Top Line: Sidney Crosby in Flyers orange?; California kid; more links
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• Many Bruins fans were hoping the team would fill an assistant coaching vacancy with former Boston star (and power-play savant) Adam Oates. They got former Avalanche bench boss Joe Sacco instead. I sense a wildly underwhelming level of support for this decision in Beantown.
• Bruins defenseman Kevan Miller was one of just three California-born and bred NHL regulars last season. He talks about what it took to make his name as a player in the Golden State, and his unlikely path to pro success.
• If there was anything young Jared McCann enjoyed more than scoring goals in hockey, it was cross-checking other kids in the face while playing lacrosse. The Canucks hope their 2014 first-rounder brings the same nasty edge to camp as he competes for an NHL job this fall.
• Stars GM Jim Nill knows all about Corsi, Fenwick and other advanced statistics, and he also knows the limits of such measures. Because of this, Dallas is at the forefront of a push to give context to analytics through the use of modern video technology.
• A writer who lived through the advanced stat wars in baseball has a message for everyone in the hockey world: Give it a chance and it'll work out just fine for everyone.
• Nashville prospect Kevin Fiala is the latest prodigy to emerge from the fast-improving Swiss hockey system.
• Matt Drake offers a look at the undeniable impact, and unfairly tarnished legacy, of all-time great Doug Harvey.
• The Senators want to take care of business ahead of next summer by inking extensions with three pending UFAs, including top-six forward Bobby Ryan. Considering that the short-term prognosis for the team is another playoff DNQ, that won't be an easy deal to consummate. A trade, as opposed to losing Ryan in free agency, might end up being Ottawa's only real option.
• Here's an initiative we'd like to see implemented at every youth hockey arena and, eventually, in every NHL rink as well. When it comes to player safety, there's no reason to take shortcuts.