* Okay, Stan Bowman did what he had to do in order to secure Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. Smart but what effect does it have on the rest of the Blackhawks? I wonder.

* We know the good; Chi has the Gold Dust Twins of hockey. As for the negative, that will only be determined after we see how the secondary players perform. And that will take a while.

* As a keen Blackhawks follower, I will remain steadfastly concerned about goal tendering superiority as long as Jonathan Quick is with Los Angeles.

* Speaking of Chi, two years ago The Hockey News Annual pegged Patrick Kane as the 47th best NHL player. Toews was in twelfth spot.

* Right now I'd make them five, six, Toews and Kane. Apparently, Stan Bowman agree$.

* Dustin Brown is the best American-born captain in the NHL; but who's second-best? I'll take David Backes.

* I like the Blues "C"-man's explanation: "You watch and observe the guys above you. When your time comes, you're ready."

* Those who don't appreciate Mike Babcock annually predict a "Doomsday in Detroit." And it never happens because of Mike Babcock. And that, my fine, feathered friends, is not what you'd call a coincidence.

* Some hockey players put on a good act for the media but I truly believe Mike Ribeiro will turn over a new -- good -- leaf in Nashville.

* Sorry but I need help; is Jamie Benn really a star or is he still on his way to stardom?

* Once and for all, what's the deal in Edmonton; is it the coach, the general manager or just overrated draft picks?

* Me? I blame the coach. But, then again, it's only me and I'm not behind the Oilers bench.

* The ferocious fallout is over in San Jose and -- whaddya know? -- Joe Thornton is alive and well, and still a Shark.