Final countdown for the Coyotes?…A reason why so many NHL teams are struggling financially…7 ideas to improve the NHL…Scolding Vancouver’s mayor…Should the Leafs shop Schenn?…Vokoun and soft goals…Fatigue over the Marchand speculation…A look at the career of Hardy Astrom…Fake Dan Ellis bids adieu.

TOO MANY MEN ON THE SITE: Jenna Barley suggests this season could be the Coyotes’ last in Phoenix, unless former Sharks CEO Gary Jamison and his group of investors can ride to the rescue.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jamison’s group could be the last, best hope for the NHL to keep the Coyotes in Phoenix. Hopefully this doesn’t drag out for long and gets sorted out soon. The Coyotes and their fans deserve better!

HOUSES OF THE HOCKEY: Rick Moldovanyi noted the New Jersey Devils are the latest NHL team apparently joining an ever-growing list of struggling American-based franchises, suggesting the current salary cap system – originally designed to help such teams – has instead contributed to the problem.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: We’ll probably see the cap floor lowered, and perhaps the cap ceiling reduced, and/or perhaps some adjustments put in place to slow the annual increase of the cap. Ultimately, if teams are run poorly or can only afford to barely keep above the cap floor for years at a stretch, they’re not gonna get better. The proble, of course, is too many teams, but the league won’t be contracting anytime soon.

A WINNING HABIT: Steven Ellis offers up seven ideas to make the NHL better. Among them: lower players salaries in order to make the game more affordable for the fans, as well as prevent teams from over-spending.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sorry, Steven, but that’s not going to fix that problem. As Paul Weiler of Harvard University pointed out in his book “Leveling the Playing Field: How the Law can make Sports better for Fans”, it’s market, not salaries, which determines ticket prices, as well as all the other costs which goes into what you pay to attend an NHL game. The salary cap was also designed to prevent over-spending, and we’ve all seen how that worked out! You can’t legislate against dumb decisions by general managers.

ORLAND KURTENBLOG: takes Vancouver’s mayor Gregor Robertson to task for trying to levy blame upon the Canucks for the riot following the team’s Game Seven loss in the Stanley Cup Final to Boston, pointing out that before the riot, he was quick to climb aboard the team’s bandwagon during its run to the Final.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bottom line: those charged with crowd control did their best, but they were inadequately prepared for the possibility a riot could break out. That’s not the Canucks problem, that’s the city’s problem. The team shouldn’t be held accountable because some Vancouverites decided to use a hockey game as an excuse to break the law.

VINTAGE LEAFS MEMORIES: Michael Langlois dares to suggest the Leafs have enough blueline depth to consider seeing if Luke Schenn might fetch a quality forward in a trade.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some Leafs fans would consider this sacrilege, but I’ll bet there’s now some going “Hmmmmmmm…..” Don’t expect Brian Burke to be among the latter.

JAPER’S RINK : “Fehr and Balanced” (Spector’s note: Another cool pseudonym!) offers up a look at soft goals Tomas Vokoun has given up compared to last season’s Panthers and Capitals netminders.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: An interesting breakdown, which also determines he gives up most “soft goals” earlier in the season, meaning he gets better as the season progresses, which will be good news for the Capitals if that trend holds this season.

STANLEY CUP OF CHOWDER:  Ryan Durling is at his wit’s end with the Brad Marchand contract saga, saying it’s getting boring.


THE STRANGEST ONE OF ALL: Scotty Wazz of The Face Off Hockey Show present his weekly feature “Absurd Goalie Monday”. Today’s subject: Former Colorado Rockies netminder Hardy Astrom.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s a rumor that if you watch Coach’s Corner and say “Hardy Astrom” three times, Don Cherry’s sports coat melts.

BATTLE OF CALIFORNIA: Megalodon comes forward to admit being the genius behind the “Fake Dan Ellis” twitter account.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: To commemorate this passing, I’m sacking one of my butlers.