Top Line: NHL award winner leaks; Stanley Cup Final game day; more links
By Allan Muir
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• Surprisingly, the names of the major award winners are leaking out before tonight's presentation. But the plan was foolproof! Foolproof!
• Can tonight's Game 2 possibly live up to the hype generated by Game 1? I've already called in sick for Monday, just in case.
• Eric Duhatschek writes that Patrick Kane isn't the same kid that won the Cup back in 2010. He pays for his cab rides now and everything.
• No player can impact this series the way Zdeno Chara can, writes Steve Simmons.
• With his hockey career stalled, this Cup Finalist nearly gave it all up to become a cop.
• What a sorry move by the Chicago Tribune.
• Kukla's Korner identifies the worst player in the Final. Typically, I'd count myself as an admirer of what this guy brings to the table, but after watching him throughout these playoffs, I think they got it right.
• Will the Coyotes howl in Phoenix next year? Word is a framework is in place that would keep the team in the desert, but we've heard that one before, haven't we? All we know for sure is that we'll know by June 27. Maybe.
• All this wheeling and dealing may be hurting the Philadelphia Flyers more than helping.
• Calgary GM Jay Feaster says his team "has to win" at the draft and in free agency. With three first rounders, this is a make-or-break moment for the franchise...but good luck convincing anyone to sign with the team without the incentive of a massive overpayment.
• The Pens are boo-hooing that Chara punched Sidney Crosby in the jaw during Game 1 of their series, and sent the video to TSN to prove it. Seriously? So whining is an organizational trait now? Look, there's a reason teams don't make the exact nature of injuries known. If the Pens expected Sid to get a pass because he's Sid, they're living in a dream world. The only surprise about this incident is that Crosby was still standing after taking this shot. Good for him.
• Daniel Alfredsson still has no clue what he's going to do next season, but when he knows, we'll know.
• Apparently, he has a higher-profile gig in his sights.
• Mike Heika gives John Tortorella his due, suggesting he might not be such a bad option for the Stars. Hey, at the rate guys are shunning this team, they better grab someone before the only choice they're left with is Gordon Bombay.
• That controversial European goalie ban that was enacted by the Canadian Hockey League this week? Yeah, that was just the start of something much bigger.• The Grand Rapids Griffins blew a chance to sweep the Calder Cup Final and may have lost the services of Gustav Nyquist after a reported spearing incident.