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So I'm back from my summer vacation away from blogging. I spent my time relaxing, doing stuff outdoors around my city and even did a little travelling. As I was away from LHB, GM Stevie seems to have been busy reshaping the team to look like, well a competitive team, non? So before we get started on a little catchup of the season, here is something I found during my travels:

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Can you figure out who that player is supposed to be?

Click here to read more...

Click here to read more after the jump...

Neither could I, so here's the other side:

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Lecavalier? Yeah, not so much.

So lots of stuff happened in the off season that I didn't cover, so this may be more for me than for you. The other day I actually got asked to name our presumed opening roster for opening night, and well I admit that had to do a little research before coming up with all the names. So let's just jump in and get this over with:

Who we re-signed?

  • Martin St. Louis, Mike Lundin, Teddy Purcell, Blair Jones, Nate Thompson, Paul Szczechura, Vladimir Mihalik, Radko Gudas, Steve Downie
As I said before, I was a little surprised about St. Louis contract, not for the money but the term. Though in no way do I think it's going to be a bad contract and remember when St. Louis said he wanted to be with a winner not just a re-builder? Well Yzerman must have said something to assure St. Louis that we'll be a competitive team. As for the rest of them, I'm pleased that Lundin has been re-singed, assumed that Downie would be re-signed and as for the rest of them it's nice that they did I guess. Except for Teddy Purcell....I don't really get that.

Who we lost?

  • Andrej Meszaros, Matt Walker, Karri Ramo, Matt Lashoff, Todd Fedoruk, Zenon Konopka, Stephane Veilleux

Who's excited that Meszaros and his dumb contract are no longer on the team? And are you a little surprised that Philly took that?

Zenon Konopka - local fans seemed to like him...I thought he played his role if his role was to get his face mutilated every night but there was really no place for his on this team

Matt Walker - Simon Gagne>Matt Walker

Who we got?

  • Dan Ellis
  • Mitch Fritz
  • Pavel Kubina
  • Niklas Persson
  • Brett Clark
  • Simon Gagne
  • Marc-Antoine Pouliot
  • Chris Durno
  • Mathieu Roy
  • Mike Vernace
  • Dominic Moore
  • Juraj Simek
  • Cedric Desjardins
  • Sean Bergenheim
  • Randy Jones
  • Draft picks: 2012 2nd round, 2011 4th round

So we replaced Niittymaki with Ellis which I saw coming weeks before. It just seemed like a good fit with Ellis wanting a bigger role which he'll have to compete with Mike Smith for. That's assuming Mike Smith has learned to stop some pucks over the summer.

Simon Gagne - Just stay healthy

Depth - One thing Yzerman addressed that we were lacking was depth on the team. Nice signing of Dominic Moore as a centre and re-signing Nate Thompson as his other centre. Also like signing defencemen Brett Clark and Randy Jones to add to our D. And speaking of defense, Pavel Kubina make a return to the team. Apparently he never sold his home in Florida

Who we fired?

  • Tocchet
  • the circus

Coaching Changes?

  • Guy Boucher as is now HCGB
  • Daniel Lacroix as assistant coach
  • Martin Raymond as assistant coach
  • Wayne Fleming as assistant coach
  • Jon Cooper is HC of Norfolk
  • Steve Thomas hired as a player development consultant
Lots of questions about the coaching for me. Another coach, another system and this will be Boucher's first year in the NHL. Will he be like other young coaches ie. Dan Bylsma that seem to breathe some life into their team? We know that he'll be surrounded by great people to support him along the way, so as long as he can get the team to buy into his vision, he has a good base to start with.

Management Changes?

  • Todd Leiweke is the CEO
  • Steve Griggs is COO
Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. That is my opinion of what he has done with the Seattle Sounders.

So where does all of these changes leave us?

This could be the start of something great. After two truly ridiculous seasons I like what I see that has happened with not just the team but the changes that has come to management and the coaching. I have trust in Steve Yzerman because I liked Detroit's system of drafting and management (even if I may not like their fans). I have questions about how well so many faces will be able to come together quickly under a new coach with a new up-tempo style and no NHL experience.

And there's always the Lecavalier factor, because for this team to do well in the long run, he needs to get back to being great. But let's not get ahead of ourselves with all the questions about being great long term, let's just focus on winning this season and treating the fans right because the last owners didn't give a sh-t about the fans.