Shaquille O'Neal did the ceremonial puck drop before the Devils
game. (Rich Graessle/Icon SMI)
By Allan Muir
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• That guy driving the Zamboni looks awfully familiar...
• Great piece here by Larry Brooks on how the the Devils have been reduced to treading water by poor asset management, lousy drafting and sub-par player development.
• Buffalo prospect Mikhail Grigorenko has had enough of junior hockey and so has refused an assignment to the QMJHL. Will he take the next plane back to Russia, or will cooler heads prevail?
• Jerry Sullivan considers the changes made in Buffalo last week long overdue and says the Sabres are finally emerging from the darkness of the Regier regime.
• There's more on the Sabres here, but the best part of John Vogl's column is the reveal of the hockey advice Gene Simmons offered Ryan Suter.
• Joe Strauss argues that the St. Louis Blues have it all going for them in their bid for their first-ever Stanley Cup, but there's still one lingering question...
• This trade made the Blues the best team in the NHL.
• Tomas Tatar played with a heavy heart after the death of his father last week. Helene St. James tells how the Red Wings helped him deal with the loss.
• Guessing Lars Eller didn't sleep too well after being robbed by Corey Crawford with this crazy toe save:
• Bruce Garrioch looks at how West Point could re-shape the Panthers, Team Canada reserves, some NHL trade rumors and more in this week's Sunday column.
• One good reason that Aaron Ekblad could go first overall in this summer's NHL draft: the Oilers could end up with the pick and they desperately need a big, rangy defenseman. Not convinced? Here are four more reasons, just for good measure.
• The Flames scored! Note: this is no a story from last season.
• Tony Gallagher writes that the sun is setting on a Vancouver roster that is a pale shadow of what it was just three years ago. That said, it's not all gloom and doom in Vancouver.
• Ken Campbell looks back at former Boston Bruin Don Gallinger and his role in the biggest scandal in NHL history.
• Dave Isaac has the story of a Philadelphia Flyers prospect trying to make his way back to the NHL after suffering a gruesome injury.
• Luke Fox names the greatest snub in Olympic hockey history. Nope, not Bobby Ryan.
• Kevin Lowe and Craig MacTavish aren't going anywhere, fan frustration in Edmonton notwithstanding. But would it be too much to ask for the Oilers braintrust to show a little urgency in their efforts to get the franchise out of the cellar?
• Dave Nonis has said he won't sack coach Randy Carlyle, or trade prospects to help dig the Leafs out of their swoon. So what exactly is he he willing to do?
• Steve Simmons considers Carlyle's shelf life, a key date for Steven Stamkos
and points out the hypocrisy of the advanced stats geeks
in his Sunday column.