Top Line: Ryan Kesler's obscene rant; a team nixes Tim Thomas; more links
By Allan Muir
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• We can cross one team off the list of possible destinations for Tim Thomas.
• Roy MacGregor offers up another cracker of a piece that illustrates the three areas of concern -- danger, cost and time -- that are killing the game of hockey and explains why now is the time to save it.
• Could the elimination of bodychecking save the game at the youth level?
• Sounds like another contract stalemate has come to an end. Bruce Garrioch is reporting that the Ottawa Senators have come to terms with RFA defender Jared Cowen on a four-year deal that will pay him $12 million. It's an interesting deal -- sort of a bridge between a bridge and a long-term -- and one that will allow both sides to hold their heads up.
• There's an interesting battle brewing in Ottawa's camp for a job on the second line. Cory Conacher, acquired last season in the Ben Bishop trade, would seem to have the edge, but a pair of rookies are pushing hard.
• Life's a struggle these days for Chris Pronger. The certain Hall of Famer is dealing with post-concussion symptoms that have his playing career on hold while walking a fine ethical line in his new job as scout for the Flyers.
• Had to be a scary moment the other day for new Dallas Star Rich Peverley when team doctors informed him their tests had uncovered an irregular heartbeat, a condition that can be fatal during exercise. He underwent a procedure Friday that will sideline him for three weeks, but should keep him safe.
• A positional switch has created a new Dynamic Duo in Colorado.
• Still upset that Jesse Pinkman didn't light the match and burn down Walter White's house? Then you'll love the way Henrik Tallinder just torched his relationship with Devils' coach Pete DeBoer. Whoompf!
• Every parent whose kid is cut from a team this fall needs to share Kevin Allen's story on the perseverance of Matt Moulson with them. What a great piece.
• The guys over at Extra Mustard have outdone themselves with this analysis of hockey players and their favorite superheroes.
• Here's George Malik with his usual bang-up job detailing everything that happened to the Red Wings yesterday. I worry that George doesn't get enough sleep.
• Leave it to my ol' buddy Bob Duff to find the bright side to the Danny Cleary signing in Detroit. And as much as I don't like the deal, Duffer might be right.
• Jordin Tootoo apparently caught every fish within a 100-mile radius of Traverse City.
• I haven't decided yet if these are the greatest things ever or the worst, but they're definitely something you'll want to see for yourself.
• Even a year's worth of hindsight doesn't bring justification to last season's lockout.
• Jamie Neugebauer says Switzerland is a threat to medal at Sochi. I'm right there with him. I wouldn't be surprised if they made it to the semis. They're disciplined, quick and indefatigable. Maybe not fun to watch, but they know how to win. • This story's only peripherally about hockey, but any time Dave Bidini has something to say, it's worth listening...even if his use of the shortform "Rheos" appears to indicate a double standard of douchery.