Top Line: Tampa jersey prank; Malkin injury update; more links
An annotated guide to today's must-read hockey stories:
• If you're not already a fan of the Lightning, you will be after watching them troll their own players with a fake third jersey reveal. Palm trees!
• Guess we can put aside all that talk about a three-headed monster between the pipes in Vancouver. The Canucks waived Jacob Markstrom yesterday, ostensibly to create roster space for a young forward like Bo Horvat or Hunter Shinkaruk. My guess though? They're hoping to slide him through waivers at a time when every other team seems to be set/injury-free in goal. Smart move by Jim Benning.
• Marian Gaborik says he's made enough money in his career. All he cares about now is winning another Stanley Cup.
• Some saw Anthony DeAngelo as a risky pick this summer, but the Bolts were willing to overlook some character concerns to snag the puck-moving defender in the first round. With his performance so far in camp, he has them thinking they might have another Dan Boyle in the making.
• If this is the Chris Stewart that shows up this season, the Sabres might really have something. Just a beastly performance from him last night...but it's always about consistency with him, isn't it?
• If you've never heard of Capitals prospect Liam O'Brien before, here are a couple of good reasons to get to know him. This first piece is one he wrote detailing his journey through the QMJHL and coming to the realization that junior hockey in Canada is a business. It's also a pretty decent training ground, judging by the Gordie Howe hat trick he put up last night against the Bruins.
• More than 17,000 fans are expected to watch the Blues and Stars battle tonight in Kansas City, reason enough for the bridesmaid city to hold onto its NHL expansion dream.
• Two days after his impressive NHL preseason debut, Nikolay Goldobin signed an entry level deal with the Sharks. Now that he's under contract, everyone's wondering whether San Jose's 2014 first-rounder can actually make the team.
• The comfort that comes from skating with an old friend is helping Mikhail Grabovski make the transition to a new team on Long Island.
• No one is calling Leafs prospect Tyler Biggs “the next Milan Lucic” anymore. Now, they just wonder if he'll ever become an NHL regular. The size, the talent...it's all there for Biggs, who was the 22nd pick in 2011, but a lack of consistency has stymied his development.
• No one doubts Beau Bennett has the talent to be a solid performer for the Penguins. They just wonder if he's too brittle. The promising winger is sidelined indefinitely, again, after suffering a leg injury in practice Friday.
• John Branch recently wrote what is supposed to be a terrific book detailing the life of Derek Boogaard. He's interviewed here for NPR.