Repeat offender Patrick Kaleta
(right) was released by Buffalo after his return from suspension. (Bruce Benett/Getty Images)
By Allan Muir
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• His 10-game suspension served, serial headhunter Patrick Kaleta was eligible to return to the Buffalo Sabres' lineup yesterday. Instead, he found himself on waivers. Darcy Regier's message: go to the minors and clean up your act. The move won't be well received in Buffalo where Kaleta has pockets of intense fans, but it's absolutely the right statement for the team to make.
• Bucky Gleason disagrees with that assessment.
• Dave Bolland suffered a gruesome injury similar to the one that befell Erik Karlsson last season and is expected to be lost for an extended period. The Leafs, already shallow at center after placing Tyler Bozak on long-term IR earlier in the day, might have to hit the trade market to replace the valuable pivot.
• Adrian Dater says the Avalanche made the right--and only--choice in letting Semyon Varlamov travel with the team this weekend. But that doesn't mean it was an easy call. Here's how it went down.
• Steve Simmons says it was a bad week for the pro-fighting crowd and talks about the evolution of Phil Kessel and success of Tyler Seguin in this week's Sunday column.
• Money's no big deal to Buffalo's owner, but his profligate spending isn't helping the team, or winning over fans. John Vogl takes a look at a dangerous pattern, along with notes from around the league in his Sunday column.
• From the outside, it's hard to understand what took the Canucks so long to retire the number of the greatest player ever to grace their sweater. Tony Gallagher does a nice job filling in the blanks and giving credit where it is due for Pavel Bure's belated big night.
• Here's more on Gino Odjick and his bridge-building efforts that led to last night's reconciliation.
• If you didn't know before that Pavel Bure was married, you most certainly do now.
• Don Cherry explains why Bure was forced to retire so young on Coach's Corner.
• One respected observer says Team Canada's starting job is Roberto Luongo's to lose. He looked the part in last night's blanking of the Leafs.
• Adam Foote had had his jersey retired last night as well, crushing the dreams of young players in Colorado's system who yearned to wear the number 52. Seriously, has a less desirable number ever been hung up than that one?
• Ray Emery won't be suspended for his assault on Braden Holtby Friday night. Not hard to see that decision coming given the tools the league had to work with here, although there was some thought that Gary Bettman might jump in and handle this via executive decree as he did with Sean Avery a few years back.
• Anti-fighting advocate Larry Brooks calls the Emery brawl "the by-product of a permissive NHL", and touches on the Ovechkin Award, Travis Zajac's decline and the frontrunner to play goal for Team USA in his Sunday column.
• Aleksander Barkov's shootout goal against the Caps a beauty.
• Philadelphia's brutal play has masked the impressive start of one Flyer.
• Maybe he was just pandering to the crowd, but an assertion by the American president of the Toronto Maple Leafs is generating some heat back home.
• Meet New York's human Zambonis. Yep, that's actually how they're described in this piece.
• Here's a look at the unlikely success story of San Jose defender Matt Irwin. It's a great read for anyone holding on tightly to that NHL dream.
• Bruce Garrioch tosses around some expected names along with a few surprises as he delves into the NHL's trade market in this week's Sunday column.
• Ottawa is trying to solve a glaring need for defense from within, but you have to think that disaster will require an infusion of outside talent before it stabilizes. Today's early game against Dallas could be pivotal.
• They're still asking for more from Ondrej Pavelec in Winnipeg, apparently unwilling to accept that he's giving the Jets exactly the level of goaltending they should expect from a thoroughly mediocre puckstopper.
• Hosting the 2015 NHL All-Star Game is a big, and well-deserved win for the city of Columbus and the Blue Jackets franchise.
• Krys Barch, the man after whom my oldest named his dog, had a little gross-out fun with fans in Washington last night.
• A year ago, flashy forward Josh Ho-Sang was viewed as a surefire first rounder for the 2014 draft. Then came a season where he was pilloried for selfish, highly individual play that sent his stock plummeting. Now, refocused on making the most of his teammates, Ho-Sang is back as one of the most intriguing prospects
heading into this summer.