Top Line: Claude Giroux's freak injury; Alfredsson tale gets messy; more links
By Allan Muir
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• Philly captain Claude Giroux required emergency surgery yesterday after slicing several tendons in what's being called a freak golfing accident. Giroux says his club shattered during a swing, sending fragments into his finger. Sure, the story sounds reasonable, but you'd think with all the time he's had to practice his golf the past couple summers . . .
• It was really kind of sad to watch Daniel Alfredsson and the Ottawa Senators trade shots yesterday. First, Alfie said the team reneged on an agreement to take care of him for his cheapie $1 million season in 2012-13, leading GM Bryan Murray to say that version of events was untrue. Ultimately, as Don Brennan points out, all sides deserve their share of criticism for the ugly way things ended.
• And just to be clear, the NHL won't pursue an investigation into cap circumvention after Alfredsson admitted that's exactly what he and the Sens had in mind with his last contract.
• Adam Proteau writes that Alfredsson did the Sens a favor by bolting for Detroit. He's calling for a standing O when Alfie returns to the Canadian Tire Center (still not used to typing that) on Dec. 1. With three months for the wounds to heal, he might get it.
• Watching the Alfredsson-Senators debacle reminded George Malik of the bitter divorce between the Red Wings and Sergei Fedorov a decade ago. I forgot about the whole DUI coverup angle. Good stuff here from George, as always.
• Josh Harris already worked one miracle in reviving the fortunes of the moribund Philadelphia 76ers. Now, David Giambusso writes, he's ready to work that same magic as the new owner of the New Jersey Devils. The key for the team's fans: Harris seems as interested in winning as he does making money on the deal.
• Steve Politi writes that it will be business first for the Devils' new owners . . . and that's a good thing for a team with off-ice success that has never approached what it has accomplished on ice.
• David Shoalts says Gary Bettman turned a pretty neat trick in getting the New Jersey situation resolved the way he did. All things considered, it's been a pretty good summer for the commish.
• Jose Theodore won't be coming back to the Panthers, but that doesn't mean he's done with hockey.
• A couple of Toronto's top prospects had their eyes opened during an exchange program with two of Europe's top teams. "I'm not sure what it all means," one said. "But I like it!"
• You wanna know my pet peeve? Someone calling Loui Eriksson underrated. If it was 2007, okay, but this guy gets his due and then some these days. Next thing you know, someone's going to call Alexander Semin enigmatic . . .
• There wasn't a rookie I enjoyed watching last season more than Brenden Dillon of the Dallas Stars. Here's a kid who started the season with no guarantees of a job and ended up representing Canada at the World Championship. If you're not on top of who he is, this piece is required reading.
• NHL.com is giving the Buffalo Sabres the 30-in-30 treatment today, and Davis Harper says the pressure is on coach Ron Rolston to accelerate the rebuild. Rolston has shown that he can take a player to the next level during his term with the U.S. development program, but he'll face an entirely different type of challenge with the NHL's youngest team.
• Rob Zombie says the script is finished and he's ready to begin shooting his tribute to the Broad Street Bullies. The next challenge, he says is finding terrific actors who can skate. Guess I should expect a call any day now . . .
• Ulf Samuelsson talks about the Rangers' blueline and the challenges he'll face as the team's newest assistant coach. I just hope he remembers to keep his head up when the Bruins and team president Cam Neely are in town."harassing a small group of African-Americans with racial slurs and epithets."