Top Line: Tim Leiweke disses Toronto legends; more links
By Allan Muir
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• Steve Buffery echoes the opinion of countless Leafs fans who think new president Tim Leiweke is disrespecting the history of hockey in Toronto when he talks about removing photos of old players from around the Air Canada Centre. Leiweke's clearly one of those guys who thinks he has to come in with guns blazing to prove how valuable he is to his new employers. He's clearly misjudged his market with this tone-deaf plan of action.
• The great Cathal Kelly offers offers his own take on the charismatic Leiweke after a one-on-one sitdown.
• Here's a must-read piece by Tony Gallagher explaining how former sixth overall pick Gilbert Brule hit rock bottom and he how is fighting to resurrect his once limitless career. This is a great reminder that no matter how bright the spotlight, you never really know what's going on once a player steps off the ice.
• Here's a look at the efforts made by one hockey father to protect his son from the financial perils that can destroy a young player's security.
• Eric Francis says goodbye to late coaching great Wayne Fleming.
• Tim Baines maps out the long, difficult road traveled by Bobby Ryan on his way to becoming the newest Ottawa Senator.
• The Vancouver Canucks need to sign five more players, including arbitration-eligible forward Dale Weise, and have less than $5 million left under the cap to get it done. That's not particularly friendly math for GM Mike Gillis.
• Winnipeg GM Kevin Cheveldayoff trimmed his list of dates with the arbitrator by one after inking forward Eric Tangradi to a new two-year deal. Always liked his game, myself. Put in the right spot, I think he can be a productive player for the Jets.
• For a team that had a very shallow pool of talent when it moved to Winnipeg, the Jets are now knee-deep in promising goaltending prospects.
• You've probably never heard of Matt Bailey, but he's one of the scores of unsigned players hoping to catch someone's eye at early summer development camps. Like all of these hopefuls, Bailey refuses to let go of the dream. This is a good look at what it's like to be on the fringes of making it.
• Larry Brooks looks at a preseason that sees the Rangers travel to Vancouver to play against former coach John Tortorella and offers updates on the lingering contract problems involving Derek Stepan and Mats Zuccarello. With just over $4 million available to sign the pair, a trade of a roster player is inevitable if the Blueshirts hope to get both of these RFAs signed.
• With Joe Sakic and Patrick Roy in charge, the priorities in Colorado have switched from pinching pennies to spending to build a winner.
• Detroit GM Ken Holland is headed west for some downtime, but he hasn't put new deals for Gustav Nyquist and Joakim Andersson on the backburner.
• New GM Jim Nill has quickly re-made the Dallas Stars in his image, giving the team's fans reason to hope for better times ahead. But in this town, the only thing that matters are results. And this team needs to get them fast.
• Luke Fox takes a look at the eight teams with captaincy openings, including Ottawa, Edmonton and Calgary.
• Forget going out on top. 38-year-old Chicago winger Jamal Mayers wants to play another season.
• The Hawks dealt injury-plagued agitator Dan Carcillo to the Kings for a conditional draft pick. Think they're going to love him in L.A.?• Nice to see the Blue Jackets add recently retired forward Blake Geoffrion to their scouting staff. Former Kings' defender Bob Halkidis also was hired.