Martin Brodeur has been relegated to the bench as the Devils have struggled. (Minas Panagiotakis/Icon SMI)
By Allan Muir
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• With the team swirling the drain and his time as the starter at an end, would Martin Brodeur consider a trade that would get him more playing time elsewhere and possibly speed up the rebuild in New Jersey?
• The Penguins have mixed feelings on the league's disciplinary approach to illegal hits. I suppose if you're someone more likely to run afoul of them than be fouled, you might think they're quite reasonable.
• The idea that 38-year-old free agent Vinny Prospal would be a solid add to the New York Rangers sounds preposterous...well, at least until you consider the Blueshirts might dress just two forwards who have scored a goal this season for tonight's game in Detroit.
• Everyone assumed Bobby Ryan and Jason Spezza would form one of the league's top playmaker/finisher duos. It hasn't happened, at least not yet, but that doesn't mean Ryan has struggled to fit in. Instead, he's found his success where he spent most of his time in Anaheim.
• How badly are things going in Detroit of late? It only took coach Mike Babcock 11 games to break a preseason promise.
• Healthy and at the peak of his hockey powers, Sidney Crosby enters a career second act that seemed to be slipping away from him just two years ago. Nice work, as always, by Damien Cox.
• Cox also writes on the embarrassing decline of the Buffalo Sabres under the ownership of Terry Pegula. Deputy Dawg was right: money changes everything.
• You want more video? Just sit back and marvel at incredible concentration displayed by Colorado's Ryan Wilson during this in-game interview.
• There have been no contract talks between the Avs and pending UFA Paul Stastny, but that doesn't mean the veteran center is on his way out in Denver. He's been a different player under Patrick Roy, and the team may decide it is better off keeping him around.
• That Edmonton Oilers' power play that hasn't scored in six games? Not so bad at all, writes David Staples.
• Coming off a trip scuttled by obvious growing pains, the Calgary Flames are hoping to discover that they're something more than a .500 team. The most interesting element to this? A team that everyone expected to be last in the conference is looking to improve on a point-per-game production rate. How great a job is Bob Hartley doing with this group?
• The way the Sabres are going, they'll need a couple of crazy bounces or an incidence of grand larceny between the pipes in order to grab a win. They got one of those two against the hard-luck Panthers last night.
• John Vogl offers an update on John Scott's date with Sheriff Shanny and discusses the challenges of dressing seven defenseman.
• Chris Stevenson suggests NHL fans might want to dial down the bloodlust if they don't want to be disappointed by Shanahan's discipline of Scott.
• Ken Campbell argues that the NHL needs to pursue a course of standardized suspensions. That's a very tricky proposal, given that no two incidents are exactly alike when all factors are considered, but there has to be some baseline that removes the perception of the spinning wheel of justice that exists today.