By John Rolfe
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• John Tavares is expected to be named the next captain of the New York Islanders when training camp rolls around. He certainly deserves the C: Tavares is a hardworking but sometimes quiet leader, a bona fide star, Hart Trophy candidate, and the face of a franchise that is emerging from a long nuclear winter. But the new season will be a challenge when it comes to building on last season's return to the playoffs. Can the Isles sustain their success through a full 82-game schedule in the new Metropolitan Division, which now includes another strong playoff contender in the Capitals to go along with the Penguins, Rangers and Flyers?
• Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe has a nice collection of items for this Sunday morning, including the efforts of one Mr. George Parros to make the fighting experience a bit more realistic when you fire up EA Sports' NHL 14 and its nifty Enforcer Engine in September. There's also the story of a journeyman's fortunate transition to life after retirement, and Alex Pietrangelo's limbo in St. Louis.
• The Daniel Alfredsson saga grinds on through the summer. Alfie is going to hold a press conference this week to tell his side of the tale. Given all the sturm and drang since he signed with Detroit, it should be interesting indeed when the Red Wings visit Ottawa on Dec. 1. If you're still riveted by this stark human drama, George Malik has some thoughts and a collection of relevant links.
• It looks like the Senators will finally settle some old business with Dany Heatley, who departed under less than sunny circumstances in 2009. Perhaps you recall this classic front page from the Ottawa Sun.
• Today's focus in the 30 in 30 series: the Minnesota Wild, who have assembled a collection of young talent that packs some pretty fair potential.
• A little hockey was played on Saturday. The U.S. waxed Canada, 5-1, in the world junior camp finale in Lake Placid, but a Canadian squad coached by Dale Hunter returned the favor in the gold medal game at the U-18 Ivan Hlinka Tournament.
• Apparently, one Mr. Sidney Crosby had an eventful visit to the Department of Motor Vehicles, where his preferential treatment did not sit well with some Pittsburghers.
• For the dog days of summer, a look at what the Blackhawks have been doing with that punch bowl they won back in June. Lots of nice full color photographs if you don't feel like reading. • Ah, for the days of yore when offseason training meant lots of 12-ounce curls and working on your buns. Alas, it's a much more serious business today.