Top Line: Latest on Kesler, St. Louis trade buzz; hits gone wrong; more links
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• There were reports, counter-reports and no-comments galore once word of Ryan Kesler's trade request went public late last night. Jason Botchford examines some of the reasons why the big center wants out of Vancouver.
• Martin St. Louis needs to let go of his bruised feelings and focus on his obligations to team and teammates, says the very sensible Gary Shelton. Meanwhile, the buzz suggests that the Lightning's captain will accept a trade to only one team: the Rangers.
• A little truth is going a long way in Buffalo. No matter how this trade deadline plays out, writes Bucky Gleason, new GM Tim Murray has earned the trust of the Sabres faithful with his forthright appraisal of where the team is and what has to be done.
• The modern-day Vancouver vs. Ottawa match-up isn't doing much to move tickets to this weekend's outdoor Heritage Classic game, but that doesn't change the fact that the origins of this rivalry changed the way the game was played forever.
• Hockey fans in Washington state wouldn't be the only winners if the NHL ever made its way to Seattle. There would be real economic benefits for some hockey fans in British Columbia, too.
• There's one good reason to trade Jaromir Jagr before the deadline: To turn a rapidly depreciating asset into something with a little longer shelf life. Randy Miller counters with 10 reasons why the Devils should hold on to the aging veteran.
• Dave Bolland suffered a setback in his recovery from a leg injury and won't be in the lineup tonight as the Maple Leafs return to action against the Islanders. He is, however, feeling good enough about himself to issue one of the most insane contract demands ever.
• Figuring out what to do with Bolland is only one of the tough decisions that the Leafs must make during the next week.