty years at one NHL executive’s expansive dreams for the league. Suffice to say, they’re still a long way from reality!

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m so old, I remember reading that article when it was syndicated. Back then, I was able to believe it, but of course, I was only 8 at the time.