Top Line: NHL's weakest division; ugly All-Star uniforms; more links
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• Which division stacks up to be the NHL's weakest next season? Adam Proteau has an idea.
• It was reported last week that Sidney Crosby was scheduled to have surgery on a balky wrist. Now he's telling his doctors to stand down. It makes sense to explore alternatives to being cut open, but camp isn't that far off. Don't be surprised to hear that his plans have changed again in the next couple of weeks.
• Is the NHL actually planning on forcing its top players to wear black and neon green jerseys at the 2015 All-Star Game? Sounds like someone took the “no idea is a bad idea” thing too far.
• BizNasty's playing days may be over in Arizona, but the Coyote legend has plans to make his presence felt in the community even if he signs elsewhere.
• Vezina Trophy finalist Semyon Varlamov suffered a minor injury while attending Francois Allaire's goaltending camp in Switzerland. Nothing to worry about, though, right?
• NHL teams looking to shore up their defense might want to give the Bruins or the Avalanche a call. Both clubs have blueliners to spare and they're in a sellin' mood.
• The Sabres' most important prospect says it's nobody's fault but his own that his past two NHL opportunities have been squandered. That Mikhail Grigornenko came to Buffalo's camp with a fresh attitude may be the most significant development of his promising career.
• Mike Harrington shares some hot takes after watching Day 2 of the Sabres' prospects camp, including his thoughts on the boundless potential of Rasmus Ristolainen and the unfortunate reality facing Nikita Zadorov.
• Not sure exactly what the Flyers focused on when handling prospects in the past. Truculence? Good citizenship? Dave Isaac writes that they're now emphasizing skill development. Which seems like a good course, right?
• Josh Cooper says that the Predators embraced the risk of signing Mike Ribeiro and Derek Roy. Ribeiro is saying all the right things about getting his life back on track. If he can do that, he could be a significant contributor in Nashville this season.
• Predators GM David Poile has never been afraid of reclamation projects. But taking risks like the ones he took on Ribeiro and Roy doesn't always pay off.
• It's been a good week for the Dineen boys. First Kevin landed a gig assisting Joel Quenneville with the Blackhawks, and now Gord has been named coach of the Toronto Marlies.
• The Red Wings filled one of their job postings, hiring Tony Granato to assist Mike Babcock behind the bench. Hard to imagine them working together? Certainly to anyone who remembers this encounter.
• Decades of experience at the amateur, international and professional levels made Tom Renney the perfect choice to take over Hockey Canada. His main challenge won't have anything to do with the success of the national team, writes Stephen Whyno. It will be making the game more affordable at the grassroots level. As a hockey parent, that's an agenda I can endorse.
• Guess it runs in the family: Canucks prospect Jordan Subban loves wearing a microphone: