1. Have a sense that Rangers brass is waiting to see if they have a real shot at Phoenix’ Dave Tippett and will see how the interviews (with Alain Vigneault, Dallas Eakins and presumably others) evolve.
2. Prediction: John Tortorella will be back coaching -- if not this year, the next -- in a smaller U.S. market, and be successful. Networks better be careful though, if Torts wants an out from a broadcast contract in order to coach. He joined Tampa and Rangers in mid-season. Still TBD if he’ll again be an assistant on Team USA in Olympics.
3. Personal rooting interests in Conference Finals? Bruins and Hawks for Jagr and Rozsival.
4. Took far too long for definitive move toward mandating that incoming NHLers wear visors and allowing current players the choice. Should’ve been done years ago. Today is two months to the day that Rangers d-man Marc Staal went down with his life-altering eye injury.
5. Talk is cheap, but interesting comments by NHLPA’s Mathieu Schneider on goalie equipment. “We don’t want to be in a situation like we have been with goalie equipment where we continue to do small things and revisit it every couple of years,” Schneider said after the meetings on Tuesday. “We want to make some major changes and feel comfortable where we are and we won’t have to change it for a long time again.”
6. Listening Post: Guitarist William Tyler’s “Impossible Truth”, Phosphorescent, “Muchacho”, and yeah, why not, “Like Clockwork”, the return of Queens of the Stone Age.
7. Summer reading list: Englemann’s “The Stockholm Octavo”, Cornwell’s “1356”, Robert Olen Butler’s “The Hot Country”, Dennis Lehane’s “Live by Night,” (think Affleck’s doing the film); Chris Pavone’s “Expats” and whenever I can get to “The Last Policeman” sequel by Ben Winters.