Top Line: Luongo's sucky contract, Rangers win trade day, more links
By Allan Muir
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• It's official: Glen Sather won the trade deadline. After watching his new guys light it up, guess we can go ahead and hand them the Cup, eh?
• The acquisition of Ben Bishop verifies what I wrote a couple weeks back when Guy Boucher was fired: the goalies weren't good enough in Tampa. Bishop will get a chance to square off against his ex-mates next week.
• Ottawa gave up a foot in height, but gained a Calder Trophy candidate in the deal.
• The trade of captain Jason Pominville is the biggest step yet in Buffalo's rebuild. Which leads Bucky Gleason to ask a question on the lips of many Sabres fans: Why is Darcy Regier still around to clean up the mess he made?
• Minnesota's management sent a clear message to its players with Wednesday's Jason Pominville trade. Unfortunately, it didn't appear to sink in before the team lost for their third time in four games.
• Will San Jose fans warm up to the idea of newcomer Raffi Torres in teal?
• The Coyotes haven't been eliminated from the playoff race yet, but the decision to trade off Steve Sullivan, Raffi Torres and Matthew Lombardi shows that GM Don Maloney is pragmatic about his team's chances.
• Winnipeg GM Kevin Cheveldayoff "stuck to the plan" at the deadline, which is a nice way of saying that he failed to improve his team and he is comfortable with another season on the playoff sidelines. Make of that what you will, Jets fans.
• Steve Tambellini's quiet trade day was lauded as sensible in Edmonton. Apparently his team appreciated the vote of confidence as it scored eight unanswered goals to rout the Flames. Taylor Hall had five points, and now has 15 in his last six games.
• Depressing news out of Boston, where top center Patrice Bergeron has suffered another concussion. No word on a possible return date. The team's chances for the Stanley Cup are officially zero without him.
• Either there's a shortage of white towels in Raleigh or Carolina GM Jim Rutherford is oblivious to the sorry state of his franchise.
• One of the quiet stories of the day: Dallas didn't trade energy forward Eric Nystrom. The good news is that the pending UFA is working on a new deal with the team. Nystrom is one of those players whose value you can't grasp unless you watch him regularly. He's a good one.
• How does James Reimer feel after watching Toronto's management scramble to bring in Luongo and Miikka Kiprusoff? Steve Simmons suggests a certain unpopular meat substance is a viable comparison. • The Panthers were quiet on the trade front, but took a big step towards a brighter future with the signing of top prospect Nick Bjugstad.