Top Line: Gary Bettman on Oprah? Yes, Please!; more links

Saturday January 19th, 2013

Gary Bettman Is the Commissioner keeping things from us that we'd like to know? (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

By Allan Muir

 A simple yes or no question. The great Scott Feschuk imagines a world where the commish channels his inner Lance Armstrong and fesses up on Oprah's couch. Also, free puppies!

 Something old, something new. True fact. More Minnesotans kept warm during the lockout by wearing a Wild sweater -- Zach Parise or Ryan Suter -- than by burning an effigy of Bettman. The Wild faithful finally get to see their pricey free agents don the togs tonight, along with rookies Mikael Granlund and Mat Dumba.

 Wishful thinking. The Sens start the season with three goalies and the belief that Ben Bishop could net a top-four defender in trade. Yeah, for a 26-year-old with a 7-8-3 career record.

 Putty in his hands. Blues' coach Ken Hitchcock brought in Sergei Zubov to mold the game of Norris-candidate Alex Pietrangelo. Sort of like a less sexy, more beardy Demi Moore.

 Him again? The Devils open their 18th consecutive season with Martin Brodeur in net, toppling the record of 17 held by beer-league legend Wayne "Mosa" Stewart of the Motor City Auto Vikings.

 Tree-huggers, rejoice! The OHL's plan to reduce -- not eliminate -- fighting seems to be working. Somewhere, Don Cherry clutches his heart in mock agony and yells, "I'm comin' to join ya, Blue!" That is mock agony, right? • Quit hogging the remote. Not in Dallas for tonight's opener against the Coyotes? No worries. You can watch it on TV ... just like franchise player Jamie Benn.

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