Top Line: Johansen ponders KHL offer; good news for Gordie; more
An annotated guide to today's must-read hockey stories:
• Farhan Lalji of TSN reported on Saturday night that CSKA Moscow will offer Ryan Johansen a one-year, $5 million deal. It's easy to laugh this off because we've seen how similar offers have gone in the past, right? They're typically rejected because no matter how hard Canadian players fight for the money, they want to skate in the NHL, not the KHL. Still, there's a slim chance that this offer could prove to be the exception if Johansen is determined to alienate the Blue Jackets in order to expedite a trade. Should be fun to watch.
• Fluto Shinzawa's column on Sunday led off with a terrific take on the impact of video coaches and why it's so hard to create truly advanced stats in hockey. He also touched on the comeback potential of Loui Eriksson, the Johansen situation and a great hire by the Oilers.
• Mike Richards understands how close he came to being bought out by the Kings over the summer. To address the reason why, he did something he hasn't done since his days in junior hockey.
• Some of the best news you'll get all day: After a “very bad summer,” Gordie Howe is starting a feel a bit more like himself again.
• The NHL and on-ice officials have yet to reach agreement on a new CBA. What does that mean for the stripes with the preseason starting today?
• You want a hot sports opinion? Larry Brooks calls Edmonton's deal with Justin Schultz ”the most illogical contract of the summer.” And that's not the only problem that Brooks has with the Oilers' off-season.
• The chance for more ice time has Brent Burns supporting the Sharks' decision to move him back to the blue line.
• While Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask is gearing up to win his first Stanley Cup as a starter, Malcolm Subban is hoping to knock off Niklas Svedberg for the chance to be Rask's backup. The competition is open, but P.K.'s little brother shouldn't get his hopes up. As the team's top prospect, he needs to play as often as possible rather than sit around and open the gate to speed up shift changes. Barring a total meltdown by Svedberg, Subban will spend the season in Providence.
• Tough read here from Mike Russo on Ryan Suter dealing with the death of his father.
• When he was in juniors, Kevin Westgarth wanted to improve as a fighter. Can you think of a better place for him to have honed those skills than this?
• Here's an answer to the question that many parents with kids in the game wind up asking themselves: How much hockey is too much?