Top Line: Jaromir Jagr aims at Gretzky; Big job for new Jets coach; more links
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• Now that he's passed his old buddy Mario Lemieux on the NHL's all-time scoring list, Jaromir Jagr has his eyes set on Wayne Gretzky, even if it takes him until he's 70 to catch him. He was joking … we think.
• Speaking of the Penguins, Third String Goalie digs up a 1999 episode of the PBS show Frontline that looks back at the attempt of former Pittsburgh owner Howard Baldwin to rescue the legendary Russian Red Army team from bankruptcy … until the Russian mafia got in the way.
• Here's how to read between the lines of what Winnipeg Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff said during Sunday's press conference so you'll understand what he really meant while announcing the firing of coach Claude Noel and the hiring of Paul Maurice.
• Players who skated for Maurice in Carolina expect him to work wonders with the Winnipeg Jets.
• Mark Spector says solving the dilemma of "immature freelancers" Dustin Byfuglien and Evander Kane will be Maurice's greatest challenge.
• Here are six areas of concern that Maurice has to address to get the Jets back on the right flight path. Yep, only six.
• Wayne Gretzky will end his self-imposed four-year exile from the game to be front and center at the Stadium Series outdoor game between the Kings and Ducks later this month. Equally awesome: Vin Scully is scheduled to take part as well. It's probably just me, but I'm more excited about this game than I was before the Winter Classic.
• As much as they're looking forward to their al fresco rendezvous with their local rivals, the Kings have more pressing concerns at the moment, like their inability to score. Unfortunately, reinforcements aren't coming, so the answers have to be found inside the room.
• The rest of the world should be very concerned next month. Over the past 10 games, Sabres/Team USA goalie Ryan Miller has a save percentage of .950, the best rate during any 10-game segment of his career, thanks to stops like this:
• This has to be one of the most brilliant Children's Wish Foundation moments ever.
• It's time to reconsider the reputation of one of hockey's top coaches. Here's why.
• Ilya Kovalchuk says he doesn't care about wearing the C for Team Russia next month in Sochi … but he might have some fancy new moves to show off.
• It wasn't that long ago that British Columbia was a hockey hinterland. Now, it is a hotbed of the game, producing some of the best talent Canada has to offer.• This young Senator has emerged as Ottawa's most dangerous offensive weapon during the past couple of weeks.