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Top Line: Is Don Cherry to blame for hockey violence?; more must-reads

Broadcaster Don Cherry has exalted his brand of rock 'em, sock 'em hockey for decades and was cited in a head trauma complaint by former NHL players. Photo: Elsa/Getty Images

Broadcaster Don Cherry has exalted his brand of rock 'em, sock 'em hockey for decades and was cited in a head trauma complaint by former NHL players.

An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:

Canucks president Trevor Linden took a shot at Don Cherry, blaming the commentator's influence for the unnecessary violence in today's game. Linden made the valid point that there's no reason why a player should have to be dragged into a fight just for delivering a clean, hard hit, but he's spending too much time hugging trees if he really believes the threat of impending retribution does nothing to help police the nastier elements of the game.

• Restricted free agent P.K. Subban of the Canadiens talks about Cherry's importance to hockey, returning home to play for the Maple Leafs, having his Olympic gold medal taken away and other topics in this entertaining and wide-ranging interview with Sean Fitz-Gerald.

• What does the Bruins' Brad Marchand think about Montreal's Tomas Plekanec? “Oh, I hate him!”

• If you've got a microphone, new Maple Leafs assistant GM Kyle Dubas is ready and willing to talk. Here he chats about learning from Randy Carlyle, changing his own way of thinking and the potential for converting him into a fan of the Blue Jays.

• Ted Nolan has filled one of the vacancies behind the bench in Buffalo with a bona fide hockey legend. Hall of Famer Bryan Trottier accepted an assistant's job with the Sabres on Tuesday, nearly 12 years after his last coaching gig, which was with the Rangers.

• Should the center-starved Oilers make a play for Buffalo prospect Mikhail Grigorenko? Geez, no. Edmonton needs two experienced pivots for its second and third lines, not a kid with upside but no proven ability to play at the NHL level.

• The clock is officially ticking on Michael Frolik's time with the Jets after the veteran winger signed a one-year deal on Tuesday to avoid arbitration. Frolik has found a niche with Winnipeg and a long-term extension is possible after Jan. 1, but only if GM Kevin Cheveldayoff is willing to pay a premium to keep Frolik around. That's the price of doing business for a team that's based in the NHL's version of Siberia.

• After a year away from hockey, 32-year-old vet Chad LaRose will make a comeback attempt with the Charlotte Checkers of the AHL. That strategy worked out well last year for Manny Malhotra. We wish LaRose all the best.

Writer Risto Pakarinen reflects on life lessons learned from the writings of legendary Soviet coach Anatoli Tarasov and identifies the Russian version of the five-hole.

• A Chilean soccer star playing for the MLS Vancouver Whitecaps says that soccer will overtake hockey's popularity in Canada in 10 to 20 years. Must have bumped his head during that last flop to the turf, eh?

• The wheels of justice turn slowly at the IIHF. The international governing body announced on Tuesday that Team USA forward Justin Abdelkader has been suspended three games for a high sticking incident that took place at the World Championship in May.

• Glad to see former top-10 pick Peter Mueller get another chance in the NHL. Surprised, though, to see it will be with the Blues. St. Louis already has 13 forwards on one-way deals, not including Vladimir Tarasenko, who is still on his ELC. It isn't clear yet where center/right wing Mueller fits, but coming off a 24-goal season in the Swiss league, he's earned the chance to show what he has left in the tank.

• Joe Pelletier's history lesson today reveals one hockey tradition that was changed by World War II. At least temporarily.

• What do Ty Conklin, Rick Wamsley and three other former NHL players have in common with Forrest Gump? Sean McIndoe explains.

• Nice to know that Dustin Brown's FedEx driver is a hockey fan, but the guy probably should have kept this to himself.

• Interested in following along as the inaugural season of Europe's new Champions Hockey League unfolds? The league announced an American broadcast deal on Wednesday morning with something called ONE World Sports, a network that is carried by Dish, Verizon Fios and a couple of small cable outlets in Hawaii and Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Plan accordingly.

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