Top Line: Trade deadline day may be a dud, AHL realignment, more links
By Allan Muir
A notated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• The jam-packed standings and inflationary asset demands may conspire to dull this year's trade deadline, according to CBC's Elliotte Friedman.
• So, too, might a lack of impact players. Friedman's late-night reaction to the Corey Perry signing suggested that the Ducks couldn't afford to let the valuable winger slip away. How many other teams will feel that way about their assets ahead of the deadline?
• Serving the third game of his four-game suspension kept Perry out of Anaheim's lineup on Monday night. Didn't matter. The Ducks had no trouble disposing of the Sharks to earn their franchise-record 12th consecutive home victory.
• Here's a good read from George Johnson on the parallel lives of Jarome Iginla and Brenden Morrow.
• With realignment bringing (some) geographical sanity back to the NHL, the AHL could be following suit with a realignment of affiliates.
• Sidelined Rangers defenseman Marc Staal hasn't said much since suffering an eye injury last month, but his family has kept everyone informed along the way. Brother Jordan said last night that he believes his older brother is hopeful of returning to play this season.
• The Rangers' offense continues to struggle, but one regulation goal was enough to earn two points, thanks to a magnificent performance from Henrik Lundqvist.
• An 0-5-1 slump has New Jersey on the verge of the playoff precipice, making tonight's game against the Rangers a must-win. Martin Brodeur practiced with the Devils on Monday for the first time in three weeks but he's not expected to play tonight against the New York. He hopes to be ready for a start against Carolina on Thursday.
• The Sabres sent Mikhail Grigrorenko back to juniors. Stefan Matteau was returned to Blainville-Boisbriand by the Devils. But Montreal underager Alex Galchenyuk is sticking with the Habs for the long run.
• The passing of former Canadiens executive Frank Selke, Jr. was mourned around the sporting world.
• Here lie the Florida Panthers. And why not? The Sunrise Boys took another step into the grave with the news that Ed Jovanovski is out indefinitely with a lower-body injury. The hole in the lineup means a greater opportunity for the recently acquired T.J. Brennan.
• The transformation of Alex Ovechkin's game is an ongoing process, according to Katie Carrera.
• Swedish rookie Jakob Silfverberg continues to impress with a strong effort in Ottawa.
• After allowing 16 goals in their last three games, the Nashville Predators are in the clutches of an identity crisis. Looking for a spark from kids like Austin Watson and Taylor Beck makes a lot of sense. So does benching Sergei Kostitsyn.the donation of a shiny silver mug