Top Line: Fighter rips ex-coach Bob Hartley; Alfie in Ottawa; more links
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• This piece by Mike Chambers and Adrian Dater of The Denver Post tackles the ongoing fighting/concussion debate with a solemn thoroughness. But what makes it a must-read are the damning comments that former Colorado enforcer Scott Parker directs toward his ex-coach, Bob Hartley. This isn't quite the smoking gun that the concussion lawsuit lawyers need, but it paints a vivid picture of institutional neglect that the NHL's attorneys should fear. Parker also makes Hartley, now coach of the Calgary Flames, look like a pretty sorry human being.
• In a companion piece, Chambers illustrates the impact that outlawing fighting has had in American college hockey. It's not pretty.
• Dater doesn't like the chances of the concussion lawsuit succeeding, or Patrick Roy's behavior in the aftermath of Colorado's loss to St. Louis last week.
• Another former enforcer, Darren McCarty, has a new book out just in time for Christmas gift giving. To give you a taste of what's inside, here's an excerpt that details his memories of his legendary beatdown of Claude Lemieux.
• Daniel Alfredsson was overwhelmed by the outpouring of affection from Ottawa fans prior to Sunday's game...and then was booed whenever he touched the puck. Nice to see Sens fans know when it's time to get down to business.
• In case you missed it, here's the Alfredsson pre-game tribute video. Nicely done, although I think it's probably safe to retire "Beautiful Day" by now, don't you?
• Montreal writer Jack Todd has a suggestion for the renovation of Hockey Night In Canada: Turn it into something other than a Maple Leafs home broadcast. I'm guessing this sentiment will play well outside of the Center of the Hockey Universe.
• Mason's been very good for Philly this season. Jake Voracek? Not so much.
• Ed Willes says the Ryan Kesler who showed up against Carolina is the one chance the Canucks have of turning their season around. He also pushes the case of the forgotten man in Canada's goaltending mix for Sochi.
• So this is what Ryan Suter does with the few minutes each night that he's not on the ice.
• Meet the Canadian who got Dennis Rodman into North Korea for his controversial visit last year...and whose next trick will be introducing the NHL to the Hermit Kingdom.
• Shelly Anderson writes that there is a loud sentiment to include Chris Kunitz on the Canadian Olympic team. My take is that sentiment is loud only in the greater Pittsburgh area. Kunitz has some chemistry with Sidney Crosby, but is that enough to earn him a roster spot? Tough to make that case.
• It sounds like Jaromir Jagr and Dainius Zubrus are having fun.
• Tyler Seguin was out of the Dallas lineup on Sunday night with concussion-like symptoms. It's a safe bet that he won't be out long, though, judging by how many laps of the press box he did during the Stars' loss to Edmonton.
• You'll find plenty of people who'll tell you that Henrik Lundqvist is the best goalie in the world, but there are a few who'll counter that he's not even the best in New York these days. That makes Alain Vigneault's choice of a starter against the Jets tonight at MSG a very intriguing call.
• Jim Matheson has too many quick hits in his head for one column. Go here for thoughts on a top draft prospect and Shea Weber's easy decision, here to find out about Ben Scrivens being part of a secret society, and here for Ryan Miller trade rumors and the exposure of an NHL double-standard. Good stuff, as always, from Matty.
• It's not that Jack Capuano isn't putting his heart and soul into his team, but the Islanders look like a team that's desperately in need of a change. There are rumblings that their struggles could cost him his job, but he's hardly the problem. The onus should be on GM Garth Snow to find him a legitimate NHL goaltender.• After suffering through six-straight losses with the Islanders, assistant coach.advisor Doug Weight will finally have something to celebrate tonight: his induction into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame.