Top Line: Trades coming for Flyers and Capitals?; more links
By Allan Muir
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• Does the training camp invite extended to veteran Hal Gill hint at a trade brewing in Philadelphia? The team reportedly has shopped both Braydon Coburn and Andrej Meszaros in an effort to clear cap space, and Gill might be able to fill a role at a decisively lower cap hit. Keep an eye on this.
• With Marcus Johansson signed and Tom Wilson expected to take a serious run at a roster spot in camp, the Washington Capitals might be looking to clear a body or two off the roster. They might find takers for Jason Chimera and/or John Erskine.
• Sidney Crosby has taken up golf. Turns out he's better than you at that, too.
• Who makes the cut from a crowd of young talent on the blueline will be one of the key storylines as the Buffalo Sabres open camp on Wednesday. I'm putting 2013 first rounder Rasmus Ristolainen at even money to earn a spot.
• Aaron Portzline takes a close look at the subtle changes to the size of the net that the league hopes will lead to an increase in scoring. This kind of pointless tinkering just shows what little stomach they have to do something really impactful.
• For most young goalies, patience is the key to surviving the long road to the NHL.
• Randy Sportak managed to winnow Brian Burke's career down to 10 definitive moments. It's a great list, even if there's no mention of renting barns.
• Salary cap considerations might be all that separate Toronto prospect Morgan Rielly from earning a spot with the Leafs. In other words, not this year, buddy.
• Mike Zeisberger considers a summer's worth of activity as he presents his preseason power rankings.
• Added depth up front and on the back end has Detroit primed for success this season.
• Vancouver owner Francesco Aquilini reveals the Sedins are close to signing contract extensions and discusses the events of a turbulent summer in this rare interview.
• Florida prospect Nick Bjugstad earned an invite to Team USA's summer camp, but that doesn't mean he's ready for the NHL. The Panthers would love to count on the 6-6 center this season, but he has to prove he's up to the challenge.
• Valtteri Filppula is not a replacement for Vincent Lecavalier in Tampa. Although, to be fair, he's likely to be as highly overpaid in terms of offensive contribution as Vinny was, so you can be forgiven for making that mistake.
• The Bolts got rid of one painful contract, but they're stuck with another.• Jonathan Cheechoo said after his debut with Zagreb that the KHL has more passionate fans than the NHL. Of course, they were screaming at him in Croatian, so he may have mistaken them yelling at him to move his feet for enthusiastic support.