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Home Ice

Top Line: Keeping goalie fights in the game; concussion suit flaw; more links

Goalies Ray Emery and Braden Holtby fightRay Emery's beatdown of Braden Holtby added fuel to the NHL's fighting debate. (Tom Mihalek/AP)

By Allan Muir

An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:

• There's a movement afoot to eliminate goalie fights from the game, but the man famously involved in the most recent melee argues that keepers should be treated like every other player. Considering that we've had only 12 goalie fights in the past 13 seasons, the league probably has more pressing issues to deal with. (GALLERY: Wild goalie fights)

• Calling himself "the poster boy for anything bad that [could] happen to somebody" in the pre-helmet era, Morris Titanic explains why he got involved in the concussion lawsuit against the NHL. But in doing so, Titanic, who played just 19 games in the league, exposes one of the key flaws in the suit: proving that his injuries were suffered in the NHL and not in one of the myriad other levels at which he played along the way.

• Eric Duhatschek writes that the most interesting element of Shawn Thornton's suspension isn't its length (15 games). It's what happens if Thornton decides to appeal the verdict. This will be a litmus for the league's appeal process that was negotiated in the latest CBA. Thornton has until 4 p.m. today to file for one. Expect him to exercise that option.

• Is Carolina's Justin Peters the answer to Edmonton's netminding woes? That's just one of several trade scenarios that Bruce Garrioch touches on in this belated Sunday column.

Ranking second in the league at this helps explain why the St. Louis Blues have been one of the league's top teams this season.

• Stephen Walkom made his share of mistakes while wearing the stripes. Now the NHL's director of officiating is focused on improving the performance of the zebras. Here he explains some of the steps taken to ensure that the NHL has the best officials in the world.

• Check out the pillows that Red Wings goalie Petr Mrazek is strapping to his legs. If Jimmy Howard can't go, this guy deserves a few minutes of ice time in the Winter Classic just to show off those bad boys:

https://twitter.com/JohnnyGoalie12/status/412004302987595776

• It was another painful homestand for the Red Wings, who lost two games and, possibly, two players to concussions. Their farm system has come up big as Detroit has suffered through a series of long-term injuries, but as coach Mike Babcock said, they're "running out of guys to get opportunities."

• Mike Chambers reveals the four unlikely pillars to one of the NHL's top defenses. One of them, Nate Guenin, has regressed to the mean of late, but as a unit, this group continues to perform well above its pay grade.

Evgeni Malkin's leg injury is only the latest mishap to befall one of the league's most star-crossed teams.

• How big a bargain is Sidney Crosby's contract under next year's cap?

• There's nothing wrong with the Canadiens that a couple more Alex Galchenyuks couldn't fix.

• Is Ryan Kesler on track for another Selke Trophy? Ben Kuzma makes the case, and reveals that Kesler was looking for a fight before finding one with Jarome Iginla on Saturday night.

• Something has to change in Winnipeg, but as Tim Campbell notes, there are repercussions to making a trade or firing a coach.

Jets goalie Al Montoya explains how a detour into football made him realize how much he loved hockey.

Anthony Peluso was was suspended three games by the NHL for his hit-from-behind on the Stars' Alex Goligoski. There was nothing borderline about this infraction, making it a fairly easy call for Player Safety.

• Danny Briere says it's "only a matter of time" before this player becomes "a dominant force in the NHL."

• Adrian Dater wrote a love letter to Gary Bettman. It's not as creepy as it sounds.

• After tearing up the AHL, Islanders' prospect Ryan Strome is finally ready for his NHL close-up.

• Twitter was kinder than the critics to the first episode of HBO's "24/7."

• Ken Campbell takes a look at the rise of Denmark as source of NHL talent and highlights the turning point along the country's path to becoming a legitimate world hockey power.

• An early-morning knock on the door has always been a painful way for a player to learn that he'd been cut from Canada's national junior team. Now that knock will be followed by an eight-hour flight home from Copenhagen. Coach Brent Sutter took his entire camp roster with him overseas yesterday, meaning three players will have a long time to digest their disappointment before facing the media.

• Ryan Kennedy takes a look at Team Canada after weekend exhibition action to see who might survive the cuts.

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