UNSUPPORTED BROWSER
Home Ice

Top Line: First rounders make impact; Chris Pronger's sad days; more links

Valeri Nichushkin of the Dallas StarsStars first-rounder Valeri Nichushkin has been impressive and may be the steal of the 2013 draft. (Getty Images)

By Allan Muir

An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:

• There are 14 first rounders from the 2013 NHL Draft still in camps around the league. Here's a look at seven who could be in uniform on opening night.

• Former Windsor Star great Scott Burnside takes a look at the new normal for Chris Pronger. Love him or hate him, it's a pretty sad story.

• An amazing antique shop find has spawned a fundraising campaign to return one of hockey's oldest trophies to its proper home.

• Uffe Bodin says Florida's signing of Tim Thomas could be the best thing to happen to No. 1 hopeful Jacob Markstrom. Unless you're fluent in Swedish, you might want to open this in Google Chrome or employ some other instant-translate service.

• A report in the New York Post has the Panthers on the verge of being sold.  I'm guessing that awesome crowd at the exhibition home opener sealed the deal.

• Here's the challenge that John Tortorella faces in Vancouver: containing the worst of his profanity-soaked excesses while rousing a group of players whose competitive fires seem to burn a little less brightly than his own. Should be smooth sailing, right?

• The Maple Leafs have done the math, and they know that realignment hasn't done them any favors. But the parade planning meeting is still on, right?

• Getting cut by the Habs probably felt like the worst thing that could have happened to Montreal first rounder Louis Leblanc. And then his girlfriend got on Twitter...

• First rounder Sam Morin is making a strong impression in his first camp with the Flyers, but there's one good reason why he's unlikely to make the club.

• Patrick Roy says he's ready to handle the criticism that comes with being an NHL coach. Still in the honeymoon period, I see.

• Former fifth-overall pick Nino Niederreiter is trying to get his failed career back on track with the Wild, but he's in tough to grab a spot.

Lightning prospect Brett Connolly knows that struggle all too well.

• Owner Ted Leonsis is always happy to talk about how he reshaped the media coverage of his Capitals. If you haven't heard it before, it's interesting stuff . . . once you get past the business jargon, anyway.

• Salary cap issues are about to start pushing some vets onto the unemployment line.

Devils fans who thought their team was purchased by Josh Harris because he loves hockey are about to find out there's no Santa Claus.

• Sounds like Damien Brunner made a decent first impression in New Jersey. He's expected to make his exhibition debut with the Devils on Thursday night with an eye on turning that PTO into a real contract.

• If you're a fan of real estate, or awesome Photoshop work, you'll love this piece on Simon Gagne selling his Quebec mansion. A little belt-tightening before retirement, perhaps?

Henrik Lundqvist, Phil Kessel and the Sedin Twins top the list of 30 players entering their contract years. Luke Fox considers the season ahead and the likelihood of each remaining with his current team.

• It's been a big week for fans of NHL expansion talk, with arena developments afoot in both suburban Toronto and Seattle. Yes, 32 teams. It's only a matter of time now, kids.

• George Malik has all the antics from last night's 2-0 win for the Hawks over Detroit, including several takes on Teemu Pulkkinen's cheap shot on Mike Kostka.

• A group of former Red Wings got together the other night to celebrate the life of the late Shawn Burr. This is a great read from the team's former beat writer, Keith Gave.

• One Team USA hopeful had a pretty good night in L.A.'s 6-0 win over the Ducks. Another one, not so much.

• I'm not sure if this is ammunition for or against fancy stats, but I'm gonna guess both.

• Apparently, "The Amazing Race" is a show on TV that people watch. If you are not among them, perhaps these two L.A. Kings Ice Girls will give you a reason to.

Alex Stalock is making a case for a share of the net in San Jose.

• Only 99 more go-to-sleeps until the World Juniors . . .

• Less than two weeks into the season and they're already firing coaches in the KHL. That's two, so far. Hope Mike Keenan has an escape plan.

More Home Ice

SI.com

Drag this icon to your bookmark bar.
Then delete your old SI.com bookmark.

SI.com

Click the share icon to bookmark us.