Top Line: Seguin-Eriksson trade buzz; NHL free agency opens; more links
By Allan Muir
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• Both Boston and Dallas engaged in some risky business with this deal, but Kevin Dupont says the Bruins long ago lost faith that Seguin could develop into a No. 1 center.
• Just a note here: Boston fans need to tap the brakes on canonizing Eriksson. He's a heck of a player, but he's not Patrice Bergeron-on-the-wing, as Dupont states. He doesn't have the same compete level (who does?), he never hits and, like most scorers, he's streaky. This was a fair deal, not a case of Peter Chiarelli fleecing new GM Jim Nill of his most prized assets.
• The Stars understand the risks involved with Seguin. But thanks to executive advisor Mark Reechi, they also know exactly what he could become. This is a nice, well-rounded piece from the Dallas perspective by the great Mike Heika.
• Tim Cowlishaw writes that the Dallas Stars were on the right end of Thursday's blockbuster trade. And so were the Boston Bruins.
• The Stars may have won this trade in a rout, according to Ken Campbell.
• Here's Mike Zeisberger with an out-of-towners' perspective on the Seguin-Eriksson deal.
• Zeisberger also takes the time to point out that every one of the top free agents comes as-is. In other words, buyer beware.
• Wait a minute ... is there a chance that general managers might actually exercise caution as free agency officially opens today?
• Dealing Shawn Horcoff to the Stars was all about clearing the salary of a good player who is being paid like a great one.
• Jonathan Willis shares his take on the first day of Edmonton's rookie development camp.
• The Canadian dollar traded at its lowest level in nearly two years on Thursday and is trending downward. That's very bad news for the NHL. Here's why.
• Terry Koshan lists five under-the-radar free agents worth watching and five to avoid.
• Sounds like winning the Jack Adams Trophy paid off for Ottawa coach Paul MacLean.
• The changing fortunes of Ottawa's owner Eugene Melnyk are affecting the team's finances, writes James Bagnall. Well, maybe if he hadn't spent so much money on that CSI team Melnyk hired to investigate Matt Cooke...
• James Mirtle explains why Grabo had to go.
• You think Grabo was ticked? Wait'll you read what former Nordiques coach Michel Bergeron had to say about the way the Coyotes remained in Phoenix. I'm guessing he won't be applying for an NHL head office job any time soon.
• And Grabovski wasn't the only one having a pity party. Turns out Todd Nelson feels he was wronged, too.
• The Canucks might already have Ballard's replacement in sight.
• In the early steps of a rebuild, Calgary GM Jay Feaster needs to avoid overspending in free agency.
• Former first overall pick Bryan Berard is among several hockey players bilked of millions of dollars by an unlicensed financial investor. Now he's fighting back.• Peter Laviolette pulled the bargaining rug out from under his boss when he called Claude Giroux "the best player in the world." Don't be surprised to see some big numbers when Giroux's new deal becomes official, perhaps later today.