' Geico Caveman look is about to become a thing of the past. ( Rocky Widner/Getty Images)
By Allan Muir
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• We'll miss the Geico Caveman look, but since he's doing it for charity, we guess we can get on board with the idea of Brent Burns shaving hockey's best head of hair.
• All of Nova Scotia -- and probably the rest of the hockey world -- will be watching tonight as the province's two favorite sons, Sidney Crosby and Nathan MacKinnon, meet up for a Bluenoser's delight in Pittsburgh.
• The Capitals have decided to keep 19-year-old junior eligible forward Tom Wilson with the big club this season. Katie Carerra makes the case that it was the only call that Washington could make.
• Buffalo president Ted Black said, apparently with a completely straight face, that firing GM Darcy Regier at this point would be "a panic move." The hold coach Ron Rolston has on his job, however, might be more tenuous.
• Great "this 'n that" column this morning from Jim Matheson, who touches on a possible destination for Ryan Miller, a Florida/Edmonton trade thought, and a Canadian option to Shattuck-St. Mary's.
• A couple of guys who have been there offer advice to Calgary rookie Sean Monahan on how to make the transition to the NHL as a teenager.
• Mike Heika writes that the Dallas Stars are facing serious trust issues after blowing a 3-1 lead on the way to a crushing loss in Anaheim last night. The pieces might be in place for a revival this year, but they aren't meshing, at least, not the way they could be.
• Ryan Garbutt earned a free trip to New York to meet with Brendan Shanahan after stupidly clocking Anaheim's Dustin Penner in the head. An in-person hearing suggests this could mean more than a game or two on the sidelines for the Dallas forward.
• Shanny also has to deal with Michael Grabner after the Islanders' forward took liberties with the head of Carolina's Nathan Gerbe on Saturday night.
• God bless the boys over at Capgeek. They've launched a Shanaban tracker.
• With their top line shooting blanks, the Wild are hoping that a newcomer can spark the offense.
• After 15 years at NHL University, Martin Biron has decided to retire. Some guys fade away quietly after this decision, but it's a safe bet that we'll be hearing from Biron soon. The guy's personable nature is custom-fit for TV.
• Roman Hamrlik, the first overall pick in the 1992 draft, also announced his decision to hang up his skates yesterday.
• The rest of Vancouver's forwards could take a lesson from the guy who was benched for the third period of last night's loss in Columbus. Jeremy Welsh might not have NHL hands, but he has big league courage and a proven willingness to go to the net.
• Fluto Shinazawa explains what Sweden is doing right as it develops hockey players. There's a book waiting to be written on the coaching approach they're taking over there, particularly in terms of how they're developing players with hockey sense.
• Here's a shocking list of NHL stars who've scored fewer goals this season than Coyotes netminder Mike Smith. Gotta love the attitude of the last name on the list.
• Bill Meltzer has some thoughts on why Claude Giroux's name appears on that goalless list, and says the Flyers are going nowhere until their captain and linemate Jake Voracek start playing with some authority.
• The St. Louis Blues discovered an unexpected diaspora of fans during their four-day team getaway in the Carolinas.
• Tim Thomas is already sick of the losing in Florida, and that attitude may be exactly what the Panthers need.
• "We have to face reality," said Winnipeg goalie Ondrej Pavelec after last night's 3-1 loss to Nashville. "The way we play, we can't be a success." No kidding. What an emotionless performance last night against the Preds. The more I watch this team, the more I'm convinced that coach Claude Noel will be out of work before Christmas.
• Dustin Byfuglien probably would have preferred a better showing last night, what with Team USA GM David Poile in the house, but his performance to date has him in the mix for Team USA . . . and it might be time to sock his name away for Norris Trophy consideration.
• The Maple Leafs
' record still looks pretty good, but the blemishes
are becoming too obvious to ignore in Toronto.