Top Line: Hurricanes to fire Kirk Muller?; Subban's best; more links
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• Larry Brooks covers a lot of ground in this week's Sunday column, including his disdain for fans who rip Martin Brodeur for sticking around too long, a familiar name who could replace Mike Gillis in Vancouver, and an inevitable coaching change in Carolina.
• Kevin Allen bravely takes on the fool's errand of predicting the wild card races in the wake of last night's whiplash-inducing action.
• It's a good thing the Leafs chose not to give fans the sweaters off their backs at their home finale. Otherwise this might have happened on a night when the crowd was more venomous than ever.
• Bruce Garrioch considers the price to be paid in Vancouver, a player headed for a big payday, and a surprising coach on the hot seat in this week's Sunday column.
• Tough to criticize the Tyler Seguin trade on a day when Reilly Smith wins the Seventh Player Award and Loui Eriksson chips in four assists to help the Bruins clinch top spot in the Eastern Conference.
• Bobby Orr. Gordie Howe. Mario Lemieux. Wayne Gretzky. Dave Andreychuk. We now live in a world where the illustrious hockey achievements of each of these men have been immortalized in bronze. It's not just me, right? This is a pretty lousy statue, isn't it?
• A change to the NHL's lottery system? Don't count on it, says one GM who is likely to be affected.
• Everyone's having fun in New Jersey after a Saturday win that pulled them to within one point of a playoff berth.
• Sitting ninth in the scoring race while setting a slew of personal bests, Taylor Hall is having his best season while the Oilers are having their worst. I really like the way the kid has responded to the Olympic snub, using it to focus his intensity and effort. He should play a huge role at the world championships.
• Tal Pinchevsky does a terrific job capturing the intrigue that led to the fall of hockey's iron curtain. Might want to freshen up the coffee before you dig into this one, but it's well worth the time.
• Patrick Roy called David Backes gutless for jumping Nathan Mackinnon. Can't argue there. No problem here with the "if you go after ours, we'll go after yours" philosophy, but you don't send Backes after an 18-year-old. That's just sorry.
• The guys at HockeyFights.com say the silliness between the Blues and Avs reminds us of exactly why the game needs a tussle every now and then. • Free agent Thomas Greiss has his sights set on becoming a starter next season. Well, Winnipeg might have an opening...