Top Line: A new suitor for Iginla; Spezza vetoes Nashville; more links
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• If things don't work out with the Bruins, the Minnesota Wild would love to talk to Jarome Iginla about moving north. Interesting to read that Iggy is the all-time leader in just about every offensive category against the Wild.
• Fluto Shinzawa's must-read Sunday column examines the long-term implications of the Scott Hartnell deal, the chance of a former Bruin ending up in Tampa and the most important paint job the league could perform.
• The Carl Gunnarsson trade could be the first of many moves for the Maple Leafs over the next few weeks. It better be. It'll take more than a swap of depth defenseman and firing a couple of assistant coaches to get that wreck off the shoals.
• The Flames helped the Blackhawks with their salary cap problems, taking burly winger Brandon Bollig off their hands. Nice pick up for Calgary. Seems like he'd be a Brian Burke player, doesn't he?
• With the 2014 draft in the books, the countdown to the star-studded 2015 draft begins. Led by Connor McDavid, Jack Eichel and Noah Hanifin, it'll be the best class in a decade.
• Helene St. James says the Red Wings have to be aggressive on both the trade market and in free agency to improve a sagging defense. She lists the team's top two targets as Matt Niskanen and Dan Boyle.
• At some point soon, Sharks GM Doug Wilson needs to make up his mind on the future of Joe Thornton in San Jose. Either put Jumbo Joe on the market, or end the speculation once and for all.
• With both Thornton and Spezza turning down trades to Dallas, the Stars will look to free agency to bolster their young corps of talent.
• They don't cover a lot of hockey at the Sydney Morning Herald, so it was left to chief rugby league writer Brad Walter to discuss the importance of Australian Nathan Walker being drafted by the Washington Capitals. Nice job, Brad.
• Australia wasn't the only non-traditional hockey market to crank out its first official prospect yesterday. Josh Wesley became the first player trained in the Tar Heel State to get the call. It's a milestone moment for the sport in the Carolinas and one more feather in the cap for Gary Bettman's Southern expansion plan.
• Since Peter Karmanos owns both the Carolina Hurricanes and the Plymouth Whalers, it's no surprise that his scouts have dipped heavily into the OHL team's roster on draft day. But that might be a practice he should reconsider after looking at the negligible NHL impact of the first 16 Whalers.
• Murray's approach to his first draft for the Sabres speaks volumes about how perceptions are changing to meet the new standards of success in the NHL.
• Joe Smith looks over Tampa's defensive-themed draft haul and reveals how close the Lightning came to acquiring the first-overall pick.