Top Line: Turmoil in Vancouver, Miller trade to spark arms race?; more links
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• Everyone who thought the NHL had too many outdoor games on the schedule couldn't complain about Sunday's Heritage Classic, what with there being a roof over the game and all.
• Canucks coach John Tortorella may have been the only one who thought it was a good decision to start backup goalie Eddie Lack over Roberto Luongo in the Classic. The snub of the veteran only served to reignite Vancouver's dormant goalie debate, and did more damage to an already fractured room.
• Daniel Sedin's injury in the Classic should send a clear signal to Canucks GM Mike Gillis that it's time to give up on the playoff dream and focus instead on positioning Vancouver for future success.
• This clearly was not Cody Ceci's day
• They're still buzzing about the big trade in St. Louis, where Ryan Miller led the Blues to victory in his debut on Sunday night.
• Ken Hitchcock loves the addition of Steve Ott because he's a guy who is willing to go a little farther than the guy he's playing against. As far as hockey compliments go, that's a pretty stout recommendation.
• But with cap space in short supply, most deals will require a little financial imagination to add a player and still keep the books balanced.
• Eric Duhatschek considers all the moving parts that need to mesh in order for a Ryan Kesler trade to steal the deadline day spotlight.
• With a contract stalemate settling in, this veteran defenseman might be headed to market before Wednesday's deadline.
• This hockey star earned a nomination for "Most Metal Athlete" from Revolver Magazine, which, if you think about it, kinda makes sense. It's just too bad they didn't hand this thing out back in Jere Lehtinen's day. That guy was metal.
• Snagging Brandon Pirri for a pair of draft picks looks like a low risk/high reward deal for the Panthers. The former AHL scoring champs had no chance of breaking into the deep Chicago lineup, but has a skill set that might find a place in Florida. And if it doesn't work out, well, no huge loss to the organization in terms of assets.
• Gary Bettman threw a couple of logs onto the NHL-to-Seattle fire over the weekend, saying that "it'd be fun for the Canucks to have a geographical rival." It would also be fun if Seattle had an NHL-ready building. Might want to pick up the pace over there, fellas.
• The hockey world's best fake Twitter account reminds us that it's Monahan, not "money ham." • Does big German center Leon Draisatl deserve the surge in pre-draft love that he's been getting the past few weeks? No doubt he's a top-10 pick, but now one scouting expert has him going top-three.