Top Line: Tyler Seguin story never ends; Hall of Fame chatter; more links
By Allan Muir
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• Cam Neely never pulled any punches on the ice, but it sounds like he's ready to put a stop to the demonization of Tyler Seguin in Boston.
• In Toronto, they're ready to recast the Maple Leafs as the winners of the Phil Kessel trade in the wake of all the Seguin silliness. If anyone's actually thinking that, they would be wrong. Kessel for Loui Eriksson, Dougie Hamilton, Jared Knight, Joe Morrow, etc., etc. still looks pretty lopsided for Boston.
• David Shoalts offers his thoughts on the Hockey Hall of Fame's Class of 2013.
• If you weren't familiar with Geraldine Heaney, here's your introduction to the Bobby Orr of women's hockey.
• After 23 years, "The Fog" has finally lifted on the Hall of Fame. Me, I would have given the nod to Pat Burns first, but there's no arguing that Fred Shero was overdue for recognition.
• I realize you can't rule anyone out if the Hall of Fame has inducted Dick Duff and Bernie Federko, but Rod Brind'Amour? Good player, but man, I just can't see it.
• Same thing with Dave Andreychuk. Excellent numbers, especially when added up over a lengthy career, but he's hockey's answer to Edgar Martinez. There's less to his candidacy than the stats support.
• Don Cherry offered up some candid thoughts on some of the top stories of the early off-season. Other than the hot sports opinions, you know what's great about this story? It comes from a sit-down that Don gave to the editor of a newspaper in small-town Grand Prairie, Alberta, that might have a circ of 20,000. Aren't many personalities of his magnitude that would do that. Good on ya, Don.
• The development of Alex Petrovic is one of the big reasons the Florida Panthers bypassed Seth Jones at the NHL Draft. Petrovic is one of four big, mobile and young defenders ready to make an impact for the Cats.
• Of course there's a hockey angle to the flooding in Toronto. I mean, it's Toronto.
• Maple Leafs prospect Morgan Rielly is at a crossroads this season. The team seems less inclined to rush young players than in the past, but it wouldn't be a surprise to see the 2012 first rounder start the season in Toronto.
• Craig MacTavish made some lavish promises when he took over as GM in Edmonton, but it looks like he's coming up short against his own expectations. One positive: the Clarkson camp spurned his higher offer to sign with the Leafs. Consider that a bullet dodged.
• Sports agents, as a rule, aren't held up as paragons of virtue, but the late Don Baizley held himself to a higher standard. High marks to Eric Duhatschek for this eloquent remembrance of a life well led.
• Philly's 2012 first rounder, Scott Laughton, thinks he's ready to stick with the Flyers this season. A little offensive polish might be all he needs.
• The agent for Alex Burmistrov confirms that friction between the player and coach Claude Noel played a big role in his decision to bolt Winnipeg.
• Matt Cooke reached out to the family of the late Derek Boogaard before asking to wear his familiar No. 24 with the Minnesota Wild.
• Every time I read Keegan Kanzig's name I think it's a typo, but that's the fault of a brain that's spent too much time focused on the Misfits. Anyway, just because the 6'-7", 241-pound behemoth racked up 159 PiMs while earning seven assists doesn't make him a goon. No kidding. That's an actual angle.• It doesn't sound like Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk is handling the Daniel Alfrdesson breakup well. "It was tough for me to learn this as an owner that, how can you do this sort of thing?" Is this guy for real?