In today’s roundup of interesting NHL hockey blog post: An open letter to the 2011 NHL off-season…Sidney Crosby could face more headaches upon his return to action…More bitching about Scott Gomez…The Wild’s questionable second line center position…Brian Lee’s “now-or-never” season.

NHL HOT STOVE: Christina Roberts offers up an open letter to the NHL off-season, chiding it for being “all over the place”,  including the notable hockey tragedies, Brian Rafalski’s unexpected retirement, the surprising trades of Mike Richards and Jeff Carter, the Brad Richards debates, and warns the upcoming 2011-12 season it had better not suck.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Apart from the summers of 1994 and 2004, when work stoppages were apparent, the summer of 2011 was the worst one I’ve encountered as a hockey fan and columnist. Apart from the entry draft in Minnesota, which was a wonderful, hectic time, the rest of the summer was dull, punctuated only by news of tragedy. Here’s hoping the upcoming season will be better!

THE HOCKEY GUYS: Marc Siciliano believes Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby is going to face more headaches once he finally returns to action, specifically those coming from endless questions from the press over whether or not his performance will be hampered from his recovery from post-concussion symptoms, and if he’ll ever be the same player again.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The best way for Crosby to silence those questions is to play as well as he did before he got hurt.

EYES ON THE PRIZE: Andrew Birkshire noted much-maligned Canadiens center Scott Gomez is receiving even more flak from Habs fans who baselessly attribute his training camp injury to poor conditioning. One fan, on a radio phone-in, suggested the Canadiens should force Gomez to play every single pre-season game as punishment for last season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That comment serves to prove that some hockey fans can be really, really stupid.

HOCKEY WILDERNESS: “BReynolds” examined the Minnesota Wild’s apparent lack of a quality second line center, suggesting in the short term the best solution may be to hope current second liner Matt Cullen steps up his game this season and makes his linemates better.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That could be an area worth watching during the season, as it could push Wild management into the trade market later this season if Cullen fails to play up to expectations.

SILVER SEVEN: “DarrenM” suggests it’s now or never for defenseman Brian Lee to finally earn a spot as a full time member of the Senators defense corps.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lee was a frequent target of trade rumors last season, and will be again if he fails to improve this season.