NHL Quick Shifts is a daily series where we gather up the latest NHL news and links from the FanSided NHL blogosphere, as well as other NHL / hockey blogs. So with that, here is today’s edition of Quick Shifts!
- Ron Hextall is using a model that works – Despite having the reputation of being unable to grow and develop their own players, Broad Street Buzz argues that all of that is changing for the Philadelphia Flyers with Ron Hextall at the helm. Hextall is building the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in a similar fashion to how he built up the Manchester Monarchs while with the Los Angeles Kings. While the Kings acquired key players via free agency, the core of their two Stanley Cup teams started their development in Manchester. [ Broad Street Buzz ]
- Do available UFA enforcers indicate the beginning of a culture change in the NHL? – When you look at the list of UFAs that have yet to be signed, you quickly notice that several enforcers remain without contracts for next season. The list of available enforcers includes recognizable names such as: Paul Bissonnette, Daniel Carcillo, Zenon Konopka, Aaron Rome, and Jordin Tootoo. Perhaps it is because teams are still trying to fill out their primary roster needs. However, it could also be a sign that the role of the enforcer is being diminished in the NHL. Teams can no longer justify spending the cap space on a player who gets five minutes of ice time each night and can only drop the gloves. [ Puck Daddy ]
- The Rangers aren’t as deep after free agency, but are they still good? – The New York Rangers surprised everyone by making the Stanley Cup Final this past season. They accomplished that due to outstanding play by Henrik Lundqvist and the depth of their roster. Two weeks into NHL free agency, it appears that that roster depth has taken a bit of a hit. Brad Richards, despite not putting up numbers worthy of his cap hit, was bought out by New York and is now with the Chicago Blackhawks. Benoit Pouliot, who was a key to what was regarded as one of the best third lines in the NHL, is now with the Edmonton Oilers. [ SB Nation ]
- Brandon Dubinsky makes the New York Times sports front page – It appears the return of Lebron James is already having an effect on the state of Ohio sports. Due to the big signing with the Cavs, other transactions from Friday also were included on the front page of the New York Times’ sports section; including Brandon Dubinsky’s extension with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Now normally, Dubinsky would get a noteworthy mention in a New York paper due to his time with the Rangers, but because of King James, this one was all for O-H-I-O. [ Puck Daddy ]