Top Line: Time to trade Kessel, Volpatti's vicious hit, more links

Monday January 28th, 2013

Phil Kessel of the Maple Leafs is good trade bait Trying to plug holes by trading high draft picks has backfired on the Maple Leafs, so it may be wiser to deal Phil Kessel. (Nick Turchiaro/Icon SMI)

By Allan Muir

A guide to this morning's must-read stories around the NHL.

• Trading Phil Kessel, rather than offer sheeting P.K. Subban, is the road forward for the Maple Leafs.

• How is this Lambeau Leap by Vancouver's Aaron Volpatti any different than the one that earned Brayden Schenn a suspension last week? If Brendan Shanahan is committed to consistency, this one cries out for supplemental discipline.

• Lots to like about Jarome Iginla's game despite his "slow start." Still, with the Flames struggling to light the lamp, especially five-on-five, they need Iggy to start finishing.

Kyle Clifford started the season on Los Angeles' fourth line, but his hot hand has earned the team's leading scorer a promotion to the Mike Richards/Jeff Carter unit.

• The Oilers have been brutal five-on-five , scoring just four times through four games. Might help if they slowed the parade to the penalty box and bought themselves a little more time at even strength.

• With the long-delayed arena deal finally in place in Edmonton, MacLean's put together an infographic focusing on the costs of the 20 most recent NHL buildings, adjusted for inflation.

John Erskine's little muffin led Washington to their first win of the season.

• After beating Nashville in his NHL debut, 30-year-old Swedish goaltender Viktor Fasth wants to prove he can be trusted to spell starter Jonas Hiller.

• The Blackhawks killed off six consecutive penalties, including a 43-second five-on-three, as they extended their franchise-record winning streak to six games. • Detroit is feeling the post-Lidstrom-partum blues, especially on their struggling power play. A little more ugly down low might go a low way.

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