An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• The good folks over at Kukla's Korner posted the video of last night's banner-raising ceremony in Chicago. Love 'em or hate 'em, you gotta admit the Hawks did it up right.
• Here's Nick Cotsonika on a night to be treasured in Chicago. I'd forgotten about the business card bit. It's a good reminder of how quickly the Hawks have risen from irrelevancy to the status of cultural treasure in that town.
• Here's an equally compelling read about Carolina analyst Tripp Tracy and his efforts to free his brother after he'd been arrested for spying in Venezuela. The story is only peripherally about hockey, but it's well worth your time.
• Adrian Dater is at his best, offering up an inside look into the life of a hockey beat writer. AD promises it will be a continuing series, so I'm really looking forward to his entry on sportswriter groupies.
• If this head coaching thing doesn't work out for Adam Oates, he probably has a nice fallback career as a stick whisperer. I always knew it was a bad lie, not bad hands, that made me such a duster. Wonder if Oatsie gives private consultations?
• Here's a Washington Post piece on Gary Bettman, a man at the top of his game. It's a balanced read, although I can't believe the writer resisted the urge to place a winking emoji at the end of the quote where Bettman says the league "doesn't take our fans for granted."
• Nashville coach Barry Trotz had no doubts about keeping Seth Jones in the NHL this season. That it goes against everything the organization preaches about player development says it all about Jones and where his game is at.
Related gallery: Kids to watch this season
• Awful Announcing wonders if Chris Chelios can be a credible NHL analyst for Fox Sports 1 while he's working in Detroit's front office. Might help if he stopped referring to the Wings as "we."
• No one in Columbus is expecting a miracle turnaround for a power play that ranked 28th last season. They're just hoping that this year's unit creates more energy than it drains.
• Well, this sucks. Three days after being unveiled in his hometown of Brantford, Ont., a pair of statues honoring Wayne Gretzky were vandalized. On the bright side, they fared better than Jebidiah Springfield.
• Jeff Skinner is saying all the right things about two-way hockey, but the fact that he's playing on Carolina's third line beside Drayson Bowman and Riley Nash speaks volumes about where his game is at right now. Not many teams hide a $5.725 million cap hit on the checking line, so it'll be interesting to see how this plays out.
Related gallery: Players with something to prove
• Hoping to get tickets to one of the two Red Wings-Maple Leafs alumni games scheduled as part of the Winter Classic festivities? Unless you're a season-ticket holder in Detroit or Toronto, you're probably out of luck.
• The declining ice time -- and production -- of Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Dan Boyle is impossible to ignore in San Jose. Although there seems to be good intentions to extend all three before their contracts expire at the end of the season, this might be the last hurrah for these veteran Sharks.
• What's it take to make it to the NHL? Mark Zwolinski talked with five Maple Leafs about the pivotal people, moments and characteristics that earned them a spot on Toronto's opening night roster.
• Sean Gentile compiled a list of the 30 storylines for the 2013-14 season we'll all be sick of soon enough.
• Their season hasn't even started yet and they're already pondering the impact of a veteran sell-off in Calgary. • This list of 10 forwards to watch this season in college hockey might be the best thing Flames' fans read all year.