Burnin' for you: Alex Ovechkin
was determined to play at Sochi even if the NHL didn't send its players. (AP Photos)
By Allan Muir
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• Looks like Ovi had fun kicking off the Olympic torch relay. And check out how he works in the sponsor's name like a pro!
• Here's a great piece on Ovechkin from Dave Sheinin, who writes that maturing relationships are redefining The Great 8 and helping him take aim at two significant career goals in 2013-14.
• Remember how the Maple Leafs fleeced the Bruins in that Tomas Kaberle trade a couple of years back? Well, Kaberle helped the B's win the Stanley Cup (kind of), while Joe Colborne, the key piece sent to Toronto, never quite managed to crack the lineup. Faced with losing him on waivers today, the Buds shipped him to Calgary for a conditional fourth-rounder. It becomes a third if he scores 10 goals and 35 points or Calgary makes the playoffs. So, pretty much it's going to be a fourth rounder.
• The Flames say Calgary-native Colborne "fits in very well with our rebuild," but honestly, there are no guarantees that he makes that roster, either.
• This is just a reminder that Bobby Orr is nearly as good at life as he was at hockey. And he was the best ever at hockey.
• It's not often that a PR department forwards a YouTube link, so I figured it had to be something pretty sweet. It is.
• The Canucks were in dire need of some depth up front. The Hurricanes needed to dump a semi-bad contract. So Carolina sent Zac Dalpe and Jeremy Welsh to Vancouver for what amounts to a bag of pucks.
• The Coyotes have new owners, their core locked up and a strong manager/coach combo. So, we're pretty much past the point of excuses then, aren't we?
• The league reduced the 10-game penalty it handed to Paul Bissonnette last week to three for leaving the bench to join a fight, citing insufficient video evidence to support the original suspension. It's a ludicrous decision, of course. Either he's guilty of the offense or he's not, but this is what you get with the spinning wheel of justice.
• Nice to see Biz work one of my favorite chirps into his message of thanks on Twitter.
• The Panthers added a couple of interesting pieces yesterday, signing Brad Boyes and Tom Gilbert to one-year deals after inviting the vets to camp on PTOs. Florida also reacquired banger Krys Barch in a deal with the Devils.
• A busy waiver wire weekend got rolling on Saturday as the Flyers put useful vets Adam Hall and Bruno Gervais up for grabs. That means Scott Laughton may have survived a lousy camp, and Hal Gill might stick after all.
• 47 years after the team was admitted to the league in the original expansion, Blues fans are wondering if this, finally, is the year. Bernie Miklasz says the pieces are in place. It's time for the players to do their part.
• The Jets are going through a lot of "humorous, blindfolded stuff" in Banff ahead of the season opener.
• It's not the Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks that Winnipeg should look to for inspiration. It's the Boston Bruins. Here's why.
• It's pretty sad when an injury to a Norris Trophy finalist is viewed through the prism of providing salary cap relief rather than "Holy crap! We just lost a Norris trophy finalist!"
• The Pens expected to win a lot more than one Stanley Cup in the eight years since the dawn of the Sidney Crosby era. So, no pressure this year or anything.
• The Wings have some tough decisions to make today, but they've already made up their minds on Joakim Andersson.
• Detroit sportswriters like the chances of the Wings this season now that they've moved to the East.
• Steve Simmons goes Leaf-heavy in his Sunday column, but he also touches on something that makes me nuts: the absence of Sergei Makarov from the Hockey Hall of Fame. I know that keeps you up at night, too, right?
• In his Sunday column, Larry Brooks reminds us to appreciate the greatness of Martin Brodeur while we can and looks at what the lockout really cost players last season.
• Adrian Dater believes that better days lie ahead for the Colorado Avalanche, but the team's fans shouldn't start planning the parade just yet.
• One of Buffalo's two first rounders from the 2013 draft has made the team's opening night roster. The other has an owie on his finger.
• The new-look Dallas Stars are ready for their close-up. It won't always be pretty, but more often than not it'll be entertaining. And entertainment value is something that's been missing from this club for too long.
• If you're a knuckledragger like your buddies here at Top Line, we think you'll enjoy this beauty of a tilt
from the WHL last night.