Top Line: 2014-15 NHL salary cap; outdoor game in Phoenix?; more links
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• Next season's salary cap has been estimated at $71 million, the NHL's Board of Governors was told on Monday. That's a new record high and, amazingly, it doesn't factor in the new Canadian TV deal, which won't count until the 2015-16 season. An equally intriguing number is $52 million, which is where the floor will be set, basically ensuring that Florida will again overspend on veterans no other teams want just to reach the minimum.
• And just imagine what Philly's Paul Holmgren will do with more than $20 million burning a hole in his pockets?
• Hope everyone memorized the steps from the last lockout. Chances are the NHL and NHLPA are headed to the same dance seven years from now.
• The Coyotes are looking to piggyback off the 2015 Super Bowl and bring an outdoor game to Phoenix. Seems like a serious test of Dan Craig's icemaking prowess, but with NHL partner NBC set to broadcast the football game, this could be a bonanza for the league.
• In other outdoor news, Winnipeg has landed the 2016 Heritage Classic. It speaks volumes about the organization that it has secured one of these coveted events just three years into the Jets' existence.
• Corey Perry is good at hockey, eh? Check out this candidate for Goal of the Year:
• Rick Tocchet says Brooks Orpik needs to answer the bell if he wants to throw hits that can knock other players out of a game. He's not alone in holding that opinion. Clean or not, his hit left Loui Eriksson with his second concussion in just over a month. He shouldn't be surprised, or unwilling, if he's taken to task for that.
• Ken Hitchcock says his buddy, baseball Hall of Famer Tony LaRussa, had the mentality and adaptability to be a great hockey coach.
• Hey, if LaRussa is so smart, maybe he can tell Hitch how to get the Blues' struggling first line back in sync.
• Jarome Iginla's return to Calgary on Monday set off a Bieber-like media frenzy and brought the memories flooding back for Flames' fans. Should be a night to remember for Iggy, who deserves his due as the best player in that team's history.
• Another player returning to his former home for the first time tonight probably won't find a reception that's quite as warm and fuzzy.
• Owner Charles Wang and general manager Garth Snow were on hand last night as the Ducks handed the Islanders their 10th straight loss. I don't blame Jack Capuano for a minute here, but with things going this far south, it wouldn't be a surprise me if the Isles' coach got the blue HR folder today.
• This is one of the goriest injuries you'll ever see. Squeamish at all? Don't click it. You've been warned.P.K. Subban and other bubble options for Team Canada in the wake of last weekend's management group meetings. I understand that Jamie Benn is picking up a lot of favor of late, but I have to think that the shift in sentiment is stat driven and not based on a lot of game viewing. Not to suggest that Benn isn't an elite player, but if Subban's candidacy is being docked for risky play, Benn deserves the same treatment for his behavior with the puck, especially in the neutral zone.