Hey, puckheads, know it's been a long stretch since The Blog has filed any dispatches – combination of taking some time off after the Alaska Aces' season that seemed never-ending and trying to get up and running through a publishing transition from the old adn.com site to the Alaska Dispatch News site.
We expect – he wrote, fingers crossed, because he's relying on IT brainiacs and is a bona fide computer idiot – to have the blog up and running later this month. (Was gonna write "next week,'' but let's be conservative).
In any event, a lot transpired while The Blog was alternately lying on the couch digging the World Cup, "enjoying'' rural South Dakota with Mrs. Blog and going out for the occasional run.
We've already today detailed Brandon Dubinsky's fat extension with the Columbus Blue Jackets – six years, $35.1 million, so looks like he'll be able to make the mortgage payment.
So, just gonna run some other stuff past you in case you missed it:
Our man Nate Thompson, the center from Anchorage, was traded to the Anaheim Ducks from the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Alaska Aces defenseman Kane Lafranchise, one of the really good dudes, signed a deal with AHL Utica, the affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks.
Former UAF goaltender Chad Johnson, fresh off a sensational season with NHL Boston, signed a two-year deal with the New York Islanders that will net him $2.6 million, the most he's made in the world's best league.
Former UAF sniper Cody Kunyk, who made his NHL debut at season's end, signed a one-year, two-way deal with the Tampa Bay Lightning – it's worth $874K in the big league, $70K in the AHL.
Troy Mann, the Bakersfield Condors coach we got to know a bit during the playoffs – the Aces eliminated the Condors – got the head job with AHL Hershey.
Erstwhile UAA defenseman Quinn Sproule will start his pro career with the ECHL's Idaho Steelheads – Boise's a cool town, so enjoy.
The ECHL's Reading Royals re-signed former UAA winger Sean Wiles, defenseman Bryant Molle of Anchorage and former Aces center/winger Ryan Cruthers.
Kyle Greentree, the UAF winger from back in the day and a dude with some NHL experience (four games, if memory serves) is moving from the Swiss league to the Schwenniger Wild Wings in Germany.
Former Aces winger Shawn Skell signed with ECHL Greenville.
UAF picked up a recruit in former Fairbanks Ice Dogs defenseman Nick Hinz, who led the NAHL at plus-40 this past season and was an All-Midwest Division pick.
And – see if you remember this cat – former Aces defenseman Alain Goulet, who played last season in Kazakhstan, is headed to the French circuit.
More of note probably happened in The Blog's absence, but that's a start.