Top Line: NHL expansion talk cools; changes coming to draft?; more links
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• David Shoalts slaps Seattle's NHL dreamers in the face with this piece that suggests expansion talk has almost no traction at league headquarters.
• Maybe this will cheer them up. Sounds like the efforts by the Panthers' new owner to cadge millions from local government are not being well received. Can't blame Broward County officials for putting the kibosh on a proposal that would cost millions.
• Reports suggest that the NHL is considering further changes to the draft lottery that would make picks beyond the No. 1 choice subject to the whims of the numbered balls.
• It was reported over that weekend that America's Next Top Prospect, Jack Eichel, had reconfirmed his commitment to Boston University, but now it appears that he's not ruling out the QMJHL ... at least, not until after the upcoming Under-18 World Championship. Some fascinating wheels in motion here. I still think he winds up at BU, but the fact that Saint John GM Darrell Young is spending time with the Eichel family and Jack's advisers makes it clear that this situation is far more fluid than the Terriers would like.
• Members of Tampa Bay's Cup team reunited before the game for a dinner, then celebrated with fans on Monday night.
• This was a pretty nice souvenir for everyone in attendance.
• St. Louis was so happy to be the first team to reach 100 points this season that it invited the Jets to dance.
• It's a term only a lawyer could love ... or think up. Here's a look back at the origination of the dreaded upper/lower-body injury.
• Heartfelt piece here from former junior player Greg Sutch on the aftermath of the Terry Trafford tragedy, and the lessons to be learned from his senseless death.
• Northern Ontario doesn't produce NHL talent the way it used to, but there are prospects who are overcoming the challenges of developing their games in a lightly populated region.• With protests rocking the city, Donetsk of the KHL will be forced to play its home playoff games outside of the Ukraine.