Top Line: Kadri contract dispute gets ugly; zombie goalie mask; more links
By Allan Muir
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• So much for an amicable solution to the contract standoff between the Maple Leafs and Nazem Kadri. "I know I’m being pretty reasonable, taking all that cap [not crap -- Editor] into consideration, when really, that’s not my job to do," said the RFA winger. Kids are so precious, aren't they?
• The leader in the clubhouse for the most fetching goalie mask of 2013-14 has to be the one belonging to the Flyers' Steve Mason, which is a tribute to American history...in zombie form. Right? NHL.com has a look at the work-in-progress. With all the cultural attention being paid to the undead these days, maybe this will inspire Canadiens backup Peter Budaj to work up another Ned Flanders mask.
• I'm guessing that there won't be quite as much enthusiasm for this veteran's new headgear.
• Sixteen-year-old phenom Connor McDavid has chosen the perfect role model as he readies for his sophomore season in the OHL.
• The Canadian Medical Association voted to "condemn the complacency" of NHL owners, whom it says have failed to crack down on violence in the game. The NHL yawned in response.
• Violence may be abhorrent to some on the ice, but it sells tickets . . . and video games.
• Wyatt Arndt has played the EA's new NHL 14 and offers up a lengthy review. He seems to like it, which will be good news for my 12-year-old, who walked out of his room after playing the demo version yesterday and advised me to "take that stupid game off my birthday list."
• Want a ticket to Vancouver's outdoor Heritage Classic game? No rush. There are plenty to be had, and they're probably only going to get cheaper as game day approaches. Guess the allure of watching the Canucks and the Senators outdoors isn't undeniable after all.
• James Gordon says even a delusional Ottawa fan would be hard-pressed to agree with the assessment of one hockey yearbook that favors the Senators to win the Stanley Cup. I'm guessing "The Hockey Forecaster" didn't take a really close look at that blue line.
• The timing of this weekend's Olympic orientation camp is forcing one Team Canada hopeful to postpone his honeymoon plans. Though, honestly, the way he finished last season, he probably could have passed on the invite.
• Russia's Olympic hopefuls meet with president Vladimir Putin today. Don't expect anyone to bring up the whole anti-gay law thing.
• Vancouver coach John Tortorella isn't happy about being left off the Team USA staff. Also, he likes dogs.
• Rosie DiManno perfectly voices the frustration felt over the Maple Leafs' new tiered ticket pricing model, while acknowledging that it won't hurt sales one bit. But hey, tiered is one thing. Just wait until they try the dynamic pricing model . . .
• Montreal's team site offers up a list of the 10 best nicknames in Canadiens history. Wait a minute . . . where's Red Light Racicot?!?
• "We've got to start new rivalries, like us and Minnesota," Predators coach Barry Trotz told a Nashville radio station. "They stole Ryan Suter, so I want to kick their butt, plain and simple." Gotta find a way to sell tickets for those Tuesday night games, I guess. • It's never too early to start talking fantasy hockey, right? Chris Nicholls has a look at the top options among Eastern Conference goalies.