Top Line: Habs bench P.K. Subban; Sabres close in on new GM; more links
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• The relationship between Michel Therrien and P.K. Subban eroded just a little bit more last night when the Canadiens' coach benched his star defenseman for more than 10 minutes with the game on the line. Mike Boone argues that it's fine to hold Subban accountable for his mistakes, but Therrien seems to delight in picking on him while letting other culpable players off the hook. With Subban's contract coming up this summer, there's reason to think he might be looking for a way out rather than a home run.
• For Pat LaFontaine, his process for selecting the next general manager of the Sabres comes down to trust. It's expected that he'll name Tim Murray as that trustworthy guy at a press conference this morning.
• Here's an absolute must-read for minor hockey coaches and families on what might be the best approach for teaching kids how to play the game. There's so much logic here that it's hard to believe that Blair Becker's methods aren't already widespread.
• Canada has a secret weapon heading into Sochi, but he won't be on the ice.
• Will Steve Yzerman's decision to leave Martin St. Louis off of Team Canada come back to haunt the Lightning? That's the worry in Tampa, where there's concern that this decision will damage the relationship between the star player and the GM beyond repair.
• Even NHL players can't help but play the Team Canada 2 game. Not sure they should be labeling someone "Princess Phaneuf" though ...
• Sharon Terlep says what many people are thinking: Sochi could be the last Olympic Games with NHL participation. I'd agree that South Korea in 2018 is a no-go, but the 2022 Games haven't been awarded yet. The right location, and a few truckloads of money, could bring the NHL back to the table.
• Jaromir Jagr may be worried about the Devils' offense, but Lou Lamoriello? Not so much. He says he's always got his eyes open for possible help, but that doesn't mean that New Jersey is on the verge of making a trade, despite a clear inability to score goals at a level that will keep them competitive.
• The Jets look absolutely lost, prompting Ed Tait to suggest that a major change has to happen in Winnipeg for this team to salvage its season. It's a lot easier to change a coach than to make a trade these days, so it's a safe bet that Claude Noel's days are numbered.
• The Bruins have dropped three of five games since losing Dennis Seidenberg for the season, showing just how big a hole the underappreciated defenseman left behind. Joe Haggerty takes a look at some of the trade options the B's have to explore, including Dan Girardi, Chris Phillips and Mark Stuart. Maybe there is a shakeup trade to be made by the Jets after all ...
• Boston isn't the only team that's sniffing around for defensive help. The Capitals have been a disaster in their own end of late, and could be bidding against the Bruins on some of the same players.
• Last summer, Oilers GM Craig MacTavish looked at this year's draft and said, "We don't need another teenager coming in here," suggesting that he'd be willing to move his team's pick for an experienced player who could help immediately. But now, with the likelihood increasing that the pick could be the first overall for the fourth time in five years, he's had a change of heart.
• Clearly MacT is feeling the pressure of another lost season. Still, there's no excuse for him to get into a shouting match with a fan.
• Three teams, including St. Louis, have 50 percent of their rosters heading to Sochi.
• Sam Cosentino argues that Hockey Canada needs to move past an anti-NCAA bias if it wants to ice the best possible team at future World Junior events.
• This must have happened in some alternate universe:Stars