>Although the dark clouds of a potential NHL work stoppage have dominated the summer landscape, numerous former Griffins players and coaches have already secured contracts for the 2004-05 season in either the NHL or overseas.
>On the coaching front, Guy Charron swapped his assistant coach role with the Montreal Canadiens for an identical position with the Florida Panthers, while former Washington Capitals head coach Bruce Cassidy earned a promotion from Chicago Blackhawks pro scout to assistant coach for the Original Six franchise.
>Several players with Grand Rapids ties have re-signed with their NHL clubs, including Mark Mowers and Jamie Rivers in Detroit, Martin Prusek in Ottawa, Karel Rachunek of the New York Rangers, Shane Hnidy in Nashville and Jason Doig in Washington.
>Doig’s former teammate, Joel Kwiatkowski, has found a new home with Charron in Florida, while in the most significant move for a former Griffin, Patrick Lalime was traded from Ottawa to St. Louis, with whom he subsequently signed a one-year deal.
>While action in the NHL has been surprisingly brisk given the uncertainties about the coming season, some alumni have joined the hoard of players flocking to Europe in order to secure guaranteed employment. Former AHL goaltender of the year Marc Lamothe now finds himself with Yaroslavl of the Russian Hockey League, while recent Columbus Blue Jacket Donald MacLean will now ply his trade in Finland with Blues Espoo.