Top Line: NHL's most stupid new rule; Habs honor Lac Megantic; more links
By Allan Muir
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• The league announced last week a brilliant and impactful rule change that prohibits the tucking in of jerseys. Alex Ovechkin, however, ain't too happy about it . . . and he might have a point about how it appears to have been passed without player consultation. Expect this quiet protest to pick up steam.
• The second day of preseason play and we already have our first nasty headshot of the season. You can be sure the game or two that Jordan Nolan is suspended for will send a serious message of non-tolerance for these shenanigans, right?
• Oh, Nolan thought it was a clean hit? OK then, sorry about the misunderstanding.
• Forget that they lost the game to St. Louis in the shootout and that there were maybe 1,500 diehards in the stands. Last night offered glimpses of hope for the long-suffering Dallas Stars. Tyler Seguin looked quick and creative. Kevin Connauton was menacing. John Klingberg was a ballerina with the puck. Cody Eakin was in the middle of everything. And first rounder Valeri Nichushkin had two goals and NINE shots on net. This looks like a team on the right path for the first time in a long time.
• Dustin Penner may be a blip on the NHL radar, but they're loving him and his divorce over at TMZ.
• Tim Leiweke was ripped to shreds by the fans and media for turning his back on Toronto's history. How well do you think it will go over now that new coach Dallas Eakins is doing something similar in Edmonton?
• Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg have a new running mate on Detroit's top line. It's an interesting choice -- and probably something you want to take notice of if you haven't had your hockey pool draft yet.
• Tomas Tatar can count. He knows he'll be a fringe player this season and he's not thrilled. So the Red Wings are trying to mollify his concerns in public. Think that will make him feel any better about his standing with the team?
• Now you, too, can have hair that is as soft and manageable as Evgeni Malkin's.
• Coach Mike Bales believes a few minor adjustments can return Marc-Andre Fleury to the ranks of the league's top goaltenders. Since when was a complete recalibration of a player's self-confidence considered "minor"?
• Whether they'll admit it or not, the league will be closely monitoring meetings this week that could lead to the construction of a new, NHL-ready arena in Seattle. As each hurdle is passed, expect expansion talk to heat up. • Who owns da Petes? OWNZE! OWNZE!