Top Line: Semyon Varlamov should step aside; Subban's hopes fade; more links
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• Or maybe the Avs should take the decision out of his hands. In fact, sitting Varlamov is a pragmatic, not emotional, response to this situation, writes Terry Frei.
• "The whole team supports him, including head coach Patrick Roy," Varlamov's father told the Russian media.
• "You cannot discount the involvement of other forces that may be interested in aggravating the situation," said yet another Russian official, perpetuating the Olympic sabotage theory that's gaining steam in Russia. He also offers a solution to help clear everything up.
• How bad are things in Edmonton? Coach Dallas Eakins is getting chirped by little kids when he takes his daughter to school. Just remember, Dallas: these are the good old days.
• GM Jarmo Kekalainen likes what Marian Gaborik has done so far for the Blue Jackets, but says he expects much more from the veteran. Gaborik should take that as a challenge to provide some leadership on and off the ice before the team is willing to commit to a long-term extension for the pending UFA.
• Examine the decisions made by any ex-GM and you're likely to find a few gems. Ryan Dixon takes a look at how one team is benefiting greatly from the groundwork laid by its ex-architect.
• The plus/minus stat is viewed by its detractors as a flawed method of determining a player's value. I'm guessing that Patrick Kane is among them.
• Ex-Vancouver greats Markus Naslund and Stan Smyl share their thoughts on the great Pavel Bure. The Russian Rocket will have his number retired by the Canucks on Sunday.