Top Line: Prospect camps open; Mistake changes Avs; more links
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• The future may be bright, especially on the prospect-packed blue line, but next season could be tough for a Flyers squad that has seemed to lose ground in the Metropolitan Division since the end of the season.
• The emergence of a pair of promising prospects between the pipes could force the Senators to make a bold call with Craig Anderson at some point this season.
• Sad news out of Ottawa where GM Bryan Murray has been diagnosed with cancer. He's starting treatment immediately and is expected to miss some time. Assistant GM's Pierre Dorion and Randy Lee will take over in his absence. Our thoughts are with Bryan and his family.
• If I was in Boston to see the Bruins' prospect camp, this is the kid I'd be watching closely.
• What was the objective for hopefuls attending the Oilers' prospect camp last night? “Try not to get eaten by bears.”
• The son of a former Oiler is hoping to follow in his father's footsteps.
• First-rounder Nikolaj Ehlers and a massive -- though entirely unheralded -- forward highlight Kirk Penton's list of five prospects to watch as the Jets' development camp gets underway on Monday.
• There's nothing wrong with making mistakes as long as you learn from them. Joe Sakic and Patrick Roy made a big one with their handling of Paul Stastny and it will shape the way they do business moving forward. From now on, pending free agents either buy in to the Avalanche's program or they're gone.
• Not every free-agent signing simply fills a roster hole. Sometimes it also knocks another player down the depth chart, which is what the Radim Vrbata deal did to Alex Burrows in Vancouver. Now the veteran winger has to prove that he still deserves a place among the Canucks' top six forwards. If he can't, the four-year, $18 million extension that Burrows signed last year is going to be an issue for the rebuilding club.
• Going by the six one-year deals that he handed out in free agency, new Penguins GM Jim Rutherford isn't looking for a long-term relationship right now. That's actually a pretty considerate stance from a guy who said right off the bat that he was only looking to remain in his position for two or three years.
• Ever wonder why the quality of officiating at minor hockey games isn't what it used to be? Maybe you're part of the problem.
• Scott Cruickshank has the amazing story of how one of hockey's most feared fighters is trying to change the science of skating. Never underestimate a goon, eh?
• Looks like Slovakia's national roller hockey league champs had themselves a ringer.