With the new CBA soon to be ratified the 30 GM's will head off to Managers school to try and get a crash course on number crunching and prospect assessment. Well almost all of the GM's as Al Strachan points out one guy will be able to skip the lectures, pie charts and powerpoint presentations. New Jersey's Lou Lamoriello was in the loop from the beginning and was there when the new world was born. As the NHL blanketed all discussions in a veil of secrecy his lodge brothers at the Loyal Order of the Hockey Puck were as much in the dark as the players and player agents.
In Strachan's story, Lucky Lou can get busy searching for valuable soon to be free agents and discarding unwanted salaries. While his fellow GM's stumble there way through math class Lou will be putting the finishing touches on the Devils roster for 2005-06.
Strachan helps clear up some of the confusion for us regarding this next two or three weeks as the old NHL gives way to the new way of doing things. It's interesting to note that regardless of the changes the likes of the Rangers, Red Wings, Leafs and Black Hawks will continue to have large sums of money to spend, while the Islanders and similar size bankrolls will still have problems to deal with.
It may be a brave new world for the NHL, but some of the scenarios seem rather familiar after all.