It’s Summertime, and I can understand if you
Still feel sad
It’s Summertime, and though it’s hard to see its true

When you look inside, all you’ll see
When you look inside, all you’ll see
Is a self-reflected inner sadness
Look outside, I know that you’ll
Recognize, it’s Summertime

“It’s Summertime”, The Flaming Lips

Mid-Summer time is upon us, and for the hockey world, that usually means following the latest contracts signed by fourth-line/AHL depth players (Zigomanis to the Leafs = plan the parade on Yonge) or the flight of aging former stars to Russia (Pavol, we hardly knew ye). We’re long past the rush that July 1st, the opening of free agency brings, with few notable names remaining to be signed (Ilya Kovalchuk being the lone All-Star-calibre player left, and likely pricing himself out of the market or signing with the Kings).

Mid-Summer is also a great time for reflection on the great iced game:

– As the Stanley Cup travels through British Columbia this week with the five local championship-winning Blackhawks, it certainly causes pause for reflection on why the hometown Vancouver Canucks have nothing to show for themselves.

– Related, having shipped out a ton of support players, including a few of those BC players above, (plus the more-than-auxiliary Dustin Byfuglien), and pushed to the cap, what are the odds the Blackhawks could repeat?

– This Summer break has also allowed TSN and the Globe and Mail to team up for a thought-exercise called “Why Not Canada?”, looking at the viability of a seventh Canadian NHL franchise. Apparently they spent a few dollars on market research, surveys, interviews, etc., when they should have just looked at Part 2 of the three-part open letter I wrote a year and a half ago to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman [Read the whole thing here: (Part 1) (Part 2) (Part 3)].

– How long do Mike Modano, Teemu Selanne, Paul Kariya, etc. need to reflect on whether or not they play next season?

– How effective will the league’s belated rules against headshots be in the coming season?

– Can Steve Yzerman show off the lauded Detroit Red Wings Midas touch now that he’s in Tampa Bay?