By Allan Muir
A guide to this morning’s must-read stories around the NHL.
• Realignment is the NHL’s “powder keg” but talks are again underway between the league and the NHLPA. The status quo is not an option in Winnipeg, where the Jets expect a move out of the Eastern Conference to happen in time for the 2013-14 season.
• This man-crush I’m developing for Kari Lehtonen is not an exclusive thing. Watch this stop he made last night on Columbus’ Jack Johnson and join me.
• Things are getting back to normal in Phoenix. The Coyotes played a strictly disciplined game. Friends and family dotted the stands at Jobing.com Arena. And Chad Johnson stepped up with a 21-save shutout. Wait…who?
• I was asked this trivia question at dinner just last week: Who is the last active player to have skated for the Hartford Whalers? If only I’d read this article from the great Adrian Dater first. I suck at trivia.
• While Buffalo’s Mikhail Grigorenko waits to hear where he’ll finish the year, Alex Galchenyuk and Dougie Hamilton got word yesterday they’ll be sticking in the NHL this season. [HACKEL: Decision can be tricky and costly] After that pass he made to set up David Krejci’s game winner last night, Hamilton should probably be inducted directly into the Hall of Fame.
• Cam Ward has allowed 15 goals in just 10 periods of work, but there was a sense the Hurricanes’ netminder is starting to find his game. It’d be nice if he’d just start finding it earlier — Ward has given up eight goals in the four first periods he’s played.
• Has Canada’s obsession with hockey gotten out of hand? “At least our national identity isn’t guns.”
• I’m always entertained or irritated by articles written expressly for non-hockey fans. This one from the Wall Street Journal about Islanders’ forward Matt Martin manages to do both.
• Rest easy, PyeongChang. The long national nightmare is over. The Korean Ice Hockey Federation has finally elected a new president. Actually, it does matter a little bit, what with the Koreans hosting the 2018 Olympics where they hope to ice a team that could maybe give a game to a AAA midget team out of the GTHL.