Top Line: P.K. Subban fallout; case of missing Stanley Cup ring; more links
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• Elliotte Friedman explains how things got personal between the Habs and P.K. Subban during yesterday's arbitration hearing and lays out Montreal's four options for proceeding. Three of 'em don't sound very appealing for the player or the team's fans.
• Pat Hickey has the reaction from Montreal to the Subban hearing. Suffice to say there's not a lot of optimism among the diehards.
• Montreal blogger Andrew Berkshire says the Canadiens are on the brink of a franchise-altering mistake with Subban and GM Marc Bergevin needs to cave on his demands pronto.
• Wait ... maybe this isn't Bergevin's fault at all, but a tactic by Subban's camp to grease the player's path to unrestricted free agency two years from now. Interesting take from the always erudite Chris Johnston.
• If the situation is a little too tense in Montreal, Jonathan Willis says the Edmonton Oilers would gladly help the Habs clear up their Subban problem. I'm guessing 28 other teams would be willing to step up as well.
• Joe Haggerty's right that Boston has RFAs Torey Krug and Reilly Smith over a barrel and should be able to get both players signed to cap-friendly low-dough deals when the time is right. Not so sure I agree that a Jake Gardiner-type deal is in Krug's future, though. He's a dynamic power play weapon, but until he makes himself into something more than a third-pairing defender at five-on-five, he'll have to set his sights a little lower.
• A group of Korean hockey players is training in Southern California with an eye on qualifying for the 2018 Olympics. They've got less than three years to bump their world ranking from 23rd to 18th in order to make the cut.
• NHL.com's summer round-up features focuses on the Carolina Hurricanes, a team that now boasts three second-rounders among its top four prospects. Nice to see Guelph winger Brock McGinn getting some love here. He's developed exactly as Carolina hoped since he was selected 47th in 2012 and looks to have a real shot of earning a roster spot with the 'Canes this season.
• Goaltender Maximilian Pajpach hopes being the only Slovakian selected in the 2014 NHL draft won't be his only claim to fame when all is said and done.
• Former Montreal Canadien Yvon Lambert is appealing to the public for help recovering his 1976 Stanley Cup ring. The treasured memento went missing Thursday night at a Montreal restaurant.