Top Line: Coyotes gambling with star, trade rumor mongering, more links
By Allan Muir
A guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• "Until our ownership is resolved, we're going to table Mike's contract and hope things work out later." That's Phoenix GM Don Maloney paving the way for Mike Smith's virtually inevitable departure via free agency.
• Rick Nash is eligible to come off IR today, but his absence from practice on Monday says that isn't happening. So when will the Rangers come clean and admit that he suffered a concussion?
• The Blackhawks trailed entering the third period for just the third time this season, but got a tying goal from Viktor Stalberg to push their streak to 19 games, and an OT winner from Marian Hossa for good measure.
• There's no problem with Mike Yeo's dump-and-chase system, says Zach Parise. So, that 28th-ranked offense is apparently just a fluke? Or maybe a sign of a team that has less finishing touch than expected.
• The Maple Leafs applied a lesson learned from their last-minute loss to the Senators to avoid a similar collapse on Monday night against the Flyers. The win gives Toronto 12 in 20 games, making it their best start in 20 years.
• There are plenty of reasons why the Florida Panthers have taken a huge step back this season, but winning is tied directly to one: the power play. Nine of their 11 power play goals have come in the five games they've won.
• Ian Laperriere talks talks concussions, his new life in the Flyers' front office and his part in the Judd Apatow film, This is 40.• I learned today that Elizabeth Banks knows her hockey. And, apparently, she's pals with Kelly Malone, the PA announcer for the Bruins. And so my love for her grows stronger.