Top Line: Vincent Lecavalier's legacy; Kris Letang off to Toronto?; more links
By Allan Muir
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• Hockey memories are only a small part of Vincent Lecavalier's legacy in Tampa.
• Adding Lecavalier would seem to go against the strategy of Montreal GM Marc Bergevin, but he has to give some thought to bringing in his former teammate. But not too much, right? Can you imagine Lecavalier playing in that fish bowl?
• Darren Dreger speculates on market interest in Lecavalier and on who else could be on the move.
• Kris Letang has rejected an eight-year, $54 million offer from the Penguins. There's probably still a little room for GM Ray Shero to work with here, but not much ... and there's not much time left either if he wants to get it done before the draft.
• Here's why Letang might be negotiating himself out of town.
• Hey, if things don't work out for Letang with the Pens, there's always the Maple Leafs.
• Sources say Dan Bylsma will be named as the coach of Team USA for the Sochi Olympics. Absolutely the right call for the Americans. Smart, well-prepared ... and he might have the scoop on the top players for Canada and Russia.
• Chicago GM Stan Bowman is working on new deals for coach Joel Quenneville and defender Nick Leddy. Meanwhile, Bryan Bickell made it clear that staying with the Hawks is his first priority.
• The son of an engineer for Syria is about to become the first Pittsburgh native to have his name engraved on the Stanley Cup.
• Is noted curmudgeon Tony Gallagher out to spoil everyone's fun? Or is he the only sane man in the room when he suggests "cranking the bullbleep filter to max" when taking in this weekend's NHL draft coverage?
• If you're an NHL general manager looking for a defenseman, you might want to give ol' Paul Holmgren a call.
• Be careful not to trip over that line in the sand! Yep, there have been plenty of those drawn by the NHL, but this time they're extra double serious: If there's no arena deal by July 2, the Coyotes are extinct in Phoenix.
• In the end, Brendan Shanahan decided not to take a front office gig in Calgary. That's great news for fans of the NHL's unpredictable Spinning Wheel of Justice!
• All those new rules the NHL wants to enact for next season? Apparently, they have to wait for NHLPA approval. What could possibly go wrong? • This is kind of a big deal: Jokerit is rumored to be leaving the SM-Liiga to join the KHL after next season. Imagine the Habs bolting the NHL and you get the gist of how shocking this is.