Top Line: Stamkos injury impact; big women's hockey brawl; more links
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• Actually, the absence of Stamkos is no excuse, writes Ken Campbell. Losing a player of his abilities would deal a death blow to other nations, but Canada has enough depth up front to remain a favorite for gold.
• Oh, and Tampa Bay might miss him, too.
• In case you missed it (I know I did), there was a record-setting, bench-clearing brawl on Friday night between Bemidji State and Ohio State . . . check that . . . the Bemidji State and Ohio State women's teams. Apparently, one of 'em was hooting and hollering, so what are you gonna do?
• Gary Bettman says the fighting debate has been blown out of proportion by recent events. The commish also shares what happened when he ran into Ray Emery at the White House last week. You suppose Emery was a little tense when he saw the boss walking up?
• Bettman also made the point that the legacy of Brendan Shanahan will be defined more by what he does in his post-playing career than what he accomplished on the ice.
• Lance Hornby looks at the key moments in last night's Hockey Hall of Fame inductions, including Chris Chelios' blunt take on being involved in two NHL lockouts.
• One more on Bettman: The commish is low on future Olympics and high on future World Cups. Or, perhaps more to the point, he's more interested in events where the league makes money. So if the IOC wants the world's best hockey players in South Korea in 2018, it had better be prepared to pony up for their services.
• Bryz spoke with the media in Oklahoma City yesterday about returning to the AHL and the crazy start time for his debut game.
• Igor Larionov, agent of struggling winger Nail Yakupov, is heading to Edmonton to talk to GM Craig MacTavish about the team's use of his star client. One of his messages: Yakupov would welcome a trade. Oh yeah, this should end well.
• Claude Giroux is hoping to build on his offensive breakthrough -- OK, his first goal of the season -- on Philly's upcoming three-game road trip. Wouldn't be a surprise to see him pop in a few now that the gorilla is off his back.
• Remember when Philly signed, and then lost, Danny Cleary over the summer? Looks like they might have caught a break when he went back to Detroit.
• Chris Kreider's edgy play has helped him secure his roster spot since returning to the Rangers. But, as Larry Brooks notes, everyone who plays the game that way has to answer for it once in a while. Kreider better be ready to put up his dukes.
• What does Buffalo have to do to finally get a win at home? Not playing scared would be a good place to start. • The list of walking wounded on Long Island is growing, but New York did get good news about Thomas Vanek on Monday.