Top Line: Penguins' impossible dream; camp questions; more links
An annotated guide to today's must-read hockey stories:
• The season hasn't even started and Rob Rossi already has declared the Penguins' Stanley Cup dream dead. Apparently he's not buying into the supposed “culture change” that's being sold by the club.
• Blue Jackets president John Davidson unloaded both barrels on player agent Kurt Overhardt, calling his salary demands for RFA Ryan Johansen “extortion.” The expectation has long been that the two sides would find middle ground somewhere between the $3.5 million per season the team is offering and the $6.5 sought by Johansen. Davidson, however, says doing that “would make no sense.” Negotiations being what they are, this sort of rhetoric will continue to heat up until they come to an agreement. Right now, though, that agreement feels like it is a long way off.
• At least there's this good news for frustrated Columbus fans: The team's top prospects are the champions of the Traverse City rookie tournament. Here's a look at Josh Anderson's overtime goal that clinched it for the Jackets.
• While there's been progress in contract talks between the Rangers and alternate captain Marc Staal, Larry Brooks tempers any enthusiasm with a reminder that the scenario wasn't much different last season when the team was negotiating with Ryan Callahan and Dan Girardi.
• John Vogl says the core philosophies of Sabres coach Ted Nolan are built on faith and trust. That’s why it was so important for Nolan to get the right assistants. He found them in Bryan Trottier, Danny Flynn, Tom Coolen and Arturs Irbe.
• Stars announcer Daryl Reaugh understands that advanced stats are here to stay, but he's not interested in bombarding viewers with them. In fact, he thinks the most popular fancy stats don't reveal as much as their advocates believe, and he has a few ideas of his own that he feels would be more illuminating. Of course, implementing them would involve actually watching the game rather than crunching numbers found online, so ...
• Randy Carlyle talks about dealing with the Maple Leafs' new analytics department, the pressures of the season and Tim Leiweke's character comments in the first part of an “unplugged” interview with Steve Simmons.
• Sharks coach Todd McLellan talks about putting the pieces back together after a summer of discontent in San Jose. If Toronto's Carlyle is on the shortest leash at the start of the season, McLellan's can't be much longer.
• The Sharks have plenty of questions heading into camp, including who will start in net and who will wear the C.
• Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin is willing to let his team's backup goaltending situation sort itself out. He also discusses a position change for the organization's top prospect and how it could impact the fortunes of the club next season.
• The Panthers' miserable special teams are the focus of this pre-camp look at Florida.
• The Hurricanes need a sensational sophomore season from Elias Lindholm if they have any hope of ending their long playoff drought.