Top Line: More on Morrows trade, Ruff choice in Tampa Bay, more links
By Allan Muir
A notated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• Mike Heika offers up a solid piece on what Brenden Morrow meant to the Stars.
• It's time for Sabres owner Terry Pegula to bring in a team of hockey advisors to help him run the team. Bucky Gleason offers some smart recommendations, including Pat LaFontaine, Rick Dudley, Don Luce and Mike Peca.
• With his school-age children his top priority, Mike Ribeiro is looking for at least four years on his next contract. He's hoping to stay in Washington, but if the Caps can't meet that term demand, he thinks it's best for him to move on.
• Ribeiro's former teammate Brad Richards says "he's never experienced anything like" his current struggles with the Rangers. His assist on Sunday night against the Capitals was his first point in seven games. Richards is Exhibit A when discussing New York's lost season.
• Boston coach Claude Julien has demoted struggling winger Milan Lucic from the top line as the B's look to shake up their offense.
• The Caps are hoping a system that promotes shorter outlet passes will minimize the physical abuse opponents lay on defenseman Mike Green. Being a little quicker on the draw would help him, too.
• Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Teemu Selanne all earned misconducts in the frustrating final minute of a 2-1 loss to Detroit. There's the old Ducks we know and love, eh? Says a lot about the job Bruce Boudreau has done that we've seen so little of that this season.
• Ed Willes makes the case that Vancouver's coaching staff has excelled despite an injury-ravaged lineup.
• The Jets finally got something from No. 1 center Bryan Little and bounced back from consecutive losses to the Caps with a big win over the Lightning.
• The Red Wings will get a look at top prospect Calle Jarnkrok in Grand Rapids starting today, but his North American season will be limited to nine games before he heads back to Sweden for the World Championship. Jarnkrok, who reminds me more than a little of Henrik Zetterberg, will be back in North America full-time next season.
• Helene St. James has the last word on the Dan DeKeyser situation.
• Coming off a frustrating loss to the Sabres, the Montreal Canadiens face a crucial three-game slate against the Penguins, Bruins and Rangers. Getting their shots off more quickly will be a key focus after Buffalo blocked 31 on Saturday.
• Adrian Dater says "there is a feeling of utter hopelessness" in the Avalanche dressing room. There's nothing to be gained by making a coaching change at this point, but I'd be surprised if Joe Sacco is still in place a month from now.
• Jim Matheson touches on the stunning downturn in the career of Tyler Myers along with a few other hot topics.
• Jordan Nolan of the Kings was fined $1,496.34 for a nasty cross check on Vancouver's Henrik Sedin. I suspect that's the last trouble we'll get from that young man! • The NCAA announced the 16 teams that will vie for the national title. I don't really cover U.S. college hockey, so I'm thinking I might pick a team to root for through the tourney. Any suggestions?