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Top Line: Tim Thomas triumphs in return; PEDs in NHL?; more links

Tim Thomas won his NHL debut with the Florida Panthers. After a year away, Tim Thomas looked like his old self in Florida's 4-2 win in Dallas. (Andrew Dieb/Icon SMI)

By Allan Muir

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

• Tim Thomas would have preferred to stop every shot he faced, but he was happy to get the win in his debut with the Florida Panthers.

• Mike Heika really, really commits to the house-building metaphor as a means of reminding fans that the new-look Dallas Stars remain a work in progress.

• More than a few surprising results in this ESPN player poll, but probably none more shocking than the revelation that 20 percent of players polled believe they have a teammate using performance-enhancing drugs.

• Given all they've been through over the past four years, a 4-1 win over the Rangers was just the second-best part of opening night in Phoenix. The best? Not having to waste one single moment worrying about the threat of relocation.

• Not saying the Caps shouldn't take some satisfaction from pulling two points out of thin air last night in Calgary, but when you've been outscored 8-3 at even strength through two games and you're cranking out turnovers like a bakery, there are a few issues that need to be addressed before Game 3.

Marc-Andre Fleury reminded everyone he's still a pretty decent regular-season goalie with a 27-save shutout over the Devils.

• Before the contest against his old team, Jaromir Jagr of the Devils talked candidly about his early years in Pittsburgh and admitted that he might have been a bit self-centered as a younger player.

• There's no need to feel sorry for Cory Schneider. Unless the Red Sox lose today, of course.

• Calling it "an amazing experience for our goaltenders," the GM of the ECHL's Las Vegas Wranglers confirmed his team had invited Ilya Bryzgalov to the team's camp on a tryout basis. Bryz says he's hoping to use his time with the team to stay in shape for what he somehow still sees as an inevitable new opportunity in the NHL.

• TSN's Insider Trading boys talk about Patrick Roy's fine, contract talks for the Sedins, and trade buzz in Anaheim.

• Coach Mike Yeo promised that his Minnesota Wild would play a more aggressive style this season. It made for a more exciting game, but led to the same old results in their opener against the Kings.

• A day after saying that re-signing Dennis Seidenberg was a priority for the Bruins, GM Peter Chiarelli got the deal done. Nice to see a player whose game is routinely overshadowed by sometime partner Zdeno Chara get his due from the team.

• Speaking of strong efforts, how about Jarome Iginla working his way into the hearts of Boston's fans the old-fashioned way last night?

• The Habs continued to show support for Lac-Megantic by holding practice Thursday in the disaster-stricken town. We have some video from the event. The Canadiens have already raised nearly $800,000 for relief efforts there. Well done, boys.

• Despite all the fuss in the media during the past couple of days, fighting won't be going away any time soon. Mark Spector explains why.

• The Oilers needed a little good news after getting waxed in their opener. Here it is.

Daniel Alfredsson is willing to shoot the puck on the power play. That'll make for a nice change from Detroit's pass-pass-pass-pass-cough it up-style of the past few years.

• Looks like Manny Malhotra will get his chance to prove Mike Gillis wrong after all. Despite his protestations, the Canucks buried the veteran center on IR last season after he suffered a serious eye injury. Here's hoping he still has what it takes.

• The Sedins killed penalties, Bobby Lu had a sensational first period and the entire team blocked shots . . . but the Canucks still lost their opener to the Sharks. Daniel Wagner wants Vancouver fans to really let the pain sink in.

• Though his Bunyan-esque beard was sacrificed at the end of last season's Swedish playoffs, Emil Kaberg is back in the facial hair game and he's lookin' pretty good for October.

• The Canadian Supreme Court Justice wannabe who claimed that he was drafted by the Red Wings at age 14 clarified his comments yesterday. Nice try, but it still sounds like his biscuits are burning.
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