Top Line: Best "home" team; fun with NHL logos; more links
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• What would the NHL look like if every player decided to go home like NBA star LeBron James? Let's just say the Maple Leafs might never lose a game with stars like Steven Stamkos, John Tavares and P.K. Subban donning the blue and white.
• If you've never heard of Graves Disease or Devils prospect Graham Black before, this story will astound you. You'll want to root for this kid after reading what he's been through just to reach New Jersey's development camp.
• The Oilers' current rebuild began with the disastrous 2009–10 season. Jonathan Willis notes that not one single player from that team remains in the system. More shocking, though, is how little that Edmonton got in return for those “assets.”
• Everyone's having fun with logos this summer. Here's an imaginative emblem reboot of the six Canadian teams that missed the playoffs last season.
• Adam Proteau says that the in-game entertainment experience is broken at too many NHL arenas and he has some ideas on how to fix the issue. No problem with most of his complaints, but he rips on one bit that inevitably goes over huge every time a team sets it up: the planted “fan” who pops up on the video board and reacts wildly to a song. Don't think that one's going away any time soon.
• The irascible Stan Fischler quick-hits some of the day's hot topics, including the deal for Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, the stardom of Jamie Benn and the impact of Mike Babcock on the Red Wings.
• The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, as part of an investigation into high-frequency trading strategies, is seeking information on 10 brokerage firms, including Virtu Financial, which is controlled by Panthers owner Vinnie Viola. It's just an investigation at this point, but this situation has the potential to impact the team down the road.
• The departure of Jason Spezza means that the Senators will need a new captain in 2014–15. Veteran Chris Neil knows exactly who should get the C.
• Former Predators defenseman Michael Del Zotto is determined to prove his doubters wrong. The question is, is there a team out there that's willing to give him a chance? MDZ has all the physical tools to be a terrific player, but questions about his hockey sense may force him to make his case in Europe instead of in the NHL.
• Tracey Myers has the story of Blackhawks prospect Jack Ramsey, a kid who was born to play the game.
• It's pretty clear from the way he handles this kid that the real beauty is “James” Corrado: