Top Line: Team Canada Sochi talk; NHL trade rumors; more links
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• Eric Francis said an early-season foot injury derailed the chances of Mark Giordano to make Team Canada. I'm not so sure. At this point, no one would be shocked if he was left off, but I get the sense that he's still a legitimate option for the No. 8 defenseman role.
• Roberto Luongo will certainly be one of three goalies named to Canada's roster on Tuesday, but has he done enough to start the tournament as the team's No. 1?
• Don Cherry says Team Canada fell short at the World Juniors because of a politically correct approach to the roster selection. Honestly, I have no idea what he's talking about.
• Bruce Garrioch believes the Sochi Olympic break will act as an artificial trade deadline, with several underachieving teams looking to clear the decks early. Among the names he touches on: Ryan Miller, Curtis Glencross, Daniel Briere, Dan Girardi and Jiri Tlusty.
• The Isles could have a very valuable trade chip in unheralded defender Andrew MacDonald. Kid eats big minutes, plays it smart and has some offensive touch. Probably 16 teams could use a guy like that.
• Speaking of scoring goals, anyone notice that a rookie has a share of the league lead for tallies by a defenseman?
• A former first-rounder might have run out of chances in Boston.
• Sabres owner Terry Pegula isn't simply trying to kickstart a renaissance of downtown Buffalo with a massive, multi-arena project--he's trying to turn that city into a mecca for developing hockey talent.
• The Lightning lost their best player early on, but still managed to craft their best first-half record in franchise history. Let's start the Jon Cooper-for-Adams bandwagon right here.
• Someone's about to set a franchise record in Pittsburgh, and it's not Sidney Crosby.
• The Oilers have been rebuilding for eight years, and yet they've somehow managed to get worse. You have to wonder what impact the consistent losing will have on youngsters like Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins who are supposed to lead this franchise out of the wilderness.
• Jay Rosehill vs. Paul Bissonnette. Love Biz Nasty checking with the coach first before dropping 'em at a point in the game where the Coyotes had the lead. And check out Shane Doan's reaction after the fight. That says it all, doesn't it?