Top Line: Leiweke drops bomb; hockey thrives in UAE; more links
An annotated guide to today's must-read hockey stories:
• Tim Leiweke has already announced he'll be leaving his gig as president of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment next year, but he might not make to next week after making these ill-advised comments. He could be right about character issues in Toronto (*ahem, Phil Kessel*), but as a non-hockey guy who's already headed out the door, his comments were way out of line. Amazing that such a smart guy never quite figured out the culture in Toronto. All things considered, an early departure might be best for both sides.
• You really need to check out this CNN video report on the national team of the United Arab Emirates. Amazing that hockey can thrive in such a hostile environment. And wait'll you get a load of the barn these guys play in.
• Will Jonathan Quick's off-season wrist surgery cause him to miss training camp? Kings GM Dean Lombardi talks about the goalie's health, defending the Stanley Cup and more in this interview.
• The annual NHL media tour forces the stars of the league into countless costume changes and scores of interviews in a matter of hours, but one agent calls it ”a godsend for the players.” Eric Duhatschek explains why.
• It's not just the team that needs a rebuild in Vancouver. Going by this report, so does the fan base.
• Sarah McLellan says the rising cost of free agents, a sluggish trade market and the need for change after consecutive non-playoff finishes have left the Coyotes more willing than usual to integrate youth into the roster. That opportunity ups the ante for the 29 kids taking part in this week's prospects camp.
• Brian Ferlin doesn't have the tools to be a star in the NHL. But the skill set he's bringing to rookie camp this week makes him a prime candidate to grab a spot on one of Boston's depth lines.
• Sure, it was just the opener of a rookie tournament, but Jim Jamieson still managed to learn five things from Vancouver's loss to Edmonton.
• With nothing better to do later on a Friday night, the great Adrian Dater decided to hold an impromptu chat on the upcoming season in Colorado. Some great insight here on what to expect from the Avs.
• Finally, today's entry in the “It ain't hockey, but it's still great” category: Sad dads at a One Direction concert.