Top Line: Ottawa's next captain; latest free agent signings; more links

Sunday July 7th, 2013

Mike Babcock The Wings' Mike Babcock is happy with the team's offseason so far despite losses. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

By Allan Muir

An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:

• The Ottawa Senators will have to name a new captain to replace the departed Daniel Alfredsson. Don Brennan says there's only one choice.

• The Sens have another job to fill as well and they're hoping they can find the answer internally.

• Steve Simmons' Sunday column kicks off with the thought that this week's Mikhail Grabovksi-Randy Carlyle conflict sounds a lot like the 2012 krefuffle between Nazem Kadri and Ron Wilson. It doesn't matter who you are or how good you are. Somewhere there's a coach who is going to hate you.

• St. Louis GM Doug Armstrong signed center free agent center Derek Roy then described him as "low-risk, high-reward." I'll be interested to see if he revises that impression 20 or 30 games into the season.

Jaromir Jagr is still weighing his options for next season.

• Apparently there are several teams interested in Grabovksi. I'd guess they're all in hockey Siberia, one way or another.

• Here's the great Rosie DiManno writing about seeing the groom naked ahead of hockey's royal wedding yesterday in Prince Edward Island.

• The Dallas Stars just stole half of Detroit's scouting staff. Wow. Seriously. Wow. I don't know how there wasn't a no-compete clause in place to prevent Jim Nill from doing this. Mark this down as one more coup in a week where he has proven himself to be every bit as brilliant as everyone always said he was.

• George Malik wonders why the Wings again failed to do their due diligence and adds his thoughts on a few other pertinent Notown topics.

• Despite those losses, Mike Babcock says the Wings are moving in the right direction.

• The Stars also got first rounder Valeri Nichushkin under contract and expect the big winger to compete for a job in 2013-14.

• What Nill is getting done in Dallas should be making everyone in Buffalo crazy.

• The departure of several well-established vets opens the doors of opportunity for Minnesota's young, talented prospects.

• The signing of Rob Scuderi suggests that this Pittsburgh Penguin is on the trade block.

• Boston GM Peter Chiarelli was willing to let bygones be bygones when he was offered the services of Jarome Iginla.

• Eric Duhatschek writes that second choices made for the best fit with Iggy and the Bruins.

• When everything is considered, maybe the league's general managers didn't spend like drunken sailors on free agents after all. In fact, they may have shown a little restraint compared to years past.

• The Flyers have made some significant changes since the season ended...but are they really any better for them?

• The Flyers are toying with the idea of skating Vincent Lecavalier on a line with Claude Giroux. In hockey parlance, that would be called "putting all your eggs in one basket."

• The Rangers have a trio of RFAs who could draw an offer sheet from an opposing club, but they really only have to worry about this one.

• The Avalanche will be a very different team next season, but one thing remains the same: their lousy defense. Granted, Adrian Dater actually calls it "mediocre" but can you come up with five that are worse?

• Danny Cleary wants to play in Detroit, and the Wings would love to have him. But to find room for the veteran under the cap, someone else has to go.

• The Lightning are in the same tight spot, and may have to make a move on defense to take care of pressing needs up front.

Hurricanes quietly and cheaply. Anton Khudobin
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