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Possible New York Islanders' Lineup Come January 19th

With the NHL 2012-13 lockout finally over and the players in the process of ratifying the new CBA as of yesterday it appears that the beginning of the 2012 - 2013 NHL season is only days away. The league is set to begin on Saturday January 19th, 2013 and although the official schedule is not out many reports have leaked that the New York Islanders will host the New Jersey Devils on opening day.

Here is what the Islanders' lineup could look like come the beginning of this shortened season. (Photo Credit: Kathy Kmonicek)

Will Detroit Sink or Swim in Lockout Shortened Season?

With the NHL lockout over, NHL players that were playing overseas are flooding back to North America in anticipation of NHL training camp starting in a few days. That includes a few Detroit Red Wings players.

Henrik Zetterberg, Valterri Filppula, Pavel Datsyuk, Drew Miller, Jan Mursak, Damien Brunner, Jakub Kindl and Cory Emmerton were some of the Detroit players that played in Europe while the lockout was in progress, and almost all of them have returned to Detroit.

Datsyuk is staying in the KHL until he and his agent know when training camp is starting, and the status of Damien Brunner is unknown. He is currently playing for Zug in the Swiss league, but will likely end up in training camp in Detroit.

Too Many Forwards, What Does It Mean?

Something has got to give. The Detroit Red Wings made four signings today, two of which are forwards. This is a strange predicament the Red Wings are in. They have $17 million left in cap space and are still in on the Zach Parise sweepstakes.

Parise will likely make a decision by tomorrow, but with Jiri Hudler out of the picture, the Red Wings still need a top line winger, which might come in the form of Parise or Alex Semin (or possibly Hudler, although unlikely).

The Jordin Tootoo and Mikael Samuelsson signings give Detroit 16 forwards under contract, not including Justin Abdelkader, who is an RFA, or Tomas Holmstrom, who is UFA.

In a league where you usually dress 12 forwards a game, 16 is too many. Factor in a spot for Abdelkader and a Parise type player, and that's 18 forward spots. What is Ken Holland going to do?

Gustavsson Signs 2 Year Deal With Detroit

Goaltender Jonas Gustavsson has signed a two year deal with the Detroit Red Wings for $3 million a year. The cap hit is a modest $1.5 million.

Gustavsson played last year with the Toronto Maple Leafs, posting a 17-17-4 record with a 2.92 goals against average and a .902 save percentage.

Gustavsson signed with the Leafs in the summer of 2009, and if anyone remembers, the Red Wings were one of the teams in the mix for him.

Jimmy Howard will start next season, but Gustavsson will push him for games. Joey MacDonald is also in the mix, but 'The Monster' will most likely push him out of the way. MacDonald has back issues and a one way contract, and if Gustavsson beats him out of the backup role, MacDonald will be waiver to Grand Rapids.

Gustavsson's first choice was to go to Detroit. His rights were traded to Winnipeg a few days ago, but nothing transpired.

Making Strides

The 2012 NHL Entry Draft has come and gone and the Islanders made it obvious that they are focused on improving their defense for the years to come. With free agency a mere six days away there are many variables that could come into play for New York Islanders' GM Garth Snow and head coach Jack Capuano when deciding which six defenseman will be in the line-up in Pittsburgh on October 13th. (Photo Credit: ESPN.go)

Draft Week Mayhem

With the NHL 2012 Entry Draft rapidly approaching, Friday June 22nd, 2012 into Saturday June 23rd, 2012, there are many selections left to be determined. Most importantly to us is where do the Islanders fit in, in this year's draft. Once again the Islanders have a pick in the top five, this year it is the number 4 pick and there are a few ways in which the Islanders can use this pick. (Photo Credit: The Hockey Writers)

Grading The Wings

It's the time of year where General Managers that are not in the playoffs assess their team's talent and see what needs to be done. Writers can do that too! The Checking Line - Red Wings Edition team of Kyle Busch, Rachel Bellono, Eric Huffman, A.K Bennett, Robert D'Aurelio and Justin Doddie gave every player on the Red Wings a grade and what they thought of their seasons

Injuries Are Not an Excuse

I'm not buying the 'Red Wings have too many injuries' argument any more. This might be the shortest recap I will ever write. Injuries are part of the game. Everyone is a pro hockey player. Battle through adversity. Play hard, grind it out and win by getting scrappy.

The Detroit Red Wings looked like the dead things in an embarrasing 4-0 loss to the lowly Anaheim Ducks and did none of those things mentioned above.

Since I'm not feeling like thinking about this game that much, here's a list of things that I learned about our boys in red tonight/thoughts that came across my mind:

1. They played like the softest team in the league

2. Joey MacDonald ...

Holy Helm!

The Detroit Red Wings fired 16 shots last night, the lowest total of the season. They were a bit lackluster and the Los Angeles Kings dominated most of the game. The end result? 4-3 Detroit on two last second goals by Valtteri Filppula and Darren Helm.

LA opened the scoring when Jeff Carter slid a rebound through Joey MacDonald. Henrik Zetterberg, who has been day to day with an injury, scored twice, one on a nice one timer from Filppula and the other on a drop pass from Flip. Justin Williams scored from an awful angle to make the score 2-2 after two periods.

The Kings got a goal from Dwight King with uner six minutes left and it looked like doomsday for Detroit. Against a goa...

Flyers Skate Past Listless 'Griffins'

Did you do a double take? I called them the Griffins because it's pretty accurate.

The Philadelphia Flyers took down the Grand Detroit Red Griffins (aka Red Wings) 3-2 tonight on the night of Mark Howe's jersey retirement. Detroit played like a bunch of novices for almost the whole game. Henrik Zetterberg scored on Detroit's first shot on goal, but Philly got goals from Jakub Voracek and Claude Giroux. 

Zetterberg's goal was a thing of beauty; a backhand - short side, upstairs over a kneeling Ilya Bryzgalov. Voracek scored on a bank in off Brendan Smith's skate on a partial wraparound. 

Voracek was later rocked by a huge Kronwall hit and was...