Top Line: Johansen offer sheet?; Jamaican Olympic berth?; more links
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• Restricted free agent Ryan Johansen has the right to squeeze every last penny out of Columbus in a new deal, writes Michael Arace. But if he allows the stalled negotiations to cost him a single day of training camp, he risks harming his development and alienating fans. After just one solid season, that'd be a huge mistake on the part of the young center.
• An offer sheet from another team would almost certainly be matched by the Blue Jackets, but that doesn't mean this team shouldn't give it a shot.
• My nine-year-old had to write one of those “what I want to do when I grow up” essays last season. It revolved around an intricate plan to move to Jamaica, retrain failed sprinters into hockey players and turn the sunny island nation into a world hockey power. He'll be crushed to learn that someone beat him to it. The world hockey power part, anyway.
• Can Loui Eriksson to rebound from a sub-par season and step into a first-line role? And if he can't replace the minutes filled last season by Jarome Iginla, who can? Those are two of the looming questions asked in the NHL's 30-in-30 package on the Boston Bruins.
• Speaking of the B's, their cap situation has them front and center in pre-training camp trade buzz. Fluto Shinzawa says one of Johnny Boychuck, Matt Bartkowski, Kevin Millar and Adam McQuaid must be dealt to ensure cap compliance.
• Lucky us: Shinzawa's must-read Sunday notes column is available a day early. Check out his takes on the coach who developed Jonathan Quick's revolutionary style, Sonny Milano's college defection, and the imperfections of a player video tracking system. Great stuff, as always.
• Is this really the best logo in hockey? Yeah, probably.
• San Jose's mishandling of their leadership situation paints a picture of a team in full-blown panic, but Rory Boylen makes the case that the Stanley Cup window is still wide open for the Sharks. I couldn't agree more. This team has its flaws, but it also has a special mix of talent and depth up and down the roster, putting it in line to challenge for the Western Conference crown.
• Sharks assistant coach Larry Robinson explains why the team stripped Joe Thornton of his captaincy. Some fascinating insight into Jumbo's personality here and what does, and doesn't, make a good captain.
• George Malik compiles every possible update on the Red Wings, including the latest on Danny DeKeyser, Riley Sheahan and promising forward Teemu Pulkkinen. You might want to refill the coffee before you dig into this one. You'll be there awhile.