Monday September 15th, 2014

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

Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli knows he can't avoid making a trade for much longer. Boston opens camp later this week and he can't get key youngsters Torey Krug and Reilly Smith signed and onto the ice until he moves a vet to clear some cap space.

Cruel summer for Boston Bruins GM

Scouts from the Flames were fascinated for years with the potential of Johnny Gaudreau, and they went to great lengths to keep their interest secret from the Bruins.

• Seattle and Quebec City topped a player survey asking which cities they'd most support for NHL expansion. Surprised Honolulu didn't do better.

• Kevin Kurz looks at the season that lies ahead for Joe Thornton and says that the success of the Sharks still depends on the team's decommissioned captain.

Matching last season's smashing regular season success is a secondary concern for an Avalanche team that needs to focus on winning in the playoffs.

A minority owner of the Wild could be on the verge of selling his stake in the club to become part of the Islanders' new ownership group.

• After an 11-year absence from the league, Hall of Famer Bryan Trottier is thrilled to be back behind an NHL bench. His last stint with the Rangers did not go well, so it'll be interesting to see what he brings to the Sabres next season.

• At 27, Hurricanes forward Nathan Gerbe is still battling to prove he belongs in the NHL.

Kings GM Dean Lombardi has done his homework on advanced stats, but he'll be the first to caution against an over-reliance on them.

Free-agent winger Jiri Sekac followed his heart in deciding to sign with the Canadiens. The 22-year-old Czech has a real shot to make the big club right away and should be one of the most carefully scrutinized players in the team's camp.

Getting goaltender Mike Smith back in top health might have been the most important thing to happen to the Coyotes during the off-season. Smith's play is critical to any chance Arizona has of returning to the playoffs, but don't overlook the losses of Radim Vrbata and Mike Ribeiro. It's tough for any offense to lose two top-six forwards, no matter how much baggage they carry.

The Devils dodged a potential training camp issue by re-signing promising defender Eric Gelinas.

With his tattoos and mohawk, “Big Mike” Cajkovsky might be the most imposing presence at the Capitals' camp.

Flyers prospect Samuel Morin wants to play a mean but smart style of defense. He's lucky to be able to learn from one of the very best blueliners of all time.


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