Top Line: Latest on Varlamov's arrest; Hawk to skip White House; more links
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• Here's the latest on the Semyon Varlamov arrest from the Denver Westword blog. Pretty disturbing allegations.
• In a bizarre sideshow, a Russian official is accusing the U.S. of an Olympic plot in the arrest of Varlamov.
• Adrian Dater reminds everyone that the Avalanche have been through this before and survived. His final line is key.
• From the Department of Unfortunate Timing: This feature on Varlamov and the influence of coach Patrick Roy on his breakthrough season hit the wires about two hours before his arrest became public knowledge.
• Roy's former coach, Bob Hartley, explains why the Hall of Famer has been so successful behind the bench.
• A prominent member of Chicago's 2013 Stanley Cup-winning team has announced that he'll skip the White House ceremony honoring the Blackhawks next week. Another political stand . . . or something more sinister? Or maybe not such a bad reason at all.
• The Hawks are riding a wave of enthusiasm provided by their high-energy kiddie corps.
• Some very hot sports opinions here from Washington goalie Braden Holtby, who is not pleased with the play, or preparation, of his teammates. "You see too much of guys joking around and listening to music and just looking really loose, like it's a practice. We're paid to prepare, [not to] have a dance party before the game." Might want to read this one with some oven mitts on.
• Today's disciplinary hearing for Buffalo's blunt object, John Scott, has some fans expecting a change in the way the league deals with goons. Those who do will be disappointed, writes David Shoalts.
• One NHL team has decided to silence their goal celebrations for the rest of the season and act like they've been there before after scoring. I appreciate the respect angle that these players taking, but not everyone is Bobby Orr. A little personality isn't necessarily a bad thing.
• Three points out of eight on a road trip? That's pretty good by this team's standards. • In a move described as "the biggest PR coup since its inception five years ago", the KHL has officially confirmed that Finnish powerhouse Jokerit will leave that country's SM-Liiga and join the Russian league. The move has been rumored since a large stake was purchased in the club by, you guessed it, a Russian oil billionaire.