Top Line: Art Ross dark horse; Leafs purgatory; more links
An annotated guide to today's must-read hockey stories:
• Ken Campbell goes rogue and makes John Tavares his favorite to win the Art Ross Trophy.
• Cathal Kelly says rooting for the Maple Leafs is like going to church and never getting to the part about redemption. Hey, there's always the hope of salvation through expansion.
• This new top line that the Devils stitched together in could be interesting.
• With fourth liners eating up more important minutes, players need to bring more than a willing set of knuckles to earn a spot on an NHL roster.
• The Oilers are looking to sign rookie camp standout Vladimir Tkachev. The tiny dynamo of a forward was passed over in the draft and will return to the pool next summer if Edmonton can't get his name on a contract.
• The Great One is about to become a grandpa. And with that, a generation of hockey fans bids goodbye to its youth.
• Even after losing three defensemen to free agency, there's a logjam of experienced talent on Pittsburgh's blueline. Still, youngsters Brian Dumoulin and Scott Harrington bring the kind of puck-moving skills that could enable them to force their way onto that crowded roster.
• The race for the Calder Trophy opened up a bit with the news that Tampa Bay forward Jonathan Drouin will be sidelined 3-4 weeks with a fractured thumb.
• The Flyers will be hard-pressed to replace Kimmo Timonen's even-strength minutes in the lineup, but Mark Streit looks like he has the power play covered.
• Philly fans have spoken: They want their Ice Girls back.
• Mike Babcock says that goalie Jimmy Howard has earned the right to feel good about himself after putting in the work on his conditioning during the summer. Now maybe his teammates can do a little work on breaking the puck out of their zone ...
• The Anaheim Ducks are hoping that the youthful exuberance of players like Devante Smith-Pelly and Rickard Rakell will help compensate for the losses of Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu.
• A change in positioning, and in conditioning, has St. Louis Blues forward Patrik Berglund set to rebound from the crushing disappointment of 2013-14. He looked full value for his effort on Monday night with extra jump in his legs and some solid work along the boards.
• The Florida Panthers are going to change the way they do business this season even if that means leaving a few thousand more seats empty at the ol' barn. They're definitely going for the short-term pain with this plan, but full marks for doing things the right way.
• This may be the most Canadian story ever written.
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