Top Line: Would NHL skip Sochi?; Steven Stamkos scare; more links

Publish date:

The specter of terrorism hovers over Sochi and its Bolshoi Ice Dome hockey arena. (Ivan Sekretarev/AP)

Bolshoi Ice Dome Olympic ice hockey arena in Sochi

By Allan Muir

An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:

• There's already talk that the NHL will skip the 2018 Olympics in South Korea, but could it also take a pass on next month's Games in Sochi? That possibility is in play as the league evaluates security concerns ahead of the highly anticipated tournament. As Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly told last week, the league has the right to pull its players at any point.

• According to a new survey, seven percent of Canadians say they will skip work to watch Olympic hockey games. The other 93 percent are liars.

• Don Cherry can't believe that this player was left off Team Canada's roster.

• As the Lightning embark on a six-day tour of Canada, more eyes are on who isn't dressing for the Bolts than who is. Steven Stamkos had Canadians pressing the panic button when he skipped practice on Monday, but he says his decision should not be read as a step back in any way. We'll see ...

• "It's not like guys are trying to sabotage the Montreal Canadiens," says Max Pacioretty in response to questions about coach Michel Therrien's control of the team. "We all want to win." But that desire has been in short supply over the course of the team's four-game losing streak, leaving some doubt as to whether Pacioretty is being truthful ... or merely diplomatic.

• Lots of talk last night that Avalanche forward P.A. Parenteau could be on the move to Montreal for Rene Bourque. The deal was reportedly scotched by the Canadiens, which makes absolutely no sense given how little Bourque brings to the table.

• Adam Proteau says that the Sabres need to trade Ryan Miller -- the sooner, the better.

• The Rangers are talking contract extensions with both Mats Zuccarello and Ryan Callahan.

• Blues coach Ken Hitchcock says that all of the things that Vladimir Tarasenko showed in flashes last season are happening more consistently this year.

• They came from Canada, Sweden, Russia and points in between to watch their sons play hockey for the Capitals. Barry Svrluga has the story of Washington's annual father-son road trip.

• The last time Tim Thomas was in Boston, he earned a standing ovation from an appreciative crowd. The reception might not be so warm tonight as he returns to Beantown to make his first start against the Bruins as a member of the Panthers.

• All it took was three goals in three minutes by the Staal brothers for the Hurricanes to stretch their winning streak to four games.

• Could Pekka Rinne be back in the Predators' lineup this season? There's talk of an AHL rehab assignment during the Olympic break.

• No, it wasn't a shot on net, but it was a pretty nifty play by Roberto Luongo just the same:

• Sportsnet is running a series on Mike Keenan's adventures coaching Magnitogorsk of the KHL. The latest installment can be found here.

We're number six!