Top Line: New details on possible Islanders sale; Mad Mike ripped; more
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• New details have emerged about the ongoing talks that could result in owner Charles Wang selling the Islanders. We now know the interested party, as well as some of the financial details, which suggests that things are farther along than we imagined during the last week ... and explains why Wang was so furious when the story first leaked.
• After the Toews incident, NBC's Mike Milbury railed against the Penguins' Brooks Orpik for being a predatory hitter -- which, of course, he is. Several folks took issue with Mad Mike, including Paul Bissonnette, who took to Twitter to share a hot sports opinion on Milbury's broadcasting style.
• In Pittsburgh, Chicago's Brandon Saad will always be the one who got away.
• In his Monday morning musings, Jim Matheson considers how far the Ducks might go in pursuit of Ryan Kesler, wonders where Phil Kessel's been during the Maple Leafs' slide and looks at some contractual options for the Oilers' Justin Schultz.
• Matty also has an update on the challenges facing Teemu Selanne's son, the toughest out in hockey and the value of finding gems late in the draft.
• The timing of Matt Duchene's injury could be devastating to the upstart Avalanche, but it'll all come down to how serious it is and how coach Patrick Roy decides to compensate during Duchene's convalescence.
• As a lost season winds down in Buffalo, there are still silver linings to be found.
• I hate reading stories about Gordie Howe now. It's just too sad to think of that great, garrulous man and what dementia is doing to him. But on the occasion of his 86th birthday, Helene St. James reminds us that he still has his good days. Here's hoping for many more of those.
• Here's a happier Gordie Howe story.
• Gordie made his name as the greatest right wing of all time, but should he have played center?
• Gordie was always the best about signing autographs. Dave Stubbs asked him about it.
• So this is what it's come to now in Toronto: Welcoming the Leafs' late-season collapse, and their inevitable playoff DNQ, as the best possible outcomes.
• That's just great, Randy Carlyle. Now look what you've done.
• You don't see carnage like this from one hit every day.
• If extrapolated numbers and charts add to your enjoyment of hockey, you'll probably dig this exercise in hardcore crunching to determine the NHL's best and worst defensemen. If, however, they give you an extreme case of tired-head, you might want to skip this link. • And finally, your morning tearjerker, courtesy of the Hurricanes. Man, this stuff gets me every time.