Top Line: Donald Sterling at home in NHL?; Coaches in jeopardy; more links
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• Los Angeles Times columnist Sandy Banks suggested that the allegedly racist owner of the NBA's L.A. Clippers should buy a hockey team if he wants to stop associating with black people. Douglas Williams takes Banks and her outdated stereotypes to task in his excellent "Color of Hockey" blog.
• Kevin Allen makes the case for the Blackhawks as the team to beat in the Western Conference.
• It's three down, one to go for a Los Angeles Kings team on the verge of an historic playoff comeback.
• Rory Boylen believes that San Jose's Todd McLellan will be coaching for his job in Game 7 on Wednesday. Not sure I agree--I think player accountability will be the key if the Sharks lose--but Boylen believes it all hinges on one decision.
• The list of available NHL coaching candidates could grow over the next few days if certain teams don't advance.
• Former official Paul Stewart has referee Chris Lee's back in the wake of the controversial call that gave the Kings the go-ahead goal in Game 6.
• Evgeni Malkin may have had the hat trick, but this Penguin was the reason Pittsburgh was able to survive its series with the Jackets.
• Their thrilling final push fell just short, but served notice that the Blue Jackets are for real, and even better days lie ahead.
• After it was over, there was nothing but respect for the young Jackets in Pittsburgh.
• Sounds like they've got a pretty good crowd in Columbus, too.
• Minnesota Wild fans have waited 11 years for the moment that Zach Parise finally delivered at the X last night.
• Win or lose, the Wild will go all out to sign Thomas Vanek this summer with an eye on earning something they wish they had in this series against the Avs: home ice.
• From a hockey perspective, now might be the best time for Nashville to trade Shea Weber. But the option isn't quite so clear cut from a business perspective.
• For the second time in his career, Ron Francis is being asked to provide a new direction for the Carolina Hurricanes. This time, though, the stakes are a little higher.
• The Calgary Flames have a new guy driving the bus, but Brad Treliving intends to follow the same route.
• A former Sabres star returns to Buffalo to coach junior hockey next season. Nice to see an old Glenwood classmate back in the game.
• Finally, the hockey world says goodbye, for now anyway, to its most legendary beard. The great Emil Kaberg has hung 'em up.