Top Line: 10 ways to fix NHL; insane training routines; more links
An annotated guide to today's must-read hockey stories:
• Fluto Shinzawa should have no trouble finding player support for at least one of his 10 ideas to improve the game. The morning skate is a concept whose usefulness has passed. He also dishes on Anthony Mantha and a pending free agent who could be in high demand next summer in his must-read Sunday notes column.
• Rory Boylen looks at the insane offseason training habits of the NHL's fittest players. Meanwhile, I'm looking at a delicious donut.
• With contract talks bogged down, Columbus coach Todd Richards is preparing to enter the season without Ryan Johansen.
• Pat Leonard believes all signs point to Ryan McDonagh being named the next captain of the Rangers.
• Tony Gallagher likes the NHL's slate of new rules for the most part. He just doesn't believe they'll work as intended. He makes a great case for diving being called less often under the new system than it was before.
• Still sitting at home without a solid offer, free-agent winger Ray Whitney says he's come to grips with the likelihood of forced retirement. It'll be too bad that he can't go out on his own terms, but it was a heck of a run for The Wizard.
• Hunter Smith introduced himself to Kale Kessy in last night's Edmonton-Calgary prospects game and offered a gentle reminder of the importance of keeping one's head up when carrying the puck.
• Josh Morrissey watched as Jacob Trouba made a near-seamless jump to the NHL with the Winnipeg Jets at 19 last season. Now he's ready to do the same. If he's anywhere close to the level Trouba was at last fall, he deserves a long look. The Jets could use some new blood—not to mention the speed and puck skills that Morrissey brings to the table.