By Allan Muir
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• With Martin Brodeur scheduled to play half a game tonight, the New Jersey Devils had a chance to make history. And they're blowing it off.
• Here's a great piece from Dave Lozo examining what it's like when you're traded in the NHL. Going by David Perron's experience, it ain't fun.
• This has to be the worst hockey head shot ever, right?
• Owner Mark Chipman has preached patience with the Winnipeg Jets. On Wednesday, he put his money where his mouth is, extending the contract of GM Kevin Cheveldayoff in a clear display of support for his slow-and-steady plan.
• The Canucks are struggling to adapt to the new system imposed by John Tortorella. Roberto Luongo is just struggling to stop pucks.
• Torts is looking for a different type of hockey from the Sedins, but Tony Gallagher says they can't be all things to all people. This feels like it has the makings of a disaster in Vancouver, doesn't it?
• The Stars are finally getting around to naming a captain later this morning. And yes, it's probably who you expected . . . unless you expected Tyler Seguin.
• Bobby Ryan had a rocky relationship with Randy Carlyle in Anaheim, but he knows how much he owes to his former coach.
• HBO's 24/7 crew began chronicling Toronto's season yesterday. If any team is prepared to handle that kind of scrutiny without batting an eye, it's the Maple Leafs.
• Steve Simmons writes that "The Kid" is hardly a fitting nickname for Sidney Crosby these days.
• Now's as good a time as any for Bob McKenzie's first ranking of the top prospects for the 2014 NHL Draft. Roland McKeown seems low to me but, hey, it's early.
• Cal Clutterbuck suffered a grim injury in Tuesday's exhibition against the Flames. He could be out of the Isles' lineup for a while.
• Adam Oates already has rookie forward Tom Wilson penciled into his lineup. It's a good call. Wilson brings an element of menacing physicality that the Capitals desperately need. But keeping him puts GM George McPhee in a tight spot that could require trading a veteran.
• George Richards introduces Vincent Viola, the man who is looking to buy the Florida Panthers. Vincent Viola? Sounds familiar. Ask him what they call a quarter pounder with cheese in France.
• For most fans, the fantasy of being an NHL season-ticket holder is as out of reach financially as a new car. But if you're willing to be a little flexible, say by supporting a team more than 3,500 miles away, dreams can still come true. This is all kinds of brilliant.
• Fox Sports 1's The Crowd Goes Wild is having trouble attracting eyeballs, so someone came to the conclusion that recreating a famous movie scene would be a sure ratings grabber. Since Michael Ontkean wouldn't come on and strip, they settled for having SNL star Kenan Thompson recreate his famous knuckle puck shot from The Mighty Ducks 2 and 3. It is painful gold.
• Every passing day brings the Rangers that much closer to winning their game of chicken with RFA center Derek Stepan. Not sure that's a strong strategy long term, but they're sticking with it.
• Both Stepan and Toronto's Cody Franson might have to wait until the end of next week before any real movement happens.
• Matt Cooke changed his villainous style, so when Raffi Torres says he plans to do the same, we should probably give him the chance, right? Truth is, he has to do something. The league is running out of books to throw at him.
• Not every PTO ends with a new deal. The Rangers sent veteran Johan Hedberg packing yesterday. That's a tough, but hardly unexpected, break for the well-respected veteran.
• Here's Dave Stubbs, one-on-one with Montreal defenseman Andrei Markov.
• Torey Krug was a revelation for the Bruins during the postseason run, but he's in tough to crack Boston's opening night roster.
• Paul Bissonnette is appealing his 10-game suspension for leaving the bench to join an altercation. Good luck with that.
• Craig Morgan is still fuming about the NHL's decision not to suspend Jordan Nolan for his hit on Rusty Klesla, and he has some thoughts about what has to change.
• Sounds like being cheap is about to pay off for Detroit center Cory Emmerton.
• The IIHF is holding its annual congress in Portugal this week (I guess Qatar was all booked up) and they're talking international hockey, including a new European club championship